- Feb 29, 2016
Continuing to think about the theme of the last few blog entries here, it’s appropriate to pause from time to time and recognize again the incredible choices we are so lucky to have to enable the reproduction of music in our homes. Tubes and solid state, analog and digital, headphones and speakers, vintage and cutting edge, etc., and all their combinations and variations at all price ranges in the marketplace, we can take our pick and find what gives us the most pleasure in our private listening.
Allnic is a great choice and, first and foremost, analog but has ventured into the digital realm previously with the D-3000 and D-5000 DACs, both now discontinued. As with many of Allnic’s products, those two digital marvels used all-tube output stages coupled to Allnic’s in-house designed permalloy output transformers. The all new Allnic D-10000 OTL/OCL DAC is Allnic’s response to changes to digital processing industry-wide over the last decade and the great success of Allnic’s OTL/OCL (Output Transformer-less/Output Capacitor-less) headphone amp, the HPA-50000 -
- and line-stage preamplifiers. The L-10000, L-9000 and L-8500OTL/OCL preamps have been lauded by customers and professional reviewers alike for every sort of reason, from build quality and ergonomics to, of course, incredible sonics. See the reviews below, just for example.
L-10,000 Preamp :
L-8500 Preamp: (A 2021 Product of the year! - Audiophilia)
- L-8500 Audiophilia Review – April 2021
Allnic Audio L-8500 OTL/OCL Preamplifier — Audiophilia
The HiFi reviewing challenges continue to arrive from the pearly shores of South Korea. The Allnic Audio L-8500 OTL/OCL Preamplifier ($13,500) is the third Allnic preamp we’ve had in for review. All three are beautifully designed and manufactured. The varied designs/topology made serious impressio
In common circuits, output capacitors or output transformers are required to separate the AC music signal from the DC operating potential. If this is not done, the latter will destroy the power amplifier, the loudspeakers, or both. However, these two coupling devices also introduce their own influences on the transmission of the musical signal, adding their own character (colouration), increasing distortion, and consuming small signals, all as predicted by physical efficiency theory. In addition, they also limit signal dynamics. For these reasons, the elimination of output transformers and capacitors has been considered the best solution for the design of the most accurate amplifiers. Removal of these two coupling devices from the signal path achieves the best results possible:
• No colouration of the musical signal
• Extremely detailed expression, natural harmonics, and subtle musical decay
• The lowest possible distortion
• The widest musical dynamics
Taking these factors into consideration, KS Park, Allnic’s founder and chief designer, decided it was time to look again at the world of digital music reproduction with the goal of producing a DAC that reproduces digital music on par with the very best analog devices he has created, to see if he could wed the purity of his OTL/OCL analog output designs to the very best of today’s DAC technology.
He has succeeded! The new flagship ALLNIC D-10000 OTL/OCL DAC is the product of this challenge, and according to early user feedback, is a fantastic addition to the top tier of Allnic’s products, a machine of true beauty, in sonics, audio engineering and industrial design.
As an OTL/OCL design, the D-10000 is without transformers or capacitors in its signal path, and the D-10000's RCA and XLR outputs both provide the OTL/OCL design's benefits. KS Park's design of the D-10000's signal path takes full advantage of the tubes it employs and results in its output connections passing along a converted digitally sourced music signal of a quality equivalent to that produced by Allnic's very best analog products as Mr. Park intended.
Speaking of the tubes, the D-10000 uses four tubes per channel: two 6C19P tubes, a 12AU7 tube, and a 7258. There are no equivalents for the 6C19P and 7258, but they are plentiful and inexpensive. The 12AU7 allows for tube rolling among the various brands, vintages and variants of this famous, almost ubiquitous valve.
That’s the analog side. The digital processing in the D-10000 is designed by South Korea’s Waversa Systems (Kevalin Audio is also the North American distributor for Waversa), producers of exceptional digital products. The D-10000’s digital features include:
1. Operations via Linux OS with UAC2, Windows 10 and above and MAC OSX, with the Thesycon driver incorporated for use in Windows OS environments
2. Waversa custom built, FPGA based, 1.5 MHz up-sampling to 384 KHz
3. Waversa proprietary 32bit WAP engine
4. Dual mono ES9018K2M SABRE 32 Reference Audio DACs– No digital processing: final digital to analog conversiononly.
5. Real-time PCM to DSD 128 conversion using a custom built 5.6 MHz up-sampler and FPGA DSD converter
6. High end DSD decoder for better DSD quality
7. One optical, one AES/EBU and two coax inputs served by a customized S/PDIF receiver accommodating rates up to 192 KHz
8. One USB input, UAC2 standard compliant custom audio interface design with Cypress FX2/FPGA handling:
- Native DSD: DSD 64, DSD 128, DSD256
- DoP: DSD 64, DSD 128
- PCM 44.1 KHz, 48 KHz, 88.2 KHz, 96 KHz, 176.4 KHz, 192 KHz, 352.8 KHz and 384 KHz.
9. In and out reference word clock connectors for use with an external clock
For more on Waversa Systems unique approach to digital, go to:
A different approach to digital processing unique to Waversa. We have a portfolio of digital solutions such as streamers, routers and wifi hubs that are built specifically for high end audio.
The D-10000 is a product of cutting-edge tube and digital design offering world-class sound quality. We’re confident that it will become an icon of digital music reproduction devices among the very, very best DACs currently available, at any price from anywhere in the world. Early purchaser extremely positive feedback is coming in and reinforcing our opinion. In addition, D-10000 units are currently going out for professional reviews.
More information, photos and a manual will be available soon. In the meantime, the D-10000 is priced at $19,000 USD and available for purchase by Allnic’s worldwide dealership network.