View Full Version : Audiolab 8200CD ? (or where is the Dac!)


Space is the Place
31-01-10, 08:22 AM
The most eagerly awaited DAC in the history of the world! gets launched as a CD player first without a volume control or headphone output?
Then gets launched later as the 8200 CDQ which adds these two functional extras (no doubt at more cost)
I know a fair few people have been waiting for this DAC to arrive, that it arrives first as a CD player without a volume control shows that (and i hate to use these words) the legacy separates dogma of trying to sell as many boxes as possible is still alive and well, even if no one needs these extra boxes if they are using digital only.

Sure its nice to have a CD transport, that would feed the dac, but i dont want a CD player that the transport will eventually stop working and leave me with a DAC with the broken transport still there hanging around about as much use as a withered arm.

Why didnt they launch the DAC/PRE and a nice separate transport for those that want or need one ?
Did Audiolab not look at the success of the Benchmark/Dacmagic DACs ? Did they not notice lots of people are using the computer as a transport?
What are they thinking? I think ive waited long enough for something not to happen, I wont be buying a CD player i dont want or need no matter how good the DAC.

I only hope eventually John will launch his own DAC (but i might have spent my money on hover boots by then ;))

Anyway rant over. They could have launched something like this first, IMO they've blown it!

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-line-level/70107-da-capo-issue-john-w-58.html

http://xinchangcheng.info/ebay/matrix_minii/normal_633805153738208750.jpg

http://xinchangcheng.info/ebay/matrix_minii/6.jpg

http://xinchangcheng.info/ebay/matrix_minii/normal_633805153529927500.jpg

http://xinchangcheng.info/ebay/matrix_minii/normal_633805154201646250.jpg

http://xinchangcheng.info/ebay/matrix_minii/normal_633805153879458750.jpg

http://xinchangcheng.info/ebay/matrix_minii/4.jpg

CJ1045
31-01-10, 08:52 AM
Me think he doth exagerate too much.

Did not know Audiolab still existed let alone had some DAC to release.

CJ

YNWOAN
31-01-10, 08:55 AM
Hmm.."most eagerly awaited DAC in the history of the world" - not that I had noticed.

Space is the Place
31-01-10, 09:48 AM
Hmm.."most eagerly awaited DAC in the history of the world" - not that I had noticed.

Me think he doth exagerate too much.

Did not know Audiolab still existed let alone had some DAC to release.

CJ

Exactly, the Westlake design DAC, would have put them back on the map (if they were ever on it in the first place;))
A DAC that competes with the best designs out there for 399, all the functionality of the Benchmark DAC.
Balanced out, digital/or analog volume control Async USB 96/24. A unique 256 1Bit DAC elements per channel, arranged into 2x 128 1Bit DAC arrays for each phase of the balanced DAC. Resulting in 512x DAC elements for a stereo channel DAC.
Every digital input know to mankind, in one attractive half width die-cast case, including a good little headphone amp!

And what do they launch instead? a CD player! :p

Oh the humanity!

jonesi
31-01-10, 09:52 AM
What timing! Today I bought a second hand Benchmark DAC1 (haven't even plugged it into my system yet).

I was waiting for the MDAC but I gave up. The fact that there is no mention of the 8200CD on the Audiolab web site suggests to me that there may be still some wait if you want to get your hands on one.

sq225917
31-01-10, 09:58 AM
It was launched at CES, CD8200 first, then the 8200Q then the MDAC. Audiolab are to coin a phrase a 'legacy hifi components' manufacturer, and an Asian one at that. They will catch up with the pc/server audio switch soon enough. Personally I'm just glad they chose to make the damn thing at all.

Hopefully the woefully slow European uptake of the 8200cd and Q when they come out won't stop them from releasing the MDAC, which should have been released simultaneously with the CD8200Q therefore hitting both legacy and PC audio markets simultaneously.

To my mind they've messed up as a far as the European market is concerned, but Asia might be a different kettle of fish altogether.

Cereal Killer
31-01-10, 11:23 AM
They're just wanting to flog the horse to make sure its dead before sending it for glue. You may just see the MDAC in a few months. But if they are only interested in the bottom line then i wouldn't count on it being everything it should have been.

BobMaximus
31-01-10, 11:24 AM
Is the price of any of these yet known?

Andy

Space is the Place
14-07-10, 06:31 AM
Things your more likely to see than an Audiolab Dac...

















http://flagranny2.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/windowslivewriternessie-13d163-21-loch-ness-monster21.jpg

http://scrapetv.com/News/News%20Pages/usa/Images/patterson-bigfoot.jpg

http://blogs.amctv.com/scifi-scanner/close-encounters.jpg

bZJ--IPg7Hs

Jack Barriere
14-07-10, 06:54 AM
I do remember audiolab way back when all the mag reviewers where saying that it was the best thing to happen since sliced bread. All BULLSHIT. One word boring comes to mind. Flat sounding with zero get up and go. Didn't maclaren by that company and change it to Tag.

Markus S
14-07-10, 07:04 AM
I suppose you saw this post (http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showthread.php?p=1068706#post1068706) from the man himself. Given normal logistics, perhaps September?

Space is the Place
14-07-10, 07:16 AM
I suppose you saw this post (http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showthread.php?p=1068706#post1068706) from the man himself. Given normal logistics, perhaps September?

Hi Markus yes i saw the thread, thank you. September for the CD player, the Dac who knows? not even Audiolab it would seem!
I did email Audiolab a couple of times, but i never got any replies, anyway time to look at other Dacs...

demotivated
14-07-10, 07:33 AM
The main point of Audiolab was that it was one of the few affordable UK amps in the 80's - and it had tone controls. I have one which is fine in an undemanding role.

Gaius
14-07-10, 10:01 AM
Nothing to be on the edge of one's seat about for sure.

:)

djftw
14-07-10, 11:05 AM
I do remember audiolab way back when all the mag reviewers where saying that it was the best thing to happen since sliced bread. All BULLSHIT. One word boring comes to mind. Flat sounding with zero get up and go. Didn't maclaren by that company and change it to Tag.

Would tend to agree, I had one (second hand) as my first "proper" hi-fi amp and it was only made listenable by partnering with the very lively Marantz CD63se. Don't get me wrong, it sounded better than the "240w" (cough cough) Philips midi system I also had at the time, but it really didn't engage you in the music as well as even some very cheap Rotels of a similar vintage I still have kicking about. I actually blew it up whilst adjusting the bias trying to get it to sound more lively, slipped with the multimeter probe, shorted something and half a dozen resistors burst into flame!

*Although before that I did use my Dad's old Akai receiver with his old Wharfdales until I blew them both up - trying to play music at the volumes demanded by a teenage boy was clearly beyond them!

Space is the Place
14-07-10, 11:36 AM
Before everything goes way of topic, the Dac has been design by John Westlake (whos designed other well regarded Dacs in the past) and it does exist! (just like Bigfoot!)

John whos posted a lot over on the DIY forum about the progress of the Dac comes across as a very knowledgeable and generous guy. Not so sure about the Manufacturer though, if they cant be bothered to answer emails etc...

Anyway, the reason most people are (were) looking forward to the dac is, it was supposed to come in at around 400, and its been on the drawing board for well over two years!

I dont really want to spend a 1000 or more on a Dac if i can get a cutting edge design for 400 with all the functionality of a DAC/Preamp/headphone amp/Async USB/Balanced outputs/ESS sabre chip etc...

No one knows how it sounds other than the Designer, but i wouldn't be surprised if the SQ was excellent, but two years is quite a long time to wait for a Dac, especially with these looming on the Horizon ;)

http://pic6.audiogon.com/i/c/f/1270849407.jpg

http://www.m2tech-hiface.com.au/images/stories/m2tech-mini-dac.jpg

Some pictures of the Audiolab dac board/CD player ()

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p293/muz640/cheeky.jpg

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p293/muz640/CDQsmall.jpg

ron
14-07-10, 01:26 PM
So the new Audiolab uses a Sabre too :D

S-Man
14-07-10, 02:44 PM
The new EE DAC does. Wonder if it's any good?

http://www.morningstaraudio.com/shop/item.asp?itemid=12&catid=6

naptrel
01-08-10, 08:00 AM
Finally, there's a glimmer something might be arriving. Hi-Fi World (http://www.hi-fiworld.co.uk/) are threatening to have a review of the Audiolab 8200CDQ in their October issue.

Now like the original poster said, 'where the f**k is the Dac!'

Space is the Place
01-08-10, 08:47 AM
As i didn't get any reply from the emails, i telephoned the marketing department to ask about the Dac, they didnt even know there was a Dac!

IWC Doppel
13-09-10, 02:40 PM
There is a one page advert of the back in this months HiFi plus, anyone heard one yet ?

sq225917
13-09-10, 02:55 PM
nope. not available yet, review in what hifi, linked on other thread.

Engels
17-09-10, 06:59 AM
See

http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showpost.php?p=1160319&postcount=88

bottleneck
17-09-10, 07:16 AM
could somebody please give me an 'idiots guide' on why this particular new DAC is of significance? (if indeed it is)

I'm no fan of early audiolab equipment (owned it, didn't think it sounded very good) - but if the new digital products of the company are ground breaking, I'd really like to know why - out of interest in a new dac myself.

Can anyone technically gifted shed light?

James Evans
17-09-10, 07:25 AM
I think I'm safe in assuming the ESS sabre 32 dac chip is the main source of excitement. The same chip as is used in the much higher priced weiss offerings, the wyred for sound, and twisted pear diy stuff (amongst others). That combined with async usb (feasibly omitting the need for a m2tech hiface for instance...) is another boon. Oh, and the fact that Mr Westlake has his name on it gives it a little boost too.

PigletsDad
17-09-10, 07:28 AM
The Sabre chip is the hot new offering from ESS; it uses a new take on sigma delta conversion, and a new approach to jitter removal. The first commercial products containing this chip are coming out now.

Up until now, the only way to get the Sabre chip has been to buy a board level kit from the Twisted Pear guys. They call their converter Buffalo. If you look in the DIY forum, people have been very pleased with the TP kits, so there is every reason to hope that commercial products will be comparable (if much more expensive).

Declaration of interests: I own an older Buffalo board, based on the old version of the Sabre chip, and I think it is very nice. People who have heard both tell me the new version sounds even better.

sq225917
17-09-10, 08:13 AM
Bottleneck, most of the noise on this comes from the DIYaudio forum. This DAC, or one similar to it has been under discussion for some time, about 18 months in fact. John Westlake was going to release a DAC under his own brand and that morphed into the audiolab 8200 dac, that isn't released yet. So most of the noise comes from the fact that this DAC has been stringing people along forever.

In top of that is the fact that John has some legendary products in his back catalogue, made for Pink Triangle and the original Cambridge Audio brand. He was doing clock locked dacs with separate word clock inputs back when they were largely unheard of in the consumer field.

I don't think anyone who has been following the story over on DIYaudio cares that the product is sold under the Audiolab brand, it's just a brand name after all. As lomng as they haven't F-ed it up on parts choice through costing then it should be as John envisioned it.

S-Man
17-09-10, 08:25 AM
Oh, and the fact that Mr Westlake has his name on it gives it a little boost too.

A big boost IMO.

The are some huge egos and quite a few numpty gurus over on DIYAudio.... I've tried some of their mods and techniiques and in contrast the one simple (and obvious with hindsight) mod JW suggested was probably the most effective mod I have ever come across.

cansav
17-09-10, 10:48 AM
Bottleneck, most of the noise on this comes from the DIYaudio forum. This DAC, or one similar to it has been under discussion for some time, about 18 months in fact.

It's been more like three years, but who's counting the time? No seriously, I know this probably is the most eagerly awaited piece of equipment out there. Shame it's taken so long to get Audiolab to act.

Space is the Place
17-09-10, 11:09 AM
It's been more like three years, but who's counting the time? No seriously, I know this probably is the most eagerly awaited piece of equipment out there. Shame it's taken so long to get Audiolab to act.

Its been very tempting recently, with all the new Dac/Preamps coming out, W4S Dac etc... The W4S Dac supposedly is a big improvement on the (much cheaper) Dacmagic, that i bought as a stop gap, and has proved to more that capable (in my system).
I wouldn't be surprised if a new Dacmagic, with volume control and headphone amp is on its way!

Its only the 'hope' of the Westlake Dac coming out that's stopped me trying some of the new alternatives.
Looks like there is light at the end of this (very long) tunnel, that the Dac, in all its variations will be out in the *new year!

better say early spring, just to be on the safe side! ;)

bottleneck
17-09-10, 12:53 PM
so this 'ess' dac is going to be 400?

Marott
17-09-10, 02:39 PM
The Sabre chip is the hot new offering from ESS; it uses a new take on sigma delta conversion, and a new approach to jitter removal. The first commercial products containing this chip are coming out now.

Up until now, the only way to get the Sabre chip has been to buy a board level kit from the Twisted Pear guys. They call their converter Buffalo. If you look in the DIY forum, people have been very pleased with the TP kits, so there is every reason to hope that commercial products will be comparable (if much more expensive).

Declaration of interests: I own an older Buffalo board, based on the old version of the Sabre chip, and I think it is very nice. People who have heard both tell me the new version sounds even better.

The PeachTree's also use the sabre chip, and had JW in on the design, don't like the sound though...
M

sq225917
17-09-10, 03:04 PM
Did JW have anything to do with the amp section or just the dac on the Peachtree?

JohnW
17-09-10, 09:33 PM
I can confirm that I will be in the UK from Monday Sept 27th, departing saturday 1st Oct.

While this is short notice, I will have a CDQ with me so if anyone wants to arrange home / music evenings (in the London or near surrounding area - we have car), then id be happy to come along with the unit and meet up. To insure that the unit receives a positive reception, we also plan to bring a 35 litre barrel of beer from the Czech Rep. (Heavens only knows what UK customs going to think - I don't really even like Beer).

The only evening that is currently reserved is the evening of the 30th for the WHF awards...

So I hope I get the chance to finally meet, and if nothing else, hope beer goes down well, as I need to return the barrel empty to get my deposit back.

John

JohnW
17-09-10, 10:15 PM
A big boost IMO.

The are some huge egos and quite a few numpty gurus over on DIYAudio.... I've tried some of their mods and techniiques and in contrast the one simple (and obvious with hindsight) mod JW suggested was probably the most effective mod I have ever come across.

Hi S-Man, just out of interest what was the Mod I recommend - From you description I'm guessing decoupling of the Vref?

John

S-Man
18-09-10, 05:22 AM
Hi John,

Posts #4 and #15

http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showthread.php?t=28645

Also - I wish I was in London to hear the CDQ, actually I will be MTB'ing in the Lake District. I would really like to compare it to my Cambridge 840C, which also falls into the "neutral and honest" category - unlike the "enhanced" quality of some CDPs which are popular on PFM.

The CDQ looks ideal to me - I would be able to get rid of my preamp and run it straight into my power amp. Box reduction and sound quality improvement!!

Best Wishes,
Dave S

PS: For anyone interested here is an example of a thread I alluded to earlier:
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-source/35178-ok-so-i-modded-my-cd723-but-its-still-mediocre.html

OldPinkman
04-11-10, 06:40 AM
could somebody please give me an 'idiots guide' on why this particular new DAC is of significance? (if indeed it is)

I'm no fan of early audiolab equipment (owned it, didn't think it sounded very good) - but if the new digital products of the company are ground breaking, I'd really like to know why - out of interest in a new dac myself.

Can anyone technically gifted shed light?

This is the idiots guide - I'm afraid you'll have to go to someone else for the technically gifted bit. A long time ago, in what seems like a galaxy faraway, I bought a great turntable, got to know Arthur K, and for a year ran Pink Triangle as MD. AK revolutionised turntable design, producing something genuinely different, and better, and has finally finished the quest doing the same for tonearms (or rather atone-arms) - see the funk firm. At the same time Pink found John Westlake, then a young maverick, by his own admission non-team player, who astonishingly did pretty much the same for digital. When most CD players and DAC's were just heavy engineered sound-alikes shoving in the latest chips, JW designed his own discrete DAC which Pink launched as DaCapo. I karted this round not-a-few dealers and shows, and it was light-years ahead of anything else. It didnt quite sound analogue, but it didnt have that digital fatigue. You could listen to a WHOLE record - indeed a WHOLE CD. I did - not a few times. To this day DC/DaCapo with 22 bit filter remains the finest digital audio I have heard. JW followed up with cut-downs for Cambridge (I have an old banger CD5 I picked up recently on ebay, and it knocks spots off modern CD players the kids, new wife and others have). So - I decided I have to find an old 22 bit filter DaCapo , read a few posts, found JW on the web again, realised the capacitors on DaCapo would need fixing, entirely believe John if he says his new design is better, had it confirmed recently by AK, and would only burn my hand with a soldering iron, so will trot out and get what I am confident will be the best sounding CD player available, as soon as the missus gives me budget clearance. Was that idiot enough for you? :)

Space is the Place
04-11-10, 12:52 PM
Can the mods change the title of the thread if possible to "(or where is the Dac)" I was a bit annoyed when i posted it and i find the the f**k bit in the thread title quite embarrassing (what with me being a Vicar and all) thanks. :)

Cereal Killer
04-11-10, 01:04 PM
F.U.C.K http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_'Fornication_Under_Consent_of_the_King'_ mean

The true meaning of the f word is "fornication under the consent of the king". when foreign dignitaries would come visit the king, the trip would take days if not weeks or months. so they were issued a "f.**k. basically it was the right for the person to sleep with the eldest unwed female at which ever house he chose to spend the night.
Note: There are comments associated with this question. See the discussion page to add to the conversation.

Markus S
04-11-10, 02:17 PM
At your service.

Spacey, where do I sign to become a foreign dignitary?

sq225917
04-11-10, 04:03 PM
http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl-f-word.htm