Audiolab 7000A

Audiolab Launches New 7000 Series Amp, CD and Network Player

The new Audiolab 7000 series follows in the footsteps of the award-winning 8000 and 8200 series but also bridges the gap between the phenomenally successful 6000 series and the new high-end 9000 series. Nestled between the 6000 and 9000 but more compact than the 9000 series, the 7000A improves on the 6000A with a 70W per channel output, a new DAC, and a new full-colour IPS LCD screen.

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 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), to help the amp deliver excellent dynamic range.

While the 7000A looks similar to its entry-level sibling but there are key aesthetic differences such as the sharper edges to the rotary controls and changes to the vent perforations on the top surface. The new amp is also a little heftier at 8.4kg compared to 7.8kg. The most obvious aesthetic change is the central display – while still stadium-shaped, like the 6000A’s display, the window has been enlarged to 64x48mm.

The 7000A’s larger display uses a colourful GUI, like the one found on the flagship 9000A (albeit the IPS LCD screen is smaller – 2.8in as opposed to 4.3in). This shows a variety of information in a more visually appealing way than other integrated amps – volume level, input selection, format data and more. It gives access to the 7000A’s impressive menu system, which includes such options as digital filter selection, upsampling, input sensitivity adjustment, balance control, automatic standby switching, and volume curtailment when the amp is powered up. It can even be set to display a VU meter in ‘analogue’ or ‘digital’ form, showing real-time signal levels for the left and right channels. Animations can be turned off and brightness adjusted, and the display can be set to activate only when a function is accessed and then switch off after a defined period, as the user prefers.

The 7000A incorporates digital-to-analogue signal conversion, enabling digital sources to connect directly without an external DAC. Like the 6000A, there are four S/PDIF inputs – two coaxial and two optical – but the 7000A adds a USB Type B input for PCs, Macs, smartphones, tablets and digital storage devices. It also includes an HDMI ARC input for AV system integration – the 7000A is the only Audiolab amplifier to include this facility. Bluetooth is included too, with support for multiple codecs including aptX HD, and Bluetooth 5 compliance for optimum range and speed.

For analogue sources there are three line-level RCA inputs, plus one for a turntable. Audiolab has tweaked the 7000A’s MM phono stage to improve performance compared to the 6000A, with precise RIAA equalisation and input filtering to ensure vinyl is treated with as much care as digital sources.

The 7000A’s hi-res audio support handles PCM to 32-bit/768kHz and DSD to 22.5MHz (DSD512) via USB. The 6000A, in comparison, is limited to 24-bit/192kHz PCM over S/PDIF. The 7000A also delivers full decoding of MQA, meaning ‘three unfold’ decoding process is performed internally, as opposed to just the final unfold in the manner of an MQA renderer, making the 9000A an excellent amplifier for subscribers to Tidal’s ‘HiFi Plus’ tier where Tidal Masters (MQA) content can be found. The 7000A is officially ‘Roon Tested’ too, ensuring it works seamlessly in a Roon audio environment. A dedicated headphone amplifier is also included. 

7000A Specification summary

• Integrated stereo amplifier with hi-res DAC

• Class AB power amplification: 2x70W into 8 ohms

• DAC stage based around new-generation ES9038Q2M Sabre chipset

• Supports PCM to 32-bit/768kHz, DSD 64/128/256/512 and full MQA decoding

• Digital upsampling and five user-selectable DAC reconstruction filters

• Class A post-DAC active filter

• Bluetooth 5 streaming with aptX HD support

• Certified ‘Roon Tested’

• High-quality MM phono stage

• Dedicated current-feedback headphone amp

• Three operational modes: Integrated Mode; Pre-Power Mode; Pre Mode

• 2.8in colour IPS LCD display

This spring Audiolab will also launch the third CD transport with the 7000CDT, taking the blueprint provided by its highly regarded 6000 Series equivalent and upgrading it in key areas the make this CD transport sit between the 6000CDT and 9000CDT in Audiolab’s product hierarchy.

Two of the upgrades complement the 7000A amp with the 7000CDT adding a centrally positioned, stadium-shaped display is a little larger than that of the 6000CDT, replacing the latter’s monochrome text display with the same colour GUI found throughout the new 7000 Series. Second, the 6000A’s slot-loading mechanism has been replaced by a high-quality tray-loading mechanism, housed in its own electromagnetically shielded enclosure and incorporating a high-precision optical system and low-friction loading tray.

Lastly Audiolab has also announced the new 7000N Play dedicated streamer that is connected to a broadband router via Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable. Two options for playback, the first via the Play-Fi app, which gives access to a variety of online streaming services including Tidal, Spotify, Amazon Music, Qobuz and Deezer, plus thousands of internet radio stations and podcasts, as well as streaming content stored on local DLNAcompliant devices. The second is Spotify Connect, which enables streaming direct to the 7000N Play using the Spotify app rather than the Play-Fi app. And the third is AirPlay 2, which gives access to Apple Music and other streaming platforms when using an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV as the source/control device. AirPlay 2 is a new feature added to the 7000N Play, and an important one for Apple users.

The circuit design of the 7000N draws inspiration from Audiolab’s new 7000CDT CD transport, incorporating the same isolated power supply with a high-efficiency, low-noise toroidal transformer to maintain optimum signal purity – all of which contributes to the 7000N Play’s sonic performance.

The Audiolab 7000N Play network audio player is available from March in a choice of silver or black, at an MSRP of $899.99 USD / $1069.00 CAD. 

The Audiolab 7000A amplifier is available from March in a choice of silver or black, at an MSRP of $1799.99 USD /$2069.00 CAD. The 7000 Series is completed by the 7000CDT CD transport and 7000N Play network audio streamer, which launch concurrently with the 7000A.

The Audiolab 7000CDT is also available from March in a choice of silver or black, at an MSRP of $899.99 USD / 1069.00 CAD.

Audiolab is exclusively distributed in Canada by Erikson Home