Audio Research LS28SE

Audio Research LS28SE Vacuum Tube Preamplifier – For the 50th anniversary…

Based on its experience in the development of the Audio Research Reference 160 Series amplifiers, the US high-end hi-fi manufacturer Audio Research Corporation is providing the Audio Research LS28 preamplifier with an SE Performance Update, thus presenting the new Audio Research LS28SE Vacuum Tube Preamplifier.


Audio Research Corporation can claim to be not only one of the most renowned, but also one of the oldest high-end hi-fi manufacturers on the US market. The company was founded in 1970, so this year it can celebrate its 50th anniversary. Even though takeovers and the associated restructuring have meant that Audio Research Corporation can no longer operate as independently as in the decades before, the company has nevertheless succeeded in preserving the outstanding features of the brand and thus fulfilling its promise of developing state-of-the-art products for music reproduction at the highest level to this day.

This is all the more remarkable as Audio Research Corporation now operates as part of the McIntosh Group Inc. together with other outstanding brands, strictly speaking under the same roof as McIntosh Laboratory Inc. and Sonus Faber SpA. Parts of the development work will therefore take place in Italy, but production will still take place at the main factory in Maple Grove, Minnesota.

Of course, Audio Research Corporation is celebrating this year’s 50th anniversary with a series of product presentations, all of which are dedicated to this 50th anniversary. These include the presentation of a new preamplifier, the new Audio Research LS28SE Vacuum Tube Preamplifier. As you can easily see, this is based on the Audio Research LS28 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier, which is the successor to the new SE Performance Updated solution.

The step towards the new Audio Research LS28SE Vacuum Tube Preamplifier is a very special one, according to the promise of the US-American high-end hi-fi manufacturer, because it is a very important performance update, in addition to a much noticed preamplifier, which was already convincing in the previous version.

The basis for this update was the experience gained from the development of the Audio Research Reference 160 Series amplifiers, according to Audio Research Corporation, comparing the current update of the Audio Research LS28 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier with the update of the Audio Research REF6SE and Audio Research REF PH3SE solutions. In the end, the update includes essential components, although the basic design has not been changed, but in many cases even higher-quality and thus more expensive components have been chosen, such as the internal cabling. This is reflected in even greater clarity, even finer resolution and raises the preamplifier to an even higher quality level, according to the promise of Audio Research Corporation.

Fortunately, this also means that existing customers can upgrade their preamplifiers to the Audio Research LS28 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier, transforming them into an Audio Research LS28SE Vacuum Tube Preamplifier.

The Audio Research LS28SE Vacuum Tube Preamplifier has four unbalanced and four balanced inputs, with the signal processing relying heavily on four 6H30P Dual Triode tubes. Two main outputs are available as unbalanced RCA jacks and balanced XLR connectors. The record out of the Audio Research LS28SE Vacuum Tube Preamplifier is also available in balanced and unbalanced versions – one XLR, one RCA. An RS232 interface for central control is just as important as an IR input and a 12 V trigger connection. The front is adorned with the obligatory green-glowing display, flanked by two rotary encoders, including a row of massive buttons, and of course the typical carrying handles, which seem quite practical in view of the usual massive aluminium housing with dimensions of 48 cm in width, 13.7 cm in height, and 34.8 cm in depth and a weight of 7.2 kg. In keeping with its proven design, the new Audio Research LS28SE Vacuum Tube Preamplifier is available in silver or black.

The new Audio Research LS28SE Vacuum Tube Preamplifier is expected to be available at specialist retailers in the coming days, with the manufacturer stating a recommended retail price of € 11,500 for this solution. As mentioned above, users of the previous model can also update their version, and ultimately own the latest version in the form of the Audio Research LS28SE Vacuum Tube Preamplifier. These updates are expected to be available from July 2020, although you’ll have to budget €2,500 for them.

Getting to the point

Naturally, Audio Research Corporation is celebrating this year’s 50th anniversary with a series of product presentations that are all part of the celebrations. These include the presentation of a new preamplifier, the new Audio Research LS28SE Vacuum Tube Preamplifier. As you can easily see, this is based on the Audio Research LS28 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier, which is the successor to the new SE Performance Update solution.

Manufacturer:Audio Research Corporation
Distribution:Audio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH
Price:Audio Research LS28SE Vacuum Tube Preamplifier € 11.500,-
Audio Research LS28 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Update € 2.500,-

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