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"Beautiful" Headphone Amplifier?

Xulonn

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I'm not a headphone user - although I do own a Topping DX7s and also have a HIFIMAN HE400SE open-back headphone on my wish-list at Amazon.

This morning, when continuing my periodic search for "beautiful amplifiers" to add to my thread on that subject, I stumbled across a fine example of a beautiful design and impeccable craftsmanship from Feliks Audio. I wonder how this 15.1Kg (33lb) - 6,500€ "hand-crafted" Polish monster would measure and sound? (I am not expecting @amirm to get one to review!)

It would be interesting to try as a balanced preamplifier as well - perhaps driving a Purifi amplifier...300B magic with Purifi Hypex power? Sounds [sic] like an audio subjectivist's dream combo.

300B-SE - Feliks Audio HPA-Preamp.png

300B-SE - Feliks Audio HPA-Preamp-2.jpg

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION​



Class A Single-ended transformer coupled amplifier
  • Power tubes: 300B
  • Driver tubes: PsVane CV-181 mk2 (6SN7)
  • 2x unbalanced RCA inputs (IN1, IN2)
  • 1x balanced XLR input (IN3)
  • Input sensitivity 1V RMS
  • Input impedance:
    – For IN1 i IN2 (RCA) 100kΩ
    – For IN3 (XLR) 10kΩ
  • 1x pair of pre-amplifier output as RCA
  • 1x pair of pre-amplifier output as XLR
Maximum voltage on the above outputs is 5V (RMS) at output impedance of 600Ω and THD<0,5%
  • Impedance selector guidance:
    – LO – up to 60Ω
    – MID – up to 300Ω
    – HI – up to 600Ω–mnh
  • Amplifier’s impedance:
    – LO at 32Ω load is 3,8Ω
    – MID at 100Ω load is 8,8Ω
    – HI at 600Ω is 20Ω
Output powered measured at MID impedance setting at load of 16Ω is 5W with THD ⩽1% (maximum 8W at THD >5%)
  • Frequency response:
    – 8Hz÷100kHz ±3dB
    – 18Hz÷40kHz ±1dB
  • Headphone outputs: 6.3mm and XLR
  • AC voltage 50/60Hz:
    – 230V version (±5%)
    – 115V version (±5%)
  • Power consumption: 110VA
  • Weight: 15,1kg (without packaging)
  • Dimensions:
    – 35x33x18,5cm (LxWxH) – without tubes
    – 35x33x24,5cm (LxWxH) – with tubes
 

DonR

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That is very pretty. I have always liked electronics wrapped in wood or leather. Probably measure"good enough".
 

Doodski

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I see a pretty piece of gear... drOOL! Other than impeccably good looks and excellent layout it also strikes the right chords with the balanced operation. :D
 

DVDdoug

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i like the wood but tubes are "just "dumb". ;)

Tubes are inefficient. Class-A is also inefficient (but maybe OK since headphones don't require much power). And class-A is OK for a preamp. Audio-output transformers add cost It's very expensive to make a good one. I'm not sure if you can make a directly coupled headphone amp with tubes. Tube power amplifiers (for speakers) do require a transformer and that's a HUGE advantage for solid state amplifiers.

Polish monster would measure and sound?
Hopefully, just amplifies the signal and doesn't "sound like" anything!

...If I'm spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on an amplifier, I want at least one watt per dollar! Although there is a certain minimum cost of building & selling a little box with electronics in it, so a couple-hundred dollars isn't out of line for headphone amp.
 

JeffS7444

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Potentially heirloom-quality due in part to the beautiful wood. Assuming of course that you got heirs, and they care about such things! For the price, I wish it had connectors for hooking up 8 ohm speakers too.
 

DonR

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Potentially heirloom-quality due in part to the beautiful wood. Assuming of course that you got heirs, and they care about such things! For the price, I wish it had connectors for hooking up 8 ohm speakers too.
hmmm... at 3.8 ohm output impedance I am not sure I would want to hook up an 8 ohm speaker.
 
OP
Xulonn

Xulonn

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...If I'm spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on an amplifier, I want at least one watt per dollar!

Does that mean your budget is $6.00 for a headphone amp with a max power of six watts like the "superb" Topping A90? Which HPAs are on your short list at that price? o_O

Topping A90 HPA.jpg


---------------------------
i like the wood but tubes are "just "dumb". ;)
No need to lash out. :cool:

As many here know, my attachment to tubes is primarily sentimental. I'm 80 y/o, can barely hear to 10kHz, and solid-state audio did not exist when I got my start in the hobby with a 6L6 PP mono amplifier in 1958. I also had a prize-winning science fair project that used 811A tubes.

I agree that tubes are archaic and inefficient, and my main and desktop systems are all SS. But I have a "beautiful EL34 tube amplifier" and use it occasionally to warm my little room while I listen to music on cool evenings here in the rainforest mountains of Panama - where few homes have either heating or A/C.

My $750 40wpc EL34 PP amp sounds no better or worse than my $300 ICEpower amps at the moderate to fairly loud levels of my normal listening sessions. However, the warm glow of the tubes, good music, a cup of hot tea and a slice of fresh banana bread - and the memories of days past - provide for some pleasant evenings.
 

DSJR

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I;d just take the wooden case and front/rear controls and connections.
 
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Xulonn

Xulonn

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I;d just take the wooden case and front/rear controls and connections.
Me too. But I want one with cheap tubes and a only a filament transformer to make them glow - and a TPA3255 amplifier inside. However, this amplifier chassis with its excellent fit of complex lines and angles between the wood and metal would be difficult and/or expensive to duplicate.

Many who look at this Feliks amplifier will not realize how much more difficult and complex this is compared to a tube amplifier chassis with a top copper or steel plate set into a dead-simple mitered box - like the $226 Ziron kit amp below. Conversely, anyone with woodworking experience will appreciate craftsmanship dislayed by the Feliks amplifier.

6P6P-PP Ziron Amplifier.jpg
 

JeffS7444

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Me too. But I want one with cheap tubes and a only a filament transformer to make them glow - and a TPA3255 amplifier inside. However, this amplifier chassis with its excellent fit of complex lines and angles between the wood and metal would be difficult and/or expensive to duplicate.

Many who look at this Feliks amplifier will not realize how much more difficult and complex this is compared to a tube amplifier chassis with a top copper or steel plate set into a dead-simple mitered box - like the $226 Ziron kit amp below. Conversely, anyone with woodworking experience will appreciate craftsmanship dislayed by the Feliks amplifier.

David, where did you find this Ziron amplifier? I did not find it on eBay or AliExpress.
 

Martin

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That Feliks Audio amp is gorgeous.

I heard headphones on a Yaqin MS-300C integrated amplifier an an audio show once:
369910.jpg

It sounded good and I wanted one for years.

I have always liked the look of the Cayin HA-300:
CAY9000001-3.jpg

There's something about tubes...

I prefer this one for listening (it looks good, too):
HPA4_Black_ISO_Shopify_5000x.png

Martin
 
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Xulonn

Xulonn

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David, where did you find this Ziron amplifier? I did not find it on eBay or AliExpress.LOL
o_O - That's because Aliexpress lists it as a "Crude wood case' and I saw "Ziron" on the badge on the front of the chassis. It's a cheap PCB design - much more difficult to modify or upgrade. Ad + pics here LINK . I just stumbled across it searching for simple wood chassis images.

123654.jpg
 
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Xulonn

Xulonn

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Here's a single-ended vacuum tube HPA based on 1626 output tubes from Wisconsin's Toolshed Audio. It's an interesting variation on "industrial design". Even @restorer-john might like the look. o_O

1626-SE - Toolshed Darling HPA 640px.jpg
 

restorer-john

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J Ratcliffe

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I'm not a headphone user - although I do own a Topping DX7s and also have a HIFIMAN HE400SE open-back headphone on my wish-list at Amazon.

This morning, when continuing my periodic search for "beautiful amplifiers" to add to my thread on that subject, I stumbled across a fine example of a beautiful design and impeccable craftsmanship from Feliks Audio. I wonder how this 15.1Kg (33lb) - 6,500€ "hand-crafted" Polish monster would measure and sound? (I am not expecting @amirm to get one to review!)

It would be interesting to try as a balanced preamplifier as well - perhaps driving a Purifi amplifier...300B magic with Purifi Hypex power? Sounds [sic] like an audio subjectivist's dream combo.


TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION​



Class A Single-ended transformer coupled amplifier
  • Power tubes: 300B
  • Driver tubes: PsVane CV-181 mk2 (6SN7)
  • 2x unbalanced RCA inputs (IN1, IN2)
  • 1x balanced XLR input (IN3)
  • Input sensitivity 1V RMS
  • Input impedance:
    – For IN1 i IN2 (RCA) 100kΩ
    – For IN3 (XLR) 10kΩ
  • 1x pair of pre-amplifier output as RCA
  • 1x pair of pre-amplifier output as XLR
Maximum voltage on the above outputs is 5V (RMS) at output impedance of 600Ω and THD<0,5%
  • Impedance selector guidance:
    – LO – up to 60Ω
    – MID – up to 300Ω
    – HI – up to 600Ω–mnh
  • Amplifier’s impedance:
    – LO at 32Ω load is 3,8Ω
    – MID at 100Ω load is 8,8Ω
    – HI at 600Ω is 20Ω
Output powered measured at MID impedance setting at load of 16Ω is 5W with THD ⩽1% (maximum 8W at THD >5%)
  • Frequency response:
    – 8Hz÷100kHz ±3dB
    – 18Hz÷40kHz ±1dB
  • Headphone outputs: 6.3mm and XLR
  • AC voltage 50/60Hz:
    – 230V version (±5%)
    – 115V version (±5%)
  • Power consumption: 110VA
  • Weight: 15,1kg (without packaging)
  • Dimensions:
    – 35x33x18,5cm (LxWxH) – without tubes
    – 35x33x24,5cm (LxWxH) – with tubes
That is stunning, but I were going 300B, I'd go for an Eddie Current.
 

fpitas

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Tube power amplifiers (for speakers) do require a transformer and that's a HUGE advantage for solid state amplifiers.
Well, hold on a minute. Mr. Atma-sphere would like a word with you...
 
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