Audio Research Foundation Series

Hello Folks!

I am interested in your feedback with DAC 9 and LS28. I have yet to see any professional reviews which makes it bit harder for a blind purchase. Unfortunately my town does not have any local dealers for audition. 

Please reply if you actually own these components. 

Happy Holiday!!!!

I have heard the LS28 at my dealer, I do not own one. I own a Ref 5se along with a DAC8. I like my Ref 5se much better than the LS28. It has a bigger more well defined soundstage. It also has more presence. The Ref 5 has tubes in the power supply that I believe makes a big difference. For around the same price I would opt for a used REF 5se if it were my choice. It is just superb.

 The DAc 9 like the DAC 8 has a few things that may or may not matter to you. Currently it does not work well with Moon and Aurender music servers. ARC is suppose to be working on fixing the problems at least with the Aurender. Also ARC does not support Linux. This may or may not be a problem for you. For me it is. I was thing about buying an Aurender N100H music server and was very disappointed with the problems.

Thank you for your feedback...well that's pretty much sums it for me. I own a N10 and there is no way I am giving that up.  I know Ref 5se is superb but I find the 'looks' bit antiquated (sorry no offense). 

I have recently auditioned Aesthetix Pandora, Calypso and Atlas components....fabulous 'house' sound and no issues with Linux. The dealer had it hooked up with N100H.  

I have a friend who had a Calypso Signature and then a Ref 5se. The Calypso Signature is very good but the Ref 5se was better. He is now moving up to the Ref 6. He is using a pass .8 series amp.

I agree with you about the looks of the Ref 5se. The Last ARC Ref linestage I thought was good looking was the Ref 2 mk2. I am not a big fan of the Mac Audio Research look either. Though the Ref 6 is far better looking than the G series preamp.

But looks aside. the Ref 5se is a superb linstage and a real steal at the price some are going for used. I have owned and heard a lot of preamp in the last 30 years. The Ref 5se is one of the best if not thee best I have ever heard. I have not seriously listened to the Ref 6. I do think the Ref 5se is slightly better than the G series preamp.