Please excuse my slightly sugary sense of enthusiasm but I have had a fabulous days listening with this new piece.
It seems odd to talk in terms of upgrading the H3000V phono stage but what KS Park’s HA3000 active Nuvistor head amp does is nothing short of incredible. I was expecting a moderate but detectable increase in all the usual hifi properties – resolution, speed, space, depth, purity, timing, coherency, solidity – and you do get all of that, but in a bigger dose than I could have imgained.
What that doesn’t tell you though is more about the overall bigger picture. The sound now seems injected with a sense of aliveness that I previously not thought possible from vinyl. Much like your first experience with a good active system, every note seems to be pressurised and energised and delivered to your living room so raw, intense and so immediate that going back the stock H3000 step ups makes it seem small, soft, weak and a distant impressionistic rendering of the music rather than a directly wired connection. Anyone who has heard the bare H3000 will know that it’s difficult to contemplate the 3000 phono in those terms; indeed, the idea of it being in any way small, distant and weak seems preposterous until you hear it with the Head Amp.
Slotting in the HA3000 the sound is huge, grand, boundless, filling the room in front and behind me in a way I’ve not experienced before. There is some more running in to be done but so far I am pleased as punch with this piece and my findings seem to contradict the reticent nature of some of the reviews out there. At this level the price you are paying here is also small for what happens. This isn’t like taking a good phono and gilding the lily but rather, a complete reenactment, a whole different flavour and performance level. Allnic could almost incorporate the HA3000 and H3000 into one box and call it the H4000 and sell it for £15,000 and i’m sure it would do extremely well.
I gather from Hammertone Audio, worldwide distributers, that most H3000 customers have upgraded to the HA3000 and some H1500 owners have too. The head amp is also being used very successfully with other 3rd party phono stages. It will be interesting for me to see the effect of using the HA3000 with the middle priced H1500 and also the baby H1201. I hope to do this over the coming weeks.