Spatial X3 playing with the Allnic D10000 DAC review

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MichaelHiFi

Thought I'd post my review of the Allnic D10000 largely using my Spatial X3's. It's a long read but wanted to give the Spatial folks here some idea of how your speakers sound with this amazing DAC.

ALLNIC D10000 REVIEW

I recently was offered an opportunity to review the new Allnic OTL/OCL DAC. Being the owner of the  Allnic T2000 30th Anniversary, it seems logical to pair the 2 brilliant pieces of audio devices. Understand that I’m just an audio enthusiast and writing, especially writing reviews is not in my wheelhouse. I’ve simply been involved with performance audio since I was 10 years old. I’m 66 now and have learned and listened to my fair share of equipment. Certainly nowhere near what a professional reviewer has access to, or hears daily. I’ll give it my best shot. I consider myself a student of audio and continue to learn through personal experience and trusted ears of others who share this hobby.

THE ALLNIC D10000 DAC
The Allnic DAC is from what I understand is a first in that it does away with transformers and  capacitors in the output stage. This is a tube dac and with that, the first I’ve had the pleasure to listen to. The digital section was created by a company called Waversa.
Prior to this writing, I wrote a review of the aforementioned Allnic T2000 30th Anniversary. I  meant to write a follow-up so I’ll add verbiage to what I had already written but mainly focus on  the DAC as well as compare it to another well regarded DAC, the HoloMay KTE. I’ll go into detail regarding 2  systems I have in our home and play with this dac in both and in different scenarios. This turned out to be a long review so be patient. Understand that I’m not a writer, just an audio junkie who loves music first and audio gear… well first too.
While writing a review of a piece of equipment I find it daunting. I don’t know how  professional reviewers do it. Every room sounds different, every setup, every cable, not to mention the reviewer who has his or her perception of what sounds good. What I decided to do was to try various setups so that the reader might form some sort of idea what this dac sounds like and how it compares to another well regarded dac although in a different price category.
The Allnic DAC sat on a granite slab with a substrate of sorts which is what the Adona Rack uses. Prior to the Allnic I had a Lindemann Music DSD25. It was very sensitive to what it sat on. I bought footers but discovered that the footers robbed the DAC of music. The granite was a bit hard. Three inch Maple was the sweet spot. I did not test the Allnic with any type of footer. If I eventually buy the Allnic, it WILL be tested with a number of solutions. That’s what we do.
My ROOMS:
Having had a home built little more than a year ago I took advantage of having  designed a dedicated audio room built in the basement. Rockwool was supposed to be  incorporated inside the walls. That didn’t happen. The contractor turned out to not be what we expected. Turn the page. Room measures 15’ X 19’ and a 7’6” ceiling. GIK room treatments  include corner traps and a few front wall panels as well as 1 each side wall panels. It’s still a work in progress. 3 dedicated circuits were also installed. 
Upstairs room is our living room/kitchen. There are no treatments but plenty of furniture to tame most nasty reflections. This room has vaulted ceilings and measures 19’ 9” x ~30’. It’s supposed to  be a ‘budget’ system (budget meaning under $25K…)  so that we can listen to more music on a daily basis. The dedicated audio room in the basement just wasn’t getting visited enough due to our busy lifestyle. She is also very attuned to the sound of performance audio. Her feelings will be reflected in the review.
EQUIPMENT:
I’ll start with the upstairs room or “the budget room”. 
Speakers; A fairly new pair of Buchardt S400’s Mk II Sith on their optional stands. Added to the  top of the stands are a pair of Butcher Block Acoustics maple blocks in order to raise the  Buchardt’s to a more reasonable height. The Buchardt stands were simply too short.
Having a pair of Adam SW260 subs looking for a place to play, I installed those next to the  Buchardts.
Amplifier power is a BMC-S1 I took out of audio mothball. No ~$8K amplifier should sit silent in  a storage room.
Digital is shared between the Holo May KTE DAC and the in review Allnic DAC. 
Source in the Pro-ject RS2-T transport which feeds the DAC’s. The RS2-T gets power from a  LTA linear power supply. My streamer, the Sonore Ultrarendu uses my dedicated server and all the cables, NAS, power supplies, switches, needed to get this complex streamer working.
Preamp is a newly acquired Acoustic Invader. It’s a Serbian JFET pre that’s just settling in (and now settled in).
I started with an Oppo BDP105 but the May just destroyed it and having the Pro-ject, the Oppo  went back to HT.
LOOK AND FEEL OF THE ALLNIC DAC
It’s classic Allnic, an industrial looking design that I find beautiful, elegant, and of course matches the rest of the Allnic lineup. It has two glowing meters that allow one to set bias as well as to tell the owner of a failing tube. It’s a one big box affair with considerable heft. It’s easy to move around due to its design. There’s no screen, small but tasteful lights showing sampling rates, source and conversion. The only downside was not knowing what sampling rate is set from across the room. A snapshot of the front panel with your cell phone aids in knowing what is set and the learning curve isn’t too difficult. The rows of tubes tell you this is of course a tube dac but that’s only part of the story.
The Sound of the Allnic in a budget system. Buchardt S400 MK II’s - AI preamp - BMC S1 - Project RS2-T, Holo Audio May KTE DAC & Streaming when it worked.
I started with Beck's Hyperspace CD track 2 Uneventful Days. Through the May DAC this track  and all others on this CD is as dynamic as any music I own. Music explodes out of a well  recorded space. It’s a fun listen while the song Stratosphere is my favorite projecting space  crazily around the room. Through the Allnic DAC it’s the addition of tone and timber that conveys  an element I hadn’t noticed I missed with the May. More on this. My wife loves Frank Duval. The album Spuren I’ve played maybe twice and found it completely uninvolving, flat, lifeless, simply unlistenable. This was in my reference downstairs system with the Spatial anchored by  their built in subs. It seems that this album has no dynamic range. Upstairs through the May, it  was equally bad although I would say that having the Adam subs in play with a bit more  volume, it was somewhat better. With the Allnic in place it was a surprisingly different presentation. Duval’s music suddenly had more depth, space and timber. Somehow the Allnic had filled in the body and weight that was missing with the May. My wife thought maybe it was the JFET pre that was performing this trick. But the May was also using the Serbian pre and both DACs used the same power cord, the Furutech DPS 4.1 and the same USB cable, the Network Acoustics Muon. The room acoustics too plays into the added warmth but the point is that the Allnic presented a very different presentation. Don’t get me wrong, the May sounds great too in this room but presented a more shall I say, technical delivery. The May projects sound in a more forward manner, the Allnic in a warmer analog like manner. The Buchardts appreciate the warmth of the Allnic as well as the Adam subs bottom end which really sound more like really good bass speakers and not the subs they are marketed to be. I like them and my audiophile buddies who, on occasion, borrowed them greatly appreciated their ability to blend in. OK let’s go downstairs.
THE SOUND OF THE ALLNIC DAC DOWNSTAIRS: (Spatial X3’s)
The Allnic pair are reunited downstairs. I should say trio as I own the Allnic H5500 phono preamp. They’re playing through the Spatial X3’s open baffle speakers in a dedicated listening room. I’m streaming Roon using HQplayer to perform the heavy processing. Most songs are being played in NOS but on occasion, I’ll switch to DSD to  get a perhaps more ordered sound?
I was pretty taken aback how much bigger the sound was in this room. I wouldn’t say I ever  got great front to back layering (if there is such a thing - the argument goes on) and that didn’t change with the change of the dac. But tonally the same adjectives I described with the upstairs system got thoroughly enhanced downstairs no doubt due the Allnic integrated and the big Spatials in play. Criticize as you may I will state this; when I’m listening, even critically there doesn’t appear to me that there’s a dac in the system. It doesn’t sound like a vinyl or phono setup either, but it doesn’t sound like a dac or that there’s a dac at play. The Allnic has managed to divorce any resemblance of digital with this device. How do I explain what I’m hearing? First off it’s a tone monster. Every instrument and every vocal inflection is present with body and texture. (Note that in our dedicated listening  room, I’m using the USB Muon cable straight into the computer motherboard).  Later on I switched to using the network tools at hand, the ultrarendu/etherregen and associated Uptone power supply. HQplayer streaming through Roon.
SONGS:
Lana Del Ray - White Dress
I’ve been enjoying this recording this past year as I found her voice ethereal, whispy, breathy, a  fascinating recording to me. Through the Allnic it was a  moment. Lana grew a body, anotherwards, it wasn’t simply a voice singing from her throat but rather starting from her  chest, a weighty feeling while still portraying the same ethereal wispiness of her vocals. It’s going to be difficult going back to listen to this recording after hearing it in this manner.
Death Cab For Cutie -  I want to shake their recording engineer's hand. Damn. Soul Meets body? If you are not moving to this tune you ARE clinically dead. So present and so natural. You might be thinking, Death Cab for Cutie, is that a group? Well yes, a very good one. Vocals too are amazingly present through the Allnic as well as the backing vocal which is clearly separated but maintains the harmony of the two . Title and Registration, another cut of this album, conveys the regret of the author as he rummages through his glove box only to find a picture of a lost love. I easily connect to the emotional content song after song and this was no exception.
Sting - Englishman in New York;
I love the recording of this song and it did not disappoint. The startling drum strike halfway through this cut was every bit as powerful and textured as I’ve ever heard it. 

Field of Dreams; 
This cut played big, wide and deep. There’s a lot going on in this song and it was on full  display. You can easily discern instruments in their own space while still remaining cohesive  within the song. My wife showed me her arm. It was goosebump territory. She was immersed in the music and that’s a good sign our system was playing very well.
I have many recordings of music that I’ve cherished through the years. Some recordings don’t  translate well over many of my systems and I’ve built a LOT of systems.

Dave Mason - World in Changes;
This played very analog like, rather soft I think and not what I expected. Through the May DAC, I felt a bit more clarity making this recording a bit more familiar. I think it’s fair to say. A mode change may have evened the playing field. I may have to revisit this.
Fleetwood Mac - Emerald Eyes;                            I like this recording as I can immerse myself into Peter Green's guitar while listening to the  background chorus that with lesser equipment gets lost. Not here. The May does a great job in  delineation with the chorus providing great clarity while the Allnic adds that body of warmth  almost seemingly taking the chorus down an octave. Again, just a weightier presentation that added to the realness of the song.

Beck - Uneventful days;    
A favorite of mine showing a Beck album full of dynamic mastery of electronica set in what  seems to be the cosmos. Songs vary though and in a high end system, these tunes are the  ticket for dynamic swings, odd bits of whatever Beck’s got going on in the background  (foreground?). Had I forgotten about leading and trailing edges of notes? I can say that the notes do present themselves in a natural way, so much so I’d forgotten to listen to how notes are realized, then disappear. The May presents notes in a more abrupt manner which can translate into greater clarity. Against the May the Allnic brings in that dose of fullness without the sacrifice of detail. I never thought about the leading/trailing edges of notes in vinyl and with the Allnic, it wasn’t noted. Both DACs sound great playing this album. They just go about their business in a different  way.

Beck - Stratosphere
Another cut on this album portrays an immersive wall of sound that extends deep into the room  due to no doubt the deep bass present. Again, the bass notes differ from the 2 dacs as the May  plumbed subterranean only when called for and portrayed perhaps a more structured note against the Allnic’s rounder fuller one. So who wins? For me historically, I usually preferred the tighter bass note but for some reason I’m enjoying the fuller deeper one in this setup.

Porcupine Tree Album “Fear of a Blank Planet” Song “My Ashes”.
What a great album. This album will test the strength of your system if nothing else will. The song My Ashes is a 17 minute 42 second thrill ride. So many tempo changes featuring brilliant drum playing, melodic singing along with a tapestry of music set in a Progressive rock/metal genre. I kept turning it up. I found myself fully immersed into this song like never before. Not only was I amazed at the recording, I was captured by what the Allnic was projecting with this recording. The drums hit hard, the keyboards, synth and guitars all working together in perfect harmony, the Allnic portrayed another level of tangibility to this performance.
The next track on this CD was not so fortunate in how it presented itself. The vocals felt a bit distorted, thick, out of character. Thinking back, I wish I would have changed bit rates or as I write this mess, what mode was I on? I believe I prefer NOS on the Allnic and on the May DAC I go between NOS and DSD 256 via HQPlayer. I’ll try to revisit before the DAC goes BACK.

Jack Johnson - album Brushfire Fairytales “Rodeo Clowns”;
This is a song that can spell shock and awe in that it is well recorded and well constructed. Vocals, drums and percussion explode from the speakers and do not disappoint here. The bass guitar here is played with full authority and you're left shaking your head in amazement.
Gary Moore “Still Got the Blues”;
What can I say here? This song always sounds good no matter what it seems. Through the Allnic combo though what a treat. It impresses - it seduces.

Joan Osbourne “Spider Web”
Another song that I used as a reference many years ago. Not the best recording as I felt the engineer spent too much time with the needle in the red but it’s still a song to be heard and especially in this system. Again, drum beats and percussion along with Joans voice had just the right amount of character.

Sarah McLachlan “Rivers of Love”
Stunning. The level of detail the Allnic retrieved blew me away. This wasn’t a forced in your face detail that sometimes or often can feel unnatural, rather it maintained the analogy like demeanor that I so appreciate with this DAC. Clarity was off the charts as well. I sat and panned across the room marveling at the way music was projected with ease while at the same time gave me great insight into the recording as it were. Shall I say what does that even mean “the recording”. I’ll pretend, make believe it you will, that I was there.
As a footnote, I played this cut a few nights ago and decided maybe it was one of those magical moments we as audiophiles experience when the time is after nine in the evening, a glass of Cabernet in the left hand and a volume control in the right and everything is proper with the stereo. The return visit confirmed I didn’t need any of that scenario. It was still just - right.

Norah Jones “Good Morning”
Following Sarah’s song this piece again highlights the great amount of information that was presented. Like other breathy performers, Norah just breathed her way through this performance.
Joan Osbourne “One of Us”
AT the beginning of this song there’s what sounds like (and is) an old time sounding recording where it can be difficult to understand all of the presented vocals. This of course before Joan goes into the song. Through the Allnic however the performance was elevated to where I very clearly heard what was said, not that I cared much but haven’t listened to this song 10 million times (yeah, sick of it) I found it refreshing again like the others, the clarity and detail that again stepped up the performance of the performer.

Classic Rock
For What it’s Worth/Whiter Shade of Pale/Happy Together/Simple Man/Ruby Tuesday/Lady Jane/Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers
I have to include and say something about these classic rock songs, like them or not.
I had systems that sounded amazing with great recordings and OK with lesser recorded music. Maybe it was due to the idea that my favorite music growing up just didn't sound the way I remembered, well of course not but, something was amiss. So why was I so blown away but playing some classic rock tunes last night including those above? It was the connection to the songs in a way I never thought possible. I don’t have the creative writing skills to describe but I’ll try to paint the picture. The music was not at all stripped down which now what I believe has been happening, I simply got used to it. With my vinyl rigs, the VPI in particular, I never could get it to sound the way I wished. My love for computer audio always seemed to trump my efforts therefore, my energy to create great sound was in digital audio. But last night I perfectly understood in the song Lady Jane, the harpsichord was so present as a weighted keyboard with a tonal quality all by itself. In all the decades of music playback, I never realized how so much information was lost. And it occurred to me given the chain of electronics starting from a CD, ripped via DBpoweramp onto a file (FLAC probably) then sent through CATx cables finally to get processed by a lot of audio devices, how it can come through as such a convincing musical performance - I just should my head. And every song above presented itself in the same convincing way. This is the outcome of a great DAC. I have to revisit that playlist just to be sure “it wasn't a moment”.

We had guests over for a weekend while I was reviewing the Allnic. They were familiar with our love for audio and had sat many a night listening to our music systems. I was fortunate to have our system running well as we had just recovered from 2 audio room floods. Cables got skewed after my 12 year old rebuilt the system. Damn kid needs to learn what cables go where and that they ALL need to be plugged in ;) One of our guests works with VR/AR augmented reality. She commented “I felt like I was on the  same stage with the artist”. She could hear the singer in their own space as well as the musical  instruments occurring in their own space. She was simply amazed that the illusion was so powerful in that 3D space.

Having the opportunity to really see what this DAC can do with lesser gear I substituted the Allnic integrated with the Acoustic Invader preamp and a 1200AS2 Ice Module amplifier. Now that was interesting. I had not commented about leading edge transients. Where I would note such things often in the past, having the Allnic in-play, I never even thought about it. Music just seemed to flow naturally. Now having a Class D amplifier in the mix things have changed. I took note of those leading edge transients. They were there, present and notable as it felt like there was an angle or edge when a note appeared. It was as if the note(s) were speeded up and were pushed forward a bit. Overall this presented harder outlines to vocals and instruments. The stage grew a bit in width which surprised me. My wife walked in and listened to - I forgot - and was really impressed. Interesting too in that the performers were more rooted in space probably due to the harder outlines.

This brought up a question, what is the most important component in the chain of components? Early in my audio adventures it was the speaker that was by far the most important component and probably still is. At some point I thought it was really the preamp, So I bought the Cary SLP05, then the Allnic L5000 DHT, then no preamp and soon after, I was missing the Allnic. My wife and I were making an augment for the DAC being the most important piece of gear. But my wife decided the source component was the most important as “garbage in garbage out”. I think the Allnic DAC was making a case for itself. Whatever I placed it with it brought another level of musicality without bringing up the fact that it’s just a DAC.
I’ve written my impressions using a number of tracks I’m familiar with. The reader may not be familiar with many if not all but as I prefaced, I’m just some old audio guy having fun with this hobby for a lot of years. And these impressions are based upon my ownership of the MAY KTE DAC for which I’m fond of. The DAC I owned before the May KTE was the Lindemann Musicbook DSD25. I DAC that I compared with an Auralic and a Lumin around the same price range some years ago.

More Ramblings:
One evening I decided to queue up a few of my favorite albums. I had both Allnic’s in play and used the Project RS2-T as my source.
Eric Clapton’s 461 Ocean Blvd. This album is loaded with songs that I never tired of. It also has 2 songs I never liked. I Shot the Sheriff, its hit song I never liked. Hand Jive too, wasn’t to my liking. But this evening, through the Allnic, what came out of my speakers was different. I could have put Hand Jive on repeat. I Shot the Sheriff wasn’t as annoying as I remembered. Understand that I have this album on vinyl, SACD, and a few versions of import CD disc. Familiarity I have in spades. There was usually an emotional connection with many of the tracks and in this session, it was easy to lose myself into just musical enjoyment.
Bryan Ferry, Mamouna. Wide dynamic swings, sounds and instruments located around the room always made this a fun to listen to album. Through the Allnics the energy was not lost. I thoroughly enjoyed this listen through the Allnics 18 glowing tubes. I believe I’ll run back to my audio room and give it another listen!
How the Allnics present themselves in a general sense is rather neutral in character. They do not force themselves on you. They don’t push music at you nor do they pull at you as in the edge of the seat listening. It’s not work. Enjoyment is of course best at the sweet spot but one can get to goosebump territory at the edge of the couch as one guest commented, “My hair is still sticking out”.
Not every listening session was brilliant. There were a few times I thought it lacked some sparkle at the top end. And to be clear, the top end didn’t suffer for the vast majority of songs I played.
This is a tough hobby if one always looks for warts in their system. There are an infinite number of variables to contend with. So many of us chase the impossible. I’m certainly guilty of that given the number of systems I’ve put together over the decades. Computer audio is especially damning for that. I have a unique power supply for every component, high end cables, ethernet, even the damn wires feeding the power supply jacks. Even the hard drive was purchased and was known for its musicality. Well, it didn’t sound any more ‘musical’ to me than any other hard drive.. I use the term 'hobby', to allow myself these extravagances.
The Allnic DAC certainly is an expensive piece. I’m hopeful one day if and when the economy returns to afford this what I’ll call a centerpiece. It would be after all flanked by our Allnic 5200 phonostage and our Allnic T2000 30th Anniversary.
Makes sense right?
OK maybe I shouldn’t have done this but - I did.
I compared the aforementioned album 461 Ocean Blvd vinyl version against the streamed file through the Allnic DAC. Yes I did that.
Vinyl version is courtesy from a Rega P10 Apheta 3 cart using the Allnic Phono Stage 5500. The Rega was recently tuned as it endured a 800 mile move and 2 floods (no water touched the devices thank God. I learned how to set speed (an automatic adventure) test rotation and wow/flutter and had it playing very well indeed.
I had to listen intently at first then leave my brain out of the equation and allow my heart to absorb what my ears were hearing. Problem was - historically - I listened to this album a million times through my Technics SL1800 and Yamaha CR820 receiver. So I have an Aural memory of sorts. After many back and forth switching between vinyl and DAC I came to the conclusion that there was no winner here. The vinyl version brought me more warmth, more of what made this album special to me and still, it did not sacrifice musicality. The DAC version had more delineation between notes, a slightly more lit up or openly dynamic presentation that lent itself to a more modern version of this classic. One could argue that the vinyl version was slightly inferior but another could argue that the DAC version was truer perhaps to the actual recording. I wasn’t there and I’m not taking sides.

Summary:
The Allnic DAC gave me a first ever impression on where state of the art have come. I have to consider SOTA as Allnic (as far as I know) has created a first ever OTL/OCL transformerless DAC using tubes as to my ears, and is brilliant in every way. I have not had the pleasure to hear of a similarly priced DAC in any system I’ve owned, and the aforementioned DAC(s) were used as a basis for comparison.
It does not look like a DAC
It does not sound like a DAC.
It may threaten those who prefer vinyl playback
This DAC can make budget gear sound like you just upgraded every component in your system and then some.
It’s not genre specific. Happy to play great recordings and crappy ones too to their greatest potential.
It does not play every song brilliantly. The Holo May KTE played a few tracks equally well and a few better but in fairness to both, individual settings per song will always play a part in ultimate sound quality. Still the Allnic DAC played in a different league over the May as one might expect given its price tag.

Pros;
Beautiful in an industrial sense.
Tone. It’s a tone monster. Vinyl collection might get threatened.
Music is warm and detailed while remaining detailed and 3D like. No listening fatigue here but musical excitement may command your attention. Wife commented “It simply sounds beautiful”.
Tube output and with those glorious meters, you know when a tube is glowing its final breath
Top notch build quality
Maybe one doesn’t need 2 or 3 or 4 boxes to have fine music flowing from a DAC?

Cons;
Remote - it’s an Apple remote reprogrammed. For the money, I expected something more upscale but it works and there’s few functions needed.
Display needs to be learned from across the room. Take a phone picture.
No built-in streaming programs. As with other Allnic products, these are purpose built purebred machines.
Needs a set of preamp outs for those who love their subwoofers

Gripes:
The Allnic remote on the T2000 integrated is a very nice solid piece of a remote. And almost logical. Almost. Changing sources is a miss. Up is down and down is up. So I always get it wrong. For 99% you might get annoyed but while comparing components, it’s annoying!

Link to pictures I’ve taken through the review.
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1wjGAuo-i9RVKAc_SyhSvGhGpE99-vQla?usp=share_link

Thanks to Kevlin Audio for the loan of this marvelous DAC and other associated bits of kit. After dealing with Acoustic Invader and many other boutique audio firms, I appreciate truly nice folks who are knowledgeable and reasonable. Increasingly a rarity in our society.

Loki57

Re: Spatial X3 playing with the Allnic D10000 DAC review
« Reply #1 on: 30 Nov 2022, 06:21 pm »
John at kevalin  is a very good person to deal with. Allnic in good hands.

newzooreview

Re: Spatial X3 playing with the Allnic D10000 DAC review
« Reply #2 on: 30 Nov 2022, 06:42 pm »
Quote
I recently was offered an opportunity to review the new Allnic OTL/OCL DAC.

Could you elaborate?

Was this "offer" by someone affiliated with Allnic or a dealer?

The review comes in at almost exactly 5,000 words, which could give the appearance of being prepared for other venues with targets for length.

I am expressing healthy skepticism, not making a judgment or suggesting you've intended any deception.

Early B.

Re: Spatial X3 playing with the Allnic D10000 DAC review
« Reply #3 on: 30 Nov 2022, 07:11 pm »
Could you elaborate?

Was this "offer" by someone affiliated with Allnic or a dealer?

The review comes in at almost exactly 5,000 words, which could give the appearance of being prepared for other venues with targets for length.

I am expressing healthy skepticism, not making a judgment or suggesting you've intended any deception.

C'mon, don't do that. The OP has been a stellar contributor to AC for many years and he made it clear in his post that the DAC was a loaner from Kevalin Audio, an Allnic distributor. Even if it's a professional review, what difference does it make?   

Daryl Zero

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 231
Re: Spatial X3 playing with the Allnic D10000 DAC review
« Reply #4 on: 30 Nov 2022, 08:37 pm »
Not to pile on, newzooreview, as I value your posts, but I think the review answers most if not all of your questions. The poster elaborates that he is not a professional reviewer and even mentions that it is a lot more work than he thought it would be. As to whether he was doing this just for us or for others, I agree with Early B that it does not matter.

Thanks MichaelHiFi for a very thorough and thoughtful review.

lazbisme

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 58
Re: Spatial X3 playing with the Allnic D10000 DAC review
« Reply #5 on: 30 Nov 2022, 09:55 pm »
have to do a ditto here!

$19,000 DAC compared to less than $5000 DAC! Makes me even happier and more satisfied with my HOLO Audio MAY KTE!!!  It was an
unexpected revelation when I put it in place of my PS Audio Direct Stream Sr. which I had had since it's introduction and was not dissatisfied with it at all. It was not doing anything wrong but the MAY was a shocker to me and my brother in law audiophile buddy. Partners with my X3s beautifully, especially after I had enough hours on them for break in. A definite necessity with the speakers!!

dls123

  • Restricted
  • Posts: 36
    • Citation Restoration
Re: Spatial X3 playing with the Allnic D10000 DAC review
« Reply #6 on: 30 Nov 2022, 11:09 pm »
have to do a ditto here!

$19,000 DAC compared to less than $5000 DAC! Makes me even happier and more satisfied with my HOLO Audio MAY KTE!!!  It was an
unexpected revelation when I put it in place of my PS Audio Direct Stream Sr. which I had had since it's introduction and was not dissatisfied with it at all. It was not doing anything wrong but the MAY was a shocker to me and my brother in law audiophile buddy. Partners with my X3s beautifully, especially after I had enough hours on them for break in. A definite necessity with the speakers!!

I have heard the Holo May best edition and it was very good and as cost effective as any $5000 DAC can be!  That said, I have a fully balanced Lampizator Pacific and am using old stock 46 DHTs as the output tubes.   The May cannot carry the Pacific's lunch.  But you can buy a lot of food for $10,000-15,000!  There are used Pacifics floating around, and I am sure one can be had for less than the $19,000 for the unit that is the subject of the review.   I don't even need to hear the Allnic to know which I would rather listen to:)   
cheers,
Don

MichaelHiFi

Re: Spatial X3 playing with the Allnic D10000 DAC review
« Reply #7 on: 1 Dec 2022, 02:55 pm »
Thanks Daryl for the kind words.

Let me elaborate a bit more about the differences here between the KTE and the Allnic.

The KTE I found to be a great DAC, especially for the money - I think. I mean how do I know for sure? My last DAC, the Lindemann Musicbook DSD was also a great DAC and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I listened to many others too, briefly, such as Lumin and Auralic, NAD, PS Audio and I've forgotten what else. I found to my ears the KTE is a level or more above those DACs'.

The KTE sounds like a really fine instrument and it is. And it works for most of my music collection. There were some songs from The KTE that were just mesmerizing, can't be better I think. But ya know, I've said that before. It has been an enjoyable piece of gear and will continue to serve. I have written glowingly about it elsewhere, I'm sure. The Allnic is in another league. As I had mentioned, it does not have a DAC signature to my ears. It's like a really fine vinyl system, if I can pretend to know what that is. I've got a Rega P10 and performed that comparison. I think there's some value to that thought. With the Allnic, I never feel like I need or desire to change settings such as NOS, DSD, Upsampling, or needing HGPlayer to realize gains. It's just plays music beautifully. 

The wife too finds it beautiful to listen too as well. She's understandably not happy about the cost, but she likes the upgrade in sound. That's the problem bringing home something better than what you already have. You just gotta have it.

The amount of crap I've got invested in the interface leading to the DAC is ridiculous. Different types of CATx cable, etherregen, Ultrarendu, power supplies, HQPlayer, gazillion settings, handshake, no handshake, I just got tired of all that. Yeah, I seem to have mastered it after much help from users in our forums, thank God for the help from our audiophile communities - that's you guys. Well that crap can live upstairs ;)

The Allnic is plug n Play. I like that.

I'm keeping my MAY KTE dac. It's a great DAC. It will perform well and does in my upstairs system. I'm buying the Allnic sometime next year. I don't know how, maybe find a job. I may have to leave retirement to do so but so what. In the mean time, the Spatials will perform on vinyl only, not such a bad thing. I gotta send this DAC back as I've had it for too long (or not long enough?).

I already own the Allnic Integrated 30th Anniversary and the Allnic 5500 phonostage so it makes sense right? Also as I mentioned in the review, I haven't listened to other +$10K dacs. I'm sure they're great as well. I'd love to here the Pacific. Bring it on over! I got spare bedrooms!

Daryl Zero

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 231
Re: Spatial X3 playing with the Allnic D10000 DAC review
« Reply #8 on: 1 Dec 2022, 08:46 pm »
We need a meme for old retired guys buying new equipment.  An old guy from the Great Depression, hat in hand, in black and white, asking: Buddy, can you spare a DAC?

MichaelHiFi

Re: Spatial X3 playing with the Allnic D10000 DAC review
« Reply #9 on: 1 Dec 2022, 10:08 pm »
Yeah, real funny Daryl  :icon_lol:

They'd say "Sure, you can have a dinner at church"