Audio Research Reference 5 SE – Natural Finish
This beautiful and well-maintained Audio Research Reference 5 SE comes in Natural finish and includes a new, complete, unused matched set of tubes (5 SH30’s and 1 6550) from Audio Research. Remote, manual, 20A IEC power cord and original shipping box/materials are all a part of the package.
The Reference 5 SE takes the highly acclaimed performance of the Reference 5 to a whole new level of sonic bliss. The SE version benefits from several advancements that Audio Research developed for the cost-no-object, limited edition Anniversary Reference preamplifier ($24,995), including a vertically mounted circuit board, stuffed to the gills with capacitors to nearly double the Reference 5's already massive energy storage. Other changes include new Teflon and hybrid coupling and bypass capacitors, and changes in the internal wiring.
Otherwise, the Reference 5 SE's basic circuitry resembles that of the Reference 5: it's mostly contained on a single-sided board that stretches from wall to wall. Additional, smaller boards handle I/O, switching, and display functions. As in the Reference 5, the Reference 5 SE's transformers (an R-core for the audio circuits, a toroidal for the display, relays, and microprocessor controls) are mounted on the sides of the chassis, above the board, to reduce vibration in the audio circuits. The audio circuitry's power supply is a hybrid-regulated design employing both FETs and a 6H30 dual-triode tube controlling a 6550 pentode tube. The audio circuit itself is a single gain stage with a cathode follower tube in a zero-feedback, fully balanced, pure class-A triode layout. There are six tubes: four 6H30s in the analog stage, and the 6550 and 6H30 in the power supply.
Here are excerpts from Brian Damkroger's review in Stereophile (November 9, 2012). He summed up his impressions in one word: "Wow!" He felt “It reproduced the full dynamic spectrum and harmonic richness of recordings. Bass drums exploded and boomed with a wonderfully round, taut tone. Castanets cracked with perfect woodiness. Cymbals rang and shimmered, maracas hissed and clattered, violins sang, cellos swooned, basses groaned ominously. You name it…the Ref 5 SE nailed it.”
“Its incredible resolution and recovery of fine detail made it seem as if several layers of the recording chain had been wiped away. It was almost the sort of fundamental change in the fabric of the music that (dare I say it) separates live music from recorded. It’s reproduction of timbres was uncanny; it’s portrayal of instruments also made it easier to discern individual musicians in a chorus or orchestra, the differences in timbre and texture enhancing the image specificity to create a nearly holographic effect.”
Read more of Brian’s review here
8% sales tax will be collected for sales inside the state of Georgia.
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