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Quite possibly the most beautiful amplifiers ever designed.
The meters look like they're floating in the air and the tubes are visible right behind them!
Utilizing KT150 tubes, this is about as modern and detailed sounding a tube amp will get.
Both amps look practically new with JUST 325.6 hours on the tubes which is the same amount of hours in two weeks! And we know such an exact figure as ARC displays this right on the rear. We wish more tube amplifiers had this feature, as it's one of the most asked questions.
Built-in auto bias means you never have to fuss around with the tubes. And tube rollers can play around with KT88, KT120, and 6550's without making any adjustments.
And this listing comes to you complete with all of the original Audio Research packaging and originally included materials.
These were originally put into service in April of 2019 and will come with a one year in-house warranty.
MSRP is $34,000.00
More on these beauties from Audio Research:
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.
The designers at Audio Research wanted to create a new style that would complement the look of the REF6 preamp while also featuring a GhostMeter™ that allows a view of the glowing KT150 vacuum tubes. While this GhostMeter™ allows you to see the output tubes, it also incorporates an innovative dual-layer construction with distinctively etched markings that create an integrated power meter. The power meter’s output-level markings illuminate via hidden LEDs, and the illumination brightness is adjustable. The REF160M includes a sculpted cover with an integrated fan to cool the heat generated by the four (4) KT150 output tubes and two (2) 6H30 driver tubes. Solid-state power regulation was chosen to provide increased efficiency, stability, and reliability. The power supply stage uses a newly developed High Energy Capacity Transformer and a hefty bulk storage-capacity network to provide extremely high current on demand for transient peaks and intense dynamics, as well as for prodigious bass depth and authority.
It is understood that the best path is the shortest path. Audio Research engineers created a new audio circuit topology with the shortest signal path and the fewest components. Those components are not only the best available, many are custom made for Audio Research. Incorporating these quality components is a special 4-layer circuit board that lowers the noise floor to unprecedented levels, and a design which was previously reserved for use in our preamplifiers. The result is a new benchmark in musicality in every criterion of sound quality.
The REF160M also features a proprietary auto-bias circuit that works with various tubes types, including 6550, KT88, and KT120, in addition to the supplied KT150 and works constantly to maintain precise bias of the output tubes, while also adjusting for tube wear. There is no need to check or adjust bias ever again.
The new REF160M breaks new ground sonically, aesthetically and operationally, and will be available in Natural (Silver) or Black finishes.
140 watts continuous from 20Hz to 20kHz. 1kHz total harmonic distortion typically 1% at 140 watts, below 0.04% at 1 watt. (Note that actual power output is dependent upon both line voltage and “condition” i.e.: if power line has high distortion, maximum power will be affected adversely, although from a listening standpoint this is not critical).
(-3dB Points) 5Hz to 70kHz.
(-3dB points at 1 watt) 0.5Hz to 110kHz.
2.4V RMS Balanced for rated output. (25.5 dB gain into 8 ohms).
200 k ohms Balanced.
Non-inverting. Balanced input pin 2+ (IEC-268).
16 ohms, 8 ohms, 4 ohms.
Approximately 0.6dB 16 OHM LOAD TO OPEN CIRCUIT (Damping factor
OVERALL NEGATIVE FEEDBACK
14dB SLEW RATE: 13 volts/microsecond RISE TIME: 2.0 microseconds.
105-130VAC 60Hz (210-250VAC 50Hz) 400 watts at rated output, 700 watts maximum,
260 watts at “idle”, 1 watt off.
2 matched pair KT150 (Power output V1-4); 2 6H30 (Gain stage V5 and V6).
Width 17.25” (43.8 cm)
Height 10” (25.4 cm)
Depth 18.5” (47 cm)
Handles Extended 19.25” (48.9 cm)
56lbs (25.5 kg) Net
73lbs (33.2 kg) Shipping
Click here for a PDF copy of the Audio Research Reference 160M Owner's Manual
Our Testing Process for Amplifiers (Tube) at SkyFi:
We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure there are no signs of stress or aging. Capacitors are checked for telltale sings of bulging or leaking, resistors are checked for signs of overheating or cracking, and tubes are inspected for signs of stress overheating or cracking.
We then power up the unit carefully and run a simple 1k sine wave while monitoring the output on an oscilloscope for signs of distortion or noise. Finally we run the amplifier to its full rated power into the appropriate resistive load provided by our Sencore amplifier tester. If there is an issue, it will usually be noticeable at this point. If it all looks clean we will often test for THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) measured by our Keithley distortion meter, and compare it against the original manufacturers specifications. The amplifier the remains powered on to "burn in" on our test bench for a few hours to make sure there are no heat related issues. If there are balanced inputs available they will also be tested.
We also test all tubes for output gain and leakage on our calibrated B&K 747 tester against the original manufacturers specifications. If needed, the tubes will be replaced from our vast NOS (New Old Stock) vintage or modern inventory.
Final testing involves pushing actual music thorough the amplifier. We've learned over time that some issues are only noticeable to a trained ear while listening to familiar source material. Our test bench has reference vintage Kef speakers that we're very familiar with which quickly reveal any discrepancies. Some amplifiers will then move into our listening room where they are tested with our in-house reference speakers of choice.
Thanks for looking and please click here if you’d like to receive a list of new equipment we receive weekly. We promise not to bombard you with junk email.
PURCHASING FROM SKYFI:
This item will be professionally packaged and insured for safe transit to your home unless you opt for local pickup from our shop. Please note that all local pickup items are only wrapped with industrial strength clear cling stretch wrap if the original manufacturer packaging is unavailable.
Local pickup is available in Glen Rock, NJ, just a half hour drive from Midtown Manhattan, with convenient parking near our building.
And if you’re looking to ship to Canada, simply follow this link to view and purchase this item. We ship to Canada via UPS Worldwide Expedited service and you’re responsible for any applicable import duties and taxes.
If we don’t have the original manufacture’s packaging, we use heavy duty double-ply corrugated boxes with custom made to your item Instapak expanding foam custom inserts. In many cases this has proven to be better than the original packaging! We also use high quality fiber reinforced tape to seal our packages. Lightweight items will be bubble wrapped and shipped in a high-quality box.
Click here for specifics on our specialized packing process that separates us from the rest.
NJ Residents or anyone picking up without a resale certificate will need to pay NJ Sales Tax.
Thanks for looking and be sure to call us at 201-879-0000 with any questions.
WHO WE ARE:
SkyFi Audio is a small startup business specializing in the purchase, reconditioning, and reselling of select high-end audio equipment. We only buy equipment the we admire and are passionate about. No mid-fi, no gimmicks, no junk.
Each piece of equipment is cosmetically restored and fully tested in our well-equipped lab by an engineer with 30+ years of experience in the HiFi world. If it does not meet or exceed the original manufactures specifications, it will not be sold. We are very selective about the equipment we purchase, focusing on mostly analog, high-build quality, American, and European built units.
Through our sister company which is an authorized dealer for McIntosh, Audio Research, Sonus Faber, ClearAudio, Pro-Ject Audio Systems, and Sony ES, we have access to OEM parts, service, and support. If you’re local and looking for new equipment from the above-mentioned manufacturers, please drop us a line as we can arrange both sales and professional installation in the tri-state area.
We do not accept or review any offers that do not go through the official Audiogon system. We have too many items for sale and it’s nearly impossible to keep track of offers outside of the official system. Please don’t message, email, or text any offers.
We prefer working through PayPal which allows you to use a credit card, bank transfer, and their special financing to spread out payments over six months. We do not charge extra for any PayPal fees if you purchase the item at the asking price. You can also send us a personal check (which will need to clear before shipping), certified check, money order, or bank wire transfer. International clients without access to PayPal should use a bank wire transfer.
If you’re picking up an item, we do not accept PayPal. You must pay in person with a certified check, bank check, or wire transfer. If you make a PayPal payment and are picking up the item, your PayPal payment will be returned.
TRADE IN POLICY:
We accept trade-ins of equal or lesser value under certain conditions. Simply click here to submit your gear for full consideration. We will only consider high-end equipment from mainstream manufacturers such as McIntosh, Mark Levinson, Audio Research, Krell, etc. and will typically pass on displays, projectors, receivers, dated surround processors, and mid-fi equipment of any type. We will offer a fair value for your equipment, but keep in mind we’re running a business and will need to be able to resell the equipment at a profit after investing a great deal of time and resources in testing, certifying, repairing, cleaning, and packaging the incoming equipment. If you’re looking for top dollar, we suggest selling direct on your own.
SELL US YOUR GEAR (Working or Broken):
We’ll also purchase your used or broken gear and arrange pickup if you’re in our local market. Simply click here to submit your gear for full consideration.
SCHEDULING AN APPOINTMENT:
We are currently operating from our shop inside our dedicated building in Glen Rock, NJ. You’re welcome to make an appointment if there’s a piece of equipment you’d like to see in operation before or after purchase. We have several well-equipped and dedicated listening areas, plus a dedicated listening studio with tons of equipment of all makes and models. We’re not a store, so please don’t make an appointment if you’re just curious as to how a speaker or piece of equipment sounds. In essence - no tire kickers please.
You can call or text 201-879-0000 with any questions or to schedule an appointment. We can also arrange to install, calibrate, and tune your newly purchased gear in your listening room if you’re local to our area. This is super useful when purchasing large speakers or heavy amplifiers. It’s also great for ensuring your new turntable is setup correctly in its final resting place.