Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2012 • Hot Product

In 2010, Audio Research introduced its most ambitious and expensive preamp ever (among many ambitious and expensive preamps), the $25,000 Reference Anniversary. That limited-edition product was discontinued over a year ago, making the introduction of the new Reference 10 ($30,000) a natural. Also a two-chassis unit, the Reference 10 uses the same tube complement as the Reference Anniversary, although new custom-made coupling capacitors replace the massive Teflon parts used in the Reference Anniversary. Two cosmetic changes are obvious: the Reference 10's 7" touch-screen display, which is the interface for all manner of new functionality, and the offset Audio Research logo.

We first saw and heard the Reference 10 a couple of months ago, and we should have a review unit in-system before year's end.

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