Audiolab does not release new models every day. But the ones they do launch from time to time tend to become classics. The famous 8000A amplifier from 1983 was for many the beginning of hi-fi. It has since had several successors, most recently the 8300A model from 2016.
Now Audiolab is embarking on not just a new model, but an entirely new and more ambitious series, consisting of an amplifier and a CD transport.
The Audiolab 9000A is an integrated amplifier that is more powerful, better performing and packed with more features than any of the previous models. Highlights include wireless connectivity to portable devices, an all-new RIAA stage and a new ESS9038PRO-DAC in the digital section. A marked difference from previous Audiolab models is the colour LCD screen, which can both display source and ﬁle information, but also entertain with two VU meters.
The amplifier’s four digital S/PDIF inputs – two coaxial and two optical. PCM audio is supported to 32-bit/768kHz along with DSD to 22.5MHz (DSD512). The Audiolab 9000A also features full decoding of MQA files from Tidal Masters. The power section is classic Class AB with discrete components and 100W per channel into 8 ohms.
Just as the death of the vinyl medium was called off in favour of analogue resurrection, the CD format is holding on too. That’s why Audiolab is also launching a new CD player, the Audiolab 9000CDT. The letters on the back stand for “CD Transport.” This is in fact a pure player, as decoding and signal processing take place in the amplifier.