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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
    Thanks cf...and I wish you - and all - many years of happy music listening to come...:)
    DavidA likes this.
  2. lentoviolento

    What upgrades did you ask?
    I am a bit confused about some things..
    I read everywhere that lcd4 is the most power hungry hp, but someone drives it with euforia. Even the lcd3 that shouldn't be easy to drive, with my espressivo sounded very good. So what 's the fuzz about outpower? Also, otl shouldn't be able to pair well with low impedence hps, but still, someone use euforia and elise with meze..
    I want to try elise also to clear my mind and see for myself.
    If there will not be enough difference between my espressivo, i will ship it back and end my journey with amps. With a good otl and a good solid state (vio200) i can live happy.
  3. angpsi
    Hey CJ,

    So good to hear from all of you guys! Looks like Feliks evolved quite a lot since the first gen adopters! Honestly I was a bit worried with the price increase because they'd have to go against well established products with pedigree but they seem to be doing quite nicely and get high praise from seasoned reviewers!

    Please don't joke around with these health issue mentions; last time someone mentioned health issues to me was hardly a simple issue so I really hope what you're referring to is plain flu or similar.

    All things go as expected, the tubes have already found their new home in Switzerland with someone who I believe you are familiar with in connection to a pair of hand soldered EL12. :wink:
  4. angpsi
    Hey UT! This is truly turning into a reunion!

    I was in hiatus for a while, enjoying the benefits of mingling with a wonderful local group in Athens, Greece and having the opportunity to audition/listen to some truly impressive reference systems (we're talking MSB, ASR, etc. plus some impressive vinyl rigs!). May I remind you that I came into head-fi from hi-fi, not the other way around!

    But, in regards to head-fi, since I sold the Elise I got the incredible chance to own a truly TOTL set for a while, the D8000 from Final Audio, then sold it in pursuit of other endeavors (including the long game of getting a reference grade DAC for my stereo system). In the meantime, I also experimented a bit with IEMS and eventually I got a pair of FLC8s. Finally, I recently I got the opportunity to buy an SPL Auditor so it looks like I'm turning solid state once again (but I expect my Mojo to provide enough mellowness on the final sound signature)! And in a somewhat quirky impulse buy, I also got a pair of vintage AKG 240 sextette to match the high output impedance SPL.

    So, as you see, I'm still well into the head-fi game! And what about you? I trust your Glenn is serving you well?
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
  5. hypnos1
    Hi lv....you're not the only one who gets confused by what's supposed, or not supposed to work well with certain other equipment lol! :rolling_eyes:

    And stated 'power output' can also be very misleading - in tube amps especially! An apparently very low 'watts' figure, compared to solid state for example, is still able to drive transducers far better than would be expected.

    'Impedance matching' is yet another contentious issue. OTL tube amps have traditionally been regarded as unlikely to drive low impedance/planar magnetic headphones to best advantage, as tube output is normally quite high impedance. But Feliks-Audio specifically configured Elise and Euforia especially so as to be able to drive low impedance cans more efficiently than usual (not sure exactly how they managed it lol!...but helped, I believe, by using 2 double triode drivers - each parallelled - rather than just a single double triode :ksc75smile:). Whatever, it certainly seems to work!!

    The upgrades to Elise that I asked for were basically : pure silver wire throughout the signal path; better transformer; much better sockets; better capacitors and resistors; better cooling. Then F-A added soft-start function later.

    If you can indeed return Elise if not satisfied, then that's a great offer. And whichever amp you keep, I'm sure you can continue to live happily...ever after??!! ...(have heard this a good few times before lol...including from myself!! :wink:)....GOOD LUCK!...CJ
    connieflyer likes this.
  6. OctavianH
    It seems WASP loves Elise. By the way, Re-Idolized is a majestic piece of art.

    Last edited: May 5, 2019
    attmci and Scutey like this.
  7. WolfP
    Hi all,

    how is the Elise with Grado headphones? Is it a good match?
  8. OctavianH
    I cannot say anything about Grado headphones because my only pair of Grados are already sold. It was an SR325is which sounded very bright and harsh with my former SS amps. At that time I did not had any tube amp to try them, but from a generic point of view I would not pair a low impedance headphone with a tube amp. Maybe some people will not agree with me, but for me these OTL tube amps are handling better 250+ Ohm headphones.

    After reaching a stable state with my headphone line which was heavily upgraded with better cables, power supply equipment and USB filtering I realized that my former assessments for several tube combos are not valid anymore. So today I started a second "trial and error" tournament in order to find out what is the current favorite combo or at least to re-evaluate the former assumptions.
    So I took the latest Darkthrone album and started to roll.


    The combo I was using for a few months (Psvane CV181T2 + Tung Sol 5998) seemed to have not enough bass for my taste, so I decided to try the Foton 6H8C as driver.


    But this combo did not had the sound I was expecting and it was too forgiving for my taste. So I remembered that I have somewhere a pair of EL12N.


    This combo was nice but a little bit harsh on this particular album, so I have decided to try some EL3N.


    This pairing was really interesting for me, since it got the best from this album. I guess it is my first experience with EL tubes when I can say they please me.

    This is the beauty of tube rolling. For me it is a kind of hardware equalizer which allows you to enjoy the same song with different flavors. It is not cheap, nor easy, but it provides you an incredible experience.
    I know my post is not bringing anything new to the table, but at least is adding a little bit of color to this old forgotten thread. It seems that after 15 months I am still rediscovering my Elise.
    Scutey likes this.
  9. mordy
    Hi Octavian,
    I have experienced a number of times what you are describing. Tubes that did not sound that great or special suddenly shine with a new combination or set-up. It's all about synergy.
    This is one reason why I don't like to sell tubes I own - you never know when somebody will discover a new combination that sounds great, and then you may need that tube that has been collecting dust in the bin....
  10. OctavianH
    I think we have to discover our amp several times and it will not be enough. I have to thank you again @mordy for your advice regarding the Foton 6H8C "ribbed anode" which I was able to find and I own now 6 pieces. It has become quite rare lately but it is, indeed, a very special tube. Here are 4 from my 6 pieces, 2 x '53 and 2 x '55 :


    Regarding tubes I haven't enjoyed in the past, I own 8 x EL3N from Philips so I really want to start an obsession with them...
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  11. mordy
    One pair I ordered disappeared in the US customs almost two years ago. I assume that the tubes were seized because they mistook the silver getter flash for mercury.......
    Luckily, PayPal reimbursed me.
  12. OctavianH
    I watched lately the Chernobyl mini-series from HBO and today when I put these on Elise I was thinking if maybe the russians used them in some nuclear power plant. I know it is silly but somehow funny. Anyway, I searched for others and it seems these "ribbed anode" are very rare now and I do not intend to sell any piece of them.
  13. mordy
    There is a German seller called JACMusic. He has a very interesting website with tons of interesting information and pictures. I read there a section about radioactive tubes that he will not sell (or touch) but could not find the exact link at the moment.
  14. Scutey
    excellent pics as always O, and yes sadly not much as activity on here lately so well done you for posting! :thumbsup:. Also you have said everything that is good about tube amps and tube rolling, yes solid state amps are good, but tubes are just so much more engaging, and like you occasionally I like to go back and revisit old tubes, just in case my thoughts have changed, after all we might discover a long lost favourite! :L3000:.
  15. OctavianH
    I guess this one?

    They say they are modernizing the website, and they should do it, because on a 2K wide monitor like mine the website looks like:

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
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