Feliks Audio Arioso amplifier & the Western Electric 300B tube

August 2, 2021 § Leave a comment

https://www.stereophile.com/content/gramophone-dreams-51-feliks-audio-arioso-amplifier-western-electric-300b-tube

Replicas or not, the Cossors were hyperbolically eloquent and water-clear. Their overtly appealing liquidity made the new Western Electrics seem a bit stark and the Electro-Harmonix EH Golds a bit coarse. The EHs specialized in making snare drums, double bass, saxophone solos, and spring reverb sound tangibly present. The more delicate and transparent Cossor WE 300Bs specialized in making church choirs, sitars, string quartets, and sultry female vocals seem unabashedly beautiful.

After a couple of weeks of studying the new Western Electric 300Bs, I went back to the Cossor “replicas” and played a stunning, gloriously transparent recording called Bloom featuring Armenian singer, songwriter, pianist, and storyteller Areni Agbabian backed by Nicolas Stocker’s sparse, mystical percussion (24/96 FLAC, ECM/ Qobuz). The Western Electric tubes played Bloom with unprecedented clarity and transient authority. In contrast, the Cossors played it with conspicuous delicacy and detailed refinement.

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