Audio Research REF 3 worth buying today?


I would like to know your opinion ... it is worth buying a REF 3 today?
He's about 15 years old, it will be necessary to do a recap in the near future?
Thanks in advance for your comments.
Regards!
Paulo
xupakabras
Yes!!!!! The REF 3 Retubed is still an excellent pre-amp that out performs many of the newer pre-amps today.  If you can find one for a good price, get it.

I did direct A/B Comparisons between the retubed REF3, REF 5, REF 5SE and REF 6 and let me tell you from personal experience, that the REF 3 was excellent.  The REF 6 was at a different level altogether, but, the REF 3 vs the REF 5 was extremely close.  I had a hard time hearing differences between the REF 5 and REF 5SE such that it (to me) wasn't worth the cost to go from a REF 5 to a REF 5SE.  But with A/Bing between the REF 3 and the REF 5SE, I heard enough of an improvement that I purchased the REF 5SE.  A few days later, I got a stupidly good deal on the REF 6 with 75% MSR for the REF 5SE that I couldn't pass it up.

All said, unless one is on the constant upgrade path, the REF 3 to this day is great.

Be careful acting on people's opinions and advice unless they actually had units in the same room and system at the same time for comparisons.  A buddy of mine was told by a dealer that the Primaluna top of the line pre-amp was better than a REF 6.  I told him the dealer was full of crap.  He purchased a REF 6 and borrowed the Primaluna pre-amp and did a direct A/B comparison.  The REF 6 was night and day better than the Primaluna pre.  That's not to say the Primaluna pre-amp wasn't very good.  It was, it's just that unless you have equipment side by side for comparison the other will sound great to you also.

This is why Bose is so popular.  You rarely if ever see Bose equipment anywhere in stores where they can be compared with other equipment.

enjoy


short answer - hell yes
The Audio Research Ref 3 will always be a serious preamp; Very good analog never goes out of style. 
Cheers!
To make the REF 3 better , what I did , I retubed by 6H30P-DR and put also in a 6650 Tungsol blackplate . I also made the REF 3 to a REF 3SE by adding the extra cap.bank . I also retubed my CD REF 3 with the same tube layout . 
OH , perhaps also interesting , I retubed also my ARC PH5 by NOS Telefunken E88CC and disconnected the rectifier section for an outboard Border patrol tube rectifier. For me if makes  no sense to upgrade to newer ARC products .