Long time readers of Audiophilia will know of its publisher's predilection for Audio Research Corporation (ARC) components. Huge fan. At least of their tube gear. Now, ARC releases three pieces under its 'Foundation' marque. A less expensive taste of the famous sound. Prices around USD$7,500 per component. More information here.
Audio Research Corporation Press Release. May 5, 2016 - Audio Research is pleased to introduce the Foundation Series. From the same engineering and design team responsible for the award-winning Reference Series, the Foundation family of vacuum tube components has been created to provide incredible musical experiences. Spatial definition, dynamics and detail abound while providing the most natural musical experience.
The first three components include the LS28 line stage preamplifier, the PH9 phono stage, and the DAC9 digital-to-analog converter. A new amplifier will follow, with other products to complete the series. All models will be available in both black and natural anodized aluminum finishes. Each unit comes with its own custom metal remote control.
Since 1970, High Definition has been more than our trademark; it has been our guiding principle for all products. The Foundation Series continues this passion and philosophy, offering the listener stunning playback, great value, and unparalleled long-term support.
All products at Audio Research follow the exact same path from concept to production, regardless of the series or model. The Foundation Series shares the same lineage, build quality, and many design characteristics found in the more costly Reference Series. The result is a consistency in the Audio Research sound, and the ability to create a range of components which offer exceptional performance and value.
Many of the parts in an Audio Research product are proprietary, while some are designed for a singular model. This attention to detail is inherent to all processes at Audio Research - from the hand-soldering of every circuit board, to the final listening test which is conducted by the same person who helped guide the design. Our commitment at Audio Research is to deliver the most musically satisfying experience at every level. Audio Research - music in High Definition.
Audio Research LS28
The LS28 line stage is a flexible and intuitive preamplifier. Four balanced and four single-ended inputs, and two sets of both balanced and singleended outputs, allow maximum connectivity. The straightforward menu allows control of numerous parameters, including input naming, tube hours, auto shutdown, and home theater passthrough. Phase invert and mono are also standard functions. At the heart of the LS28 are four 6H30 vacuum tubes in the analog circuit. While the LS28 is the perfect match for any Audio Research amplifier, it has been designed to work with nearly any amplifier on the market today.
Audio Research PH9
The PH9 phono preamplifier is a great pairing with most cartridge and turntable combinations. A trio of 6H30 vacuum tubes are at the core of a simple and clear signal path to provide the most transparent preamplification possible. Five different impedance settings allow for cartridge loading, which can be changed on the fly with the included metal remote. Cartridge impedance, tube hours, auto shutdown, and other features are included in the menu system.
Audio Research DAC9
The DAC9 digital-to-analog converter decodes most current formats with state-of-the-art vacuum tube technology. Five digital connections - USB, RCA, BNC, AES/EBU, and Toslink - provide connectivity to all of your digital sources. Quad DAC architecture provides a balanced digital signal, wide dynamic range, and decoding resolutions from red book CD up to 384 kHz and native DSD sampling rates. A pair of 6H30 vacuum tubes are the heart of the analog circuit. Both balanced and single-ended connectors are provided for output connectivity. Native-rate upsampling and selectable digital filters allow customization of the digital signal.