New to the Cheltenham store are the Audiolab 8300CD Player and the Audiolab 8300 integrated amplifier.
The engineers at Audiolab have taken the design of the 'Award winning' 8200 series CD Player and Amplifier and with the introduction of more efficient components, high definition audio formats and redefined aesthetics have raised the bar with the introduction of the new 8300 CD player and 8300A amplifier.
The new 8300CD CD player improves on its predecessor in many key areas. It delivers better performance both as a CD player and an external Digital to analogue converter for external digital sources. Built around the Peerless ESS Sabre DAC, the 8300CD is now capable of resolutions up to 32 bit / 384 kHz and adds DSD compatibility via the USB input.
The CD Player now sports a new slot loading mechanism. This has increased stability and reduced susceptibility to resonances which in both cases contributes to an overall improvement in sound quality. The mechanism is also quicker in operation, reduces the occurrence of disc rejection and is more reliable than the old tray based mechanism.
The 8300CD contains a digital pre-amplifier with volume and source selection. This enables it to be connected directly to a power amplifier or to a conventional integrated amplifier.
With the inclusion of an onboard digital to analogue converter the 8300CD can be connected to external digital sources and radically improve their sound quality. This can be sources such as an external streamer with a digital output (Sonos Connect, Laptop, etc) or even the digital output of a modern TV to enhance the sound quality that can be achieved.
The 8300CD also offers balanced outputs for connection to a suitablly equipped amplifier (Such as the 8300A)
DAC-ESS Sabre32 9018 Chip
Digital Inputs-Optical x 2, Coac x 2, AES: 32 Bit 192kHz / USB 32 Bit 384 kHz (PCM) DSD 64,128,256
Digital Output-1 x Coax, 1 x Optical, 1 x AES
Dimensions-80mm x 444mm x 317mm
Built on the foundations first laid back in 1983 by the classic 8000A the 8300A has radically redesigned circuitry and a much improved high performance phono stage. The completely redesigned 8300A has new ultra efficient circuitry and streamlined circuit layout offering improved power output and a new level of musical performance. The amplifier has taken the approach of dual mono layout meaning inter channel interference is minimised. Crucial components such as audio processing and power supplies have been completely separated where possible to reduce any interference.
The 8300A can be used as a stand alone integrated amplifier or via the front panel can be configured as a pre-amplifier or power amplifier.
Design- Integrated Amplifier / Dual Mono Power Amplifier Design
Inputs-Phono (MM/MC), CD, Tuner, Aux 1&2, XLR Balance
Outputs-2 x RCA
Rated Power-2 x 75W RMS (8 ohm)
Peak Current -+/- 15 Amps
Dimensions-80mm x 444mm x 330mm
On listening using balanced XLR connectors between the 8300CD and 8300A (Audioquest Mackenzie) we very quickly realised that the new Audiolabs were a significant improvement over the previous models. With extremely good power delivery the bass was both tight and extended with extremely good control. The midrange is extremely open and offers very precise imaging. The top end is detailed with no hint of harshness. Musically the timing is very good and offers great insight into he musical performance.
The Audiolabs offer high end performance at a very reasonable price. If you are looking for a versatile and stylish CD/Amp system the new Audiolab is highly recommended.
Jon and Farid
Audiolab Hi-Fi products are also available at the following branches of Audio T: Brentwood, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Oxford,Portsmouth, Preston, Reading, Southampton, Swindon