Changes, changes! Time is always moving on, and now - so is Hammertone Audio. After…
We know… we can all get tired when someone “harps” on and on, and on, extolling the virtues of something they’re particularly excited about – so we’re not going to do that. Instead, we’re just going to SHOUT!
We’d been getting great feedback from field testers and earliest purchasers on Allnic’s new, and smallest line-stage preamp, the L-6500 when we wrote the previous post, and at the time we were waiting for its first professional review
Well, that first review is out… To say we’re pleased would be an understatement; it’s always nice to have one’s perceptions, and our customers’, validated. Alan Sircom’s May 2022 HIFI+ issue 207 review of the L-6500 is thoughtful, thorough, and enthusiastic – the review’s closing paragraph sums it up nicely:
However, it’s also easy for a company to become so focused on the big hitter projects in the line-up that the all-important first rung on the ladder gets overlooked or underdeveloped. That is patently not the case here; Allnic’s KS Park puts as much energy in getting products like the L-6500 line preamplifier ‘right’ as he does with the leaders of the pack. It’s hard not to be impressed by the Allnic L-6500; it’s well built, sounds great and has an excellent balance of making music sound good no matter the quality of the recording. While the Allnic L-6500 is far too much of a sophisticate to shout for itself, that’s something to shout about!
Mr. Sircom’s point is one we’ve made here before, too: all Allnic products are designed and built to KS Park’s high standards to provide, above all, enjoyment of the music. It doesn’t matter which unit in the line-up meets your fancy and budget, you will be getting exceptionally well-designed circuitry, rock-solid build, superior ergonomics, gorgeous industrial design and – always – the music.
Consider the L-6500’s stablemates… even just the looks of the L-6500 relative to one of Allnic’s two flagship preamps, the L-8000 DHT (Direct-Heated Triode), a vacuum tube purist’s dream… Audiophilia “Product of the Year” 2020 winner, 2021 Part-Time Audiophile Reviewer’s Choice Award recipient – as just one example…
Allnic L-8000 DHT Line-stage Preamp L-8000 DHT Product Page Link
The L-6500’s pedigree is awesome…
Customers who previously owned the “hot-rod” version of Allnic’s first preamp, the L-1500, and have purchased the L-6500 report that it’s a true upgrade in every way -which is amazing given that the L-1500 was such a successful unit that it had a production run of almost a decade!
The new L-6500 has a fantastic feature set:
- single gain stage
- transformer coupling with permalloy signal transformers
- RCA and XLR inputs and outputs
- analog current meters for tube monitoring
- beefy tube regulated voltage supply
- aluminum remote control
- outstanding build quality
- great looks to match other Allnic components, such as the H-5500 phono stage, for e.g. (H-5500 product page link)
- a small complement (4) of readily available NOS tubes, including 2 of the lovely-sounding 5842 triode signal tube (available from many manufacturers and equivalent to WE417A, CV3789, F7004) – tube roller’s paradise 🙂
On that last point, we’ve had the opportunity to try several 5842 signal tubes of various makes and vintages and can advise that the L-6500 really responds to tube rolling. One of our favourites at the moment is the GEC because of its enormous and “alive” soundstage and image density. Playing with Allnic’s A-5000 DHT monoblock amps, the sound is positively magical – unexpectedly, the “baby” preamp and the top-end purist DHT amps made a great match.
A-5000 DHT Monoblocks (A-5000 DHT Product Page)
So, “mix ‘n match”, go ahead and try tailoring your sound a little!
Even stock, though, Alan Sircom was impressed, particularly by the L-6500’s “musicality”, as we call it:
…the preamplifier digs deep into the layers of music and presents them to the listener. While this reads a lot like it is describing the imaging of the preamplifier (and, in fairness, the L-6500’s soundstage is extremely good, with its excellent stage depth being particularly noteworthy), this is something deeper. It’s more like getting closer to the intent of the musicians playing. There’s an eloquence and expressiveness to the L-6500’s sound that is more than just ‘feel’ or ‘articulation’ or even ‘coherence’. [Italics added]
As we said above, with every Allnic product, music is first. The ultimate goal might be to get your listening room to replicate exactly the sound and feel of a live performance… well… with the L-6500, and every Allnic device, you know you will always have sound that truly expresses the life in – the soul of – the music, as audio gear should – it’s in their DNA.
At the USD $7500 introductory price (and it is an introductory price – it won’t last, unfortunately), the L-6500 is a fantastic value; and from any perspective, we believe it has the makings of a classic. You will not be disappointed.
Nor would you be disappointed with the Allnic A-2000 25th Anniversary SE (Special Edition) 100 watts/channel stereo power amp.
Hot-rodded, available in a limited number, and on sale for USD $5900, it would be a super match for the L-6500!
If you happen to be in the neighbourhood of Corby’s Audio in Ontario, feel free to drop by, visit with Don Corby, and audition the L-6500 preamp and the A-2000 25th Anniversary SE stereo power amp. If you can’t make it in person, please contact Corby’s Audio (Canada) or Kevalin Audio (USA) at the coordinates below to inquire.
And, as always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any of us to discuss purchasing an Allnic product for the first time, or moving up the Allnic product line – and don’t forget that quality trades are always welcome!
Website link: Corby’s Audio
Email or call Don Corby:
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +1 905.689.1976
Toll free: 1.877.689.1976
Hammertone Audio (Allnic North American Distributor) – We do trades!
Website link: Hammertone Audio
Email or call David Beetles:
Email: [email protected]
Website link: Kevalin Audio
Email or call John Ketcham:
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +1 503–292–5592