Audio Research Announces I/50 Modular Valve Integrated Amplifier
Audio Research Corporation announces its first entirely in-house finished amplifier that also happens to be more attainable and designed to be easy to use.
Audio Research's I/50 integrated amplifier lands as the perfectly-formed calling card of an all-new series from the Minnesotan tube-lovers.
Designed to be easy to use while undoubtedly eye-catching, the I/50 receives the same attention to detail as the pricier Audio Research products. In addition, we're told that each one gets its own listening test with ARC's sonic designer, Warren Gehl.
Two matched pairs of 6550WE vacuum tubes, along with three 6922 tubes, stand in front of the perforated transformer cover, adding up to 50 watts (continuous from 20Hz to 20kHz) of all-vacuum tube power. Audio Research also quotes 1 kHz total harmonic distortion, typically 1% per channel, below 0.1% at 1 watt, and a 7Hz to 30kHz (-3dB points at 1 watt) frequency response.
Three single-ended inputs and one XLR input provide connectivity for most systems, along with 4- and 8- Ohm speaker taps to accommodate your speaker of choice. Additionally, one input can be assigned for pass-through functionality. There is also a headphone output for private listening sessions.
The ARC I/50 is designed to be easy to use, featuring just three controls on its top panel - Power, Input, and Volume. Meanwhile, a pair of LexieTubes display information for input selection and volume.
The I/50's modular design allows for the installation of two further audio modules - a Phono Stage and a D/A Converter (arriving in 2022).
The Phono module provides 42 dB of gain, allowing a wide choice of moving magnet and high-output moving coil cartridges. Whereas the DAC module will sport multiple connection options alongside a raft of decoding formats.
The I/50 is the first product to be wholly completed in-house, thanks to Audio Research's finishing lab, which encompasses a purpose-built painting facility, and laser imaging and marking machines. This enables the manufacturer to produce a luxurious finish customarily found only on much more expensive products.
To this end, the I/50 is available in six colours in a hardwearing Cerakote finish. The integrated amp is bundled with a full-function metal remote control.
The Audio Research I/50 integrated valve amplifier will be available from October at US$5,000. There is also an optional tube cage.
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