First, I have to admit that a lot of high-end amplifiers are so ugly you'd have to be an audiophile to buy them. But there are more than a few truly gorgeous examples, like the Devialet D-Premier. It's French, after all, and the French know a thing or two about style.
In 2007, Pierre-Emannuel Calmel and Matthias Moronvalle decided to launch a new high-end audio company, Devialet, in Paris. The two men had both worked for Nortel's R&D department, and they weren't the least bit interested in crafting just another high-end amplifier.
It looks like they're off to a grand start; the Devialet D-Premier is a unique Class A/Class D hybrid design. Bona fide Class A circuits are only used in very high-end audiophile amplifiers, but Class A designs are extremely inefficient and consume huge amounts of AC power to produce low power output. Class D amps are highly efficient designs, but their sound quality falls short of the highest audiophile standards.
The D-Premier was designed to have the sound quality of Class A and the efficiency of Class D designs. … Read more