Heretic and Lab12 | AXPONA 2023


This is the second time I’ve heard this Fidelis Distribution system, with Heretic Audio loudspeakers and Lab12 amplification, at a high-end audio show. I wasn’t so sure about these high-efficiency speakers with the coax design at first, even though I love the look–I may have judged them prematurely based on the historical recordings that were played at the time. Since then, I’ve heard the Heretic speakers at Dr. Vinyl’s showroom just a few weeks ago, and they thrilled me when hooked up to a 1wpc pair of Ampsandsound monoblocks.

Words by Marc Phillips, Photos by Scot Hull

You don’t have to ask how I feel about Lab12, however–I’ve gone on record many times about loving this tube amplification from Greece. Put the two brands together, and you get a unique sound that combines the brilliant tonality of Lab12 with an almost vintage but still decidedly entertaining sound from the Heretic AD614, which starts at $7,290/pr.


There were additional Fidelis brands and partners in the mix, such as the ArgentPur cables that have been on my radar ever since four different people asked me to take a listen. (I now have a pair of ArgentPur speaker cables and interconnects burning in as we speak.) The turntable was a beautiful rig from Pure Fidelity, and the digital transport was from CEC, also one of my faves. Digital was also supplied courtesy of Aurender.


While most of my time was focused on the Heretic AD614s and how they were navigating through the music, I did notice something about the newer products from Lab12. Last year, at Munich, I spoke to Lab12’s Stratos Vichos about reviewing the DAC1. I asked what I should review next, and he said, “the separates.” At first I thought he meant the flagship monoblocks and preamplifier, but he probably meant the Pre1 (at just $2,290) and the Mighty power amp at the same price. The lone compromise is the fact that the Mighty has only 10wpc, otherwise I heard the same magic that I heard while reviewing the Lab12 Integre4.

These are crazy low prices for gear that has to be shipped halfway around the world, and gear that sounds this excellent. With Lab12 and Heretic, along with Harbeth, I believe Fidelis is sporting their finest line-up ever.


pure fidelity


If you would like to hear even more coverage from AXPONA 2023, check out our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Android, Google, Deezer, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more.

Also don’t forget to check out our collaboration to commemorate the event with our solid bronze record weight available only for a limited run. This 800 grams of solid bronze features the PTA roundel on the top with also acts as a 45 adapter. You can purchase direct from the PTA Approved Store here on the site.


  1. So I always wonder, for those who want super high efficiency, why do we never see the classic Klipsch recommended? The Klipshorn has been in continuous production for longer than most people have been alive, their efficiency is higher than most competitors, and the design is certainly straightforward. Does the fact that they also make mass market products somehow make them unworthy of consideration? Similar comment for JBL.

    • We just reviewed JBL and gave them a solid recommendation. We’ve said plenty of positive things about Klipsch Heritage as well–I always enjoy hearing them at audio shows.

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