New Audio Research LS26 Pre-amplifier

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by fmuakkassa, Mar 9, 2007.

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  1. fmuakkassa

    fmuakkassa Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    I finally got my Audio Research LS26 pre-amp. It took about two weeks as they are made to order. I just want to share some pictures. The built quality is superb. It comes with a quality assurance certificate with 14 tests performed by 4 different individuals including a "Listening Test"! It needs 100 hours to break in.

    Audio Research LS26 in box.jpg
    In the box

    Audio Research LS26 in back.jpg
    The back with ballanced and SE connections

    Audio Research LS26 opened to put tubes in.jpg
    Cover opened to put tubes in

    Audio Research LS26 front.jpg
    Sitting on the rack

    I am experimenting with cables and getting familiar with it.
  2. sTiVo

    sTiVo Junior Member<br>Formerly <b>Joe Mama</b>

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    PM on Audio Research LS26 pre-amp.


    Just kidding -- it is gorgeous though.:righton:
  3. Jontario

    Jontario Member

    Location:
    Canada
    Congrats, it looks real good, your really putting a VERY nice system together!:righton:

    How are you liking the new VS speakers?
  4. crooner

    crooner Well-Known Member

    What a beauty!
    Nothing like unpacking a brand new ARC!
    I went through that experience myself with the VS110/SP16L combo late last year.

    Your unit seems to have the copper colored big caps. The same used on the Reference series. I wonder who makes them for ARC. Do they have any brand markings on them?
  5. crooner

    crooner Well-Known Member

    forgot to ask: what power amp did you get?
  6. Tony Plachy

    Tony Plachy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Pleasantville, NY
    Where are the tubes?
  7. Jontario

    Jontario Member

    Location:
    Canada
    Apparently, this pre is a hybrid design that uses only 2 6H30's. You can see the two black tube sockets just below the 4 copper coloured caps.
  8. crooner

    crooner Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, I noticed that. Interesting that it's an hybrid design.
    The $10K Reference Three also uses JFETs in addition to tubes. The earlier REF products were all tube, IIRC.
  9. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
    This is my dream one day maybe affordable preamp as opposed to the Ref 3 my just plain dream preamp. :)
  10. fmuakkassa

    fmuakkassa Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    Here is a picture with the tubes in

    Audio Research LS26 opened and tubes in.jpg
  11. fmuakkassa

    fmuakkassa Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ohio

    The Nagra PSA
  12. Ski Bum

    Ski Bum Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Farid:

    I am a huge fan of ARC components. I've owned quite a few over the years, and a PH7 is currently in my system. As your picture shows, ARC puts "halos" on the tubes, presumably to reduce ringing, but does very little else to isolate the component and the tubes from vibration (IMO those dinky rubber feet don't count as a real effort). The ARC boxes are fairly lightweight and will vibrate. You will find that your ARC pre-amp will sound MUCH better (particularly improved bass, clarity and soundstage) if you have some effective vibation control. I've had success with Aurios under mine, but there are certainly other effective methods possible.

    Enjoy. :righton:
  13. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Agreed. Two recommendations:

    1. Cardas Ayre Myrtlewood blocks I have three under my VT-100 and it helps.
    2. Ceraballs or Cerabases
  14. crooner

    crooner Well-Known Member

    I don't have any isolation per se on my ARC units. However, they all sit on special spiked shelving. I might try to further improve isolation, but right now everything sounds fantastic as it is.
  15. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Mastering Your Host

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Funny, the times I've had AR gear at home it's all been too clinical and detail oriented when using any kind of vibration control. I solved the problem by putting the unit on a cheap shelf. Worked like a charm! Got less etched, more better!
  16. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Hmmm...my experience with their tube amps is that vibration control definitely helps.
  17. crooner

    crooner Well-Known Member

    Here's a close up shot of the rack I'm using. Note the spikes. I think it's doing a great job isolating my stuff...

    Attached Files:

  18. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
    As Francois Pinault once said to Salma Hayek, Nice Rack!
  19. crooner

    crooner Well-Known Member

    LOL, thanks! :D

    I still can't believe I have this stuff so well organized and with a good looking (and sounding rack) to boot. $160 for this rack is simply an awesome deal. I was very lucky. I believe Jeff's Sound Values doesn't have them anymore...

    Attached Files:

  20. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
    I love the Black Diamond Racing racks with the carbon fiber...they cost as much as a car though. ;)
  21. Ski Bum

    Ski Bum Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Well, we've got a difference in taste on this one. I don't find ARC gear to be etched or analytical (at least once it is warmed up), though most ARC gear is certainly not on the warm/bloomy side of the tube spectrum (i.e. in my experience, most ARC gear is closer to the tonal balance of a tube VTL component than a tube CJ, tube McIntosh or most vintage tube gear). I agree that exposing an ARC to vibration "smears" the sound in a way that reduces detail, but in my opinion that degrades the clarity, bass and soundstage. OTOH, SH's recommendation carries more weight than mine in musical circles (though that could end with continued use of expressions such as "more better";)).
  22. crooner

    crooner Well-Known Member

    That's a lot of dough for a poor chap like me. I was barely able to afford this stuff!
  23. crooner

    crooner Well-Known Member

    I wonder what kind of rack ARC uses when they perform their "listening test" I believe there's a picture of their listening room that shows it. Perhaps on the Soundstage factory tour...
  24. mtodde

    mtodde New Member

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Did you win the lottery or something? You've gotten some REALLY nice gear lately!
  25. crooner

    crooner Well-Known Member

    Perhaps it's his "system of a lifetime".
    That's exactly what I thought when I upgraded my stuff recently. I'm definitely not of the "flavor of the month" mentality when it comes to audio!
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