Music Reference RM-9 MKII Amplifiers

4.82/5 (11 Reviews) MSRP : $3440.00


Product Description

125 Watts - E34L Output Tubes - Adjustable Negative Feedback


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Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ralph John Steinberg a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 31, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I first heard about the RM-9 (original version) in 1988, but passed it over for a Counterpoint SA-20 hybrid power amp, which eventually failed and could not be repaired. Subsequently, my partnered purchased the RM-9 for me as a gift; I am now sorry that I didn't consider it earlier on. This is probably the finest amp I have ever heard; transparent, smooth, detailed, with images as sharp and solid as polished marble. The bass is amazingly tight and articulate; who says that tubes are inferior ro solid state in this respect? Although rated at 100 wpc, it sounds much more powerful than the old Counterpoint at 200 wpc. I have it driving a pair of the original Martin-Logan Sequels, and they make a perfect match, because of the superb amplifier stability in handling reactive loads and low impedences (I use the 2-ohm tap and the gain switch at "high"). I ssuspect that the RM-9 will shine most brightly with electrostatic speakers such as the Martin-Logan, as this speaker design will mate well with the amp's neutrality. I can imagine amps as good but none better. Has anyone heard the current replacement version?

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $1395.00

Purchased At:   Audio Connection, Ve



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ralph Steinberg a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 30, 2007

Bottom Line:   
My partner purchased this amp for me as a replacement for a Counterpoint SA-200 hybrid that had failed and can no longer be repaired, as Counterpoint went out of business. I had first heard about the RM-9 (this is the original version) back in 1987, and I'm now sorry that I didn't make it my first choice at the time. Although rated at half the power of the SA-200 (100WPC as opposed to the SA's 200), the RM-9 sounds far more powerful and dynamic. Instumental sounds now sound like polished marble, so solid and effortless the sound is. The bass is the real surprise: It is taut, articulate, and blends perfectly with the rest of the audio image; anyone who says that tubes produce loose, boomy bass should hear the RM-9. The midrange and treble are superbly liquid, clear without any harshness (unless the recording is harsh) and the imaging is almost scary at times. When listening to speaking voices, I have often mistaken them for actual people in the room. And by the way, they sound great with historical recordings made in the 78 rpm era! This baby shines most with difficult loads, such as electrostatic speakers (I have it driving a pair of Martin-Logan Sequels). Currently, I am using the supplied EL-34 output tubes, but I am curious about allowed alternatives (KT-88's/90's, 6550's). It is impossible to recommend this amplifier too highly. There is no question in my mind: TUBES RULE, AND MUSIC REFERENCE IS THE TUBE RULER!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $1395.00

Purchased At:   Audio Coonection, Ve



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ralph Steinberg a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 4, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I also have the first version of the RM-9. I obught it as a replacement for the Counterpoint SA-220, which is no longer being manufactured and is not eseily repaired. Interestingly enough, when I first thought of going over to tubes back in 1988, I was considering the Music Reference RM-9. Having lived with it for over two years, I wish I had purchased it in the first place. Listening over Martin-Logan Sequels, I now understand why electrostatic speakers are recommended to be powered by tube amps.
First of all, with the RM-9, I do not understand the usual complaints about tubes being unable to produce full and WELL-DEFINED bass. What is hear is solid, articulate sound extending all the way down. One downside to this is that on one of my historical CD's, specifically the Pearl issue of Schubert played by Artur Schnabel, there is now an audible rumble in the first movement of the "Trout" Quintet, causing woofer displacement. I never heard this any other amp, solid-state or hybrid.
Secondly, musical images now have a solidity that I would discribe as smooth marble surrounded by ample air space. This is especially notable on wind instruments. Strings now sound individualized rather than homogenized. Piano sounds very lifelike, same with voices.
This amp does wonders also with old, historical material. The classic Felix Weingartner Beethoven Ninth Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic, State Opera Chorus and soloists Luise Helletsgruber, Rosette Anday, Georg Maikl and Richard Mayr on Opus Kura has now an impact that does not compare unfavorably with more modern recordings, soundwise.
If you can find this amp secondhand, as I did, put it on your short list of required listening. I'm sure you'll have no regrets.
By the way, this amp sounds more powerful than its power rating.
I give it 5 stars on both overall and value rating, but 10 stars would be more appropriate.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $1395.00

Purchased At:   Audio Connection



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by gmood1 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 2, 2003

Bottom Line:   
All I can say is the more things change the more they stay the same. Musically I can't seem to find any faults with this amp. Soundstage,decay,etc it seems to get it all right. Why would anybody want another tube amp . There is nothing I can add that hasn't been already said. Accept Mr.Modjeski is the man ! No wonder you can't really find these used on the web. I bet you will never see this one .Good luck finding yours.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1998

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mark maloof a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 22, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Ok, a little update on my previous review. I now have the RM9 powering a pair of Quad 63 USA Monitors (electrostatics, but, duh, I'm sure you know that!). The amp was supposed to be voiced with Quad 63s, and all I can say is "holy cow". My admiration for the amp has grown. More holgraphic than before, and it just gets the music right. I also swapped out the power cable for Belden (ala the Bob Crump diy cable recipe). My love for this amp has grown, they do have a cult-like status

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $650.00

Purchased At:   from a Krell user




Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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