- Written by Brian Alvarez
- Published on 30 May 2011
Introduction to Audiolab 8200CDQ CD Player
Early adopters live in a world of potential. We latch on to a new paradigm shift significantly ahead of the adoption curve. As such, we're often saddled with legacy methodology or products. Solutions are never simple or straight forward. We push ahead and often have to improvise. Eventually the mass marketplace catches up and products appear addressing our needs. Audiolab markets a CD player called the 8200CD. THe 8200CDQ, reviewed here, also contains a built-in preamplifier that can deliver 4 volts RMS through its fully balanced outputs. This eliminates signal loss in cables that would normally connect a CD player's outputs to the preamplifier.
Having used either a computer or music streamer for the past 8 years, I've waited for the ancillary components to catch up. I've had fantastic sounding products that never fully exploited the fundamental functionality of using a music server. I was forced to kludge together multiple boxes to achieve my desired outcome. I've yearned for the elegant solution of computer, DAC, powered speakers. Only recently have products come to market that fully exploit the power and flexibility of computer/streamer based systems. We're at the tipping point and manufacturer's such as Audiolab are responding accordingly.
The CD player is dying off and I doubt it will get the resurgence Vinyl enjoys. The future is clearly digital downloads. For the moment in lossy compression, soon enough in lossless and eventually high resolution. Not everyone is ready to abandon their silver discs. It makes sense for Audiolab to offer a transitional product like the 8200CDQ. Described by Audiolab as a DAC with an integrated CD transport. It bridges the gap between the needs of those still using CDs as their main format, and giving these individuals a way to play their digital music files through the digital outputs of music streamers as well.
The 8200CDQ is truly a landmark product, one which I've personally waited for quite some time. A top tier DAC with multiple inputs (including USB), an analog pre-amp with home theater bypass functionality, and a headphone amplifier, lest I forget a CD transport thrown in.
- Design: CD Player with Preamplifier
- Digital Inputs: Two Optical, Two Coaxial, USB (Asynchronous)
- Analog Inputs: Three Single-Ended RCA inputs (All Configurable for HT Bypass)
- Digital Outputs: One Optical, One Coaxial
- Analog Outputs: RCA (Max 2 Volts RMS), XLR (Max 4 Volts RMS)
- Sample Rates Coaxial: Up to 24 bit/96 kHz (including 88.2khz)
- Sample Rates Optical : Up to 24 bit/96 kHz (including 88.2khz)
- Sample Rates USB: Up to 24 bit/96 kHz (including 88.2khz)
- DAC: 32-bit ESS9018 Sabre32
- 32-bit/84.672MHz Oversampled/Upsampled, 512 Element, Multi-bit Array DAC (Four DACs per Channel) ESS9018 Sabre32
- 1920x Oversampling with 44.1kHz Source from CD/USB
- High-current, Single-ended and Balanced, Discrete Class A Output Stage
- High-performance, Direct-coupled, Discrete Class A Headphone Amplifier
- Custom CD Servo Design – with Ultra-Low-Noise PSU for OPU
- 34 Regulated Power Supply Rails
- 14 Ultra-Low-Noise Discrete Regulators
- User-selectable Digital Filter Settings – Software Upgradeable via USB Port
- Master Clock Jitter Less than 3 psec Short Term
- Dimensions: 3" H x 17.5" W x 13.8" D
- MSRP: $1,399 USA