Audiolab has unveiled the first two products in its new flagship 9000 Series – a truly high-end duo that comprises the 9000A integrated amplifier and 9000CDT CD transport.
The Cambridge-based firm reckons the 9000A integrated amplifier is 'the best it has ever built'. It carries a moving magnet phono stage, doubles up as a pure preamp or pure power amplifier, and boasts 2x100 watts at 8 ohms (2x160 watts at 4 ohms).
Other features include a sleek 4.3-inch IPS LCD display, rotary dials and a 32-bit ESS 9038PRO DAC chip. Those wishing to stream high-quality music wirelessly from mobile devices will be pleased to note that the 9000A's Bluetooth connectivity includes support for aptX HD and LDAC, as well as aptX Low Latency, regular aptX, AAC and SBC. Nice.
There's no built-in network streaming but Audiolab is quick to point out that it is developing a separate, dedicated audio streamer for the 9000 Series – that's set to arrive in early 2023.
The 9000A's slimmer sibling, the 9000CDT, boasts a new, high-end CD transport mechanism featuring a "high-precision optical system and low-friction loading tray" and a read-ahead digital buffer to reduce disc-reading failures.
The classy aluminium chassis and 4.3-inch IPS LCD display match the 9000A's to a tee. And by mounting the transport in its own, electromagnetically shielded enclosure, and including a dedicated power supply, your treasured discs should sound as pure as they ever have.
Of course, 'high-end' audio does tend to command a high price. But at £1999 and £999 respectively, it's very possible that the 9000A integrated amplifier and 9000CDT CD transport will deliver some serious bang for buck...