TRANSFORMING ANALOG AUDIO
Allnic Audio’s Acclaimed Phono Preamps

 

Allnic Audio has become justifiably well-known for all its products, but analog has been a specialty from the beginning. There are specific principles behind the design of the Allnic phono-stages, and they all add up to customer satisfaction. That outcome can only be obtained by providing a base level of outstanding design and build quality across the product line, quality whose outcome is remarkable sound and that creates an unbeatable performance to price ratio.

Since the release of the long-discontinued but extremely successful H-1200 and through all the iterations of the phono-preamps, the production of fantastic sound quality has always been feature number one, and all the current Allnic phono-stages provide it, from the lowest cost but brilliant and award-winning H-5500, to the new H-6500 discussed here a few posts back, to the much-lauded H-7000/H-7000V, and finally the flagship H-8000 DHT. Reviewers and customers agree: no matter which Allnic phono-stage one uses, it is certain to transform the sound of one’s vinyl system, elevating it beyond expectations.

H-1200 Phono-stage, the “little giant”!

One fundamental reason for the outstanding sound quality of the Allnic phono-preamps has been the equalization method employed.

ALLNIC AND LCR TYPE RIAA EQUALIZATION:

RIAA equalization is a specification for the correct playback of vinyl records, established by the Recording Industry Association of America. The purpose of the equalization is to permit longer playback times and improve sound quality.

RIAA equalization is a form of establishing a flat frequency response for the playback of recorded music. The necessity for this equalization process arises from mechanical difficulties inherent in record production. To prevent the cutting needle from over-cutting into the next record groove in the bass, as a record is cut, some bass frequencies are attenuated. In the treble region, for high frequency sounds not to be masked by the noise inherent in moving a stylus over and through a modulated vinyl surface, some treble frequencies are boosted. With the application of the correct filtering techniques on playback, the result is a flat frequency response with better signal-to-noise ratios.

A little more explanation...
There are four de-emphasis methods that can be applied at playback:

⦁    Active filters (Negative feedback types):

Different quantities of negative feedback are applied, with deeper feedback to the high frequencies and shallower to the low frequencies. The benefits of this method are improved signal-to-noise ratios, low-cost and consistent operation. Some of the shortfalls are looser bass reproduction and possibly a pinched and compressed high frequency playback due to excess feedback ratios.

B.    Passive filters (CR type) - used in the H-5500:

The frequencies are filtered to fit the RIAA specification by varying the amount of attenuation at different frequencies through a complex capacitor-resistor network. This technique results in no voltage overload, purer reproduction (because there is no feedback), and more accurate RIAA compensation. However, there can be problems because the system provides no gain, and insertion loss and impedance matching issues arise. Nonetheless, this is a preferred, common method and, well-executed in a device like the H-5500 that shares other exceptionally high-quality features with its larger siblings, will provide sound quality that meets Allnic’s and users’ rigorous standards.

⦁    Hybrid filters (use of both CR and negative feedback types):

In this method, both types of filters applied separately; an active filter is applied to the low frequencies and a passive filter to the high frequencies. Unfortunately, both the advantages and disadvantages of each of these two types of filters, already discussed, affect the playback system at the same time.

⦁    LCR filters, used in the H-6500, H-7000 / H-7000V, and H-8000 DHT:

Two pieces of a linear reactor (a kind of choke coil) comprise the main part of these filters, assisted by precise CR filters, to lower impedances and insertion loss.

In vacuum tube circuits, active and passive filters usually are operated on one hundred plus kilo ohms of impedance. An LCR RIAA filter's impedance is a constant 600 ohms.

Furthermore, an LCR RIAA filter's series resistance is less than 13 ohms (as a comparative, some famous ones are 31 ohms). The lower the impedance, the more dynamic is the sound reproduction, with better bass response and speed.

But LCR RIAA units have drawbacks as well. These drawbacks are high cost and the difficulty of impedance matching; the latter has been the primary hindrance to the commercialization of this superb method in the construction of phono stage amplifiers. However, Allnic Audio’s high quality LCR RIAA unit and has developed a 600 ohms impedance matching method. The H-7000V and the H-8000 DHT even provide user-variable LCR filter units, so records made prior to RIAA standardization can be played with appropriate filtering.

 

H-7000V SUT and Multi-curve LCR EQ units

One of the company’s fundamental principles is that the Allnic phono-stages should share certain high-quality features, features that are key contributors to the audio magic each product provides – which is why the H-5500, despite its lower cost and CR EQ, is not a “lesser” product. These shared features include:

⦁        High quality, genuine NOS tubes
⦁  The same in-house manufactured moving-coil step-up transformers (also found in the AUT-2000 SUT, now available with silver wiring, which is optional in the H-7000/7000V and standard in the H-8000 DHT)
⦁       Vacuum tube power supply regulation
⦁      Substantial aluminum chassis that reduce vibration and provide excellent shielding
⦁       In-house manufactured Permalloy transformers
⦁       Analog meter tube monitoring

These common design features are the primary bases for the outstanding excellence and value of ALL Allnic phono-stages’ exceptional analog sound reproduction.

THE CURRENT ALLNIC LINE-UP:

The award-winning H-5500, single-box, CR, multi-input, MM/MC-Phono-stage

The H-5500 features:


⦁    High-quality, NOS E180CC twin triode tubes
⦁    CR type RIAA equalization, precisely compensated within +/- 0.3dB
⦁    Automatic, all tube voltage regulation circuit, ensuring exceptionally stable and quiet operation
⦁    Allnic’s standard high-quality Moving Coil Step-up Transformers with Permalloy cores
⦁    MC transformers with variable gain (+22dB, +26dB, +28dB and +32dB)
⦁    Dual MM and MC inputs
⦁    RCA output
⦁    No negative feedback
⦁    Pure Class A operation

The newly introduced H-6500, LCR MM/MC Phono-stage with separate power supply

The H-6500 features:


⦁    LCR RIAA equalization
⦁    Pure vacuum tube, high-voltage regulation for each channel
⦁    Power supply unit separate from the phono-stage itself - a “tube-roller’s delight for rectifier tube options
⦁    Allnic’s standard high quality MC Step‐up Transformers with Permalloy cores for the H‐6500’s MC inputs
⦁    Dual MM and MC inputs
⦁    RCA and XLR outputs
⦁    No negative feedback
⦁    Pure Class A operation

Reviews and awards – coming soon!

The multiple award-winning H-7000/7000V, LCR MM/MC Phono-stage with separate power supply

The H-7000/7000V offers:


⦁    LCR Equalization (variable in H-7000V)
⦁    All transformer coupled 
⦁    No negative feedback design with only two gain stages
⦁    For superior signal to noise ratios, the H-7000/7000V is equipped with pure vacuum tube, high speed, automatic voltage regulation for each channel
⦁    Power supply unit separate from the phono stage itself – another “tube-roller’s delight for rectifier tube options
⦁    High quality (silver-wired available as an option) MC Step-up Transformers with Permalloy cores
⦁    Dual MM and MC inputs
⦁    RCA and XLR outputs
⦁    Pure balanced operation
⦁    Pure Class A operation

The unique, specialist’s H-8000 Direct-Heated Triode (DHT) LCR MM/MC phono-stage with 300B-based massive, separate power supply

The analog specialist’s Allnic flagship H-8000 DHT design features:


⦁    All transformer coupled with the exception of the first gain stage, the HL2K tube.
⦁    No negative feedback design with three gain stages
⦁    A unique, massive power supply unit separate from the pure DHT phono-stage itself
⦁    High quality silver-wired MC Step-up Transformers with Permalloy cores
⦁    Dual MM and MC inputs
⦁    RCA and XLR outputs
⦁    New vacuum tube damping technology – Allnic Audio’s patented “Absorb GEL tube damper” technology prevents harmful vibrations from reaching the signal / gain tubes and, therefore, prevents micro-phonic noise propagation in the tubes
⦁    Pure Class A operation
⦁    Pure balanced operation


Reviews and awards – coming soon!


Two more governing principles for all the Allnic phono-stages are flexibility and simplicity of use. In terms of flexibility, Allnic recognizes that vinyl fans may run more than one turntable or more than one arm on a table. Consequently, the Allnic phono-stages all provide multiple MM and MC inputs. This allows not only for the use of multiple arms and cartridges but also of outboard SUTs, or of the Allnic active head-amp, the HA-5000, should one so desire. As previously noted, the H-7000V and the H-8000 DHT also include variable equalization settings to accommodate the accurate playback of records from before the RIAA standard became ubiquitous.

H-6500 phono-stage rear panel

And none of these options are difficult to manage, which brings us to the next key design principle, ease of use. Sometimes it seems that the reproduction of sound from vinyl records can be as complex as one wants, but Allnic believes flexibility should not be made more difficult than necessary. As a result, all the Allnic phono-stages are built to facilitate easy use of their flexible features:


⦁    inputs are easily switchable from the front panel
⦁    MC step-up transformer gain settings are clearly marked on the top of each transformer tower and changed via a conveniently sized and easily turned knob
⦁    the impedance selector on the H-7000 models is of the same type, on an easily accessible tower with clear markings and an easily rotated selector
⦁    the equalization settings on the H-7000V and H-8000 are also managed by straightforward turning of a couple of top-of-the chassis, easily accessible knobs

SUTs on the H-6500

There are no DIP switches, no fiddling. Using the features of your phono-stage shouldn’t require you to be a rocket scientist or have tentacles for arms or jeweller’s tools for fingernails!


Summing up, whichever Allnic phono-stage you choose, you know that it is a true sibling of the others in the lineup, and that you have purchased an analog device that is meant to provide flexibility and ease of use, perform at the top of or above its price class and, most important, capable of transforming your vinyl system to make REAL MUSIC. Please read the recent review by Marc Phillips of the Allnic H-5500 phono-stage and Amber MC cartridge in Part-Time Audiophile - an excerpt here:

There are three ways to look at the excellence of this combo. First, it’s extremely affordable for the level of performance that you get. It’s just over $9000 for the pair, and with the $4000 Technics SL-1200G I was experiencing a complete analog rig that offered some truly great sound, period. I do have a lot of expensive analog gear in here at the moment, and I consider the Allnic Audio H-5500 and Amber to belong to the same tier of excellence as any of the lot.


Second, the Allnic Audio H-5500 and the Amber worked so well together, they became my first choice for the Technics. If you have an SL-1200G or an SL-1210GAE, this is my personal recommendation to you. What a rig. But there’s more to that, the idea that oh, if you have the H-5500 you need to use it with the Amber, or vice versa, as I’ve already mentioned. The H-5500 loved all the other cartridges I had around, and the Amber adored every phono stage…


Highly recommended, both of them. A pair of Reviewers Choice Awards, stat!

THIS is what we mean. Thank you, Mr. Phillips! Read the entire review at:


PTA H-5500 and Amber Review 05-09-2021

Allnic Amber cartridge

As always, to discuss purchasing an Allnic Phono-preamp or any Allnic product, for the first time or to move up the Allnic product line, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, John Ketcham, at Kevalin Audio. If you’re in Canada, please contact Don Corby at Corby’s Audio.
– and please, don’t forget: quality trades are always welcome.


 
USA:
Kevalin Audio
Corvallis, Oregon

Website link: Kevalin Audio
Email or call John Ketcham:
Email: info@kevalinaudio.com
Tel: +1 503–292–5592
 

Canada:
Corby’s Audio
Freelton, Ontario

Website link: Corby’s Audio
Email or call Don Corby:
Email: info@corbyframing.ca
Tel: +1 905.689.1976
Toll free: 1.877.689.1976