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Feliks Audio Arioso amplifier, or: Stereophile slides into irrelevance

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Robin L

Robin L

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Frankly, i would prefer stereophile to focus on TOTL stuff. This is because there are already many magazines doing budget and mainstream (my definition is not too expensive gear). I think we already have what-hifi doing the budget and slightly more expensive gear. Hifi-choice doing it and many more..

No doubt most of the stuff in the magazine is out of my reach. However, its still good to know how they perform and know these exotic brands exist. I became a fan of krell integrated amps after reading your kav-400xi review.
This is what separates ASR from any other source of info on audio: there is a level playing field. If a $150 DAC outperforms a $25,000 DAC, Arim will tell us and not beat around the bush.
 

escksu

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Truth to tell, I find your postings rational.

When I say "focuses on": most of the stuff reviewed in Stereophile is by any rational standard "pricey" if not flat out gob-smackingingly expensive.

At one time there was an "audio cheapskate". Those days are no more.

Actually i do like them focusing on these ridiculously expensive gear. We have too many magazines doing budget and slightly up-market gear (mostly below 10k range). So stereophile actually allows me to know more about such exotic brands which are hardly reviewed by other magazines.

I actually gotten to know about Krell brand through stereophile. When i read about their kav-400xi, i fell in love with it.
 

escksu

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This is what separates ASR from any other source of info on audio: there is a level playing field. If a $150 DAC outperforms a $25,000 DAC, Arim will tell us and not beat around the bush.

Regarding DAC, ok i dont really know much about them. I personally have a very very old shanling DAC-50. I am tempted to try out the dac recommended by arim...
 

dtaylo1066

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ASR measurements are mostly based on gear that costs $1,500 or less, in great part because most reviews are based on forum members that send in their equipment to Amir, or companies whose equipment is affordable and they hope they can garner a good review. Most who own very expensive gear are not going to be inclined to ship their stuff to AMIR, so we do not see too much of that tested here.

At the end of the day, Stereophile has to turn a profit by selling subscriptions and ads, and the user base most apt to make that happen is made up of folks with very high household incomes. I would suspect Stereophile's subscribers earn on average more than 200K per year, with many way beyond that. The magazine throws in a few sub 1K products to keep some lower income cohorts a bit interested.

ASR exists due to the benevolence of Amir, as he is not making money on the site and also puts in a huge amount of time to test and report on equipment. When he burns out or turns his attention to other matters, things could dry up. All other magazines and sites are out to make a buck, which is capitalism. We kind of get a free ride at ASR at Amir's largesse. That does not happen at this scale anywhere else.
 

MattHooper

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I enjoyed the review. Cool looking amp. I'd love to try it in my system. (Though wouldn't buy it to try it). Measurements would have been nice, but I
enjoy hearing about the listening experiences of other audiophiles, which is how I approach the column.

Herb actually tends to review more of the "affordable" end of the audiophile gear, e.g. the Falcon "Gold Badge" LS3/5a loudspeaker
he mentions in his review. Sure it's relative: the stuff is not "affordable" in some people's criteria, but then again neither is a Benchmark amp to plenty of people. (Yes, I know the Benchmark likely offers better measured performance than the tube amp, but this is still in the area of "things finicky niche audiophiles care about and will pay thousands of dollars for." ).
 

escksu

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ASR measurements are mostly based on gear that costs $1,500 or less, in great part because most reviews are based on forum members that send in their equipment to Amir, or companies whose equipment is affordable and they hope they can garner a good review. Most who own very expensive gear are not going to be inclined to ship their stuff to AMIR, so we do not see too much of that tested here.

At the end of the day, Stereophile has to turn a profit by selling subscriptions and ads, and the user base most apt to make that happen is made up of folks with very high household incomes. I would suspect Stereophile's subscribers earn on average more than 200K per year, with many way beyond that. The magazine throws in a few sub 1K products to keep some lower income cohorts a bit interested.

ASR exists due to the benevolence of Amir, as he is not making money on the site and also puts in a huge amount of time to test and report on equipment. When he burns out or turns his attention to other matters, things could dry up. All other magazines and sites are out to make a buck, which is capitalism. We kind of get a free ride at ASR at Amir's largesse. That does not happen at this scale anywhere else.

Not quite. You dont need to be rich to read about stereophile reviews. Just like most of the people who read about sports cars (can even memorise their specs) dont own one.
 

escksu

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I enjoyed the review. Cool looking amp. I'd love to try it in my system. (Though wouldn't buy it to try it). Measurements would have been nice, but I
enjoy hearing about the listening experiences of other audiophiles, which is how I approach the column.

Herb actually tends to review more of the "affordable" end of the audiophile gear, e.g. the Falcon "Gold Badge" LS3/5a loudspeaker
he mentions in his review. Sure it's relative: the stuff is not "affordable" in some people's criteria, but then again neither is a Benchmark amp to plenty of people. (Yes, I know the Benchmark likely offers better measured performance than the tube amp, but this is still in the area of "things finicky niche audiophiles care about and will pay thousands of dollars for." ).

Me too. I enjoy reading them. New stuff, never heard of the brand. Always good to read about something new.
 

dtaylo1066

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Not quite. You dont need to be rich to read about stereophile reviews. Just like most of the people who read about sports cars (can even memorise their specs) dont own one.

Quite true. I read the car rags all the time, particularly their sports car reviews, but drive a Subaru Forester. Same with audio. I was mostly referring to the magazine's target audience, there bread and butter.
 

Koeitje

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Frankly, i would prefer stereophile to focus on TOTL stuff. This is because there are already many magazines doing budget and mainstream (my definition is not too expensive gear). I think we already have what-hifi doing the budget and slightly more expensive gear. Hifi-choice doing it and many more..

No doubt most of the stuff in the magazine is out of my reach. However, its still good to know how they perform and know these exotic brands exist. I became a fan of krell integrated amps after reading your kav-400xi review.
Nobody does budget and mainstream gear while also measuring it. What-hifi is literally nothing more than an advertiser. Not familiar with Hifi-choice, but I don't see measurements unless they are only available in the printed reviews.
 
OP
Robin L

Robin L

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Nobody does budget and mainstream gear while also measuring it. What-hifi is literally nothing more than an advertiser. Not familiar with Hifi-choice, but I don't see measurements unless they are only available in the printed reviews.
HiFi Choice is an advertiser. HiFi News still does measurements, is the only publication I'm aware of that measures phono cartridges. Impressive, seeing that the distortion measurements are universally awful.

Avid:

521avid.lb2.jpg

Denon:

421denon.lab2.jpg

Ds Audio

321dsaudio.lab2.jpg

Avid:

1220avid.lab2.jpg


Eat:

220eat.lab2.jpg
 

Ken1951

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Quite true. I read the car rags all the time, particularly their sports car reviews, but drive a Subaru Forester. Same with audio. I was mostly referring to the magazine's target audience, there bread and butter.
I love, really love, cars, but don't read much in the way of car mags anymore as most all of the new stuff really doesn't appeal to me. I subscribe to Sports Car Market and love seeing and reading about older models. Particularly Ferraris from the "golden age" of sports car racing. Stereophile hasn't appealed to me for ages as they've gone way round the bend for me. I have zero interest in vinyl, tubes, or other insanely expensive electronics and cables that cost more than I've spent on hifi combined since my first purchase in 1971.
 

ejlif

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I just got the Feliks 300B amp about a week ago and I'm really happy with it. I've been on an amp quest for quite some time and this one is my favorite of the bunch and because it's an integrated saves the money of needing a preamp and cables to connect. I'm using efficient speakers so the 8 watts is enough to play loud as I would ever want it. The bass is a standout on this amp and it's got a very live and lifelike feeling to the sound even my dog was constantly jumping up and startled by what sounded like something really happening lol. Anyway I see this is mostly a bashing this amp and Herb Reichert but I thought I'd just jump in and say I have one and really like it and compared to many other amps I've been trying for a couple years now. You can't have it all but this amp so far has the best balance of what I like in sound. I'm sure you guys maybe are going to want to tear me apart for saying anything at all but just thought I'd chime in with some real world user feed back.
 

DHT 845

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I just got the Feliks 300B amp about a week ago and I'm really happy with it. I've been on an amp quest for quite some time and this one is my favorite of the bunch and because it's an integrated saves the money of needing a preamp and cables to connect. I'm using efficient speakers so the 8 watts is enough to play loud as I would ever want it. The bass is a standout on this amp and it's got a very live and lifelike feeling to the sound even my dog was constantly jumping up and startled by what sounded like something really happening lol. Anyway I see this is mostly a bashing this amp and Herb Reichert but I thought I'd just jump in and say I have one and really like it and compared to many other amps I've been trying for a couple years now. You can't have it all but this amp so far has the best balance of what I like in sound. I'm sure you guys maybe are going to want to tear me apart for saying anything at all but just thought I'd chime in with some real world user feed back.
What have you done, you should have bought class D low distortion amp. Shame on you. ;)
BTW. A also love my 845 SET since with my speakers it just plays at concert levels, no need for more power.
 

rmsanger

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I just got the Feliks 300B amp about a week ago and I'm really happy with it. I've been on an amp quest for quite some time and this one is my favorite of the bunch and because it's an integrated saves the money of needing a preamp and cables to connect. I'm using efficient speakers so the 8 watts is enough to play loud as I would ever want it. The bass is a standout on this amp and it's got a very live and lifelike feeling to the sound even my dog was constantly jumping up and startled by what sounded like something really happening lol. Anyway I see this is mostly a bashing this amp and Herb Reichert but I thought I'd just jump in and say I have one and really like it and compared to many other amps I've been trying for a couple years now. You can't have it all but this amp so far has the best balance of what I like in sound. I'm sure you guys maybe are going to want to tear me apart for saying anything at all but just thought I'd chime in with some real world user feed back.

Congrats you are the one sane poster in a thread full of well you know...
 
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