The New Audio Research Reference 6

Audio Research unveils its latest Reference Preamp.

Audio Research Reference 6 Linestage -

Expect to see a slew of the Ref5 models hit the used market over the next year. I plan to move up to a Ref 5SE as they hit the used market.
The Ref Phono 2SE came out the same time as the Ref 5SE linestange in 2011.

If ARC follows form, a new Reference Phono 3 should be out very soon.
I must be an oddball. I hated the direction ARC was going with the look started with Ref 3. I liked what I saw when the GSPre was introduced. And I am glad ARC is adopting that look for the Ref 6. (Not like I am going to run out and buy one...)

Smoffatt & Mofimadness,

My previous pre was the LS-25 Mk I with GNSC ref mod. Actually I still have it. I thought that was going to be my preamp forever...Then another local audiophile put his GNSC Ref 2 on the market. Of course, I had to jump on it. Very happy with it at the moment. Maybe I'll consider the Ref 16 in 10 years. But by then, my ears might be shot.

Wow, some of the discord here is amazing. AR is a company, just like Conrad Johnson, Atmosphere, etc. some companies have larger R&D departments than others. Big deal. Take for granted that some people are in the "amp of the month club" and have to buy new and "better" equipment whenever it comes out, and in my opinion, more power to them. However, no one is forcing anyone to buy anything.

If you aren't in the club I mentioned above, then you are reviewing and auditioning the equipment and have made a personal determination that it is better than what you previously owned.

Lets not forget that lots of "high end" equipment is simply not carried by many brick and mortar dealers. This means that unless you have friends with equipment or can travel distances to audition, you really can't compare with other equipment.

I have read and heard much about Atmosphere equipment, but I couldn't tell you one store that sells it. I'm absolutely sure it is top quality and sounds wonderful however. And, having some sort of relationship with dealers on a long time basis really helps. Which I have established.

but, if I didn't like the sound of the latest and greatest AR equipment over some other equipment and I was in the market to buy, I most certainly would buy the other equipment, if I could be assured that if there was a problem, that company would be around to fix it.

I would love to hear Atmosphere equipment, so don't get me wrong.

I recently purchased a demo pair of AR REF250 amps. I have mentioned many times that they were the best amps (tube or SS) that I have heard to date. It took two years for me to buy the amps. no hurry. Now they are offered in the SE version. Am I drooling over upgrading to the SE? Absolutely not.

When I upgrade (if ever) my AR REF 3 pre-amp, I will look at the REF 5SE and Atmosphere's pre-amp.

I do however, have one stipulation. I have to be able to audition that equipment in my home system. Hearing it in a store, really doesn't do it for me. If I can't audition at home, that presents a very real problem for me. For that kind of cash, I don't think that is too much to ask.

Which companies have stood the test of time and also have stood by their products?

AR can and will diagnose and fix every product they made. Same is true for Atmosphere, Pass, and many others.

Not true for some others. That is also a problem.

enjoy and be happy