Australian HIFI - - SOUND BITES -

Au­dio Re­search has re­leased its Ref­er­ence 160M Vac­uum Tube Monau­ral power am­pli­fier. It uses a new au­dio topol­ogy for Au­dio Re­search, with fewer and bet­ter com­po­nents in the sig­nal-path than in pre­vi­ous de­signs, switch­able ul­tra­lin­ear/tri­ode op­er­a­tion, pro­pri­etary auto-bias, and out­put tube mon­i­tor­ing and pro­tec­tion. ‘ The ar­ray of fea­tures fit­ted to the new Ref 160M has never been of­fered be­fore in any Au­dio Re­search am­pli­fier,’ said Philip Sawyer, of Syn­ergy Au­dio Vis­ual, which dis­trib­utes Au­dio Re­search in Aus­tralia. ‘ The de­sign­ers at Au­dio Re­search have cre­ated a new style that fea­tures a trans­par­ent face­plate that al­lows you to see the KT150 vac­uum tubes while in­te­grated into that face­plate is an in­no­va­tive power me­ter whose out­put­level mark­ings are illuminated by hid­den LEDs.’

The four KT150 power tubes are au­to­mat­i­cally and con­tin­u­ously bi­ased us­ing Au­dio Re­search’s pro­pri­etary auto-bias cir­cuit, which is flex­i­ble enough to al­low you to sub­sti­tute KT88 or KT120 valves. The driver tubes are 6H30s. The power sup­ply uses solid-state power reg­u­la­tion. ‘ The best cir­cuit path is a short path,’ says Sawyer, ‘ so Au­dio Re­search en­gi­neers cre­ated a new au­dio cir­cuit topol­ogy with the short­est sig­nal path and the fewest com­po­nents, all of which are in­cor­po­rated on a spe­cial four-layer cir­cuit board that low­ers the noise floor to un­prece­dented lev­els.’

‘The re­sult is a new bench­mark in mu­si­cal­ity in ev­ery cri­te­rion of sound qual­ity,’ Sawyer told Aus­tralian Hi-Fi Mag­a­zine.

The Ref 160M is rated at 140-watts con­tin­u­ous, with less than 1.0% THD at rated out­put and less than 0.04% THD at 1 watt. The fre­quency re­sponse is 0.5Hz to 110kHz –3dB and the power band­width is 5Hz to 70kHz –3dB. Avail­able in sil­ver and black fin­ishes, the Au­dio Re­search Ref­er­ence M 160 monobloc power am­pli­fiers will re­tail for $49,990 per pair. For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Syn­ergy Au­dio Vis­ual on (03) 9459 7474 or at www.syn­er­gyau­

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