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Don’t gamble – the dice are loaded in your favour!

The introduction of the replacement for Allnic’s 1202 phono-stage, the new H-5500, got me thinking about what cartridge would be an ideal match.

I’ve been listening to Allnic’s Rose MC cartridge on both my main system, through the H-8000 flagship phono-stage, and on a second one through the H-1202 – and loving it in both set-ups.

It sounds spectacularly good through both these phono-stages, on completely different tables and arms.

And I’m not alone in my impressions. Rose has been selling exceptionally well globally, and the accolades from reviewers and owners have been universally enthusiastic.

So, the answer to my pondering was perfectly clear. Rose. Of course. There’s no doubt that Allnic’s Rose and the new H-5500 will be a match made in heaven. Dollar for dollar, I don’t think I’ve come across a better value cartridge in all my decades of analog experience.

I know I can’t say it better than Audiophilia’s Karl Sigman, in his August 2020 Rose review. Here’s a sample of his observations and conclusions, which are representative of all the feedback on Rose, and with which I personally could not agree more. Starting with the “vase”, his analog system:

My analog system for vinyl involves as reference: a VPI HW-40 Direct Drive Turntable with a built-in 12” Fatboy Gimbal tonearm, a Pass Labs XP-17 Phono Preamplifier, and a PS Audio BHK Preamplifier. My reference phono cartridge is a Grado Labs Aeon Phono Cartridge($6000); the younger sibling of Grado’s highest level $12,000 Epoch, from which the Aeon borrowed much of its technology just as the Rose borrows from its highest level, the Amber. My current version of the Aeon is Aeon 3.

For the analog RCA cable between turntable and phono stage I used from among the top of the line of Audio Art, Waveform Fidelity and Anticables.

Now, to the blossom:

…it was different sounding than my reference cart as to be expected: changing phono cartridges is like changing speakers when it comes to their effect on sound; different, but not necessarily better or worse. I needed to give myself some time to become familiar with the Rose. And, of course, some burn-in is non-controversially important for such mechanical devices as a cartridge (or speakers for that matter); the Rose was brand new when I received it.

As a comparison to my reference in sound quality, the Grado Labs Aeon, I would summarize as: The Aeon exhibits more richness and fullness overall, and subtly reveals more natural textures in the timbre of instruments and is more even in its presentation of all frequencies from low to high. But then to be fair,  the Aeon is $6000 versus $2900 for the Rose, and they really are very different in construction: The Aeon is a moving Iron, with a wood (exotic Cocobolo) housing, while the Rose is a MC with a Duralumin 5052 housing, and their cantilever/styli are also very different, among other things.

 In brief:

 If a rose symbolizes love and romance, beauty and pleasure as embodied in the Olympian goddess Aphrodite, then they chose a most appropriate name. It is a beautiful looking cartridge, easy to install, and its presentation of bass together with the large soundstage it casts, regardless of genre of the music, are remarkable for a price of $2900. Highly recommended.

For the full review:

(Stylus guard now standard) 

The Rose features Allnic’s cutting-head emulating construction, and:

  • A new rubber damper developed by Allnic
  • New CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum) dual coils
  • Fritz Gyger S stylus
  • Solid Aluminum cantilever
  • Zinc mounting plate
  • Weight of 11 grams

Experience indicates that the Rose will continually improve over a minimum of forty (40) hours of playing time, reaching a level of performance well beyond its initial one and, we believe, well beyond that of most MC phono cartridges. A bit more detail:

  • Magnet: Neodymium 50. No yoke in moving coil, but in magnet assembly: pure iron.
  • Tracking ability 78um at 300Hz, about 9um/mN compliance.
  • Tests great on +15dB 300Hz on HiFi News test LP.

Medium and high mass tone arms recommended; low mass not advised.

Regardless of whether or not you’re looking at the new Allnic H-5500 or have another Allnic phono-stage, if you’re looking for a new cartridge, one that will provide astounding analog performance at an exceptionally competitive price, you simply can’t lose betting on Allnic’s Rose MC cartridge. Feel free to get in touch any time!


Hammertone Audio We do trades!

Kelowna, BC

Website link: Hammertone Audio

Email or call Dave Beetles:


Tel:+1 250.826.6872

Corby’s Audio

Freelton, Ontario

Website link: Corby’s Audio

Email or call Don Corby:


Tel: +1 905.689.1976

Toll free: 1.877.689.1976


Kevalin Audio

Portland, Oregon

Website link: Kevalin Audio

Email or call John Ketcham:


Tel: +1 503–292–5592

To arrange for purchase and free shipping of any Allnic product to parts of the world where there is no Allnic representation, please contact Hammertone Audio.

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