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Q&A: Andrew Everard

Andrew Everard is the Audio Editor of Gramaphone the world’s best-known and longest-established classical music magazine. He was also formerly the Technical Editor of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision.

When did you first discover Audiolab?

As a reader of hi-fi magazines in the mid-80s I remember the rave reviews of products such as the original 8000A amplifier and the 8000C/P preamp and stereo power amplifier. It wasn’t long before I was pretty sure that the 8000A was what I wanted to have in my system. And I know from letters from readers that many of those early amps are still in daily use.

Didn’t you run an Audiolab system as a reference in What Hi-Fi magazine?

In fact, we ran two complete Audiolab rigs on the magazine for several years, starting with 8000C/P systems and growing them to 8000Q preamps with a stack of four 8000M mono blocs. We had one in the magazine’s main listening room and, as I was also reviewing a lot of equipment at home, I ran the same system there in the interests of consistency.

Why did you choose the Audiolab equipment?

The amplification had a reputation for being bullet-proof and reliable to run 24/7. Yes, we all know that you should turn amplifiers off before changing connections, but when reviewers are up against deadlines, such things get overlooked. The other consideration was the neutral open sound of the products - perfect for hearing what different CD players were doing to the sound of the system as well as being able to drive just about any loudspeakers we chose to connect.

Did you use the equipment at shows too?

Again, the amps proved unstoppable, even at the levels we used to tun them i show demonstrations, just to allow showgoers to hear how good a system could sound running at high levels without distortion.