In this review we take a close look at the Feliks Audio Euforia, the reference amp from our Polish friends.
Disclaimer: Feliks Audio is not related to Headfonia in any way. The Euforia was sent to me to be featured on Headfonia.com and doesn’t need to be returned as far as I know.
I have had the pleasure to meet Lukasz Feliks in person at the High End show in Munich and he’s just really nice and professional. He is now co-running the business which his father started and it was really nice chatting with him about tube technologies, tube types and tube amps.
Feliks Audio has been around for quite some time already but I have to say that they gained a lot of importance these last few years in the personal audio segment. Feliks Audio has also been displaying their products at the Head-Fi Canjam shows and I’m convinced this has helped them a lot as they have great gear and the best way to prove that is by letting people listen to it.
Feliks Audio is a family, boutique manufacturer of hand-crafted tube amplifiers, with over 20 years of audio solutions development experience. All their products are in-house engineered, tuned and assembled at their site in Lubliniec (Poland). They create special and unique designs, blending together technology and tradition. Originally, Feliks Audio focused mainly on custom made amplifiers tailored to client’s order. Over the time we they developed many innovative and sophisticated audio solutions. Thanks to that they have gained valuable knowledge and experience across broad range of applications. Their amplifiers, among them Espressivo, Elise and Euforia, have won many supporters across the world. Their products offer a perfect blend of passion for honest sound, great attention to technical details and beautiful finish. Feliks Audio follows design simplicity, minimizing the number of elements in projected signal path. Thanks to this approach they ensure that the sound produced by our devices is pure and true.
For now the Euforia is the top of the range amplifier of Feliks Audio’s product line-up and it was originally launched in 2017. The Euforia is a beautifully hand-crafted tube amp based on 6SN7 driver tubes and 6N13S power tubes, a single ended OTL tube amp. When ordering you get to choose between the silver or gold version of the 6SN7 tube type but you can also buy the amp without any tubes as well. You can find the product page right here: http://feliksaudio.pl/en/products.php
According to Feliks Audio, the Euforia’s unique design allows for exceptional sound quality with a broad range of headphones, powerful enough to drive even demanding low impedance headphones (<32 ohm) including planar magnetic’s.
The Euforia comes with an improved noise reduction circuit and there’s virtually no background noise. The Euforia uses a high-end class power transformer, 100% pure silver signal wiring in teflon jackets, heavy duty teflon gold-plated tube sockets, high quality Mundorf and Nichicon capacitors and Dale and Caddock resistors. The Euforia has a preamp safety circuit and gold plated RCA inputs. The power supply is based on a custom made stabilized toroidal transformer with electronic ripple suppression and the amp comes with an extended 3-year warranty.
Another nice feature is the cross-feed circuit that Feliks Audio integrated in the design, it certainly isnn’t anything new but it’s a nice feature to have. I did most listening without the circuit activated though. The Euforia als has a pre-amp function and gives you the usual RCA outputs, but this function is not being taken into account for this review.
The top of the line Euforia is available at €1799 without tubes. With the silver PSVane tubes the price increases to €1899 and with the Golden PSVane tubes, €1999 is the asking price.
Box and Packaging
I never tend to talk about the box the amplifier was delivered in but the Euforia was so well boxed up that it deserves a special mention. (see pictures)
Accessory wise the Euforia only comes with and AC cord, a user manual and a warranty card next to the tube sets, if you ordered them. The PSVane tubes did come in a very nice box as well as you can also see in the pics.
The Euforia is designed around two 6AS7G power tubes and two 6SN7 driver tubes. The amplifier is equipped with automatic bias circuit, therefore no re-tuning is required after changing tubes. Feliks Audio claims the optimal sound quality will be reached after approximately 30 – 50 hours of run-in.
The stock driver tubes are 6SN7 and the power tubes are 6N13S. That means the driver tubes can be switched out for 6N8S, CV181, ECC32, 5692 and 6F8G tube types. For the power tubes you can use 6080, 5998, 6N5P, 6N5S, ECC230, 7236 and CV2523 tube types.
The 6SN7 is a dual triode vacuum tube with an 8-pin octal base and you can find out more about the tube type here: https://www.radiomuseum.org/tubes/tube_6sn7.html and here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6SN7
The 6N13S is the Russian name for the 6AS7G( 6Н13С) and it is a dual power triode. I have a lot of amps running these tubes and there still are very good affordable ones available. For the more famous NOS tubes you can spend a lot of money though. You can find out more about this tube type here: https://www.radiomuseum.org/tubes/tube_6n13s.html
Stock tubes & replacements
The Euforia is originally equipped with a matched pair of NOS Russian 6N13S power tubes. I’ve heard good and bad Russian 6N13S power tubes but the winged Svetlana actually are quit nice depending on the amp design. I have to say I only listened to the stock tubes for a very short while and I swapped them out for a lightly used set of Tung-Sol 7236 tubes. These tubes are hard to find nowadays but together with the Bendix 6080WB they’re my favorite high end power tubes of this tube type. You could also use a nice set of 6AS7G black plates from Chatham or RCA as well, or you can stick with the Russian tubes, these are just not as smooth sounding but they’re more than just ok.
The driver tubes that came with the amp are a matched pair of PsVane CV-181 Mk2 “Gold” 6SN7 tubes and I have to admit they really surprised me in a good way. I didn’t expect them to sound these detailed and dynamic and in combination with the 7236, they just sound absolutely great and as a result I didn’t swap these out. The PSVane tubes are well constructed and they look very nice too. These are selling for $290 for a matched set directly from PSVane. (see pics)
Design & Build quality
From the box and packaging to the amp, the logo, the LED, the feet, the tube sockets, the volume dial and the in/outputs: everything is top quality. An extra mention goes to the casing the amp is housed in as it just has a smooths finish all over.
This is the build quality you expect from a top of the line high end unit, no matter if it comes from Poland, Russia, the USA or China. The design itself is simple yet sexy, with the smaller input tubes upfront and the bigger 6AS7G style power tubes behind them. They nicely hide the big transfo compartment at he back but at he same time that doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, with the smaller 7236 tube type I’m using, the power tubes are smaller than the driver tubes and so the back shows even more. It’s all good, it’s pretty.
A basic, yet well executed design in which the golden PSVane tubes give it that extra special look. No, you can’t compare it to the Auris Audio Nirvana level for what design is concerned, but I really dig the whole presentation.
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