FEZZ AUDIO SILVER LUNA
" The list of pro’s is indeed a long one, but at the top is the most important factor, the juicy, colorful, listener engaging playback ... a playback which held captive for long hours the here undersigned fan of various “swanky” SET’s with gigantic price tags. If that does not convince you to listen to this integrated amplifier, then I do not know what else can. A big applause for the Lachowski guys for this great product "
MADE IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
Intro - Evolution vs Legacy Series
Available in two aesthetic "presentations"- Evolution and Legacy - the Silver Luna Prestige is one of Fezz Audio’s most loved integrated tube power amplifiers. A tube cage and Remote are included in both the Evolution and the Legacy version, making these amplifiers' modest pricing extremely attractive.
Of note is an additional standard feature that comes with Evolution version of the Silver Luna: Here, and "just for good measure", Fezz added a Ground Switch allowing the user to select between a Signal Ground or a Chassis Ground configuration ... this is useful if one or the other position is better suited to your systems total ground loop situation.
Sub-Out, HT input and BT aptx 5.0 are options that can be special-ordered with the Evolution series version of this amplifier, entailing additional cost and delivery lead time versus stock units.
To make the Silver Luna's price as accessible as possible to the purist audiophile community, these options are not included on the stripped-down Legacy version.
In Summary, and for the sake of clarity, the Legacy and Evolution versions of the Silver Luna are identical in as far as the circuit and its performance is concerned. The price difference between the two versions of about $500, or 17%, is attributable to the more modern and more elaborated / flexible / "option-upgradeable" ... thus more costly Evolution chassis.
Supplied tubes are 4x Electro Harmonix EL34, 2x Voshod 6N2P and 2x Sovtek 12AX7, all pre-paired and numbered for easy installation. Two EL34 tubes work in push pull for each channel to output 35 watts of Class-AB1 power into 4 or 8 ohms.
The Silver Luna, whether Evolution of Legacy, provides the user with three single-ended gold-plated RCA analog inputs. Also present are separate 4 and 8 ohm speaker binding posts.
As already covered above, the Evolution version of the Silver Luna can be optionally equipped with Bluetooth aptx 5.0 that allows you to play music directly from a phone, tablet, computer or other device with a BT module. On the back panel there will be a small antenna and a button to turn this function on/off. This "on/off" feature is another plus, and is a well-thought-out and simple solution which has a positive impact on the sound quality. Again, please note that the BT module is not available as an option on the Legacy version.
As if these functions were not enough, especially for a device at this price, the Silver Luna Evolution user will also be able opt for, and thus to use, the Home Theatre Loop with an A/V system. Fans of subwoofers will be pleased to be able to opt for an output for connecting an active subwoofer.
Finally, the standard Tube Cage is very sturdy and well finished, and the standard Remote Control is a very nicely made metal-housed piece that supports basic functions.
Tube Rolling with a "Twist"
In a surprisingly pleasant move, Fezz has designed in two really neat tube rolling options. First up is the option to swap out the 12AX7/ECC83 input / driver dual-triode with a military grade Voshod [Rocket] 6N2P tube. The 6N6P, a tube discovered and much loved by Lukas Fikus of Lampizator, has a different pin-out. But Fezz have not only included a set of socket adapters, but a pair of matched 6N2Ps as well !
So now the Silver Luna can be used - via a selector toggle switch conveniently located on the amplifier's top plate - with either a 6N2P ... or, alternatively, with a long list of NOS 12AX7 / ECC83 NOS tubes.
And they did not stop there : Another conveniently located toggle switch, also located on the the top plate, converts the EL34 pentode power tube to a quasi-tetrode tube by implementing a little known "mod" to the traditional design function of the EL34's suppressor grid (aka G3).
Without going into the technical design details of this modification, suffice it to note that the resulting character offers a "different take" on the venerable EL34's sound ... one that is equally euphonic, but that is noticeably different nonetheless.
Finally, and for more tube character alternatives, EL34's can typically be swapped out [rolled] for tubes from the 6L6 family such as the 5881, the 6L6GC, the KT66, the 5932 ... and with special socket adapters one can also swap in NOS "anode-top-cap" tube equivalents such as the 5933WA, the ATS25A, the 807W, the CV124, the VT60, the RK39, ...and a few more.
Tube Operation Switches
Tube Operation Switches
Ground Option Switch
Signal or Chassis Ground
Back Panel without Options
Chassis Color Schemes
And there is more ! ... The Evolution series for the US market is available in two stock chassis colors : Ice Black and Sunlight. But it can be special-ordered in 4 additional chassis color schemes to suit your particular tastes and decor ... Even the purist Legacy series wants to please in this regard : The Legacy series amplifier is stocked in Black Ice and in Republika, and here again, it can be special-ordered in 2 additional color schemes !
... see below :
Fezz Audio Chassis Colors
Fezz Audio Chassis Colors
Class of Operation
PP Class AB1
4 & 8 ohms
3 x Line - RCA
1 x HT - Evolution - Option
1 x SUB - Evolution - Option
4 & 8 ohm Posts
1 x BT aptx 5.0 - Evolution - Option
15Hz -77kHz (-3dB)
4 x EL34 / 2 x 12AX7 or 6N2P
Legacy / 15.3 kg / 34 lbs
Evolution / 15.5 kg / 35 lbs
(W x D x H / mm)
410 x 320 x 165
Silver Luna EL34
Silver Luna EL34
What they say ...
Marek Dyba | October 2016
"The Sound of the Switches"
Ultimately, once you get this amplifier, just to start listening to it involves some more or less conscious choices to be made. You have to decide on the type of driver tubes (initially, I chose the 12AX7) and on the operation mode of the output tubes (at first I went for the tetrode option). I connected the amplifier to the DeVore Fidelity Orangutan 93 loudspeakers – easy to drive, American-made, speakers dedicated to low-power tubes, whereas the source used was the JSikora turntable, the Big7 Lampizator D/A Converter, and the Hegel Mohican CD player.
First up was Mr. Kazuo Kiuchi's the “Blues Masters” on XRCD. Aaaaaaand ? Well, pardon my French, but my jaw dropped to the floor within seconds. Here was the EL34 tube - typically associated with a warm, fuzzy, not so fast, mellow sound - and it sounded totally different than a stereotype one. It sounded vivid, energetic, with a tight, punctual bass, with great sounding electric guitars and with clean, though saturated and emotional vocals.
Ok, I thought, so it sounds great, but what happens if I use that small toggle switch and change the operation mode from tetrode to pentode, during playback? So there I go, flip the switch and the first impression hit me even before I managed to toddle back to my chair. The music slowed down slightly, rounded up a bit, and instead of hard power slam, it now became intensely relaxing. This, I thought, could be another way to listen to the blues. Not a worse way ... just different ... one that may be even better when a man is whacked out after a hard day, and simply wants to relax with music, and he just happens to choose the blues in order to do just that. I flipped the switch back, and there I was again enjoying the stimulating, encouraging fun, tapping rhythm, rocking my head and so on. Another flick … and I reached for a glass of wonderful red wine, I fell deeper in my chair, closed my eyes, and flew off into the world of beautiful music.
Next, I played an album by Michael Wroblewski's acoustic jazz trio. I quit, for the time being, the experimenting with power tube operation mode and just listened to how the Silver Luna plays back such well-recorded acoustic music. Let’s start with soundstage and imaging. We have barely a trio here, recorded at a studio, so there is no question of “acres of space.” And that’s good, because that would be an artificial misfit. But what you do get are realistic distances between the piano, the bass and drums. The bass is usually on the right side, to the left – the piano, and as for the drums, … well, they are just soooo wide … but this is more of a sound engineer’s choice, and not something imposed by the amplifier itself. Other instruments were adequate in size, in weight and with steadily fixed location on the stage.
The record beautifully captures all the decays, lots of tiny details such as fingers moving over the strings, which the Silver Luna Prestige busily showed in great detail. No shortening of the reverbs, no rounding up of the upper or lower band’s extremes, just a naturally soft, acoustic presentation without anything added by the tubes. It was impressive just how the system created the illusion of communing with really large instruments that are standing only 2-3 meters away from me. Even the drums, despite the huge size (the drummer would indeed need to have very long hands to reach from right to the left!) came out very well. The striking of the drums was quick, vigorous, springy, and even the metal cymbals, nicely differentiated, sounded powerful and vibrant.
This very good differentiation indeed applies to the whole frequency band – it made the sound so colorful, so engagingly interesting, and allowed it to avoid that certain monotony often associated with inexpensive amplifiers. The sound was also beautifully open, you could “see” the air that fills the spaces around the instruments, air that vibrated and carried the sound to my ears. The sonic texture of each instrument I perceived as absolutely natural, the whole representation was smooth and coherent, but again, I’m talking here about the natural characteristics of acoustic music, and not about the “tube” effect that tube amplifiers typically imprint upon the signal, that “sugarcoats” the sound making it artificially more enjoyable.
If, indeed, one were very, very insistent, a hint of a subtle emphasis, imprinted by the Silver Luna itself, could be found in areas around the lower midrange and the upper bass. But frankly, I believe that this is an intentional design feature, targeted at the creation of close, even intimate moments of contact with the music and the musicians. I definitely don’t mind this type of a deviation from absolute neutrality.
The whole description above refers to a setup with the ECC83 (12AX7) as driver ... But now it was the time to finally check that second option.
"Enter the 6N2P tube"
OK. so we swapped the driver tubes, and are now playing in tetrode mode. It just so happened, that after the tube swap, came a disc with the music from the wonderful Treme series – in a word, the essence of New Orleans in all genres, flavors and varieties.
Music with 6n2p sounded softer, more ethereal. And in the case of this particular music, this version was even better, simply fantastic. From jazz, through blues, and up to jazzy hip-hop, regardless of the genre of music, there always was a lot of brass instruments and a lot of metal percussion ones. And all of them benefitted from such a little bit lighter, livelier, sometimes even a sparking, playback. The whole presentation also stepped back a little bit, so instead of hanging out right in front of me, it politely withdrew and was inline with the speakers.
The music now sort of slightly gained on its pace, even more of that incredible New Orleans exuberance came forward now. Even with the 12AX7, it was already difficult to remain quietly seated in the armchair, but now the desire to engage in the music, in the fun that played out before my eyes was even greater, not to say outright irresistible.
A re-run of the discs as listened to whilst using ECC83 tubes confirmed these observations. On those discs, where a lot was happening in the upper part of the band, where the trumpets stood out, or the trombones, or even the violin, I preferred the more ethereal, “lighter” version of the 6n2p presentation. But in the case of vocals, piano and double bass, the ECC83 sounded a little more fully fleshed ... the music was richer. As for the double bass, there was slightly more "wood" in the sound with ECC83, while the 6n2p accented the strings.
But even within the realm of the same single instrument, I did not always have a fixed preference for one tube over the other. When the musician played the bass using mostly quick plucks of the strings, the 6n2p was more convincing, but when on the other hand he put on more of the reverbs, or used the bow, the ECC83 was my choice of preference. With rock music, or in the case of large scale soundtracks or classical music, I preferred the version with the ECC83, essentially in every case.
Whilst assessing a product, one can not disregard its price. And that’s why I shall simply say that I’m very impressed with the Silver Luna.
It is, in my opinion, a fantastic amplifier. Sure, there are better ones out there, but not at this price level !
And its not just about the tube competition. All you need to do is to choose a set of not-too-difficult-to-drive loudspeakers, and this small amplifier will wipe out many solid-state competitors, even if you like to rock.
And yet, here you still have the additional ability to match the sound presentation to your taste, mood, or material being reproduced. What’s more, you can always play the swapping / rolling game, and the replacement of these tubes will not turn out to be so terribly expensive, as in the case of some triode based amplifiers. Neither the EL34, the ECC83 nor the 6N2P, even NOS versions, are amongst the most expensive tubes, and their availability is also quite good.
Finally, you put on your shelf a device that is not too large, looks graceful, and is very nicely made and finished.
The list of pros is indeed a long one, but at the top is the most important factor - the juicy, colorful, listener-engaging playback ... a playback which held captive for long hours the here undersigned fan of various “swanky” SET amps ... with gigantic price tags. If that does not convince you to listen to this integrated amplifier, then I do not know what else can. A big applause for the Lachowski guys for this great product.
Our comment at Atelier 13 Audio
Constantin Gregg-Saad | February 2023
"The Fezz Sound"
Considering all of the above, we recalled the observations made by the reviewer of the Fezz Torus 5060, their remarkable $2,250 solid state integrated amplifier. In that review the conclusion was that there was such a thing as a "Fezz Sound" -- regardless of wether tube or solid state -- a sound that is modern, refined, dynamic and extremely musical with all genres. If you take the Fezz Mira Ceti, Silver Luna and Alfa Lupi amps for a real spin, you will definitely hear what the reviewer was talking about.
"The Fezz Value Proposition"
What is crazy here, is that these things are beautifully built, but are priced to kill ... and they are made in the EU ... not in China ! ... ???
Thinking the issue through as to why such a price is at all possible to achieve - at least to a certain extent - could be explained by who the people are that are behind the brand ... or rather, who the company is :
It is in fact a well known company, both in Poland and in multiple countries around the world, called Toroidy, a company run by the Lachowski family, by the father Lech and two of his sons, Matthias (Maciej) and Thomas (Tomek).
As the name suggests, they are producers of toroidal transformers. It is their power transformers and, for quite some time now, their output speaker transformers (also toroidal!) which are most widely known and respected among both DIY enthusiasts as well as well renowned audio companies.
These may be found inside products of companies such as Baltlab, Lampizator, Ancient Audio, Amare Musica, or even Mytek ... so basically in both, very reasonably priced units, as well as in the high-end ones.
The company also manufactures enclosures for audio equipment, and in addition thereto, it has its own paint shop. So we think that the emergence of amplifiers that use their company's components ... transformers and enclosures ... components which proved their class when used in products of other brands ... was only a matter of time.
For those of us who have the slightest bit of experience with vacuum tube components, it is needless to explain how important a role the output transformer plays in obtaining a high quality of sound.
It is for very good reasons that many top global manufacturers wind all their transformers "in-house" ... or, at the least, have them made by dedicated professionals, whilst paying the significant price associated therewith, and suffering from really big subassembly costs.
But Fezz Audio does not need to outsource the production of their transformers to anyone, and the idea of building their own amplifiers arose at a time when the product portfolio was extended by a series of very rarely produced speaker output transformers, ones based on toroidal cores. The production of these special cores is extremely difficult, so in spite of the advantages that they offer over traditional transformers, such as a much broader bandwidth, they are generally very rarely used.
The Lachowskis decided to take up the challenge and prove that a Polish company can actually make these to very high standard. So, they fiercely jumped into the matter and invented a method of how to properly produce such output transformers, for each and every vacuum tube type.
From there, it was only but one small step to "practical application". The more so that they did not need to purchase chassis from other companies, and in addition, because they had their own state of the art paint-shop, they could afford to offer very attractive, and numerous, color schemes.
... all this without incurring higher production costs.
Q.E.D. applies here ... from the latin term "quod erat demonstrandum" = "Which was to be demonstrated" ... or, the proof is in the Fezz Pudding :=))
So, we now have the simple and clear answer to the question as to how is it possible for Fezz Audio to offer such attractive prices given that their production is located in the EU. Essentially, and in a nutshell :
On the essential subassemblies of the amplifier - or at least on some of them - external companies do not make a profit. Coupled with this cost efficiency, Fezz then resists the temptation to add high mark-ups to their cost base ... a temptation not resisted by too many in the High End.
There is another saying from a US movie starring Kevin Costner :
" Build it..and they will come"
Its early days ... more reviews to come for sure !
In the meantime ... take a listen !
Fezz Audio Silver Luna
In very good company with
Audio Solutions Rhapsody 130 speaker
Ave Maria/ Isao Suzuki
Video courtesy of Nikos @ Chameleon Audio / Greece
Fezz Audio Silver Luna
In very good company with
Audio Hungary Qualiton Q40 speaker
Good Morning Heartache
Good Morning Heartache/ Karrin Allyson
Video courtesy of Nikos @ Chameleon Audio / Greece