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A-6000 monos
Unlike the €76,000 balanced Swedish theLars monos, the Allnics fully justify their sticker. Priced at slightly more than twice my Yamamoto A-09S, they offer six times its power but surprisingly comparable sound - not identical as was the case between preamps but very close. Of all the 300B amps I've reviewed, the Yamamoto is my favorite. The Allnic monos essentially make that performance accessible to speakers that need more power to come alive.

That power corrupts is often invoked in this game. The translation goes that if you want 4 watts, don't parallel two 45s. Go single 2A3. If you want 8 watts, go single 300B, don't parallel two 2A3s. And so forth. By the time people lust after 50 or 100 single-ended watts to require 833s or other ultra high voltage tubes, the devout shake their heads. They believe that higher power and single-ended triode magic are mutually exclusive. Keep it simple (and not too hot) is their faith.

The A-6000s present a powerful counter argument. Yes, they're ultimately not quite as resolved as the single-tube amp, not quite as separated. But, their bass has greater rollick (that's tube speak for 'slam' which itself is different and requires something like the ModWright KWA-150 to demonstrate properly on low-bass transients). True, with the companion Allnic preamp, I had too much gain for the Tango R speakers and hence, a mild case of speaker hum. With my Esoteric C-03 set to zero gain, that disappeared completely. The Yamamoto could handle the higher-gain Allnic preamp sans hum which was simply a function of the load. Why go after a 50-watt amp if 8 watts are more than sufficient at unity gain? The obvious answer is, most speakers need rather more than eight watts.

Being very much a Yamamoto-type take on the wide range of possible 300B flavors, the A-6000s are fast, quite lit up, very dynamic and vibrant. That's with zero NFB. Considering the amount of signal attenuation invoked when engaged, the currently fixed feedback amount seems too high. With my speakers, it clearly wasn't benign. The sound overdamped, vitality and elan diminished by undesirable amounts and the overall personality or gestalt became too 'military' and stiff. The amps' negative feedback* "is currently under study and future offerings will most probably have incremental options of 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10dB" advised David Beetles from Canada.

* Allnic had shipped a pair of their twin-paralleled 300B monos to an Avantgarde Acoustics Trio customer for evaluation. To reduce gain in this application, they had detuned the amps by increasing feedback rather than installing a voltage divider on the inputs. In conjunction with the 19-ohm load impedance, this "killed the sound" but these powerful amplifiers did prove satisfactorily quiet over 110dB hornspeakers. The moral of the story seems to be that as speaker sensitivities increase to draw less and less power, so does their aversion to feedback in this type of amplifier increase. Incremental feedback thus seems the best solution as long as it includes a no-feedback bypass too.

Suspicions that the A-6000 might sound too massive, i.e. not lithe and fast enough, proved mostly unfounded. While there was a small reduction of immediacy, energy and micro resolution on the Tangos when the Allnics replaced the Yamamoto, this was truly to a very modest degree. It took superior recorded ambience to notice where the A-09S was the more transparent into the final layers of the soundstage and separating out knots in the musical weft.

Beyond argument was the intensification factor at higher SPLs. If the Yamamoto had the advantage at whisper levels, the Allnics took the lead at happy hour when their extent of going ballsier, bigger and more anchored eclipsed how the A-09 scaled up the same fare. Which is likely a simple function of math. But anyone laboring under the misconception that 300Bs can't rock out hasn't heard Kang Su's A-6000.

Ditto for concerns that tubes squared (adding the valved L-4000 preamp) would incur contra indications. Tone colors did heighten but there was no devolution into 'deep triode', a term first coined by Dennis Had of Cary Audio I believe. Nothing went lush, limp or humid. The direction taken instead went for greater robustness, solidity and thereness. This intensity is one of subjective presence or fullness, not fireside romance, patina or soft-focus closeups.

The stock outfit of Electro-Harmonix 300Bs has a small tendency toward the glassy and, by comparison to the costlier EMLs, quite underplays this intensity. Allnic is currently negotiating with Jac van der Walle of Emission Labs to put together a valve upgrade package for its customers since the 300B XLS triodes are also favorites of designer Kang Su. Anyone shopping in these leagues would be well advised to go the distance and plan on hearing the A-6000s with the Czech 'super' tubes. It's a substantial return on investment.

The L-4000 | A-6000 combo
For many tube heads, liquidity is the promised land. In Casa Chardonne, music at its most liquid came by way of Ancient Audio's Simple Six 6C33C SET monos. Those granite-clad Poles demonstrated a rare combination of fluffy airiness and truly capacious soundstaging lit up from within. The Allnic sound is too grounded and in control to replicate that type of fluffiness or nubility. Its focus instead is on riding the big crests of dynamic scaling. Key qualifiers are heft, mass, presence and density accompanied by drive and sufficient speed to be true assets. Ultimately not as concerned about teasing out the most minutiae as the transitorized FirstWatt F5 is, the Allnic combo shifts listener attention away from the more cerebral act of watching or seeing to feeling immersed and confronted by something big and powerful.

The interstage-transformer coupled Trafomatic Audio Experience Reference monos are drier and less suave. Neither the Emillé Labs or Yamamoto will scale as grandly nor dole out this kind of bass impact. Perhaps by virtue of sheer power reserves, the Allnic monos are the most dynamic and thus boisterous 300Bs amps I've encountered to date. Those who would argue that such qualities are alien to the 300B should question whence the A-6000s generate them from. Surely these very attributes or potentialities don't manifest out of thin air but are intrinsic to the valve.

This should make Allnic's top valve offering appealing also to transistor lovers who insist on audible power as a prerequisite to musical enjoyment. The fact that standard 88dB speakers may now apply to the 300B club even during rock-out season is simply par for this course. Unlike the Swedish Lars monos which veer quite deeply into transistorized gestalt, Allnic's quad-paralleled monos sound like very powerful tube amps with the kind of definition and wetness we expect from superior single-ended implementations. That's because they are single-ended...

Quality of packing: Excellent. Monos are wood crated, preamp ships in standard double-boxed carton. Both use professionally molded hard-foam inserts. All tubes ship installed.
Reusability of packing: Multiple times.
Ease of unpacking/repacking: Easy but monos in particular are heavy to mandate proper care in moving.
Condition of component received: Perfect except for one bias meter which had popped out of a mono. Reinsertion fixed it but Allnic already has implemented a superior attachment method.
Completeness of delivery: Power cords, owner's manuals.
Quality of owner's manual: Good.
Ease of assembly: None required. You do have to deassemble the tube chimneys to remove the shipping protection around the valves before the first use.
Warranty: Two years on electronics.
Website comments: Could benefit from more in-depth product information.
Human interactions: Prompt and forthcoming on all info requested.
Pricing: Fully competitive.
Allnic Audio Labs website