Phonostages

The Audio Research REF Phono 3: Long Term Report

The Audio Research REF Phono 3: Long Term Report

Whenever Audio Research introduces a new model in their Reference series, it’s a big deal. The current REF Phono 3 is no exception.

Living with the REF Phono 3 for some time now, reveals this model to offer a greater increase in performance than the last two models, both in terms of ultimate performance and how fast the REF Phono 3 achieves full bloom. Just as with all models past, the REF Phono 3 has the yellow piece of paper from ARC, letting you know that it will take nearly 600 hours for it to sound its best. However, this time around it was more like 100 hours. (and we had the same results with the REF 6 line stage we reviewed earlier this year)

This is good news, whether you are new to the fold, or upgrading from a past model. We’ll be uploading the rest of this review over the course of this week, so please stop back.

For those curious, MSRP has only increased $1,000 from $12,995 to $13,995. Considering that the REF Phono 3 has new, updated casework, a larger power supply and now sports six 6H30 tubes in the gain stage over the four in the REF Phono 2SE, this is a pretty amazing deal.

You can view the rest of the pictures in our portfolio section here.

Click here for the link to the REF Phono 3 section in the Audio Research website.

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