New Yamaha A-S500 or used Audiolab 8000S

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Hello everyone!

I am in need of a new stereo system, so I was thinking of getting the Yamaha A-S500 or a NAD C326, or something around that budget, but looking around in an auction site, I noticed I can get some old Audiolabs for half that price (and even have money for better speakers). So my questions are:

1. Which do you think would be a better option, the used Audiolab 8000S or a new with warranty Yamaha A-S500, or NAD/ROTEL/etc? Can the the Audiolab still sound great after all these years, even against some new budget amps? My guess is technology hasn't got that much better in the last 20 years or so...

2. What are the differences between 8000S and 8000A?

3. Should I get later a cheap Audiolab power amp or get the pre/power 8000C+P? Would it be much better?

4. What about those other classics, like the Pioneer A-400, the NAD 3020i or a Rotel RA-810?

Thank you all in advanced!

Cheers!
 
T

the record spot

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The Audiolab 8000S. The Yammy would tick the boxes if you like the sound it apparently offers (bright and shiny).
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for your reply!

What are the differences between the 8000A and the 8000S?

Should I try to find the pre/power combo, or try to add the 8000P later on?

And what about an Arcam A65? Which one should be the best option?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I've got an 8000S. Bought it about 10-12 years ago so it was manufactured in UK not China.

Really nice amp. Bit laid back, beautifully built, very happy with it. It replaced a Cyrus II amp which is now over 25 years old and still going strong.

The 8000A was a less powerful amp in the same family. I think the 8000S was the flagship integrated amp for Audiolab ata the time before you went to separates.

If it's in good nick I would buy the 8000S. Listen to it first.
 
You may like the sound of the Yamaha, go and have a listen. If you can listen to the Audiolab as well.
Regards all the other 'classics' you mention I would stear well clear unless you have a good service centre locally. All that you mention, though very good in their day, are now getting a bit long in the tooth.
I would say you are best sticking with the 8000S and get the most recently manufactured one you can find. If buying from a dealer then get them to give some sort of warranty.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Audition the Marantz PM6003. Now a bargain at around £220 with the new PM6004 on the horizon and, in my experience, it gives the Audiolab a run for its money. As for the others, I've owned Rotel RA04SE, Yamaha A-S500 and NAD C326BEE and IMO the Marantz is a more balanced and persuasive performer than any of them. I've also owned an Arcam A65+ and, whilst it images better than any other budget amp I've heard, as an all-rounder I think the Marantz is a better proposition. I've had two A400s and it is a good amp, but things have moved on and amps like the Marantz, NAD, and Yamaha are more satisfying long-term.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thank you all for your posts.

The problem is I can't listen to most of those machines here. If I am to buy a new one, I can manage to listen to a Yamaha AS700 and the NAD, maybe the ROTEL also, but not the used machines.

I was looking around, and I think I can get an used Audiolab or the Arcam for a bit over £100, plus £50 for post from UK to my country. the Yamaha won't cost me less than £350 here. With the difference I can manage to try to get some good speakers on ebay too, maybe some PMC DB1 or ProAc, or get a pair of Dali Zensor or MA BX2 new here...

I'm also looking at auction sites and forums here in Portugal.

BTW, what is the Audiolab 8000LX? There are too many different models...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Liebestod said:
I'm also looking at auction sites and forums here in Portugal.

Then buy a Yaqin MC-10L and have it delivered to your home. It's a no brainer and will sound better than the others you have mentioned, and if you upgrade the tubes - far better.

Whereabouts in Portugal are you BTW?
 
Globs said:
Liebestod said:
I'm also looking at auction sites and forums here in Portugal.

Then buy a Yaqin MC-10L and have it delivered to your home. It's a no brainer and will sound better than the others you have mentioned, and if you upgrade the tubes - far better.

Whereabouts in Portugal are you BTW?

Globs, look at the title of this thread. The OP is looking for opinion on two amps not more confusion. I take your point regards amps you can audition at home, its a good idea, but he has obviously chosen the two he is interested in.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Alears said:
Globs, look at the title of this thread. The OP is looking for opinion on two amps not more confusion. I take your point regards amps you can audition at home, its a good idea, but he has obviously chosen the two he is interested in.

Your post makes no sense.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Actually, I've been researching a lot chinese valve amps, but I don't want to import anything outside EU, customs are terrible here in Portugal, specially in the north (I come and live in Porto). I did fell in love with Classic 16.6 and a few others, or could just get a Meixing Ming Da MC34-A06 for less than €500, but if I get an Audiolab for €150, I guess it's an easy choice here.

There are also some German made in China (or made in PRC, as they call it nowadays) amps, the Dynavox VR-70E II for €400 selling somewhere in Portugal which I'll try to check out if I don't get an Audiolab untill then. But people say they need upgrades almost out of the box. Another valved option are the ones from Italy, Yarland made, but the problem is I can't listen to any of these, so even if I get an Audiolab, it'll be cheap, and I can also resell it quickly afterwards.

But the problem with UK imports is that most don't want to ship overseas, and second, the power plug is not the same as here, so I'll have to get an adapter, or a new power cable. And when they ship, is always over £50...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Liebestod said:
Actually, I've been researching a lot chinese valve amps, but I don't want to import anything outside EU, customs are terrible here in Portugal, specially in the north (I come and live in Porto).

Porto, lovely city, I usually visit Famalicao and the beach towns west from there! Shame about the high import taxes :(
 

Zax89swe

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I put a-s500 as a nice movie amplifier not a complete music player, seems like the amp take seriously bad handle of the high frequencies in music. Play with plugged monitor audio BX2 in a small room but 0.8m from sidewalls. Know that in forum here bx2 dont partner very well with a-s500 but im not sure marantz pm6004 will beat my compare speaker in all areas.

quick Comparision against computer speaker Creative t20ii :shifty:

yamaha a-s500/BX2: much better soundstage, much better mid vocals, none-resonance sound, better dynamics and seperation.

Creative t20ii: Immediately less harsh, warmer/softer, better resolution and more weighted sound.

Summary, The hi-fi system isn't the obvious choice at first when the pc speakers got advantages.
 

Zax89swe

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Id seen you saying that, tested half treble and half loudness still harsh for me its still to harsh even at lowest treble but it really did little softer with cooper cables. Imo its better leave puredirect on for that little changes.
 
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Anonymous

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Globs said:
Liebestod said:
Actually, I've been researching a lot chinese valve amps, but I don't want to import anything outside EU, customs are terrible here in Portugal, specially in the north (I come and live in Porto).

Porto, lovely city, I usually visit Famalicao and the beach towns west from there! Shame about the high import taxes :(

Thanks! It's a nice place to visit...

Well, the import duties are just 2%, plus the VAT, which is 23% and a few other post and service taxes. With the post and package from Hong-Kong (that pay the same taxes at customs), what could be a great €300 amp, will turn to be a €500. Plus, it's just not the cost, it's also the time, as it could take 2 months. It's just awful! Maybe I just don't want to spend €500 on an amp, or I could, but at least would rather buy it in store and have the 2 year minimum warranty. But I am very curious about those chinese amps, they look and seem to be very good.

There are a few online stores that seem to be safe, like ornec or cattylink but don't feel like risking it.

I'm trying my luck with the Audiolab 8000A, and try to get some PMC or ProAc or Harbeth LS3/5 speakers cheap with that. Later add the 8200CD or something like it...

Or maybe just wait and see if the Exposure 1010 is worth... The Marantz PM5003 is tempting but I just can't live with their styling.

By the way, what's your opinion on the Yaqin MC-10L? Has anyone tried any other chinese valve amps?
 
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Anonymous

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So, which one could be the best choice? Audiolab 8000A, Arcam A65, Rotel RA-810 or something like a NAD 3020i or the Pioneer A400?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
So, which one could be the best choice? Audiolab 8000A, Arcam A65, Rotel RA-810 or something like a NAD 3020i or the Pioneer A400?
 

Blackdawn

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I would go for the Marantz PM6003 with a warranty. Decent spec budget amp, good value. Some of the older amps will be fine but if they break, then you have to spend the same again.
 

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