Feliks Audio Euforia AE Review

Feliks Audio Euforia AE

Sound Intro

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The power tubes used for this part are Tung-Sol 7236 graphite plate, not the standard Russian power tubes. The PSVane Gold tubes are the input tubes. The DAC used is the Flux Lab Acoustics Atlas, fed by my laptop running ROON, using a Chord Epic USB cable. The Sennheiser HD800 is the headphone in use.

Again, regarding tubes, the Svetlana will perform well in its stock form with the Svetlana power tubes, but an amplifier of this level will shine even more if you run it with a better set of tubes. The 7236 or Bendix tubes with graphite internals don’t come cheap anymore but why limit your high end amp. IF you’re serious about getting into tube amps, make sure you have extra budget for a good set of NOS tubes.

The best way to describe an amplifier’s sound is to describe how it sounds with specific headphones. We’ll do that in the next chapter in detail, so this chapter is more of a summary with the basics.

The Euforia AE is dead silent at all times with all headphones: there’s no tube noise, no volume pot noise or any noise sneaking in form the power supply. The back ground is black and very clean at all times, with all headphones.

Presentation-wise the Euforia AE is tuned more neutrally but with a smooth tube delivery and an extremely high level of musicality. Key characteristics when listening to the AE are: timbre, extension, spaciousness, detail and speed. The sound stage is wide and deep, it extends well both in bass and treble and the layering and transparency from top to bottom is exemplary.

Bass goes down really low with awesome sub-bass. Bass is always tight, fast and detailed. It has excellent layering and body wise is more then sufficient too keep everything engaging and musical. The mids and rich, have a wonderful timbre and they’re presented in a spacious, airy and very natural way. The treble section is energetic and extended but soft and musical at the very same time. Treble detail is also very good but the tube smoothness in this are is very noticeable as well. But seeing you’re looking into a tube amp as you’re reading this article, I suppose that’s your thing.

Let’s find out more!

Sound – Vs Euforia (original)

For this chapter I have used the Sennheiser HD800 as it easily shows how good an amp is, because it’s a high impedance headphone (and OTL amp) and because the Senn sounds incredible from the Euforia AE, see below. The cross-feed section is deactivated and the tubes in both amps are identical RCA/Chatham 6AS7G black plates, combined with the golden PSVANE 6SN7, the amps came with. This will be the case from now on in this article.

Before you read this part, I want to be clear that the original Euforia is a great amp on its own and for the price it is going for. It if wouldn’t rock, it would never have won our awards. That being said, the Anniversary Edition of the Euforia, just is a level or two up.

Some good tracks to notice difference between the amps are: Yello’s “You better hide”, Anna Ternheim’s “This is the one” and Muse’s “Propaganda”.

When you switch from the normal Euforia to the AE, the first thing you notice is the extension which is improving. While there also is a wider sound stage, I’m mostly talking about more space and air between the notes, and that from top to bottom, but mostly in the mids area. As a result the original Euforia sounds more intimate compared to the AE, but it in fact it s not intimate per say, it just gives that impression as the AE is even better.

The next thing you will notice is how the AE has a higher level of detail, and then we’re mostly talking about micro detail and note extension. I didn’t expect his difference to be this present, but with the HD800 it easily gets picked up. Third thing is the timbre, it’s smoother, more natural and more sexy. Especially the mids and vocals get this extra layer of richness (and I’m not talking about warmth here) which simply make your music even more beautiful.

Next thing is the bass extension and presentation. The Euforia AE goes lower and has more sub presence with more bass detail overall. Body-wise the AE is also a little bigger in this regard and a smooch warmer.

While I remember saying the Euforia did everything effortless, this is even more so the case with the Anniversary Edition of the Euforia. The overall presentation fills the room even more and you’ll feel immersed by the music.

Once you’re used to the stronger technical level of the AE and its even higher level of musicality, it is hard going back to the regular Euforia.

Sound – Cross-feed

I hardly ever use it myself but some audiophiles love having a cross-feed option on their amplifiers. And those will be happy to hear that the Euforia and Euforia AE offer just that.

With the cross-feed circuit activated you get a less direct and softer delivery of the sound (mostly noticeable with the vocals). Personally with headphones, I most of the time prefer the more direct delivery and I find music with cross-feed to sound less precise, energetic, fast and positioned. With some specific recordings and headphones however, the crossfeed “effect” is really nice and it beats the regular experience.

It’s really how you prefer your music and headphones to sound but anyway, the option is there for you to play with.

Sound – Headphones

It’s been ages since I have listened to the HD800, which really is a shame as it is a great headphone and because I have a large collection of OTL amplifiers which make it sing. The Euforia AE really made me rediscover the 300Ohm HD800 after listening to planar magnetic headphones almost all the time.

The AE and HD800 combo works really well and they absolutely compliment each other. You get an excellent sound stage both in wide and depth, with top level layering. The AE and the Senn both like an airy and spacious presentation, and the AE feeds the HD800 with all the power/current it needs to render the best possible detail. The HD800 at all times is dead silent when hooked up to the AE but the magic is in the musicality. With the Feliks Euforia AE, the HD800 of course sounds very detailed, but also hugely musical. Vocals are so very impressive, a good example here being Nick Cave’s “Bright Horses” from his latest Ghosteen album. Throw some bass heavier music at it and you’ll find deep, layered, detailed yet fast and tight lows.

The combo sounds neutral, yet natural, detailed, very dynamic and spacious. The AE gives it just enough tube smoothness to create pure musical enjoyment. This is all perfection, an end game setup for many. Only for rock music this combo wasn’t the very best, but that’s more related to the headphone.

More on Sound and headphone pairing on the next page, right HERE

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Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

7 Comments

  • Reply December 31, 2019

    MhtLion

    Thanks for another great review. No one in the industry writes a better review than you in my opinion. I wish you can add a paring with Abyss headphones at some point. Happy New Year!

  • Reply January 3, 2020

    Lieven

    Thank you, those are very kind words.Happy new year!

  • Reply July 6, 2020

    Mark Owens

    Thanks for the review, I wonder how it compares to the Lafigaro 339,is it worth spending the extra money on this map instead of the LaFigaro 339? As a performance to cost ratio,which is better?

    • Reply July 8, 2020

      Lieven

      Well, sound-wise the Feliks AE is technically the best. The 339 is awesome for High impedance headphones (and some others) if you like a smooth and warm tube sound. The AE is more high end, reference tuned. Where the 339 is pure about musicality and smoothness

  • Reply November 19, 2020

    Lory

    Wow, great review that really conveys your enthusiasm especially paired with Senn. HD800. I’m also pleasantly surprised at your positive comments paired with EE Nemesis IEM. What is the output impedance of the Euforia AE that allows it to pair with low impedance IEM’s despite ‘the rule of eights” and such?

    • Reply November 23, 2020

      Lieven

      I reviewed the AE but never ever heard the EE Nemesis IEM

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