Feliks Audio Espressivo / Espressivo MKII OTL Tube Amp Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by ostewart, May 15, 2017.
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  1. ostewart
    Well there are plenty of Elise threads, but no love for its sibling the Espressivo.

    In my opinion for the price you won't find a better built, or sounding pure OTL valve amp. I have had mine for nearly 2 years now, it's not skipped a beat and has handled most headphones I've thrown at it.

    Ok so it won't power the extremely hungry planars but pairs well with pretty much everything else.

    You can talk about tube rolling, and please let me know if you have one, it is a very underappreciated amp here on Head-Fi.

    I am currently running Tesla E88CCS as the driver tubes and some Gold Grid USSR 6N6P-I power tubes,

    I used it on stock tubes for a while, upgraded the driver tubes to Voskhod which made it quite smooth and warm, these Tesla's made it quite mid forward but with better detail over the Voskhod.

    The 6N6P-I definitely cleaned up the sound and it is more precise and cleaner, quite happy with this tube combo.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. angpsi
    I was looking to buy this, but Elise got the best of me..
     
  3. Oscar-HiFi
    I loved the Elise, wanted to buy it but funds would not allow it. The Espressivo is excellent for those who cannot afford the Elise or Euforia. The Espressivo is still all hand built in Poland, just has more limited tube rolling capabilities, I want to get some C3G power tubes, with 6SN7 drivers one day...

    For now the 6N6P-I is a great power tube with cleaner sound over the stock 6N6P, and the Tesla E88CC are mid forward and a very nice tube.
     
  4. angpsi
    As I found out for myself, tube rolling with the Elise can get quite expensive—even prohibitive with some holy grail situations! I'd encourage anyone interested in the Espressivo to consider this factor because at one point it even got me questioning the sustainability of picking the Elise over her smaller sibling. Still, she's a wonderful amp though...
     
    Oscar-HiFi likes this.
  5. ostewart
    I know this isn't very popular here on Head-Fi as most people jump straight to the Elise, but this is an awesome amp.

    So people have said it scales up well with some C3G power tubes, and 6SN7 drivers...
     
  6. ostewart
  7. ostewart
    Ok so a little more info on the iFi tubes, they don't work with the espressivo as they are straight out of the box unfortunately.

    I don't know why, but for some reason the Espressivo buzzes constantly with them.

    So for a few weeks, lots of communication with iFi audio, they let me experiment as I found when touching one of the pins the buzz would go away.

    So I soldered a wire to pin 1 of the 5670 adapter, on the top side of the adaptor. Then grounded it to the chassis. That is one fix that eliminates the buzz, but it didn't sound quite right to me (probably paranoia, and being a perfectionist I wanted to get to the bottom of the problem).

    But why stop there, so I thought more, and removed that and decided, why not remove the tiny ceramic capacitor on the adaptor that supposedly lowers heater supply noise.

    Low and behold, no buzz anymore, and I kept the solder tabs intact incase the tubes need to go back.

    Now I'll see if Lukasz has any info as to why this is the case for the Espressivo, as the iFi tubes are supposed to work in any 6922 tube circuit.

    But after lots of trial and error, they are working buzz free and are awesome sounding tubes. So much clarity but still a hint of tubey warmth.

    Now I believe if you buy the 5670 tubes and regular adaptors, they will work fine as a drop in replacement, it's just the little added capacitor that iFi uses that makes these not a straight drop in tube in the Espressivo.
     
  8. ostewart
    Never have been too much of a fan of the HD650, due to it's lack of top end (bit of a treble head here), but I must say for kicking back and enjoying this pairing is very good, and the iFi tubes really bring out some treble detail so they don't sound as dark as they normally do, actually enjoying this pairing quite a lot....

    The HD650's are borrowed from work for the evening.

    Feliks Audio Espressivo with 6N6P-I power tubes and iFi Audio NOS 6922 driver tubes

    DSC_8661.jpg
     
  9. OctavianH
    I wonder if there is a difference sound wise between this one and the Little Dot MK series. As far as I see the tubes seem compatible between them.
     
  10. ostewart
    That's about all they have in common.

    One is mass produced in China, the other hand made in Poland. Feliks audio have excellent customer service and first class products. I would put my money on the Feliks lasting the longest and also likely sounding the best.
     
  11. ostewart
    Espressivo MKII is in the house :D

    IMG_20171221_120525.jpg
     
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
  12. ostewart
    Forgot how good the GMP400 sound with the Espressivo, especially the Espressivo MKII

    IMG_20171222_121537-01.jpeg
     
  13. ostewart
  14. ostewart
    L0rdGwyn likes this.
  15. L0rdGwyn
    Just came across this amp. I've been searching for an OTL topology that is compatible with my collection of 5670 tubes. Looks like a perfect fit! Too bad the only way to get one is to ship overseas...I am over in the USA :frowning2:
     
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