Friday, April 20, 2007

hi-fi+ and Audio Reseach LS26 linestage

Although the UK-based print audiophile publication hi-fi+ was acquired by Absolute Multimedia, owners of longstanding United States magazine The Abso!ute Sound, it seems to remain review-wise unchanged. Which is good as the 50th issue exemplifies. The "analogue special" issue has for example reviews of SME 20/12 and Clearaudio Performance turntables, various phono-stages and cartridges, Burmester 061 CD-player, and finally, very first review of Audio Research LS26 linestage.

According to review, the LS26 well deserves its nickname "REF 3 Junior". Compared with REF3, reviewer found LS26 to be a tad quieter than REF3. This is propably due to design differences as the LS26 has hyprid tube/JFET audio circuit vs. REF3's pure tube design, and REF3 has tube regulated power supply. The tube vs. hyprid was evident in listening notes, where reviewer found LS26 to give away to REF3 in authority, dynamics, presence, and less expansive soundstage, on the other hand LS26's leaner bottom-end made sound quicker and more direct with greater musical drive and pace.

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