All kc otl/o’clock preamp

scot

Member
Jan 4, 2018
12
0
6
#1
Hi everyone

I just recently read about Allnic Audio coming out with an OTL/OCL preamp and was wondering if anyone owns one or has had a chance to listen to one? If so, tell us what you thought. The concept sounds interesting. Thank you.

Scot
 
Jan 4, 2018
12
0
6
#3
Kach22i

I have seen the preamp new on certain audio store's website and there was one for sale that was used selling for $19000.00.
 

Atmasphere

[Industry Expert]
May 4, 2010
930
133
195
St. Paul, MN
www.atma-sphere.com
#4
Hi everyone

I just recently read about Allnic Audio coming out with an OTL/OCL preamp and was wondering if anyone owns one or has had a chance to listen to one? If so, tell us what you thought. The concept sounds interesting. Thank you.

Scot
It is interesting. Our MP-1 and MP-3 have had direct-coupled outputs for decades. As such we seem to be the only ones to do that balanced, but Berning made a preamp called the TF-10 that had a single-ended direct-coupled output.

I can tell you that a direct-coupled output is instantly more transparent. The big issue is the DC servo needed to prevent DC from being present in the output. If that is sorted out properly the result is obvious and not subtle! Deep bass other tube preamps don't seem to even acknowledge, with speed and detail like crazy but relaxed.
 

Tuckia

Active Member
Jun 4, 2019
92
115
33
#5
Hi everyone

I just recently read about Allnic Audio coming out with an OTL/OCL preamp and was wondering if anyone owns one or has had a chance to listen to one? If so, tell us what you thought. The concept sounds interesting. Thank you.

Scot
The Allnic L10000 has been out for awhile. Reviews and user commentary are posted online, although some are by the dealers themselves.

I‘Ve had an Allnic L9000 OTL/OCL on demo for about a month now. Break-in took a couple weeks but initial impressions were still good. I like this pre a lot, which really surprised me. I didn’t think there was that much more improvement to be had. Resolution, harmonic completeness, liveliness, and most of all dynamics. This pre really scales up with lifelike dynamics. The low end is full, extended and just more real than anything I’ve heard from a reproduction system before. Vocals are now revealed to have more Inflection and enunciation. Separation is more obvious. My current pre is an LTA Microzotl Preamp. It has soundly beat anything before it, and is still a great value. But at 4 times the price, the L9000 blows right past it. I put its performance on par with my Lampi Pacific, which now just sounds remarkable. I may have to keep this one.
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,985
1,614
245
#6
The Allnic L10000 has been out for awhile. Reviews and user commentary are posted online, although some are by the dealers themselves.

I‘Ve had an Allnic L9000 OTL/OCL on demo for about a month now. Break-in took a couple weeks but initial impressions were still good. I like this pre a lot, which really surprised me. I didn’t think there was that much more improvement to be had. Resolution, harmonic completeness, liveliness, and most of all dynamics. This pre really scales up with lifelike dynamics. The low end is full, extended and just more real than anything I’ve heard from a reproduction system before. Vocals are now revealed to have more Inflection and enunciation. Separation is more obvious. My current pre is an LTA Microzotl Preamp. It has soundly beat anything before it, and is still a great value. But at 4 times the price, the L9000 blows right past it. I put its performance on par with my Lampi Pacific, which now just sounds remarkable. I may have to keep this one.
Sounds like a fantastic move. Looking forward to hearing more thoughts on the L-9000 as you come to know it more.
 

Tuckia

Active Member
Jun 4, 2019
92
115
33
#7
Sounds like a fantastic move. Looking forward to hearing more thoughts on the L-9000 as you come to know it more.
Tao,
I feel compelled to say something about this pre as I have one of the few released in the wild. It was the first unit in NA and then shipments from Korea were halted due to COVID. However, issuing rave reviews on a piece under audition is a poor negotiating tactic;). Time is running out.
I see you picked up an EX. Has the move been worthwhile for you? I recently switched to the embedded HQ player instead of Roon Ready with good results.
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,985
1,614
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#8
Yes, much makes sense on all the above Tuck.

Allnic seem very explorative with a really interesting set of typologies in their range but the OTLs sound extra tantalising.

In a timely note just yesterday I picked up an MZ3 with low kms on the clock that came up here... should arrive in hopefully a few weeks (allowing for Covid post’s less than express travels).

Also adding a EX to the CX (replacing a Sotm as renderer) has been a very good move. Will aim to eventually put together some thoughts in the Antipodes thread on the nature of the sound of the various server renderer combinations ie Sotm stand-alone (for some reference), CX + Sotm, CX or EX as stand-alones and CX + EX as a combination but yes, have happily settled on the final combo as the compelling choice as the takeaway.

Will definitely try HQ in when the EX has settled in a bit more.
 
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Tuckia

Active Member
Jun 4, 2019
92
115
33
#9
Congrats on the MZ3. The power supplies are different, but I’m told it sounds identical to the Microzotl Preamp. I like the Psvane 6sn7’s in mine. Better than other NOS Sylvania and RCA variants I’ve tried. But they don’t fit under the cover.
You probably already know it takes months for these Antipodes to fully burn in. Look forward to your impressions.
i committed to the L9000 this morning. That concludes my acquisitions for a good while. except maybe tubes and tweeks.:)
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,985
1,614
245
#10
Congrats on the MZ3. The power supplies are different, but I’m told it sounds identical to the Microzotl Preamp. I like the Psvane 6sn7’s in mine. Better than other NOS Sylvania and RCA variants I’ve tried. But they don’t fit under the cover.
You probably already know it takes months for these Antipodes to fully burn in. Look forward to your impressions.
i committed to the L9000 this morning. That concludes my acquisitions for a good while. except maybe tubes and tweeks.:)
Thanks Tuck. That is awesome on the L9000. Very nice device. Think Mr Park is all over it in the sexy tube design department. So design-lust plays a part in this as well for me. Just the right amount of slick and elegant.

Yes, initially I thought the CX benefited from handing over to the Sotm in the render department but that was from early listening... very different beast after lots of hours. One of the slowest slow burn ins I’ve had. I thoroughly believe Emile when he talks about 1200 hrs for the Extreme. It was not completely dissimilar numbers with the Antipodes CX.

You’ve done some giant (nice!) system wide moves in the last little while.
 
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Tuckia

Active Member
Jun 4, 2019
92
115
33
#11
Thanks Tuck. That is awesome on the L9000. Very nice device. Think Mr Park is all over it in the sexy tube design department. So design-lust plays a part in this as well for me. Just the right amount of slick and elegant.

Yes, initially I thought the CX benefited from handing over to the Sotm in the render department but that was from early listening... very different beast after lots of hours. One of the slowest slow burn ins I’ve had. I thoroughly believe Emile when he talks about 1200 hrs for the Extreme. It was not completely dissimilar numbers with the Antipodes CX.

You’ve done some giant (nice!) system wide moves in the last little while.
The Extreme. Always another mountain to conquer. Maybe in 2022. Unless I can convince my wife to buy one:oops:. Maybe in 2022.
I should mention that I also picked up a few Allnic ZL5000 power cords. These transformed the amps. The biggest cable improvement I’ve heard. Had to get one for the pre too.Yes, I think Kang Su is hitting his stride.
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,985
1,614
245
#12
The Extreme. Always another mountain to conquer. Maybe in 2022. Unless I can convince my wife to buy one:oops:. Maybe in 2022.
I should mention that I also picked up a few Allnic ZL5000 power cords. These transformed the amps. The biggest cable improvement I’ve heard. Had to get one for the pre too.Yes, I think Kang Su is hitting his stride.
If you get your wife to buy you an Extreme you‘ll not just have conquered the mountain, you‘ll have leapt over it in a stride. Epic move if you can pull that off!
 

Tuckia

Active Member
Jun 4, 2019
92
115
33
#13
A junkie always needs to keep plotting his next score, no matter how improbable. If successful, I could write a book “How To Convince Your Wife To Buy Equipment for You When You’ve Just Tapped Out on Your Last Purchase” on sale at all major trade shows. Profits would be consumed by legal fees somewhere along the line.
 

Atmasphere

[Industry Expert]
May 4, 2010
930
133
195
St. Paul, MN
www.atma-sphere.com
#14
Yes, much makes sense on all the above Tuck.

Allnic seem very explorative with a really interesting set of typologies in their range but the OTLs sound extra tantalising.
We patented an 'OTL/OCL' method of direct-coupling a balanced preamp output some years back. So far as I know, its the only method of supporting the balanced line standard without an output transformer.
 

dr k

VIP/Donor
Aug 4, 2016
181
79
120
California
#15
We patented an 'OTL/OCL' method of direct-coupling a balanced preamp output some years back. So far as I know, its the only method of supporting the balanced line standard without an output transformer.
Perhaps you should lay low on self promoting. This is about Allnic.
 

Atmasphere

[Industry Expert]
May 4, 2010
930
133
195
St. Paul, MN
www.atma-sphere.com
#16
Perhaps you should lay low on self promoting. This is about Allnic.
It seems to be about the fact that Allnic has a preamp with a direct-coupled output, to be more accurate.

Worldwide you can count the number of manufacturers that have or have had a tube preamp like that on one hand. Personally having had experience with two of them I can tell you that doing so is a sonic advantage over preamps that use conventional coupling techniques- the difference in performance is both measurable and audible. So I'm interested when someone has the guts to do this.

If you take away that bit about direct-coupling then this thread isn't; its built-in to the title. Consider that for a moment; also that to do what Allnic claims they are basically building a scaled down OTL circuit similar to a Futterman OTL. This is all germane to this thread.
 
Aug 4, 2016
181
79
120
California
#17
It seems to be about the fact that Allnic has a preamp with a direct-coupled output, to be more accurate.

Worldwide you can count the number of manufacturers that have or have had a tube preamp like that on one hand. Personally having had experience with two of them I can tell you that doing so is a sonic advantage over preamps that use conventional coupling techniques- the difference in performance is both measurable and audible. So I'm interested when someone has the guts to do this.

If you take away that bit about direct-coupling then this thread isn't; its built-in to the title. Consider that for a moment; also that to do what Allnic claims they are basically building a scaled down OTL circuit similar to a Futterman OTL. This is all germane to this thread.

The OP posted this:

"Hi everyone

I just recently read about Allnic Audio coming out with an OTL/OCL preamp and was wondering if anyone owns one or has had a chance to listen to one? If so, tell us what you thought. The concept sounds interesting. Thank you.

Scot"

Perhaps you only read the title and not the content of the original post. Pretty specific to Allnic and asking specifically about its sound and its owners. Not about other OTL/OCL designs. I guess I just have issues when "competing" manufacturers or dealers butt into threads where they have vested interests. I'm probably not the only one who feels this way.
 

Atmasphere

[Industry Expert]
May 4, 2010
930
133
195
St. Paul, MN
www.atma-sphere.com
#18
The concept sounds interesting.
It does. And I am.

If you really think I am here just to promote my products, FWIW that is against site rules on most audio forums on the web including this one. So feel free to use the 'Report' function, located in the lower left of each post. It will then go to a moderator who will determine if its actually a forum violation.
 

kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#19
Just my two cents, I feel threads should be allowed to evolve to include general information and specific examples of comparison in an attempt to provide proper context.

In short, I want to learn and find history and comparables useful.

My question is: can we expect the Allnic Audio OTL/OCL to sound/perform vastly different than many other products out there?

Asking because of search results such as the below.

https://www.psaudio.com/pauls-posts/direct-coupled-outputs/
All this aside, what modern companies like PS Audio do is called Direct Coupling. This is where there is no output coupling capacitor to concern ourselves with and is how many modern amplifiers and preamplifiers operate. Direct coupling gives an important advantage. No roll off.

And now, you can see why direct coupling matters, even in a tube preamp.
Also found this 2016 post by Atmasphere to be educational.

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/disadvantages-of-a-direct-coupled-preamp

Whole design, just the outputs and all the variations in between..........where is the Allnic in this landscape?
 
Likes: bonzo75

Atmasphere

[Industry Expert]
May 4, 2010
930
133
195
St. Paul, MN
www.atma-sphere.com
#20
Whole design, just the outputs and all the variations in between..........where is the Allnic in this landscape?
There are only a few manufacturers worldwide that have direct-coupled outputs. One thing common with all of them is that they are more transparent and obviously wider bandwidth than their non-direct-coupled brethren; given Allnic's history its a very safe assumption that their entry is the most transparent and detailed preamp they make, and the detail comes while sounding smoother at the same time. This also means it will be the most 3D. It should not surprise anyone that this is their flagship, despite promotion of transformer coupling all these years.

Put another way- if you are an Allnic fan and thinking about it, to me its a no-brainer.

Direct-coupling at the output of a preamp is a big deal, especially if its a tube preamp. Usually a tube preamp has an output coupling capacitor and to do that the cap has to be a fairly large value in order to support bass response with solid state amps. It does not matter what construction the cap is; when you are dealing with values that large there will be an inductance as well as capacitance and that will result in coloration and veiling. Output transformers solve some of this but introduce their own issues- bandwidth, distortion and related loading issues. If the transformer is improperly loaded it can affect both distortion and bandwidth- this can cause the transformer to sound quite different from amp to amp if this issue isn't dealt with! Direct-coupling side steps all these issues. The big deal with direct-coupling is of course keeping DC voltages out of the output. For this you will need a servo circuit that provides sub-sonic feedback. The design of this circuit is important as if one is not careful, the parts used can affect the sound (this was a problem with the Berning TF-10 from the 1980s). Allnic being who they are I would expect this issue to be sorted out :) Direct-coupled preamps can play really deep bass that other preamps might not even acknowledge and they can get the impact right where other preamps might sound a bit tubby by comparison. You might think it to be a bit lean in the mid bass until you realize how much more neutral it is.
 

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