Classes of A and B
audiolab pulls no punches with the genuine nature of our power rating. The 7000A’s discrete Class AB power amp stage delivers 70W per channel into eight ohms, with a maximum current delivery of 9A amps into diﬃcult loads. A new standard in audiolab ampliﬁers, the output stage of the discrete power amp circuits uses a CFB (Complementary Feedback) topology, ensuring superior linearity and excellent thermal stability, as the idle current is kept independent of the temperature of the output transistors. Critically speciﬁed by Jan Ertner (lead engineer for the audiolab brand); the newly developed power supply features a substantial 250VA toroidal transformer, followed by 4x15000uF reservoir capacity (60000uF in total), helps the amp to maintain ﬁrm control of the music whilst enabling excellent dynamic range.
Name Your Source
Whatever the input source – analogue, digital, wireless or TV – the 7000A has been crafted to the same level of detail one has come to expect from audiolab, all with the latest tech to be fully equipped to cover many bases, yet it maintains a price point that keeps the audiolab brand at the forefront of quality home audio. Dual analogue inputs cater for CD players and line-level sources, dual Coax and SPDIF inputs expand this for the digital sources while a Bluetooth aptX receiver serves up a solution for wireless audio playback and smart devices. Following the growing trend for direct living room integration of premium audio electronics and there for more in tune as the centrepiece of your home audio system, the 7000A takes connectivity to a new dimension with a built-in Audio Return Channel (ARC) connection for use with screens – thus bringing the audiolab dynamic to TV-app based music playback and home theatre. And let’s not forget the direct-to-PC connection via USB.
As is standard with audiolab integrated ampliﬁers, the 7000A reaﬃrms the natural integration and synergy with an ESS ES9038Q2M chip. Improving on the 6000A with this latest iteration and taking learnings from the 9000A, the 7000A utilises ESS Technology’s 32-bit HyperStream architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator. As with the 9000A, the 7000A uses a post-DAC ﬁlter based upon Class A topology and proprietary DC-coupled high-gain electronic amp designs to deliver ultra-low noise and high dynamic range for the digital audio connoisseur.
What’s more, the 7000A also delivers full decoding of MQA, the hi-res streaming technology from a custom-engineered MQA-certiﬁed DAC solution. This means that the complete ‘three unfold’ decoding process is performed internally, as opposed to just the ﬁnal unfold in the manner of an MQA ‘renderer’, which makes the 7000A an excellent system choice for subscribers to Tidal’s ‘HiFi Plus’ tier where Tidal Masters (MQA) content can be found.
Tables Are Turning
The 6000A is applauded for its ability to oﬀer an integrated phono pre-amp solution. The 7000A builds on this with a further improved phono stage for moving magnet phono cartridges – using an improved version of the high-quality, low noise MM Phono circuit and precise RIAA equalisation that sets the benchmark in ‘built-in’ phono preampliﬁer solutions. Same with the dedicated headphone output. Enhancing the versatility claims of the 7000 series, the dedicated headphone amp with current-feedback circuitry caters for the head-ﬁ that lurks in the audiophile! Its gain bandwidth and high slew rate ensure a dynamic, detailed and engaging performance with all manner of headphone types – more boxes ticked for this most integrated of integrated ampliﬁers.
As the engineers in the audiolab camp have learned with every model and series; greatness can be improved upon. Taking the 6000A as the standard, audiolab know that the regular audio enthusiast’s thirst for speciﬁcation and features would mean that the eagerly anticipated linear upgrade from the 6000A would instinctively also oﬀer an improved display and general user interface (GUI); hence the vibrant and visually informative 2.8″ (480 x 640mm) IPS display. The detailed but simple-to-use GUI also carries through a general theme of information and structure from the 9000A, just in a more compact style. The GUI includes settings for the digital phase lock loop of the D/C converter
(DPLL), brightness, and operational modes. It can even be set to display a VU meter in ‘analogue’ or ‘digital’ form; showing real-time decibel levels for the left and right channels – a satisfying graphical representation of the music as it plays. As with all audiolab electronic hi-ﬁ components, the audiolab 7000A yet again delivers with remarkable sonic consistency, a plethora of source and connectivity options and crisp styling. Regardless of the source material and format, the 7000A is lively and engaging but also never loses focus on the musicality and detail. Broadness, depth and toe-tapping rhythm are assured. The benchmark in this price class is elevated – it’s now in the 7000 series domain!