When two years ago we tested the market debut of Alluxity, the lifestyle, separated amplification Pre One and Power One, we could say this was a very brave experiment. An experiment, that was designed to create a line of products for people, who not only have the money to buy it, but also like modern and unique design. Additional spice was added by the fact, that the company was led by a surprisingly young, for audiophile reality, Alexander Vitus Mogensen – the son of Hans Ole Vitus, the owner of the strictly high-end Vitus Audio. As you are reading this text, then you must realize, that the experiment was successful, what can be supported by the fact, that the catalog of the company is broadened by new products, and since the Munich Show we had information about a new streamer and an integrated amp, but we were not able to get hold of them till now – we just received the Int One integrated amplifier for testing.
From the first glance we can see, that the Danish integrated borrowed the chassis from the Pre One preamplifier. However we should not be surprised, as the innards hidden inside this phenomenally crafted monolith are controlled from a remote control or a 5” color 800x480px touchscreen. Due to this the fronts are devoted from any buttons or knobs, what makes them simple and universal, and only the fantasy of the manufacturer can decide what function the device will perform. The only decorative elements in the chassis are the oval holes on the sides of the enclosure, which perform the function of the heat sink, and the company logo milled in the top plate.
The handling is very intuitive and as simple as playing with Lego blocks. The icon with the active input changes color from light grey to blue. The display can be dimmed or completely switched off by holding the light bulb icon for 5 seconds. One remark – the Int One does not have a power switch – it powers on after you plug in the power cord. This is the reason that I suggest to double check all connections before you connect the plugs of the power cable.
Now we come to the back panel, which presents itself perfectly. Full symmetry and highest quality, underlined with the fact that all connectors were supplied by Furutech. The user gets two pairs of XLR inputs, three RCA pairs and two pairs of RCA outputs. There is also an Ethernet port present, which can be used to control the amplifier with a dedicated app, once you provide it with the IP address of the device.
Completely negligible for the orthodox audiophiles, while being a priority amongst interior architects and stylists, are the color versions of the unit – the amplifier is available in satin white and satin black.
Despite the declared output power being the same as in the separates, the integrated immediately warns, that it will not compete with the older brethren. Of course we still have something that could be called the company sound, but it is presented here in a more compact, or even more civilized, way. Although the Pre One and Power One were a true volcano of energy and acted as a shot of adrenalin on the listeners, the Int One puts more emphasis on the emotional aspect of the sound and musicality. Simplifying things, we could say, that this amplifier is an evolution of the sound aesthetics as presented by the lately tested Einstein Audio The Tune.
I am using the term “evolution” on purpose, as the Danish integrated has much better definition of the lower octaves, what on one hand is the result of much higher output power, but on the other the undeniable, genetic connection with the separates and the products of the senior of the family. Well, if you would like to put the tested amp in the ring with, for example, the Vitus RI-100, then you would clearly see, what differentiates High-End from Hi-Fi. So while the hundred almost does not interfere with the amplified signal, the One is not equally ambitious. Instead it enchants with timbre and saturation, and the slightly rounded edges of the virtual sources make us perceive the whole presentation as calmer and less demanding for the rest of the sound path. However you should not think, that this influence will help the dramatically badly recorded things like “Keeper of the Seven Keys” Helloween or “The End of Life” Unsun to sound at least acceptable, as they will not, but the pain related to listening to them will be smaller. The technical aspects of the recordings are placed in the background, and the front is occupied by emotions and appropriately underlined timbres. Maybe the whole will still sound two-dimensional, but with a tad of good will you can listen to those albums from the beginning to the end, if you like this genre of course. Fortunately the musical market is composed not only from bad recordings and music-like products, although the commercial radio stations try to convince us otherwise, but the amount of well recorded and valuable music is practically unlimited. And with that kind of music the Alluxity shows its true potential.
Classical music sounds on the Danish integrated in a very distinguished way. “Peer Gynt” Grieg (Sir Thomas Beecham / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) does not only sway the listeners to the melody, known probably even by the most amateur listener, but allows also to experience the power of the orchestra on your innards. This is helped a bit by the slight weight put on the junction between the midrange and bass, which emphasizes the nice perception of the sound and increases the spectacularity of the recording. It is worth mentioning, that such impressions are not reserved for lovers of concert-like volume levels, they are present also at much more acceptable decibel levels. This is quite important, as we do not always fancy, or we do not have the possibility, to share our musical passion with the neighborhood. The Int One can compete, in terms of palpability and level of aesthetics, with tube amplifiers, known for their capability of spreading their musical magic even at low volume levels. Talking about magic – long time passed since I tested a device, which could boost voices in such a suggestive way, especially female voices that is. And it did not matter if this was the opera-rock duo Sharon den Adel and Anneke van Giesbergen in “Somewhere” from the live album “An Acoustic Night At the Theatre” or the caramel soul Queen Latifah on “Trav’lin’ light”, every time the amount of sugar in the sugar cubes was a tad beyond neutrality. Due to this everything seemed a bit nicer than in reality, but such departures from neutrality are not only easily forgiven, but many times expected by the listeners. And with the Alluxity you can be sure to get your daily dose of the anti-depressive Prozac.
Choosing the Alluxity Int One is similar to buying an elegant limousine. If we decide to buy if from a known brand, we can be sure to get everything we pay for and what we can see. Highest quality materials, ergonomics, comfort. And the Danish integrated also offers exactly that. Without any sharp edges on the chassis and a worked out external design are reflected in the sound, which cannot be accused of any tricks for the satisfaction of the crowd, or any edginess. The sound flowing smoothly over almost all hurdles the sound engineers create in their incompetency will save us a lot of unnecessary unpleasantness.
System used in this test:
– CD/DAC: Ayon CD-1sx
– Digital source selector: Audio Authority 1177
– Network Music Player: Olive O2M; laptop Dell Inspiron 1764 + JRiver Media Center
– Turntable: Transrotor Dark Star Silver Shadow + S.M.E M2 + Phasemation P-3G
– Phonostage: Abyssound ASV-1000; Trilogy 906
– Integrated ampliier: Electrocompaniet ECI5; Musical Fidelity M6 500i
– Speakers: Gauder Akustik Arcona 80 + spike extenders
– IC RCA: Antipodes Audio Katipo; Siltech Classic Anniversary 770i
– IC XLR: LessLoss Anchorwave; Organic Audio; Amare Musica
– Digital IC: Fadel art DigiLitz; Harmonic Technology Cyberlink Copper; Apogee Wyde Eye; Monster Cable Interlink LightSpeed 200
– USB Cable: Wireworld Starlight; Goldenote Firenze Silver
– Speaker Cables: Organic Audio; Signal Projects Hydra
– Power Cables: Furutech FP-3TS762 / FI-28R / FI-E38R; Organic Audio Power; Acoustic Zen Gargantua II; Ardento Power
– Power distribution board: GigaWatt PF-2 + Furutech FP-3TS762 / Fi-50 NCF(R) /FI-50M NCF(R)
– Wall Socket: Furutech FT-SWS(R)
– Antivibration platform: Franc Audio Accessories Wood Block Slim Platform
– Ethernet cables: Neyton CAT7+
– Accessories: Sevenrods Dust-caps; Furutech CF-080 Damping Ring; Albat Revolution Loudspeaker Chips
The first contact with the brand, which was at the same time its debut, was with the separated amplification called Pre One and Power One. But you could be mistaken, if you think, that the main question that was coming into mind would be about the next product from the Danish company, more affordable for the audiophiles. So what could be more interesting than that? The man behind the products tested then, and the amplifier we are going to test currently, is a representative from a clan of audio gear manufacturers known to the broader public. So the most interesting question was, how the way the youngster presents music will relate to the products proposed by the senior, Ole Vitus. You can read the necessary information in the mentioned review, and today I invite you to read a report from another meeting with a product from the, still young, company Alluxity, the integrated amplifier Int One. You should not be surprised, that this brand is also distributed in Poland by the Katowice based RCM.
The chassis of the integrated does not differ much from the first products that came on the market, it looks like a solid block of aluminum, with holes drilled on the sides that should perform the role of a heat sink. I must confess, that the looks are impressive, combining visual quietness with aesthetic refinement. The front follows the trend of minimalism and modernism, so there is only one window there, that houses a touch screen used to control all the functions of the device. The back plate is full with different kinds of connectors, as the manufacturer wanted to please users having worked out systems. So we have there doubled or tripled XLR and RCA inputs, a tape loop based on RCA, an Ethernet port used to control the amplifier from a computer or app, singular loudspeaker terminals and a power socket. It could seem not overly much, but taking into account the fact, that the amplifier is not very high, and there is a symmetry of all inputs and outputs for the right and left channel, this makes the back panel really crowded.
Starting the paragraph about the sonic capabilities of the Int One, I will say like this: we all know, that trying to broaden the catalog with the assumption of moving down with the price must result in a slight loss of quality compared to the higher positioned products. So the only unknown is how the designers handled the slight loss of refinement, coming from the price reduction of the product. And it is probably not a secret, that for me this was the most important point of the checklist for testing the integrated amplifier from Alluxity. And the effect? Our tested hero was in the middle of the path of timbre without falling into a destructive unification of the lower registers. Yes, the whole carried less information, but it was completely acceptable compared to the separateds, especially taking into account the economics. So to describe the way the musical spectacle is created by the integrated we need to recall its levels of saturation of the bass and midrange, combined with some slight touch of gold on the upper registers. I started the journey on the Danish sea of sound with a very controversial, for my library, disc “Touch” Yello. Despite the slight frosting of my relationship with the Swiss group, I listened to the whole recording, however I was mostly concentrated on one aspect of the sound, an important one, namely how the artificially generated bass is reproduced, as despite the mass it should clearly show the effect of vibration of the floor. When I look back at the many tests I conducted, I can almost immediately recall some spectacular defeats with this disc, but I must confess, that despite the slightly more rounded and solid bass, the Danish product handled this almost perfectly. The sound was slightly softer than with the best, but for sure this one of the very well passed tests, as you could clearly feel the start of each end every impulse coming one after another, while the mentioned “softness” with good control for most listeners is more of an asset than a flaw. After that I put on John Potter with his repertoire of old music. A dose of vocal and instrumental music allowed to look not only at the capability of handling high amounts of phrases, but also how the musical stage is build-up and how the recording room responds to the event happening inside. An obvious aspect of such approach may be the case of the probably even required coloring of the sound, what was immediately shown by the old instruments and the voice of the artist. And when theoretically the whole presentation was very interesting, compared to that what I have in my memory, you could feel a slight loss of the way how the sound spread along the room, and that the rebound from the walls and ceiling was smaller. Here I need to remind you, that I am talking about the difference to the master, and here we are testing a much cheaper product, so we are not allowed to see such conclusions as flaws, but only as a certain aspect of how the device sounds. And this is an aspect, which is needed to be in scope for a wide group of audiophiles. Finishing the analysis of this disc, I can only add, that the gradation of the planes in three dimensions was very realistic, and the sonic beings spread around the stage by the recording engineer were well defined and positioned. After the clash with electronics and old music, time came to use the refined ECM jazz recording of Bobo Stenson in “Goodbye”. Session music with the recording touch of Manfred Eicher does not allow for any shortcomings of the reproduction set; it will show every flaw, or every departure from the truth immediately. This sparring showed a few different aspects, as with some acceptability of the saturation of the sound by the piano, the contrabass showed too high engagement of the body compared to the strings in the reverberation process, and while despite the slight loss of brightness the cymbals were still sparkling, but they had a dark gold color here. But again, we need to remember what we are testing, and if we compare the positioning of both amplifications compared here, such presentation is absolutely adequate, proposing in addition some artefacts helpful in creating a synergetic audio system. What is very important, the way the stage was setup in this repertoire did not differ from what I observed listening to John Potter, so there was a lot of breath behind the formations of players standing behind each other, and this allows for a significant amount of impression of the “being there” effect, when listening to live recordings. I probably do not need to tell anybody, that this a very important aspect of engaging the audiophile into the process of listening to music, and in some cases it can even determine if we have any joy from listening or not. In this case the reproduction of the realism of the sound stage does not pose any problems in terms of localization, what invites to listening even the most demanding listeners.
This confrontation with the Alluxity product, in contrast to the first one, was not loaded with a confrontation within the family, but just a full review of its capabilities compared to my masters. Of course the tested Int One did not create a new quality, but consistently followed the way set by the separated amplifier. The weight and color of the sound were very close to my heart, what I happily used during the few weeks we spent together. For me the mentioned aspects of the sound are a visit card of the product, they will be very helpful for the seasoned listener, and sometimes even the key to get full satisfaction of the owned audio set. However please take into account, that there is absolutely no audio device that would react the same in all cases, so you need to check it on your own, before making any purchase decisions. And I would really count this integrated amplifier to the part of the market offering worth listening to. If you are searching for some saturation, then you must listen to it, as it offers it without crossing over the border of good taste, this is just a signature, and absolutely not a problem, and this is not always so obvious.
Price: 7 500 €
Outputs: Pair RCA
Inputs: 2 pairs XLR, 3 pairs RCA
Power Rating: 2 x 200 W/8 Ω RMS, ≈ 2 x 400 W/4 Ω RMS, ≈2 x 800 W/2 Ω RMS
Dimensions: 43,5 x 10,5 x 31,5 cm
Weight: 17,5 kg
System used in this test:
– CD/DAC: Reimyo CDT – 777 + Reimyo DAP – 999 EX
– DAC: D/A NORMA AUDIO HS-DA1
– Preamplifier: Reimyo CAT – 777 MK II
– Power amplifier: Reimyo KAP – 777
– Loudspeakers: TRENNER & FRIEDL ISIS
– Speaker Cables: Harmonix HS 101-EXQ (mid-high section); Harmonix HS-101 SLC (bass section)
– IC RCA: Hiriji „Milion”
– Digital IC: Harmonix HS 102
– Power cables: Harmonix X-DC 350M2R Improved Version, X-DC SM Milion Maestro
– Table: SOLID BASE VI
– Accessories: Harmonix Beauty Tone Milion Maestro, Harmonix TU 505EX MK II, Stillpoints „ULTRA SS”, Stillpoints ”ULTRA MINI”; Harmonix AC Enacom Improved for 100-240V; Harmonix Room Tuning Mini Disk RFA-80i; antivibration platform by SOLID TECH
– Power distribution board: POWER BASE HIGH END
Drive: SME 30/2
Arm: SME V
Cartridge: MIYAJIMA MADAKE
Phonostage: RCM THERIAA