Audiozen announced the Alchemy, the Italian brand’s first integrated amplifier to much acclaim a few years back. Now we have the Alchemy Embrace, an amp designed to give you a hug. The team at Audiozen have a request, though. Do Embrace a favor, don’t call it integrated, because it hugs the NOS tube preamplifier, the high current transistor power stage and the oversized separate power supply unit.
The Alchemy Embrace uses separate tube preamp and power stages – a decision the company describes as being derived from the isolation most people have experienced over the past year, with the hope that the amp will “embrace” both music and the listener.
The power supply section houses three toroidal transformers: a50 VA pair dedicated to the preamplifier section and a larger 300 VA unit connected to the power stage. On the front panel, the power switch has been labelled ‘hug power’ and features a stand-by setting to gently heat the core of the tubes before switching on.
The volume knob has been re-dubbed ‘hug intensity’; the VU-meters are ‘hug meters’ (with the level of backlighting controlled by a ‘hug meters light’ dial), and when selecting between the four RCA stereo inputs, you can use the amenably named ‘your choice’ switch. But rest assured, it also comes with a remote.The sleek aluminium front panel is contrasted by wooden sides made from sustainable Asian doussié wood and a transparent perspex cover on the top letting you view all the inner workings.
Audiozen’s Alchemy Embrace amplifier is available in black or silver, and will retail at $3890.