The French Connection: LEEDH and Devialet

To Doug Schneider,

While I am waiting for your article on the Luxman power amp with excitement, I am just as impatient to read your complete review of Devialet’s dream machine (or nightmare for competitors).

I suppose you spent a nice but too-short moment in Devialet’s Rue Réaumur showroom, and hope that you do not see or hear ghosts everywhere. I will likely have a look at their new product tomorrow, but it may be difficult to enter their premises considering the buzz at the moment. What is sure is that Devialet is not far from meeting the expectations of its wealthy but demanding shareholders: becoming an Apple-like company, if not more, all but the loudspeaker fitting into a one-square-centimeter chip. We can imagine that a lot of devices can host such small pieces.

I may be dreaming saying that the second part of the puzzle would be a new-sounding technology even more disruptive than the one Devialet achieved at the moment, i.e., to be used for producing millimeter-length hi-fi speakers.

Indeed, I just experienced another French promising-sounding technology, which seems to be a possible candidate. Note that this technology is not yet ready for very small loudspeakers, but it seems that it is an objective of its developer, Gilles Milot.

Finally, I have paired my Luxman M-900u and TAD DA-1000 with a LEEDH sound system (including a subwoofer and a pair of speaker cables), with a very natural and incredibly detailed result, even when it can be further enhanced: I read with the highest interest the SoundStage! Ultra article from Howard Kneller this month, as my cables and damping/isolation products are likely not the most suitable.

Considering the total price, I hope that the sound quality is, and will remain, several notches ahead from Devialet’s Phantom, at least until their next software update.

Best regards,

It’s interesting that you should bring up Devialet and LEEDH because I was thinking about both brands yesterday, and how the most cutting-edge developments in hi-fi at present seem to be coming from France. I was actually introduced to LEEDH a couple of years ago at the hi-fi show in Montreal, but have not had much experience with the brand since. Still, I was impressed at the time with what they had developed -- basically, a brand-new driver technology that seemed to hold some promise. Perhaps one day I willl review one of the speakers systems, as well as one from Devialet. Let’s see what happens in 2015! . . . Doug Schneider