Audio Research Reference 80S Power Amplifier

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The new Audio Research Reference 80S stereo amplifier is finally here, it continues Audio Research’s latest design effort in creating a vacuum-tube amplifier that not only redefines ultimate music reproduction, but does it in an incredibly beautiful package. The UK retail price is £14,998 in either natural silver or black finishes.

Outwardly, the 80S shares the same dimensions as the 160M. A single shallow whisper fan is built into the bottom plate. Flexibility is built-in, too, with XLR and SE inputs, 4-8-16 ohm output taps, 12V input and output triggers, RS232 input, tube hour meter, switchable fan speeds, and an auto-off function that you can override.

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Manufacturer Audio Research
Free warranty 3 years
Delivery Charge Free
Delivery Time Normally 1 - 5 Working Days (Covid-19 and Brexit Delays Possible, contact us for more information)
Card Surcharge No
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The Ref 80S was created for the music lover who does not require the output power of its larger siblings, the Reference 160S stereo and Reference 160M mono amplifiers. The Ref 80S continues the design ethos, including dual GhostMeters® that float in front of four sublime KT150 output tubes. Elegant extruded panels, a vital part of the all-aluminum chassis, provide rigidity and beauty.

The impressive feature set is the same as the award winning Ref 160S, including a proprietary auto-bias circuit that adjusts for not only tube age, but for powerline voltage swings. There is fusing of the output tubes, single-ended and balanced inputs for flexibility, switchable Triode-Pentode operation to accommodate loudspeakers and personal preference, output tube monitoring, and inclusion of an hour meter so you know how many hours are on the tubes–like an odometer for your amp. This is a tube amplifier that does not require tweaking, its sole purpose is to be enjoyed by music lovers. The built-in 12V trigger turns the 80S on or off when connected to a modern preamp with a 12V trigger.

Like every Reference amplifier before it, the Ref 80S is a fully-balanced differential design because it pro- vides the highest performance and lowest distortion. A four-layer circuit board is used to provide a separate ground plane, better circuit layout, and fewer noise-inducing point-to-point connections. Music is projected against an extremely quiet, black background. It is magical and all enveloping.

Built by hand, in the tradition of Audio Research from the ground-up in our Maple Grove, Minnesota facility, this is created for the love of music, bringing it to life in every sense. Listening through the Ref 80S is an effortlessly compelling experience. Set up appropriately, the Ref 80S can immerse you in feeling of a true musical performance: The finest details are laced with rich harmonics and full dynamic contrasts–from the smallest whisper to the largest crescendo–showcased with the ambience of the original acoustic space.