Audio Research CA-50 Amplifiers

4.67/5 (3 Reviews) MSRP : $3495.00

Product Description

2 Channel Amp

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by warnpeas a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 4, 2008

Bottom Line:   
I have really found an overlooked gem here. Don't understand why it hasn't got more press. Reliable company, great designer, great performance and easy to use.

It really sings with the Quad 57, great match. (Thanks for recomending it Dr. Quad!)Very clean sound, tight bass, great imaging. Don't know what the previous poster was concerned about re: the volume knob, I like it. It is different. To change the volume you hold the volume knob in the direction you want to go and the level moves as indicated by cool leds around the knob. I mostly use the remote which is very sturdy and performs well.

On the KEF 101 (T27 tweeter) I hear the details on the top end that you ussually get from good SS amps. Silky sweet, detailed, quick and specific image placement.

On the Athena's you can rock the house. This speaker is a very easy load. Bass like this from 45 watts? You bettcha.

I found some cheap tweeks helped. 1. Placed it on three vibrapods (increased the liquidity of the midrange) 2. Replace the fuse with a Isoclean (quickened the bass, better leading edges of bass notes.) Also, I tried it hooked into my Shunyata Hydra Power conditioner and it was lifeless (not enough current?), much better into a PS Audio Ultimate Outlet standard, 15a straight from the wall.

Haven't tried tube swapping yet.

Some interesting things to remember. This is a dual mono set up, which means great stereo seperation). Very little negative, feedback 7db I think, nothing to muck up the sound. And, oh yes those great 6550 tubes.

Hey, this is just a great no fuss amp. Plug. play and enjoy.

Current System:
AR CA-50/Plinius 8200/Sherwood 5000 I & II/ Sonic Impact Super T Amp
Quad 57 Electrostatic/ KEF Reference 101 /Athena AS – B1
REL Strata II (2)
Rega Jupiter 2000
Slim Devices Squeezebox v 3.0
Teac R- 919X
Yaqin CD 6j1p Tube Buffer
Shunyata Hydra
Arcici Suspense Rack S1, Air Suspension Rack

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1996

Price Paid:    $1895.00

Purchased At:   audiogon

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Steven a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: August 24, 2001

Bottom Line:   
This is the 45watt tube integrated that sounds as smooth and clean as most ARC products. If you have not experienced ARC tube sound, you cannot call yourself a true audiophile. The strenghts of this integrated is clear to me. A huge soundstage, typical ARC tube warmness, and its build quality.

Don't get me wrong. ARC has manufactured many better amplifiers. But they run well over the $5k price range. This piece originally sold for just under $4k. I think it was a little overpriced at its original msrp (like most ARC products), but on the used market at around $2k,


My ratings are based on my purchase price, not it's original msrp......

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $1950.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Erik a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: March 15, 2001

Bottom Line:   
One of the best mainstream integrateds.
Non fatiguing, real Audio Research sound, if lacking in the last degree of control and openess of the larger designs.
Can be used like any other integrated, reliable, quick warm up, but sounds great too, unlike the Krell and Mark Levinsons. This amp reveals layering which the solid state counterparts cannot.
Will drive most speakers. The better the speaker the better the sound - the neutrality of this design makes it very versitile.
I used it as a preamp only at one stage to drive a new power amp and it is fantastic - not too far off the LS15!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1998

Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating