Allnic Audio - Official Thread

In light of my recent (and first) tube amp acquisition (Allnic HPA-3000GT) I thought I’d create a thread for the Allnic brand to add some more options in the tube space, and because there’s barely any reviews/information out there.

Their presence is mostly in the 2-channel space with some pretty hi-end power amps, pre-amps, integrated amps, and cables. But they do offer 2 headphone amp models–the HPA-3000 GT and HPA-5000 XL (DHT). They’re also all ‘Made in Korea’ by K.S.Park which I assume is why they might not be as common here in the US versus other American-brand tube amps.

All of their products have the signature tube silos on them which is honestly pretty aesthetically-pleasing. It gives a nice, consistent and streamlined look. Functionally, the tube silos generate laminar flow to reduce heat and shifts it in a directional manner (to the top) instead of omnidirectional.

The 3000GT, specifically, uses 2x NOS 6EM7 dual triodes which are easy to replace I’m told. The stock tubes already sound really good out of the box, so this is a great option if you don’t want to go through the trouble of tube rolling (I’m one of those).

Website: http://allnicaudio.com/

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Review in progress…

Let’s try something different.
If you have a specific question about the 3000GT post it here and I’ll include a Q&A in the writeup.
But nothing tube specific though since I’m new to tubes.

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Allnic HPA-3000 GTRock solid!

Chain

Holo Spring 3 KTE (USB / BAL) → Allnic HPA-3000 GT (BAL) → Focal Utopia / Sennheiser IE 900 / ZMF VC

Sound

Note
Going forward this will be my thoughts on the system as a whole. I feel like this will be more helpful because I don’t have multiple tube amps of similar tiers to directly compare nor a vast amount of experience with tubes.

General
The Allnic I find to be pretty dead-on neutral with just a touch of sweetness and more on the dry side of things. You get all the details without the disadvantages of an analytical character. It is a very capable amp, it performs as it should, and it lets the DAC do its thing–it’s solid!

Paired with the Spring, you get something holographic, dynamic (both macro/micro), detailed, black (background), and pretty much any of the adjectives audiophiles use. It’s a no-nonsense kind of amp with neutrality at its forefront but with a dash of tube magic. This is the first time I actually experienced something that sound holographic. With the Burson Soloist 3XP, you get a bit of stage but everything is still presented in a linear manner, meaning it doesn’t position elements as if they had “space” or distance between them. Listening to the Spring/Allnic/Utopia, I can actually hear one instrument/player placed closer than the other, for example.

If I were to put one weakness and one strength on this combo, I would say staging and bass based on my preferences. Staging is its weakness because I find it to stage a bit too much. I prefer a more involved and centered stage akin to being right in the middle. It’s like the Spring/Allnic puts you right in-between the balcony and the center. This isn’t really a downside but a preference thing, and I assume this has to do more with how the Spring 3 presents its stage. I mostly noticed this on the Utopia since it’s the most resolving/revealing I have. Bass, on the other hand, is its strength because I find it to be very authoritative while remaining very controlled and agile. It’s a very confident and full-sounding kind of bass, though I’m not sure if the amp or the DAC is the one responsible for this.

Synergy

Focal Utopia :+1:
The synergy of this system with the Utopia is very good. Still very neutral with a hint of sweetness. Bass is very full and with good grip. Mids have loads of resolution and detail with good timbre. Highs are nicely extended and raw without the harshness. Staging and placement are also good, albeit a bit too much like mentioned above, and you also get that quality of elements sounding holographic. The whole system is a good match and I’m pretty satisfied with it. You can probably take the Utopia much farther of course, but this is a solid combo around this price bracket.

Sennheiser IE 900 :+1:
Now…there’s a reason I put this second on the list. I was very curious how the IE 900 would sound on a tube amp and, to be honest, I was very paranoid that something bad would happen. Fortunately, I had confirmed it to be safe beforehand.

The IE 900 isn’t without its faults, of course. The treble can get a little hot at times, the upper mids are scooped out a bit, and the staging is a bit off. Pairing it with the Soloist, the treble is mostly tamed while the other two issues are still present but less bothersome.

Pairing it with the Allnic for the first time, I was floored! Honestly, I didn’t expect much but there were noticeable improvements all across the board. It didn’t tame some of the treble hotness but it extends so nicely and sounds so clean that I’m okay with it. The upper mids have been nicely filled up with very good detail and very good timbre. The staging is mostly fixed and the bass is so fun while being very technical, textured, and nuanced. The IE 900 is honestly a good value (with the right pairing), but unfortunate that most reviews undersell it imo. I guess it was pure luck that I stumbled across this pairing; I was genuinely surprised.

With all that said, I would definitely not recommend getting an Allnic just for the IE 900. But since I already have it, all the better. In terms of sound quality alone, the Utopia obviously beats out the IE 900. But in terms of enjoyment, I enjoyed it almost as much as the Utopia. It goes to show that synergy is king at the end of the day. What a pairing!

ZMF VC :+1:
Ever since I got the Utopia the VC has taken a back seat almost entirely. It’s still a great headphone (especially being closed-back), but to me, it doesn’t stand out in any one way. Anyway, in terms of synergy, it’s very good with the Spring/Allnic. I found out I didn’t like the VC paired with the Soloist (stock form) as it sounded too thick and colored, but with the Spring/Allnic that isn’t the case. The low frequencies gain a lot of grip and tightness, the midrange frequencies are nicely textured and full, and the upper frequencies are nice and sparkly. Timbre is also improved, blackness of background, detail/nuance, dynamics, staging… in other words, all the good stuff gets improved. It sounds great and there’s not much more I can say. I will note that I like the VC out of the low-impedance output, whereas I liked the Aeolus out of the hi-impedance output.

Miscellaneous

Manual: http://audiomentors.co.kr/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/HPA-3000GT-manual-2최종3-10.pdf

Aesthetics-wise, the Allnic is very sleek and stealthy (I have the black one). It is a very handsome unit and one of the more aesthetically pleasing tube amps imo. The brushed metal look offers a nice complement to the Holo Audio aesthetics (all it’s missing is the copper lettering), but the Holo Audio stuff is still built and finished a bit better.

The tube silos are a very nice touch as it gives the Allnic brand a nice consistent and streamlined look. I was hoping at first that the tube silos would be pure glass but it is a plastic/glass compound mixture. I would have preferred the more premium feeling of pure glass but they probably did it for durability, which I’m totally fine with. Aside from aesthetics, these tube silos actually reduce heat by generating laminar flow and, in addition, guide the heat in a directional upward pattern instead of an omnidirectional one. I find that the Allnic does indeed stay pretty “warm” as I cautiously placed my hand over the silos and the transformers’ surfaces (not enough to cook an egg but still hot).

The side handles are also a nice touch—a very thoughtful and functional approach. They are mounted near the rear end since that is where the majority of the weight lies.

Let’s talk about the stock power cable…it’s crap! It’s thin, flimsy, and cheap. If you are considering this amp do yourself a favor and buy a solid, budget (or expensive) power cable as I was getting some noise and interference.

Wrap-up

The Allnic paired with the Spring is a solid combo and a system definitely worth consideration around this price bracket. It has good synergy with the Focals (Utopia & Clear) and the ZMFs (VC & Aeolus) provided you’re seeking for a more neutral approach and a tube amp tilting on the dry side. It’s a well-balanced system that pretty much disappears and lets the music do its thing. In addition, the stock tubes are already great so for those of you not wanting to put much effort into tube-rolling (like me) and want a plug-and-play balanced tube amp this is a great option. Overall, I am pretty satisfied (for now) with this system and am enjoying it quite a bit. The amp is simple, relatively compact, aesthetically pleasing, and less involved (in tube-rolling).

Where to buy

I bought mine from Kevalin Audio. I’ve had nothing but a great and accommodating experience from John Ketcham. He was quick to respond and was very helpful. A-rating service!

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Thoughts on this?

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Nice! That’s not mine by the way. lol

Are you asking if it’s a good price? Or if you should consider it?

They don’t come up often so if you’re thinking about it I’d decide quickly. Depends what you’re after and your chain…

I still really like mine and enjoy it quite a bit.

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I learn something new everyday, never heard of Allnic before.

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They’re more focused in 2ch and operate in korea…probably why not many people have heard or tried them.

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Lol it sold within 4 hours of listing. Some of these tube amps sell like crazy while others take months.

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Been doing some tube-rolling…

Stock (Zenith?) 6EM7 Pretty balanced overall imo. Has a little bit of all the qualities of the other tubes. Nice extension, not too sweet, decent stage, good detail although not as textured as the others, and not too warm. Not as refined but probably the most engaging of the bunch, which I like. I still like these the most overall.

Sylvania 6EM7 Tilts the sound closer to the leaner, more analytical side of things. I feel it sounds dryer and less sweet than stock. It also lacks in tonal expression I find (first time using that term but sounds right lol). It probably has the most extension out of all of these. Sometimes lacks body, especially in the bass but not in terms of extension, rather, weight. These are my least favorite.

RCA 6EM7 Overall warmer than stock by just a bit. Everything is just a bit more laid-back and disengaged which likely attributes to its grander stage. Feels like more texture does come through and I think these are the “best” out of all of them BUT they lack engagement. The days I had these in I wondered why I didn’t feel like listening to music; might be why. Feels easy to get lost in the music but can never get involved with it. YMMV as I do prioritize on that engagement factor.

GE 6EM7 A rich and pleasing sound overall. Brings the mids up to your face, tilting it to a more intimate and close-up kind of sound without being claustrophobic. In addition, it does have a slight mid-bass boost making it warmer overall. Staging is front-row seat kind of staging. Also found it to be more forgiving because of the smoother and richer mids. The downside, I find, is its lack of extension compared to the other tubes. If you love mids, this is your tube.

More to come…

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Westinghouse 6EM7 (JPN) Not really worth looking at imo. They’re decent but not as good as the aforementioned, so I wouldn’t really consider it personally.

Westinghouse 6EM7 (USA) Broken…ain’t buying another one. lol

Dumont 6EM7 Honestly haven’t tried due to laziness but I doubt it will be better than the aforementioned.