Changes, changes! Time is always moving on, and now - so is Hammertone Audio. After…
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Summer is the time to enjoy life outdoors, but there always remain certain indoor attractions for us audiophiles – like listening to our favourite music being a major league one, of course. And while “the boys of summer” are struggling through their C-19 delayed and restricted season, Allnic has been hitting unlimited home runs with new products for months! It’s the perfect time to explore Allnic’s Universe of incredible audio gear,
We launched the Allnic Amber and Rose cartridges in late spring and they have been winners all the way. We’ve been getting truly rave reviews from clients… for example, this one from a thrilled customer in New Zealand regarding the Amber:
I was sitting here tonight utterly spellbound by the Shelby Lynn album “Just a Little Lovin’ ” which I have had for years and played on all those cartridges (Benz Micro LPs, Kiseki Purpleheart, Kondo IOM) but they cannot come close to what this cartridge does. It was like listening to it anew…. It is magnificent! The cartridge revealed the emotion in the music unlike anything I have heard before.
It is weird because it doesn’t grab you by the throat and say “Look how good I am!” It is so beautifully gentle… you are playing your music and slowly you suddenly realize you can hear absolutely everything in the track or the album and it is an album you have played 100 times before but you have never heard it like this. The tiniest murmur or subtle brush stroke is just floating out from the speakers.
I don’t write reviews and I am not always certain about different gear but this cartridge along with the Allnic H1500 has burrowed into my heart and they ain’t going nowhere!
Or more briefly:
“You are my angel, sent from heaven above…” (Thank you, Horace Andy)
Now, as of July 24th, we have the first official review of the Amber, netting another Audiophilia Star Component Award for Allnic! Audiophilia’s Anthony Kershaw writes:
…It throws an immense soundstage but always in keeping with the original event. Big orchestral recordings give you the best concert hall seat, and jazz, a Goodfellas, supper club table. Led Zeppelin? Amber gave me a rocking picture of what the boys were trying to recreate on their debut album. Big, electrifying sound!
But, the three main takeaways from those initial sessions were immediacy, coherence and timbral accuracy. Like many well designed cartridges, the bass is rocking—you’ll never be wanting more—but the musical midrange and sweet, transparent highs are equally enthralling…
As for those sweet, transparent highs, nothing sounded better than the Amber’s portrayal of Rossini’s String Sonatas (ASMF on a magnificent 1969 Argo) played through the 30W triode mode of an integrated amplifier in for review. Absolutely stunning. The combination with the Allnic H-7000 had me shaking my head at its beauty. Vinyl representation far above the $4500 price point.
The Amber is superb with voices, too. I’m not a Led Zep aficionado, but Robert Plant’s expressive falsetto and head tones (usually unsupported by the diaphragm—achieved with pure, brute strength) sounded entirely accurate to me. Instruments or voice, you’ll be getting the whole picture.
If you already have a cartridge of quality and are big into vinyl, an Amber audition is a must for 2020/21. I think you may be quite shocked at what a great design can offer at this price point. As you audition your favourite records, you’ll be captivated by the most subtle detail retrieval.
You can read the entire review here:
Amber’s sibling, Rose, is selling extremely well. In fact, depending on your arm, associated equipment and the music you listen to, the Rose may turn out to be the loveliest object in your sonic solar system.
And, please, be sure you don’t miss the fascinating three part interview with Allnic’s brilliant KS Park on the subject of cartridge design and the new Allnic Amber. Customer feedback is that they’ve learned more about cartridge design from these videos than they learned throughout years of reading!
For even more video fun, an explanation and demo of the fabulous L-8500 OTL/OCL preamp and the M-2500 monoblocks – I have to say, the transparency and dynamics are awesome even in this video!
Finally, for new stars in the Allnic galaxy, as of mid-August, check out the newly introduced and absolutely stunning ZL-8000S speaker cables! These beautiful, flexible cables, using both silver and Oxygen-Free Copper conductors, will bring the details, the space around, and the rhythm and pulse of the remotest musical bodies into clear focus.
In the meantime, other folks are enjoying the Allnic ZL-5000 power cords – and the LAST of the hot-rodded L-1500 preamps:
I don’t think I can overstate the improvement with these power cords. My preamp sounds like it works again! Color and dimensionality have returned. I can’t go back to my desk. Bass, impact, staging. Obviously very ripe for this upgrade as everything else needs to be hitting on all cylinders for it to depend on one element like this.
Honestly, I was on the fence about these amps, but I had already sold the others so this was the only choice I had ready. With these cords it is now quite obvious what these amps can do, and it’s a lot more than I thought. Keep this in mind when sending for audition etc. I didn’t think my original cords were this bad, but the evidence is clear.
Now a preamp is coming. I wonder if Target is sold out of diapers ?
I’ll ponder further cables, but I think staying at the 5000 level makes sense for now. Will the pre work properly without a ZL cord?
Greg, in the USA
The L-1500 “Hot Rod” is the bomb! Its performance level is way above the stock L-1500. I did some tube rolling with the E810Fs and found there were only small differences between them. This is a good thing because I could live with the presentation of any of them if I had to. For me, always my first question is, how does it do bass? This hot rod version delivers substantial energy in bass. Not just in amplitude but also in quality. The plucking of bass strings, or the foot pedal on a bass drum is visceral and has the harmonics and overtones are left intact.
Detail retrieval and transparency are superb! I have a collection of recordings on the Harmonia Mundi label, with the Rene Clemencic Consort. They use a multitude of instruments both modern and ancient, various drums, bells, flutes etc. My old L-1500 did a very good job of presenting these recordings, but the hot rod version goes much further. The delicate instruments that sometimes get swallowed up when the consort is going full swing are clearly heard. They don’t get lost in the mix. You can hear the recording venue much more clearly. The other quality I especially like is the dynamics and speed of response. Music seems to be propelled into my room. I like this feeling of effortlessness in presentation. But when the music calls for a soft and tranquil presentation the L-1500 behaves itself and respects the solemnity of the occasion.
I am so glad you suggested this route instead of trying to repair my old unit. I’ve had it since 2009 and it was getting a little long in the tooth. The beefier transformers have raised the L-1500 to a much higher level. Anyone who is fortunate to get one of these limited version L-1500’s is quite fortunate in my opinion.
I’m using the H-1500 II phono stage. The above description was with Lyra Delos on a Reed 2a arm. I have my Triplanar arm sitting idle right now, so it’s available if you’re up to allow me a test run with the new Allnic cartridges.
Once again, thanks for letting me get your personal unit in black.
Best wishes to you and KS,
Don, in Boston
Too bad they are now ALL GONE!!
Now, we’ll let you get back to the music!
Sponsored by these fine dealers, offering the complete Allnic product line:
Corby’s Audio (Canada)
Kevalin Audio (USA)
Soul to Sole Audio (New Zealand)
Hammertone Audio (Canada)
Enjoy your summer – stay safe and well – and happy listening from Allnic and Hammertone Audio!!!