Allnic HA-5000: the Head Amp

ShawnZH

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Sep 21, 2020
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I recently got a head-amp from Allnic, HA-5000 and it works very well in my system.

Head Amp is not such a popular idea in modern phono amplification anymore. There’re not too many choices on the market. Out of curiosity, I tried one in my system and it proves to be such a good idea to have an active head-amp in the phono amplification route.

After experiencing quite a few SUT‘s, I became convinced that SUT is my preferred way to drive a cart. If matching with the right SUT, the cart can reveal its real potential in terms of quality and characteristic. I can always hear more from a good and matching SUT than a normal voltage/current amplification phono stage. The problems with SUTs are that you have to try and match, ending up with multiple SUTs pairing with your carts, while the SUTs, especially good ones are always expensive. One can easily spend a lot of money on SUTs. The other problem is that for the high impedance carts, for example the old version of VDH Colibri is at about 50 ohm impedance, 0,35mv output. For such a cart, it is very difficult to find an SUT perfectly matching the needs for gain and quality of this cart. MC voltage amplification to VDH colibri can also easily pick noises from the environment due to the high load impedance needed.

The HA-5000 is a 2-piece all tube unit, separating power supply and the phono amplification. It adds 30db, with 4 levels of load impedance: 50 ohms, 100 ohms, 200 ohms and 500 ohms. Those are good enough to cover most of the carts. I use the HA-5000 with the mm input of my Soulution 755. It is a good match for my ears. The gain of 755 mm is on a high side, therefore I have to turn down the volume of my preamp by 10db. The 755 mm gain is rated 60db and 66db in 2 levels. I feel it is a bit overrated but still it is pretty high. If pairing with an MM stage with 38db or so gain, I guess it is an even better match.

When the HA-5000 just arrived, the sound was a bit muddy, while the S/N ratio seemed to be overrated too, it was a bit noisy. After a few days burn-in, and a few attempts in different placing locations, the HA-5000 starts to get better and interestingly getting quieter and quieter.

It also became more “powerful”, cleaner sounded, with a touch of tube warmth which I adore but not overly colored with a bloated tube sound. And it gives enough gain to most of my carts, ranging from low output carts such as 0.2mv Anna D, 0.25mv Etsuro Bordeaux, 0.3mv Etsuro Gold up to 0.56mv Lyra Atlas. I’m more impressed by its performance with VDH Colibri since I rarely experienced an ideal amplification since I bought this cart years ago.

It has a typical Allnic sound, which means transparency and a bit of sweetness. I got the similar taste from the previously owned H-8000 DHT, which regretfully didn’t stay in my system for some random reasons. After burning in, it works pretty well with almost all my carts. Honestly, it is not a dead quiet unit but the noise is barely audible.

Compared to SUT, it is a more generic solution. SUTs are more critical in matching with carts. But i still believe SUT can drive the most out of a cart. A Head Amp brings benefits of a more versatile matching to carts, quiet and enough gain. It works exceptionally well with high imp carts. I’m quite excited to have HA-5000 in my system.



E73DD429-D1C9-4079-828A-DD8F064BF462.jpeg
7DE01866-8E1C-4732-8B85-475238E324CB.jpeg
 

Addicted to hifi

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Sep 8, 2020
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I recently got a head-amp from Allnic, HA-5000 and it works very well in my system.

Head Amp is not such a popular idea in modern phono amplification anymore. There’re not too many choices on the market. Out of curiosity, I tried one in my system and it proves to be such a good idea to have an active head-amp in the phono amplification route.

After experiencing quite a few SUT‘s, I became convinced that SUT is my preferred way to drive a cart. If matching with the right SUT, the cart can reveal its real potential in terms of quality and characteristic. I can always hear more from a good and matching SUT than a normal voltage/current amplification phono stage. The problems with SUTs are that you have to try and match, ending up with multiple SUTs pairing with your carts, while the SUTs, especially good ones are always expensive. One can easily spend a lot of money on SUTs. The other problem is that for the high impedance carts, for example the old version of VDH Colibri is at about 50 ohm impedance, 0,35mv output. For such a cart, it is very difficult to find an SUT perfectly matching the needs for gain and quality of this cart. MC voltage amplification to VDH colibri can also easily pick noises from the environment due to the high load impedance needed.

The HA-5000 is a 2-piece all tube unit, separating power supply and the phono amplification. It adds 30db, with 4 levels of load impedance: 50 ohms, 100 ohms, 200 ohms and 500 ohms. Those are good enough to cover most of the carts. I use the HA-5000 with the mm input of my Soulution 755. It is a good match for my ears. The gain of 755 mm is on a high side, therefore I have to turn down the volume of my preamp by 10db. The 755 mm gain is rated 60db and 66db in 2 levels. I feel it is a bit overrated but still it is pretty high. If pairing with an MM stage with 38db or so gain, I guess it is an even better match.

When the HA-5000 just arrived, the sound was a bit muddy, while the S/N ratio seemed to be overrated too, it was a bit noisy. After a few days burn-in, and a few attempts in different placing locations, the HA-5000 starts to get better and interestingly getting quieter and quieter.

It also became more “powerful”, cleaner sounded, with a touch of tube warmth which I adore but not overly colored with a bloated tube sound. And it gives enough gain to most of my carts, ranging from low output carts such as 0.2mv Anna D, 0.25mv Etsuro Bordeaux, 0.3mv Etsuro Gold up to 0.56mv Lyra Atlas. I’m more impressed by its performance with VDH Colibri since I rarely experienced an ideal amplification since I bought this cart years ago.

It has a typical Allnic sound, which means transparency and a bit of sweetness. I got the similar taste from the previously owned H-8000 DHT, which regretfully didn’t stay in my system for some random reasons. After burning in, it works pretty well with almost all my carts. Honestly, it is not a dead quiet unit but the noise is barely audible.

Compared to SUT, it is a more generic solution. SUTs are more critical in matching with carts. But i still believe SUT can drive the most out of a cart. A Head Amp brings benefits of a more versatile matching to carts, quiet and enough gain. It works exceptionally well with high imp carts. I’m quite excited to have HA-5000 in my system.



View attachment 82010
View attachment 82009
That’s great news.enjoy
 
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montesquieu

Well-Known Member
Jan 27, 2019
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I have one of these (into an Allnic H7000V phono stage), I bought it after having in an HA3000 which only had a single input - with two inputs and a soft switch between them, it's immensely practical if you have two tonearms.

@ShawnZH like you I have been a long-time SUT user (for at least the last couple of decades). I've had all sorts through including some fairly highly regarded ones such as Kondo Era AN-S6c, AN UK S4, top end A23, Hashimoto HM7 and various eponymous offerings from Miyajima and Ikeda. Indeed the in-built SUTs on the H7000V are fairly decent on their own. However I was quite blown away with how good the HA3000 was, and ordered the HA5000 very quickly after hearing it. The character as you say is quite different to an SUT - it's a very dynamic kind of sound, not a smidgeon of musical energy seems to get lost on the way through.

There are limits to the cartridges you can use with the HA5000 as it's a fixed 30db .. I found that very low ouput cartridges didn't work - too noisy. (The head amp is hum free, but it does hiss at the limits of its specification). In my experience it didn't become practical until above 0.2mV. Loading is limited to between 50 and 500 ohm so anything outside that is ruled out too.

However ... within those parameters, especially above about 0.3mV, personally I haven't heard an SUT to beat it in my setup, and indeed I've sold off all my external SUTs along with my very low output cartridges (low-output SPUs, FR7, Ikeda, Audio Note Io2). Now I work within its limitations.

@ShawnZH one thing you might want to try with it is a change of rectifier - it uses a very similar PSU to the Allnic H3000/H7000 phono stages which benefit hugely with replacing the basic (most likely Chinese) 5U4G rectifier tube that it comes with, with something better. I first went to a NOS RCA but now run a pair of KR new production tubes that I bought, one for each. It's really worth checking out. Was a significant improvement even on something that sounded pretty decent to start with.

 
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XV-1

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ShawnZH

Active Member
Sep 21, 2020
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I have one of these (into an Allnic H7000V phono stage), I bought it after having in an HA3000 which only had a single input - with two inputs and a soft switch between them, it's immensely practical if you have two tonearms.

@ShawnZH like you I have been a long-time SUT user (for at least the last couple of decades). I've had all sorts through including some fairly highly regarded ones such as Kondo Era AN-S6c, AN UK S4, top end A23, Hashimoto HM7 and various eponymous offerings from Miyajima and Ikeda. Indeed the in-built SUTs on the H7000V are fairly decent on their own. However I was quite blown away with how good the HA3000 was, and ordered the HA5000 very quickly after hearing it. The character as you say is quite different to an SUT - it's a very dynamic kind of sound, not a smidgeon of musical energy seems to get lost on the way through.

There are limits to the cartridges you can use with the HA5000 as it's a fixed 30db .. I found that very low ouput cartridges didn't work - too noisy. (The head amp is hum free, but it does hiss at the limits of its specification). In my experience it didn't become practical until above 0.2mV. Loading is limited to between 50 and 500 ohm so anything outside that is ruled out too.

However ... within those parameters, especially above about 0.3mV, personally I haven't heard an SUT to beat it in my setup, and indeed I've sold off all my external SUTs along with my very low output cartridges (low-output SPUs, FR7, Ikeda, Audio Note Io2). Now I work within its limitations.

@ShawnZH one thing you might want to try with it is a change of rectifier - it uses a very similar PSU to the Allnic H3000/H7000 phono stages which benefit hugely with replacing the basic (most likely Chinese) 5U4G rectifier tube that it comes with, with something better. I first went to a NOS RCA but now run a pair of KR new production tubes that I bought, one for each. It's really worth checking out. Was a significant improvement even on something that sounded pretty decent to start with.

Thanks for the comments. My MM stage is with a pretty high gain, therefore the 30db gain on the HA-5000 is more than enough. I can use it with 0.2mv carts like Anna D and Anna A mono very well, while anything above/around 0.5mv would be too much gain. It is quite system dépendant.

The HA-5000 comes with 2 sorts of tube in its power supply. 2x7233 and 2x6BH6. Both are rare tubes one cannot easily find replacement to roll. Same as the pre-amp stage, 2xNuvistor 7895, are not easy to find upgrades as well. I do reckon that rolling rectifier tubes on the V7000 or H8000 do make a noticeable difference, with good 5U4Gs.
 

matakana

Active Member
Aug 26, 2020
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I have one of these (into an Allnic H7000V phono stage), I bought it after having in an HA3000 which only had a single input - with two inputs and a soft switch between them, it's immensely practical if you have two tonearms.

@ShawnZH like you I have been a long-time SUT user (for at least the last couple of decades). I've had all sorts through including some fairly highly regarded ones such as Kondo Era AN-S6c, AN UK S4, top end A23, Hashimoto HM7 and various eponymous offerings from Miyajima and Ikeda. Indeed the in-built SUTs on the H7000V are fairly decent on their own. However I was quite blown away with how good the HA3000 was, and ordered the HA5000 very quickly after hearing it. The character as you say is quite different to an SUT - it's a very dynamic kind of sound, not a smidgeon of musical energy seems to get lost on the way through.

There are limits to the cartridges you can use with the HA5000 as it's a fixed 30db .. I found that very low ouput cartridges didn't work - too noisy. (The head amp is hum free, but it does hiss at the limits of its specification). In my experience it didn't become practical until above 0.2mV. Loading is limited to between 50 and 500 ohm so anything outside that is ruled out too.

However ... within those parameters, especially above about 0.3mV, personally I haven't heard an SUT to beat it in my setup, and indeed I've sold off all my external SUTs along with my very low output cartridges (low-output SPUs, FR7, Ikeda, Audio Note Io2). Now I work within its limitations.

@ShawnZH one thing you might want to try with it is a change of rectifier - it uses a very similar PSU to the Allnic H3000/H7000 phono stages which benefit hugely with replacing the basic (most likely Chinese) 5U4G rectifier tube that it comes with, with something better. I first went to a NOS RCA but now run a pair of KR new production tubes that I bought, one for each. It's really worth checking out. Was a significant improvement even on something that sounded pretty decent to start with.

You should realy look at that standard 47 k resistor that the HA5000 goes through on your V7000 and replace it with a zfoil or a silver Audio Note.
 
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montesquieu

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Jan 27, 2019
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Thanks for the comments. My MM stage is with a pretty high gain, therefore the 30db gain on the HA-5000 is more than enough. I can use it with 0.2mv carts like Anna D and Anna A mono very well, while anything above/around 0.5mv would be too much gain. It is quite system dépendant.

The HA-5000 comes with 2 sorts of tube in its power supply. 2x7233 and 2x6BH6. Both are rare tubes one cannot easily find replacement to roll. Same as the pre-amp stage, 2xNuvistor 7895, are not easy to find upgrades as well. I do reckon that rolling rectifier tubes on the V7000 or H8000 do make a noticeable difference, with good 5U4Gs.

Yes I wondered about your photo, it would appear the PSU on the HA5000 has been changed since the version I have (bought in 2019).
 

montesquieu

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Jan 27, 2019
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You should realy look at that standard 47 k resistor that the HA5000 goes through on your V7000 and replace it with a zfoil or a silver Audio Note.

Not sure which you mean - is this associated with the variable input as the back of the top plate?
 

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advanced101

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Not sure which you mean - is this associated with the variable input as the back of the top plate?
Take a look through this thread:
 
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matakana

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Take a look through this thread:
Thanks advanced 101. Hope Monty does this too.
 
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montesquieu

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Thanks advanced 101. Hope Monty does this too.
It's certainly interesting but my electronics skills are zero and I wouldn't be able to do this myself. I've personally been very happy with the H7000V.
 

montesquieu

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Jan 27, 2019
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Well confusion/curiosity/a need toget things straight got the better of me and I opened up the PSU of the HA5000 - and it looks just like the one here. My memory I was totally wrong ... I realise now I used only one KR rectifier on the Allnics - on the phono stage - and I used the other KR rectifier for my DAC. Shows how memory can play tricks!
 

matakana

Active Member
Aug 26, 2020
200
95
30
59
UK
Not sure which you mean - is this associated with the variable input as the back of the top plate?
Well confusion/curiosity/a need toget things straight got the better of me and I opened up the PSU of the HA5000 - and it looks just like the one here. My memory I was totally wrong ... I realise now I used only one KR rectifier on the Allnics - on the phono stage - and I used the other KR rectifier for my DAC. Shows how memory can play tricks!
So another KR recti on order is it Monty ?
 

montesquieu

Well-Known Member
Jan 27, 2019
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So another KR recti on order is it Monty ?
No, my PSU is the same as the one here which uses relatively unusual tubes. There are options available for these from the likes of Langrex in the UK, but I'm not sure rolling them would necessarily make much difference as they are vintage production tubes to begin with.
 

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