1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Demo'ed the "new" Audiolabs

Discussion in 'TAG McLaren Audio Owners' Forum' started by audionutter, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. audionutter

    audionutter
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Messages:
    117
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +1
    The Malaysian hi-fi show is currently on, although it's not comparable to the best of them. One interesting bit was the demo of the Audiolab 8000 range (AV pre-pro and power amp was not playing), only the 8000S, M, Q playing thru Wharfedales. The interesting bit was not how the Q, S and M's sound, since it's the same sound as it was 10 years ago. No, the interesting bit is the price: £400 for each 8000M monoblock, same amount of money for the 8000Q. 8000S was cheaper but the 8000AV (AV30R clone?) was at £1,500 and the 700x7 clone was just under £1,000.

    Construction was plasticky, all knobs, buttons are plastic, I think even the front plate! Only available in silver. Particularly interested in the comparison between the "new" M's and the old M's since I still have a pair in my secondary system. Everything is exactly the same on the outside, down to the torx screws for the top lid, except for the redesigned buttons and plastic. Internally there are some component changes, i.e. lower grade ones are used in the "new" M's.

    I wonder if there will be a demand for monoblocks costing £400 in today's market? I suppose the cost is not too far off what the old ones fetch on Ebay. I can't see them selling that many 8000AV for at that price though, but the multichannel power amp might shift.
     
  2. wolfgang

    wolfgang
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    129
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Ratings:
    +0
    No news of any new and improved DVD players?
     
  3. real batman

    real batman
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    got to be honest ,what i,ve seen and heard so far leads me to believe they will end up tarnishing what was/is class leading brand name synonomouse with quality and good sound :thumbsdow
     
  4. Inotrope

    Inotrope
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Messages:
    680
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Ratings:
    +39
    I spoke with a UK dealer (from a large National hifi chain) yesterday who was quite unimpressed with with the new audiolabs, and made the same comments regarding build and aesthetics. He suggested they might see what later products were like, rather than being "alpha" stockists.

    Silly question - do we now wether the 8000M is the same as 10 years ago, or is it the same as the 125M but rebadged?

    I await with (some) interest!
     
  5. audionutter

    audionutter
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Messages:
    117
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +1
    Nope, no new DVD players at all. The official distributors were using a Quad CD source, Wharfedale speakers and the sound of the 8000S which was playing at one point was completely underwhelming.

    I do agree that they will likely end up tarnishing the brand name, then again maybe that's what they were planning all along? Go for the cheaper market and more volume?

    I should've brought my digital camera then I could have snapped the innards for all to see and compare. I haven't seen the inside of a Tag Mclaren 125M but I do know the insides of my old 8000M and this is almost identical to the insides of the "new" silver 8000M. Of course, I didn't have my one for sde by side comparison so was relying on my memory for the comparision. Was there major changes to the circuit layout of the Tag McLaren 125M compared to the 8000M when Tag first introduced it?
     
  6. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Messages:
    3,346
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Livingston, Scotland
    Ratings:
    +225
    We can only hope that the AVAudiolab range is vastly superior :lease:
     
  7. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,133
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,277
    that sinking fealing washes all over me....
     
  8. liam_b

    liam_b
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    390
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Wilds of north Leicestershire
    Ratings:
    +25
    I think a lot of people have forgotten how bad some of the old Audiolab stuff sounds, I remember listening to the raved over (at that time!) 8000C and thinking 'this is pants', the 8000S was better, the Q better still but even TMAs entry AV32R is a better as stereo preamp never mind surround, TMA progressed the design, built and sound of the Audiolab handover products far more than most people remember. If IAG revert to the 10 year old Audiolab design they're going to have to be really cheap otherwise they're not going to sell.

    Myself I'm waiting to see if the 250MR equivalent is going to be £900 a pop and if it sounds as good as TMA built ones do, if it does :smashin: at the moment I have my doubts, information to date has not been encouraging :(
     
  9. roversd1

    roversd1
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    The evolution of the current brand goes something like

    Audiolab 8000S/Q/P/M etc ----> TAG McLaren 60i/p/iRv etc with much improved bits ------> IAG Audiolab 8000pants/ cack/ guff etc

    :devil:


    It doesnt suprise me that the 'sound' is mediocre, whne I listened to some of the Quad stuff when I was at IAG, it was abit naff.

    Sorry IAG guys, you're not winning many fans at the mo'.
     
  10. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,449
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +192
    Buying a company for its old brand names is something the Chinese do regularly, the AudioLab brand name had some credibility 10 years ago. The Chinese market is potentially huge (correction, is huge) and many people there will perceive that the AudioLab brand brings something to the party that Denon etc. don't...... Frankly as long as it works they will sell loads regardless of outright audio quality and when the Chinese wake up to high end equipment in a couple of years IAG will have sorted something out for them (or bought Meridian/Linn.....). Such is business I suppose.....
    The technology they bought from TAG was top dollar but not easy to make and support as we all can see, I wouldn;t think they would waste it but they certianly don;t appear to be in any hurry to re-enter the TAG sector of the market after all TAG didn't make any money at it...... Taking a design and making it as cheaply as possible is one thing, taking a design and swapping for cheaper components that impact sound quality is another entirely.....
    Time will tell....
     
  11. edward

    edward
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Messages:
    855
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    32
    Location:
    Reading
    Ratings:
    +26
    Ten year old Audiolab technology would be fine in villages surrounded by paddy fields and where customer knowledge of anything better can be suppressed, but why would IAG want to make complete fools of themselves by trying to sell it in the west? Surely this erodes the qualities the brand was known for, making it harder for them to establish credibility when they’re ready for western markets.

    TMA sold a whole damn factory that made top of the range kit that would have preserved and enhanced the Audiolab brand name but IAG didn’t bother to buy it. Having shot themselves in the foot so badly, then and ever since, I really can’t see them walking on water for a very long time.

    I think the best we can hope for is that the TMA IPR is still worth something when it is next up for grabs and that the next buyer is smart enough to know how to really capitalise on it.
     
  12. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,449
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +192
    Hiya.
    As far as I am aware the TMA brand name is irrepairably damaged as far as dealers are concerned or so I am told.......

    I find that Meridian buying TMA HQ rather amusing in a sick sort of way....... The old Meridian building is next door to IAG's service center which I think looked empty....... A reminder to everyone at IAG and Mission that Meridian look at present on the up and......... I do have to say that the TMA HQ was a lovely building but it must have cost a small fortune in lease rates...... I'll be curious as to just how long Meridian stay there.....
     
  13. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,133
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,277
    Had a 'dealer' enquirey about IAG this week (ex Tag lot). They will now not be taking on the brand........
     
  14. edward

    edward
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Messages:
    855
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    32
    Location:
    Reading
    Ratings:
    +26
    If God is into Home Cinema, he might make this a quick death. The bones of the IPR will then still have enough flesh on it to be attractive.

    The big question is who would you prefer to be making and supporting TMA stuff?
     
  15. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,449
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +192
    The people who did it originally :devil:
     
  16. edward

    edward
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Messages:
    855
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    32
    Location:
    Reading
    Ratings:
    +26
    Without a doubt, Graham, especially if they complemented it a bloody good marketing team to get the kit selling in viable numbers - always my bleat about the TMA offering.

    Trouble is, having already proven they can build the best AV kit in the world, the challenges probably would not be enough to attract them. They might be tempted if the challenge was to get this stuff to the end-user at half the old price.

    The challenge would be for the Sales and Marketing people to crack the right markets and beef up demand in a way that simply didn't happen last time.

    First step is to find a company to bank-roll this. How about your new Guv?

    Perhaps we could call the new company Phoenix - oops!
     
  17. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,449
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +192
    No company would back a high end strategy these days too risky.....

    "Get the stuff to the user at half price" I think that is what IAG want to try and do............... Trouble is they realsie that somethng has to give to get the price down, TAG kit was never that cheap to make, and if you pay peanuts you get monkeys......

    "Phoenix" now where have I heard that name before, ah yes the Chinese bought it......... :mad:
     
  18. edward

    edward
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Messages:
    855
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    32
    Location:
    Reading
    Ratings:
    +26
    Its possible to get the price to the end user down without dropping the quality of components or service. I think the biggest expense is the supply chain so concentrate on fixing that bit. The biggest stumbling block would probably be in getting the manufacturer to think differently about the sales and supply model. Forget the traditional AV store supply chain. A more web-based sales channel with demos by existing converts might work. (yup - I'm repeating myself).

    I wonder if James Dyson could be tempted. Would Udo and the gang work with him?

    Who else might do?
     
  19. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,449
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +192
    James Dyson and Udo Zucker, well mate that really is an interesting idea.......

    The supply chain always makes a huge part of the total unit cost but without it currently things are not going to go too well. Look at the thread on internet sales verses traditional dealers and you will get the idea.... The high end (whatever that means) AV market really does need a high quality band of dealers willing to give the customer who spends this amount of money the service and demo facilities they expect, direct internet sales whilst reducing overall cost to the customer might not be a wise move just yet and certainly not one a financial house would back in the current climate?
    Don't get me wrong, I think you have the basis of a good suggestion but the high end is a small market despite our wishes that TMA as a brand and technology be saved and used as we all think it should be, the current owners see things differerently, as I've said many times "time will tell".

    I do wonder what might have happened if Arcam and TMA had got together......
     
  20. liam_b

    liam_b
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    390
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Wilds of north Leicestershire
    Ratings:
    +25
    Customer service is important for (percieved) high cost items, nobody wants to pay the price premium of hi-end and then discover they're left wishing when something goes wrong.

    Udo Zucker & TMA had that part bang on, you could get hold of them on the phone, get hand holding during setup if needed and find out why, when, who and what, if (when?) something was taking a while to be sorted out, in short they were responsive, something IAG and most others aren't.

    On the other hand I HATE dealers, they're generally less useful than they think they are, usually know frak all about the products finer points and extract the urine if your misfortunate enough to use their charged for services. They added 37%+ to the cost of TAG products and most often customer gained nothing useful for that.
     
  21. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
    AVForums Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    13,754
    Products Owned:
    6
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +9,427
    I am disappointed by your choice of words here and I want to make a couple of points.
    Firstly unless you are 100% sure what technology is in the products, you'd be best advised not to speculate is such a negative way. It's not particularly intelligent and more than I'd expect from a member of the TAG community.
    Secondly the comments about 'villages' could be considered racist and are certainly showing a lack of consideration for the people of and about the situation in China. :thumbsdow
     
  22. alexs2

    alexs2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Messages:
    13,895
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,674
    In answer to some of the comments here,the following points were made by current TAG/IAG person(s)....

    1.The upcoming Audiolab models are internally identical to the outgoing TAG models,and include all of the updates etc implemented by Udo Zucker.
    This includes the circuit boards,and components....e.g.a new 8000S is structurally identical to a 60iRV.

    2.The styling reflects that of the previous Audiolab models,and it should be pointed out that the front panel is metal,not plastic.

    I also feel that some of the comments relating to the manufacturing facilities available in China,(irrespective of any political messages which aren't really relevant in an AV forum) are manifestly incorrect given the current crop of not only very well presented,but also extremely well made mid- to high end gear originating from China.
     
  23. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,449
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +192
    Laim makes some well worded observations and just about spot on IMHO.

    As for Alexs2's observations, well yes up to a point this is also very fair but we seem to be missing the point that the stuff currently being manufactured is basically the old Audiolab stuff which as you correctly point out is not beyond any half decent manufacturer. I do however feel that the look and feel of the quality engineering of the TMA item was nice and because of its cost is the first thing to be "productionised", you cannot say that the look of the new IAG'd kit looks or feels anything like the quality of the old TMA stuff yet..... I am also quite sure that the Chinese PCB plant can make the rather more complex AV32/192 boards and modules, however QC would need to be very much spot on if a lot of re-work is to be avoided either this side of the water or their's as that always costs a lot of money. From what I have seen and been informed of thus far it is not going to be easy to pick up from where the AV32RDP and AV192R left off and is why we haven't seen any products of this type. A stonking DVD player is what is most needed with all the new bells and whistles as well as all the old clever touches, if it was based on a Blu-ray mech so much the better really. I am sure a lot of behind the scenes stuff is going on and much unpicking of what TMA handed over to them but at the end of the day if they are having trouble servicing the current stuff and are making more of the same what message does that send out? If only soemone would say something offical it would save a lot of educated guesswork which isn't helping anyone really....
     
  24. alexs2

    alexs2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Messages:
    13,895
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,674
    The information I've been given is from within IAG,and I can only take that at face value.

    The current product line may very well be simply the old Audiolab gear,but the items for September release should be very much TAG-based.

    The Chinese manufacturing plants are as capable as any over here of producing very high quality products,and in many cases(especially in terms of tubed products) way better than most of the local produce as regards build quality.
    The QC has also improved dramatically of late,and a look at some of Shanling's recent ouput should confirm that they're well up with the best.

    I think that rather than giving way to speculation and hearsay,it would be best to wait until actual production samples have been seen/reviewed.
     
  25. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,449
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +192
    Lots of things to consider for Christmas then..... :lease:

    Couldn't agree more with your last line..... Its a pity Nick is so busy, I'd love him to fix our DVD32R as I know he would do a perfect job.... Bashing the plant into shape to make sure they don't go wrong in the first place I can't argue with though :smashin:

    Lets hope IAG do the Hammersmith show in November so we can all see what has been happening these past 18 months....
     
  26. wolfgang

    wolfgang
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    129
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Ratings:
    +0
    Maybe I am missing something here, from my point of view it was the quality control or rather the longivity of the TMA top loader that were designed and built in UK that is causing the problem. If the poll is anything to go having such a high percentage units breaking apart for various reasons in such a short time is truly shocking. My other toys like Linn CDP 12 years old and cheaper Sony DVDP 4 years old still works flawlessly. As far as I know reading forums there are not such problems with realibilty of the other IAG toys in other divisions like Quads players and loudspeakers built in Chinese factories since sold over the last few years are there?
     
  27. edward

    edward
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Messages:
    855
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    32
    Location:
    Reading
    Ratings:
    +26
    Stuart, Alex,
    I take your points and agree some correction is appropriate.

    My speculation on the internals of the 8000S is based upon comments made in this forum as well as the choice of model name. If IAG were better at communicators (let’s compare them with Bryston for example – where even the schematics are published on their web site) there would be less need for people to speculate.
     
  28. alexs2

    alexs2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Messages:
    13,895
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,674
    edward...we've all been over this ground before....IAG currently have no wish to release much information publicly,for reasons that are entirely their own.

    Kindly leave it alone now.
     
  29. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,449
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +192
    Lets all hope that new product is cutting edge, cheaper and in the DVD32R's case more reliable. Oh and service is at least the equal to the best in the business.......
     
  30. edward

    edward
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Messages:
    855
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    32
    Location:
    Reading
    Ratings:
    +26
    Will you stop that! Your face is going blue. Exhale, dammit!!
     

Share This Page

Loading...