Audio Research Announces Special Edition of Their Reference Phono Stage Preamp

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Audio Research Announces Special Edition of Their Reference Phono Stage Preamp


The following is a press release issued by Audio Research.

MAPLE GROVE, MN | March 9, 2020 – Audio Research (ARC) is pleased to announce important updates to its highest-performance phono stage, the Reference Phono 3 Phono Preamplifier with the launch of the Reference Phono 3SE. Following the launch of the recent Reference (REF) 6SE Line-Stage Preamplifier, ARC’s 50th Anniversary product line continues with a special edition update of the Ref Phono 3 Preamplifier.

The REF Phono 3SE ($17,000 USD) replaces the REF Phono 3, a product introduced in 2016 that has been recognized and awarded internationally for its incredible performance. The knowledge gained in the creation of Audio Research’s Reference 160-Series Amplifier has now transitioned to both reference preamplifiers, the REF6SE Line-Stage and the REF Phono 3SE Phono-Stage. The first production units will ship in March 2020.

Due to the extremely low-level nature of the signals involved in a phono stage, the component and wiring upgrades incorporated in the SE update combine to create a startling advancement in performance. Improvements include enhanced resolution at all levels, greater purity and focus, improved transient speed and snap, and increase in quality of dynamic shading. The sum of these improvements further breaks down the barrier between reproduced sound and the immediacy of a live event. Externally, the only difference is that the back panel will indicate the unit’s name, Reference Phono 3SE.

The SE update will be available to current REF Phono 3 owners in May 2020, and can be installed through Audio Research in North America for $3,000 USD. Authorized service centers in the rest of the world will be able to install the SE update kits in their respective countries.