In this review we take a close look at Flux Lab Acoustics’ new FA-10 amplifier, which is selling for $749 USD.
Disclaimer: Flux Lab Acoustics provided the FA-10 amplifier free of charge. I only had to pay the import fees and customs when it arrived at my doorstep. Flux Lab Acoustics is not affiliated with Headfonia in any way and not a site advertiser. The FA-10 remains Flux’s sole property and can be asked back at any time. Many thanks for the generosity and opportunity!
About Flux Lab Acoustics:
Flux Lab Acoustics (FLA) is a rather young company from the Ukraine. Flux started out in 2009 in the regional market. Back then they launched different amplifiers (electrostatic, headphone, power) for the Ukraine. Today they produce DACs, Amplifiers, Streamers and Tube Amps. Just about a year ago, Lieven reviewed their Atlas streaming DAC/Amp. He loved it so much, that he awarded it with the Best DAC/Amp Desktop title of 2019. Since the day he got the Atlas, Lieven had been raving about it, despite its massive size. Three years ago FLA decided to go global and to stretch their reach a little further.
Here’s a little bit about FLA from their website:
Flux Lab Acoustics is a Ukrainian company dedicated to the design and manufacturing of high-end audio products. Fully designed and manufactured in Ukraine. Flux Lab Acoustics is devoted to developing best-sounding audio equipment.
The team has an unrivaled experience in the high-end audio industry covering both digital & analog board design, software developing as well as mechanical design. The company strongly believes that correctly applied technology confirmed by in-depth measurements at the lab and finally a thorough listening is the way to improve the art of audio reproduction.
Flux Lab products provide a unique blend of ultimate audio performance, timeless design and build quality. Based on the latest technologies and ready for future upgrades due to its software update possibility, they make every audiophile’s heart beat faster. Last but not least, the company takes enormous pride in correlating superb audio performance with reliability.
FLA has been teasing new products on their social media channels for a while. A new DAC/Amp and two new amplifiers are about to hit the market. Today, we will check out one of the new headphone amplifiers – the FA-10!
The FA-10 is a discrete, Class A headphone amplifier that boasts an output power of 16 Watts into 32 Ohms load. It makes use of a 64-step relay attenuator. People who are not used to relay attenuators might be surprised by the clicks when you rotate the volume knob. That’s perfectly normal.
The FA-10 has three individual gain stages to adjust to your headphone. It features XLR and RCA inputs on the back. Front seated you’ll find a 6.35 mm and a 4-pin XLR output. Unfortunately I don’t have any values for its output impedance. As you can see, the FA-10 is an analogue only amplifier, so you will need a dedicated source for it. If you want a unit with a built-in DAC, you can check out the FCN-10, which has also just been released.
The unit measures 380 mm x 80 mm x 310 mm (WxHxD). The front panel is made out of anodized aluminum, while the rest of the body is made from metal. The entire unit puts 5.1kg on the scale. It stays firmly put in my shelves and doesn’t get dragged down by either XLR or RCA cables. Depending on the country you live in, you will get a 110V or 230V version of the FA-10. Like any good HiFi equipment, the FA-10 uses an oversized torroidal transformer.
The MSRP of the FA-10 is 749 USD and it can be bought directly from FLA’s webshop.
Using the FA-10 is a piece of cake. Especially since there is not a lot to do wrong here.
Plug in your source depending on the output either using the RCA or XLR inputs. Connect the power input to the power cable and hook it up to the outlet. On the front panel you have a total of three switches. The left one turns the FA-10 on and off. The middle one lets you pick the input (RCA/XLR) and the right selects your desired gain stage. You can pick between High (top position), Low (middle position) or Mid (bottom position). Depending on the volume level you want to listen to and the sensitivity of your headphones you can adjust the gain level to your needs.
On the far left, next to the power switch, there is a little white LED that lights up once the FA-10 is turned on. Volume is adjusted with the silver knob in the middle of the front plate. A small dot on it tells you where you’re at. My personal listening sessions have hardly surpassed the 12 o’clock position with the HiFiMAN Susvara.
For those who desire comfort and controlling their products with a remote control: no, that’s not possible. The FA-10 can only be controlled by hand. There is no remote control supplied and it also does not have an IR input for third party remotes.
When running, the FA-10 does get warm, but not hot.
It continues after the jump!