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Feliks Audio Elise Impressions Thread – a New Start (please read first post for summary)

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by pctazhp, Jul 7, 2016.
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  1. Scutey
    Absolutely agree with your logic, when you keep going back to the same tubes after rolling others, then you clearly use the best you have, human nature being what it is though, there is always that nagging feeling, is there better out there?, for me that question was answered thanks to the discovery of the EL38 by h1, for me at least, this is the best the Elise will ever sound.

    ps great album, good pic too! :thumbsup:.
    Madhyamika likes this.
  2. JazzVinyl
    Here is a combo in Elise, I really like:


    Metal envelope 6N7 as drivers, EL38 as powers. There is a beautiful velvet gloved delicacy to treble/cymbals that I am enjoying. Detail retrieval is also top notch.

    gibsonsg87, OctavianH and Madhyamika like this.
  3. Madhyamika
    I haven’t tried any of the metal envelope tubes - I’ve been too enamored of the glowing glass bottles to venture into that territory yet - but I know you and others have had good results with them and I may have to try some just out of curiosity at some point. In the meantime, I’m still very much excited about my quad of EL38s in Elise. Definitely a stellar setup in my system so far!
  4. Scutey
    Good to hear your enjoying those EL38, If you ever want to scratch that tube rolling itch, the 6n7 is indeed very good and cheap!, I have a pair each of the Ken Rad and RCA, both are excellent, I usually pair them with TS 5998, works really well, 6n7g is also a goody.
    Madhyamika likes this.
  5. JazzVinyl

    Another stellar combination. For my gears and ears :)
    OctavianH likes this.
  6. JazzVinyl
    Yes the fact that metal envelope tubes have no glow...makes them much less expensive :)

    Close your eyes...the metal envelope 6N7 is a wonderful sounding tube. EL38's make for wonderful power tubes.

    Madhyamika likes this.
  7. JazzVinyl
    I have the Ken-Rad and RCA metal envelope 6N7's - and last time I compared them, thought they sounded exactly alike, and wondered if they both were made in the same factory (one or the other, re-branded).

    Madhyamika likes this.
  8. OctavianH
    When I tried my current combo via socket savers I felt that the sound was somehow degraded. Since I am the only one complaining about this here, I start to think that maybe the root cause of the problem is on other side. Of course, the difference was subtle. So now comes my question: Are you using some special filtered power plug for the amp? For my DAC a linear power supply made a big difference but I do not think that for a tube amp this has to make a difference. But maybe I am wrong. I observed lately that my CD collection ripped to FLAC using dbpoweramp sounds better than the files I previously ripped with Exact Audio Copy or the ones downloaded from the internet. So there are many factors involved or I am older and crazier than in 2018, like I was suspecting several posts ago.
  9. connieflyer
    HI OctavianH I am not using anything special as far as filters or power strips with filters. My dac is a Gungnir nothing added to it, same with pc, or server. Have you tried the tubes without the socket savers? Probably not, but it is another two connections that (could) degrade sound some. I used to use them on other amps, and had a problem with one over time. So I stopped using them when I got the Elise, and now the Euforia. Worth a try. Good luck, shame you are having trouble with these tubes, on my system, they have elevated my enjoyment quite a bit.
  10. connieflyer
    Is anyone else having problems using these specific tubes? Would be interesting to see if there is any grouping that can be determined. Most folks are very positive with their use. If you are having problems with them please post and maybe (stress maybe!) we can help.
  11. OctavianH
    Hi CF,

    Just to avoid confusion, my post was not related to EL38 or a tube failure. It was a general Elise question to find out if others are using some power supply filtering for the amps. The tubes are fine, they just do not sound exactly the same when I add a socket saver (octal socket) to the tube to protect Elise from overheating.
    This was the reason I removed them when using my current combo (CV181 + 5998), even if everyone advised to use them as an additional protection. Since everyone uses different types of adapters here and is very confident that the sound is not affected, I was trying to see why on my setup the same tube sounds not exactly the same with or without an adapter.
    I hope now my post is clear and does not let anyone into confusion.
  12. mordy
    In the past I used some cheap Chinese socket savers that gave me problems with bad connections and some of them introducing hum. Maybe try a higher quality socket saver if possible.
    Another simple cure for heat build up is an external fan, preferably drawing air away from the amp.
  13. hypnos1
    Hi OH...you probably already know what my own response will be to both socket savers in the signal path, and the quality of power supplied to ALL components in one's system lol!! :wink:

    But despite appearing hopelessly repetitious, I shall still bore people to death!! :L3000:...so...

    1. Any and every addition to the designed signal path must have an effect (most probably negative) on said signal. And although some in and of themselves may only be small, in total their effect can be quite substantial...especially, and obviously IMHO, if the signal is broken by something inferior to what went before. Therefore, in the case of socket savers (and 3rd party adapters), unless really good quality materials are used they must, by definition have a negative impact. And in my own view, any system/ear that doesn't register this is, perhaps, not quite up to scratch lol?!! This is not just what logic would dictate...I myself have noticed this enough times over the years while experimenting with different qualities of small amounts of wire added to the path even, let alone an adapter that uses a PCB rather than decent wire!! :astonished:.

    2. Others much more knowledgeable/experienced than I, and with systems way ahead of my own, will stress the vital importance of the need for as 'clean' and pure a power supply as can possibly be achieved...for every component within an audio setup, not just one or two particular items. This makes perfect sense when you realise that sound is carried in our systems purely by electricity, and anything mildly polluting said carrier again must impact negatively upon a signal trying to maintain transference of some extremely delicate frequencies. And so I personally can't recommend too strongly a closer look at this aspect of one's system, if one is truly serious about achieving as high a quality sound experience as possible...(my own proof of this came first when I was recommended to use a PowerInspired Mains Regenerator, long before I upgraded to a Balanced Mains + unit. I later did a (fast) before/after experiment, and going back to a standard multi-socket strip was a very unpleasant experience indeed, albeit an interesting one...could only manage about 30 seconds before I had to pull the plug lol ...fast!! :triportsad:...and something I will never, ever do again...).

    3. I agree with you entirely about the different quality that can ensue from 'simply' copying 0s and 1s digitally...it can be huge lol! And not just because of the hardware used, but the software also... as you yourself found. Interesting you mentioned EAC vs dbpoweramp. The latter is certainly vastly better at the job of copying than Windows Media, for example, and yet the CD copies made by my Naim UnitiCore to its internal SSD drive are far better than those made by dbpoweramp on my (expensive!) HP laptop, thence transferred to the Naim...and the Naim uses EAC...go figure!! :wink:...(it would appear to me that it's a case of hardware/software interaction that's more important here?).

    Hopefully I haven't (once again) caused too much indigestion in my reply! :smile_phones:...CJ
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
    Madhyamika and OctavianH like this.
  14. JazzVinyl
    I vote a “year older and nuttier” :)

    Agree that socket savers are a great boon to heat reduction in this amp, and you should use them. Mordy is right, they are cheap enough, buy a couple more and see if problems are solved.

    I also consider myself lucky, there is absolutely nothing ‘out of spec’ or wrong with the power supplied to my home. It does not need giant cables, immense filtering or conditioning of any kind. Hope yours is perfect, too.


  15. OctavianH
    First of all, thanks everyone for feedback. I would say that a big factor here is also the environment in which each one of us is living. As far as I've seen a big percentage of the users of these forums are living in US or UK and most probabily, many of them in single houses and not crowded apartment areas like myself. So most probably this is also a factor and also some of us are using 220V and others 110V and so on. I live in an apartment in a urban area and the headphone audio line is plugged in the same power supply with my PC and other desk equipment. You can see below what I am talking about (and please ignore the dust, it is located behind a piece of furniture and I do not have access to it very easily):


    5 years ago when I moved to this apartment I had the chance of completely reorganize it, but I was not smart enough to make a separate power circuit for audio. So now it is not very easy to separate them.
    More than this, for the DAC I already use a LPS which improved a lot the quality of the sound, but for an amp I guess one has to use a quite powerful one (maybe at least 6.5A x 220V?). I would say the biggest impact on the sound has to be on the DAC side and on the USB connection to the PC (but here normally Chord Qutest has galvanic isolation on the USB input and my cable is a decent one - QED Reference USB A-B) and a much smaller influence on high power devices like the tube amp.

    Regarding the dbpoweramp and EAC, what to say besides that most probably the Naim UnityCore are making some DSP enhancing there. For me a digital transmission and encoding should, normally, sound exactly the same regardless of the software used, so I have no clear explanation of the reason I feel that dbpoweramp encoded better my CDs than the EAC. The device I used was a cheap Samsung DVD-RW which is mounted on my PC, so no fancy stuff, just a basic PC component which, for me, has to be the same as a more expenssive one for a simple reading operation on a digital stream of 1s and 0s... so maybe mr. Jazz is right that my age started to affect my perception LOL
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