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 Ref 10


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Audio Research


FREQUENCY RESPONSE: +0 -3dB 0.1Hz to 200kHz at rated output.(BALANCED, 200k ohms load.)

GAIN: Main output (SE or BAL input): 12dB Balanced output,6dB Single Ended output. Tape output: 0dB. (Processor input: 0dB Balanced)

INPUT IMPEDANCE: 120K ohms Balanced, 60K ohms SE, Inputs(7): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, PROCESSOR. (XLR and RCA connectors).

OUTPUT IMPEDANCE: 600 ohms Balanced, 300 ohms SE main (2), 20K ohms minimum load and 2000pF maximum capacitance. Outputs (3): 2 main, 1 tape (XLR and RCA connectors).

OUTPUT POLARITY: Non inverting.

MAXIMUM INPUT: 20V RMS maximum Balanced, (10V RMS SE).





The Reference 10 is a new two-chassis line-stage preamplifier that will again redefine performance and the preamplifier landscape.Included are critically chosen new components, proprietary custom-made capacitors, wiring, and new connectors that cumulatively provide a level of performance never before achieved.The signal path is fully discrete, all-tube, pure Class-A, with zero feedback. Each unit is completely handsoldered and hand-constructed using the finest materials, withmajor components such as custom transformers, plated-through circuit boards, and casework sourced locally. 





The left side of the front panel contains a 7” (diagonal) interactive touch-screen display that allows the user to easily control almost all functions. After the initial turn-on sequence, the Volume, Input, Balanced/SE, Stereo/Mono, Phase 0/180, Balance (leftright) control, Mute/Operate, and Settings icon are clearly displayed. Touch the input displayed (such as Tuner), and all of the inputs are displayed for your selection.Likewise, if you touch the Stereo icon it switches to Mono, touch the Mute and it switches to Operate, and so on. It is quite straightforward and intuitive.Touching the “Settings” icon (it appears as a “gear”) on the display brings you to a submenu with different options related to the setup and functionality. You can change the input names via an alphanumeric keypad, for example. Input gain offset can be adjusted independently for each input; you can check (or reset) the tube hours meter, adjust the display intensity, or you can change the foreground and background colors of the display—there are ten color options for each.

The default display has our traditional green text on a black background, but you can change that to white on blue, or red on dark gray, or so on. It is very easy to customize the look you want. The power supply chassis, connected to the main unit via two umbilical cords, simply has one green LED under its offset Audio Research logo. All of the side panels are finished identically to the front panels: Natural anodized, one quarter-inch thick, with no screws visible. The entire chassis (including rear panel) is painted silver to complete the look. There are beautiful new, clear acrylic covers with a revised perforation pattern; metal covers will not be available. And, there is no printing on the front panel of either chassis. After the single 20A power cord, the REF10 is completely dual-mono from the power supply through the audio circuit. There are dual, separate low- and high-voltage transformers for each channel; there is dual-mono vacuum-tube regulation(one 6H30 and one 6550WE per channel), dual-mono audio circuits (four 6H30 per channel), and enough energy storage for a serious power amplifier.

As usual for a Reference preamp, there are seven inputs, including a Processor input with unity-gain, one Record output, and two sets of Main outputs. All inputs and outputs have both Balanced and Single-Ended connections. For the first time in a Reference preamp, there is an RS-232 input in addition to dual 12V-triggers.It is difficult to describe the sonic attributes of the Reference 10 because the descriptions are oft repeated to the point of cliché. Just as the Anniversary preamplifier was shockingly better than its predecessors, the Reference 10 offers a further level of resolution, refinement and dynamism that vividly improve the musical experience in every way. As we have said before, words can only fall short of your own experience; to understand how much more profound listening to your favorite recordings can be, you must hear the Reference 10The Reference 10 is a two chassis line stage which surpasses the exceptional sonic performance of the Reference Anniversary preamplifier in virtually every regard.  Internally, further refinements to circuit design have been made and new, proprietary parts have been included.