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Vol. 16, No. 1 Spring/Summer, 2013



NEW PRODUCTS

Audio Research

Audio Research has continued to expand their support of both analog and digital with three new products, the VSi75 integrated amplifier ($8000), the Reference CD9-DAC CD player/DAC at $13,000, and the Reference DAC digital media bridge at $16,000.

Audio Research VSi75 integrated amplifierBuilding on the success of the VSi60, which has won amplifier-of-the-year awards in at least four countries, Audio Research's new vacuum tube integrated amplifier takes power, performance, and aesthetics to a much higher level. The 75 watt/channel VSi75 becomes a big brother to the VSi60 and offers a significant step up in every meaningful way. A new LCD displays the Input selection, Volume, Stereo/Mono mode, and Operate/Mute mode. the LCD readout will also display the bias reading of each tube, making it easy to set the bias without a separate meter. Performance-wise, the VSi75 is in an entirely different league for a number of reasons. Its new power transformer was designed around the KT120 output tube. The VSi75' s wide bandwidth output transformers are the same as those in the Reference 75 power amplifier, and the VSi75 also incorporates some key REF75 parts such as Audio Research proprietary coupling capacitors. Power supply storage capacity has also been doubled. The resulting sound from these cumulative improvements is striking, with tremendous resolution of detail, silky and extended highs, surprising weight and authority, and the ability to develop an immense sound stage.

Audio Research Reference DACThe Reference DAC is designed to be a digital-to-analog converter with state of the art sound quality, and also to accommodate the ever-growing formats used in today's digital world. With nine different ways to connect, plus a built-in Internet radio tuner, virtually all digital sources in your system are connectable to the Reference DAC. At the heart of the Reference DAC is Audio Research's custom designed quad DAC technology supplying perfect decoding of the incoming bit stream. The Reference DAC is capable of decoding up to a 192-kHz sampling frequency and 24-bit resolution. It also offers the option of native rate upsampling (44.1 – 88.2 – 176.4 or 48 – 96 – 192). One can also choose between soft or sharp digital filtering. After the signal is decoded it enters the analog stage. Derived from the Reference 5SE preamplifier, the vacuum tube analog stage and the tube regulated power supply provide wondrous nuance and musicality. The built-in volume control allows direct connection to an amplifier, so you don't need a preamplifier if you don't want one. The REF DAC can interpret metadata, so sources that provide this data will have their track and album information displayed. All functions are controllable from the included remote control or from iOS/Android smartphone or tablet apps that are available. Combining unparalleled digital connectivity with renowned Audio Research vacuum tube technology makes the Reference DAC a leader in the world of high performance music reproduction.

Audio Research Reference CD9 CD-DACThe REF CD9-DAC CD/DAC combines the best of both a super-high-resolution compact disc player with a super-high-resolution Digital-to-Analog converter. Benefiting from what was learned in the development of the REF DAC and the DSPre, the REF CD9-DAC uses quad 24-bit DACs running in mono mode, with dual master oscillators; one for 44.1/88.2/176.4 sample rates and the other for 48/96/192kHz sample rates. Sample rate conversion is selectable for all inputs, as well as for CD playback, allowing reproduction in native resolution or via upsampling. Additionally, there is a selectable digital filter, with either fast or slow roll off. On the bench, the bandwidth of the REF CD9-DAC is five times that of its predecessor, the CD8, with one tenth of the distortion. It has greater dynamic range, and it is also quieter. Like the REF5SE, REF PH2SE and REF DAC, the analog section is vacuum-tube, with four 6H30 dual-triodes. As a final touch, there is also vacuum-tube power-supply regulation. So, if you want to play music from both CDs and your computer with ultimate resolution and musicality, the REF CD9-DAC should be perfect for you.

 

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Audio Nexus, LLC
33 Union Place
Summit, NJ 07901

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   (908) 277-0333

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