Audio Research REF160S Tube Power Amplifier £19,998 Review

May 13, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“Initially, I didn’t even bother to check whether I was in Triode or Ultralinear mode, the power differences between the two never an issue for me as I’m no headbanger. I couldn’t wait to hear the thing but impatience is an ugly trait, and switch-on involved the usual waiting for the unit to settle down and come out of its mute condition. I was chomping at the bit. Those two minutes or so seemed an eternity…

It was worth it, for what issued forth was so extreme a jump in performance that I immediately thought about selling my wine cellar so I could acquire a REF160S of my own. As there had been so many changes to my system since I reviewed the monoblocks, I threw out the notion of using the same LPs and CDs in an attempt at repeating precisely the same test. Instead, I trusted my ears (and hundreds of hours with the rest of the system) to decipher the charms and merits of the REF160S. And it started with the bass.”

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