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Friday, September 3, 2010

A (short) phono-stages survey: LCR vs. LCR - Thomas Mayer 437A and ALLNIC H-3000

... and the winner is... LCR!

Yes, folks!

I recently had the rare opportunity to directly compare in my system a superb ALLNIC H-3000 with separate power supply, the Top-of-the Line phono stage using Allnic-made LCR modules and built-in MC transformers.

Coming in two impressive double carton boxes, the extremely well made piece of gear is a beauty for the eyes... superbly crafted in every detail, with two yellow eyes on the front panel, it silently looked at me in dimmed light and gave its intrerpretation and declination of Music.

I listened to Robert Wyatt, Ludwig Streicher, Hans Reichel, Fred Frith, Hope Sandoval, Sidsel Endresen, Miles Davis, Hopkinson Smith and Ornette Coleman and the silky smoothness of the brand-new H-3000, its extremely broad soundstage and dinamically alive, pleasant nature, positively surprised me.

Liquid, easy, natural... and dynamic and quiet and hum-free as it can be.

A beauty.

... after enjoying it, too briefly, I finally had to return it to its owner - a friend - who kindly lent to me his 30 kilos beast to enrich my first-hand experience of top class gears... thanks a lot!

Before doing so, I re-connected to Mayer VT-25A line stage my WE 437A LCR phono-stage and - with my friend - repeated some of the above listenings - i.e. avoiding for sanity-sake;-) Hans Reichel & Eroc's disc;-)))

The 437A demonstrated what I already was aware of... the class, the naturalness, the extreme "surprise" which is before and after every single note spreads in the room with every kind of music... that's it, pals...

So... are you looking for a brand or maker winner?

... not here, folks... the true winner is "LCR", a seldom used way to manage and deal with the tiny phono RIAA signal... there are some differences between Mayer's and ALLNIC's, of course - smoother and relaxing the Korean, more dramatic and surprising the German, BUT the common ground - i.e. LCR design - is well represented in both the characters.

All other designs - it's my very own, yet sincere, opinion - sound poor and flawed... maybe pleasant, but, sure, lesser!

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