Audiolab announce new all-in-one Amp
Can Audiolab's new sub £600 amp please all?
Outwardly, the 6000A bears a strong resemblance to the 8300A – Audiolab’s existing, integrated amplifier – with its rotary controls and large, central OLED display. Unlike the 8300A, the 6000A incorporates D/A conversion, enabling digital sources to be connected directly without an external DAC.
The 6000A has four digital inputs, three line-level analogue inputs, an input for a turntable, wireless connectivity via Bluetooth and a dedicated headphone amp, in addition to its ability when driving loudspeakers. Audiolab has used the ES9018 Sabre32 Reference chip family to perform D/A conversion, utilising ESS Technology’s 32-bit HyperStream architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator which, Audiolab claims, delivers ultra-low noise and high dynamic range.
The amp’s four S/PDIF digital inputs – two coaxial and two optical – handle Hi-Res PCM data up to 24-bit/192kHz and have three user-selectable digital filters: ‘Fast Roll-Off’, ‘Slow Roll-Off’ and ‘Minimum Phase’. Bluetooth connectivity includes support for the aptX codec which is nice for Android Users.
The 6000A’s discrete Class AB power amp stage delivers 50W per channel into eight ohms, with a maximum current delivery of 9 Amps into difficult loads. The output stage of the discrete power amp circuits uses a CFB (Complementary Feedback) topology which the company claims ensures superior linearity and excellent thermal stability. The volume state covers the range from -80dB to +8dB in steps of 2dB and 1dB (step resolution increases with volume position). Audiolab has included a phono stage for moving magnet phono cartridges. Also incorporated is a dedicated headphone amp with current-feedback circuitry.
The amp offers three ‘distinct operational modes’, which Audiolab claims helps it to adapt to its user’s evolving requirements. The primary mode is ‘Integrated’ – this combines the pre and power amp stages, for the connection of digital and analogue sources to the amp’s inputs and a pair of speakers to its binding posts.
‘Pre-Power Mode’ disconnects the pre and power amp stages. The allows the 6000A to be used solely as a power amp – for example, connected to an AV processor in a home cinema system. It also enables additional signal processing to be added, by connecting the 6000A’s ‘preamp out’ socket to an external processor, then returning the processor’s output to the amp’s ‘power amp in’ socket. Finally, ‘Pre Mode’ disables the power amp stage, turning the 6000A into a standalone preamp. This enables external power amplification to be added, thus providing a possible upgrade path.
Audiolab asserts that the new amp offers great value for money. Jan Ertner, the project’s lead electronics designer, stated: “......I’m proud of the results we have attained. On DAC performance alone, the 6000A will match standalone DACs in the £500-£600 range.”
The amp will be available from October in a choice of silver or black, at an RRP of £599.
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