You can now find a video version of my Audiolab 6000A review in my YouTube channel right now – see below for more information
Well this is a bit of a turn up because I had no plans to produce a YouTube review of the 6000A but a few of you asked me to produce a video version of my original review…so here it is. Hope you like it. Normal service will be resumed next Tuesday.
Oh and if you prefer the text version and you haven’t seen that yet – you can find it HERE.
I hope you like the video, below. They’ll be more to come!
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CHANNEL LINK: www.youtube.com/channel
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John6th May 2020 at 4:30 pm
Hi Paul, just a quick question-which would you recommend between Audiolab 6000A or IOTAVX SA3?
Which has the truest most honest, faithful reproduction?
Thanks for your time,
Paul Rigby6th May 2020 at 4:45 pm
Hi John – the 6000A. But then it is more expensive and really *should* sound better 🙂 (build budgets at this price point really do make a difference in terms of a few pounds and pennies). The SA3 remains a top notch lower budget amp though at £399 (current price).
Tinman29th May 2020 at 3:37 am
Hi Paul, I appreciate the great reviews of amps that are in my price range. Similar to the question above — what product do you remember enjoying more — the Audiolab 6000a or Heed Elixir?
Paul Rigby29th May 2020 at 12:16 pm
Hi Tinman – the 6000A. If you bought an Elixir, you’d love it and there would be no regrets but the 6000A has a good tonal balance that can’t be beat.
Rene8th December 2020 at 2:56 pm
Hi Paul, great work, love the youtube videos. Any thoughts on the new audiolab 6000A-play? or would you recommend the 6000A + a separate streamer (e.g. 6000N / bluesound node 2.1) ..still confused which one to pick.
Paul Rigby11th December 2020 at 9:38 am
Hi Rene – 6000A and separate streamer to keep the noise floor low.
GeeVee30th May 2022 at 10:22 pm
Hi Paul, Great review as usual. And on your recommendation, I just bought an Audiolab 6000A today but have never owned an amp with a built-in DAC before. I’m confused about how and where this connects to my laptop. I’ve always streamed music from my laptop USB through a Dragonfly DAC into my amp’s auxilary inputs. Should I buy a Coax cable and where would it plug into my laptop for best sound quality? Is it Coax at one end and something else at the other? Unfortunately, the Audiolab User Instructions don’t cover connections at all. Thanks in advance for any help you might provide to clarify this for me. GeeVee
Paul Rigby1st June 2022 at 11:17 am
A USB to S/PDIF converter would do the job, if you want to connect your laptop’s USB output to the 6000A’s built-in DAC: USB to SPDIF Converter. Although, the sound from that would be compromised because the signal would be going through the convertor.
You could also attach a high-quality, affordable USB DAC such as the iFi ZEN DAC V2 between the laptop and the amp – that would override the 6000A’s internal DAC, because you’d connect the DAC to the 6000A’s analogue preamp stage amp via stereo RCA.
You could connect from the laptop’s headphone output (if you have one) to the amp’s RCA inputs, but then you’d be relying on the DAC in the laptop – not the best idea in terms of sound quality.
Gary1st June 2022 at 8:46 pm
Part of the reason for choosing the Audiolab 6000A was it’s better internal DAC compared to my Dragonfly Black. So, I find it disappointing to learn that the built-in DAC wasn’t designed for use with laptops, unless one is willing to compromise sound quality. And buying an additional DAC defeats the purpose.
Well, I guess I didn’t do enough research before maxing out my budget on an incompatible amp/DAC.
However, Paul, I certainly appreciate your help with my conundrum.
Thanks so much.
Paul Rigby2nd June 2022 at 1:25 pm
Hi Gary – I understand your frustration and yes, that’s why USB ports are so useful in DACs, for that quick and easy computer connection. Saying that though, the 6000A as an amplifier doesn’t change in its basic sonic abilities. It’s core abilities as an amp remain while a separate DAC – at least from my own perspective – is always the ultimate aim. I recognise that cash is always the restriction here and it can be annoying when you just can’t get on with what you want to do music wise but if you’re maximising analogue sound via the amp itself then it does make sense to upgrade to an external DAC to maximise that area too.
If I may offer another option too – can you stream from the laptop to the amp? Bluetooth is good on the 6000A. Also, do you have a digital audio player of some sort? Transfer the laptop files to a DAP via SD and plug the DAP into an optical on the back. That will provide a superior delivery source than a laptop (computers are inherently noisy anyway because they’re not designed as specialist music sources).
Gary2nd June 2022 at 10:47 pm
I’m in the process of trying out the BT connection against my Dragonfly DAC. First impressions, they sound quite different and I’ll need a little more time to decide which flavour I prefer. Another thought dawned on me regarding burn-in. I’ve been running the amp all day for a few days now but should switch to Bluetooth so the DAC gets thoroughly burned-in too, before making any final decisions. Thanks so much for your input Paul, much appreciated.
GeeVee6th June 2022 at 10:57 pm
Have another question for you Paul, if you don’t mind. You mentioned the iFi Zen DAC V2 as a good replacement for the built-in Audiolab 6000A DAC for connection to my laptop auxillary input. Have you listened to the new iFi Audio Zen Air DAC yet. I’m wondering if this cheapie DAC would provide the same sound quality? and be an upgrade over my Dragonfly Black? Thanks again.
Paul Rigby7th June 2022 at 3:42 pm
I’ve yet to hear that one but, if the company maintains its progress in this range, and I don’t see why not, I fully expect it to be a quality product.
chris1st February 2021 at 3:03 pm
Thanks for your reviews and “infotaining” videos! I bought the 6000a and it sounds very nice with my SL-1200 (Ortofon Blue) and Wharfedale Denton 80th anniversary speakers. Do you think a project phono box, MF V90 LPS or MF LXLPS would be a reasonable and audible update?
I also wonder if a Hana SL or Denon DL-103 make sense on the Technics? Or should save I the money for a better turntable instead?
Paul Rigby2nd February 2021 at 12:07 pm
It depends on your phono amp budget, Chris. There’s a range of price points in your list.
The Hana would be a nice fit but I would look at the other areas of the Technics to bring it up to spec ASAP. It can be done but there’s a fair bit to do. I can pass on links if you need them. If the prospect is a hassle then a simple turntable upgrade might be a better option.
Chris2nd February 2021 at 12:32 pm
Thanks for your reply, Paul! Concerning the phono amp: A german online dealer currently offers the MF LX-LPS for only 50 Euros more than the V90 LPS. I wonder about the differences between those two and if they are/one is significantly better than the built in stage of the 6000a. I planned to spent about 200-300 on that.
I could get the Hana in very good condition from a friend. I doubt if the 1200 is able to play out the advantage of the better cartridge. So yes, please send me the links to hassleful update options 🙂
Paul Rigby4th February 2021 at 11:14 am
Hi Chris – I would always lean towards the external model in quality terms and the LX2 would be in the frame here, I reckon. Don’t forget about the Longdog phono too, as an aded option: https://theaudiophileman.com/ph-1-ha-1-phono-amplifier-longdog-review/
As for the links? Be an idea to start here and don’t be afraid to call the company direct and have a chart with them about your needs and requirements, budget and so on. By all means seek advice from Origin, they’re good guys. Tell them I sent ya!: https://www.originlive.com/shop/the-ultimate-technics-sl1200-1210-dj-deck-510.html
Germain (Fr)17th June 2021 at 11:07 am
Thanks for your advices. With the Triangle Borea08 it’s powerful, precise, balanced, open … I love it!
Scott Lloyd1st May 2023 at 4:53 pm
Good morning from the US! I know I’m plugging into an old-ish stream here, but it’s quite relevant to me, and value any insight you have.
Refreshing my hi-fi setup with the audiolab 6000a and 6000cdt, and am considering my speaker pairing: probably between Wharfedale Diamond 225 (can still get new here in the US at the excellent price of $299USD), Wharfedale Diamond 12.2, or Monitor Audio Bronze 50 or 100. I currently have a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 220s that I quite like the sound of, but I’m driving them with an older harman/kardon A/V receiver, so I know the sound will change with the audiolab.
I listen to pretty much every genre of music, on CD, stream, and vinyl. Happy at low volumes, but like to go loud, too!
From what I can tell, you have experience with all the above, which I haven’t found with any other reviewer I respect. Any thoughts you are able and willing to share are much appreciated!
Thanks in advance. I really do enjoy your content.
Scott Lloyd, Arkansas, USA
Paul Rigby2nd May 2023 at 10:23 am
Hi Scott – thanks very much. All Wharfedales are nice sounding speakers but I do like what designer Karl-Heinz Fink has done with the new generation models so would prefer the current 12.2 over the earlier 220s or 225s. I also prefer the Monitor Audio 100s over the 50s, even though both are excellent. From your list? I’d go with the Monitor Audio 100s but the 100s are really a model up from the 12.2s so that’s no real surprise.