Audiolab 6000A – 849 Euro
Audiolab sends us the 6000A (actually the Play version with streaming, but we don’t test the streaming side). This amplifier offers five analog inputs and two digital inputs (2 x coax or 2 x optical). As a dac chip, Audiolab deploys the well-known ESS Sabre 9018K2M. A familiar chip that fits the price range perfectly. under the hood hides a classic class A / B circuit. A big toroidal core, solid smoothing with four 15,000 uF capacitors and a series of transistors that can deliver 50 watts into 8 Ohms and 75 watts into 4 Ohms.
This is nicely in line with the rest of the amplifiers in this test which all hover around that rate. In our measurement, the power comes out to 46 watts at 0.28% distortion and 70 watts at 0.3%. There are the tipping points after which the formation increases quite rapidly (the amplifier gets out of breath). This is pretty close to the specifications that Audiolab gives.
The Audiolab comes across as controlled and tight. We hear a neat balance across the board: not overly fresh which can happen quickly on our Focals. Especially if the bass becomes a bit thin, which can happen with an amplifier in this class. We think it is a decent choice of the Audiolab if we are honest.
The focus in the stereo image is good. Voices are neatly in the middle and get their place nicely left and right. Neatly edged and separate from each other. However, it’s not room-filling and we mostly hear an image forward. Not so much to the rear, as is the case with other amplifiers. However, the speakers disappear like they should; the instruments are not in the speaker which happens when an amplifier cannot deliver the power to loosen up the imaging.
The Audiolab is a very safe choice in the sense that we feel this amp has little character. And that is meant positively. Both the Roksan, and the Rega and, for example, the Leak have character. This Audiolab – along with the Atoll and to some extent Cyrus – much less so. Those match more easily. And that’s the way it should be, of course!
The Audiolab 6000A measures up just fine. We see little deviation from Audiolab’s specs in the power measurement. What is also noticeable is that the THD+N (distortion + noise) is low compared to some other candidates. Audiolab uses quite a bit of feedback. The frequency response is pretty much flat. With the best in this test: almost a straight line from 5 Hz to 50 kHz. This is really a wideband amplifier. because 80 kHz is only -1.5 dB!
|Brand and Type||Audiolab 6000A|
|Inputs digital||2 x coaxial, 2 x optical|
|Analogue inputs||3 x rca line, 1 x power-in|
|Outputs||pre-out, speaker out|
|Power specs||2 x 50 watts, 8 Ohms 1% THD, 2 x 75 watts, 4 Ohms, 1% THD|
|Measured power||46 watts (8 Ohms), 0.3% THD, 70 watts (4 Ohms), 0.15% THD.|
|Dimensions / weight||44.5 x 8 x 33 cm – 7,8 Kg|