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Audiolab 6000A Integrated Amplifier

 

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Found it cheaper? Click here. SKU: ALB6000A
Ex VAT: 499.17
£599.00
Audiolab 6000A is the integrated amp from the 6000 range, which replaces the 8000 range and delivers premium-level performance and build quality at an affordable price.

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Condition:Brand new in original retail packaging

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Features

Warranty length 2 Years
Brand Audiolab
Product Award What HiFi Award 5 Stars

Tech Specs

Type
- Amp: Integrated with DAC
- Class AB power: 2x 50/75W (8/4O)
- DAC: ESS Sabre32 Reference
- Digital filter: 3 user-selectable
- Active filter: Class A post-DAC
- Low noise JFET MM phono stage
- Dedicated current-fdbk headphone amp
- 3 op modes: Integrated/Pre-Power/Pre

 

Performance
- Gain: +8/55dB (Line/Phono MM)
- Sensitivity: 720/3.1mV (Line/Phono)
- Impedance: 10K/47K,100pF (Line/Phono)
- THD: < 0.0004% (Line, 1KHz @ 2V)
- Freq Response: 20Hz-20kHz (+/-0.1dB)
- Output Voltage: 2.3V max (0dB)
- SNR: > 110/76dB (Line/Phono, A-wtd)

 

DAC
- DAC: ES9018K2M
- THD: < 0.0006% (1KHz @ 0dBFS)
- Output level (0dBFS, 1KHz): 2.05V
- Max Sampling Frequency: 192KHz
- S/N Ratio: > 112dB (A-weighted)

 

Power Amplifier
- Gain: +29dB
- Max Out: 2x 50/75W (8/4O, <1%)
- Input Sensitivity: 720mV
- THD: <0.003% (1kHz @ 40W/8ohm)
- S/N ratio: > 110dB (A-weighted)
- Max Output Current: 9A

 

Connections
- Bluetooth streaming: aptX
- Digital In: 4 SPDIF (2/2 opt/coax)
- Analogue In: 4 (3 line + MM phono)
- Power amp input
- USB In: for firmware updates
- 12V trigger: In/Out
- Speaker binding posts out
- Outputs: Headphone and preamp

 

Headphone Amplifier
- THD: < 0.01% (1kHz, 50mW)
- Impedance: 2.35/20-600O (Out/Load)

 

General
- Standby Consumption: <0.5W
- Power Requirements: 240V~, 50-60Hz
- Dimensions (WHD): 445 x 65.5 x 300mm
- Weight: 7.8kg (Net)

Product Description

Audiolab 6000A Integrated amplifier comes fully loaded with digital and analogue sources, wireless connectivity for portable devices, a phono stage to cater for vinyl playback and amplification for headphones as well as speakers.

Upgrade for 8000A

25 years after the launch of the iconic 8000A, Audiolab is set to repeat the feat with the new 6000A, an ideal amp for modern music lovers seeking premium-level performance, build quality and facilities at an affordable price. An amplifier is still the core of any premium audio system, but a really versatile integrated amp must cover many roots.

Outwardly, the 6000A bears a strong resemblance to the 8300A, Audiolab's existing, much-acclaimed integrated amplifier with its rotary controls and large, central OLED display. Unlike the more expensive analogue-only sibling, it features high-quality DAC allowing digital sources to be linked directly without an external DAC. It provides four digital and three line-level analogue inputs, a turntable input, Bluetooth wireless connectivity and a keen headphone amp on top of its ability to drive loudspeakers.

Classic Hi-Fi for Modern Age

The 6000A's lead electronics designer is Jan Ertner who was responsible for the 8300A, as well as many other award-winning audio components over the years. When challenged to deliver 6000A at such a low price point, Jan returned to the technologies implemented in the 8300A and painstakingly redeveloped them, whilst adding high-quality digital circuitry to the mix.

The consequence is a next-level amplifier evolved from the build of its sibling, bringing exceptional sound class beside the elastic facilities. The 6000A resonates the concept of the original 8000A from the early 1980s rebooted with the value of Audiolab's latest skills. When considering inflation, it is also the most low-cost amplifier Audiolab has ever manufactured.

Digital Circuitry

Much effort has been made to ensure the 6000A's digital circuitry delivers the level of quality one might expect of a high-performance standalone DAC. As ever, Audiolab has turned to the ES9018 Sabre32 Reference chip family to perform D/A conversion, utilising ESS Technology's 32-bit HyperStream architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator to deliver ultra-low noise and high dynamic range.

Audiolab knows that if the circuitry surrounding the ES9018 is not adequate, the resulting music can seem a little cold and hard. The 6000A’s brings out a captivating level of musical expression from the digital signal. Audiolab's inventive, universally acclaimed M-DAC was among the first home audio components to comprise an ES9018 chip and Audiolab has been honing its operation ever since.

A vital element is the post-DAC active filter. Great attention was given to this circuit, developing a Class A topology using op-amps specifically chosen for their synergy with the ES9018. The amp's four S/PDIF digital inputs – two coaxial and two optical – handle hi-res PCM data up to 24-bit/192kHz and benefit from three user-selectable digital filters: 'Fast Roll-Off', 'Slow Roll-Off' and 'Minimum Phase'. These settings let the user optimise the response to suit the source and bandwidth of the partnering equipment. Bluetooth connectivity, with support for superior aptX, allows easy wireless streaming from smartphones, tablets, laptops and more. Paired devices also benefit from the DAC quality and three digital filter selections.

Analogue Circuitry

The 6000A's discrete Class AB power amp stage delivers 50W per channel into eight ohms, with a maximum current delivery of 9 Amps into difficult loads. The output stage of the discrete power amp circuits uses a CFB (Complementary Feedback) topology, ensuring superior linearity and excellent thermal stability, as the idle current is kept independent of the temperature of the output transistors. A substantial 200VA toroidal transformer, followed by 4x15000uF reservoir capacity (60000uF in total), helps the amp to maintain firm control of the music whilst enabling excellent dynamic range.

The preamp section is kept as simple as possible to maintain signal purity, with line input signals passing to a precision analogue volume stage. The latter covers the range from -80dB to +8dB in steps of 2dB and 1dB (step resolution increases with volume position). Much effort has gone into the physical layout of the 6000A's circuitry, protecting the sensitive preamp section from noise interference. This, plus the use of independent low-noise power supplies for critical stages, helps to deliver a performance that rivals significantly more expensive analogue amplifiers, even before taking the 6000A's impressive digital circuitry into account.

Turntables & Headphones

In recognition of the recent vinyl revival, Audiolab has included a phono stage for moving magnet phono cartridges – a high-quality, low-noise, JFET-based circuit with precise RIAA equalisation. Similarly, an increasing number of people are using headphones for music listening, so Audiolab has incorporated a dedicated headphone amp with current- feedback circuitry. Its gain bandwidth and high slew rate ensure a dynamic, detailed and engaging performance with all manner of headphone types –more boxes ticked for this most integrated of integrated amplifiers.

Operational Modes

The 6000A's flexibility with digital and analogue sources is not the only thing that makes it so versatile; it also offers three distinct operational modes, reflecting the amp's discrete internal architecture and enabling it to adapt to its user's evolving requirements. The primary mode is 'Integrated'– this combines the pre and power amp stages, for the connection of digital and analogue sources to the amp's inputs and a pair of speakers to its binding posts.

Pre-Power Mode disconnects the pre and power amp stages so 6000A can be used solely as a power amp e.g connected to an AV processor in a home cinema system. It also enables additional signal processing to be added, by connecting the 6000A's 'preamp out' socket to an external processor, then returning the processor's output to the amp's 'power amp in' socket. Finally, 'Pre Mode' disables the power amp stage, turning the 6000A into a standalone preamp. This enables external power amplification to be added, thus providing a possible upgrade path.

Flexibility without Compromise

As for the analogue pre and power amp stages, Audiolab worked long and hard to ensure that the 6000A delivers class-leading sound quality. As a package – a high-quality, affordable integrated amp for the modern age – the 6000A represents excellent value-for-money. The 6000A delivers remarkable sonic consistency, whatever the user connects to it. Its sound is musically engaging, yet also refined. The soundstage it produces is broad and deep, with crisply defined detail revealing the character of voices and instruments.

Impressive dynamic range conveys natural impact, while the ampȇs transient ability keeps feet tapping with rhythmic music. Deep, well-defined bass, expressive midrange and sweet, subtle treble – the 6000A delivers an adroitly balanced performance with all kinds of music, from rock and electronica to classical and jazz. In short, it delivers an open window on the music being played, as all great hi-fi should, engaging the listener with natural, unforced energy that is fully reflective of the source material. Audiolab firmly believes the 6000A is the best-value amplifier the company has ever produced.

Press Reviews

  • 'A hugely capable stereo amplifier that’s good enough to worry the best in class… Clear, refined and articulate sound, big, spacious presentation, good spread of features.' (What Hi-Fi Magazine September 2018)

  • 'Voices cut through with emotion and nuance. The edges of each note are crisp and punctual. Piano notes land with satisfying weight, bass is pulled taut, and strings are bowed with conviction – it’s a wonderfully confident performance.' (What Hi-Fi Magazine September 2018)
  • '...The 6000A isn’t all about refinement. It keeps the momentum going at a snappy pace – something amps twice the price don’t always manage. The presentation is large and airy giving instruments plenty of space to flaunt their wares.' (What Hi-Fi Magazine September 2018)
  • 'The Audiolab’s clean, crisp presentation comes through across the analogue and digital inputs alike. The DAC inside the 6000A is of a good standard, and it’s impressive to hear such a capable and composed sound at this price… Being able to stream songs in a flash is a bonus for a product of this kind. There’s the expected drop in quality when using Bluetooth, but the sonic character remains much the same.' (What Hi-Fi Magazine September 2018)
  • ‘It will take a lot to knock the all-analogue Regia Brio off its perch, but we can see plenty of appeal in the Audiolab’s refined presentation and range of digital features. With both amplifiers costing £599, anyone in the market for a new stereo amplifier is now spoilt for choice. The Audiolab 6000A is an excellent amplifier that takes the fight to a formidable class leader.’ (What Hi-Fi Magazine September 2018)

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