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Wish I'd discovered this forum before wasting £220 on an Audiolab 8000a!

Discussion in 'audio' started by Jon Perry, Sep 28, 2021.

  1. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I would agree, in some respects, that the 8000A can be a ‘Marmite’ amplifier.
    Yes, some people don’t like it.

    What I don’t like are comments like the one I read on PFM a while ago.
    ‘I wouldn’t use one as a doorstop.’
    I certainly wouldn’t ask someone like him for an opinion on any audio equipment.
    Blue Belle, Big Tabs and Euan like this.
  2. Frizzy

    Frizzy Liberal anarchist

    Pioneer precision is fab, owned it and 400gte (Townsend turbo”d it).
    Early farlowe era Exposure really safe bet, full of colour and musicality and lots around, easily serviced and simple reliable design.
    I think 8000a based on AR60 design, but not as good, AR60 still a gem.
    AnilS, Jon Perry and Gervais Cote like this.
  3. Alexm2033

    Alexm2033 pfm Member

    Not sure how it would play with the celef's but the lk cased linn majik integrated could be found easily within budget.
    Another option would be to acquire a power amp and use the pre outs on the 8000A. I used a rotel rb981 from mine and it definitely improved the sound, or you could stick with audiolab and get an 8000p.
    you could then upgrade the 8000A to a better pre when funds allow.
    whichever route you choose have fun
    Jon Perry likes this.
  4. tiggers

    tiggers pfm Member

    To be fair they're not really heavy enough :)
    Caledon1297 and Gervais Cote like this.
  5. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I understand the 8000A was a completely new design, by Philip Swift.
    As far as I know, there’s no connection between Audiolab & A & R Cambridge ( Arcam ) amplifiers.
  6. Frizzy

    Frizzy Liberal anarchist

    Wasn’t sure, but I thought ide heard somewhere that 8000a was a beefed up a60.
    Live an learn.
  7. MichaelC

    MichaelC pfm Member

    And to think all those years ago the 8000a was my first proper amplifier. I liked it, a lot. Yet I do understand why others don’t. Marmite!
    Jon Perry likes this.
  8. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    Its a perfectly valid opinion. Why mince words?
    Caledon1297 likes this.
  9. Wine Man

    Wine Man pfm Member

    Audiolab sold 1000's of these amps so I would suggest it can't all have been hype - more a case of careful or careless system matching as per usual.
    Jon Perry likes this.
  10. Ptah

    Ptah pfm Member

    I think the doorstop idea came from Julian Vereker in the 1980s who said he used a Linn amplifier as one. It's dog eat cat in hifi.
    Jon Perry likes this.
  11. SteveG

    SteveG pfm Member

    I've got an 8000A (in my daughters system now) and an 8000S (which replaced an Onix DNA-45 in our living room set-up) and like both, so I suspect whether you like them or not may depend a lot on other factors - the condition of the amps, the sources and speakers they're used with, and personal preference. In the £200-300 price range then something like a Nait 3 is worth a look (I also have one of those although unlike the two Audiolab's it's not in use at the moment) as it's very different although not necessarily better. One of the little Cyrus amps also might be worth a look (we have the Straightline version and I find it a decent little amp).
    Jon Perry likes this.
  12. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Pending

    I don’t think the OP should judge what is, after all, a rather old amplifier, unless it’s been serviced and is operating as it should. Flat and lifeless suggests it’s in need of some tlc. Then it’ll be less flat and lifeless, and the greyness will shine through! ;)

    Never spent much time with Audiolab, so no strong basis for an opinion, but as others have said, you can probably do better. Getting it serviced is a gamble though, if you still don’t like it, as you’ll probably not add the full costs to the value if the amp. Arguably better to just move it on via eBay and probably get most of your money back.
  13. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    We used to keep one along with a mission Cyrus and pioneer A400 , because hype can indeed sell thousands of lemons. people used to ask if we had done something underhand to make them sound so bad. We didn’t need to.
    Caledon1297 and Jon Perry like this.
  14. Jezzer

    Jezzer Passionate

    The HK6500 was my first proper amp. Loved it for its lively and powerful sound. I’ve since owned (amongst many others) Audiolab and Tag McLaren (audiolab in disguise) amps which, while more ‘hifi’ than the HK, weren’t as engaging…
    ff1d1l and Jon Perry like this.
  15. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    Frankly, I don't think I've ever heard an Audiolab amp.. but I'm beginning to understand why one dealer described them as ' Audiodrab'.

    I was present at the Heathrow Show when, with supreme arrogance, Tag McLaren turned up having bought Audiolab, but not yet produced any kit. They actually dominated a Hi Fi Show without having any kit to show... just 'loadsamoney'.. They didn't last long.. nor did they deserve to.

    I also don't know the Celef speakers.. but based on others' amp recs here, I'd also suggest the ION Systems amps if you can find one. Obelisk 1, 2 or 3..or better still the 3X with X-PAK psu. I still regret selling mine.
    Jon Perry likes this.
  16. Caledon1297

    Caledon1297 pfm Member

    Not to mention that it's a terrible insult to doorstops! :rolleyes:
    Jon Perry likes this.
  17. ff1d1l

    ff1d1l pfm Member

    Having owned both, I'd rank the HK way above the Audiolab...used both into big tannoys, where the Audiolab didn't shine, and my folks have the HK into a pair of JBL 4410s, where it does - a very respectable bit of kit.
    Jon Perry and Jezzer like this.
  18. James Morris

    James Morris pfm Member

    Well I wouldn't use one as a doorstop either:p

    Bit expensive and asking to get damaged.

    Spot on comment if you ask me;);)
  19. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    Don't service. Either keep or sell.
  20. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    You’ll get 20% of the cost of the service back when you sell it. Definitely not worth it unless you intend keeping it.
    Jon Perry likes this.

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