Audio Research Makes Updates to the LS28SE Preamplifier | Announcements

Just a couple of weeks after finishing the review on the extraordinary Audio Research CD6SE compact disc player/DAC (review to appear in late June), I received this press release from ARC on the new LS28SE preamplifier:


The Company Will Release an SE Performance Update to the LS28 Line-Stage Preamplifier


MAPLE GROVE, MN – June 8, 2020 – Audio Research is pleased to announce important performance updates to its award-winning LS28 preamplifier as a part of their 50th Anniversary product line improvements. The new LS28SE is priced at MSRP $10,000 each (€11,500 each VAT Included) and will replace the LS28, with shipments beginning June 2020.

The improvements in the LS28SE stem from what was learned during the creation of Audio Research’s Reference 160-series amplifiers.  Very similar to the wire and parts changes incorporated in the REF6SE and REF PH3SE, the LS28SE also includes upgrading to the same proprietary gold coupling caps used in the REF6SE. These numerous and costly component upgrades elevate the LS28SE’s performance to an entirely new level. The improved clarity, resolution, transient snap, sense of space, and a relaxed purity are instantly noticeable and will inspire extended listening sessions.

Customers will be able to update an existing LS28 to a LS28SE for $2,000 US retail (€2,500 each VAT Included). For US/Canada customers, Audio Research will begin taking service orders for updates in July 2020. International distributors will begin taking update kit orders starting in July 2020.


  • FREQUENCY RESPONSE: +0-3dB, 0.4Hz to 200kHz at rated output (Balanced, 200k ohms load)
  • THD + NOISE: Less than .007% at 2V RMS BAL output
  • DYNAMIC RANGE: >122 dB (AES17)
  • GAIN:

o   MAIN OUTPUT: 18.5dB Balanced output, 12.5dB SE output

o   RECORD OUT: 0dB (Processor input: 0dB BAL output)

  • INPUT IMPEDANCE: 100K ohms Balanced, 50K ohms SE

o   INPUTS: 4 balanced, 4 single-ended. Assignable home theater processor passthrough

  • OUTPUT IMPEDANCE: 600 ohms Balanced, 300 ohms SE Main (2). Outputs (3): 2 main, 1 record out (XLR and RCA connectors).
  • RATED OUTPUTS: 2V RMS (1V RMS SE) into 200K ohm balanced load (maximum balanced output capability is 17V RMS at less than 0.5% THD at 1kHz).

o   ROTARY ENCODERS: Volume (103 steps), Select Input

o   PUSH BUTTONS: Power, Menu, Enter, Mono, Invert, Mute

  • POWER SUPPLIES: Electronically regulated low and high voltage supplies. Automatic 45 sec. warm-up/ brown-out mute. Line regulation better than .01%
  • NOISE: Less than -100 dBv at maximum volume (103)
  • TUBE COMPLEMENT: (4)-6H30P dual triodes
  • POWER REQUIREMENTS: 100-125VAC 60Hz (200-250VAC 50/60Hz) 130 watts. Standby: 2 watts.
  • DIMENSIONS: Width 19” (48 cm) Height 6.5” (13.7 cm) Depth 13.7” (34.8 cm), plus handles

WEIGHT: 16.0 lbs. (7.2 kg) Net; 24 lbs. (10.9 kg) Shipping.