The American company Audio Research has marked the start of another series of its products with the release of the I/50 integrated amplifier.
Compared to other products of the company, I/50 can be considered more budgetary. At the same time, according to the manufacturer, each sample is individually auditioned by audio engineer Warren Gehl, the company’s lead developer.
The novelty accepts a signal on three unbalanced inputs and one balanced input (RCA and XLR connectors). There are no problems with acoustics – you can connect 8- and even 4-ohm speakers. In addition, a headphone output is provided. All this is controlled by just three knobs: Power, Input and Volume. The alternative is a complete full-function remote control in a metal case.
A pair of LexieTubes gas-discharge devices are responsible for the indication and a fair share of the external impression. The novelty is available in six colors of the Cerakote hard-wearing finish. In addition to the I/50, a lamp protector is available.
The amplifier circuit employs two matched pairs of 6550WE five-electrode tubes in the final stage, complemented by three 6922 double triodes.With them, the I/50 is ready to deliver up to 50 watts per channel. A modular amplifier is considered because of the ability to add (simply plug in) a DAC or phono stage, promised next year. In the basic version, the new product will be available in October.
The cost of the Audio Research I/50 tube amplifier in the US will be $5,000, the cost of the modules has not yet been announced.