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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. hypnos1
    Hi OH....no, you're not intruding lol - this subject is also an important one for all of us IMHO! :wink:

    And... AT LAST, another convert to mains conditioning!! :ksc75smile: As you mentioned, what this does - if a decent unit is used - is provide a wonderfully 'clean' background and space in which details can be presented more clearly and with much better separation and placement. The more subtle frequencies can also then have more of a chance to shine. The degree of improvement will, of course, depend on the quality of the rest of one's gear and, as you say, that of the recording itself! And the more pieces you listen to, the more you will begin to notice these benefits...along with others, I'm sure...:L3000:....WELL DONE!...

    ps. I suspect there are very few folks who wouldn't benefit in this way...often there's no obvious clue whatsoever of anything 'wrong' with our mains power supply, but it's fairly certain there are indeed enough 'gremlins' in it to at least have a negative impact on our quest for the highest possible quality of sound reproduction.

    pps. I personally don't keep my own units on all the time - I don't think there's any real need to with modern ones, but worth checking with instructions (if such info is given!). Also, it may - like my Regenerator and Balanced Mains/Filter units - have slow/soft startup function, which is great for our tube amps, if not already provided (F-A did apparently include this a while back...in Euforia at least, not sure about Elise...), so I never have to use the amp's power switch at all lol!! :beyersmile:
  2. connieflyer
    Good morning all. Glad the Fuhrman is working out oh, that was about the same thing that I noticed that everything was just better. In my own estimation I think this is a very important piece Of equipment. As far as leaving the unit on or off I leave mine on all the time as it does have a slow startup and the only Power that it draws when it's not on are the LEDs so that's miniscule. Plus everything being on should there be a power Spike or anything else in the line it should not get through. I know it has an on-off switch yada yada yada but years ago we had a lightning strike that hit close to our house. It shorted out 1Channel on AR receiver and blew out the television and none of these were connected together except they each were on a power strip that did not do its job. So what I would do I suppose if I was concerned about it I would email the company and find out what they think themselves. But I don't see any downside I'm leaving it turned on especially since my n a s is also connected to this unit and that way it is also protected
    hypnos1 likes this.
  3. OctavianH
    Guys, I do not want to be offtopic but I want to share with you my latest finding, which was done by mistake:
    So this is a tube headphone... And it will have also a Bluetooth version.

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
  4. connieflyer
    Never having heard these or have any information about them, danger I see, is parts. Unless it uses an tube that is cheap and easily obtainable, it looks to me to be a problem to source the tube if these phones do not take off and sell like hot cakes. Plus the asking price is quit low which brings into question the quality of the product. Neat idea but not my cup of tea.
  5. OctavianH
    Of course it looks like a "mainstream" product which tries to impress people. I never liked the idea of Bluetooth in audio, nor some hot tubes near my ear. But it was something which, have to admit, surprised me. I never thought about such an audio "solution" or thought that someone will design it.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
  6. Scutey
    Finally after months of huffing and puffing I've finally got round to buying an mcru linear power supply for my 2Qute, after reading positive comments from @OctavianH and others. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive as to how much it would help/improve the sound from the Elise, so my expectation were fairly modest, perhaps a slight improvement, what I didn't expect was a significant improvement, the lps has been an absolute revelation!. The lps has improved all aspects of sound, clarity/ detail, more air and separation of instruments, increased depth and sound stage, highs have greater extension, more crystaline and yet less sizzle in the 10 khz area, which has always been a bit problematic with my DT 1990's, mids are slightly more forward, vocals in particular sound richer, and best of all bass, both quantity and quality, the tightness and the energy with which the bass hits, when called for is utterly addictive, for some maybe even too much, but not for me! :dt880smile: , I have to say this is as good an investment as I have made, now why didn't I get one earlier? :beyersmile:.
    OctavianH likes this.
  7. OctavianH
    I fully agree with your assessment. The MCRU LPS is a big improvement to any Chord DAC (it was for me for 2Qute and now for Qutest I have the same impression). What I will do in addition is to add also an ISO Regen to the USB port. I found an used one on a local forum and ordered it. It will arrive to me on Monday and then I will be able to inform if there will be an improvement.
    I had a negative impression related to iFi iPurifier which decreased the sound quality but the ISO Regen seems to be a much better product. Conclusion is: never trust Rob Watts when he tells you that his DAC is perfect and does not need anything to sound better. Neither his followers which are listening with his brain and ears and do not dare to try anything else. There are a lot of debates on the Qutest forum but the overall conclusion is that the Chord DACs are influenced by the power supply and USB connection, even if almost all have galvanic USB port isolation. So, well done! I had a good impression also about a power conditioner for Elise, which also improved its clarity and sound quality.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
    Scutey likes this.
  8. Scutey
    What has so impressed me is the extra weight and presence music now has, dynamics are hugely improved, every note now has it's place to shine, I've tried several different tube combos,and they have all benefited from the lps, and the one that has seemed to have improved the most is the Psvane, I have always liked it but, to me, it always sounded a bit light, well not anymore!, right now I'm listening to Dark Side of the Moon on 24 bit 192 kHz with Psvane and TS 5998's and the sound is glorious!, so many thanks for you're input O ! :thumbsup:. Re your incoming ISO Regen, I'll be interested how you get on with it, after the lps I'm intersted in anything that can improve the sound, also after you're excellent review of the Furman, plus some research, a power conditioner might also be on my "to do list" . It's also interesting what you say about the Qutest forum, I will have to have a look, it will be interesting to see the comments, I've noticed some forums can be a bit of a "closed shop" and don't like questioning perceive wisdom, well that certainly doesn't happen here, or over at the Euforia thread :).
  9. connieflyer
    Glad you are still finding combos that offer what you seek. I always liked the TS 5998's still have a pair. Am using right now, a pair of NOS Valvo EL11 as drivers and Mullard EL 38's as powers and the sound is excellent. The pair of balloon tubes I have went micro phonic, waiting for some silicone tape like Mordy suggested and will try that and perhaps a re-solder on the tube pins.
    Scutey likes this.
  10. Scutey
    Thought I'd give your recommendation try, wow, what a fantastic combo!, airy, lovely extended, crystaline highs, great micro detail, I'm using a pair of Telefunken EL11 with the 38's, my EL11's have been unused for months and now they're singing again! :thumbsup::dt880smile:.
  11. connieflyer
    Glad you like the combo, every now and then you hit a combo that really hits all the bases for you. The El 38 and balloon El 38 did that for me, but when one went micro phonic, had to pull them, so had to try things that I had not thought of. Had not used the EL 11 and EL 12 Spez for quite awhile, glad I did not sell them off. Also glad I did not have to go out and buy other tubes to try to find such a great combo.
  12. OctavianH
    I will come back, as usual, with some impressions related to the ISO Regen. This will be my final upgrade for the headphone line. My plan is to plug the ISO Regen power supply to the second output of the Furman because I do not want to add a new LPS here only for it. I have small expectations because, honestly, I always believed that the analogue signal needs filtering but a stream of digital data should not be affected in any way. However, I want to try it and to find out if I am wrong or not. The ISO Regen seems to be, judging by the reviews, one of the best solutions and it is much better than the iFi iPurifiers.

    PS. The only thing which will take my money instantly would be an M-Scaler, if Chord decides to release one for Qutest at a decent price.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  13. Scutey
    Good luck with the Regan, hope it works well!.
  14. Scutey
    It's always satisfying when you come across a nice new combo from existing tubes, it's a double bonus, new sound for no outlay, what could be better!. Also I'll be interested to hear how you get on with the silicone tape as a couple of my 38's are mildly micro phonic, anything that can help would be good.
  15. OctavianH
    Ok, so back to Discovery Channel. As promised, I come back with my findings related to the ISO Regen regarding what he can do and, more importantly, cannot do when connected to a Chord Qutest. But first of all, the story begins when I found on a local forum an ISO Regen for sale at the price of approx 250USD. Since the stock price was somewhere around 310 USD and if I order a new one I will have to pay 20% VAT and the shipment charges, I have decided to give him a try. The unit came without any power supply or even power plug, but with the "famous" USBPCB adapter which Uptone tells you it is much better than any cable, more exactly the version with B-Plug turned 90-degrees. The seller provided also the invoice, so it was bought in 01.2018 at the price of 350 £ from an UK audio store. Expensive in my humble oppinon, since these were all the included accessories:

    Because I had no other way to power it, I searched for a simple "stecker" which will provide me 7.5V DC and at least 1A. And the result was this one, which I measured it and check the polarity to be sure everything is fine:


    I never trust these kind of power supplies, but I measured it and it showed 7.6V, so I decided to give it a try:


    Without being able to plug it in the Furman unit (because I had no Schuko cable for this one), I decided to plug it where I normally charge my phone:


    And because the Regen, in a vertical position, the only one allowed by the 90-degree turned USBPCB was not keeping the DAC in an horizonat position, I had to find a workaround:


    Well, at this point I was able to start my listening session. Elise was already turned on for 30 mins when I choose 3 albums (1 DSD format, Led Zeppelin I and 2 FLAC, the romanian progressive band I always use and a death metal band from US called Immolation).

    So, let's start with the improvement: the soundstage was somehow bigger and there was a slightly better instrument separation. I had that feeling of a more "relaxed" sound with more air, maybe closer to the one you perceive while listening to speakers instead of headphones.
    But now it comes the bad part, all what I previously mentioned came with the cost of the overall clarity, the bass lost authority and precission and was somehow muddy. I said ok, let's wait, but when I finally decided to remove it, the sound became richer and the bass was back.
    I started to read the specs of this device and found that it has 2 switches, one I / ON on the unit itself (a red one) which means "Isolation" and "No Isolation" (yep, even if I was convinced that NO was meaning ON and I guess 99% of the people will think like me).
    The second switch was on the USB adapter on and it was related to VBUS = ON / OFF. So I said, OK, let's turn these switches to the other position, but this stopped Qutest from working, which tells me that Qutest needs some Voltage on the USB port, at least for USB protocol handshake.
    I was brave enough to put the switches back to Isolation and VBUS = ON and made a second try but the perception was the same.

    In conclusion, my experiment failed to impress me. I got a bigger soundstage and some airiness at the cost of clarity and the clean and impressive bass I had before. Maybe my problem is the power supply and with a dedicated LPS this unit will have a better impact on the sound, but I do not plan to buy the one Uptone sells at somewhere around 400 USD just to check this.
    I have a not used MCRU LPS of 12V (made for 2Qute) which might be used, but Uptone tells me that I can put up to 20V on ISO Regen only if I am sure that the DAC does not absorb anything via the USB port, and since I have observed what happened when the VBUS = OFF I have decided not to try this.
    What I can do is to find a Schuko power cable to plug this device from the Furman, but I am not sure if this will really improve things or not.

    Ok, at the moment the mighty ISO Regen goes to its box and maybe in the future I will try it again, or not. However, it was an interesting test. The seller told me that how he can describe it is that it provides a more "natural" sound, and he was using it for a speaker setup with a DAC of around 3500 EUR (so much more expensive than mine, exaSound Audio Design e22, which I have no idea how it sounds). He sold it because he upgraded to a better USB filtering solution.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    Scutey and Madhyamika like this.
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