Audio Research at Audio Concepts in Dallas, TX
Audio Research is one of the oldest continually operating manufacturers in American audio. The company was founded in 1970 in Minneapolis with one goal in mind: to advance the state-of-the-art in music reproduction. Today, Audio Research remains a performance-oriented company by philosophy and design. New product introductions are driven only by genuine advances in technology and performance — the HIGH DEFINITION that is the hallmark of the company’s products. The company has grown steadily over the last 40 years, with a network of top audio specialist retailers across North America and distributors throughout Europe, Asia and South America. The company occupies a 48,000 square-foot, technically-advanced production plant and administrative headquarters in Plymouth, Minnesota, where approximately 50 technical, assembly and support staff guide the product line from concept to finished goods.
For even more information, you can visit their website here.
Since 1970, High Definition has been more than our trademark; it has been our guiding principle for all products. The Foundation Series continues this passion and philosophy, offering the listener stunning playback, great value, and unparalleled long-term support.
The LS28 line stage is a flexible and intuitive preamplifier. Four balanced and four single-ended inputs, and two sets of both balanced and single-ended outputs, allow maximum connectivity. The straightforward menu allows control of numerous parameters, including input naming, tube hours, auto shutdown, and home theater passthrough. Phase invert and mono are also standard functions. At the heart of the LS28 are four 6H30 vacuum tubes in the analog circuit. While the LS28 is the perfect match for any Audio Research amplifier, it has been designed to work with nearly any amplifier on the market today.
The Reference 6 is not simply a market-driven product, but rather, a solution to a need which arose after the creation of the Reference SE Series amplifiers. According to Warren Gehl, who is responsible for sonic development of all Audio Research products, the new series of Reference amplifiers offer a level of musical and dynamic capability only made apparent when using the flagship, two-chassis Reference 10 preamplifier. Both preamplifiers of the Reference Series need the ability to provide the full benefit of this new sonic landscape. Increasing the tube count to six in the analog section, and advancements in the power supply improved both macro- and microdynamics and lowered distortion.
The Reference 6 also offers better bass control, relaxed purity and more dimensionality. Further improvements include a more grainless presentation, greater transparency, better speed, and more continuity across the musical spectrum. Quite simply, the Reference 6 improves upon its predecessor in every way for a more palpable and immediate musical performance. Numerous elements – transformers, capacitors, wiring – are designs exclusive to Audio Research and the Reference 6.
Sources – Analog
Foundation PH9 – New! Phono Preamplifier
The PH9 phono preamplifier is a great pairing with most cartridge and turntable combinations. A trio of 6H30 vacuum tubes are at the core of a simple and clear signal path to provide the most transparent preamplification possible. Five different impedance settings allow for cartridge loading, which can be changed on the fly with the included metal remote. Cartridge impedance, tube hours, auto shutdown, and other features are included in the menu system.
Reference Phono 2 – Vacuum Tube Phono Preamplifier
The Reference Phono 3 is a continuation of the work which has been evolving other components in the Audio Research Reference Series over the past year. In mid-2015, all of the amplifiers received significant performance enhancements with the SE updates – new output tubes, components, and other parts ushered in a new level of sonic accuracy and musicality. This exposed a need for higher resolution and dynamic capabilities in components upstream from the amplifiers, and in October 2015 the Reference 6 was introduced. The Reference Phono 3 is the next step in our pursuit of musical realism.
Like the Reference 6, the tube count in the analog section Reference Phono 3 has been increased from four to six. The power supply has been redesigned to accomodate the additional tubes, as well as provide a greater dynamic range. Numerous other components and parts, including proprietary coupling capacitors, wiring and cryogenically-treated pieces advance the playback experience to a level reminiscent of master tape playback for a realism and palpability previously unavailable.
Sources – Digital
Foundation DAC 9
The DAC9 digital-to-analog converter decodes most current formats with state-of-the-art vacuum tube technology. Five digital connections – USB, RCA, BNC, AES/EBU, and Toslink – provide connectivity to all of your digital sources. Quad DAC architecture provides a balanced digital signal, wide dynamic range, and decoding resolutions from red book CD up to 384 kHz and native DSD sampling rates. A pair of 6H30 vacuum tubes are the heart of the analog circuit. Both balanced and single-ended connectors are provided for output connectivity. Native-rate upsampling and selectable digital filters allow customization of the digital signal.
Reference 160M – Vacuum tube Monaural power amplifier
After two years in development, the new Reference 160M (REF160M) Monoblock Power Amplifier is built like no other, looks like no other, and sounds like no other amplifier that you have ever heard, but it is unmistakably Audio Research. It features a refined audio topology with fewer and better components in the signal-path than in previous designs, switchable Ultralinear/Triode operation, proprietary auto-bias, output tube monitoring and protection, an advanced power meter, and much more. This array of features has never been offered before in an Audio Research amplifier.
VT80SE – Foundation Series Power Amplifier
We are pleased to introduce the VT80SE, the Audio Research amplifier with the widest appeal to the greatest number of music lovers worldwide. By combining world-class performance with flexibility and features like auto-bias, the VT80 has been an amp that is easy to take home and just forget as you enjoy your music collection again for the first time.
The big change from the VT80 to the new VT80SE is upgrading the KT120 tubes to the higher performance KT150 output tubes. Everyone should know that we have been deeply enamored with the KT150 as we feature it in all of our other amplifiers, from the VSi75 to the REF 750SE. Its performance is unparalleled and its 3,000 hour average life allows years of uninterrupted listening. The VT80 was originally designed with the KT120, the predecessor to the KT150, but these two tubes are electrically interchangeable and the demand for delivering the VT80 with the KT150 could be ignored no longer.
Reference 150 SE – Stereo Power Amplifier
Simply put, the REF150 SE is a breakthrough in stereo power amplification. It offers more power, greater dynamic thrust, a more vivid and resolved presentation, greater finesse, and quieter operation. It is the new benchmark. Having identical outer dimensions as its predecessor, the REF150 SE has much more packed into its chassis. Refined front-panel cosmetics reflect the updated look of current-generation models, with silver units having silver handles and silver top covers, while black units have black handles and black cover.
VSI75 – Integrated Amplifer
The VSi75 integrated amplifier breaks new ground in an ‘all in one’ product design, and sets a new benchmark in the lifelike reproduction of music. The VSi75 continues the design series of ‘open chassis’ products from Audio Research such as the VSi60 and VS115, yet incorporates new developments from the Reference series product to combine in a visually striking and sonically astonishing product.
Performance-wise, the VSi75 is in an entirely different league for a number of reasons. It has a new power transformer that was designed around the KT150 output tube. The VSi75’s wide bandwidth output transformers are the same as those in the remarkable Reference 75, and we also incorporate some key REF75 parts including proprietary coupling caps. And, we doubled the bulk power supply caps.