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9.3* out of 10

Audio Research REFERENCE 3

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Overall 10

Audio Research Reference 3

What Hi-Fi?
24 June 2009
  • Excerpt: Unlike some other manufacturers, Audio Research never uses the term ‘Reference' lightly. In fact, it took almost two decades of making digital equipment before the company felt able to put the ‘Reference' tag on a CD player, so clearly, its Reference 3 preamp is considered by the company to be something rather special. After a good long listen, we have to agree.
  • Pros: The most convincing all-round performance we’ve ever heard from a preamp. Yes, it really is that good
  • Cons: Price puts it out of the reach of all but the wealthiest enthusiast buyers
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