Feliks Audio Envy
The Feliks Audio Envy is a flagship Class A tube headphone amplifier with pre-amp capabilities and up to 8W of output power. However, the Envy is more than just some nice wood panels and a line-up of fancy tube choices.
It’s got power, plenty of it also for hard-to-drive headphones that should prove attractive to Susvara fans, and a decent amount of connectivity options to fit right into a decent home system also.
The Envy is a Class A headphones tube amplifier with a transformer-coupled balanced output and a solid-state rectifier. At the heart of its top-mounted tube configuration are two fairly hefty and not inexpensive H300B power tubes.
Feliks Audio has released two H300B Envy options for a bit of flex in the wallet. The Envy base unit includes two matching Electro Harmonix Gold 300B power tubes and the Performance Edition includes a set of matching ‘gold-grid’ Fullmusic 300B triode power tubes.
Feliks Audio Envy AMPLIFIER
Two important points here, the first is Envy’s single-ended Class A topology for amplification to avoid as much unwanted distortion as possible.
The second is the use of a solid-state rectification design to keep the output tight and punchy avoiding the more traditional tube rectification ‘sag’ or flabby low-end. This is something the Envy does exceedingly well.
The Envy amplifier is made using “point to point” technology meaning each component is directly hard-wired to the next. All the point-to-point wired connections are custom made from a single-crystal copper (UPOCC) with Teflon isolation.
The input side starts with an Alps RK27 potentiometer, followed by a two-stage pre-amplifier with those CV-181-T MKII power tubes. And nitrogen-filled Jantzen Superior Z-cap coupling capacitors.
Both the output transformers and the mains transformer are custom engineered by Polish-based transformer specialists EDIS Ogonowski.
The amplifier has a fully automatic bias and its electrical circuit is a “zero feedback” design. The power tubes are heated with direct current (DC) with a special circuit designed to separate the tube’s heating from the audio path power.
The power supply for the anode voltage is designed on semiconductors and based on MOFSET transistors and low-noise current sources.
For the XLR balanced outputs, Feliks Audio has used symmetrical audio grade Lundahl transformers with source selection managed by low signal relays placed directly behind the input connectors to reduce the noise floor and potential interference.
The Envy is a looker. It is also fairly big and heavy at 15.1kg but not so big as to give you issues with standard hi-fi racks. The main issue to watch out for when racking the Envy is height as those H300B driver tubes give it a fairly tall profile as well as need some room to vent.
it’s all the space you can height-wise and put it on the top shelf. It looks beautiful anyhow so middling rack space seems a crime.
The aesthetics are primarily six heavily grained distinct sets of oiled woodblocks wrapped around a black chassis that ties the blocks together.
The wood choice is beautiful and reminiscent of the Auris Audio aesthetic for their amps. But just a shade sharper on the edges and cornering.
The anodized metal chassis peaks out via a central thin stripe to the sides. But widens to the front with a retro-forties style aesthetic including a huge centrally positioned potentiometer dial.
On either side of the dial are the headphone outputs and smaller volume/impedance controls in matching anodized black.
The toroidal transformer is housed in similar metal black housing to the rear of the Envy. Just behind the top-loaded 2 x 2 tube configuration arranged in a trapezoid pattern.
The amp also comes with two matching anodized metal black rail guards. Which securely fashioned with low-profile screws just in front of the driver tubes. The guards are on personally but it’s entirely optional depending on how you dig the looks.
Last Thought about Feliks Audio Envy
The Feliks Audio Envy is an absolute cracker of a tube amp. The Envy’s sweet overtone, massive staging quality, and hugely impressive dynamic low-end made for some very enjoyable listening.
The Envy also looks the business with those oak, American walnut, Zebrano, Sapeli, Merbau or Amazaque options. You will have your preferences. But do make sure you have that free space on the top of the HiFi rack. You are going to want to show this one off, a lot!
The Envy now a new Recommended Buy. It added to our Best Gear lists with all our recommendations.
FELIKS AUDIO ENVY SPECIFICATIONS
- 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
- The maximum voltage on the above outputs is 5V (RMS) at an 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 a 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