I am very happy to say that I have recently managed to get an Audiolab 8200CD as my source. While I have only had a few hours with this gem, I can tell it is a very good source. My Rega Apollo was a very musical player and I loved it's sound signature very much. For those of you who want detail, but still like a little warmth in there then the Apollo which can now be had second-hand very reasonably is worth considering. Anyway, back to the 8200, this player mines details quite deep into the sound, retriving micro-detail that previously I hadn't been able to get at. Sure, some of this micro-detail isn't what you want anyway, but sometimes it is so being to retrieve it is nice.
The 8200 is voiced to present a very nice and well done forward presentation of the mids and upper/mid bass detail. There is plenty of sub and deep bass response, but it isn't allowed to bloat out of control and obscure detail, it is held within the proper musical scope it should hold. At first I felt there was not enough bass with the 8200 until I got it, and now I get it. The quantity is there, just better controlled and balanced, and this in combination with better quality of bass as well. Very nice stuff. I couldn't get over how well placed and vibrant vocals are with the 8200, espescially considering it has the pluck to place them in a forward way. Forward, but not over-emphasized, just, well right. Listening to Holy Cole singing One Trick Pony was enthralling, her vocals were nice and rich, wet and no sibilance at all, just smooth and dynamic.
Anyway, like everybody, when you have something new that is really making your day you want to talk about it. I am going to do a proper review soon. That said I am in a difficult position as I have changed my amp, my source and added a new headphone (HD 650) into the mix all within a few weeks of each other so describing one thing is difficult because everything has changed. I guess I will just describe the synergy of the chain. Cheers.