Preamplifier Audio Research Reference 5

Basically, a few small tubes amplify reference 5 (11900 euro) audio in the new large precursor research. Whether you sound can heat up a chain of high end?

  1. Preamplifier audio research reference 5
  2. Data sheet

With all due respect! A small, not even his plastic-Knubbel remote in hand is the Highender which unpacks the after all, 11900 euro reference 5, soon. If he wants to not litter the exclusive ambiance of his conditioning, he should hide them best somewhere.

Much rather he will touch that front the two larger buttons on the young American tube preamplifier. He finds then that the left of the two – in 30-degree rotation or not – summa Summarum varies the volume 104 steps. That suggests that a digital system and first raises a slight anxiety: because such an electronic system may worsen the Klirr – and noise. Hot in the reference 5 hardly, must it but after studying the wiring diagram. Because there several fairly expensive ICs work split ever in the entrance, creating no unnecessary stress. Also, the California manufacturer of Maxim Stein and leg swears that the chips with their network resistors selected semiconductor switches behave exactly like habitable (but also wear) potentiometer.

Ticked off and further explored with pleasure: The right knob selects the inputs. There’s a button that always prefers either RCA or symmetric arrivals. And because on the back of the audio research in addition to six interconnect is the same number of XLR inputs, in total not less than twelve high-level suppliers ran. An input double named “Processor” takes on to all this at fixed gain of Surround precursors connected to the stereo front channels from there.

Also the two Main-Outs double-pin are available, the reference 5 downright therefore asks to use it completely symmetric. Extra therefore has not only for left and right, but also for the positive and negative pole own, meticulously as image and mirror image amplifier trains. With the advantage that any litter errors are passed the same measure. As such, they do no voltage differences but in contrast to the reverse-bar music signals. Therefore they cancel simply out in a power amplifier or fully symmetric chains connected to the boxes.

In the circuit of the amplifier stages, audio served as research at first glance almost frightening simplicity. The second follows a double tube triode system. There is over the cathode (relatively low impedance) and released foil capacitors. That was it. There’s also no correction feedback loop. The THD at fast to keep declining, harmonious upper wave distribution, there is a power transistor, which helps the level control the input triode as a power source. Otherwise, it must set Linearizing resistors in the cathode lead – and last but not least the tube itself. And there met the Americans with the so distortion such as long-lasting double triode 6 H 30 of Sovtec the right choice.

Engineers at the reinforcement subjected the motto is “as simple and straightforward as possible”, they raged a all the more thoroughly at the power supply. So the operating and display electronics got already (to keep your digital guess distant from the signal path) times an own power supply including transformer. The main transformer performs its tasks with no less than seven output winding. For example the eight 470 – and the two 120 micro Farad capacitors to recharge, which are just for the tube anode voltage. One each of these energy storage upstream, consisting of a butterfly and a resistor brake ensures that this operation takes place never to fidgety impulsive, but always as greased and balanced.

So not enough the voltage from the Elko Association is now being met a level of stabilization which works as a series as well as two controlling 6H30-Trioden and an IC with a 6550 power tubes. So high constant 180 Volt come out that even an accredited test laboratory could calibrate his volt meter it. Naturally, also the new are screened and regulated. The power supply has even double and triple stabilized power supply to the ten Maxim volume control ICs.

The reward for the effort: With the very first bars music recommended the reference 5 – with preference in balanced cooperation with the Ayre C-5xe player MP (6/09) and the Mono blocks MX-R (3/10) – as individual and highly enjoyable. She made in a soft, supple and yet imposing way to much heat and in the heights for plenty of air. While she acted very discreet, never mouthy, and built up in infinite spatial depths clean back tiered stage.

When comparing stereoplays more expensive reference preamplifier TEP 3800 (5/08), managed to draw with their fabulous impulsiveness of the affair. The famous 19800 euro precursor KX-R of a Ayre (3/10, 59 points) struggled but already powerful: you offered at best a morsel more bass substance, a touch more rigor. So it was clear pretty soon that the audio research given their significantly lower price got fantastic 58 points.

The more time then stayed to enjoy the special flair of the reference 5. In piano music, where was the tube preamplifier of less on the Flash of steel strings, but – by canteen to bells-delicate – celebrated any stop finesse. As well she pays homage to the float and the friction of the chords: almost as if she would say an extra ear directly on the resonance plate.

Finally the playback chain provided with the beautiful American in the Middle for the magical moments so longed-for of high change, such as Ulita Knaus’ “my philosophy” (minor music). The cautious, worn by the drum cymbals rhythm increased the voltage only up to the short lively E-piano solo – and then the piece developed a true Vortex: it sparkled, radiated and rounded everything is perfectly three dimensional. Then the enchanted listeners no longer thought up before, for example, a couple of boxes brand Sonics Allgra (8/05), but simply in a wonderful flair in music in the middle.

And was released to the testers at Janiva Magness’ “What Love Will do” (in-akustik) the Blues-live atmosphere often almost directly and Rough, so they could get the reference 5-down to the last title as not enough: by the mood of the party, by the reckless teen foot drum beat, the fame throbbing Horn sections, and the slightly rough, but yet so rosy cute voice of the singer.

Finally, no hangover remained the realization after this look back, but rather: who loves Preamps with tubes charm, the reference 5 audio should mean for the research clearly the number 1.

Audio Research reference 5

Manufacturer Audio Research
Price €11900.00
Rating 58.0 points
Test procedure 1.0

Technical data and test results

Dimensions (W x H x D) 48.0 x 17.8 x 39.4 cm
Weight 13.9 kg
Measured values
Immunity gaps (A weighted)
Line RCA / XLR 93.0
Noise phono MM / MC
Line RCA / XLR 318 / 636 ohm
Short conclusion The deepest inside of Purist easy and tube preamp question around extremely complex built. Sounds wonderful warm, alive, physically and delicate, just simply just good.
Sound Absolute top class
Sound points
(maximum 70 points)
Measured values
(maximum 10 points)
(max. 15 points)
(max. 10Punkte)
Overall rating (max. 120 points) very good 85
Price / performance Very good
tested in issue: 5 / 10