audition confusion, Is audiolabs 8200 cdp too revealing?

woodster

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2007
63
7
18,545
I set out this afternoon to audition the 8200cd player with my roksan kandy L3 amp and b&w 685 speakers as a baseline, I then moved onto to the monitor audio rx6 and then b&w cm8 peakers in turn.

I took along a good spread of my cd's to aid the audition, from led zep , through the wedding present and the manic street preachers to placebo and the band of joy.

Initially I was amazed at the shortcomings of the b&w 685 and even the rx6's as the audiolab dissected the music in a ruthless fashion, showing how poor some of the recordings were. It was only when we connected up the cm8's that I felt that we had a good amp/source/speaker combo that was able to reproduce my better recordings in a manner that had me tapping my feet and moving toward a feeling of inspiration, then I realised I had a large problem. The audiolab was so revealing that most of my cd's were now sounding less than satisfactory from a recording standard basis, hells teeth I thought, this leaves me in a pickle.

I opted to swop out the audiolab for a rega apollo, now the bass sounded muddled on some of my tracks and the soundstage less defined, but my lesser cd's sounded listenable, hmm still not happy.

Bring on the naim cd5i, well wasnt that a disapointment, it just sounded so flat, reduced soundstage and sibilant.

Now I just wanted the audiolab back. Its so very good that you simply have to be the owner of very well recorded cd's/ music sources, does not solve my problem.

I have opted to borrow the audiolab and trial at home next weekend with my sonos/roksan/b&w 685's at home.

Have I missed somthing here, can anyone help me out?

I absolutely love the cm8's, i dont want to change my amp, but I want a source to enjoy my cd's with!!!!

Thanks to the staff at Audio t in Portsmouth for putting up with me for 3 hours this afternoon
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Welcome to the wonderful world of hi-fi and its numerous foibles... ;)

You've experienced hifiusupgradusdisappointus. It's the initial reaction one stumbles across when you listen to vastly better equipement.

More seriously - I had the same problem the first time I heard the Leema Pulse. You hear stuff you never knew existed, but one starts to question: "Can I live with that?"

Once your ear adapt to it should be a resounding YES! Listen to a Cyrus, if poss, Roksan Kandy also and compare various brands.

Hi-fi is like most things in life: striking a balance.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
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Synergy/balance of a system, along with an understanding of how you like your music to sound, is crucial.

In my experiance, as you go up the hifi ladder, this (unpleasant presentation of bad recordings - of which there are many) can happen all too easily, if you're not very careful.

It can get very expensive to get everything perfect. For me personally, I find Class A, along with "musical sounding" speakers covers all the bases. One of the best systems I've heard was an all Audio Note; and one of the worst a Linn Klimax. Horses for courses.

At any budget, a good dealer can advise appropriatly, provided you make clear what you listen to and how you like it presented.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
An interesting dilemma!

I demo'd the 8200CD against a Marantz 6003CD and Arcam CD17 fairly recently. I picked 3 recommended CD players at very different price points because I'd been listening to the same Cambridge Audio CD4 for 15 years and had absolutely no idea whether wildly differently priced CD players could sound an awful lot different. The Audiolab was beyond my nominal, slightly arbitrary budget of £500 but I thought if I really can hear the difference, I'll consider it. Well, the difference in SQ, to my ears, was in direct proportion to budget. The 8200CD was WAY more revealing than the Marantz, and still noticeably more revealing than the Arcam. "Sparkly" was the word that sprang to mind at the time and I also fancied it had a better soundstage. Much as I would love to have heard the same result from a £250 CD player, I ended up buying the 8200CD.

w.r.t. quality of CD recordings, I think my listening preferences may have altered slightly, in that the difference between the old system and the new one in playing good quality recordings is astounding, and yet even with bad recordings the worst that has happened is that I'm more prone to turning the volume down slightly when there's a harsh treble, but this is something I'm perfectly willing to live with, given the huge enjoyment I'm getting from listening to the good stuff. If I end up buying more acoustic-biased and gorgeous female vocal biased CDs than I would've otherwise, that's OK.
 

woodster

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2007
63
7
18,545
I had indeed experimented with the filters and realised as the review team did that only optimal transient was giving me the soundstage i wanted to hear, all be it on some of my recordings.
As i intend to audition at home now, i have realised this cdp is so very good that, i cant afford to miss out on it, even if somek of my recordings have been shown up to be so very poor. See how it performs with sonos, excited allready!
I need to say at this juncture that i really struggled not to flash the credit card for a pair of white cm8's, they are truly fantastic and showed this throughout my trials yesterday, damn it b&w make some white grillies for them please, that would keep mrs woodster very happy
 

gangus

New member
Mar 15, 2011
9
0
0
I too am auditioning equipment after a long absence.
I tried the rega appollo, audiolab and naim 5 cdp's with cm8's.
To me the audiolab was more defined than the others but vocals seemed lacking?
The naim was a bit disappointing.
The rega appeared to be the best all rounder.
I also agree the cm8's sound and look great.
Have you tried rega saturn?

cheers
 

woodster

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2007
63
7
18,545
Gangus,

I had spent 31/2 hours at audio T at this stage, my ears were fried and I have to say I was confused by now. Maybe I should have tried a fourth cd player and maybe the saturn would have been a good choice eh!

See what occurs next weekend, whatever happens, the CM8's will be on the shopping list
 

jiggyjoe

New member
Aug 21, 2010
9
0
0
May be a good idea to get/keep a cheap warm/non revealing cd player to play your bad recordings on and get the audiolab for the good stuff
.

I play all my mp3 music on the computer with dell sub/sat speakers/in the lounge streamed to my home cinema system and it sounds pretty good.

Leaving my best recordings for the main hifi.
 

woodster

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2007
63
7
18,545
Hmm not sure what you mean gangus?
Is that a dig, thought i had agreed with you!
Great idea, use cheaper cd player for lousy 80's indie cd's, that my friend is thinking out of the box, thanks
 

woodster

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2007
63
7
18,545
Got the audiolab on loan this weekend. Spent three hours with it yesterday afternoon, listening to a wide range of musical types. I have to say i am deeply impressed now that i have it in my own home, soundstage is fantastic, through my b&w 685's. I dragged my partner in to listen to alison moyet and she was also impresssed. I played the disc on my cambridge cdp first and then unleashed the audiolab, "its like your there, like she is right in front of me" comented the gf.
I have also passed the sonos through its dac, using spotify and my itunes library, equally impressive, big improvement on the cambridge dac, which i think will be going up for sale very soon.
As stated in previous posts, i was not sure last week, this weekend i am
Audiolab, you have a winner, you get £730 off me no worries
Now better start saving for the b&w cm8's...............
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Try a Rega DAC with the Sonos before you buy the Audiolab, do you really need a CD player ? Rip to lossless, job done and you save £230

I have a Sonos, Rega DAC, Cairn 4810 amp and B&W CM8's, sublime !
 

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