The Italians from Audiozen suggested adding hugs to the sound — this, according to the company, is what is missing in our time of self-isolation, and this is the task that the new flagship amplifier Alchemy Embrace is designed to solve.
It’s essentially an integrated amplifier, but the company called it “embrace” – combining tube preamp with a transistor power amplification section. As stated in Audiozen, the terminology is important here: this device is the “embrace to music: a hug cannot be fake and, at the same time, a hug has no barriers”.
The two ECC88s preamplify and then feed the signal to the power amp through a ClarityCap ESA polypropylene capacitor bank. The powerhouse, in turn, amplifies the “natural and enveloping sound of the lamps” by current.
Such a shower amplifier must be wide open – therefore, its top cover is made of transparent acrylic. The front panel is aluminum, centimeter-thick, black or silver, and the sides are decorated with Asian doussian wood.
As stated, the ideal harmony in hybrid technological “hugs” was achieved due to a well-thought-out power system, placed in a separate unit, but firmly connected to the main device with a thick cable capable of withstanding up to 30 A.
The power supply contains three toroidal transformers: a 50 VA pair feeds the preamplifier, and a separate 300 VA torus is dealt with with the power amplifier. The power regulator, nicknamed “Hug Power”, is located on the front panel of the unit. In standby mode, only the preamplifier section works – it heats up the tubes.
The volume control in the main unit has been renamed to “Hug Intensity” and rotates from “loose” to “tight”. There is also a “hug meters” in the format of two VU meters, and you can adjust the backlight.
The amplifier delivers 100 watts into 8 ohms and 175 watts into 4 ohms per channel. Four pairs of unbalanced inputs are available. The set also includes a remote control. In Europe, a hugging Audiozen Alchemy Embrace will cost 3,300 euros.