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.
More after the break
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