All-in-one amp that encompasses three key functions: a pure tube Headphone Amplifier, Preamp and a DAC. Also acts like a headphone stand. Allows you to choose between low/high impedance and customize it to your headphones. Elegant design, with a wooden housing, takes little space on the rack.
All-in-one amp can be used in many ways. Since it is multi-functional it can work like a headphone amplifier, pre-amplifier, and/or DAC. Euterpe can work with its own integrated DAC, or you can connect it with another DAC. Also, its pre-out function can be used in case you want to connect it to a smaller system at your home.
The possibility to be used like a headphone stand makes Euterpe strangely utilitarian for such a high-end piece of hardware. Your headphones fit right on top, with a shallow saddle cut into the wood, to keep the cans in place. It can take a full-size headphone.
DAC inside can play modern sources. OTG input capability has some baseline specifics, including a decoding capability of up to DSD128, PCM max 32bit/384kHz. An XMOS USB DAC and ESS Sabre chipset represent the brain of Euterpe. The DAC quality is impressive with beautiful details captured.
Euterpe is a single-ended headphone amplifier with unbalanced circuit design, so there are no balanced inputs or outputs. The lineup of tubes is classic Auris, with the use of two 7-pin Ei PL95 tubes, which are the equivalent to 6DL5, and a single ECC81 input tube, also known like 12AT7 (running in Ultra-Linear mode). The output power is just a shade lower at 0.9W into a 32Ω load. The magic of Euterpe is really when it is connected to a high-end DAC which tells you a lot about how good that amp can be inside that beautifully crafted wooden enclosure.
To make your headphones shine in the best possible way, we make sure Euterpe has impedance swich marked with L/H (low/high) The inference here is a wider range and simpler switching design at 32-80 Ohm and anything greater than 150 Ohm. With the majority of planar headphones, they tend to rate less than 80 Ohm and are more impedance agnostic than dynamic headphones. You need to have that switch set to low or L.
Euterpe power supply is an external regulated linear power supply, with a switchable 115/230 VAC capable output, and will keep noise to the minimum. It uses a fairly stiff but sturdy 4-pin connector 1m cable, so you can place the two units pretty far apart.
The Euterpe comes with the technology one would expect from an Auris Audio amplifier:
- It is composed of an xmos chip that handles USP input duties, a Sabre ES9018 chip handles the conversion duties, a 12AT7 tube handles pre-amp functions, with a Mundorf capacitor in line between the preamp and power tubes.
- The supplied power tubes are NOS (new old stock), branded Ei and stamped Yugoslavia: a single ECC81, dual-triode tube serves as the Euterpe’s input stage, while a separate PL95 pentode power tube is provided for each channel; these feed the output transformers. A selector set allows you to use the PL95s, as EL95s with a lower voltage.
- The power supply has a captive five-pin cable that connects to the amp, and a 15-amp IEC connector for a standard grounded AC power cord.
Euterpe allows you to use digital sources such as PC or mobile device. For such an exotic piece of gear, the Euterpe is a piece of cake to use. There’s a master power switch on the power supply, but the main switch is built into the volume control. Just turn it fully counterclockwise to turn the power off. It’s as plug and play as a tube headphone amp gets.
The Euterpe offers a bespoke exterior with the DAC and amp innards sandwiched between two pieces of solid wood. All of this sits on a beveled metal base. On any desk, the Euterpe looks classy, dignified, and inviting. It’s the kind of equipment you just can’t wait to fiddle around with. The tubes are aligned centrally at the top of the matte black aluminum housing with good separation between the top and sides of the wooden enclosure. They seem well protected from bumps, knocks and accidental finger touching.
The Euterpe takes up little space on the rack. The overall dimensions of the Euterpe are 270mm (tall) x 210mm (wide) x 230mm (deep). Considering it doubles as a headphone stand you will need 5-10 cm more space to accommodate the additional height from a headphone headband.
According to the Greek Mythology, Euterpe was one of the nine Muses, the Goddess of music and a "giver of delight" and that's exactly what Auris Audio Euterpe will bring to the audiophile community – more happiness.
|Tubes||2 x PL95, 1 x ECC81|
|Amplifier Configuration||Single Ended|
|Power output||0,9 W|
|Conversion rate||USB: DSD64, DSD128, PCM max 32bit/384kHz|
|Output Impedance||Low 32-80 Ohm / High > 150 Ohm|
|Power supply||115 / 230 VAC|
1 x USB, 1 x RCA
|Outputs||6.3 mm Stereo / RCA Pre out|
|Dimensions (WxHxL) mm||270 x 210 x 230|
|Weight (kg)||4.1/NET (without PSU)|
|Weight (kg) PSU||1.1/NET|
|Dimensions PSU (WxHxL) mm||95 x 185 x 55|
Customer ReviewsWrite a review
I've had my Euterpe for a month. I use it primarily with a Meze Empyrean headphone and Chord Qutest DAC. For anyone who has a Meze Empyrean, this amp is highly recommended, as they are a great-sounding match, if you replace the supplied ECC81 tube with a JJ Electronic gold pin ECC82, which provides a more neutral and extended frequency response. With the stock tubes, the highs were a bit rolled-off, and in that case, the amp sounded best with my Focal Radiance. I also tried replacing the supplied Ei PL95 tubes, with a pair of G.E. EL95, and a pair of Mullard PL95. However, none of these replacement tubes sounded as good as the original PL95 tubes supplied with the amp.
This product is described as a headphone amplifier, DAC, and Pre-amp. However, for me it fails at the latter two functions. The DAC is poor quality. Anyone who already has a DAC is probably going to get better sound using the DAC they have. I tried 3 different DACs that I have, and the Euterpe sounded better with any one of them, compared to the internal DAC. Ultimately I just disconnected the USB cable.
The quality of sound from the pre out is so poor that I will not use it. I connected my KEF LS50 powered speakers to the Euterpe pre outs. With the Euterpe’s impedance switch on L, there was a constant high-pitched hum from the speakers. Switching impedance to H eliminated the hum, but the quality of sound was too poor to use. I have used many headphone amps, but never before heard such bad sound from their pre outs.
Operating the impedance switch sometimes creates a static sound or momentary dropouts in the left channel.
One other minor issue: As shipped to me, the EL95/PL95 switch was in the wrong position. Fortunately I noticed and corrected this before powering on the unit.
In summary, I had significant complaints about the internal DAC and pre-amp outputs, but I love the great sound I get with my favorite headphone, the Empyrean, and I enjoy using the Euterpe every day.