Audio Research REF6 vs. REF10 Preamp

asiufy

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Jul 8, 2011
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#41
Reviving an old thread. Sold my Ref 5SE and will be installing the new Ref 10 on Saturday when I get back to California. I am so excited!!!
Congrats! The REF 10 is indeed a great preamp, and it'll be quite the difference from your previous 5SE!
As noted, it'll go through a noticeable break in period, with ups and downs, but I've no doubt it'll be impressive from the first note!

Enjoy!
Alex
 
Apr 21, 2010
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#42
Congrats! The REF 10 is indeed a great preamp, and it'll be quite the difference from your previous 5SE!
As noted, it'll go through a noticeable break in period, with ups and downs, but I've no doubt it'll be impressive from the first note!

Enjoy!
Alex
Hi Alex,
Thank you, and yes it is totally different. I have about 70 hours on it since posting. I am running it constantly and listening in between to get at least 100 hours on it before listening more critically. The first thing noticed is the authority of the notes, they are more dynamic and with greater presence on recordings. Midrange seems a bit more natural, from what I have read from it's reviews the Ref 10 is less "tubey" in that region compared to the Ref 5SE allowing the music to be reproduced more naturally. The soundstaging is much wider (separate power supply helps) and on the right disc the music seems to coming from almost outside the speaker's boundaries. I'm waiting for the three dimensional soundstaging to take effect. I clearly remember my Ref 5SE taking time to open up, IIRC it took at least 200 hours before it settled in. Really enjoying the ride so far.
 

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Oct 30, 2017
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#44
Hi Alex,
Thank you, and yes it is totally different. I have about 70 hours on it since posting. I am running it constantly and listening in between to get at least 100 hours on it before listening more critically. The first thing noticed is the authority of the notes, they are more dynamic and with greater presence on recordings. Midrange seems a bit more natural, from what I have read from it's reviews the Ref 10 is less "tubey" in that region compared to the Ref 5SE allowing the music to be reproduced more naturally. The soundstaging is much wider (separate power supply helps) and on the right disc the music seems to coming from almost outside the speaker's boundaries. I'm waiting for the three dimensional soundstaging to take effect. I clearly remember my Ref 5SE taking time to open up, IIRC it took at least 200 hours before it settled in. Really enjoying the ride so far.
Just wait its coming!
 
Apr 21, 2010
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#45
Nice......Have a play around toggling between display ON and display OFF, For my part I prefer the latter.
Display is definitely set to off. I apologize as I was too lazy to tap the remote. It's black background with blue lettering.
 
Apr 21, 2010
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Southern California
#47
Just wait its coming!
Paul, I know it's just slightly frustrating as I went thru this with the last preamp. I can't whine as there are real world problems some are facing.
 

asiufy

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Jul 8, 2011
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#48
Oh, the 3D soundstage will definitely come, you just wait :)
I found the REF6 had a more immediate "tubey" sound, with that walk-in soundstage, while the REF10 was significantly more neutral across the board, but actually took longer to show its virtues completely.
Oh, I have ours with bright green text on black background... Throwback to the old computer screen days :)


cheers,
alex
 

MadFloyd

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May 31, 2010
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#49
Hi Alex,
Thank you, and yes it is totally different. I have about 70 hours on it since posting. I am running it constantly and listening in between to get at least 100 hours on it before listening more critically. The first thing noticed is the authority of the notes, they are more dynamic and with greater presence on recordings. Midrange seems a bit more natural, from what I have read from it's reviews the Ref 10 is less "tubey" in that region compared to the Ref 5SE allowing the music to be reproduced more naturally. The soundstaging is much wider (separate power supply helps) and on the right disc the music seems to coming from almost outside the speaker's boundaries. I'm waiting for the three dimensional soundstaging to take effect. I clearly remember my Ref 5SE taking time to open up, IIRC it took at least 200 hours before it settled in. Really enjoying the ride so far.
Is that a Classe SSP-800 I see in the photo?
 

MadFloyd

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May 31, 2010
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#50
Oh, I have ours with bright green text on black background... Throwback to the old computer screen days :)


cheers,
alex
Nice! :)
 
Nov 3, 2017
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#51
Is there any general consensus on NOS tubes in either the Ref 6 or 10? I have had my 6 for a while now and just about ready to re-tube and was considering.
 
Oct 30, 2017
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#52

Harlequin

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Jul 30, 2013
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#53
Is there any general consensus on NOS tubes in either the Ref 6 or 10? I have had my 6 for a while now and just about ready to re-tube and was considering.
I got quite a few guys over on AA converted to NOS or 100% used General Electric 6550A's for power regulation, NOS Sylvania are also excellent, as are 70's production Perforated Grey plate TungSol 6550 for neutrality , Earlier Solid Grey for a little more tone and texture, IMHO late 60's Black plates sound very 'Lush' on Crooner/ Diva however for my part a tad overblown for Classical etc .

http://http://www.audioaficionado.org/showthread.php?t=36068
 
Apr 21, 2010
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#54
Is that a Classe SSP-800 I see in the photo?
Yes sir, I sold my LS25 MKII and for awhile was using the Classe as both 2 channel and multi channel playback. The Classe is really good but I missed the more detailed and open sound of an ARC preamplifier.
 
Oct 30, 2017
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#57
I have also just repopulated this pre with a full compliment of circa 1970's DR 6h30's which should prove to be most interesting.
Do you mind if I ask from where you purchased them?
 

Harlequin

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#59
Not at all, however not helpfully I made most of my acquisitions a good few years back, whilst asking prices and DR fakery were not quite as they are today, the REF 10, and the 6 not far behind, being cripplingly expensive to roll with these days.
 

Harlequin

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#60
I did my ARC Ref40 PS with the older DRs a few years ago. Bigger soundstage presentation, but more diffuse images. Some may like it. It sounded different, but not better to me, so I did not continue.
Early days as yet Barry....however I do get where you are coming from, Initial impression being one of increased resolution and decay, in particular inflections of voice and string tonality, and yet I do appreciate a slightly more diffuse leading edge to notes.

I would without reservation highly recommend replacing the factory Sovtek in the output stage of in my current instance REF250 SE's...quite a revelation.