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Audio Research vs EAR Yoshino?

Discussion in 'audio' started by jackbarron, Nov 17, 2014.

  1. jackbarron

    jackbarron Chelsea, London

    I have owned Esoteric Audio Research equipment in the past and may do again in the future. I like they way EAR Yoshino presents music, the sound-stage is wide and textures are not overly warm. I also like the fact that it's made in England.

    Has anybody compared Audio Research equipment to EAR? They both make tube amps which are kind of similarly priced.

    Do you think there is a 'house sound' for each company?

    Audio Research are bigger and make a lot more gear. If their equipment goes wrong is it easy to get fixed in the UK?

    I am especially interested in pre-amps. I like the vacuum flourescent display at the front of some Audio Research gear and the input layout at the back is slickly functional.

    Transparency will be the ultimate factor, although it's always nice to have a remote as well.

    Jack
     
  2. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    Jack, I was after an ARC VT100 mk1 some years ago then heard EAR509s which had more punch to them so bought a pair. I've run an ARC LS25 mk11 ( hybrid FET-6922) preamp into them- it sounded cool with decent transparency, as people often describe ARC hybrid preamps. I then bought a REF3 and it added a more creamy valve sound with better timbre to the mix- but also with very good transparency. The combination with 509s works very well.
    I've not heard any of TdeP's preamps though.
     
  3. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Nice to know the combo of Ref.3 gels with 509s, as I've been toying with trying out a valved pre. with mine (currently Naim 552).

    Am very tempted to try the 912, though, as it has dual onboard phono stages, infinitely configurable, I believe. Having a relatively local servicing facility (St, Neot's, Cambs.) with reasonable charges does sway me in the British direction, though.
     
  4. spedey_74

    spedey_74 pfm Member

    The british way by EAR (punch, savory and rich sound) vs. the american ARC (trasparency and precise/faboulous soundstage). In these days i'm testing a old glorious preamp by ARC, phono stage plus line stage. I confirm the difference that was above reported. i have a EAR 834P, this preamp is not too inferior to a ARC Sp11's phono stage. they're two different ways, could be only a matter of a taste...
     
  5. bonzo75

    bonzo75 horns, planars, tannoys

    Yes, easy to get fixed, but buy an AR that was originally distributed in the UK. I owned both the AR Ref 3 and the AR Ref 110 (which I had upgraded with KT 120 valves). If you are worried about fixing it, I would suggest buying an used one from Trevor at Guildford audio, as he is very good with used AR products, and his service in repairing stuff or replacing valves etc is excellent. Of course if you buy an used product from a dealer vs via the classifieds you will have to pay a slight premium.

    NAT audio was much superior to AR, but tough to fix in the UK as it is made in Serbia. Their distributor was also a dealer for EAR, and while I never compared AR to EAR, I did to NAT, the NAT smoked it, so I sold my AR. I know people who have compared NAT entry preamp to AR Ref 5 and 5SE and VTL, Einstein and the CAT JL1, and response is the same. That said, AR is excellent, superb to buy and sell in the used market without losing money (which you will struggle with NAT), and very reliable and excellent service (both of which you might struggle with NAT).
     
  6. david12

    david12 pfm Member

    I would have thought both companies make excellent products, I am more aware of ARC. To make a challenging statement which will be shot down I am sure. In general I think ARC make better and better value power amps than Pre's and also the Pre's are quite variable. The LS26 for example had a poor rep compared with the 25 and 27.

    I have owned an Arc Ref 75 for over a year and it really is quite exceptional. I agree with Bonzo about Trevor at Guilford audio, where I bought mine. I compared it with a KT120 equiped ARC Ref 110, which I could have bought and the 75 was a big step up, I think. When Trevor delivered the 75, he bought a Ref 3 Pre and I briefly compared it with a copy of the Music First Audio Baby reference, I bought for a song and I greatly preferred the Passive, which cost about £900.

    If anyone owns a Ref 75, I strongly recommend replacing the 120's with the new KT150's, which makes a great amp even better. It is a straight swap, same bias, no modifications needed. I am not sure that is true of the amps using more tubes like the Ref 110 and 150. ARC has point blank refused to say if using the 150's is safe, but many people are using them. I am sure that is unconnected with ARC bringing out a new range of 150 based power amps!

    If you are looking to buy KT150's, Upscale Audio in the US seems about the cheapest place.
     
  7. bonzo75

    bonzo75 horns, planars, tannoys

     
  8. david12

    david12 pfm Member

    From my understanding of ARC, their stuff below reference level is not really that good enough, like the LS26 example that you give. The LS27 was supposed to be good, but almost everyone says it was bright compred to Ref 3. Their Ref pre and powers are quite good, and best of all, easy to buy and sell used.[/QUOTE]

    If you speak to Trevor, he thinks the LS27, a more recent design, is better than the Ref 3, by a small margin. I think ARC Pre's are overpriced, I suppose a lot of Pink Fishers would say all their stuff is. It is just the Ref 75 power amp has some real magic about it and 75 valve watts are enough for most speakers and rooms.
     
  9. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    last time I sent an arc for repair it took 2 months to repair at absolute sounds but I would still have an arc as its worth the wait ! never tried any ear but would love to

    the ref 5se is incredibly transparent and on a par with the music first baby reference which at half the price is utterly stunning and very enjoyable [ had both simultaneously so was able to compare for some while ]
     
  10. topoxforddoc

    topoxforddoc pfm Member

    Jack,

    As you're in London, why don't you take a short trip to Denham near Uxbridge. Have a listen to TRON 01895 833099. Graham Tricker, the designer, makes the most fabulous electronics, including some seriously good preamplifiers at sensible High End money (starting at £3k). If you like what you hear at his place, I'm sure that he would let you have one for home demo.

    http://www.tron-electric.co.uk/products/preamplifiers

    Beautifully built and used by some high end designers in their own systems.

    Charlie
     
  11. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    " I briefly compared it with a copy of the Music First Audio Baby reference, I bought for a song and I greatly preferred the Passive, which cost about £900.

    david , was it a copy of the baby reference or the real one ? they cost over 6k don`t they ?
     
  12. david12

    david12 pfm Member

    Graham at Tron does indeed make some wonderful amps, but they are really a different class, at least the power amps. They tend to be flea powered to drive the Avantgarde horn speakers he loves. I don't get it myself, I am not a horn speaker fan
     
  13. topoxforddoc

    topoxforddoc pfm Member

    But the preamps are just as good, and will work with pretty much anything. If you speak to him, he will adjust the gain on the preamp to suit your power amp.
     
  14. bonzo75

    bonzo75 horns, planars, tannoys

    If you speak to Trevor, he thinks the LS27, a more recent design, is better than the Ref 3, by a small margin. I think ARC Pre's are overpriced, I suppose a lot of Pink Fishers would say all their stuff is. It is just the Ref 75 power amp has some real magic about it and 75 valve watts are enough for most speakers and rooms.[/QUOTE]

    I did discuss with him. The Ref 3 is richer, the LS27 brighter and slightly more open. Key thing is LS27 will lose value faster than Ref 3. Given the choice, I would buy a Ref 3 again, but if I wanted to buy a pre that had more sonic value and was not worried about losing market value, I would buy the NAT, over the ARC 5SE as well
     
  15. david12

    david12 pfm Member

    I did discuss with him. The Ref 3 is richer, the LS27 brighter and slightly more open. Key thing is LS27 will lose value faster than Ref 3. Given the choice, I would buy a Ref 3 again, but if I wanted to buy a pre that had more sonic value and was not worried about losing market value, I would buy the NAT, over the ARC 5SE as well[/QUOTE]

    I tend to only buy second hand and the LS27, being newer is not really available yet on the market, though I think Trevor has one. They seem more expensive than the Ref 3 second hand at the moment.

    Speaking of Trevor, do any of you go to his small shows he holds in Reading now and then. They are seriously good fun and you get seriously good sound, which you can't say of most shows. They are expensive though, that's where I decided I had to have the Reference 75 as a retirement present to myself. The only trouble was I could'nt retire till I paid for it. just 4 weeks and 1 day to go
     
  16. bonzo75

    bonzo75 horns, planars, tannoys

    It's more expensive because it's ex-dem, not used. He also has a ref 3 now. One ls27 sold used under 3k last year on the wam, but don't remember more
     
  17. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Okay, there've been discussions about the merits and demerits of top ARC pre's, a mention or two about Tron and ditto of E.A.R.. Are there any other (British) contenders?

    Puresound's bulky-looking L 300 is very well thought of, and often recommended on the Wam. Apart from the ARC, which you'd expect to be a fair bit dearer because they're American, all the others are in a similar ball-park as regards r.r.p. although both E.A.R. and Tron have viable and different models.

    I would naturally gravitate towards British on v.f.m. and servicing grounds, but to compare all sonically is nigh on impossible. Still not sure what I'd gain and lose (there's always a balance :)) by replacing my s/s with a valved pre.
     
  18. bonzo75

    bonzo75 horns, planars, tannoys

    You don't really lose anything on ARC in VFM because you usually end up buying and selling at the same price. They are very liquid as many buy them. If you are looking for VFM, you are better off buying a well known liquid brand in the used market. Also you don't lose anything on servicing grounds because you can easily get it serviced from Absolute Sounds.

    As for the difference it would make over your S/S, only you can decide that and it would also depend on the rest of your system. For example, the MBL preamp is supposed to be very good at 24k, and is not valve, but people who like valve can like it. One person here replaced his ARC Ref 3 with a Levinson pre, but had a Levinson power amp already. A generalization by valve fans would say better midrange, more 3d, and more involvement while the S/S would be more dynamics, maybe flatter, but that is a broad generalization. The impedance of S/S pre would match the S/S power better
     
  19. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    You need to hear some examples in your our own system,
    Keith
     
  20. topoxforddoc

    topoxforddoc pfm Member

    Hear! Hear!
     

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