Audio Research’s Reference 160M Vacuum Tube Amplifier, or REF160M, is available for preorder today. It has a few features that haven’t been in an ARC (Audio Return Channel) amplifier before, according to the company, like a switchable watt operation so you can customize your own power preferences, proprietary auto-bias and an advanced power meter. As for performance, the REF160M can output 140-watts continuous power from 20Hz to 20kHz (with 1kHz of total harmonic distortion), and it has integrated fan to make sure it doesn’t overheat. The amplifier is pretty, too, with a transparent faceplate that gives you a view of its glowing, reference-quality KT150 vacuum tubes. The design of this faceplate, with a new dual-layer construction with etched markings, also creates an integrated power meter.
The REF160M costs $30,000/pair.
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