Audiolab Introduces 8300A Amplifier

Audiolab has redesigned its 8300A amplifier, adding to the company's line of integrated amplifiers that debuted in 1983 with the 8000A. T...

Audiolab has redesigned its 8300A amplifier, adding to the company's line of integrated amplifiers that debuted in 1983 with the 8000A. The 8300A is the second component to be announced from Audiolab’s new 8300 Series, on the heels of the 8300CD CD player/DAC. While the 8300CD is a careful evolution of its predecessor, the 8300A is a full redesign of the product it replaces, the 8200A. Its external design is refreshingly clean and simple; still recognisably Audiolab, albeit sporting the updated 8300 Series aesthetic.
According to Jan Ertner, who led the 8300A development project, the new amp represents “a fresh approach to the same challenge: genuinely high-end’ audio amplification in a single box, delivered to the end user at  an affordable price”. Its design enables it to adapt to its user’s evolving requirements, offering three distinct operational modes: integrated amplifier, preamplifier or power amplifier, the latter enabling it be partnered with a surround sound processor in a high-performance AV system. At the amp’s heart is a powerful dual-mono power amp section, delivering 75W per channel into eight ohms, with a maximum current delivery of 15 Amps into difficult loads. This is significantly more powerful than the outgoing 8200A, which was rated at 60W into eight ohms, but greater power delivery is only part of the story. The output stage of the discrete power amp circuits uses a CFB (Complementary Feedback) topology in combination with conventional emitter follower circuitry. The CFB stage offers superior linearity and ensures excellent thermal stability, as the idle current is kept independent of the temperature of the output transistors. Using an emitter follower in combination with the CFB stage is an efficient way of increasing the current  ability of the amplifier without compromising the advantages of the CFB circuit. The inclusion of a phono stage is another important enhancement – the 8200A eschewed this facility, but the 8300A brings it back to capitalise on the current vinyl revival. Turntable users will appreciate the care with which this new stage has been designed, fed by its own power supply and delivering a high-quality, low- noise performance with both MM and MC cartridges, thus removing the need for an off-board phono stage. Externally, the most obvious addition is an OLED display in the centre of the amp’s fascia, showing volume level, input selection, mode of operation and MM/MC phono setting. This display reflects the design of the 8300CD, helping to ensure that Audiolab’s new 8300 Series integrated amp and CD player/DAC are a perfect match for each other both aesthetically and functionally. Around the back, five line-level RCA inputs nestle alongside the phono input, plus a balanced XLR input for suitably equipment source components (including the 8300CD). Two pre outputs, a power input, a 12V trigger loop and a full set of loudspeaker binding posts for bi-wiring complete a comprehensive array of connectivity options.

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