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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. mordy
    Hi O,
    Sorry to hear that the magic little box did not work for you.
    Re the tube headphones, I just can't understand the idea - can you explain it to me?
    It sounds to me like a tube buffer inserted inside the headphones. How is it going to be powered? Heat build-up? And if you are looking for small vacuum tubes, there are plenty of sub miniature vacuum tubes available very cheap that seem to be much smaller.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. OctavianH
    I have no idea, all I've seen was that promo page without technical information.
     
  3. Scutey
    Hi Octavian,

    Excellent review and pics!, sorry it didn't work out, unless we can try before we buy it's always a bit of a gamble, at least you gave it a go. I think a day or so after you mentioned you had bought it, but not yet received it, I saw on another forum, someone else had tried the Regen and said pretty much what you said, although he didn't go into much detail on why he didn't like it so I thought I would stay quiet until you came to your own conclusions, thanks for letting us know how you got on!.
     
  4. OctavianH
    One is not crazy enough if he does not add a CD Transport to his audio line. So I've done it: Cambridge Audio CXC. It was the last unit on a local shop at the price of somewhere around 400 EUR.

    [​IMG]

    Since I am very pleased with my QED Reference USB I went on the same direction with an optical one:

    [​IMG]

    And the result was:

    [​IMG]

    The transport was plugged in Furman alongside Elise.

    Well, and now let's see if these 400 EUR + 100 EUR for the cable were a good investment. After the failed one with the ISO Regen I was quite curious to see if the "myth" of "a FLAC file will never match a good transport" is true or not.
    I have to admit that I was expecting to obtain the same or lower quality via optical and a "normal" CD. I do not know why, I am reluctant to optical. Hell knows why. So these were the expectations when searching for Evergrey - The Atlantic on my CD wall to start the new experiment.
    And since I am a lazy person, at least during weekends, the "pleasure" of looking for a specific CD on my shelf was making me feeling like in the 90s. I have to tell also that I have not listened to a CD Player or Cassette for several years because of the simplicity of a FLAC library.

    And ... YES. Even if this QED Reference Optical Quartz needs burn in, as many claim, I have to admit that the sound using as source the CXC is better that the PC. It is somehow a little bit darker, but I have a better feeling of cohesion and that feeling of "compression" disappeared.
    We are not discussing about better details, but about a better sound presence, and a more natural presentation. So yes, now when Elise has almost 1 year, on 20th, I have done it justice and provided it a proper source. And the myth was true...

    Time will tell if the cable will add additional improvement during next days.

    Now it's time for a cold beer, well done Octavian! Happy birthday Elise, here is your present: a source which makes you justice.

    [​IMG]
     
    Madhyamika and Scutey like this.
  5. Scutey
    Hi O, that Cambridge Audio cxc looks like a really nice piece of equipment, good buy!,and, as always, a very good review and excellent pics!, hope it, and the cable works out well.

    Oh and ps happy birthday to your Elise! :birthday:.
     
  6. OctavianH
    CXC is a really nice one, of course in its price range which is, let's say "under 500£". There are much more expensive models which, most probably, are much better. And some guys are upgrading also this one with better clock and PSU.
    The funny part is that a simple cheap transport sounds better that any PC/laptop. This is the main thing I learned during my experiment, which I consider a success. I chose it after reading reviews and it seems many consider it a good value for the price.
    I cannot say more since it is my first transport. Back in the days I had a CD player integrated in a "tower" line but some years passed since then.

    The cable seems of very good quality and it is much more flexible that I have imagined. Usually when I buy such a cable I think of it as a kind of white weapon which if it fells on the floor it will definitely damage it, but this one surprise me. Nice connectors also. I guess I will be a good friend of the QED Reference line for a long time from now on.

    Now I take my popcorn and wait to see what others are doing.
     
  7. hypnos1
    Well done OH...as you've discovered, a better quality source will indeed bring out more from F-A's amps.... as with any upgrade made elsewhere in the system :L3000:. Our amps - and we! - deserve to be spoilt...ENJOY!...CJ
     
  8. WithGumption
    I just found this thread and am a new Elise owner--the search button on the thread is definitely useful--but, so much to get through. What is everyone's current tube combination that they like? Definitely on the lookout for some power tubes to roll.

    What set of tubes do you feel has the biggest impact on the sound? Driver or Power tubes?
     
  9. Scutey
    Hi WG, welcome to Head-Fi!, and congrats on getting an Elise, it's a very fine amp which I'm sure you'll get lots of enjoyment from!. As for tubes, the choice with the Elise is huge!, I would highly recommend you reading this thread from the start and gradually work your way through, you will find it hugely invaluable as a source of information, as for my own personal choice, I'll just give you a few, to get you on your way.

    For Powers,
    Mullard 6080
    RCA 6AS7G
    Tung Sol 5998
    EL38 (can be used as a power or driver or both together via adapters)

    FOR drivers
    Psvane CV181 TII
    National Union 6SN7GT
    RCA 6SN7GT
    EL11 (ST shape via adapter)
    EL38 (via adapter)
    EL32 (via adapter)

    This is just a very small selection of what can be used, also depends on your budget/tastes, but I would stress again to have a good read of this thread before you buy any, I found it absolutely invaluable. Hopefully others pitch in with some recommendations for you too. Good luck!.
     
    Madhyamika likes this.
  10. hypnos1
    Hi again WG.

    As you've probably gathered by now, you have indeed entered a veritable minefield lol! :wink:. There are widely varying opinions on tubes...perhaps more so than in any other area of hi-fi.

    Uppermost is the factor of personal preference, easily on a par with the vastly different equipment setups used. In this context, the latter does in fact actually have by far a bigger impact on sound than using different tubes...on the whole!! ...ie. music source; DAC and headphones...the last 2 especially. And to a lesser extent - but still an important factor - mains power conditioning/filtering and cables.

    As for the impact re. drivers or powers... again, there are divergent opinions. General concensus has been that drivers determine the sound more, but more of us in recent times have discovered that the powers have far more influence than previously credited for! And then there's that wonderful element 'synergy' - the end result of a certain combination. There's no guarantee that two well regarded drivers and powers together will perform as 'theory' or individual prowess might suggest! :triportsad:. And to make matters worse, a combo that synergises really well in one system may well not in another...yikes!!

    And so much will finally depend on the amount of experimenting one is prepared to do, and then a great deal of...luck! :ksc75smile:. We can get some idea from the results of others, which may help us in the right direction...especially if there's some kind of concensus. This will need, of course, a good deal of research...there isn't really a nice shortcut to this alas, for the reasons just described. The first posts on this thread is a good place to start, but more recent findings might well be more productive...especially as the tubes that have traditionally been 'top flight' are now way overpriced unfortunately....such as the best Sylvania drivers ('Chrome Dome'), or TungSol 6SN7GT, 'Black Glass, Round Plate' drivers; and TS 5998 or GEC/Osram versions of the 6AS7G powers. All these old tubes are now prohibitively expensive IMHO.

    In light of this, I personally cannot really recommend particular tubes any more...especially as I have strayed away from 'conventional' tubes for a long while now - many of which I believe to be at least the equal of, if not better than, configured for tubes (old versions) that can cost vastly more.

    I will however make 2 (or 3!) exceptions to this reticence...firstly the EL32/CV1052, as both driver and power. This foursome performs way above its price point, in my opinion. Secondly, I firmly believe the EL38 to be a hidden gem, especially as a power tube. I personally rate this above all other top flight (power) tubes I have used in the past...including the oft-regarded 'Holy Grail' and horribly expensive GEC/Osram versions of the 6AS7G. And the third tube I will now recommend is the EL11 as driver - previously a top performing tube, and which is now proving to be a first rate partner for the EL38.
    All these need 3rd party adapters, and the EL11 is, sadly, not so easily available now at such good prices as they were recently. @OctavianH has however found a source for a version, and is given over at the Euforia thread...with a follow up post from myself about the EL11 tube in general : https://www.head-fi.org/threads/feliks-audio-euforia-a-wolf-in-sheeps-clothing.831743/page-373

    Hopefully my long-winded reply has at least given you a bit more of an idea just what you're up against, mon ami! :wink:. But despite all this possible angst, this subject can be extremely interesting and ultimately rewarding...just so long as you have a good degree of patience and perseverance (and depending on the depth of one's wallet lol!! :beyersmile:)...CHEERS!...CJ
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
  11. OctavianH
    I feel like I am the only one here who was not yet impressed by EL tubes, even if I tried EL3N, EL12N and EL32 in different combinations. Most probably I am the exception which proves the rule. Anyway, since I added a new source to my headphone system, more exactly the CXC, I always had the feeling that the previous combo was too dark for me. So I looked on my list of previous tube pairings and found that Foton 6H8C + Tung Sol 7236 might be what I am looking for. I feel like Stephen Hawking when knowing that this has to be the result but still, not being yet able to prove it. Anyway, a Sunday evening is always a good time for a nice picture, so here it goes:

    [​IMG]

    And by the way, this combo sounds quite different than what I was remembering. So it seems that each source needs its own combos to shine.
     
    Scutey likes this.
  12. Scutey
    Great pic O!, regarding EL tubes, it would be a rather boring world if we all liked the same things. Also have you tried your Psvanes with the TS 7236?, I tried this combo a couple weeks ago and found it to be very good, brighter than 5998, slightly reduced bass but harder hitting, more dynamic, not so much better or worse just different, any way I thought it paired rather well with the Psvanes.
     
  13. OctavianH
    Yes, I tried that one exactly after the one I've mentioned and I had the same impression as you had. I think I will have to wait another 20-30h because these TS 7236 are almost new, then I will be able to make a final assessment.
     
  14. connieflyer
    Good Morning O, I have the Cambridge network streamer CXN and they seem to be well made and most important work well. I see you are not sold on the El tubes, and I wonder if you have tried the EL38, as I have tried the other el's as well and the EL38's are far and away the best I have heard. I had used a quad for awhile and then went to El38's as powers and El 11's as drivers and this seems to me to be exceptional. I have just resurrected the el 38 balloon tubes that were noisy and this is a great combo. 20190225_043421.jpg
     
    hypnos1 and OctavianH like this.
  15. hypnos1
    Hi OH.

    As @Scutey mentions, we all have different tastes and preferences...not to mention ears lol! :ksc75smile:. Plus, such things can and do change over the years...I myself have gradually come to prefer a much richer, more full bodied sound since my early days with the LittleDot MKIV SE and Elise, and which Euforia plus the EL family in general tend to bring. This being the case, I do in fact wonder whether Euforia will indeed be suitable for you...being 'heavier/fuller' in tone than Elise. I suggest you think long and hard about this factor...especially if you have arrived at a sound that suits you perfectly from Elise. And although most folks prefer Euforia to Elise, that doesn't have to mean all lol!:wink:...CHEERS and HAPPY LISTENING!...CJ
     
    Madhyamika likes this.
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