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Audiolab switching quality of components again!

Discussion in 'audio' started by allthingsanalog, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. allthingsanalog

    allthingsanalog pfm Member

    Two pictures of a new Audiolab 8300A amp I found.

    The first one has high quality ELNA caps clearly visble in the power supply. the second picture has Su'scon caps in the power supply.

    I had this problem a few years ago when I sold the stuff, the first kit we had delivered when Audiolab came back was pretty much identical inside as the old kit but then when the problems started we noticed that many of the components had been substituted.

    These sort of component swaps make a huge impact in the SQ.

    I would imagine the first picture is probably a pre-production model for reviewers before it got it's full release to the public.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    Works the same with expensive photographic equipment too.
     
  3. John_73

    John_73 pfm Member

    With the ever increasing problems people appear to be having with M-Dacs and failures due to bulging capacitors, it would appear Audiolab really need to instigate a much higher level of QC.
     
  4. hifinutty

    hifinutty Active Member

    I was considering the 8200mb but there seems to be a lot of problems with reliability. Shame really as the cost difference in the components is minimal.
     
  5. allthingsanalog

    allthingsanalog pfm Member

    Well I'm certain that their stuff is fundamentally good but at some point the factory is switching the components. CapXon, Su'scon etc are all known to be bad.

    Decent caps, Elna, Nichicon, Nippon are all well respected and quality components often lasting decades and are not expensive, especially when bought in the thousands.

    It's stupid to strangle good products by making these lousy money saving decisions.
     
  6. zippy

    zippy pfm Member

    It's a good trick for any manufacturer to play - 'tweak' the review copies of your equipment to sound better than the actual released model.

    I wonder how many do that ? (or do they all ?)
     
  7. lennyw

    lennyw Still throwing Eephus pitches

    Frightening....
     
  8. WAD62

    WAD62 pfm Member

    My MDAC was one of the first to suffer from the 'cap bloat' issue, thankfully JW rectified everything as part of my L2 upgrade...

    Hence when I came to upgrade my amps I went for a pair of reconditioned/upgraded UK built 8000Ms, once bitten etc. :)

    I'm sure the problem's not unique to Audiolab, it's certainly not unique to HiFi...supply chain transparency can be challenging in Chinese manufacture ;)
     
  9. allthingsanalog

    allthingsanalog pfm Member

    I was thinking of buying a second hand 8200q, I suppose I could get that upgraded by the audio cellar?
     
  10. WAD62

    WAD62 pfm Member

    Might be worth checking if Kevin has any on hand, I bought an early Chinese 8000Q from him some years ago, as I recall he'd replaced most of the caps...other than requiring 2 mins warm up (it always has for some reason) it's been fine since. It's pretty much retired to TT and AV duties now...I use the MDAC pre for my digital playback...

    P.S. That's where I got my 8000Ms :)
     
  11. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    Back when I was at Racal, the production people were expected to reduce costs by 5% per year. The easy way to achieve the KPI is component substitution. I believe this still is common practice by UK companies
     
  12. BrianPK

    BrianPK pfm Member

    Very unsettling to hear that.:mad:
     
  13. Eric_J

    Eric_J New Member

    Hi, With respect to the above pictures and the questions raised.

    It's actually the other way around Su'scon was used on some pre-production units, but all mass production units are fitted with ELNA (15000uF 50V).
    The black unit in above photograph is a production unit.



    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The views expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of my employer, IAG UK
     
  14. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    Hi Eric, welcome aboard.

    Thanks for the clarification on the above.

    Could you tell us what the IAG position is on the Lelon caps fitted to the Mdac ?

    [​IMG]

    This is mine, I added the red marker.From the first production batch.

    Last I heard IAG were denying that this was a major issue, rather a few isolated cases ?

    Having said that, it still sounds great but I feel like I'm sitting on a time bomb. I have 2 friends with the same issue all 1st production batch from new.

    Thanks Paul.
     
  15. allthingsanalog

    allthingsanalog pfm Member

    Thanks Eric.

    This is good news.
     
  16. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    They are - marked in red 8 off.
     
  17. allthingsanalog

    allthingsanalog pfm Member

    These definitely will need replacing.
     
  18. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    That is out of order.
     
  19. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    Definitely out of spec, but still sounds good.

    I am considering attempting to change them myself. But it is a four layer PCB which requires some considerable soldering skill/kit.

    I'm a cabinet maker - love a challenge tho.

    John Westlake being who he is would probably do it for free, though I don't see it as his responsability, plus it would cost £60 in postage.

    you might think that Audiolab would bill Lelon for it.
     
  20. allthingsanalog

    allthingsanalog pfm Member

    I would have thought Audiolab should repair this even if it's out of warranty as clearly the caps fitted 'were not fit for purpose' to begin with.
     

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