Audio Research LS22 Preamplifiers

5/5 (8 Reviews) MSRP : $3995.00


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Reviews 1 - 5 (8 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Stephen Hyduke a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 19, 2012

Bottom Line:   
I have had other tube preamps, but none with such a fine presentation and a sound that continues to delight me, day in and day out. The mids and highs are so perfect, and the realism is second to none! I love my ls22 and can't possibly see myself selling it, it's that good. I think the background on the ref 5, for example, is so artificially black... Though I could afford one, I think I will leave well enough alone... And that's saying something. I use the RCA unbalanced, and the XLR balanced outputs. What can I say, this is a heck of a preamp. I know there are people on audiogon that trash it and the people at Audio research are aware of this (I am a a Minnesotan and run in audio circles) and they say, like me, that these people are just trying to get a good deal on one. In fact, one was busted trying to buy one after he trash talked It on audiogon. And there are only one or two people who have talked negatively about it, and it is possible they are the same person! Look at the specs, and you will see what a fine preamp this is. I love mine, it makes recorded music seem real! I can listen to it all day and night, and use it in home theatre also. I also have an Audible Illusions Modulus 3, which I love also, and use in my bedroom... But the ls22 is in my living room, and undoubtedly will stay there for quite a long time. In contrast to the modulus 3, the soundstage is around and in front of the speakers, not behind it. This is nice! And the presentation seems more lifelike, and less electronic. I am told it has a HUGE power supply. All I can say is buy one and love it!

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast



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

Date Reviewed: November 23, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I had always used solid state amplifiers and was satisfied with them for the most part but was curious about what the "tube freaks" were addicted to. So I selected the LS22 based upon reviews and the great deals available and picked one up on the used market and plugged it in to see what I would get. WOW! a truly great sounding piece of gear. Perhaps the best improvement I have heard from a component change in my system and it definitely beat the 3 solid state preamps that I had on hand. I regret not using tube amps before. The biggest change was in the highs and mids. The excessive sibilance on some vocals was gone. The sense of the presence of a performer in the room was startling on some recordings. Soundstage was markedly improved. I'm sold. I have used this preamp with a Bryston 4BST, an Audio Research VT100 II and a SIM Audio W5. The Sim Audio amp is my favorite and together the LS22 and the W5 are a fabulous combination. Surely, there are many great preamps out there and in my experience, this is one of them.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997

Price Paid:    $1650.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



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

Date Reviewed: January 11, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I have owned many preamps in the last 20 years. Many got me a crystal clear window to the overall musical landscape. Examples include Pass Labs Aleph L with 1.2 version board and Mod Squad Deluxe with latest mods. One had incredible dynamics and drive: Audio Research LS3B. Another had detail, extended bass, and richness: Threshold T3i or the Aragon Aurum with the cap upgrade. But never had I have a preamp that made the music take such a presence in my room. If the transparent preamps give you a Windex wiped window to the overall landscape where all can be seen the ARC LS22 gives you a telescope to the vital elements of the music. The airy breathing around voices and instruments seems to be part of that vital message. I have the Infinicap upgrade, which I understand gives a dramatic change to bass authority. I use this preamp in a second system to great affect with a YBA 2HCDT power amp with Synergistic Research AC Master Coupler (the Black Mamba cord made things quiter but seemed to make things to laid back). With 8-6922 tubes driving the system you have a very strong driving preamp as well. I look forward to purchasing a Audio Research Reference series preamp for my main system. But I suspect I will be very content with my LS-22 for a very long time.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $1875.00

Purchased At:   Ebay



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

Date Reviewed: January 11, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I have owned many preamps in the last 20 years. Many got me a crystal clear window to the overall musical landscape. Examples include Pass Labs Aleph L with 1.2 version board and Mod Squad Deluxe with latest mods. One had incredible dynamics and drive: Audio Research LS3B. Another had detail, extended bass, and richness: Threshold T3i or the Aragon Aurum with the cap upgrade. But never had I have a preamp that made the music take such a presence in my room. If the transparent preamps give you a Windex wiped window to the overall landscape where all can be seen the ARC LS22 gives you a telescope to the vital elements of the music. The airy breathing around voices and instruments seems to be part of that vital message. I have the Infinicap upgrade, which I understand gives a dramatic change to bass authority. I use this preamp in a second system to great affect with a YBA 2HCDT power amp with Synergistic Research AC Master Coupler (the Black Mamba cord made things quiter but seemed to make things to laid back). With 8-6922 tubes driving the system you have a very strong driving preamp as well. I look forward to purchasing a Audio Research Reference series preamp for my main system. But I suspect I will be very content with my LS-22 for a very long time.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $1875.00

Purchased At:   Ebay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tim nguyen a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 12, 2000

Bottom Line:   
Having owned the Audible Illusions 3A (stereophile recommended component),I thought this was my last update.But since i borrowed the ARC LS22 from my friend and put it in my system,wow what a big change.The LS22 gives me richer sound,tighter bass,more detail while the 3A is kind of flat in sound.Well,with around 2k,you can't go wrong with the 3A,but if you lucky enough,you can get the LS22 just around that price on the used market.That's what i got mine.One thing i like about the LS22 is it gives you the choice of running both XLR and RCA.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997




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