Zeeman92

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Nov 9, 2014
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Hello, I've owned Hi-Fi for a while now, but still relatively young in the learning stage.

For the past two years I've owned an old Audiolab 8000Q and 8000PX pre/power combo paired with MA Silver 300 speakers (yes, I'm aware the two aren't a great match) and unless I'm playing electronic music, I've always found this combo a bit bright. I've recently purchased an Arcam amp, however, as there's a small chance I may keep the AL, I'm curious to know if anyone has experience of this combo/older Audiolab equipment and what speakers paired well with it.

Could be wrong here, but as far as I understand, the newer AL equipment has a more natural and warmer sound hence I'm specifically asking about the older kit.
 

PlastermanOG

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Sep 2, 2020
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I use an audiolab m-dac as a dac/ pre into an audiolab 8200p and use q acoustics 3030i, very happy with the sound not bright in anyway very balanced across the frequency range. I previously had B&W 685 and in combination with the audiolab gear the treble could sometimes stand out a bit to much.
Much prefer the even handed approach of the q acoustics 3030i.
 

Zeeman92

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Nov 9, 2014
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Speakers don't necessarily have to be paired to an amplifier they need to suit your room, full stop.
Just about any amplifier will drive any speaker, whether the resultant sound is any good in your room is a different matter.
What can you get to audition if anything?
What are your speakers like with the Arcam amp?
Makes sense re room acoustics. I guess my question is very general and I'm trying to gauge if there is a particular speaker that was broadly accepted as a "good match", regardless of acoustics.

'What can you get to audition if anything?'

Nothing really in the used market. I just wanted to gather the above info and then do my research. Likelyhood is that I'll sell the combo anyway, but didn't want to rush and do that just yet and then regret it if there's something it may pair quite well with.

'What are your speakers like with the Arcam amp?'

I may get the words slightly wrong, but there's definitely more level of depth allowing me to hear further into the recording, and it's a much more well balanced sound. That said, the treble appears very slightly rolled off, but overall, I think the listening experience is better and less fatiguing. All that said, I'm fairly certain that at times the Audiolab had more bottom end which surprisingly at times, the Arcam doesn't have, but I've only experienced that in a few songs. I did want something with AV passthrough, which I thought this had, but it does not. So I don't know how long I may keep it. I might see if I can home demo a Roksan Kandy K3.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Hello, I've owned Hi-Fi for a while now, but still relatively young in the learning stage.

For the past two years I've owned an old Audiolab 8000Q and 8000PX pre/power combo paired with MA Silver 300 speakers (yes, I'm aware the two aren't a great match) and unless I'm playing electronic music, I've always found this combo a bit bright. I've recently purchased an Arcam amp, however, as there's a small chance I may keep the AL, I'm curious to know if anyone has experience of this combo/older Audiolab equipment and what speakers paired well with it.

Could be wrong here, but as far as I understand, the newer AL equipment has a more natural and warmer sound hence I'm specifically asking about the older kit.
I've only heard the older Audiolab integrated with my old Monitor Audio RS6 and it sounded the biggest mismatch, akin to Warwick Davis trying to fight Mike Tyson in a 5 rounder.

Jesting aside, there's questions you need to ask yourself:

Do you need a pre/power combo? If yes, why? A well sorted integrated amp will sound just as good.

Either the speakers or the amp will need to change. If going for a replacement amp make sure it has all the inputs you need.
 
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Zeeman92

Well-known member
Nov 9, 2014
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I use an audiolab m-dac as a dac/ pre into an audiolab 8200p and use q acoustics 3030i, very happy with the sound not bright in anyway very balanced across the frequency range. I previously had B&W 685 and in combination with the audiolab gear the treble could sometimes stand out a bit to much.
Much prefer the even handed approach of the q acoustics 3030i.
When you had the B&W, was that in the 8000 series, or the newer stuff? My question is about the 8000 series as from what I understand, the newer stuff in comparison is a more neutral sound. The older 8000 stuff is said to be a bit analytical.
 

Zeeman92

Well-known member
Nov 9, 2014
51
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18,545
I've only heard the older Audiolab integrated with my old Monitor Audio RS6 and it sounded the biggest mismatch, akin to Warwick Davis trying to fight Mike Tyson in a 5 rounder.

Jesting aside, there's questions you need to ask yourself:

Do you need a pre/power combo? If yes, why? A well sorted integrated amp will sound just as good.

Either the speakers or the amp will need to change. If going for a replacement amp make sure it has all the inputs you need.
That's a hilarious comparison!

This probably sounds really daft, and it is really, but if you don't know, you don't know. Pre/power was simply because I didn't previously know where to move from the 8000A nor did I know what to search, nor did I understand system matching and nor could I afford to move stuff about. I'd only heard one other system which was a CA 851A with KEF Reference 203/2 (I think) I liked what I heard but I just assumed that to get that sort of sound, I needed money that I didn't have. I therefore did what I believed at the time to be the most obvious option and upgraded to a pre/power. It was only since doing that, that I realised that maybe the stuff is mismatched and I can do better. Also, there wasn't a massive improvement. Infact, it was negligible. So no, I don't need pre/power, I just need something that to my ears sounds great.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
That's a hilarious comparison!

This probably sounds really daft, and it is really, but if you don't know, you don't know. Pre/power was simply because I didn't previously know where to move from the 8000A nor did I know what to search, nor did I understand system matching and nor could I afford to move stuff about. I'd only heard one other system which was a CA 851A with KEF Reference 203/2 (I think) I liked what I heard but I just assumed that to get that sort of sound, I needed money that I didn't have. I therefore did what I believed at the time to be the most obvious option and upgraded to a pre/power. It was only since doing that, that I realised that maybe the stuff is mismatched and I can do better. Also, there wasn't a massive improvement. Infact, it was negligible. So no, I don't need pre/power, I just need something that to my ears sounds great.
Just out of interest, what Arcam amp do you have? I owned Arcams for 14 years or thereabouts and sound great with any Monitor Audio speakers, from the Bronze through to the flagship Platinums.
 
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Dom

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Err... I wouldn't. Cyrus are good with the right speakers, MAs are not one of those.

When I demoed the 8VS2 with the RS6s it was soulless. I know MAs and Cyrus have evolved since they came out, think that demo left me permanently scarred.
Right, thanks. Have a great day plastic penguin, you know more than I do.
 

Zeeman92

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Nov 9, 2014
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Just out of interest, what Arcam amp do you have? I owned Arcams for 14 years or thereabouts and sound great with any Monitor Audio speakers, from the Bronze through to the flagship Platinums.
I got the A39. As for the Audiolabs, any ideas? I am likely to sell them but wondered if anyone had experience with the older AL and what was universally agreed to go well with them.
 

PlastermanOG

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Sep 2, 2020
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When you had the B&W, was that in the 8000 series, or the newer stuff? My question is about the 8000 series as from what I understand, the newer stuff in comparison is a more neutral sound. The older 8000 stuff is said to be a bit analytical.
I used the audiolab 8200p with both speakers, the 8000 and 8200 series have similar sound signatures as far as I'm aware.
 
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Zeeman92

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Nov 9, 2014
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The A39 is a superb amp, probably one of Arcams best over recent years. Older Audiolabs Vs Arcam A39: No comparison with Monitor Audio.

Over to you now.
Thanks for your feedback. I believe my question is being missed. What speakers were (generally speaking) considered to be well paired with the old 8000 Audiolab kit?
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Thanks for your feedback. I believe my question is being missed. What speakers were (generally speaking) considered to be well paired with the old 8000 Audiolab kit?
Any speaker that doesn't have a metal tweeter. Speakers such as Dynaudio, Wharfedale, Amphion... there's loads out there.

Metal tweeters tends to provoke a bright or clinical sounding amplifier.

For me Audiolab is cold and clinical. Arcam A39, by contrast, and although fairly neutral in presentation, has more character and a fuller soundstage. Similar to Leema the Arcam is like a sonic duvet -- it hugs you..

Of course, as with any hi-fi at any price, there's always a trade-off or a compromise.
 
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