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Audio Research LS12
7 Reviews
rating  5 of 5
MSRP  2495.00
Description: solid state preamp


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Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: May 28, 2009

Bottom Line:   
This prouduct is truly the ABSOLUTE FINEST PRACTICAL audio preamp, I believe, ever made.
No over-priced, two-box pwr.supplies. No fantastic microprossed displays. Just life-time build quality, impecable clasic design, and the finest no-fuss/mantinence free sound anywhere near it's price.
In 2009, it's a used MIRICLE at $1,200.! The company(ARC)has nothing in it's new line-up to compare to it. Tubes? Why? I run with a KRELL FPB300c, that I am told will sound beter with a Krell CAST preamp.
With the Ls12...I don't care. Just to look at them leaves me cold. So does the$$. One of the best audio devices ever produced, a true classic that IS "state of the art"for it's SOUND. Or lack of....

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by flex2 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 20, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I'm absolutely thrilled with this preamp. I used to have a Audio Research Reference 2 mk2 which I compared to LS5 mk3 and I liked LS5 mk3 better, so I started to search for a used LS5 mk2 or mk3, Reference One and LS25 mk1 which all uses the 6922 tube. ARC's hybrid designs with 6H30 are not my favourites of ARC preamps.
I found a buyer of my Ref2 mk2 and needed a preamp until I found what I was looking for, and found a used LS12.
Finally I also found a Reference One which I still own.
To my ears this is the best Audio Research preamp I have heard so far.
Better and longer decay of notes than both Reference amps. A better and more well defined soundstage. Better microdetailing which give a more lifelike vibrant sound. The only region where the Reference preamps are better are in the deepest bass, where they reach a little bit deeper, but still they don't have the resolution in the bass that LS12 have.
This is a absolutely fantastic little preamp that should be back on ARC's program.
So my Reference One will be for sale soon.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $1750.00

Purchased At:   Private person



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

Date Reviewed: January 4, 2003

Bottom Line:   
This replaces my longtime favorite, a Bryston BP-25. I have been a die hard Bryston fan, but I can't get over the world of improvement in this LS 12 over the Bryston! Smooooth sound, phenomenal detail and dynamics the Bryston just hinted at! Want punch? Try the LS 12! You might have to scramble as A/R is phasing this preamp out, but if you hurry you can get closeout pricing from Audio Video Logic.
I've never heard soundstaging like this from any other manufacturer. It sounds like tubes, without tubes! Beautiful build quality too. I was a little nervous to give up Brystons warrantee peace of mind, but you know it's about music, and I'm floored by the sound of the LS 12! Judging on A/R's past preamps, I shouldn't have any problems. This is a gigantic value, and at the closeout price a steal!! If you can't find an LS 12 and need something economical, try the new SP-16. It's a tube pre, and supposedly better than the 12. INCREDIBLY RECOMMENDED!!!! This company really is "The one reference!!"

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Audio Video Logic



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by amandarae a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: September 9, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I finally found a preamp that, in my opinion, works well with my system. Now that they lower the price of this unit,(List: $2495 now at $1500), I think it will be very difficult to get a "new" one in the market today. The sound of my speakers using this pre-amp was very articulate. Vocals and other freqs. were so defined compared to the old pre-amp that I have.

My background is in Electronics and Communications engineering. I had experienced in acoustics too. If you are shopping for a new preamp, check this model. You will not regret it.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   GNP Audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by james lee a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 8, 2002

Bottom Line:   
excellent bulit
tube like sound but better bass control
and detail
huge sound stage
all teh advantage of LS 16 but
avoid teh trouble of changing tube

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   2001




Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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