Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Have You Seen?


Many believe that there exists a sort of knowledge that cannot be found in the observable universe, and that the quest for Truth (with a capital “T”) necessarily involves the pursuit of such knowledge. Studies of spirituality, magic and the dark arts, and religious esoterica exemplify this search, but for the humble electronic engineer, a deep understanding of electromagnetics is just as profound. Polish manufacturer Fezz Audio is here in Munich displaying its mastery of the subject with two new analog hi-fi products, each of which relies on seriously audiophile-grade transformers.

Fezz Audio

The first product Fezz unveiled at High End 2024 was its Argentum X10 moving-coil step-up transformer. This SUT is the result of a four-year period of development, but Fezz believes the time spent on R&D was worth it. The toroidal transformer is wound with 99.9% pure silver wire on a high-permeability nanocrystalline core, and the magnetic and electric shields are made of Mu-metal (a soft nickel-iron alloy) and oxygen-free copper ribbon, respectively. These are some seriously high-grade materials, but according to Fezz, it’s the Argentum X10’s design that is responsible for its sound quality.

The SUT is wound such that, properly set up, it will yield a gain of 10 times. The claimed THD is less than 0.01%, and Fezz says its bandwidth extends from 8Hz to 110kHz. The Argentum X10 is designed for MC cartridges with an output impedance of 10 to 50 ohms; an X20 version will be made available for use with cartridges having a characteristic impedance of 1.5 to 9 ohms. Both Argentum step-up transformers are set to retail at €2500, VAT included.

Fezz Audio

On the bigger end of the scale is the new Olympia mono amplifier. The Olympia features an unusual-for-tube-amps differential driver stage, while a quad of KT88s form the output stage. In a first for Fezz, the output stage has a fixed-bias configuration, with a microchip continually measuring and adjusting the bias to remain constant no matter the tubes’ age or state of wear. Coupled with one of Fezz’s toroidal output transformers, the big bottles produce 150W with a THD spec of less than 0.5%.

Interestingly, the Olympia has both RCA and XLR inputs, another unusual feature on a tube amplifier. Fezz has incorporated in the Olympia a small-signal transformer to make it possible to accept a balanced input. The company says the input transformer is wound on a high-permeability nanocrystalline core, much like the one used in the Argentum X10 and X20 step-up transformers. The Olympia monoblock hasn’t been given a price yet, since it is still so new.


In Fezz’s listening room, which it shared with Polish speaker manufacturer Pylon, I heard a pair of the Olympias playing through the Pylon Jade 30 speakers. The Jade 30 is also new, and the plan is to sell it for somewhere between €4000 to €5000 per pair in Europe, VAT included. The system also had Fezz’s Sagita Prestige line-level tube preamplifier, which goes for €2990, and the Equinox DAC, which sells for €2500, both including VAT. The room also featured an MT1 Evo turntable from Warsaw-based Muarah Audio (price varies depending on which tonearm is fitted), which is often paired with Fezz and Pylon gear.

Matter of fact, I wrote about this combo when I first became acquainted with it at Audio Video Show 2023 in Warsaw. Here at Munich, it was fitted with Muarah’s new MY-1/12 tonearm, which is priced at zł8450 (roughly $2115 in the US, but no price in euros yet). An Audio-Technica AT-OC9XSL moving-coil cartridge ($749 in the US) hung off the end.


Juicy, enveloping tube sound emitted from these vintage-style monkey-coffin speakers, and I noted that the singer’s emotion was conveyed particularly well. Fezz and Pylon had an uptempo blues recording playing, and the male vocals had a palpability that one often doesn’t hear from the very best systems in any context, much less plopped right in the middle of a crowded hi-fi fair. As I’ve come to expect from Fezz, I was thoroughly impressed. Though the Jade 30 is still too new for us to get our hands on a pair, we’ll definitely have to see about getting a pair of Olympia monos in for review. Or an Argentum X10. Or both . . .

Matt Bonaccio
Contributor, SoundStage!