Audio Research is one of the most dependable brand names when it comes to high-end audio systems. For years the brand has been recognized by audiophiles throughout the world as equipment that delivers clear and consistent quality in music.

What are the specs for the Audio Research Reference 5SE?

Frequency Response:
REF5: +0 -3dB 0.2Hz to 200kHz at rated output. (Balanced, 200k ohms load). REF55 SE: +0-3dB, 0.5Hz to 200kHz at rated output (Balanced, 200k ohms load).
Less than .01% at 2V RMS Balanced output.
Noise & Hum:
1.7µV RMS residual IHF weighted balanced equivalent input noise with volume at 1 (109dB below 2V RMS output.)
REF5: Main output: (SE or BAL input): 12dB Balanced output, 6dB Single Ended output. Tape output: 0dB. (Processor input: 0dB Balanced). REF5 SE: Main output: 12dB Balanced output, 6dB SE output. Tape output: 0dB. (Processor input: 0dB SE output).
Input Impedance:
120K ohms Balanced, 60K ohms SE
Output Impedance:
600 ohms Balanced, 300 ohms SE main (2), 20K ohms minimum load and 2000pF maximum capacitance.
Output Polarity:
Maximum Inputs:
20V RMS maximum Balanced, 10V RMS SE.
Rated Outputs:
2V RMS (1V RMS SE) into 200K ohm balanced load (maximum balanced output capability is 30V RMS at less than 0.5% THD at 1kHz).
Power Supplies:
Electronically regulated low and high voltage supplies. Automatic 40 sec. warm-up/brown-out mute. Line regulation better than .01%.
Tube Complement:
(4) 6H30P, plus (1 each) 6550C and 6H30P in power supply.
Power Requirements:
100-135VAC 60Hz (200-270VAC 50/60Hz) 130 watts. Standby: 2 watts.
Inputs (7): CD, TUNER, VIDEO, PHONO, AUX1, AUX2, PROCESSOR. (XLR and RCA connectors). Outputs (3): 2 main, 1 tape (XLR and RCA connectors). Crosstalk: -80dB or better at 1kHz and 10kHz. Controls: Volume (104 steps), Select Input. Push Buttons: Power, Proc, BAL/SE, Mono, Invert, Mute.
19" (48 cm) W x 7" (17.8 cm) H (standard panel) x 15½" (39.4 cm) D. Handles extend 1½" (3.8 cm) forward of the front panel.
30.4 lbs. (13.9 kg) Net; 41.6 lbs. (19 kg) Shipping.

What else to know about the Audio Research Reference 5SE?

The Reference 5 SE is the latest model in a series of the finest and most successful line-stage preamplifiers ever made. From the Reference1 to the Reference Anniversary, each one has built upon the legacy of its predecessor as the most sought-after reference level line-stage preamplifier. The Reference 5 SE clearly redefines the state of the art at a price that is not inexpensive but represents extraordinary value. Like every Audio Research product, it is made entirely by hand in our facility in Minnesota. The Reference Anniversary has been regarded as perhaps the finest preamplifier ever built, and the Reference 5 SE has the distinct advantage of benefitting directly from that lineage. Key component technologies derived from the Anniversary preamplifier have been incorporated into the Reference 5 SE providing even more presence, weight and definition than that of its predecessor, the Reference 5. The Reference 5 SE possesses great bandwidth and resolving power combined with a purity and naturalness that is uncanny – grain and electronic artifacts are simply absent. Bass impact, depth and control are startling, while music ebbs and flows with a dynamic life that is rarely experienced outside the concert hall. While differences in recordings are immediately apparent, the Reference 5 SE connects you to the intent of the musicians and the soul of the performance, drawing you in. Music emerges from a totally black background because the Reference 5 SE – defying its vacuum-tube architecture – is utterly quiet. Only by hearing it for yourself will you fully appreciate the sonic advancements unveiled by the Reference 5 SE. The aesthetic continues with the traditional look of Audio Research, adding the refinements of a redesigned front panel with metal buttons. Both natural and black faceplates and features can be fitted to the unit, providing flexibility and customization to match the rest of a system. The large vacuum-flourescent display continues from previous models, providing clear feedback from the unit. The handheld remote controls all front panel functions plus other features such as balance, tube hour counter and display brightness. The Reference 5 SE uses circuit board topology from its predecessor as well as from the Anniversary, with its transformers off the board and mounted on the sides of the chassis. The audio circuit is fully balanced, pure Class-A triode, with zero feedback. The tube complement includes four 6H30s in the analog stage, with a 6550 and a 6H30 in the power supply. Massive energy storage, double that of the Reference 5, provides tremendous dynamic capability. Total gain is 12dB via the balanced outputs and 6dB via the single-ended outputs. Six sets of balanced and single-ended inputs, a unity gain (processor) input, and three sets of outputs are installed for ease of connectivity and flexibility. Audio Research redefines refinement yet again with the Reference 5 SE. \[From the ARC website]

Brief History of Audio Research

Other Audio Research Products We Often Buy

Typically, StereoBuyers purchases mostly used amplifiers, especially the vintage amps and high-end Audio Research models.

StereoBuyers has purchased tens of thousands worth Audio Research brand equipment since 2014, with individual buys ranging from $100 to well over $50,000. If you are moving, ready to upgrade, or have Audio Research equipment you do not or will not be using, why not contact us today to find out if it is worth good money?

If you are interested in selling your used Audio Research equipment to us in the greater NYC area or Colorado, please click here to fill out a Free Quote Form and we will get back to you. If we agree on terms, we come to meet you where you want, and pay cash.

The following images show actual Audio Research equipment purchased by StereoBuyers.