Adding extra prower to the Audiolab 6000A?

OliveRock

Standard Member
No problem, and yeah I get you - if I urged on every impulse and eBay find without proper consideration then I’d be utterly broke!! Only last week was I eyeing up a used Linn Klimax Kontrol pre-amp for example, but really I don’t need it…!!! 😅
I confess I set an alert on the French auction website and if I see a bargain on the 8300XP...the opportunity I have now is still a bit expensive for my expectations. It's just a matter of time...
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
More power is key! 140 watts is breathtaking to listen to. The bass authority on low volume cannot be underestimated.

50-70 watts isn’t enough in my book😊. The sound breathes more. I’m thinking of adding power amplifier also.

Madness I tell you, madness..

I wish I could afford the Hegel H390!
 

TB Rich

Active Member
The bass authority on low volume cannot be underestimated.

50-70 watts isn’t enough in my book

Not sure on this personally, certainly in my situation the bass was the one area I didn‘t experience any real change, this is with going from 75w to 140w.
I certinaly as said in the above posts realised improvements in the change, but my hunch is I don’t believe it is simpy power that made my improvements, but the simple fact of improving the overall quality of amplification (and in some part too by operating the integrated as a pre only).

I think it would be very hard to test the theory of power alone making the improvements, because I would imagine almost invevitably making a switch to a higher watt power amp also entails going up to a higher quality amp.
That higher power/quality amp is going to have higher capacitance no doubt (key for dynamic performance), and likely higher damping factor too, those 2 things highly likely are the main reason for bass authority/control type of improvements.
And thus it’s never apples vs apples when going up in power.

If you could take a power amp and listen to it, then take that same amp and somehow choke it down to 50% power and listen again, then I guess you could start to evaluate the effects of power alone without any other component changes?!

I think the myriad of engineering and design factors that occur when swapping amps has conflated more power = better, when really it’s just better amp = better.

if I urged on every impulse and eBay find without proper consideration then I’d be utterly broke!!
Well less than 24 hours after posting that, I made an impulse buy ***!! Saw that Schiit UK had stock and bought a new Schiit Freya S pre-amp yesterday! I want to see if using a dedicated pre-amp can make an improvement over operating the 8300A integrated, as a pre.
I’ve been throughly impressed by the Schiit Bifrost 2 DAC (first time I’ve ever hooked a different DAC or streamer up and been able to hear a difference, and clearly for the good) - so I’m optimistic the Freya S will be an equally good buy punching well above it’s price!?
 

OliveRock

Standard Member
Do some of you have any experience with the class D xtz A2-300 or A2-400? It's 1/30the price (for the first one) of the 8300XP and is told to be quite transparent and airy.
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
Not sure on this personally, certainly in my situation the bass was the one area I didn‘t experience any real change, this is with going from 75w to 140w.
I certinaly as said in the above posts realised improvements in the change, but my hunch is I don’t believe it is simpy power that made my improvements, but the simple fact of improving the overall quality of amplification (and in some part too by operating the integrated as a pre only).

I think it would be very hard to test the theory of power alone making the improvements, because I would imagine almost invevitably making a switch to a higher watt power amp also entails going up to a higher quality amp.
That higher power/quality amp is going to have higher capacitance no doubt (key for dynamic performance), and likely higher damping factor too, those 2 things highly likely are the main reason for bass authority/control type of improvements.
And thus it’s never apples vs apples when going up in power.

If you could take a power amp and listen to it, then take that same amp and somehow choke it down to 50% power and listen again, then I guess you could start to evaluate the effects of power alone without any other component changes?!

I think the myriad of engineering and design factors that occur when swapping amps has conflated more power = better, when really it’s just better amp = better.


Well less than 24 hours after posting that, I made an impulse buy ***!! Saw that Schiit UK had stock and bought a new Schiit Freya S pre-amp yesterday! I want to see if using a dedicated pre-amp can make an improvement over operating the 8300A integrated, as a pre.
I’ve been throughly impressed by the Schiit Bifrost 2 DAC (first time I’ve ever hooked a different DAC or streamer up and been able to hear a difference, and clearly for the good) - so I’m optimistic the Freya S will be an equally good buy punching well above it’s price!?

I hope you intend following up on your Schiit purchase, as I am interested in sticking a pre in front of my 8300A.
 

TB Rich

Active Member
I hope you intend following up on your Schiit purchase, as I am interested in sticking a pre in front of my 8300A.
Yeah no probs will let you know.

I was thinking about how I’ll test, and think I’ll set it up as follows to best perform as close to A/B testing as I can.

Take the RCA’s out the Bifrost 2 to the 8300A, and then connect to the 8300XP via RCA’s.
Take the XLR’s out the Bifrost 2 to the Freya S, and then connect to the 8300XP via XLR’s.

Then I can just use the RCA/XLR switches on the back of the XP to switch back and forth.

I really don’t know what to expect! The 8300A costs more than the Freya… but, the 8300A is priced with the classic retailer/distribution model, so tons of markup in that price! It’s also got 2 amps, a bigger than needed PSU for if it was doing pre only duties, and has a mc/mm phono stage. - So it’s def not £900 pounds worth of Pre Amp, is my logic.
Whereas with the Schiit, every penny is on it being a pre amp only. And Schiit’s direct pricing model puts it at orders of magntiutde better in terms of value. I also love their philosophy of building the best items they can for the money and not wasting it on frivolous things like fancy milled billet alloy cases (cough chord!!)

We shall see!! :D
 

TB Rich

Active Member
I hope you intend following up on your Schiit purchase, as I am interested in sticking a pre in front of my 8300A.
Got the Freya S now, set up as my previous post - it's not been ideal for quick A/B because I have to get up, fumble round the back for the tiny XLR/RCA switch and then sit back down, quickly (and avoid sitting on the dog!).

I'll describe the changes I can hear, but I will caveat this with it's all pretty subtle, it sounded brilliant under both configurations at the end of the day!
This is no doubt going to sound like a classic case of audiophile BS at times too, but roughly these are the improvements!
  • There is more organisation to the instruments, by that I mean you can tell a better sense of each individual instrument, where it exists, and there's no sense of muddiness at all to the composition when lots of instruments are playing.
  • There's better channel separation/imaging going on, with the left and right speakers feeling like they are completely independent. I felt this effect/improvement when I added the 8300XP to the 8300A. The 8300A no doubt is compromised in space and design vs the dedicated separates of the Schiit and XP.
  • There's a more life like sound to instruments, I think this down to a better sense of attack - transients I guess? Where I found it was noticeably apparent (and the moment that made me then de-rack the 8300A) was Florence and the Machine - Dog Days are Over. Right near the beginning there's some clapping that starts, and those claps really do sound like they're in the room with you. Flick back to the Audiolab and it's so hard to describe, but they just don't sound with you. Less immediacy and crispness to the start of the claps. (And it has to be this effect that gives the slightly greater realism to instruments too).
  • You can really get on the volume and it sounds clean, I was listening louder than normal at one point but it almost didn't sound it, hard to describe. I've read many times how the cult-of-Lyngdorf chaps talk about increasing volume on a TDAi has a sense of just more music and scale, maybe something about a black background I don't know - but yeah I fully understand those references now! (I wouldn't tell them they may have been on to something mind and not talking BS after all!! ;) :D)
What I found was happening during listening is I was hearing something when using the Schiit that maybe caught my attention and was like yeah that's sounding very wide, or realistic, or more prominent, I'd then go back to the 8300A and find that yeah it's not that different at all🤦‍♂️- but..., there was a subtle difference there, and that maybe it just was not quite as clear, not quite as realistic, or as well placed in the soundstage. Never night and day, often needing me to flick back and forth a few times, but nonetheless the Schiit demonstrating to be the superior of the 2.

So overall it is subtle, but there are improvements, which to summarise more succinctly is more clarity, more realistic sounding, and better soundstage and imaging.

I don't know if putting one in-front of an 8300A makes sense though, I think you'd like want to use a dedicated power amp. - My logic is the 2 things I felt the XP did better than the 8300A alone, was soundstage and clarity, which aligns to the improvements now with the Pre. So if you put a Pre in front of the A, it seems probable to me that the A will act to somewhat mask against those improvements by itself.

Lastly as a very quick test whilst I had the devices out and cables everywhere - I went back to the Node 2i (internal DAC) straight in to the Audiolab 8300A alone - damn that sounds so good too! Really does underline the diminishing returns thing! (And makes me wonder if I shouldn't just buy an M33 and be done!!!).

Stacks with the Bifrost 2 nicely though, although probably want a Gungnir or Yggdrasil next to be full width!
IMG_1073.jpeg
 

gava

Well-known Member
Looks very stylish too!

Most of the subtleties you are describing are similar to the kind of effects I believe I can hear with the C399.

There is certainly some kind of synergy with the NAD combination that sounds better to me compared to the 1120 and my other system, the effects are relatively small though and I am certainly not very confident that I could pass a blind test under normal listening conditions.

I have also been tempted with the (apparently only me) issues I have had with C399 to simply get the M33 and hope that's the end of it.
 

TB Rich

Active Member
Looks very stylish too!

Most of the subtleties you are describing are similar to the kind of effects I believe I can hear with the C399.

There is certainly some kind of synergy with the NAD combination that sounds better to me compared to the 1120 and my other system, the effects are relatively small though and I am certainly not very confident that I could pass a blind test under normal listening conditions.

I have also been tempted with the (apparently only me) issues I have had with C399 to simply get the M33 and hope that's the end of it.
I do like the Schiit design, simple and understated - I especially I like the look of the Tubes on the Freya+, but tubes wouldn't be good for my health, what with having fiddleitus!! Which incidentally is why I also wanted to avoid a DAC with filters! :D

The only time I've ever heard really obvious and tangible differences was when demoing the speakers. When it comes to DAC's, amps, and now playing around with separate pre/power amps vs integrated. - it's all been rather subtle at best. And with most of these situations yeah I'll admit I'm not confident I'd be passing a blind test!

I don't know what I would do in your situation, clearly looking for a good sonic step up, and with my experience of speakers then I'd have to start there were I you. It's also fair to say the speakers interaction with the room too is mega important, so getting the right size and positioning is key - and at the money you're no doubt going to need to spend, that means home demos!
I'd be very tempted to find the right Ref 1 or Ref 3 deal now that the Meta's are out. I certainly wouldn't entertain the DIY route, seems like a hiding to nothing personally. I mean the likes of KEF must spend a fortune developing their own drivers like the UniQ, over decades too. And then a fortune spent on cabinet design with respect to volumes, materials, bracing, and no doubt so much more too. So the idea of just buying a full range driver and getting a carpenter to make you a box to size, sorry no disrespect the forum advocates of DIY, but well that idea doesn't resonate with me at all (no pun!).

For electronics, the M33 is certainly an interesting option, and I think given how subtle I've found electronics - that also becomes a really big argument for a single box. Especially one that has both BluOs and Dirac intergated into it too. The fact it's based on Purifi which are apparently very none-class D sounding.... well as long as NAD don't do a NAD and cripple it with buggy firmware etc then it's potentially a deal and good value too given what it consolidates.
The only draw back, no upgrading, planning, dreaming...I think I'd miss that, and the fact because it does so much, you'd feel wedded to it because replacing it would = mega bucks to be worthwhile! I bet to beat it with more traditional components you'd be talking the likes of a Michi P5+S5, Chord TT2+Mscaler, that sort of level of gear - and that's massively more money (and even then I wonder if it'll be subtle anyway - wouldn't that be depressing!).

Seeing as I'm now spending your money! :D M33 + Ref 1 + 2x Micro 3000. - Feels like it'd be hard to beat that setup?!

Back to reality though, I've put the 8300A in the office setup, quite the upgrade! Replacing a little Class D Yamaha A-670. Unfortunately the Audiolab is not 'Kallax-Fi', so on top it goes!

IMG_1077.jpeg
 

gava

Well-known Member
Nice upgrade for the office. :cool:

I think I will probably stick with the C399 for now, the thumping sound has mostly disappeared now, though it was back last night.

So next is speakers and/or subs. I'm very confused. Enjoying the planning though. I agree about DIY; I admire the people who can do that, but it's not for me.

My system sounds so good that I'm worried I'm just going to spend a lot of money for what would turn out to be a side-grade at best. A few weeks ago in the dealer showroom I was listening to a £25k system that wasn't as good as my home system. So home trial required.

Thinking maybe sub(s) next. Have my eye on an Arendal 1723 2S. That will definitely make a difference compared to what I have now, at the very least in low-end extension. The C300s (with Dirac to handle the bass) sound absolutely sublime to me.
 

TB Rich

Active Member
Nice upgrade for the office. :cool:

I think I will probably stick with the C399 for now, the thumping sound has mostly disappeared now, though it was back last night.

So next is speakers and/or subs. I'm very confused. Enjoying the planning though. I agree about DIY; I admire the people who can do that, but it's not for me.

My system sounds so good that I'm worried I'm just going to spend a lot of money for what would turn out to be a side-grade at best. A few weeks ago in the dealer showroom I was listening to a £25k system that wasn't as good as my home system. So home trial required.

Thinking maybe sub(s) next. Have my eye on an Arendal 1723 2S. That will definitely make a difference compared to what I have now, at the very least in low-end extension. The C300s (with Dirac to handle the bass) sound absolutely sublime to me.
Probably warrants a speaker upgrade in the office now! It never ends!!

Yeah an Arendal or 2 would also be very nice, and at least starting with the subs it’s unlikely to be wasted money - that said I’ve recently gone back to no sub again! But in general bookshelves and subs is likely to lead to better bass / or rather better flexibility to achieve the better bass - especially with Dirac or the like.
I’ll be interested to see your findings when you come to auditioning replacement speakers though.

(I think my next purchase now will be a miniDSP studio to mess with Dirac and still keep my DAC and downstream analogue gear).
 

mr magnolia

Standard Member
@OliveRock
did you go for a power amp upgrade yet?

I am on the same journey as you but 'luckily' I do not have a suitable space for the 8300XP or monoblocks at this time so I have went for an ebay purchase 8000P as a halfway house - thats 100W per channel, and Ive wired my 6000A to power the high level inputs and the 8000P to power the low; speakers are MAsilver200, which are floor standers as your Fyne Audios are. I think this has made a nice difference in that the sound feels fuller; but more importantly, I feel as though i am getting the 'best' from my system, and when time, money and space align, i shall be going for the 8300XP or possibly the monoblocks if my wife does not see the bill...
 

DefDave

Active Member
Hi, can I ask if you tried the 6000a in just pre-amp mode with the 8000, not bi-amping? If so, was there a noticeable difference? The reason I ask, is, my Silver 200's are also used as fronts for Denon receiver via Beresford switch.
 

OliveRock

Standard Member
Hi, I finally didn't buy any power amp. After lots of research, I considerED that the 6000A was powerful enough for my setup and my volume level. It delivers good dynamics and "quality" watts (though these terms are not adequate, I know). So I've never tested it as a preamp.
 

DefDave

Active Member
Thanks for that. I am also happy using the 6000 in Integrated mode, was just curious.
 

mr magnolia

Standard Member
Thanks for that. I am also happy using the 6000 in Integrated mode, was just curious.
@DefDave
I've tried my 6000A in preamp with my 8000p and I'm now running it in bi amp mode along with the 8000p as noted above. I don't notice a huge difference if the 8000p is doing all the work instead, but I like the idea of using 'all' the power available, so that's what I settled on and i just don,t question it now... There is a clear difference I think in having the 8000p as the main grunt, but not at low/mid volumes so much.
 

DefDave

Active Member
@DefDave
I've tried my 6000A in preamp with my 8000p and I'm now running it in bi amp mode along with the 8000p as noted above. I don't notice a huge difference if the 8000p is doing all the work instead, but I like the idea of using 'all' the power available, so that's what I settled on and i just don,t question it now... There is a clear difference I think in having the 8000p as the main grunt, but not at low/mid volumes so much.

Thanks for your reply. It was you I wanted to hear from in my original post but forgot to quote/tag you. Based on what you've said, I think I'll look out for one.
 

mr magnolia

Standard Member
Thanks for your reply. It was you I wanted to hear from in my original post but forgot to quote/tag you. Based on what you've said, I think I'll look out for one.
@DefDave if you can get one I think you'll enjoy it. I was eying up the 8300xp to add to my mix but simply don't have a functional and visually acceptable space for it to go (so I'm told), so I diverted to the ebay 8000p as a temporary long-term alternative that I really enjoy having along.
 

DefDave

Active Member
@DefDave if you can get one I think you'll enjoy it. I was eying up the 8300xp to add to my mix but simply don't have a functional and visually acceptable space for it to go (so I'm told), so I diverted to the ebay 8000p as a temporary long-term alternative that I really enjoy having along.

That's my thinking too. The XP is too big for my unit. A relatively small outlay to try the pre/power route as well.
 

fishsticks7

Novice Member
Sorry to slightly hijack the thread however as anyone tried to use a power amp such as an Audiolab 8000P and still able to use the ht bypass function on the 6000a?
 

TB Rich

Active Member
Sorry to slightly hijack the thread however as anyone tried to use a power amp such as an Audiolab 8000P and still able to use the ht bypass function on the 6000a?
Doesn’t work, the power amp inputs are physically disconnected from the pre amp stage when in pre-power mode, so that mode used as HT Bypass only works with internal amps I’m afraid.

Best option is to connect the AVR into a normal input, use the pre mode and just set the volume to 0dB each time
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Sorry to slightly hijack the thread however as anyone tried to use a power amp such as an Audiolab 8000P and still able to use the ht bypass function on the 6000a?
I had the same problem with my Elicit. The AV amp took up the correct direct line in which meant I couldn't connect my headphone amp via it's own pre-out option. If I could have the connection would have been CDP>headphone amp>Elicit. In that configuration I didn't have to have the Elicit powered up when listening just to headphones. It had to be CDP>Elicit>headphone amp then everything had to be turned on.
 

TB Rich

Active Member
Thanks both, you have confirmed my suspicions.
I added an XP to my A and then when I watched a movie I was like something doesn’t sound right!! Yeah lack of L and R channels will do that!
Audiolab is technically more of a processor loop mode really.
 

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