Audio Research is showing off a few new products at CES 2012, this week. Showcased is their new Reference DAC Digital Media Bridge, Reference 5 SE line-stage preamplifier and their new Reference Phono 2 SE phono stage.
For starters, the Reference DAC Digital Media Bridge, is a feature packed DAC product that promises the highest levels of quality and performance. The Reference DAC builds on that of the Audio Research DAC8 and uses technology from Audio Research preamps such as their Reference Anniversary. The chassis is the same size and has the same look and feel of other Reference series products; however, sports a 3.5-inch TFT display on the front panel. The display is shows all unit functions and metadata from certain sources. The Reference DAC can also upsample any 44.1 or 48kHz source to 176.4 / 192kHz.
With wired (ethernet) and wireless connectivity, plus optical, coaxial and USB inputs, the Reference DAC provides a number of different options for connecting music sources. DLNA and UPnP connectivity is incorporated for streaming music from a music server, and there is also an integrated internet radio tuner. In addition, .WAV and .AIF files can be played directly by connecting a thumb or hard drive, with no separate laptop / computer required.
Noteworthy is that in keeping with Audio Research’s tube heritage, this new Reference DAC Digital Media Bridge is still a tube product, which utilizes the same analog stage and power supply as their Reference 5 SE line stage.
Audio Research is also showing their Reference 5 SE line-stage preamplifier and Reference Phono 2 SE phono stage. Both of these have Audio Research’s latest iteration on aesthetics. There will be a complete upgrade, both circuitry and cosmetic offer for existing owners of the Reference 5 and Reference Phono 2.
The new Reference DAC Digital Media Bridge is expected to have a MSRP of $15,000 U.S. and the Reference 5 SE line-stage preamplifier and Reference Phone 2 SE phono stage will have a MSRP of $12,995 U.S.
More details on these products can be found at: www.audioresearch.com.