If you’re a headphone fanatic, then you’re likely familiar with boutique tube brand Feliks Audio. If you have never heard of the company, Feliks Audio design and handcraft some of the best tube amplifiers on the market. Feliks Audio design and assemble all the parts from their factory in Lubliniec, Poland. The company is fanatical about electronics and achieving the highest audio standard for every product they release. The company’s flagship tube amplifier is the Feliks Audio Euforia which has won praise from audiophile publications around the world. Premium headphone manufacturer Focal, specify the Euforia to be used at all demo stations and trade shows. Let’s find out why the Euforia is causing such a stir and whether or not it’s worth the $2,000 price tag.
At a Glance
Feliks Audio is not known for designing the most pretty looking tube amps. The company focuses its attention on R&D and ensuring they use the best parts rather than about aesthetics. The Euforia circuitry is housed in a rugged matte black aluminum chassis with the tubes sitting proudly on top. One thing you’ll notice about the Euforia is, at 13 lbs, it’s seriously heavy for its size! This is by no means a bad thing because it generally means higher quality.
Looking under the hood will reveal something about Feliks Audio. Their attention to detail is sublime. The circuitry is impeccable and they have spared no expense when it comes to incorporating the finest parts. Even the wiring is top-notch with Feliks Audio choosing 100% pure silver signal wiring in a Teflon jacket. They have installed Mundorf and Nichicon capacitors with Dale and Caddock resistors to ensure every link in the chain is of the highest quality.
All the Euforia inputs and outputs are gold-plated for superior connectivity and audio quality. On the rear of the amp, you’ll find a single RCA input with single RCA pre-amp line out. Also on the rear is the power switch and Cross-Feed switch (I’ll explain shortly). On the front panel, you have a ¼-inch headphone output and large rotary volume control.
There are four tubes in total on the Euforia. Two driver tubes and two power tubes. When you purchase a Euforia, depending on how much you’re willing to spend, Feliks Audio offers three options for the driver tubes. The PsVane CV-181 Mk2 “Gold” as the most premium option, the PsVane CV-181 Mk2 “Silver” or PsVane 6SN7 as the cheapest option. For power tubes, Feliks Audio supply you with a pair of 6N13S (NOS). The difference is only €200 (about $227 in March 2019) between the cheapest and most expensive option so you may as well splash out for the PsVane CV-181 Mk2 “Gold”.
You can, however, use your own tubes in which case going with the cheapest option might make sense. Here is a list of the tubes you can use with the Euforia:
- Driver tubes: 6N8S, CV181, ECC32, 5692, 6F8G
- Power tubes: 6080, 5998, 6N5P, 6N5S, ECC230, 7236, CV2523
The Euforia incorporates an automatic bias circuit which means no tuning is required when changing tubes.
If you’ve never used a Feliks Audio amp before it’s important to note these babies run hot with the tubes reaching as much as 150°C! It takes about 15 minutes for the tubes to fully warm up and then cool down again so do not try handling the tubes for at least 20 minutes after powering down. Also, make sure you position the Euforia in a well-ventilated space to avoid overheating.
Feliks Audio state in their user manual that the Euforia has a run-in period of between 30 – 50 hours before the amp reaches optimal audio quality.
Feliks Audio Cross-Feed Technology
One of the more exciting features of the Euforia is Feliks Audio Cross-Feed. This technology delivers a wider, more natural sound stage. Instead of a clinical left/right separation, the Euforia blends frequencies to deliver a more “forward-facing” sound stage. Similar to getting the perfect speaker position where you can no longer hear the left and right speakers but a natural blend of both giving the illusion that the sound is coming from all around you. Traditionally, this was difficult to achieve with headphones, except of course for expensive high-end audiophile type headphones such as Focal.
Feliks Audio have managed to achieve this effect within the electronics of the Euforia so any pair of headphones can enjoy this premium technology. Even better, a switch is provided so you can listen to audio with or without Cross-Feed engaged.
How Does the Feliks Audio Euforia Sound?
This is where everyone falls in love. The Euforia is simply sublime and I have not heard anyone say anything negative about the Euforia’s sound. The tonality is neutral and clean, likely the best in its class at this price. In fact, it’s likely better than tube amps double or even triple the price. The sound is so smooth and warm it’s hard to say the Euforia delivers a “typical tube sound” because it does and it doesn’t at the same time. It’s definitely in a class of its own! You quickly realize why Focal recommends pairing their headphones with a Euforia.
When it comes to low-end response, the Euforia is flat and true. Feliks Audio have not messed with the tuning at all. You get a truly accurate sound which you may or may not love. If you like a pure sound, then you’re going to love the Euforia’s low-end, if you want more bass, you have the option of dialing that in with some EQ if you wish. I prefer a true, flat sound so for me, the Euforia is just perfect.
The clarity and dynamics in the mid-range are just perfect, especially when paired with a pair of Focal headphones. Vocals don’t sit as proud or upfront as some may like but it’s not an element of the sound that’s annoying in any way. If you prefer a more forward sounding mid-range you might be pleasantly swayed by the unique sound of the Euforia so I’d definitely recommend giving it a listen.
The treble frequencies are where the Euforia truly shines. The crisp detail and tone create an immersive and exciting listening that’s natural and easy on the ear.
Lastly, the noise. Often an issue with tubes, however, not with the Euforia. This amp is quiet as a mouse. Feliks Audio has done an excellent job with the internal circuitry to keep noise at near zero.
What’s in the Box?
Included with the Feliks Audio Euforia:
- Feliks Audio Euforia
- Matched pair of driver tubes (depending on your choice between PsVane CV-181 Mk2 “Gold”, “Silver” or PsVane 6SN7)
- Matched pair of power tubes 6N13S (NOS)
- Power cable
Even at its high-end price tag, the Euforia offers exceptional value for money. As I said earlier in this review, the Euforia can easily go up against tube amps two or three times its price and deliver a better audio experience. What Feliks Audio have done with Cross-Feed is simply incredible. The technology is well executed and by no means a sales gimmick. Cross-Feed works really well and the fact you have the option of switching it off is great too. This is such a great amp and comes in at a reasonable price for the quality you get. If you’re a fan of natural, flat sounding tube amps then the Euforia is definitely one for you.