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Audio Research Ref 5SE tube preamp (SOLD)

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Audio Research Ref 5SE tube preamp (SOLD) Empty Audio Research Ref 5SE tube preamp (SOLD)

Post by Anwar Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:06 pm

Bought new in May 2013, still have 15 months warranty left (except tubes).  Not yet broken in, 458 tube hours.  The Teflon capacitors require 600 hours break-in period.

Stereophile Class A preamp:
Audio Research Reference 5SE: USD13,000 (new price)
The Ref 5 SE is a tubed, remote-controlled line preamp with six sets of balanced and unbalanced inputs, three sets of balanced and unbalanced outputs, and a unity-gain Processor input. It uses 6550C and 6H30P tubes for power-supply regulation, and four 6H30P dual-triodes in the analog stage. Improvements over the original Ref 5 include new Teflon and hybrid coupling and bypass capacitors, new internal wiring, and a vertically mounted circuit board that nearly doubles the earlier version's energy storage. The Ref 5 SE exhibited incredible detail retrieval, bold and nuanced tonal color, outstanding dynamic range, and large soundstages with a slightly forward perspective, said BD. "The Reference 5 SE gets my highest recommendation," he concluded. JA noted superb measured performance. Compared to BJR's reference Audio Valve Eclipse, the ARC offered longer decays and resolved more inner detail but lacked some low-end impact. (Vol.35 No.11, Vol.36 No.2 WWW)

I have to let go this highly rated preamp due to impedance mismatch issue with other components.  The Ref 5SE works best with power amplifiers with high input impedance >= 100k ohm (e.g. AR Ref 75 or AR Ref 150), even though the manual specifies minimum 20k ohm.

Audio Research Ref 5SE tube preamp (SOLD) Front10

Audio Research Ref 5SE tube preamp (SOLD) Front210

Audio Research Ref 5SE tube preamp (SOLD) Top10

Audio Research Ref 5SE tube preamp (SOLD) Back10

Audio Research Ref 5SE tube preamp (SOLD) Back210

Audio Research Ref 5SE tube preamp (SOLD) Sn10

Complete with all original accessories (remote control, 20A IEC power cord with USA 3-pin plug, hand glove, box, manual, etc).

Sold to a nice gentleman in Ipoh who currently uses Audio Research pre and mono blocks.  I personally delivered, installed, and tested the preamp.  It sounds very good when paired with Audio Research power amp.

Audio Research Ref 5SE tube preamp (SOLD) New_ho10

Last edited by Anwar on Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:17 pm; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : sold)
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Age : 58
Location : Bukit Jambul, Penang
Registration date : 2011-01-08

Character sheet
Source(s): AAMS+, Marantz SA-10, Oppo UDP-205, TW Raven Two + TW 10.5 with Benz LP-S + Triplanar VII with Quintet Black, Audio Research REF Phono 2SE
Amplification: Bent Audio silver slagleformer preamp, Bryston 10B-SUB, McIntosh MC452 for front, MC303 for center and rear
Speakers: Focal Diablo Utopia III for LCR, Focal IW 1002 Be for rear, 2 x JL Audio Fathom f113 subs

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