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When Audio Research was founded in 1970, analog vinyl playback was the de facto music source of the time. Audio Research has either incorporated or built stand-alone phono stages since the very beginning, and has continuously provided phono preamplification, even during the height of digital music. The Reference Phono 3 is the next advancement of analog playback.
Certified pre-owned Audio Research REF3 Phono Preamplifier in Silver finish. Audio Research has discontinued the REF3.
Unit is rated 9/10 for possible minor cosmetic wear.
Units are factory sealed and comes with a 1-year factory warranty. Images are stock photos.
The Reference Phono 3 is a continuation of the work which has been evolving other components in the Audio Research Reference Series over the past year. In mid-2015, all of the amplifiers received significant performance enhancements with the SE updates - new output tubes, components, and other parts ushered in a new level of sonic accuracy and musicality. This exposed a need for higher resolution and dynamic capabilities in components upstream from the amplifiers, and in October 2015 the Reference 6 was introduced. The Reference Phono 3 is the next step in ARC's pursuit of musical realism.
Like the Reference 6, the tube count in the analog section Reference Phono 3 has been increased from four to six. The power supply has been redesigned to accommodate the additional tubes, as well as provide a greater dynamic range. Numerous other components and parts, including proprietary coupling capacitors, wiring and cryogenically-treated pieces advance the playback experience to a level reminiscent of master tape playback for a realism and palpability previously unavailable.
The Reference Phono 3 phono preamplifier is housed in a single chassis paneled in custom-machined aluminum. The vacuum tube audio stage utilizes six 6H30 vacuum tubes (three per channel), and one 6H30 and a 6550WE provide regulation in the power supply. The large, vacuum fluorescent display on the front panel shows all functions relative to the selected input. A row of six buttons control power, mute, input, and menu controls.
- Frequency Response: ±.2 dB of RIAA, 10 Hz to 60kHz; 3 dB points below 0.3Hz and above 300 kHz
- Distortion: Less than .002% at 1.0V RMS 1kHz output
- Gain: Selectable 51 dB (Low) and 73 dB (High) at 1kHz BAL; 45 dB (Low) and 67 dB (High) at 1kHz SE. (MC and MM compatible)
- Input Impedance: 47k Ohms and 100 pF SE
- Selectable loads: 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50 Ohms, and Custom
- Output Impedance: 400 ohms Balanced, 200 ohms SE. Recommended load 50k-100k Ohms and 100 pF. (10k Ohms minimum and 2000 pF maximum)
- Output Polarity: Non-inverting
- Phono Equalization: (selectable) RIAA, Columbia, and Decca
- Maximum Input: 250 mV RMS at 1kHz (680 mV RMS at 10kHz) - Low Gain
- Rated Outputs: 2V RMS (1V RMS SE) into 200K ohm balanced load (maximum balanced output capability is 30V RMS at less than 0.5% THD at 1kHz)
- Controls: 6 Push Buttons: Power, Menu, Option, Enter, Input, Mute
- Power Supplies: Electronically regulated low and high voltage supplies. Automatic 2 minute warm-up/brown-out mute. Line regulation better than .01%. Noise: 0.28 µV equivalent input noise, IHF weighted. Shorted (Low Gain) input (71 dB below 1mV 1kHz input). 0.082 µV equivalent input noise (High Gain). (62 dB below 0.1 mV 1kHz input)
- Tube Complement: (6)-6H30P dual triodes, plus (1 each) 6550WE and 6H30P in power supply
- Power Requirements: 100-135VAC 60Hz (200-270VAC 50/60Hz) 130 watts. Standby: 2 watts
- Dimensions: Width 19” (48 cm) Height 7.8” (19.8 cm) Depth 16.5” (41.9 cm) Handles extend 1.6” (4 cm) forward of the front panel
- Weight: 36.5 lbs. (16.6 kg) Net; 53 lbs. (24 kg) Shipping
- Finish: BLACK
Please call 734.662.3595 and ask for Richard if you have any questions about this product.
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