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The first Devialet OS board prototype has just landed in our engineers' hands.

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2017, April 11th Update

  • The Devialet OS Board will be internal and will replace both Duet and Wifi boards
  • New powerful  dual-band 2.4/5GHz wifi and Gigabit Ethernet modules
  • The OS board will feature a Linux-based operating system tailored for audio applications and streaming
  • There will be no music storage on Devialet OS board
  • The Devialet OS board will be offered and installed for free to all Expert Pro and Original d'Atelier owners

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More to come soon...

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118 Comments

  • 1
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    Sven

    Thank Hifi_swlon for your usefull information on the architecture of Roon. Hopefully Devialet will give us more information on the streamer board roadmap and their plans with Roon. 

  • 1
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    Michael Connelly

    "More to come soon"...   

    Can you please clarify what you mean by "more" and "soon"?

    It's been 6 months since I first bought an Expert Pro.  I absolutely enjoy what it has done for my musical enjoyment!  Thank you indeed for this wonderful product.   

    But to be honest, I'm quite confused as to the purpose and functionality of this new OS board and dismayed by the total lack of any information about it.  After all, it was you, Devialet, that described it as an $1800 board that you would deliver at no additional cost as part of my purchase when it became available.   Yet absolutely no information since then.

    Any insight and clarification on this new board - it's purpose, functionality and means of integration - is greatly appreciated and long overdue. 

    Thank you.

  • 1
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    hifi_swlon

    Thanks for the update on my Roon forum stats Stevensegal - who knew they even existed!  Yes, I am active there and a passionate Roon lifetime member if that wasn't obvious already.  Ironically, this only came about as it was the best thing that I had tried over a number of years of searching for a replacement for AIR, and ultimately provided me with a solid solution with good UI on top.

    "As an Aries user, if they just licensed Auralic Lightning and Lightning Server I'd be very happy, I would hope they come up with something even better. "

    This is a very good point, but one I don't think is realistic. Lighting has evolved over a number of years and has lots of fans, but is propriety in the sense you have to buy an Auralic streamer to use it.  Roon is less hardware-centric, but of cousre you need to buy Roon (or pay yearly) and commuter hardware to run it on - albeit its quite generic.  But hardware aside, just in software development terms, honestly, what are the chances of Devialet creating something that equals or betters either the Lightning software or Roon?  I'd say its slim at best - just look at Spark.  

    Like you say, even Auralic struggled to get DSP into their software.  If you haven't seen Roon in a while I'd definitely recommend a look just out of interest.   You can simultaneously do the following processing on several zones (in fact as many as your server can handle); upsample, convolve (i.e. room correction), procedural EQ, parametric EQ, headroom adjustment, and speaker offset adjustment. Across DSD and PCM, and now up to DSD512!  All while staying in sync.  How long would it take Devialet to be able to do all the above?

    This is just in one of the 1.3 update releases.

    I am biased I know, but my point really is, Roon guys know software development and know what they're doing in the audio streaming world.  So Devialet don't need to use resources trying to better this kind of thing (which I'd say is almost impossible for them) - they can offer their user base access to a RoonReady implementation at minimal cost and have it right now.  

    But I hope everyone gets what they want - RoonReady or otherwise - or at least some of the features they want.  I'd gladly use Qobuz and other features if available.  Internet radio too.  I'd be ecstatic if they added Room Correction native to the amp too.

    Right now I just dont see why the need for guesswork. I think its fair to know what the streamer board will do.  That way if it doesnt fit my needs, I can move onto a new brand, or consider other streamer hardware.  But I dont want to do that and then have to sell it again if the streamer board comes good - I've already lost out once buying and selling kit to circumvent AIR.  I'm sure I'm not unique in this position.

    I'll await further comment from Devialet.  Nice to meet some new users here anyway.

    Edited by hifi_swlon
  • 1
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    Steven Segal

    G51, isn't it time to give it a break? Most of this type of software is designed by very small teams, sometimes just one person, I would expect absolute minimum 6 months to design and 3 months to test, so the end of the year might be realistic, earlier a bonus. I've been beta testing a software upgrade on a well-established product and it's broken it, I've had to send it back today. Another famous brand previewed a streamer upgrade to a DAC unit at Munich 2016 and still have not been able to release it. This software requires integration of a lot of third party systems and it seems to be very difficult to get right. You then have mobile apps to develop, desktop apps etc.

  • 1
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    Steven Segal

    Since the Devialet announcement France has got a new President, nuclear war has been narrowly averted and we now have HD streaming. An update would be nice, the boys and girls at Devialet can find the time in their busy lives.

  • 1
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    Michael Connelly

    Well now, what we have here is an interesting discussion!   It's pretty clear that we all come at this from somewhat different interests and experience.  Those differences, as often discussed on DevialetChat, offer new ideas about what is possible with the Expert Pro.  And hopefully, we all learn a few things along the way.

    But ... we're not here to tell Devialet specifically what to build nor now to build it. And best I can tell, they really haven't asked for our opinions. BUT, we have come here with the hope to hear more from Devialet about its intentions with this new OS board.  Some of us will undoubtedly be pleased.  Others, perhaps, not so much.  But regardless, whatever it is will impact all current and would-be owners.  

    Wouldn't it be nice to know so that we can make informed decisions and hold informed conversations?  

  • 1
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    hifi_swlon

    My fingers are crossed too, but I'm not sure I hold out much hope about Devialet having learnt from the past...

    As far as I can tell, we're a month away from the launch of the Core Infinity board, and yet this page - which was allegedly setup to share details with us (presumably just as lip service following Quentin Sannie's now infamous and completely unfulfilled petition pledge to improve customer relations and lessen marketing BS) - contains barely more useful information than was posted at the start. 

    Devialet staff are barely present, here or anywhere else.

    There have been no notable feature updates to the Expert firmware in getting on for two years.

    All we read about in the press is chip manufacture, and an ugly Sky soundbar.

    I'm shifting my comments to their Facebook page from here on in.  Probably more chance of a response, and if not at least it's not just hidden away in private.

    Meanwhile, still on track for delivering the board on October 17th!?  Seems very doubtful, but let's see - personally I anticipate an email full of BS and bluster and letting us know it's delayed by a month or two..... and thats with my optimistic hat on!

     

     

     

     

  • 1
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    hifi_swlon

    Just to pick up on a few points above:

    Stevensegal: Devialet should be driven by what their customers want. In leu of any customer survey from Devialet or anywhere else (which based on Devialet's past performance is very unlikely to materialise), where else do they find out what their customers want? The only Devialet-specific forum that exists, and this area of their own website (which was explicitly setup garner feedback on the streamer board) seem like good places to start to me.  I find it hard to understand why anyone would suggest they ignore the feedback.

    What features you would like is your view, and you're absolutely right to voice it.  However, others have their views.  Neither is necessarily better, and hopefully everyones needs can be met. The point I was making is that the only detailed discussion about the streamer board has already been running for many months, and covers users right across the spectrum of Devialet models from the 120 up to the 1000 Pro and OdA - why would they be 'minority users'?

    Per Roon - you didn't like it - that's fair enough too.  However, many people do.  What most like about it is its robust streaming protocol, which allows for advanced multi-room, EQ, and up-sampling, runs on all platforms including Linux, and is leagues above most other options out there.  After two years of trying to get a flaky AIR to work, it was a revelation.  Pretty much all brands in the same league as Devialet have adopted Roon - even Naim have announced it, and they have a very established proprietary player that's leagues ahead of Spark. I had a Spark demo in Devialet's Harrods concession and even they couldn't get it to work properly! The fact is, Roon is the defacto high end player for many people.  It's not for everyone - hence the request for choice for all the systems people want.

    I hardly see many people with an interest in the streamer boards as 'forum fanatics', but answering the question - why should Devialet give out the details?

    Well, firstly, it's not a secret and they're not Apple - they've already announced it as part of the advertising for the Expert Pro series - and therefore many people have already paid for it in advance.  Secondly, because the CEO made a public statement that Devialet would interact with their users better - including discussing their needs and wishes.  Thirdly, because OdA owners have to wait for the streamer board to be released before their units get updated to 1000Pro spec, so timings are quite important to them.

     

    Avram:  Roons RAAT protocol is proprietary, but it's royalty-free and they hand-hold brands through certification. There is no ongoing cost to Devialet or their users (other than a Roon license for those who use it), and is only the cost of coding and testing to become certified.  Small raspberry Pi manufacturers with only one or two staff have done it, so it can't be that onerous for a company like Devialet.  Roon have never made any claim that RAAT 'improves the sound' by some magic - in fact they clearly state their technical goals of bit perfect delivery and clear, open reporting of the entire signal chain.  There's plenty of documentation about RAAT.  But what it does do is robust multi-room streaming from a central source.  TCP/IP may be able to do some or all of this - but what systems are they part of?  A transport alone isnt much use - how do you send your library and playlists to an Expert amp simply over TCP? With streaming its not just the technology, but the user experience.

    Devialet engineers have produced some amazing hardware, but sadly, in my opinion and experience, have been let down by their poor software - leading to a bad user experience.  So they certainly don't inspire respect and confidence, although as you say, they should.

    "We should refrain from criticizing Devialet of being late."

    I'm sorry to say I completely disagree.  Some people are still waiting for the Dialogues they purchased to work with the Expert line years ago, to actually work with the Experts.  Others are still waiting for AIR to work after suffering endless bugs and dropouts that were never fixed over a period of years.  I myself waited two years but at least now it finally works for me (at least at the moment).

    As far as I'm aware, Devialet have already announced 'off the record' to several users and dealers that it won't be ready in Q2, and most likely not in Q3 - more like the end of 2017.

     

     

    Like I say this is just one persons opinion....

     

    What we really want to hear form is Devialet themselves.  And I don't mean simple fluff and marketing speak about the streamer board.  I mean details of specific features it will come with or is planned to haver in the future, and some timescales.  I've paid for my Expert Pro, and now I want to know what the 'more info to come soon' actually is.

  • 1
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    Chek KAI HUNG

    Please go to devialetchat.com - unofficial owners forum where you would have a better ideas what the users are thinking and what they are worried about. Devialet should disclose the functions of the OS streamer board. So we know what to expect and we ourselves can plan ahead.

  • 1
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    Michael Connelly

    We have a unique scenario here... Devialet is building a product that they promised they would make available for free as an integral part of the upgrade or new Pro purchase.  At the time, I thought - cool, can't wait to see what it will do.  But I wanted the Pro back in Oct last year and didn't feel like waiting.  

    Here I am, 6 months later, and still no real description of the new board and its capabilities.  But think about it... it is unlikely that Devialet will actually ever just sell this board.  My guess is that they are building it solely to fix obvious weaknesses (e.g. wifi) and to enable far more robust firmware improvements in the future via the new OS with a particular focus on improved streaming - whatever that may be.

    @hifi_swlon....  on the hope that Devialet is listening and there is still room to influence what they're doing, here are my top priorities:

    -- Yes, I'd love to see Roon RAAT integrated!

    -- More important, I'd love to see the OS developed as an enabling platform such that Devialet can adopt Roon RAAT and whatever other streaming solutions (and new functionality!) that improve the value of the Expert Pro to its customers.

    -- Perhaps most important - better communication with customers.  While this discussion is interesting, it does seem to be lacking a certain key participant.

     

      

  • 1
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    Roland

    Petri,

    I really appreciate your input. Thanks a million!

    I will definitely take a closer look at Roon - sounds interesting. Any recommendations for what to use as the core server? As much out of the box as possible :-) Any cheap boxes, that can handle that job without having a MAC/PC running all the time?

    Roon High res support sounds interesting as well - maybe the new devialet OS will have a solution for this anyway? I hope :-) Tried it via OPPO / optical once - but again, it becomes so clumsy when you have to start a lot of external stuff to listen to music. My view :-) So if Roon handles this - I am heated. 

    Air sounds better - Suddenly, I remember. I actually tested this once, but could only play (bad wifi) this way via MAC / ethernet, so I parked it due to low usability - but it did sound better to my ears as well. Even on CD quality level. If Roon Air is even better ... wauuw. Definitely worth a try.

    Tidal is my fav as well.

    Last thing - the DSP stuff you mention, upsampling, digital room and speaker correction etc. sounds very interesting, but right now a bit out of my safezone - what would be the best place to start reading about this? Any recommendations?

    Thanks again for your kindness.

     

     

     

     

  • 1
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    John Yow

    Interestingly Devialet chooses to just post some rudimentary info in their own support site and remains dead silent on customer responses.

    Would be nice if they can address some of the concerns.  

    The silence is deafening   

  • 1
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    Ian Goodwin

    Splendid to get an update after 3.5 weeks.

    Let's hope Devialet stick to this frequency - even if "nothing to report" -

    rather than customers experiencing the long periods of silence under "Love

    Is In The Air" (which it wasn't). It's not too arduous for one engineer to spend

    15 minutes every 17 working days telling customers about the developments

    which, in many ways, they have already paid for!

     

     

  • 1
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    Francois Asquin

    Great to get some information about the streamer. It seems that Devialet begin to understand the frustration on their communication with the Expert owners. Now I just hope that we will have a way to use a room correction software (kind of Dirac) on this unix OS ! In this case I will be able to remove my Mac mini from the installation.

  • 1
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    hifi_swlon

    Sorry Avram, not meaning to be confrontational, but your post is simply incorrect. 

    The paragraph you quote isn't asking any more of Devialet than providing a gateway into a piece if software that already does everything listed. It's not asking them to write the software themselves - which frankly would be impossible for them at this point in time - and as you say isn't their skillset or expertise. 

    The work required to incorporate RAAT is small - there are 'one man band' companies that gave successfully done it with good results. A streamerboard with an Ethernet port and running a Linux variant is all that's needed, and that is what Devialet have already said they're producing.

    But this is all moot really, Devialet will already have done the work or be in the process of organising their code for the new board so that it makes the process simpler for them when they start adding the extra protocols like RAAT that their customers want, and that they'd need to stay level with the competition. The question we really want answered is when? Only Devialet can provide this info. 

  • 1
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    Cgmarshall00

    I'd also like to add my thanks, it does, at times, feel like Devialet don't listen to our requests but obviously you guys have been quietly working in the background.  The Roon solution is great, really well thought out.  For the first time i have a software solution (single box with ROCK) that matches the quality of the Devialet hardware.

     

    The only small concern is that you have set an extremely high target to beat with the CORE board!  Good luck :-)

     

     

  • 1
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    Warren Willows

    I think these last few comments are missing the obvious.  I don't believe anyone is demanding that Devialet speed up their implementation or even make commitments to incorporate various streaming protocols.  We are asking for updates in a timely fashion so plans can be made.  If Devialet is moving in a direction not optimal for any Expert Pro owner they can then make plans accordingly.  In my case I have a workable but temporary hard-wired ethernet using Air.  With some sense of where the design of the streamer board is headed and if not to my liking I can than consider the DCS Network bridge or similar.

    It is the absence of any communication and conflicting dates for release that are the concern.  The comparison to Apple is, frankly, absurd.  They maintain a view of secrecy for new items under design development while the streamer board has been purchased and promised for 2017 03.  It is owed to us.

  • 1
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    Steven Segal

    New owner, having already paid for this upgrade, I would expect to be informed what functionality can be expected, if not guaranteed. Is Devialet messaging always this annoying?

  • 1
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    hifi_swlon

    Makes sense to me. I only mentioned Roon in response to Sven's comment.

    There were lots of other requests on Devialetchat alongside Roon and HQPlayer NAA. Qobuz and internet radio for example - neither of which are priorities for me personally - but why not? This board should blow away the competition and 'wow' the Devialet user base - many of whom upgraded in good faith that the streamer board would be a world class product.

  • 1
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    Markus Hübner

    @olivier Info update really needed as you can see

  • 0
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    Michael Connelly

    I greatly appreciate the additional information.   I would be very much interested in learning more about your intentions for the new OS board for audio applications and streaming.   Can you please elaborate?

    Thank you!

  • 0
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    Chek KAI HUNG

    Devialet, I know it is Sunday. Please make some response tomorrow on Monday. 

     

    How 'soon' do you mean by "more to come soon"? BTW "soon" is a very subjectiive word which could mean anything or nothing at all.

  • 0
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    Steven Segal

    So much to respond to from the Roon advocates! 

    Firstly, the "survey". 87 responses from 3,000 members implies epic response bias. Having an academic background is sampling surveys, time is too short to critique it, other that to say it was not circulated. I am a DevialetChat member (one post, asked a question, no replies) and was unaware of the "survey".

    John Yow: No offence taken, more a compliment. I hate computers and computer audio. To me they are a barrier to listening to music. I listen mostly to live music roughly 50/50 recitals and ballet/dance without about 5 operas annually. I have a sizeable CD and vinyl collection, but streaming has changed everything. My streaming history is Linn Accurate DS, AVA Zara Premium (a Naim UnitiServe clone but better) and Auralic Aries. All closed systems, almost faultless (plug-n-play and hassle free) and idiot-proof. I have two audio systems, Devialet and Audiolab (both single-unit systems), both with Auralic streamers, so both controlled from the same iOS app.

    My experience of Devialet users is different to yours. I have two friends with Expert, one uses mostly vinyl, the other mostly CD and I use mostly streaming and some vinyl. Our systems are all used by other family members. My wife and elder son love it.

    "Most of the closed computer audio platforms like those from Naim and Linn I tried are just not good enough.  And it is understandable since this is not their main line of expertise." They were fine for me, and before Audiolab my second system used the hugely popular Naim UnitiQute. More to the point, streaming is core to both Linn and Naim, probably the UK's two most successful high-end brands. Linn was about to go bust and only survived by abandoning CD and developing a range of streamers.

    I have looked into Roon. See:

    https://roonlabs.com/index.html

    https://roonlabs.com/howroonworks.html

    https://roonlabs.com/partners.html

    Basically, it describes itself as a "Core" to collect music from physical storage or online, adds its own metadata, and distributes it to multiple devices. Very nice, but Expert is a high quality 2-channel audio system. Why is it so important essential to make Expert a platform for other devices?

    It is interesting that the index page decries that digital audio has resulted in the loss of the physical media of LPs and CDs. Not true. Digital booklets are available in my streaming service, Qobuz. I checked that the "booklet" for Savall's "Guerre et Paix" that runs to almost 400 pages and cost extra for a physical copy, is available in full on Qobuz. Is it available on Roon?

    Likewise, MQA was launched in 2014 based on being able to pack and unpack high bitrate music, now tied to Tidal. I can stream purchases as 24/192 from Qobuz and at DSD from Highresaudio (both are about to launch subscription high-res streaming), so why should Devialet license a proprietary decoder that was always technically questionable and is now effectively redundant?

    Roon's partners are a small group of small high-end audio manufacturers and some DIY suppliers like Hifiberry. There are no big brands like TEAC, Onkyo, Yamaha, Panasonic, etc. So however much some people like Roon, it seems a very niche product that has not been adopted by the vast majority of the mainstream or hi-end audio industry.

    Commercially, Roon, Tidal and MQA are all closely associated to Meridian, so I can understand Devialet not getting too involved in a competitor's proprietary platforms.

    Finally, as Brownnose says on the "survey" thread, you can implement Roon on Devialet by attaching a £35 Pi device, a fraction of the license fee.

  • 0
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    Steven Segal

    And another thing ...

    Whilst Devialet's initial post to this announcement was a bit annoying, why on earth should they be obliged to tell forum-fanatics every last detail of what they are up to? Apple under Steve Jobs never told their customers anything at all about their products until launch day, and it didn't do Apple any harm. 

    My experiences with with Oceane / Devialet Customer Support have only ever been timely, courteous and informative - and I'm someone who spent last weekend (or part of it) struggling to set up a new router. Voicemails are returned promptly. 

    As Devialet make a product that can be used so many different ways, maybe they should do a survey on how customers use it (analogue, CD, DVD, satellite, streaming, etc.), what streaming services they use, what services they would like. It's actually very easy and cheap to do with third party survey companies.

  • 0
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    Avalon

    Devialet, my thanks as well for working with Roon on the My Devialet audio zone removing the need to run the virtual AIR driver.  I've been with you from the start with my D-Premier, now a 250 Pro and I'm very satisfied with the customer service and attention to detail on the various firmware updates and upgrades....cheers!

    Edited by Avalon
  • 0
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    Roland

    Petri,

    You are so right. I think we could all wait some extra months, if the end result is worth it. That said, it is not all about quality and "timing" - I really think their customers deserve to know where they are going with their stuff. Too me it has been extremely - and still is - frustrating, not to have a clear understanding of what the end goal is. A hifi setup is an ecosystem with so many elements, and Devialet is not making it easy to navigate and invest with their black box approach. The Pro products are excellent - no doubt - but why this silence about the situation. Like you mention, the Air stuff is really unstable, why don't they just tell us about their roadmap for getting it fixed? The OS board - for more than a year we have all just tread water, cause nothing is released, not a single coordinate - not a single word. I think we all deserve to know where they are taking us. Afterall, it is not a 100 USD product. With Devialet you buy a companion, hence a little involvement and frankness wouldn't hurt. They have absolutely improved and strengthened their support in many aspects - but if you ask about tomorrow, it is still completely in darkness. I don't get it.

  • 0
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    Steven Segal

    A little balance here. Don't think Devialet should be driven by forum users. They are probably only a minority, probably only a small minority, or owners. If driven by anything, Devialet should survey all their users - very easy given they have all their login details.

    Take the last two posts - seems like it would be the end of the world if it didn't have HQPlayer and Roon, but Qobuz is an optional extra. I've never heaqrd of HQPlayer and after a Roon trial I found it a waste of time. However, about 80-90% of my listening is via Qobuz and if it was not onboard I would be deeply disappointed. I used a Naim unit in my office and when they went for Tidal over Qobuz I sold it and bought a Qobuz-driven unit from Auralic.

    Of course any streaming hardware these days should support existing streaming services (Tidal, Qobuz, highresaudio, spotify etc.) and be upgradeable for changes to those platforms or new ones that may emerge (e.g. when Amazon Prime gets round to it). 

    With regard to players, most manufacturers have proprietary players and I would expect Devialet to do the same, not pander to the wishes of forum users to be able to use their favourite third party player, whether Audirvana, Kazoo, whatever - probably hundreds of them.

    As far as Roon is concerned, Devialet would not be the first platform to decide not to adopt it.

    Nor do I think Devialet will lose all their customers and go bust if OS doesn't have everyone's favourite bit of streaming software. I have only two friends with Devialet units (my work/social life is not centred around audio) and neither use them for streaming at all, only for vinyl and CD. I use my 250 Pro with a usb Auralic streamer. I would very much like OS to fully replace the streamer, but if it doesn't it is not the end of the world as the Expert is still a superb DAC, phono, pre and power amp in one easy-to-use box, and the only family-friendly system I have ever owned.

    Edited by Steven Segal
  • 0
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    John Yow

    I am quite sure that Meridian and Roon and no longer related after the Sooloos sale.  

    http://www.cepro.com/article/meridian_explains_amicable_split_with_roon_founders

    By the way, I owned both dCS and Naim gears prior to jumping to Devialet.  I was a long time Naim user and used and very satisfied with dCS Debussy,  dCS is a class act.  I was seriously considering the dCS' network streamer with full Roon support, but pending the Devialet streamer card.  I believe Naim is developing Roon support as well?

     

     

  • 0
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    Steven Segal

    hifi_swlon: :"You can simultaneously do the following processing on several zones (in fact as many as your server can handle); upsample, convolve (i.e. room correction), procedural EQ, parametric EQ, headroom adjustment, and speaker offset adjustment. Across DSD and PSM, and now up to DSD512!  All while staying in sync.  How long would it take Devialet to be able to do all the above?"

    Actually, I don't think I want any of those, but I can't be sure as I don't know what they mean. I suspect that for most users, all they would want the OS card to do is get music from an online streaming service, usb or NAS drive. 

    I fully appreciate your predicament as, unless OS has Roon onboard, it will offer you nothing other than a more reliable wifi connection. 

    I actually tried Roon twice. The first time I gave up because it requires the host computer to be on, but my audio system does not have a dedicated computer, it is contolled from an ipad. I then tried Roon Server, but had problems getting it to work properly. I just want to play files as ripped, downloaded or streamed. (p.s. Qobuz are about to go to 24/96 streaming, purchases can already be streamed at that rate.)

  • 0
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    Steven Segal

    GS1, I stream to the Expert Pro using a usb-connected streamer. It is 100% reliable and by far the most practical and best sounding audio system I have had in 40 years. If my streaming service was onboard and I could plug an SSD drive into the usb socket, well, it would then be the perfect minimal system for me. Tomorrow would be nice, 2018 more likely.

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