Mid-Priced No More: Raysonic Introduces the Reference 2

by The Audio Beat | April 16, 2011

aysonic Audio is headquartered in Canada, where its products are designed, but assembly happens in China, which has helped ensure reasonable cost across its ample line of CD players, integrated amps, preamps and power amps. Indeed, the company had focused on the pricing middle-ground, but with its new Reference 2 preamp ($11,500) it takes aim at high-end audio's upper crust in terms of cost and performance. The Reference 2 is a fully balanced, all-tube, class-A preamp whose audio circuitry and power supply are physically separated. Like other Raysonic products, the Reference 2 boasts of superior parts, including Mundorf caps, Kimber internal wiring, and a DACT volume control. The signal path is said to be "ultra short," with the source selector engaging relays near each input. The tube complement features matched quads of premium Russian 12AX7s and 12AU7s with gold pins, along with pairs of Russian 12BH7s and EF86es. A soft-start circuit extends tube life. The unit's power supply has high energy storage, separate isolated supplies for each stage, and dual-choke filtering. The power transformers are damped and shielded from EMI and RFI.

There are three sets of single-ended RCA inputs and one set of balanced XLR inputs, along with dual pairs of RCA outputs and a single set of XLRs. Gain is 20dB. As with other Raysonic products, the Reference 2's chassis is machined entirely from heavy-grade aluminum.

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