The two products, the 8200CD and 8200CDQ, are the first to emerge from Audiolab's latest generation of audio components. Features common to both players are connectivity options including a USB port and XLR outputs, control of any PC/Mac media player via remote handset, enhanced PC/Mac digital audio playback and a 32-bit DAC from ESS Technology.
A proprietary master clock that ensures ultra-low jitter and the ability to make firmware updates via USB are among the other elements shared by the 8200CD (£699.95) and the 8200CDQ (£899.95), with the latter adding a complete digital/analogue preamplifier in an identically sized chassis.
Featuring a DAC + CD architecture, the new players have been designed with a firm emphasis on suitability. There are multiple digital input opportunities, while both devices accept data up to 24-bit/96kHZ via USB. In addition, all digital music - whether from CD or an external source - can benefit from four selectable filter settings: Slow Roll-Off (delivers a smoother style of sound), Fast Roll-Off (a crisper style of sound), Optimal Spectrum (a flat response and optimal lab measurements) and Optimal Transient (enhances transient response).
Both models are solidly built with all-aluminium casework and will be available in a choice of 'silver' (natural aluminium) or classic Audiolab black. A range of amplifiers is set to follow.
The new players were designed by a team led by John Westlake, who has previously lent his expertise to companies including Cambridge Audio, Logitech and Bose.
Peter Comeau, director of acoustic design for Audiolab parent company IAG, commented: "After many years of seeking a CD player that can bring me the level of musical emotion inspired by great performances on vinyl, I feel I've finally discovered, in the Audiolab 8200CD, a player that can do full justice to the music I have in my CD collection. At last I can forget the source and just listen to the music."