Audio Research Reference 80S Power Amplifier

This replaces the much loved Reference 75 ... now with the Ghost Meter display and the minimal signal path circuitry that characterises thius new range.. It's a beautiful thing.

The Audio Research Reference 80S stereo amplifier continues Audio Research’s latest design effort in creating a vacuum-tube amplifier that not only redefines ultimate music reproduction, but does it in an incredibly beautiful package.

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Product Description


The Ref 80S was created for the music lover who does not require the output power of its larger siblings, the Reference 160S stereo and Reference 160M mono amplifiers. The Ref 80S continues the design ethos, including dual GhostMeters® that float in front of four sublime KT150 output tubes. Elegant extruded panels, a vital part of the all-aluminum chassis, provide rigidity and beauty.

The impressive feature set is the same as the award winning Ref 160S, including a proprietary auto-bias circuit that adjusts for not only tube age, but for powerline voltage swings. There is fusing of the output tubes, single-ended and balanced inputs for flexibility, switchable Triode-Pentode operation to accommodate loudspeakers and personal preference, output tube monitoring, and inclusion of an hour meter so you know how many hours are on the tubes–like an odometer for your amp. This is a tube amplifier that does not require tweaking, its sole purpose is to be enjoyed by music lovers. The built-in 12V trigger turns the 80S on or off when connected to a modern preamp with a 12V trigger.

Like every Reference amplifier before it, the Ref 80S is a fully-balanced differential design because it pro- vides the highest performance and lowest distortion. A four-layer circuit board is used to provide a separate ground plane, better circuit layout, and fewer noise-inducing point-to-point connections. Music is projected against an extremely quiet, black background. It is magical and all enveloping.

Built by hand, in the tradition of Audio Research from the ground-up in our Maple Grove, Minnesota facility, this is created for the love of music, bringing it to life in every sense. Listening through the Ref 80S is an effortlessly compelling experience. Set up appropriately, the Ref 80S can immerse you in feeling of a true musical performance: The finest details are laced with rich harmonics and full dynamic contrasts–from the smallest whisper to the largest crescendo–showcased with the ambience of the original acoustic space.

Free Shipping Information

We offer free shipping to metropolitan areas on all orders over $100, except for orders containing the following products:

Televisions, Floorstanding speakers, Subwoofers and Package systems.

Shipping on these items will be standard delivery. If you want expedited shipping, an option should be available at checkout.

We try to dispatch all goods within 48 hours however from time to time the stock in store runs out before we have a chance to update the website. In these cases we will contact you if the item will take longer than 48 hours to be dispatched.

We strongly suggest that items are shipped to a business address, or an address where someone can sign for the delivery. On checkout you have the option of choosing Authoirty to Leave. This will not require a signature, but goods will be left at your premise and the delivery company will take no responsibility for them beyond this point.

Delivery times can vary depending on location. Regional areas may take more than 5 business days depending on the courier used.

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