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Audio Research SP9 MKII
18 Reviews
rating  4.5 of 5
MSRP  1995.00
Description: 


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Reviews 1 - 5 (18 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: January 30, 2006

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the SP/9 MKIII. I had the pleasure of listening to the MKII.Still a great pre amp but the MKIII is leaps and bounds ahead of the MKII. This pre amp is by far the best I ever listen to. This is with in the 32 years of enjoying this hobby. I had and tried very hi end pre amps. They were good at what they did, but the MKIII puts you there. I am in Nirvana.
This is a must for the serious listener. No this is not for the casual listener or the collector. The MKIII is for the audiophile that wants the best in resolution and soundstage.
I matched this with the D400MKII, another
very hi end piece of equipment.
This combination pushes the envelope for my Mags. I never heard the 3.6r sound so sweet.
Again, if you see this product on the market, get it. You will done with your search for a solid pre amp. I was very lucky to get mine from an employee of Audio Research. In mint condition. I switched tubes, sovtek to the electra harmonix. Much sweeter sound and more bang for the buck. Mullards and Amperex are in a class of their own, and yes excellent tubes as well.
The MKIII easily can retail for 8-10k. It's that good!

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



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

Date Reviewed: August 3, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Price is in pounds BTW

The SP9 ( this is for the MK 1 )was a significant upgrade compared to anything else that I had heard, but when you look inside, the reason for this is fairly obvious. The components used in the SP9 are all of the highest quality, which is very re-assuring when parting with your hard earned, but if you do, it's an absolute steal. I doubt that I will ever part with the SP9, and wish I had listened to this pre-amp a long time ago, it would have saved me a small fortune
The sound is wonderfully open and imaging is accurately portrayed.
Then there are the dynamics. The SP9
doesn't rob the music of it's drama, an all too common occurance with most pre-amplifiers.
This means that each performance retains
the excitement, tension, joy, sadness etc
In other words the emotional impact of music remains intact. For this to happen, you need depth and refinement and the SP9 has extended bass which is well controlled and a sweet treble that never fatigues. The phono stage is as good ( if not better ) than some separate phono stages I have heard costing a grand.

The line stage is the closest I have heard to plugging directly into the power amp.
Build quality is of the highest standard. It's solid construction,
soldering and hard wiring is meticulous
Looks may not be to everyones style. I think they're Ok, but who cares. At the end of the day, I want to hear the music
the way it was recorded, and this is the
closest I have heard. In the UK you may be able to find one from time to time for 600- 700 pounds, and for the this amount of money, it's one helluva of a bargain.
Five stars no question.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   audio excellence



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

Date Reviewed: November 5, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I had used the ARC SP9 MkII with a couple of solid state amps with success before I acquired a pair of Quicksilver 8417 mono amps. With the Quicksilver tubed amps this hybrid preamp has really exuded its musical character that combines the attributes of tubes and solid state. Hooked up to Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano speakers, this combination can offer a relaxing listening experience. This hybrid model mates well with tubed amp.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast



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

Date Reviewed: August 17, 2003

Bottom Line:   
A true classic that never goes away,I owned the original SP9 and was very impress with its sonic "signature",excellent bloom and detailed separation of the notes,abit of a quick roll off at the extreme elements,great phono stages and excellent built.Simple designed that offers a pure look into the music,very detailed soundstage and wide and deep,abit shadowly at the height aspect but does distract from the over all listening pleasure...great amp that ages with time and can used as a "reference" pre-amp in many systems...

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Price Paid:    $695.00

Purchased At:   auction



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by 2003Moniker a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 18, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Having used the SP9 mkII for 9 years I for one am enthusiastic about it. The amplifier is sweet sounding, smooth and holds its own in the lower octaves. It is sensitive to differences in tubes - tuberolling can yield intersting results.
The preamplifier has kept up with the continuing improvemenst in the rest of the system. The SP 9 mk II is a sensible choice, especially given the low prices on the 2nd (or 3rd) hand market.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   2nd hand




Reviews 1 - 5 (18 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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