Audio Research Reference Phono 3SE preamp expands 50th anniversary line

Audio Research announces Reference Phono 3SE preamp
(Image credit: Audio Research)

Audio Research is continuing its 50th anniversary celebrations with the launch of the Reference Phono 3SE phono preamplifier ($17,000), an update to its highest-performance phono stage, the Reference Phono 3.

The special edition product follows the recent launch of the Reference 6SE Line-Stage preamplifier, which kick-started the anniversary product line.

Aesthetically, the only difference between the REF Phono 3SE ($17,000) and its predecessor is that its back panel will bear its name, but internally key internal upgrades have been made. The new phono preamp is a result of the knowledge Audio Research gained in making its Reference 160-Series amplifier, and brings component and wiring upgrades onboard.

The first production units will ship in March, and will be available to current REF Phono 3 owners in May for $3000. Authorised service centres in the rest of the world will be able to install the SE update kits in their respective countries.


Best phono preamps 2020: budget to high-end

10 of the best releases for Record Store Day 2020

Touraj Moghaddam: the man behind Roksan and Vertere talks turntables and cables

Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.