Audio Research Reference 6 Stereo Preamplifier

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What HFL Thinks

Audio Research Reference 6 - We really are proud to add Audio Research to our portfolio of products to offer our customers as not only are they one of the most respected and oldest companies trading today in HiFi but more importantly they produce some of the most musically engaging products available that constantly get glowing reviews worldwide. Based in the USA and known for their love of the use of Valves for the majority of their products Audio Research really do sum up everything that is great about Highend Audio offering beautifully made products that push the boundaries but they always put the music first and foremost so please come into HFL for a listen.

Almost since the inception of the brand, Audio Research has produced some of the finest components for music reproduction; this is especially true with regard to preamplifiers. In 1973, the SP3 was hailed as the best preamplifier available, and this tradition of excellence has continued ever since. The Reference Series from Audio Research was first introduced in 1995 and has been the ultimate representation of performance, musicality and power. The Reference 6 is the latest chapter of our story.

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.

A completely new chassis has allowed not only a more beautiful aesthetic, but also provides more structural rigidity to assist in the dissipation of electrical and mechanical interferences. Six premium 6H30 tubes are now used in the audio circuit (increased from four tubes in the Reference 5SE) to provide an even quieter background and increased dynamic range. The tube-regulated power supply is also a new design for improved sonics. New circuit boards, circuit designs, and larger power transformer have been implemented to provide robustness and serviceability.

A new volume control with finer step gradation and higher performance completes the system.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

FREQUENCY RESPONSE

  • +0-3dB, 0.4Hz to 200kHz at rated output (Balanced, 200k ohms load).

DISTORTION

  • Less than .01% at 2V RMS BAL output.

GAIN

  • Main output: 12dB Balanced output, 6dB SE output.  Record out: 0dB (Processor input: 0dB BAL output).

INPUT IMPEDANCE

  • 120K ohms Balanced, 60K ohms SE.  Inputs: 4 balanced, 4 single-ended. Assignable processor passthrough.

OUTPUT IMPEDANCE

  • 600 ohms Balanced, 300 ohms SE Main (2). 20K ohms minimum load and 2000pF maximum capacitance. Outputs (3): 2 main, 1 record out (XLR and RCA connectors).

OUTPUT POLARITY

  • Non-inverting.

MAXIMUM INPUT

  • 18V RMS BAL, 9V RMS SE.

RATED OUTPUTS

  • 2V RMS (1V RMS SE) into 200K ohm balanced load (maximum balanced output capability is 70V RMS at less than 0.5% THD at 1kHz).

CROSSTALK

  • -88dB or better at 1kHz and 10 kHz.

CONTROLS

  • Rotary encoders: Volume (103 steps), Select Input.  Push Buttons:  Power, Menu, Enter, Mono, Invert, Mute.

POWER SUPPLIES

  • Electronically regulated low and high voltage supplies.  Automatic 45 sec. warm-up/ brown-out mute.  Line regulation better than .01%.

NOISE

  • 1.7uV RMS residual IHF weighted balanced equivalent input noise with volume at 1 (109dB below 2V RMS output.)

TUBE COMPLEMENT

  • (6)-6H30P dual triodes, plus (1 each) 6550WE and 6H30P in power supply.

POWER REQUIREMENTS

  • 100-135VAC 60Hz (200-250VAC 50/60Hz) 130 watts.  Standby: 2 watts.

DIMENSIONS

  • Width: 19” (48 cm)
  • Height: 7.8” (19.8 cm)
  • Depth: 16.5” (41.9 cm)
  • Handles extend 1.6” (4 cm) forward of the front panel.
  • Weight: 37.5 lbs. (17 kg) Net; 49 lbs. (22.3 kg) Shipping

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"I will be working with a carefully selected group of retailers across the UK so we have strong geographical coverage that puts Bryston within easy reach of audiophiles up and down the land. Each Centre of Excellence will receive in-depth training to ensure they are fully conversant with all aspects of the brand, to enable them to serve their customers with confidence."

HiFi Lounge have been big fans of Bryston for many years now, owning much of their equipment personally before starting HiFi Lounge. We even started the always active Bryston Owners Thread on AVForums to which we contribute regularly, so it really is a privilege to be part this new scheme. We have a vast knowledge regarding the current Bryston range of which we have most on demo, so if you have any questions or would like to come in for a listen please do not hesitate to get in touch. There is nothing we like more than talking about and listening to Bryston equipment.