Audio Research SP16 / 16L Preamplifier Preamplifiers

4.6/5 (5 Reviews) MSRP : $1995.00


Product Description

The SP16 is completely single-ended with five sets of inputs (labeled Phono, CD, Tuner, Video and Aux) plus a Processor pass-through. There are two sets of main outputs for flexibility, plus a Tape out. The SP16 has a 12-volt trigger to turn on power amplifiers or other equipment, and full remote control of all functions including power, input selection, stereo/mono, volume, and muting.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: November 20, 2006

Bottom Line:   
This is not a full review but just a comment on the "minor quibble" mentioned in two of the posted reviews. I agree--the jump in volume at lower listening levels is too great between clicks. I found it hard to obtain just the right volume with my high level sources (i.e. compact disc)--it was either too loud or too soft. This problem was exacerbated by my 96db Daedalus Audio DA-1's. A call to ARC turned up the "CD only gain reduction modification". Basically, they drop a high quality 6db resistor in the output for the CD, reducing the output for this source alone. I got it back a few weeks ago and I can tell you that it solved the problem with no apparent loss in sound quality. Highly recommended to anyone who would like more adjustability at low listening levels. Not only that but ARC are great folks to work with--quick turn around, a full test bench check on the unit and a brand new box on the way home.

BTW, this is a great preamp that sounds great and is very user friendly!

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $1695.00



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by wb6yaw a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 16, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I bought mine slightly used but it's just like a new unit. I'm very happy with it and won't go into superlatives since they've already been done here. I replaced a Musical Fidelity A3CR which I was also very happy with. The biggest difference I've noticed so far is a slightly deeper sound stage. As far as the big steps in volume at low settings, I haven't noticed that so much but I'm sure it's a function of overall gain and speaker efficiency too. One point I might make though is that for every movement of the volume LED you've actually made 3 steps of adjustment and they change rapidly so it'd be easy to change several steps without realizing it.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $1750.00

Purchased At:   Stereo Trading Outle



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Anupam Saxena a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 8, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Detailed, neutral and involving sound, maybe not as dynamic as the old SP-10's and SP-11's which were stupendous. Not as extended at top or bottom either. Yet, it allows effortless listening to the music, never drawing attention to itself. I forget about the equipment and just follow whatever instrument or voice I want to. They are all there, separated by space and timber, even in the midst of the densest, loudest crescendo.

The remote control is a very useful artifact - I wouldn't live without it now.

Very highly recommended.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Purchased At:   Used



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gary Roufosse a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 27, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I was looking to compliment my Aragon 8008BB Power amplifier, B&W DM604S3 speakers, Rotel RCD1070 CD, and Maple Audio Works Ambiance interconnects. My current preamp, and Acurus RL-11, had served me well. I auditioned the ARC SP16 at the dealer, and liked what I heard, so I arranged for a weekend test drive. After letting it run in for about 16 hours, I had a good listening session. Some of the music auditioned on this preamp/system:

Linda Ronstadt/Emmylou Harris, "Tucson Sessions/Western Wall"
Cyrus Chestnut "Revelation".
Cat Stevens "Teaser and The Firecat" (Remastered)

Each one of these recordings was beatifully done, and the SP16 was at home in reproducing the finest nuances of every aspect of the music. The soundstage is great, the depth and reverberation of strings and keyboards beautiful. Great bass extension and detail. (especially on Revelation's stand up bass passages) Zero listening fatigue. The weekend audition was all the impetus I needed to make the buying decison.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Audio Ark, Edmonton



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

Date Reviewed: May 2, 2003

Bottom Line:   
A wounderful preamp with almost everything you could ask for at a very fair price. Most imortantly this piece piece is like a fine musical instrument.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Online Dealer Demo




Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

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