The benefits of depositing AlN-SiC alloy transition layers on SiC substrates before the seeded growth of bulk AlN crystals were determined. The presence of the AlN-SiC alloy layer helped to suppress the SiC decomposition by providing vapor sources of silicon and carbon. It enabled a higher growth temperature, and hence a higher growth rate. In addition, cracks in the final AlN crystals can be decreased because of the intermediate lattice constants and thermal expansion coefficient of AlN-SiC alloy. AlN-SiC alloys were first grown on off-axis SiC substrates by the sublimation-recondensation method. Then pure AlN crystals were grown upon those. For comparison, AlN crystals were directly grown on SiC substrates under similar conditions. X-ray diffraction (XRD) confirmed the formation of a pure single crystalline AlN layer upon the AlN-SiC alloy on SiC substrate. The presence of an AlN-SiC transition layer effectively inhibited the appearance of cracks in the resultant AlN crystals. X-ray topography (XRT) demonstrated that the thick AlN layer effectively released the strain present.