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Acora Acoustics: “The New Kid Chipped Off The Old Block”, along with Esoteric, TW Acoustic, Audio Research, Cardas – CAF 2019

By | November 5th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , |

Acora Acoustics with Esoteric, TW Acoustic, Audio Research, Cardas from CAS 2019. Capital Audiofest 2019

Earlier in the year — at both THE SHOW and RMAF — I’ve come across many audiophile writers and found a consensus among those who have been duly impressed with the Acora Acoustics and their sound.

Acora Acoustics as a company has only been showing for what seems like a single year, but the loudspeaker design experience of founder Valerio Cora goes back twenty-plus years. Acora builds their loudspeakers out of granite, which is an extremely hard material and even harder to machine and finish.… Read the full article

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Esoteric SACD Player/DAC, Audio Research Amplifiers, Acora Speakers, Cardas Cables

By | October 19th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

The Acora Acoustics room was another standout. The Canadian company has been building speakers for only a year, but they are on to something with their SRC-1 speaker ($CAD37,995/pair), whose enclosure, as per their marketing literature, is “handcrafted using granite by only the finest artisans in Canada.” Sure, they must be a pain to move around, but one could say the same of the amps that were powering them, the cinderblock-shaped Audio Research Ref 10/750Se amps ($CAD95,200/pair).

Mobility issues aside, what I heard of them being fed by an Esoteric E-02 phono preamp ($CAD12,000), an Esoteric N-03T network player, and an Esoteric Grandioso K1 SACD Player/DAC ($CAD40,000), all of it wired with Cardas, was a sound with rich overtones and great physicality.… Read the full article

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The Neoteric Listener – The Audio Research VSi75 Stereo Integrated Amplifier

By | October 10th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

It was I who killed punk rock in the Listening Room with the Record Player. Well, kill might be too strong a word, defanged it might be closer to the mark. But at least I learned something about audio, so it wasn’t a total loss. The moment square poseurs like me played Black Flag’s Damaged instead of Costello’s My Aim is True, it was only a matter of time before the punk rock movement would be suffocated by suburban mosh pit meatheads, looking to punch anybody within reach.… Read the full article

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Sonus Faber Unveils Olympica Nova With Audio Research – RMAF 2019

By | September 20th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , |

Sonus Faber Olympica Nova speaker line at RMAF 2019. Shown with Audio Research amplifiers.

Call me silly, but I think it’s a bad idea to go to an audio show hungry. It’s day one of the show, or possibly day minus-one, as this is Thursday the “press day” where members of the press are given advanced access to smell, touch, and hear all of the great new products on display.

Mind you, not every manufacturer exhibitor participated in the press day, as that would require a Wednesday setup, and adjusting of all schedules and bookings prior to.… Read the full article

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Audio Research Reference Phono 3 – One Smart Phono Stage

By | September 11th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Phono preamplifiers come in all shapes and sizes and with varying amounts of user adjustability and convenience. The ARC Ref 3 phono preamplifier is hands down the smartest phono section I have ever had the pleasure of using and listening to.

At the bottom of the intelligence pecking order are phono preamplifiers that only have moving magnet (mm) inputs with fixed gain and loading set at 47k ohms. The next step up is a phono preamplifier that has both mm and moving coil (mc) inputs with adjustments for gain and loading.… Read the full article

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Nola Concert Grand Reference Gold 2 Speakers, VAC Statement 450S IQ Amplifier, Audio Research REF CD8 CD Player, Nordost Odin 2 Cabling

By | September 7th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Do VAC tube components possess chameleon-like powers? That’s the question I’ve begun to ask: Each time I encounter their components in different settings, I hear radically different sound. Here, from a system including Nola’s towering new Concert Grand Reference Gold 2 loudspeakers ($250,000/pair), an Audio Research REF CD8 CD player, Nordost Odin 2 cabling, and VAC’s Statement 450S IQ amplifier ($63,000), Master line stage ($28,000), and VAC DAC MK II ($12,000), the sound was midrange preponderant—not at all what I expected to hear from either VAC electronics or a 275lb open-baffle line-source array design with a claimed frequency range of 18Hz–100kHz, 91dB sensitivity, and 8 ohm impedance.

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Audio Research 160M Amplifiers – My White Whale

By | July 27th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Even after two plus decades of reviewing, there are a few major brands that have largely eluded me. Whether it’s been a timing issue, system need, personal bias, (I’ll get into that more later), or I just haven’t been in proximity of the brand. For me, up till a couple years ago, one of those brands had been Audio Research. I was able to land a DAC9 for review that I absolutely loved. I still rave bout it to whoever is willing to listen.… Read the full article

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Audio Research Corporation Reference 160M Monoblock Amplifier

By | July 12th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Audio Research Corporation Reference 160M Monoblock Amplifier

Since I first heard William Zane Johnson’s D76 stereo amplifier and SP3 full-function preamp back in the early 1970s, I’ve been a fan of Audio Research electronics. Indeed, I’ve owned and reviewed more gear from ARC than from any other marque. So, you may well ask, why haven’t I written about anything new from my all-time-favorite firm in the past several years? Well…I have my reasons. (And the folks at ARC doubtlessly have theirs.) Speaking for myself, my first consideration was the reference speakers I’ve been using, which for the last decade or so have been various Magicos.… Read the full article

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Audio Research Reference 160S

By | June 4th, 2019|Categories: AV Hub|

Audio Research has launched its Reference 160S stereo power amplifier. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Basically a stereo version of the Reference 160M mono power amplifier introduced in 2018, the new 160S has the same feature set, which includes Audio Research’s own auto-bias circuitry, switchable triode/ultra linear operation modes, balanced and single-ended inputs, and an output valve condition monitor. It isn’t only the circuitry that’s basically identical, the look is also similar, with the dual transparent power meters on the front fascia through which the eight KT150 output valves can be seen.… Read the full article

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Audio Research launches new Reference 160S stereo power amplifier

By | May 9th, 2019|Categories: Audio news, Dagogo|Tags: , |

MAPLE GROVE, MN – May 8th, 2019 Audio Research is pleased to announce the launch of the Reference 160S stereo power amplifier. The new product distills the astonishing resolution, dynamic impact, musical purity and finesse of the 160M into one beautiful and attainable chassis designed for the music lover in all of us.

Following the example of the internationally-acclaimed 160M monaural power amplifier introduced in 2018, the Reference 160S (REF160S) is a vacuum-tube design with dual transparent power meters that float in front of the eight KT150 output power tubes.

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