In this review we put the €1499 Auris Audio Euterpe through its paces. We’ll learn how it performs sonically and how it handles different headphones.
Disclaimer: Auris Audio supplied the Euterpe amplifier free of charge. I only had to pay for importing it to Austria. Auris is not a site advertiser and not affiliated with Headfonia. Many thanks for the generosity and opportunity!
About Auris Audio:
Auris is a Serbian brand that mainly builds HiFi tube amplifiers, headphone amps but they also produce speakers. Their signature design always involves real wooden accents. Auris Audio was formed in 2013 with a mission to fulfil the desires of the most demanding audiophiles. Sonically and visually.
Their team of in-house engineers all have high experience in the pro-audio field and in designing audio equipment. According to their website, they all work very closely together when they approach a new project. Every single one of their products is hand-made and using the best possible components for the price. They give a lot of attention to tubes, capacitors, transformers and connectors. Many of which they get custom made to meet their expectations.
Every new product of theirs goes through a series of strict tests, to ensure they are exactly what their customers want. All stages of assembly have their own quality control sections, just like it should be. There’s nothing more frustrating then getting a dead unit, and Auris makes sure nothing faulty goes out their door.
We have covered a few of Auris’ amplifiers in the past. I suggest you read up on the HA2-SE, the Headonia and the Nirvana review to get a full picture of their products. Today we are looking at Auris’ starter tube amplifier – the Euterpe!
According to Wikipedia, Euterpe was one of the nine Greek muses. She was residing over music, and in late Classical times, she was also named the Muse of lyric poetry. She was the daughter of Zeus and the Titan goddess of memory, Mnemosyne. It’s said in Greek Mythology that Euterpe and her sister Muses have been living on Mount Olympus to entertain their father and other gods with their artistry. The Muses’ role was to inspire the development of liberal and fine arts in Ancient Greek, serving as an inspiration to poets, dramatists and Authors.
Taking this knowledge into account, it’s a wonderful name for a piece of audio equipment. Auris themselves say Euterpe is here to serve the needs and desires of the audiophiles.
Let’s talk a bit about the functions of this tube amplifier.
Euterpe uses two PL95 (Ei Yugoslavia) and one ECC81 (JJ Electronic; 12AT7) tube. It can be used primarily as DAC/Headphone amp but also as a pre-amplifier. Auris has selected an ESS Sabre ES9018 PRO chip to do internal D/A conversion. Euterpe decodes PCM up to 32bit/384kHz and DSD128. To unlock its highest performance you will have to use a driver on Windows machines. Mac OS and Linux systems don’t need one.
Euterpe has an analogue RCA input for an external DAC, as well as a full-sized USB B input to use its internal DAC. You can change the output impedance of Euterpe to accommodate different headphones. The low setting is recommended for headphones with 32-80 Ohms, and the high setting for headphones north of 150 Ohms.
The headphone amplifier uses a single-ended ultra linear topology. The output transformers are wound on a Double C nano-crystal core. They’re projected and developed in-house.
The amplifier itself measures 270 mm x 210 mm x 230 mm (WxLxD). Euterpe weights 4.1 kg net (without the PSU). It comes with an external linear power supply, that adds another 1.1 kg on the scale.
On the headphone output front it uses a 6.3 mm single ended connection. People who want a balanced output are out of luck here, as Euterpe was designed to be used single ended. As we know, it comes down to the circuit implementation how good an output sounds. There are bad sounding balanced outputs as well. Its output power is rated at 0.9W RMS.
Euterpe can be bought for 1,499 € or 1,699 $ USD from Auris’ web-shop or one of their regional dealers around the world.
Very basic. You won’t get a fancy designed box or luxurious presentation. Euterpe comes protected in a massive cardboard box, well placed in hardened foam. Everything is already installed, so the tubes don’t need to be put in for a first set-up.
All you have to do is connect the outboard power supply via the four-pin connector to the Euterpe, hook the PSU up to a power source and you’re good to go.
If you have any doubts or troubles with the unit, you can check the supplied manual for help. There’s also a warranty card in the box. Auris gives you two years limited warranty for your unit. Which is nice to see, as the industry standard tends to be one year.
What’s missing in the package are cables. You won’t find a USB or power cable in there anywhere. So you’d better have those already, or you need to buy these. Someone who doesn’t come prepared, will be disappointed to make another trip get a power chord at least.
The review continues after the jump!