Recommendation - Rotel vs. Audiolab


I'm considering purchasing either a Rotel RA972 or Audiolab 8000S integrated amplifier. The costs of the two amps would be roughly the same. I'd appreciate comments regarding the build quality, expected reliability, and relative value of these two brands/models
marcwd
OK, around $350. I used an Audiolab 8000A for around 15 years until recently. I've never owned Rotel gear, but helped my brother purchase a Rotel receiver 5 or 6 months ago which he is happy with. Both Rotel and Audiolab have good reputations for durability, but my gut feeling is that the Audiolab should be better sonically.

That being said, for $350 I wouldn't buy either. I recently bought a Jungson JA 88C (new retail is $399) because I really wanted to get something with a remote. I was expecting it to be a sideways move compared to the 8000A, but it was anything but. The Jungson was a major improvement in every area to the Audiolab. Audiolab build quality is, in my opinion, better than Rotel and the Jungson makes the Audiolab look like something from Best Buy in terms of build quality. Gorgeous faceplate, beautiful binding posts, back and interior, it is a 29 pound integrated that compares more with Classe, Bryston, YBA, etc. Nice rosewood remote as well. Can't comment on long term reliability, but it has functioned flawlessly for me for the last 3-4 months with heavy use and was purchased used so it's probably another 3-4 months old (the guy I bought from upgraded to Jungson's 88D at $1500 U.S.).

Drawbacks on the Jungson are that it is not loaded up with inputs, only 3 in total, 2 RCA and one balanced, and it does not have a phono stage. Other than that, I'm confident in saying it will walk all over the Rotel or Audiolab, and I was a very happy Audiolab owner.
OK, thanks; I'll have a look at the Jungson.
FWIW, I beleive I just read that audiolab was purchased recently and the expectation is that it is going to become much more prevalant in the US.

-rob
the audiolab is a classic. the new tag/mclaren is ok, but too pricey for the same performance
I have been using my Audiolab 8000A integrated from about 1988 until just recently. The only problems I have had with it is some of the plastic parts with jacks in the back got brittle and cracked and lost their signal contact. I had them replaced and it still works fine. I have been very happy with it from day one - great dynamic sound - good phono stage also for the price. Got a great deal on a used Linn Intek so have the 8000A in my secondary system now. I have no first hand experience with Rotel but have heard they are reliable and have a good reputation.
Jpm1