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Audio Research CA50
5 Reviews
rating  4.8 of 5
MSRP  3495.00
Description: Vacuum Tube Integrated Amp - 45 watts


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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Bill a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: October 7, 2000

Bottom Line:   
A very clean sounding amplifier, but stay withing it's intended use (quartets, chamber music, smal jazz ensemble) as it will not be sufficient for anything larger. One thing I must admit,I totally HATE the controls on this thing, the round shape calls for rotation, but....well try it and let me know. At the asking price, an amp should but a delight ergonomically as wel as sonically. Lows as typical tubes, nicely done but soft and well behind a good solid state design. An overall nice performer that will provide satisfaction if you are not too demanding. I recently upgraded to separates (sonic frontier line1 and McCormack DNA-125). I may miss out on a slight tube roundness and coloration usually associated with glowing bottles, but everything else is a distinc improvement. 4 stars for sound,3 stars for value.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jacques Raymond a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: January 23, 2000

Bottom Line:   
This integrated from Audio Research is a real sweetie. I bought it to replace a 23 years old Quad 33/303 that I do not miss (except for sentimental reasons). The sound is very smooth and detailed. I still lurk around (aren’t we all?) but I did not find anything worth to haul home. This is not the powerhouse to generate near seismic bass that will rattle your windows. So it will unlikely do for those who listen to electric/electronic music at house shaken level. But if you are in details, colors, textures of acoustic instruments, you should at least try it. It is powerful enough to drive a wide range of speakers. An improvement that could be made for only few dollars is the replacement of the Sovtek 6922 driver tubes. You can find a lot of premium tubes on the market that are much better sounding. You will have to experiment. As for the power tubes, the Ei KT90 (expensive and difficult to find now) were the best I tried but then the Svetlana 6550C are also very good. After more than a year, I am still having fun and discovering it.

*Associated equipments: ARC CD2, Magnepan MG1.6/QR, Magnum Dynalab FT-11, MIT cables, VansEvers power line filter


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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1998



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

Date Reviewed: December 5, 1999

Bottom Line:   
We have used our CA50 for about two months and love it. Amp generates a solid 45 wpc and produces excellent high end and powerful bass. Midrange is smooth and extremely listenable. I have Dunlavy Athenas which represents a very stable load. Other equipment includes Music Hall turntable, Krell 300cd, Fanfare tuner, AlphaCore Goertz cabling throughout. The amp plays plenty loud in my room, which is 20X15 with a sloping cathedral ceiling. Wonderfully detailed, tube sound (no that isn't a contradiction) that makes all source material sound terrific. I traded up to the CA50 from a Krell 300i and noticed an immediate change for the better on in capturing instrumental and vocal timbre, soundstage (especially much more depth), and overall musical refinement. I thought I miss the extra power of the Krell, but this has not been the case at all. I listen mainly to classical and jazz, but some pop, rock, and blues are also in regular rotation. Remote is solid and works well.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Cliff Harker a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 21, 1999

Bottom Line:   
We have been using our ca-50 for about 4 months now andd it is great. No tizzy high end,no listener fatigue.
remote works well and preamp joy to use. Use it for both music and home theatre. I would rather use good low power tube amp anyday to the glass cutting high end ht rcvrs out there. Besides this amp with god speakers throws convincing enough soudstage depth wise that i don think most people(except young'ens) will miss that false sounding techno wizardry called surround sound. Its hard to find a product that does everything well but this comes close. With full range sub woofer output built in it brings up possibility of teaming it with Jolida three channel tube amp later on for an all tube home theatre. (Now wont that be special) . In closing I enjoy this product and can reccommend it to anyone. Wife says there should be more increments on volume control.

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by joe g. a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: June 7, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I just upgraded from my Cary 30sli to the Audio Research CA50 & "wow" what a difference. Of course I should'nt be too surprised since the build quality,wattage,& product reputation all suggested a vast improvement over my Cary listening experiences. I was able to trade in my Cary for the A.R.which of course made the deal even sweeter.This is a new purchase (april 99')so I still have some more breakin time to do to fully realize it's sonic potential.I'm running it with my Vandersteen 2ce sig's w/ cal. labs Alpha/Delta combo,balanced w/kimber select interconnects & kimber 8tc bi-wired.All I can say for now is that it's a good solid beautifully sounding amp.The detail,soundstaging & bass all have a quality of "you are there". A very synergistic sounding combo. I rate it 5 stars.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile




Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

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