Devialet D-Premier Integrated Amp/DAC

Among the standout gems at CES this year was the D-Premier integrated amp/DAC from French newcomer Devialet. Distributed in the US by Audio Plus Services, the D-Premier serves as the stylish hub of a high-performance 2-channel audio system.

The first thing you notice about the D-Premier is its svelte, elegant case, which measures only 1.25 inches thick. It can be placed horizontally or mounted on a wall, and the mirror-polished aluminum finish reflects the surroundings, allowing it to blend in with just about any decor.

Even more important is the inside story. The preamp section provides a total of six RCA connectors that can be configured as MC/MM phono inputs, line-level inputs, and S/PDIF digital audio inputs as well as a digital or subwoofer analog output. Other connections include two TosLink digital-audio inputs, an AES/EBU digital input, and HDMI 1.3 input and output for Blu-ray, HDTV, SACD, and other HD formats.

Especially interesting is the 2-channel power amp. Devialet spent four years developing its Analog Digital Hybrid (ADH) technology, which combines class-A and class-D amps to achieve the best of both worlds with an efficiency of 85 percent. Power output is nominally rated at 200 watts/channel into 8Ω with a maximum of 240Wpc, and the amp is stable down to 2Ω loads.

In addition to accepting analog and digital inputs for local amplification, the D-Premier will soon be able to stream digital-audio files (up to 192kHz/24 bits) via Wi-Fi with a module that will be available in the spring. The module will be a free upgrade to existing owners that plugs into the D-Premier internally and uses the antenna already in the main chassis.

The supplied RF wireless remote is the epitome of beauty and simplicity, with a single, large rotary knob and four buttons that provide complete control. Also, an SD-card slot allows the firmware to be easily updated with new features.

Steve Guttenberg found the D-Premier interesting enough to cover in his Audiophiliac blog, and Stereophile's John Atkinson and Erick Lichte were impressed by it at CES. Not bad for a new kid on the block whose first product lists for $15,995.