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Audio Research LS8
9 Reviews
rating  4.67 of 5
MSRP  1495.00
Description: Vacuum Tube Stereo Line Preamplifier


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Reviews 1 - 5 (9 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Steve a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 12, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Following the suggestions of other users here and the audio asylum, I changed out the std Sovteks with Siemens E88CC/6922 (for position V1 and V2) and Amperex Bugle Boy (V3 and V4). The result was excellent, and I got much more detail and air, plus fuller bass. Amperex in positions V1 and V2 sounded too cold and hard.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   used



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by gio' a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: September 4, 2000

Bottom Line:   
J own the ARC LS8 MKII, that is the upgrade of LS8. It is a splendid music machine.Musically j think that it's very difficult ear differences with the ARC LS15. instead j have listened the ARC LS16 and in this case there is difference.
However j reccomande this preamp very hotly. After many days of burn-in the ARC sound comes out in all its freshness and clarity.The bass register is solid but not intrusive.The voices are reproduced with great elegance.it needs great partners, power amplifiers solid state like copland csa515 or ARC VT100 and digital sources like Marantz CD7 or CD 14. very good this MKII .

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $2800.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kenneth Lau a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 28, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I have used the LS8 for about one year. When I first brough this amp., I am disappointing with the sound. The sound like a solid amp.. When I change the tube to Amperex 6922, the sound change a lot. The sound is much better than before.

After a few months, I still not satisfy with the sound. Finally, I change the two 2uF wonder cap and two Rel cap to four 2uF Wonder Cap SETI series. The sound is more open and more transparency.

Before the upgrade, I rate LS8 about 4 points. After the upgrade. I rate it 4.8 points. Still got 0.2 points for me to improve.

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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 Gary Chen a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: June 10, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I have been listening to my ARC LS8 for about six months. When I first bought it it didn't perform as I expected. As Martin Colloms' review on March 99 Stereophile, this preamp did sound too "quiet", dry and dull; especially with solid state amps. However, after I had it connected to Cary 300SE, Signature mono-blocs it did sound a litter smooth yet was still lack of the refined midrange as the Cary magic. Recently I started my advanture of "rolling tubes" on my ARC LS8 which requiring four 6DJ8/6922. The LS8 came with its stocking Sovtec 6922 which I was told by the dealer that they were of superior quality. Well, ARC LS8 with Sovtec 6922 is definitely a "dispointed" product for me, but not with NOS tubes in it. I have tried various NOS tubes in it. Most of them are far better than Sovtec at aspects of transparency, extended yet smooth hights, extended and tight bass and more importantly, luscious mid range. I used two Sylvania 7308 as the cathode follwers at positon V3 and V4 and switched different NOS tubes as the drivers at V1 and V2. Here is the list of the NOS tubes I tried and their ratings from the best and down. Amperex ECC88 Bugle Boy (Holland), Amperex 6922 "D" getter (US), Amperex 6922 white lable (US), Siemens 7308 (Germany), Mullard ECC88 (Holland) and Sylvania 7308 and 6922. In my humble opinion, ARC LS8 is a great preamp, a stone cold bargain with unlimited potential.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by JB a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: April 25, 1999

Bottom Line:   
This is a fantastic pre-amp, but you must be careful about matching up with the source equipment. I use a Theta Pearl CD transport and Theta ProGeny DAC. After I bought the LS8, I detected a definite 'clipping' sound on certain types of music. The dealer swapped it for an LS15 while the LS8 went to the lab for testing. The 'fault' disappeared after I hooked up the LS15, so my pre-amp must have been faulty, right? - wrong! To cut a long story short, the output of the DAC was overwhelming the input of the LS8, and I had to get the DAC output reduced by 6dB. The max output voltage of the DAC was over 4V, and the rated maximum input of the LS8 is considerably less, so beware! The LS15's rated maximum input is much higher than the LS8 which is why the 'fault' disappeared and I mistakenly thought the LS8 was sub-standard (sorry, ARC!) - so, that's another difference between this and the LS15.
Sonically, I think this is an outstanding pre-amp. I have to remind myself that there are four tubes inside this machine, because I just can't detect the warmth and bloom that so many people accuse tube pre-amps of possessing. Bearing in mind the caveat about matching with source equipment, I give this product a thoroughly well deserved five stars.


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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile




Reviews 1 - 5 (9 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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