Audiolab 8000 Preamplifiers

Audiolab 8000 Preamplifiers 

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 10  
[May 07, 2012]
Rob
AudioPhile

Ok not so sure of the year. But when I found these in a flea shop selling for £39.99 i thought erm you obviously dont know what they are.

Audiolab Preamp - 8000c
Audiolab Power Amp -8000p

I love the fact that these puppies insist on you hearing what was meant to be heard and does the quiet bit brilliantly then surprises you with so much kick in the ooomp of the music. At first I thought OMG boooooring. And then further listening I was suddenly becoming humble in the fact I was completely wrong and being almost thrown across the room (well not really but you know what I mean) I am a realistic person and know when certain brands are clearly marketed above their potential. What can I say even though when the recession hit I was offered a lovely price for these beauties; I refused to sell them. Now partnered with what I think is worthy equipment except CD player I am glad I stayed. Don't buy export buy British because we actually care about we are creating. Tank Like Build. Sound quality that wants you digging through your collection and satisfaction that makes you look like the biggest smug git on the planet. I am excited about what I have and want to share it with all. I have them don't get rid of them. I previously had a Marantz 7000 amp and this setup makes the Marantz look like a it will do product. Dont get me wrong Marantz is better than most but sorry Audiolab your magic dust does the trick.
:)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 09, 2009]
stimpson
Audio Enthusiast

I bought the audiolab 8000p from hifi corner (UK). I decided to pull the plug after listening to a friend's 8000s and being pleasantly surprised by the sound quality. Coupled with a rotel rc-03 pre-amp and Mission 782 speakers, the 8000p produces an incredible punchy live sound with precise and deep bass without being boomy or overpowering. It sounds way more powerful than the specifications would suggest.

Now for the flip side of the coin. After a few months of light use, the amp would randomly switch itself off and back on again. I took it back to the store who then sent it back to the factory. Audiolab replaced it with a brand new unit which I was happy about. Anyway, the new unit worked fine to begin with but ran extremely hot (I'm talking electric heater hot). After a few months of use, the unit started to produce a very loud crackle though the right channel every 10 mins or so. It was sent back to the factory once again. This time they took a long long time to carry out the "repair". The unit was now running much cooler than before but after a couple of days use, the crackle had returned (AAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!). OK. I've had it with Audiolab and I'm now going to try out a Cyrus power amp. Hopefully I'll have more luck.

One other negative (not related to the above faults) is that the amp produces an above average level of hum, emitted through the unit itself and through the speakers.

I would like to give this product a higher rating as I am a great fan of british hifi, but based on my experience with this product, I cannot.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
[Jan 12, 2009]
MrT
AudioPhile

Strength:

Plenty of power. Bass with SLAM, wide and deep 3D soundstage, crystal clear highs, balanced mids, phonostage, build quality (can it go forever?). Got to be 5 stars!

Weakness:

The 8000C lacks remote
NEEDS to be paired with quality CD (source) that is on the "coloured" side and has modern D/A conversion - nothing else will do the 8000P & 8000C justice. Don´t even think about connecting these babies to some old flat sounding cd player or cheap DVD.

This is for the combo audiolab 8000C & 8000P bought used. A few years ago I ,after trying out and owning a nice bunch of amps (many of them british), got my hands om an 8000A mkII, wich then absolutely blew my mind. In my opinion a true performer with excellent clear sound and nice "slam" - given it's price. A few moths ago I decided to upgrade, this despite my opinion that the 8000A managed to drive my NHT 2.5i's with a fair amount of control. After searching for a few months a got my hands on 8000C & 8000P (made in the UK). Got my mind blown once again by audiolab. The soundstage and 3D imaging is simply amazing and the neutrality is unlike I've ever heard in the price range. Sound is crystal clear and the bass is deep, controlled and has the real slam to it that I prefer, though without sounding "loudness". The extra watts/amperes makes a noticable difference compared to the 8000A, especially at high sound levels. The main thing about this amp is in my opinon NEUTRALITY. Therefore I can't enough point out the importance of choice of signal source. I went with a mid range Cambridge Azur cd player that has a good amount of "attack" and a quite coloured sound to it. For the best sound out of the 8000p - go for modern D/A conversion with a broad soundstage! And always play it with tone controls off (flat)! The phonostage deserves special mention, since it has a nice warm sound to it.

Similar Products Used:

Owned by me in the past: 8000C & 8000P , Arcam A65+, Arcam A90, Rega Mira 3, Naim Nait, Linn LK1-2, Linn Intek, Sansui Au-9500, Acurus DIA-100, Yamaha M-50 /C-50 (great), Accuphase E-204, Yamaha A-900, Thule IA 150 and maybe 20 more=)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 12, 2009]
tepez
AudioPhile

Strength:

Plenty of power. Bass with SLAM, wide and deep 3D soundstage, crystal clear highs, balanced mids, phonostage, build quality (can it go forever?). Got to be 5 stars!

Weakness:

The 8000C lacks remote
NEEDS to be paired with quality CD (source) that is on the "coloured" side and has modern D/A conversion - nothing else will do the 8000P & 8000C justice. Don´t even think about connecting these babies to some old flat sounding cd player or cheap DVD.

This is for the combo audiolab 8000C & 8000P bought used. A few years ago I ,after trying out and owning a nice bunch of amps (many of them british), got my hands om an 8000A mkII, wich then absolutely blew my mind. In my opinion a true performer with excellent clear sound and nice "slam" - given it's price. A few moths ago I decided to upgrade, this despite my opinion that the 8000A managed to drive my NHT 2.5i's with a fair amount of control. After searching for a few months a got my hands on 8000C & 8000P (made in the UK). Got my mind blown once again by audiolab. The soundstage and 3D imaging is simply amazing and the neutrality is unlike I've ever heard in the price range. Sound is crystal clear and the bass is deep, controlled and has the real slam to it that I prefer, though without sounding "loudness". The extra watts/amperes makes a noticable difference compared to the 8000A, especially at high sound levels. The main thing about this amp is in my opinon NEUTRALITY. Therefore I can't enough point out the importance of choice of signal source. I went with a mid range Cambridge Azur cd player that has a good amount of "attack" and a quite coloured sound to it. For the best sound out of the 8000p - go for modern D/A conversion with a broad soundstage! And always play it with tone controls off (flat)! The phonostage deserves special mention, since it has a nice warm sound to it.

Similar Products Used:

Owned by me in the past: 8000C & 8000P , Arcam A65+, Arcam A90, Rega Mira 3, Naim Nait, Linn LK1-2, Linn Intek, Sansui Au-9500, Acurus DIA-100, Yamaha M-50 /C-50 (great), Accuphase E-204, Yamaha A-900, Thule IA 150 and maybe 20 more=)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 02, 2008]
Huck-L.Berry
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Sound is really fine, balanced, neutral, good bass and fine treble, not tiring even after hours and hours of listening. Wide stage. Lots of power.
Buy if you don't care about anything else.
Dont buy if you're into marked quality.

Weakness:

Touch-feel totally off-putting to me.
Cheapest pot, switches, posts, feet.

Bought a audiolab combo 8000q+p at € 999 + 649 to replace my burnt out Musical Fidelity A2 after a lot of auditioning and comparing (see similar products) in the pricerange up to € 1650,-.
Sonically I found them to be just fine, really fine, balanced and neutral, with good bass and fine treble, not tiring even after hours and hours of listening. Wide stage. Lots of power. BUT:
I had auditioned 2006 models. They were all good. When the new ones arrived I was absolutely shocked by build/component quality. On the 8000q volume pot and all controls feelwise are cheapest (e.g. lots (I mean LOTS) of play), muting didn't work properly (a blop from the left channel at every switching), reaction to rc bad for volume and input. Nastily cheap speaker posts and feet. I have not ever seen any amp made so badly, at no price. The 8000p has a strong hum from within the cabinet, not from the speakers. Negligible, but worth mentioning.
An attempt by distribution to find a replacement at least for the pot produced nothing.
I handed them back.
Am I too much into build quality and touch-feel with items sitting in a prominet place in the living room? Certainly all the other amps audtioned were perfect buildwise, so why should this not be possible for audiolab?!?!

Similar Products Used:

Musical Fidelity A2, Lyngdorf sdai 2175, Primare i21, Cambridge Azur 740+840v2, Densen B110, Myryad MXI 2080

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
1
[Apr 29, 2003]
Martin Farncombe
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Soundstage, neutrality.

Weakness:

As others have said, not the last word in clarity (or attack), and not the cheapest preamp on the market. Needs a GOOD power amp - not to mention a clean mains supply - to bring out its best.

When my Quad 33 pre-amp died I was forced to hunt for something that would work with my Quad 303 power amp and my beloved BBC LS3/5a speakers. After a trek that would make Frodo look like a slouch I came across the Audiolab series at UK£400. I now have the 8000C which, IMHO, easily outperforms the Quad 33. It's clear, uncluttered and (after burning in, placing in the right room and sacrificing a goat or whatever you have to do to make your hifi sound superb) performs nicely. Orders-of-magnitude better than the Audiolab integrated pre/power amp.

Similar Products Used:

Rest of system described in review.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Oct 13, 2002]
xyrium
AudioPhile

Strength:

Transparency, gobs of gain, and soudnstaging.

Weakness:

That I don't need another. I may get one more just to protect myself from having to buy anything else if this one ever dies. It's perfect.

I moved from am Audiolab Integrated to an Audiolab 8000Q to power my Odyssey Audio Stratos. What a miraculous difference. The amount of additional gain the 8000Q provides turned my system into a true work of art. Excellent features, as well as a sensitive volume control. Very low noise floor, with transparency and exellent soundstaging. The Dynaudio A50s I use aren't the best in the soundstage area, or transparency, but this preamp truly brought them to life. It gave them the energy to dig deep into the music to obtain every last note. Possibly one of the best buys in audio.

Similar Products Used:

Rotel 972, Classe CP35

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 15, 2000]
Lok Lowe
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Build quality, no-nonsense features especially gain control for matching sensitivity of speakers.

Weakness:

No phono-stage.

After using the Musical Fidelity X-Pre for over 2 years I was looking for an upgrade in both sound quality and convenience features ( such as remote volume control at least ). Don't get me wrong the X-Pre is a marvelous sounding pre-amp for the moderate cost and this lead me to think that spending a considerable more money would yield a vast improvement in sound. No so. I wanted my replacement pre-amp to have at least the ability to control/mute the volume remotely. Heaps of nasty pre-amps out there that offer the convenience features but not the sonic quality. I was lucky enough to obtain a two year old unopened Audiolab 8000Q in a London Hi Fi retailer. When combined with the rest of my system, this was the only pre-amp in my shopping price range that "WORKED" and offered a noticable improvement in sound over my Musical Fidelity X-Pre. The Audiolab is at home reproducing everything from Strauss to Springsteen. The soundstage is as open as the X-Pre ( remembering this has triode valves ) and the bass is very well controlled when teamed with my ME 550 Power Amplifier.
The internal design and layout of the 8000Q is excellent with a vast array of high quality electrolytic capacitors and a high enough capacitance reservoir that would put many intergrated amps to shame. The 8000Q is a fine balance, not in your face presentation nor very laid back. I wouldn't hesitate recommending this pre-amp, but chances are that you are only going to be able to purchase one second-hand seeing Audiolab was bought out by TAG McLaren. Thoroughly worth the money. My system comprises of -
Audiolab 8000Q Pre-amp
ME550 Power Amplifier
Sony XA5ES CD Player
van den Hul D102 MkIII Inter-connects
Tara Labs Prism Bi-wire speaker cable
Ambience Superslim 1400 Hybrid Ribbon Speakers

Similar Products Used:

Hardon Karman PT2300, Musical Fidelity X-pre, Musical Fidelity E20, Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista Pre-amp, NAD S100

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Mar 11, 2001]
Muz
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

This review is for the 8000c preamp. Well made and an absolute joy to use. Includes phono stage and a host of useful features such twin pre-outs and tape loops.

Weakness:

None

Having recently acquired an 8000Q preamp has made me realise just how good the 8000C is. It may not have the clarity of the 8000Q, but partnered with an 8000P poweramp, the pair have provided many years of enjoyable listening, so much so that I am adicted to buying CD's! The sound can best be described as detailed with plenty of control and weight. Having tone conrols also allows the user to compensate for any deficiencies, such as speaker cable, interconnects etc and also to tailor the music to suit your mood. Although production of this amp ceased about three years ago, they're fairly easy to get hold of second hand in the U.K. If you've got one of these and thinking about upgrading to an 8000Q, try to ensure that you make comparative listening tests.
System comprises 8000C preamp, 8000P poweramp, Monitor Audio 20se speakers (although worked just as well with cheaper Monitor Audio's) Van den Hul/Cable Talk interconnects and Audioquest Indigo+ speaker cable.

Similar Products Used:

Audiolab 8000A intergrated Amp and 8000Q preamp

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jan 18, 2002]
Joshua Feldman
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Excellent neutrality for the price. Phono section quite decent, but no moving coil support (not surpising at the price). Great tone controls, bypassable.

Weakness:

Blew a channel after 3 years. Not the last word in dynamics or transparency.

This was my first higher end pre-amp. It followed up a Vector Research receiver that was quite good, but the Audiolab was a big improvement. Ultimately I used with with a pair of Dynaco ST70 IIs driving ProAc Response 2 2s in a bi-amp configuration. This was a killer rig, which I later upgraded into the big bucks and gave the Audiolab 8k to a friend who uses it with a 100wpc Nikko amp and some better Bose speakers. That's the history.

How did it fare when driving those Dynacos into truly high-end speakers? Quite good, thank you. This is an excellent value for the price. It has silky smooth knobs, which are large and easy to grasp. The front panel is elegantly understated and modern in appearance. It has excellent bypassable tone controls. I found these tone controls unusually transparent and useful - pretty unusual. My model had a phono stage that was quite useable with good Grado moving magnet type cartridges.

When I decided to move up to a killer turntable with a moving coil cartridge I knew I'd have to move on. I began a long audition period looking at high end pre-amps. This search revealed that the Audiolab 8k was a little euphonic and glazed. It didn't quite have the dynamics or the transparency of the very best. Keep in mind I'm talking about gear costing 5 times as much here. If you've got to lose dynamics and transparency to some extent, at least replace it with nice warm euphonic glaze. The Audiolab did little damage to the music and really is an excellent value for the money.

After a few years, the right channel disappeared. It cost a hundred$ to fix but has been solid ever since. Internally the whole thing is one thick beautiful blue green epoxy board with nice fat tracings and lots of nice chunky looking discrete components including decent caps. I have no problem recommending these to anyone on the used market.

Similar Products Used:

AR SP14.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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