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 buer 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.