FEZZ AUDIO is a Polish brand specializing in the construction of tube amplifiers.
Their special feature is the use of toroidal transformers, both in the power supply and at the speaker output. This is not an accident - the company to which the Fezz Audio brand belongs are Toroidy.pl, one of the most interesting manufacturers of toroidal transformers in Poland. We are testing an amplifier working on 2A3 triodes with a power of 3 watts per channel (!).
When I decided to choose a Polish device as part of the September Polish issue of "High Fidelity", I thought that somehow I rarely get SETs lately (except for the great Audio Reveal First ). And this is my playing. There are not many such amplifiers created in our country, but you can find several interesting proposals without much effort.
The FEZZ AUDIO brand has grown into a leader among manufacturers of tube devices in our country, including single-ended amplifiers, but also a well-known manufacturer in many countries around the world. Not without a reason - based on the well-known and respected Toroidy.pl transformers , our own machinery park or paint shop, it is able to offer competitively priced high class amplifiers. Importantly, vast amounts of knowledge about transformers have allowed Fezz Audio engineers to create rare designs in which toroidal transformers are also used as output.
| Mira Ceti 2A3
Some time ago I had the pleasure to test a relatively inexpensive amplifier from this brand, based on my beloved 300B triode. It wasn't the best device of this type I've ever heard, but in the context of price and sound class it turned out to be an excellent, noteworthy player. Despite the very attractive price (of course), it gave me a lot of joy listening to music in an extremely intimate, appealing way to me. His - although the name rather indicates that I should use the pronoun: 'her' - younger brother (or 'sister'?) Is a similar arrangement, but based on another cult triode: 2A3. The relationship between these constructions is evidenced by the fact that they use the same name, Mira Ceti, but in the case of the tested model there is a lot of saying: 2A3.
It is equally noble, though maybe not as iconic as the 300B, directly heated triode, in addition slightly older. It was introduced to the market in 1932, six years earlier than the latter. Slightly less popular is due to the fact that it offers barely about 3 W, while from 300B you get about 8 W. The difference is not small, but in practice the choice of speakers for an amplifier based on 2A3 is a much greater challenge. And the choice of speakers in the case of low power amplifiers is absolutely crucial.
While in the case of strong transistors, or even those with high tube power, the loudspeakers are chosen more in terms of sound than parameters (of course, in part, but they play a smaller role), low power requires quite high efficiency, and above all friendly (i.e. impedance without major changes). The recent listening to Falcon Acoustic LS 3 / 5a speakers (barely 83 dB of efficiency, but with a nominal impedance of 15 Ω) clearly showed that it is the latter parameter that is definitely more important. With my modified Art Audio Symphony II amplifier, or SET on 300B Western Electric, it sounded absolutely magical and immediately became my recommended system for a small room.
Let's go back to 2A3. My most beloved of my beloved amplifiers, or as Anglosasi say: it's die for , or Kondo Souga , also uses 2A3 tubes in the output stage, but two per channel, offering 6-7 W of power. Listened during the test with Bastanis Matterhorn loudspeakers, it provided me with absolutely extraordinary, exceptional, wonderful impressions and emotions, causing 2A3 in my private ranking to catch up with 300B and since then both ex aequo occupy the highest place in it.
However, Kondo Souga costs a fortune and there is no indication that I could afford it - in the foreseeable future -. Listening to the Mira Ceti 2A3 amplifier was therefore an attempt to find some part of the magic of the Japanese amplifier in the much more affordable device "Made in Poland".
The loudspeakers have changed in my system since the Japanese amplifier test. Bastanisa have been replaced by the excellent MACH 4 Max Magri (GrandiNote), which is one of the most universal, and at the same time great-sounding loudspeakers I know. The power of the amplifier that drives them doesn't really matter. Whether it will be a few or a few hundred watts, MACHs 4 "swallow everything" without blinking, providing at least a good and usually excellent sound every time (it depends primarily on the class of the amplifier, as well as the rest of the system). As expected, they turned out to be perfect partners for Mira Ceti 2A3.From the outside, the original Mira Ceti model and version 2A3 would be almost indistinguishable were it not for the use of round silver shields for transformers in the first and square, painted black in the second. 2A3 lamps are physically slightly smaller than 300B, but without placing them next to each other this difference can not really be seen. So while a person does not have a clear vision that allows them to read the markings on the tubes from the listening position, the shape of the transformer covers is the only indication which model we have in front of us.
The amplifier is small, as it measures just (for a tube integrated) 34 by 36 by 21.5 cm and weighs quite a modest 14 kg. The copy I received for the test was finished in white this time, which will be perfect in every interior. Decorations end with two silver knobs (volume control and input selector) on the sides of the front and an oval plate with the company logo in the middle. The whole is still set on silver anti-vibration feet, which also blend in well with the whole design.
So we get a simple, aesthetically made device without any quirks or aesthetic fireworks, but simply nice. Available in four colors to choose from, optional remote control, lamp cover, pre-in, or even a Bluetooth module - what more could you want? The optional lamp cover supplied in the set is painted black, which contrasts nicely with the white and silver finish of the amplifier.
As a lover of the magical glow of lamps, although it is not much with 2A3, I did not use the cover, but it will definitely be useful wherever there is a risk of burning curious hands. On the back there is a main switch, a power socket, loudspeaker sockets (separate for loudspeakers with an impedance of 4 and 8 Ω), three line inputs (RCA) and ... that's it. To start the listening session, simply connect the speakers to the appropriate outputs, a source (or a few - maximum three) to the input and we can start the listening session.
I will repeat myself, but it is difficult, sometimes you need: several-watt SETs are a special type of amplifier. Although they were once used to sound the cinema halls, today they are to serve those who choose the right speakers, listen in relatively small rooms and ... actually focus on listening / experiencing music, and not organizing discos for neighbors. It is also clear, I think, that they are not the first choice of metal or hip hop fans.
These are proposals addressed to lovers, above all, but as it turned out in this case not only, fans of acoustic music. Their role is primarily to charm with timbre, close, intimate contact with music, holography of presentation, which virtually no other constructions can afford. The atmosphere, emotions, commitment to a musical performance - this is what you can expect, you can even demand from such an amplifier. Howgh!
For me, Mira Ceti 2A3 combined with MACHami 4 from the first seconds of listening listened to work enthusiastically. I am not even talking about proper listening, but rather about the time of accommodation in the system, so I will put it so that every device I get before I start listening to it seriously. So it looked like in Roon I just clicked "play", resuming listening to the same disc on which I ended the previous evening with another amplifier. And I started to finish another text myself.
This reissued album was by no means one of the ones I would consciously reproduce on a tri-amplifier in the first place. It was the soundtrack of the Last Jedi , of course, in which John Williams had a lot of fingers. Star Wars fans know perfectly well that they are full-scale, orchestral soundtracks that impress with dynamics. However, this wasn't critical listening yet, so I didn't care. I will also note that the volume knob was in 1/8 scale.
No, I will not write that the Mira Ceti 2A3 was equal in scale and scale to strong transistors, but I must say that it did not give way to them in terms of loudspeaker control, and thus the degree of organization of quite complex music. She managed to recreate changes in pace and jumps in dynamics, she didn't "stick", so even in the hottest moments and that low power was not heard. "Power was with me" during this listening session, both figuratively and literally. Despite the moderate volume level, the complexity of this music was heard surprisingly well, with a huge amount of information, even at the micro level.
The sound was so interesting and engaging that I quickly gave up patting on the keyboard, focusing on listening. Maybe I am a bit "skewed" and I treat the SETs differently, but I do not remember any amplifier based on quartz at a similar price, which would be able to engage me in any kind of music from the first moments, and even more so in a seemingly it should be too difficult for him to play properly.
The next album I listened to, interested in such a good first impression, was the album of the long-listened Lee Ritenour titled Rhythm sessions . There is a lot of electric bass and guitar, strong drums, and the key to everything is, as the title indicates, rhythm. A horse with a row to who in blind listening would have thought that 3 W SET is responsible for signal amplification and loudspeaker control! It was strong playing, with a high level of energy, and a good "kick". Maybe a bit rounded, which could suggest a lamp in the circuit, but rather strong, full-blooded, that I can put it that way.
And all this at a reasonable level of volume, without using a trick, or amplifying it until everything starts to sound good and the neighbors begin to arm themselves to "friendly" intervention. Following this lead, I chose more albums with Stanley Clark, Marcus Miller or blues Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Steve Ray and I had fun with each of them perfectly. The tempo and rhythm were conducted with a confident hand, and even if you could hear some slight rounding in the bass range, I still perceived them as a natural element of playing.
Of course, that the midrange was the strongest part of this presentation - otherwise in the case of the SET type amplifier it can't be, but knowing anything about them, that's what we expect. With the fact that we usually think of a fantastic presentation of vocals or acoustic instruments, meanwhile in almost all albums so far listened to the main role played electric guitars. And they sounded great - with a tooth, energetic, dense, without artificial sweetening or warming, and when needed even a bit harsh. Just as it would sound during a concert in a small club.
At the same time, the Polish amplifier made it quite clear that it was a rather forgiving master of ceremonies, that it is ready to accept almost any quality material. And only delicately, between the lines, he suggested that he knew perfectly well that this was not an audiophile recording, he did his best to get the maximum of music and emotions from the weaker sound. After all, not all blues discs are exemplary.
It cannot be concealed, however, that what Mira Ceti 2A3 can show best is acoustic recordings, and if in addition they were recorded live, we already get a real fairy tale. Although I would rate this amplifier as a bit cooler than the sister model on 300B, the naturalness of the sound simply cannot be faulted. Instruments breathe freely on an extremely large stage, and individual virtual sources are three-dimensional, filled, palpable, simply present in the room (in studio recordings).
However, when I started listening to several jazz, well recorded concerts, the Fezz Audio integrated easily took me to clubs scattered around the world. No other type of amplifier can so convincingly reflect the acoustics of a room - the real, not created in the studio - and the unique atmosphere created by the musicians and the audience. And it is the atmosphere that is one of the few most important elements that make listening at home never match what is happening at concerts.
Although in terms of resolution, the ability to differentiate, give the full richness of color and texture of instruments to the Polish amplifier, the Polish amplifier is a bit lacking in my dream Kondo Souga, costing - as a reminder - some twenty-five times more, but the atmosphere can create (to write "recreate" I would have to be a witness recordings) almost equally convincing. This in turn makes it very easy to get carried away by the music and, like a good concert, stop paying attention to any technical imperfections of the room or the sound system.
The music played by Mira Ceti is simply fabulously fluid and emotionally engaging. I was happy to reach for new albums, changing music genres only from time to time. Among the albums listened to there were many operas, "big" movie tracks, some rock, electronics, plus of course acoustic music in all possible ways. I was not disappointed even once. This is not the best amplifier in the world, but once a person gets absorbed in the climate he creates, only music counts, and this sounds with Mira Ceti 2A3 simply beautiful!
Mira Ceti 2A3 from Fezz Audio is an integrated tube amplifier, working in a Single Ended Triode system (so-called SET). Its output stage uses iconic, directly heated 2A3 triodes, one per channel, which allows the amplifier to achieve an output power of 3 W (per channel). However, the 6SN7EH triodes work in the preamplifier. The latter come from the Russian company Electro-Harmonix , while the power tubes from Sovtek (both also belong to the same capital group New Sensor Corporation).
The device is equipped with three line inputs (with gold-plated RCA sockets). The set of connectors on the rear panel is completed by the IEC power socket, integrated with the switch and the main fuse socket, as well as simple but solid loudspeaker sockets with separate taps for columns with nominal impedance of 8 and 4 Ω.
The amplifier itself is relatively small and not particularly heavy. Its quite simple, metal, rectangular housing with a low profile was made very neatly. Fitting, stiffness and varnish quality do not raise any objections. A white one came for the test, but other color versions are also available: red, black and brown. Silver metal knobs are responsible for volume control and active input selection. Centrally on the front there was also a silver metal plate with the company logo cut out in it, and next to it there was a place for the model name - without the addition of 2A3, which only shows that the manufacturer optimizes costs using the same housings for both Mira Ceti models.
Having such speakers as MACH 4, perfectly playing with both models of the Mira Ceti amplifier, I would love to put both next to each other and listening to the same repertoire I chose the one that I like better. As I wrote earlier, it seems to me that 2A3 is a bit cooler, read: more neutral, but still naturally warm. He creates beautiful, artistic, emotionally engaging musical landscapes that are difficult to break away from. In addition, with the right loudspeakers, this amplifier is really surprisingly universal. He can turn a blind eye to weaker sonic rock or blues realizations, but he can also fully demonstrate those more audiophile ones, differentiating them well. Each time it serves the listener a lot of positive musical emotions. With weaker recordings, it can extract a lot of fire from the speakers, keep the tempo and rhythm well, impress with the cleanliness, fluidity, naturalness and sophistication of the presentation with those spoiled. Sure, this is not Kondo Souga, but a general, incredibly pleasant to the ear, encouraging continuous exploration of the music library character of the sound and, yes, recalled that amazing experience with the Japanese legend. Ten thousand is of course not enough money and for this amount you can find several SETs on the market. But looking realistically at what today's market offers, class and friendliness of the sound of the tested amplifier, perhaps a little more for music lovers than audiophiles, makes me have to consider Mira Ceti 2A3 as a very attractive proposition. Please try! Anyway with the right columns !!!
All these elements combined with - also silver - legs and white, this time cuboid transformer cups, create a simple but elegant whole. On the upper surface of the housing there are sockets for lamps on the front, while on the back there are large, white boxes that hide speaker transformers. The device can be optionally supplied with a detachable black lamp cover.
Options | Mira Ceti is not equipped with a remote control as standard, but it is available on request. The copy provided did not have this option.
Other available (of course, paid) options for this model include HT input (for home theater, input bypassing the attenuator in the track),
Bluetooth module and 4.2 Aptx Low latency codec and aluminum front.
■ Technical data (according to manufacturer)
Type: stereo tube amplifier
Nominal output power: 2 x 3 W
System type: single-ended, class A
Load impedance: 4 Ω | 8 Ω
Inputs:3 x RCA
Distortion THD: <0.25%
Frequency range: 20 Hz-56 kHz (-3 dB)
Power consumption: 90 W Weight: 14 kg
Dimensions: 340 x 360 x 215 mm Lamps: 2 x 2A3 | 2 x 6SN7
Bias setting method: automatic
Optional equipment: remote control, HT (pre-in) input, protective cage
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