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Audiolab 8000A upgrade

alcarmichael

Established Member
I've seen various companies carry out upgrades on the above amp and was wondering whether to go ahead with having mine done. It's not currently in use but due to going back to a 2 channel set-up due to space constraints, I was thinking of storing my pre/pro and power combo and bringing the Audiolab back, it's also got a phono stage built in which could negate the need for a separate box.

Anyone had theirs done?

Worthwhile?
 

tazzo

Established Member
Upgrades may make potential repairs harder in the future depending on where the new components will be located.

there is also the warranty to consider if y ou still have one with this amp.
 

alcarmichael

Established Member
I think the amp is around 30 years old so I expect the warranty has expired. :)
 

scorpion88

Established Member

scorpion88

Established Member
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Cliff

Distinguished Member
The problem with upgrades is that they promise a lot more than they can possibly deliver. The amplifier itself was a very good design and I don't think the circuit should be modified.

Having said that, there is a strong case for changing some of the components in a 30 year old amplifier.- call this a 'service'.
Electrolytics are the first to replaced. Smoothing capacitors, decoupling and coupling. If the amplifier is noisy then look at front end input transistors. Also noisy potentiometers should be replaced.

So while the above is advisable, it probably won't improve on the original sound when new. The charge for these so called up grades can be a little excessive but there you go - your choice.:)
 

alcarmichael

Established Member
The problem with upgrades is that they promise a lot more than they can possibly deliver. The amplifier itself was a very good design and I don't think the circuit should be modified.

Having said that, there is a strong case for changing some of the components in a 30 year old amplifier.- call this a 'service'.
Electrolytics are the first to replaced. Smoothing capacitors, decoupling and coupling. If the amplifier is noisy then look at front end input transistors. Also noisy potentiometers should be replaced.

So while the above is advisable, it probably won't improve on the original sound when new. The charge for these so called up grades can be a little excessive but there you go - your choice.:)

Yes that's probably a good idea. I do like the Audiolab and it's due a service - a pair of the RCA connectors have already given up - I thought perhaps while having it serviced I could have it improved at the same time. Maybe I should just stick with a service. There are no noise issues with it though, I may just buy some replacement connectors and solder them in myself.
 

Member 116841

Distinguished Member
I would support getting it serviced too. A forum member got in touch with me recently regarding his Audiolab power amps that didn't seem to be sounding as good as they should - on further investigation, it turned out that bits and bobs like the capacitors were on their last legs. His were the older grey ones.
 

Wilseus

Established Member
I'd actually go so far as to say that if you replace the caps and other components with more expensive ones, it's quite likely that you could improve on the original amp. Your Audiolab, good as it is, was built to a budget.
 

alcarmichael

Established Member
Give Kevin at the audioceller a call, the goto guy where older audiolab is concerned.

Yes, it will be the guys at the Audio Cellar doing the work.

I'd actually go so far as to say that if you replace the caps and other components with more expensive ones, it's quite likely that you could improve on the original amp. Your Audiolab, good as it is, was built to a budget.

After doing a little more research it seems the power amp side is highly regarded and the pre-amp side is the weakest link in the 8000A. Will changing caps and op amps help improve the pre-amp?
 

Wilseus

Established Member
After doing a little more research it seems the power amp side is highly regarded and the pre-amp side is the weakest link in the 8000A. Will changing caps and op amps help improve the pre-amp?

Well I wouldn't like to say. They produced that amp for a long time and it brings up a number of questions. If the pre-amp section was a weak point at one time, did they address it in later revisions? Is it actually a weak point in yours? Is it a flaw in the design or simply a matter of sub standard components? As for op amps, I don't know enough about them and what is available to know if there would be superior ones that would be pin compatible. I could ask the audio guy at work if you can tell me the one that has been used.

Regardless, I think that replacing all the caps with "audiophile" ones (no need to go too mad though) would pay dividends.
 
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Member 116841

Distinguished Member
You can't expect the world - your version of the 8000A once retailed for £330. It was as good as you'd have got back then, and in top condition and working order, will still be a good one now, hence my use of a post-1993 8000A in a second system, rather than buying a current £1k amplifier.
 

alcarmichael

Established Member
You can't expect the world - your version of the 8000A once retailed for £330. It was as good as you'd have got back then, and in top condition and working order, will still be a good one now, hence my use of a post-1993 8000A in a second system, rather than buying a current £1k amplifier.

Are you of the thinking that the post '93 versions are the best of the bunch then? I know when I bought mine, my research led me to believe that the older versions were better. Now my internet research has informed me the newer models have a better pre-amp section and the power amp sections is the same.
 

Member 116841

Distinguished Member
Both versions are still good amps. I'm more familiar with the newer post-1993 ones, but I do remember when the newer ones were released, and at the time, I preferred them.
 

superbeatpusher

Novice Member
Hi, I've just bought a 8000a and its blown my socks off :) The serial number starts 87.....
Its in good condition and obviously likes to warm up before it sings! Its brought my Mission 770 Freedoms' to life with depth & spacial awareness :)
I'd defo go for a service and revisit this sound IMO
Ian
 

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