Ear wax! crusty, scabby, crunch....gross! what is this?

poor Larry has been suffering from environmental allergies - 3 trips to vet in 10 months and I can't solve it. BUT, in past week I've noticed his ears (not the ear drum area) but lining his ears he's got ear wax that is super thick, hard, crusty, crunchy, scab like. When I touch it, crumbles (like a cookie crumb).

I've tried two separate ear cleaners, one liquid and one more oily (softens the hardness) but nothing really gets at it. I've tried picking at it, I scrape his ear (not easy to hold him down) and impossible to scrape off.

I'm taking him to the vet but I'm just wondering is this sign of an infection? It's not hidden in his ear drums...WHAT IS THIS!?!?