Audiolab's Q-DAC and M-PWR power amp on sale from June

First spotted at the Bristol Show in February, Audiolab's new more affordable LAB Series Q-DAC and matching M-PWR power amp will go on sale from June for £400 and £500 respectively.

The Audiolab Q-DAC is essentially a stripped-down version of the Award-winning Audiolab M-DAC (£600) created to hit a more affordable price. Like its big brother, the Q-DAC is a digital preamp and headphone amp too.

IAG's director of acoustic design Peter Comeau says it offers "98% of the performance of the M-DAC for £200 less."

"The Q-DAC is developed from the same circuit design [as the M-DAC], removing some of its sibling's less essential feratures while maintaining critical performance elements," says Audiolab.

It does without the remote control circuitry and balanced outputs of the M-DAC, and it has a smaller display. It also only has one coaxial and one optical digital input, where the M-DAC has two of each. There's also a single USB input.

Components include the ESS Saber32 digital-to-analogue converter chip and a 32-bit processor that handles high-resolution audio files. The USB and coaxial inputs handle data up to and including 24-bit/192kHz, while the optical input manages 24-bit/96kHz.

Like the M-DAC it sports seven digital filter settings, enabling the listener to tailor the sound to suit hir or her taste.

Also new to Audiolab's LAB Series is the matching M-PWR stereo power amp, which delivers a claimed 40W per channel into 8 Ohms. It's fitted with single-ended RCA and balanced XLR inputs, plus a pair off speaker terminals.

Both components measure just 25cm wide and 23.6cm deep, in keeping with other LAB Series components. They'll be available next month in a choice of silver or black finishes.

MORE: Audiolab Q-DAC review

By Andy Clough

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.