Audio Research Pre-Amp advice

Hi, what would be a good used Audio Research pre-amp that has a remote, that is overall very musical. My budget is under 6K? I really don't want any Ref. pre's because too many tubes. Also something not too old, I do not want to have to bring in for service. I welcome and appreciate any advice. Thank you!


Thanks for all the responses so far but which are the best sounding built in the last 10 years excluding Ref. I want something easier to maintain, so in the future if it ever needs service. Ref's would cost more to service. Someone sold a 27 on Audio Mart maybe that one would one good to consider?

Given your criteria, you should consider the latest non REF ARC line stage at $6k or less. I recommend setting up some alerts using hifi shark and be ready to act quickly when you get a hit.

@romad - I would not be too concerned about servicing for an older ARC preamp. ARC is famous for servicing older, even vintage gear. Additionally there are shops out there who service older tubed gear as well. 

Happy listening. 

@pinwa ah…. No I said ‘no trouble “… I am on tube set #3 ish as I change the 6550 in the power supply at the 2 k mark. I and a few others love what a vintage Tung Sol Black Plate from NJ does there…

‘I guess to clarify for the OP, I don’t view routine and even the occasional bad tube as trouble.  The op should imo contact Randy at Optimal Enchantment in SantaMonica… he sells a bunch of ARC and will likely have a line on a 28, etc….

As to the tube counter, I’ve owned my unit since new and it is easy to keep a running log in the manual.

Find a used LS28SE here or on US Audio Mart. Buy from a reputable seller and you should be fine. I wouldn’t bother with any of the older preamps mentioned here if you have $6,000 to spend.