Audio Research debuted its Reference 6 line stage preamplifier today at Festival SON et IMAGE Paris. Available in natural anodized aluminum with a clear acrylic cover, the Reference 6 line stage preamp will begin shipping in early November. Its SRP is $14,000.
The Reference 6 line stage preamp is housed in a single chassis paneled in custom-machined aluminum. The vacuum-tube audio stage utilizes six 6H30 vacuum tubes (three per channel), and one 6H30 and a 6550WE provide regulation in the power supply. The large vacuum fluorescent display on the front panel shows all functions and volume. Two rotary encoders provide input selection and volume control, and a row of five buttons control power, mute, invert, mono, and menu controls. Menu functions include input labeling, display brightness, processor input setup, and tube hour reset. Four balanced and four single-ended inputs provide system connectivity. Two main outputs provide both balanced and single-ended, plus a record out. RS-232, IR input, and 12V trigger allow for additional control options. The Reference 6 ships with a full-function metal remote.
According to Warren Gehl, the man who’s responsible for sonic development of all Audio Research products, the company’s 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 preamps 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 are said to improve both macrodynamics and microdynamics, and lowered distortion.
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