Julien Bergère

Julien Bergère, Gen­eral Man­ager, Asia-Pa­cific, De­vialet.

HWM (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS - By Mar­cus Wong

The au­dio world has al­ways been about size. How is De­vialet able to re­verse the trend? There are some truths and some myths about au­dio and size. Ac­tu­ally, we are told to ac­cept the lim­i­ta­tions of a given state of tech­nol­ogy: “Class A amps are the best per­form­ing, and they are very large, there­fore a good amp has to be large…”

But De­vialet is a high-tech com­pany spe­cial­iz­ing in break­through in­no­va­tion, ap­ply­ing it to the au­dio do­main. Our en­gi­neers have more than 100 key pa­tents in all fields of sound re­pro­duc­tion; the com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor be­ing that they’re about push­ing the lim­its of how pure sound is re­pro­duced, in a way that is highly en­ergy-ef­fi­cient. So what did that trans­late to? The key is­sue to con­sider when minia­tur­iz­ing a speaker is the re­pro­duc­tion of deep bass.

Put sim­ply: you need a large driver with a high ex­cur­sion in or­der to move air and pro­duce low fre­quen­cies in a loud way. How­ever, a small box re­stricts how much the large driver can move. These rules are derived from the laws of physics, and at this stage we haven’t changed them.

In­stead, we have ‘sim­ply’ pushed the com­monly ac­cepted bound­aries of how much bass you can pack into a small box.

We com­bined very lin­ear and high-ef­fi­ciency Ana­log Dig­i­tal Hy­brid (ADH) am­pli­fiers and power sup­plies with ex­tremely com­pact Heart Bass Im­plo­sion (HBl) speaker driv­ers that gen­er­ate 60 pounds of force in each di­rec­tion at full 1-inch ex­cur­sion in a sealed en­clo­sure that with­stands 20 times higher pres­sure than a con­ven­tional closed box. Does a speaker’s abil­ity to play loud af­fect its abil­ity to cre­ate out­stand­ing de­tail? We could say that these are two dif­fer­ent things: play­ing loud, and hav­ing de­tailed sound. If your speaker doesn’t sound de­tailed at low vol­ume, play­ing loud won’t help to ‘cre­ate’ de­tail.

Mu­sic is dy­namic by na­ture: it in­cludes some loud sec­tions, even if quite short. A tra­di­tional sound sys­tem tends to be non-lin­ear when play­ing loud. The dis­tor­tion that oc­curs when re­pro­duc­ing louder sounds af­fects the over­all ren­der­ing.

If the sound sys­tem main­tains an ab­sence of dis­tor­tion on loud tran­sients, it will have a ca­pac­ity to main­tain a high level of de­tail re­gard­less of the vol­ume. It’s like a great car. Even when driv­ing it fast, you still feel com­fort­able and safe, and you have the ca­pac­ity to ac­cel­er­ate in­stan­ta­neously if needed. How has De­vialet been able to in­no­vate bet­ter than oth­ers? Hav­ing three co-founders: Pier­reEm­manuel, Em­manuel Nardin, and Quentin San­nié (an en­gi­neer, a de­signer, and a se­rial en­tre­pre­neur) shar­ing the same vi­sion and de­ter­mi­na­tion def­i­nitely made a key dif­fer­ence.

Small com­pa­nies may have the will to change the world, but are of­ten the cre­ation of a sin­gle tal­ented per­son, who fails to team up with the right peo­ple and is un­able to get fund­ing for the project. Large com­pa­nies could get the fund­ing, but they of­ten miss a long-term vi­sion when it comes to in­no­va­tion.

Con­sider our first ADH patent dates from 13 years ago. Which com­pany would in­vest 10 or 15 years be­fore see­ing a re­turn? Only vi­sion­ar­ies would de­vote their lives to such a grand project. Tell us about your most mem­o­rable au­dio ex­pe­ri­ence. I’ve had a few ‘most mem­o­rable au­dio ex­pe­ri­ences’ in my life so far. Maybe the one I’ll choose to re­late is when my fa­ther first recorded my voice when l was 4 years old. With all the im­per­fec­tions of this por­ta­ble cas­sette tape de­vice, the magic of hav­ing cap­tured a mo­ment of re­al­ity and be­ing able to re­pro­duce it at will ab­so­lutely mes­mer­ized me. What was in front of me was noth­ing less than an amaz­ing time-ma­chine, and my dad was the great­est wizard of all!

This mo­ment, the first among a few oth­ers, de­fined a life­time pas­sion for sound re­pro­duc­tion.

“Our first ADH patent dates from 13 years ago. Which com­pany would in­vest 10 or 15 years be­fore see­ing a re­turn?”

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