Audio Research 100.2 Amplifiers

4.9/5 (20 Reviews) MSRP : $3495.00


Product Description

100w x 2 Channels (8 ohms)


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Reviews 1 - 5 (20 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jude a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 17, 2002

Bottom Line:   
The Audio Research 100.2 power amplifier (I bought a demo model) is paired with an ARC LS16 MKII preamp, Rega Jupiter CD player, ALR/Jordan Take 4 speakers, along with Kimber Kable interconnects and AudioQuest Bedrock speaker cable.

I listen to predominately classical music. The system's sound is magnificent, and the amp has wonderful clarity and power. There is no sense of strain with transients, and no sense of clouding or hardening with even the most difficult of source material. Arleen Auger hits her high notes with complete ease and purity. Orchestral tuttis build and peak with no strain or loss of layering or detail. The plucking of each single string is distinct even in the quietest passages of Sibelius symphonies. The amp is at its best with chamber music. The Emerson Quartet's Shostakovich quartets have a sense of involving magic. Every detail is audible, and the overall sense of space is remarkable. One has the sense of being there instead of listening to equipment.

At the dealer, I also listened to ARC tube amps. The ARC tube amplifiers, especially configured as monoblocks, had a velvet liquidity that the 100.2 does not quite achieve, but at what for me is a prohibitive cost. Someday, perhaps . . . In the meantime, the 100.2 is so satisfying that I have no regrets.

The ARC LS16 MKII preamp (which is a hybrid product with transistors and tubes) enables the 100.2 to achieve a soundstage that is wider, and with a greater sense of "air" and space, than what the ARC's quite good solid state preamp (LS12) could accomplish.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Sound World, Houston



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Michael a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 12, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I am sorry. I had a VT100 (II) (Tube type) andt his model at the same time and mixed the reviews up (see below). I had them for two months. Bottom Line is I returned the VT100 and kept the 100.2. Price had nothing to do with my choice.

I Like tubes. I LOVE tubes. I am in anguish over the beauty of a glowing tube...of the sense of sound sliding from them. My preamp is a tube preamp. I WANTED to buy a tube power amp (again).

However, I kept the 100.2 and took the VT100 back to the store. Part of the reasons are listed below. The VT100 was too big. The fan made too much noise for my taste. I loved the bass, but...

the 100.2 sounded better. It was more accurate. It had more midrange bloom(?). On the right recording it would sound like the VT100, but the VT never could get the 100.2 sound.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Purchased At:   Audio Dimensions, Ro



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by huy hinh a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 20, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I'M VERY LIKE THAT PRODUCT

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   sound world



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Priya Werahera a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: August 24, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I am using AR 100.2 to drive Thiel 3.6 speakers. They are not easy loads as the impedance drops to below 3 ohms. However, AR 100.2 handled Thiels with easy and provided plenty of slam at the bottom.

This amp was able to control the top-end of the Thiels like no other amp I've auditioned. Thiel's top-end is problamatic to many amps. But not for this amp. Crashing symbols, piano, sitar, were reproduced with a sweet delicate natural decaying pattern without being harsh or edgy. Thiels uses every bit of power available. This unit put 100W at 8 Ohms, 200W at 4 Ohms and yes, 360W per channel at 2 Ohms! As a result, it can handle many difficult speaker loads and it shows.

It is a MUSICAL amp. It do wonders to the mid-range. Best mid range clarity I've heard is from a front loaded Lowther Medalians driven by 300Bs. Since getting AR 100.2, Thiel midrange got as good as if not better than the Lowthers+300Bs. You can bring life to your favorite singers in your own listening room using this amp with a matching speaker.

Bottom-end slam and contorl is nothing short of SUPERB. Yes, a Krell FPB may have something to say in this area, but at much higher cost. This is not one area where Tubes amps can compete with SS. Tabla, drums, double base, piano (lower keys) were reproduced with breath taking accuracy and punch (provided your listening room is in decent shape).

This amp is the dark horse among many other amps I've listened to over the years that include some excellent tube and SS amps. AR is more interested in pushing their tube gear to the customers than SS for very obvious reasons. However, if you're looking for a SS amp with plenty of power, slam & control, but with midrange clarity and warmth of an excellent tube amp, AR 100.2 is that amp. Go listen and decide it for your self.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   Used



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by patrick koh a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: October 25, 2000

Bottom Line:   
Outstanding! Versatile because it does tube sound so marvellously sweet and natural and yet have the dyanmics, control and range close to many solid state amplifiers, and little coloration. Most of my audiophile friends who come to listen, rate it very highly. It has hardly any faults at all. With the ARC LS22, it drives the ProAC 3.5 extremely well. With CEC TL1X, Genesis Lens, Audionote 3.1 DAC, I can get : Transparency (9), dynamics (8.5), control (9), highs (8), mids (9), mid bass (8) low bass (7.5), vocal (9), details (9), Quietness (9), depth (8), focus (9), staging (9), and high scores in almost other important aspects.

Can produce very involving music and what beautiful stage and ambience, and you can listen through the whooole night, without feeling fatigued. Change to KT88 tubes in place of 6550c, and wow, the sonics open up more in 3-D, and you get incredible sweetness and lushness in vocals which I enjoyed so much!

With the LS22, and 100.2, you can tune the front end to deliver more details, sweetness, to the sound that you like most as 1oo.2 is neutral and has wonderful transparency and control.

Had tried many (mainly tube) amps and got disappointed before that I couldn't get enough sweetness and lushness of vocals without sacrificing details and control. After getting very positive feedback and advice from many audiophile friends (very important people, and what a great help) I happily got my hand on a Mark II, and this most beautiful item in my setup, I think, will stay with me for a very long time. Simply love the music it exudes so effortlessly to fill my hall.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1999




Reviews 1 - 5 (20 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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