Am i mad? I want to add an Audiolab 8200cd to a budget system

jaffers1969

New member
Nov 14, 2011
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I bought a budget system twenty years ago (Nad 302 amp, Mission 760i speakers, Marantz 52mk2 cd player). I added the recommended accessories (better interconnects, speaker stands and rack) and the sound was reasonably good. I could see the flaws, but wasn't too bothered - I was into music/listening to the radio more than the hifi.

Now I rarely listen to my hi-fi. Since I had 2 boys (now nearly 7 and 5), I just don't have time. Moreover, my elder son managed to break the CD tray mechanism. The only way to open it is to gently ease the tray out by finger tips! Also finding anything I like in my music collection is difficult. I can never find what I want, particularly since music is located across two rooms and has my wife's music mixed in.

I'd really like to get back into music and got an ipod touch the other day. I like listening to radio programmes on iplayer, tunein radio and also have some stuff on itunes. The plan is to play this through a DAC using Apple Airport Express.

The Audiolab 8200CD looks ideal for this. I can use the CD player to replace the broken one and the DAC for streaming from my ipod. I also plan to hook it up to my PC so I can start storing CDs as ALAC files and play them through the DAC

So far so good you might (or might not!) think. However, spending £700+ on this item sits a little uncomfortably with me. I know my existing setup won't do it justice. I'd have to upgrade the amp/speakers in due course to get the real benefit. What sort of budget due I need to put aside for this? Second-hand stuff is an option I'd consider too.

Your thoughts and advice are welcome. You can tell me I'm mad to go down this upgrade path too...
 

paradiziac

New member
Jan 8, 2011
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The Missions are great speakers, some would say they don't make 'em like they used to.

Amp technology hasn't changed much in 20 years...

Cables don't make THAT much difference...

Your CD player is nearly broke and was probably the weakest link in the first place...

You'd like to continue to listen to CDs but also have the option of using the CDP's DAC...

The Audiolab is good...

Makes perfect sense to me...(usual caveats about auditioning apply)
 

paradiziac

New member
Jan 8, 2011
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So...sort out the source and take some time to see if you're happy with the sound.

I think it could sound great.

If afterwards you think there's a problem, you have to decide what the problem is before trying to "fix" it with further upgrades.
 

damonster

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2008
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Hi, I currently have an audiolab 8200 cd player which is fantastic .I just wonder if you would get the full benefit out of it with your current set up. You could upgrade your amp first seven oakes in Brighton are still doing the Leema pulse for 600 quid ,great amp for the money.partner with a squeezebox touch 200 quid you can stream flac files or use spotify .then upgrade your speakers .you could get your audiolab after ,price may have dropped more by then .
 

eggontoast

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2011
453
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18,895
damonster said:
Hi, I currently have an audiolab 8200 cd player which is fantastic .I just wonder if you would get the full benefit out of it with your current set up. You could upgrade your amp first seven oakes in Brighton are still doing the Leema pulse for 600 quid ,great amp for the money.partner with a squeezebox touch 200 quid you can stream flac files or use spotify .then upgrade your speakers .you could get your audiolab after ,price may have dropped more by then .
So he should just buy the system in your signature :roll:
 

ifor

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2002
104
9
18,595
Go for it! Always buy the best you can afford; if you do you'll gradually get closer, component by component, to your dream system. Stop when your hearing starts to fail and you can no longer hear the high notes.
 

6th.replicant

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2007
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18,890
IME, a new CDP/source will always 'shine' with existing amps and speakers - and the OP has a decent amp and speakers.

Plenty of ex-demo/-display, end-of-range and 2nd-hand bargains available. Just upgrade as and when, and enjoy hearing the benfits in stages :)
 

Blackdawn

Well-known member
May 7, 2010
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jaffers1969 said:
(Nad 302 amp, Mission 760i speakers, Marantz 52mk2 cd player).

Now I rarely listen to my hi-fi. Since I had 2 boys (now nearly 7 and 5), I just don't have time. Moreover, my elder son managed to break the CD tray mechanism.

Your thoughts and advice are welcome. You can tell me I'm mad to go down this upgrade path too...
For me with the budget of £700 avaliable I would be looking at a newer budget system. It all depends whether you have aditional funds to spend out on upgrading the rest soon (to a similar level as the Audiolab 8200), otherwise I'm not sure spending it all on a CDP a good idea. I expect others will disagree.

For example I would get a new CD player with warranty for £300 (to replace your broken Marantz-first priority) and a new amp for similar £, plus start saving for new speakers and spend the same if not double on these.

As your Hifi has been damaged already I would look at a dedicated rack with glass on front (shame these are now out of fashion as they were much more pratical for family life).

Hope this helps.
 

ifor

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2002
104
9
18,595
Go for it!! Always get the best bit of kit you can afford. Over the years you'll get closer and closer, component by component, to the setup of you dreams. When your hearing starts to fail and you can longer hear the high notes your dream will change and you'll find you've already got everything you want.
 

jaffers1969

New member
Nov 14, 2011
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Thanks for all your advice. I think I'll try and audition the Audiolab before I buy one. I like the sound of the Harman Kardon HD990 player too, although that's going to be difficult to audition given it seem to be stocked by many hi-fi retailers!

I think I'll be putting some money aside to upgrade the amp and speakers if I reckon it's needed. By auditioning it I could get an idea of what's it's capable of with other equipment.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
The HD990 is an extremely good player if you can find one. I heard it about 18 months ago and was well taken with it. Time's moved on now and I'm in the similar position of looking for a streamlined solution. You could look at some of Onkyo's range as well as the HK CDP. The Onkyo TX-8050 offers a network enabled stereo receiver, four digital inputs so you're covered for your DAC requirement and the means to connect your TV as well as the usual hifi bits and pieces. This would then allow you to get a CD player as well and stay within budget.

Richer Sounds and Superfi are doing the TX-8050 for £299 currently and apart from the digital goodies, it offers around 100wpc at 8ohms, so ample power for your speakers. You can pick up just about any CDP as a source and you're away. Say another £250 but you could use your DVD player as a transport for now and put the balance in your budget towards new speakers if you want to upgrade those.

EDIT: And don't write off sites like Gumtree which has a stereo and audio section; for example, there's a seller in Kirkcaldy offering a pair of Mordaunt Short 902i Aviano standmounters for £60. Shop around - the bargains are there! You could easily deliver a good upgrade and cover off all your options in one go for your budget or maybe even less.
 

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