Audiolab 8200cd and dac


Could anyone share their perspectives on the latest audiolab 8200cd? The reviews have been glowing, it can operate as cd and dac, and it comes with the ess dac chip.

The price seem very reasonable too at about $1100.

How does it compare with sacs like w4s dac1 or benchmark?


I don't believe that there is a US distributor right now so you won't likely get much feedback on this site.

They have just started shipping in Europe and in Canada as well, there isn't a lot that has been said as yet as it's a brand new piece.

I have been following the developments a bit, the designer John Westlake is very approachable it seems. From what I have read, the 8200CDQ will be sonically better as there are some improvements that were made since the 8200CD went into production. The CDQ version has preamp function with analog inputs and headphone out as well.

If they ship before the end of the year I will be comparing it to my Arcam CD23T and a Lavry DA10. I'll try and post my impressions in the new year.
Thanks audiojedi. Would love to hear your findings!
It is a great CDP. Lots of features (24/96 USB input, remote can control J River / Foobar via HID protocol), excellent sonics.

I bought one just to see what the hype is all about, and it did not disappoint.
Hi-fi choice, the UK publication recently ran a front page on it. They gave it 5 stars.

How did it compare to your dcs set-up?
Yes, dCS is far superior. But you have to put that into perspective - Audiolab costs only ~ $1000 (not sure of US pricing).

For the money, Audiolab is excellent IMO.
Is it a warm sounding player?
I would say it is fairly neutral. Sounds warmer than my dCS Puccini for sure, which I find a bit cold/sterile sounding.
I just picked up the 8200CD, the hi-res 24/96 stuff is sounding great, love the filters esp. Optimal Spectrum. Way better sounding for the $ than Benchmark USB, which I found too sterile. 8200CD has all the snap and clarity I look for, with way more connectivity options than the competition.
I just got the 8200 CD yesterday, listened to CD's last night and hooked up to files on PC-USB today. I am really impressed with the sound and the features, especially the filters. Had been running a MF V-DAC with upgrade power supply but didn't use it because the sound was thin, uninvolving, almost tinny.

Very happy with the 8200 so far. Looks good, sounds good, very nice price.
I've owned the 8200CDQ for a month now and love it. I do love the filters but they started to drive me crazy because I was switching filters midway though songs. I bout the CDQ so I could buy a used solid state amp to run in the summer (own a tube integrated). Like others, I love the USB input. I've been playing 24 bit and loving it. If you get the CDQ and are not using it as a preamp, make sure to keep the output at 0db or you'll clip your amps input. The U.S. distributor is in Canada and they sell direcly. My local shop in Upstate NY sells them and that's where I got mine for the same price as direct. The owners manual is extensive and very well written.