Sennheiser HD650 vs Audeze LCD 2.2 Pre-Fazor (Updated 1/29/2022)
*Update 4/6/2022 - After more experience with my Euforia, I've noticed that it has the characteristic of mellow smoothness in its neutrality and resolution, and I should also mention excellent note extension. In light of these observations, to me, the Euforia seems to be great for lower-volume listening.
*Update 3/1/2022 - If you have treble sensitivity like me, after extended use, some fatigue may be noticeable. I would advise to chain for warmth, and instead pair the Euforia with a warm R2R DAC/headphone. I've been recommended the Schiit Gungnir Multibit.
I started my audiophile journey in 2015. Everything began when I picked up Audio-GD’s NFB 15.32 with TXCO upgrades. Judging from reviews, this would be a fine first DAC/Amp to have.
Enter the Feliks Audio Elise. I kept my eye on the Elise after reading through threads and hearing of its touted qualities. It arrived, and the Elise proved to be an amp with lovely audio production, providing more air, superior instrument separation, and a neutral signature that was a joy to listen to.
I ended up trading my Feliks Audio Elise for the Yulong D18, A18, and U18 stack. Unfortunately, the sources that I had couldn’t deliver the audio reproduction coming from the Elise tamely, and the treble ultimately fatigued my ears. Nevertheless, I miss it sorely, and wish I had it alongside me in my current phase of my audio journey.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I found a deal on the Feliks Audio Euforia from a fellow enthusiast and former Elise owner. It’s hard to describe the Feliks Audio Euforia without the rest of my audio chain; the Audio-GD HE-7, along with usb audio interfaces such as the Singxer SU-6 and Matrix Audio X-SPDIF 2. The addition of these parts into my audio chain has allowed for optimal performance that truly allows the Euforia to shine to its fullest potential. The 2018 Audio-GD HE-7 weighs in at $3080 mSRP, and the Singxer SU-6 at $690 mSRP.
I’ve really gone all out and upgraded each part of my audio chain, and it’s been an amazing experience. Hearing everything come together really makes me excited to continue embarking on this journey. There’s something to be said about the mixing and matching of audio equipment that has been a revealing experience.
I’m glad that I have the Feliks Audio Euforia on hand to review, as it points to the origins of where I began when I first got into Hi-Fi. It’s the flagship headphone tube amplifier by the Polish family-owned business, now priced at $2,599. I have the 2017 edition which was priced at $1399 on release. Since the release of the 2017 edition, there have been some improvements worth noting: an upgraded preamp circuit, CV181 driver tubes, a crossfeed circuit to enlarge the sound stage by making the channel separation more natural, and a soft mute so when you power off and on you don’t have cracking noises. The Euforia is the flagship amplifier from Feliks Audio that was launched nearly three years ago, and remains the top of the line.
Input Impedance: 100 kOhm
Frequency response: 8 Hz - 75 Khz +/- 3 dB (300 ohm)
Power output: 250mW
THD: 0.4 % (300 ohm, 20 mW)
Supported headphones impedance: 32 - 600 ohm, including planar magnetics
Premium PsVane CV-181 Mk2 “Gold” /or "Silver" PsVane 6SN7 driver tubes *
Improved noise cancelling construction
High grade power transformer
100% pure silver signal wiring in teflon jacket
Heavy duty teflon gold-plated tube sockets
High quality Mundorf and Nichicon capacitors
Dale and Caddock resistors
Preamp safety circuit
Gold plated RCA inputs
Headphones output: Jack 6.3mm
3 years warranty
The Euforia is a sleek looking amp with a quality build. It sports a rugged matte black aluminum chassis and has a low profile look, and has a classical feel about it.
It’s a versatile amplifier that can drive a variety of headphones, IEM’s, and planar magnetics.
The Euforia comes with CV-181-TII drivers tubes, some of the most high quality tubes of the 6SN7 type, but can be used with tubes from the 5692, 6N8S, 6F8G, and ECC32 families.
The stock power tubes are the 6N13S, which are a dual power triode, and are interchangeable with 6AS7G. However, you can also use tubes of the ECC230, 5998, 6N5S, 6N5P, 6080, and 7236 families.
As a tube amplifier, there are a variety of styles to be experienced with the Euforia. It’s inherent signature, however, is more neutral. This is what you’ll expect to see with some combinations. However, with some “higher-end” tubes, things become more interesting, and when you switch out the tubes, you’ll discover some magical pairings.
What I have available to roll is the Bendix 6080, GEC 6080, Mullard EL38, RCA 6AS7G as powers, and the EL32, Philips EL3N, and Sylvania 6SN7 as drivers. With these tubes alone, the Euforia sounds fantastic.
There is a certain fluidity to the Euforia that engages. Overall, with the right tubes, it’s a smooth, clean sound. The Euforia faithfully renders with an apparent soft, velvety musicality.
I found that the RCA 6AS7G as powers paired with Philips EL3N as drivers brings out the bass, and after tube burn in, things start to sound a little smoother, with a rich, ambient tonality, and better soundstage that pronounces the level of engagement and overall sound signature.
Since there really is no end to the combinations that you can try with the Euforia; in the process of switching out tubes, the difference in sonic qualities that are emphasized really makes you feel like you have many amps.
This limitless potential to what flavors can be achieved is the true beauty of this neutral amplifier; you can tailor the sound with a variety of signature tubes and it won’t fail to deliver it’s inherent tune with the added bonuses that are unique with each tube. The question is; what flavors will spark your fancy?
In all, this is a totally neutral amplifier. It’s flatline rendering may not be for everyone, but I wouldn’t disqualify it from being a part of one's stable. The sound coming from the Euforia isn’t just pure, it’s of an enticing variety that stuns with its smoothness.
All considered, the edition I have in hand is still of 2017, and so I can’t imagine what wonders could’ve been achieved with adding a cross-feed circuit to the equation. With Feliks Audio’s reputation of being fanatical about electronics and achieving the highest audio standard for every product they release, along with using high quality components and wiring, I believe that the Euforia Mk II is definitely worth looking into for anyone in the market for an amplifier.
It brings music together with such ease that it’s impossible to ignore the quality behind this amp. In fact, the naturalness of the Euforia is what makes it so hard to describe. Because it’s so fluid, smooth, and neutral while remaining musical, ascribing qualities to the Euforia really tips the sense of equilibrium that you get from this no nonsense amp. Flat and effortlessly engaging is how I would ultimately describe the Euforia.
The Euforia is an absolute powerhouse that doesn’t fail to deliver. At the Euforias current price point at $2,599, this is a serious investment for the sound that the Euforia offers. It’s certainly a high-value, high-end product. The version that I have went for $1,399, and it sounds amazing! If you get a chance to listen to the Euforia, you’ll know if it appeals to you and why it’s worth its price stamp.
A single gripe, if I may, is that often the tube adapters that you may have to purchase when tube rolling can be a bit cumbersome to deal with. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't, sometimes you have to put in extra work to get them to. I think it's worth it if you aren't bothered by the occasional adapter issues causing channel issues. They are not totally inexpensive, so this is something to consider when purchasing the Feliks Audio Euforia.
Sennheiser HD650 vs Audeze LCD 2.2 Pre-Fazor (Updated 1/29/2022)
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