Remote or no remote for the Audio Research LS3.

I am thinking of getting a used Audio Research LS3 with remote. I am wondering if this feature is worth having. Does the remote eventually interfere with the sound since there is now an additional mechanism that may affffect the sound quality?

I've seen a lot of LS3 with out remote, is this because of the cost of having the optional remote?

given the option, would you rather have a remote in your pre amp or not?

I own the LS-2 which does not have a remote.

There are times when I wish I did have a remote, usually when listening to CD's, SACD's etc.. (Digital sources) as I could handle all the switching chores from the couch.

However, since I just got back into analog, and I have to get up anyway to cue up or remove the record from the turntable, it is not nearly as important. (Volume control would still be nice though).

As far as the sonic degradation of having the remote, it might be there (I don't have one, so I can not say for sure), but probably not enough to offset the convenience of having the remote.

Therefore, if you could buy one for an extra couple hundred dollars, I would recommend it, especially if you are a CD/SACD listener. But if you could save a signigicant amount of money by doing without, I would probably tell you to go that route, especially if you are mainly an analog listener.

Those are my recommendations, based upon my experience with a similar preamp. Tough choice, I know! Good Luck!
I am using an LS3 without remote. I call it exercise!
I was using LS3 without remote for 8 years and now have upgraded to REFERENCE II (remote is a standard). Without a remote, I believe, the control is using mechanical. However, with the remote, the control is using digital, instead. I am not sure if the digital controls has any effects to the sound quality. But, since it has been equipped by the higher models like LS25 and Reference, I believe the remote shouldn't degrade the sound, otherwise, ARC won't do that. BTW, the digital control won't have the bad contact issue and might improve the sound quality. Maybe you can ask the Support from ARC regarding this issue.

It's handy with the remote. However, you will need to pay more money on that, since it's optional. My personal suggestion is to save the remote money for the later upgrade. Good luck.
thanks for your response guys. Seems like its best to save the money and put it to better use.
Do you want to get rid of your automatic transmission in your car and go back to shifting gears? I don't think so! Having a remote operated unit is joy and a convenience worth having. Without a remote, you turn the volume up, sit down and realize that it's too loud and have to get up again to lower volume. The phone rings and you have to get up again to turn down. Once in a while it feels good just to turn the whole damn thing off and take a break.