There is a review in Stereophile in issue XVI-11.
7 responses Add your response
Hifimannen, I owned one years ago, it was quite good for its time and was extremely well built. I replaced it with a ML-360S that was a much better sounding DAC. Both were replaced long ago in my system with better sounding digital front ends. My hunch, if your interested in getting one, is that it would sound dated and not be very competitive with current DACS.
I bought a new ML36 DAC in mid/late 90s, can't remember exactly. I was very happy with it, but for the wrong reasons. I used it with an AR-1 cd player, which was about $1k less at $3k. I convinced myself that the Audio Research was improved by using the ML, but actually it would have been more correct simply to say that the music sounded different, but not necessarily "better" in any way at all. I kept it until the Musical Fidelity A-24 (or whatever it was) came out in 2002 (?), bought one for $950 from Audio-Video Logic and was pleasantly startled by how much happier I was with what I was hearing.
Given the huge tech leaps these past 10 years, you might find yourself a lot happier by spending a lot less for something current. I no longer use a DAC, but mid-90s technology might not cut it for you, not at those dollars.