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About Us

The State of The Art in Music Reproduction
About US

The state-of-the-Art in music reproduction

Audio Research is one of the oldest continually operating manufacturers in American audio. The company was founded in 1970 in Minneapolis with one goal in mind: to advance the state-of-the-art in music reproduction. Today, Audio Research remains a performance-oriented company by philosophy and design. New product introductions are driven only by genuine advances in technology and performance — the HIGH DEFINITION that is the hallmark of the company’s products. The company has grown steadily over the last 50 years, with a network of top audio specialist retailers across North America and distributors throughout Europe, Asia and South America. The company occupies a 48,000 square-foot, technically-advanced production plant and administrative headquarters in Maple Grove, Minnesota, where approximately 50 technical, assembly and support staff guide the product line from concept to finished goods.

The Audio Industry

Audio Research was instrumental in refocusing the audio industry on designing products for musical performance, and not merely for the sake of new technology or mass-market pricing. Audio Research was founded by William Z. Johnson, who began designing custom audio electronics in the early 1950’s and who also operated a specialty audio retail store until the mid-1960’s. Johnson’s efforts almost single-handedly revived vacuum-tube designs at a time when major industry manufacturers had abandoned this technology in favor of low-cost solid-state devices which were markedly inferior in terms of musical accuracy, a fact widely acknowledged today. Many industry observers consider Johnson one of the true originators of the entire concept of “high-end” audio as it exists today — an area of technological expertise in which American companies remain the clear innovators and leaders on a global scale.

Musical Enjoyment

Audio Research prides itself on manufacturing only those products which will provide genuine enjoyment for as long as the customer cares to own them. In company practice, this means that Audio Research technicians can still repair, refurbish and restore to original performance standards most products manufactured during the company’s 40-year history. Indeed, 40-year-old Audio Research designs continue to provide exceptional musical enjoyment daily in music systems around the world.

Musical Enjoyment

Audio Research prides itself on manufacturing only those products which will provide genuine enjoyment for as long as the customer cares to own them. In company practice, this means that Audio Research technicians can still repair, refurbish and restore to original performance standards most products manufactured during the company’s 40-year history. Indeed, 40-year-old Audio Research designs continue to provide exceptional musical enjoyment daily in music systems around the world.

Music lover

Audio Research products have demonstrated lasting residual value after purchase. More than a few models have acquired legendary “collector” status and continue to resell for as much or more than what they originally cost. The Audio Research customer does not have to fear instant, marked depreciation as is the case with most other audio components. Used Audio Research equipment is quickly absorbed on the open market because savvy enthusiasts know the company is interested in providing service and support for older models on an ongoing basis.

Much more than a mere carriage-trade brand name, the Audio Research marque has come to represent stellar performance and lasting value for music lovers and audio enthusiasts everywhere.

“Audio Research has knocked this one out of the park. If you’re in the market for a pair of reference-quality tube monoblocks, you owe it to yourself to audition these.”

SoundStage!

REF160M

“Tracks you know so well aren’t just replayed as if it were the first time you heard them; they are rebuilt note-by-note in front of you...”

Hi-Fi+

Reference 10 Line-Stage Preamplifier

“The Audio Research VT80SE looks great, sounds great, and is built like the proverbial brick...The Audio Research VT80SE earns my very highest recommendation.”

The Absolute Sound

VT80SE

“The DAC9 is a stunning piece of musical equipment that you just might not be able to resist. I couldn't -- it's my new reference.”

The Audio Beat

DAC9

“The Reference 5 SE was among the very best preamps on the market, yet the Reference 6 takes it to another level.”

Audio Esoterica

REF 6 Preamplifier

“I’ve played with a number of Audio Research amps over the years, many of which have been some of the most memorable musical experiences I’ve had, but I can’t shake the notion that this is the best of them.”

Hi-Fi+

REF160M

“I am thrilled to award the GS150 power amplifier and the companion GSPre our Product of the Year award for 2015. I’m sure 30 years from now it will be held in as high esteem as it is today.”

Tone Audio

GS150

“We’ve fallen for this amplifier, big time. It can stand toe-to-toe with the finest pre/power combinations at this price, yet comes in a single chassis and is packed with useful features most of them lack.”

What HiFi?

GSi75

“When the brawn of the 250 SE is combined with its saturated tonal colors, huge dynamic swings, great transparency and delicacy, lifelike textures and solid-state-like low-bass extension and control, it is clear that this new amplifier is a world-class leader in the higher-power tube amplifier category.”

The Absolute Sound

REF250SE