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Ken Kessler has posted a review of the Audio Research Reference 10 preamplifier ($30,000) at Hi-Fi News and Record Review. His conclusions:
“Simply put, the music was rich with the textures and nuances that are often lost through an audio chain. There was a complete lack of artifice. The outlay will buy an entry-level tourbillon, a decent 4×4, two cases of 1985 Sassicaia, ad infinitum. Whether someone with £27,900 wishes, instead, to spend it on a REF10 depends on but one thing: an unbridled lust for music.
No pussyfooting: this is the best sounding valve preamp I have ever heard, topping even the Anniversary- which I thought was part of God’s own sound system. No, I don’t enjoy touch panels, as I am an unrepentant traditionalist luddite/ARC purist who prefers knobs and buttons. But that is my problem. If you can get past its tube-preamp-violated• by-an iPad mien, you will love this as Hepburn loved Tracy.”
You can read the full review here.