I’ve for some years now held the position that hi-fi gear, like the Alluxity INT One MkII, is furniture — that one of the things that differentiates it from professional studio or live sound setups is precisely that which audiophiles least enjoy talking about: how it fits into your living room. And yet, for those of us who are not inclined to lurking in messy caves, the question of aesthetics and sonic performance in presentable spaces is a real question. Nevermind that sharing music is one of the great joys of hosting, alongside cooking, and comfortable chairs.
“If only you could design just one good chair in your life…but you simply cannot,” Hans Wegner once mused. Wegner is best known as the most prolific chair-designer of the Danish Modern movement which sprang orthogonally from Bauhaus in the Nordic-sphere, and in contrast to the current rather dreadful interpretation of minimalism at play in the US, is warm and inviting with organic shapes hung across structures derived from classical furniture.
Words and Photography by Grover Neville
As Danish Modern stripped away excess ornament and pretense from classical furniture, it also added an element of playfulness — the work of Finn Juhl as shown in his colorful credenza, or Wegner’s Dali-inspired Ox Chair remind us in the words of Wegner; “We must play–but we must play seriously.”
Alluxity INT One MkII
Much in the same way that I have never aspired to uncomfortable furniture, I have never desired to pay more for an amplifier which brings me less musical pleasure. If only you could design just one good amplifier in your life… but you simply cannot. There are too many versions of the right way to be counted.
The best designs of Wegner, Juhl and Kaare Klint are not remarkable for their minimalism, but in how they convey what the Dutch call Gezelligheid or Gezellig. Gezellig roughly translates to coziness or congeniality, and if you’ve ever spent a winter in Benelux or Denmark, you know just how warm and inviting those brick row houses can be. They seem to invite like a soft blanket and warm drink on a chilly evening.
Though Alluxity is a Danish company, I see in it the same kind of inviting warmth, not only in sound, but in design and use. An amplifier and its relationship is perhaps the most important connection in a system, followed closely by the ease of ownership and pride of ownership of said amplifier and speakers.
But let’s return for a moment to the sound, which is not warm as I typically think of it, but rather fast and detailed, while retaining an inner smoothness. To my ears there is a graceful and challenging mix of the accessible, sweetness of tone and musical engagement you tend to find with high-value gear, and the sort of detail and musical insight you tend to find with very high-end premium gear. I would say the Alluxity INT One MkII sounds premium and refined, but with a certain appealing smoothness, especially in the mids and low end, which are must faster than I’m accustomed to with a unit in this price range.
Add on to this the build of the unit itself, which is simply beautiful — there is no other word for it. I received a unit in a custom Blu Victory, but first saw and fell for the Alluxity equipment in the stunning bright Titanium Orange color that festoons their website and marketing materials. My living room is very much a living room, and this is equipment that fits in and invites compliments from both hi-fi enthusiasts and the sorts of artsy designer and musician types that frequent my apartment.
The build quality is a solid piece of milled aluminum available in the aforementioned orange, or a quieter white, and I have seen Black, Silver, White, Titanium Orange. on the Alluxity website as well — not a single color looked bad in my opinion. The unit in person has the right amount of visual weight and physically is quite easy to place being a bit shallower than a typical component, and thus quite easy to place. Ease of ownership here gets top marks.
What about that other element I harp on so often though, pride of ownership? If you’re at all familiar with the high-end Vitus Audio, this company is run by the son of the founder of Vitus, Alexander Vitus Morgensen (son of Hans-Ole Vitus), whom I had the pleasure of speaking with at Axpona in 2023. Our conversation concerned design, European versus American tastes and of course great sound. He struck me as someone who really understands the place of hi-fi in the home, and he knows well what he’s doing technically as well.
In use the Alluxity INT One MkII is a simple affair — it runs off an Apple remote with a thoughtfully laid out interface that even allows for changes of color. Volume control and input switching is all about as easy as can be, and plugged into a variety of sources I had zero issues with useability in a variety of context with speakers ranging from 87 dB to 100 dB sensitivity. Even with a high-sensitivity horn-based loudspeaker these transition points were smooth as butter from top to bottom.
Our INDULGR Audiophile playlist includes 600+ tracks perfect for auditioning high-end audio gear, and was curated by our team of editors.
I have to also point out that this smoothness of presentation is not at the cost of high frequency detail, and the Alluxity offered an amount of detail beyond what I expect from most amps at its price, while never verging into dry or unmusical territory. The low end particularly is extremely fast and liquid in a satisfying way. I found this tonal signature perfect for both focused deep listening and also background listening when the mood struck or company was over.
Pride of ownership then is a check, between excellent sound, UI and fantastic build and pedigree, there aren’t too many things I can criticize the Alluxity INT One MkII on. I did notice that most folks seemed to assume that it would have a DAC and phono, though for the level of quality on offer in such a compact package, I’m glad they didn’t simply throw convenience-level options like that onboard. The focus here is as much on quality as it is on usability.
The Alluxity INT One MkII is one of the many right answers to the question of ‘what is a good amplifier?’ But is it the right answer for you? If you value style, a sonic substance that centers music, and can find a place for some color in your space, then I would say the answer is very much yes. This amplifier is very much an object for those seeking a relationship with music however, and not gear – this is not for the gear-swapper looking for a shiny toy to admire and discard quickly. The Alluxity INT One MKII is, in so many words, a very good chair.
About the Author
Wanderer, Wonderer, Musician, Actor
Grover Neville resides in
sunny Los Angeles, California, and is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he studied music and creative writing. After graduating he pursued a freelance career in audio, and professional research in the fields of Auditory Cognition, Psychoacoustics, and Experimental Hydrophone Design. He is a native of Chicago, Illinois and previously did work there as a mixing and mastering engineer, working in music genres such as Avant-garde Classical and Jazz.
As a transplant to Los Angeles, Grover still works in the music industry, but now adds the video game and film industries to his calling. He is actively pursuing a career as an independent musician, composer, and producer. He previously contributed to Innerfidelity, Audiostream, and Part-Time Audiophile—before becoming an editor and co-founder of INDULGR magazine.