Audio Research Reference 6SE Line-Stage Preamplifier

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Audio Research Reference 6SE Line-Stage Preamplifier

Audio Research Reference 6SE Line-Stage Preamplifier


Not available online, please call to order.
210-805-9927

Audio Research Reference 6SE Line-Stage Preamplifier


Not available online, please call to order.
210-805-9927

  • Description

    MY TAKE: Probably no other name in high-end audio enjoys the reputation, recognition, and respect of Audio Research. Since the beginning, Audio Research has maintained a fanatical devotion to quality and sonic performance, ensuring their position at the very top echelon of audio manufacturers. Their offerings earn my highest recommendations. – Galen Carol


    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 by every major critic 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 dynamics. The Reference 6SE is the latest chapter in our story.

    With a single gain stage, the 6SE is a fully-balanced, Class-A design with zero feedback. In addition to six long-life 6H30 tubes in the gain stage, the enormous and highly-regulated power supply has another 6H30 with a 6550 providing vacuum-tube regulation.

    The Reference 6SE replaces the Reference 6 and offers the highest performance ever available in a single-chassis preamplifier. Benefitting from the development that went into the Reference 160-series amplifiers, and the latest Reference 750SEL, the 6SE incorporates a myriad of new parts that have been judiciously incorporated into its design. The final 6SE would not have been possible without these revolutionary amplifiers.

    Regardless of the recording, the improvement in sound is immediate and compelling. Effortless, dynamic, and dimensional. The speed and resolution merge with musical color and textures that are both accurate and captivating.

     

    REVIEWS:
     

    The Audio Beat: "For owners of an Audio Research Reference 6, the $3000 upgrade path is a no-brainer. I can’t see how spending three grand anywhere else in your system is going to reduce the difference between your listening seat and club or concert hall seat by anywhere near as much as this upgrade. The words of praise I lavished on the Reference 6’s improvement over the Reference 5 SE echo in my mind. This most recent upgrade has impressed me even more than that prior step up in performance. And if you're buying anew, the resolving power and dynamic prowess of the Reference 6 SE will be hard to equal at any price.

    Despite the challenges present in a change of ownership and a global pandemic, Audio Research has not missed a beat. Even given the looming shadow of ARC’s storied history and reputation -- and the inevitable expectation that accompany them -- the Reference 6 SE doesn’t disappoint. Stellar preamplifiers are few and far between. This is one of them, and the price of the upgrade makes it an especially impressive achievement." - Dennis Davis. Read the full review

     

    Stereophile: The Wrap: "Of all the power amplifiers, integrated amplifiers, and pre-power combinations to have spent time in my reference system, the pairing of Audio Research's tubed Reference 160M monoblocks and REF 6 preamplifier stands out as having sounded the most musically neutral and natural. Other components may offer more warmth and glow, or wider soundstages, or greater dynamic contrast, or more bass slam, transparency, and detail—but there was an inherent rightness to the sound of this supremely musical ARC pairing that puts it in a class by itself.

    "Since hearing the Reference 160Ms and REF 6 together, all of my preconceptions about the sound of tubed equipment have gone out the window. While choosing an amplifier will always be based upon many factors—economic means, personal taste, and the willingness to monitor and occasionally replace tubes among them—I'm convinced that the Reference 160M will find a home on many a solar- or wind-powered desert island. It's that good." - Jason Victor Serinus

     

    ELECTRICAL SPECIFICATIONS -

    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 the 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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Audio Research Reference 6SE Line-Stage Preamplifier


Not available online, please call to order.
210-805-9927

Description

MY TAKE: Probably no other name in high-end audio enjoys the reputation, recognition, and respect of Audio Research. Since the beginning, Audio Research has maintained a fanatical devotion to quality and sonic performance, ensuring their position at the very top echelon of audio manufacturers. Their offerings earn my highest recommendations. – Galen Carol


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 by every major critic 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 dynamics. The Reference 6SE is the latest chapter in our story.

With a single gain stage, the 6SE is a fully-balanced, Class-A design with zero feedback. In addition to six long-life 6H30 tubes in the gain stage, the enormous and highly-regulated power supply has another 6H30 with a 6550 providing vacuum-tube regulation.

The Reference 6SE replaces the Reference 6 and offers the highest performance ever available in a single-chassis preamplifier. Benefitting from the development that went into the Reference 160-series amplifiers, and the latest Reference 750SEL, the 6SE incorporates a myriad of new parts that have been judiciously incorporated into its design. The final 6SE would not have been possible without these revolutionary amplifiers.

Regardless of the recording, the improvement in sound is immediate and compelling. Effortless, dynamic, and dimensional. The speed and resolution merge with musical color and textures that are both accurate and captivating.

 

REVIEWS:
 

The Audio Beat: "For owners of an Audio Research Reference 6, the $3000 upgrade path is a no-brainer. I can’t see how spending three grand anywhere else in your system is going to reduce the difference between your listening seat and club or concert hall seat by anywhere near as much as this upgrade. The words of praise I lavished on the Reference 6’s improvement over the Reference 5 SE echo in my mind. This most recent upgrade has impressed me even more than that prior step up in performance. And if you're buying anew, the resolving power and dynamic prowess of the Reference 6 SE will be hard to equal at any price.

Despite the challenges present in a change of ownership and a global pandemic, Audio Research has not missed a beat. Even given the looming shadow of ARC’s storied history and reputation -- and the inevitable expectation that accompany them -- the Reference 6 SE doesn’t disappoint. Stellar preamplifiers are few and far between. This is one of them, and the price of the upgrade makes it an especially impressive achievement." - Dennis Davis. Read the full review

 

Stereophile: The Wrap: "Of all the power amplifiers, integrated amplifiers, and pre-power combinations to have spent time in my reference system, the pairing of Audio Research's tubed Reference 160M monoblocks and REF 6 preamplifier stands out as having sounded the most musically neutral and natural. Other components may offer more warmth and glow, or wider soundstages, or greater dynamic contrast, or more bass slam, transparency, and detail—but there was an inherent rightness to the sound of this supremely musical ARC pairing that puts it in a class by itself.

"Since hearing the Reference 160Ms and REF 6 together, all of my preconceptions about the sound of tubed equipment have gone out the window. While choosing an amplifier will always be based upon many factors—economic means, personal taste, and the willingness to monitor and occasionally replace tubes among them—I'm convinced that the Reference 160M will find a home on many a solar- or wind-powered desert island. It's that good." - Jason Victor Serinus

 

ELECTRICAL SPECIFICATIONS -

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 the 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