Australian Hi-Fi

Audiolab sets new reference


Audiolab has unveiled the first two products in its new flagship 9000 Series — a truly high-end duo that comprises the 9000A integrated amplifier and 9000CDT CD transport. This new reference range sits above the company’s well-reviewed 6000 Series and 8300 Series and represents the pinnacle of its component engineerin­g thus far.

In fact, the British firm reckons the 9000A integrated amplifier 'is the best it has ever built’. It boasts 100 watts per channel at 8 ohms (or 160 watts at 4 ohms), can alternativ­ely be used as a pure preamp or pure power amplifier, and carries a moving magnet phono stage.

Other features include a sleek 4.3-inch IPS LCD display, three rotary front-panel dials and a 32-bit ESS 9038PRO DAC chip. Those who want an amplifier that a mobile device can stream to will be pleased to read that the 9000A’s Bluetooth connectivi­ty includes support for aptX HD and LDAC, as well as aptX Low Latency, regular aptX, AAC and SBC.

There’s no built-in network streaming for direct access to, say, Tidal or

Spotify, though Audiolab is developing a dedicated music streamer for the 9000 Series (9000N) that is due to arrive shortly.

The 9000A’s understand­ably slimmer sibling, the 9000CDT, boasts a new high-end CD transport mechanism featuring a “high-precision optical system and low-friction loading tray”, as well as a read-ahead digital bušer to reduce disc-reading failures. By mounting the transport in its own electromag­netically shielded enclosure, and including a dedicated power supply, Audiolab ensures that your treasured discs will sound as pure as they ever have.

As you’d expect, its classy aluminium chassis and 4.3-inch IPS LCD display matches the 9000A’s to a tee, too.

Of course, reference components come with reference price tags, and the total damage necessary to own this duo is $6,598 — or $4,399 for the amplifier and $2,199 for the transport.

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