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Audio Research Reference Phono 2 SE - Tube Phono Preamplifier

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Pickup currently unavailable at SkyFi 479

Audio Research Reference Phono 2 Se - Tube Preamp Preamplifier

Audio Research Reference Phono 2 SE - Tube Phono Preamplifier

SkyFi 479

Pickup currently unavailable

479 South Broad Street
Glen Rock NJ 07452
United States


Super clean Reference 2 in the later SE upgraded variant (REF Phono 2SE).

Capable of accommodating two turntables and infinite setup possibilities.

Also features a factory optional upgrade acrylic top cover, plus very strong tubes as confirmed on our modern tube testing equipment.

Tested in our lab and working as new.

Showing only slight signs of use.

Includes remote, power cord and manual.

"The ambience is integral; it surrounds them, permeates their very timbres, locates them and their voices, in three dimensions, in a space and time that sounds dramatically different than the space and time of your listening room." - TAS

Technical Notes:
- The vented plastic cover option was installed on this unit. This offers improved microphonic performance.
- No load resistor installed in CUSTOM position.

Tube Notes:
- All 6N30P tested very strong and well balanced on our Amplitrex AT1000, 2002 Date codes.
- The 6550 pass element for the voltage regulator is a Sovtek 6550WE which also tested strong. 2003 Date code.

Brand Background:
Audio Research continues its dedication to unparalleled musical expression and crafting components of the highest quality and lasting value for its customers. Our long-term dedication to service is peerless in this industry (Audio Research, with few exceptions, can repair anything ever produced during its entire history). We continue to seek out new and exciting ways to make music more real and more enjoyable. More than just a name or a marketing tool, Audio Research has come to represent exceptional performance and long-term value. Experience Audio Research – experience High Definition®.

Single Owner

RCA Inputs (2) sets. Balanced and RCA Outputs (2) sets.
IEC Power Cord.
Grounding Lug.

General Sound:
Neutral sound with little to no coloration

Cosmetic Condition:
8/10 = Very Good. Excellent front faceplate, one minor flaw on chassis side or top. See our detailed rating description here.

Working Condition:
Working perfectly and tested in our lab and listening room.

Unit, remote, manual and power cord.

Will be packed using our highly developed in-house process and custom packing materials.Reviews:
Click Here

Original MSRP:

Frequency Response:
± .2dB of RIAA, 10Hz to 60kHz; 3dB points below 0.3Hz and above 300kHz.

Less than .002% at 1.0V RMS 1kHz output.

Selectable 51dB (Low), 74dB (High) at 1kHz BAL;
45dB (Low), 68dB (High) at 1kHz SE. (MC & MM compatible).

Front (6) Power, Input, Gain, Load, RIAA, Mute.
Remote adds ‘Hours’ and ‘Display’.

Input Impedance:
47K ohms and 100pF SE.
Selectable loads: 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50 ohms and Custom.

Phono Equalization:
(Selectable) RIAA, Columbia, Decca.


Output Impedance:
200 ohms SE, 400 ohms balanced.
Recommended load 50K-100K ohms and 100pF.
(10K ohms minimum and 2000pF maximum.)

Maximum Input:
250mV RMS at 1kHz (680 mV RMS at 10kHz).

Rated Outputs:
0.5V RMS 10Hz to 20kHz, 100K ohm load (output capability is 80V RMS BAL output at 1/2% THD at1kHz, 40V SE.)

Power Supplies:
Electronically-regulated low and high voltage supplies.
Line regulation better than .01%.

0.22uV equivalent input noise, IHF weighted, shorted(Low Gain) input (73 dB below 1mV 1kHz input).
0.055uV equivalent input noise (High Gain) (65dB below 0.1mV 1kHz input).

Tube Complement:
(4) 6H30 dual triodes, plus (1 each) 6H30, 6550C in power supply.

Power Requirements:
100-135VAC 60Hz (200-270VAC50/60Hz) 140 watts maximum. 2W standby.
Line fuse 5A SLO BLO (T2A SLO BLO 230V).

19" (48 cm) W x 7" (17.8 cm) H (standard rack panel) x 15.5" (39.4 cm) D. Handles extend 1.5" (3.8 cm) forward of front panel.

27 lbs.

Approximate Age:

Link to Manual:
Click Here

Recommended Cables:

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Better

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Best

Kimber Kable - BALANCED XLR Connectors - Better

Kimber Kable - BALANCED XLR Connectors - Best

Kimber Kable - Power Cords - Better

Kimber Kable - Power Cords - Best

Testing Process:

We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure that there are no signs of heat stress or damage. Capacitors are checked for telltale signs of predictive failure including bulging, shrunken wrappers, or physical leakage. We also inspect the PCB’s for discoloration from resistors or transistors that may have been running hot. On vintage units we often spot check select capacitors for value and ESR.

When we first power on a preamplifier we connect its RCA output to a Sencore PA81 Power Analyzer which simulates real world loading conditions and gives us an oscilloscope interface. The first order of business is checking that the volume control works smoothly throughout its entire range with acceptable channel balance. This is accomplished by feeding a 1KHz sine wave into one of the preamp’s line level inputs while monitoring the preamp’s output on an oscilloscope. We then switch to a 1KHz square wave to test the tone controls, loudness function, and filters where applicable. During this step we are watching for equal alteration of the test signal by both channels. This also helps us identify dirty controls that will need treatment. Once the basic line stage functions are verified, we test each input individually. This is especially important for devices that use relays to select their sources. If the preamp is equipped with a phono stage we test that as well. We use an inverse RIAA filter which allows us to feed a reference test signal into the phono input with the proper RIAA equalization and level. A square wave or sine sweep is used to verify that the device’s phono stage is faithfully reproducing the RIAA curve. If the preamp under test has balanced inputs and/or outputs these are tested as well.

We finish up our bench testing with a listening test with our bench amplifier and reference speakers. During this test we check for hum or hiss that may not have shown up in earlier testing. We also check that all of the tone controls and filters perform as expected. If the preamplifier has remote control functions these are also tested. Preamps with tube circuits or complicated power supply topologies are connected at our long term test rig for extended stress testing under real world conditions.

SKU: 104709