Audio Research’s Reference series began in 1995, with the release of the Reference 1 preamplifier. The company has now announced the newest addition: the all-tube Reference 6 preamplifier. According to Audio Research’s October 16 press release: “The Reference 6 line stage 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 and volume. Two rotary encoders provide input selection and volume control, and a row of five buttons control power, mute, invert, mono and menu controls. Menu functions include: input labeling, display brightness, processor input setup and tube hour reset. Four balanced and four single-ended inputs provide system connectivity. There are two main outputs providing both balanced and single-ended, as well as a record out. RS-232, IR input, and 12V trigger allow for additional control options. The Reference 6 ships with a full-function metal remote.”

The Reference 6’s world premiere was at the Son et Image show, held October 17-18 in Paris. It will carry a retail price of $14,000 in the United States when it begins shipping next month

Audio Research website