2018 is over! And what a year it was for Allnic and Hammertone Audio, with fantastic new products, awards, explorations and discoveries… where to start?!
Probably the biggest news for us, and for followers of Allnic and Kang Su Park, was the launch of Allnic’s ZL (Zero Loss) Technology line of audio cables. By now we are used to KS Park’s genius producing some of the most amazing and best cost to performance ratio audio gear on the planet, but then he comes up with yet another tour-de-force idea, or suite of ideas, and actually brings them to fruition.
The cable market is saturated, the choices many and confusing, a veritable maze of products and rationales for approaches to design, with the science and engineering often difficult to understand,especially considering that we are dealing with wire in a context where lamp cord used to be the standard! Well, if you’re like me, you may have tried a lot of cable products, been satisfied with some and really perturbed by others, and probably read a lot of manufacturers’ explanations of the electrical engineering, materials science, and even quantum physics, etc., etc., etc. that has gone into their product development – and most of that not from developers that are also designers and manufacturers of high-end electronics. So, I was very surprised, and delighted, when KS told me about the cable line he had ready to bring to market, a line he had spent the last few years working on, very quietly, diligently, and thoughtfully, using his expertise on how audio electronics work, transformer design (all wire and magnetics), and materials, in addition to, and perhaps most critically, his own refined music listening skills, and those of some of his closest associates and colleagues. How he kept the project secret for so long I will never know!
The result? Well, I won’t repeat what what you can read elsewhere on this website about the design and manufacturing techniques used for ZL Technology, some of which are world’s first (1000 degree Centigrade welding of terminations to wires, Mu metal shielding on the interconnects, for e.g.). What I can say is that when I put the first ZL-3000 power cords on my Allnic A-5000 DHT mono blocks, I was gobsmacked, and within a minute up on my feet dancing around and acting like a general idiot! What a day and night difference from the amazing sound I already thought I had! Suddenly, an astounding and COMPLETELY UNSUBTLE improvement in bass weight and drive, dynamics, image clarity and palpability, and amazingly, reduction of noise. Still, I knew I had to “curb my enthusiasm” and get some other folks whose ears I trusted to confirm what I was hearing. So, I had KS send me some more cables and forwarded them to a number of Allnic customers to try and to provide feedback – people I could trust to give me an honest assessment. Without exception, what I got back was complete, sometimes wild, positive response, not only with the cables attached to Allnic gear, but to other tube gear, and solid state, and even AV receivers – all the same results in circumstances where the responders’ cables were at the same price point and even well above. So, okaaaaaay, KS has done it again! The PCs are truly fabulous… what next?
Of course, first complete the cable loom, then move up the line, where possible, from the ZL-3000 to the ZL-5000 products, which is the power cords and speaker cables only, all the interconnects being of a single series, the MU. In short, and following the same process as above, verified by other long-time audiophiles and experienced listeners, the move to the ZL-5000 cables, and every addition to the loom yielded another jump in all the qualities the ZL-3000 power cables had introduced to the system… and a major boost to the sheer enjoyment of listening to music, as an exclusive concentrated hours long activity and with it as background to reading and working. And sometimes shock… the sound of a human voice so realistically there that it literally made me jump, or sounds, other voices, instruments, filigrees to playing that I had not heard before on familiar recordings. So, what now?
Further verification, of course, meaning the always somewhat daunting entry into the professional audio review process… Well, with the ZL Technology cables, the results so far have been uniformly enthusiastic – in fact, netting two significant awards in that media world, with one from a source that rarely, perhaps never, has given an award to a cable product. Both 6moons and HiFi+ considered the Allnic ZL cables so good they deserved special honour. You can read all about it here: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews2/allnic/1.html and here: http://www.hifiplus.com/articles/?categories__in=30
Thank you, KS Park and Allnic Audio, for a major development and another opportunity for us audiophiles everywhere!
Thank you to all our customers, and to everyone who expressed their interest in our products this year past – and Happy New Year to all, and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2019! Looking forward to hearing from and chatting with you about the ZL Technology cables, and anything else audio related, by whatever method you prefer – phone calls are always welcome – nothing like the human voice!
Dave Beetles (with the help of friend Gerry Simon)