The Amazing Audio Research I50 integrated with headphones is way better than expected.
Jan 29, 2022 at 4:17 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 40

MRHiFiReviews

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First Look Video: https://youtu.be/tZOuxQB55Wg



TSAV WEB: https://thesourceav.com/products/audio-research-the-i-50-integrated-amplifier

The I/50 Integrated Amplifier is the first product in an all-new series from Audio Research. Functionally simple, visually engaging, and musically sublime – the I/50 takes music listening to a whole new experience. Hand-crafted in Minnesota, the I/50 is built with the same attention to detail as all other Audio Research products – each one even gets its own listening test with sonic designer, Warren Gehl. Available in six colors, the I/50 features Cerakote finishes for a beautiful and long-lasting look. The modular design allows for the installation of two audio modules – a Phono Stage, and a D/A Converter (to come in 2022). The high current, 50 watt per channel amplifier is capable of driving a wide variety of speakers. A headphone jack allows for personal listening time.
The I/50 is designed to be easy to use, and has three controls on its top panel – Power, Input, and Volume. Two LexieTubes® provide display information for input selection and volume. Two matched pairs of 6550WE vacuum tubes, along with three 6922 tubes, stand in front of the perforated transformer cover. Three single-ended inputs and one XLR input provide connectivity for most systems, along with 4- and 8- Ohm speaker taps to accommodate your speaker of choice. One input can be assigned for pass-through function. A full-function metal remote control provides further functionality and operation. An optional tube cage will be available.
As with all Audio Research products, the I/50 is built entirely in our Minnesota facility by a team of skilled technicians and expert craftspeople. Offered in six colors, the I/50 is the first product completely finished in-house. The Audio Research finishing lab encompasses a purpose-built painting facility and laser imaging and marking machines to produce a luxurious finish normally found only on much more expensive products. The Cerakote finish is not only beautiful, but designed to be enduring and easy to maintain.
The performance of the I/50 belies its compact design. 50 watts of all-vacuum tube power energize your speakers with beautiful and lifelike music. Designed by the Audio Research engineering team and fine-tuned by Warren Gehl, the I/50 has been given the same level of care and attention as our Reference Series products. The ability of the I/50 to reconstruct a musical experience will thrill and excite all who hear it. Thanks to the substantial power supply and high current design, the I/50 provides controlled and dynamic playback – even on challenging speakers. The Phono module provides 42 dB of gain, allowing a wide choice of moving magnet and high-output moving coil cartridges. The D/A Converter will have multiple connection options and an array of decoding formats to accommodate the wide spectrum of music formats and resolutions. The I/50 is a truly integrated product while providing renowned Audio Research performance and sound quality.

This will be the place to discuss the I/50!
 
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Jan 29, 2022 at 4:41 PM Post #2 of 40

DenverW

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Web is showing 5k base price. My expectations would be very high.
 
Jan 31, 2022 at 10:23 AM Post #6 of 40

ThanatosVI

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Finally an audio research amplifier useable with headphones.

I got high expectations!
 
Jan 31, 2022 at 12:03 PM Post #8 of 40

tutetibiimperes

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It’s attractive and modern looking. Checking out their site they don’t list any details on the headphone output, which is unfortunately par for the course with this sort of thing.

I wonder if the headphone jack is driven by the main amp section and if so if there’s some sort of voltage divider or resister in the path or if they’re going to let users enjoy the full power of the amp through the headphone jack.
 
Jan 31, 2022 at 6:38 PM Post #10 of 40

Loftprojection

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It’s attractive and modern looking. Checking out their site they don’t list any details on the headphone output, which is unfortunately par for the course with this sort of thing.

I wonder if the headphone jack is driven by the main amp section and if so if there’s some sort of voltage divider or resister in the path or if they’re going to let users enjoy the full power of the amp through the headphone jack.
That’s THE question! Hopefully they did like Primaluna EVO series and the headphone jack is driven directly by the tubes. And it has a remote, yeaaaah, finally old folks like me can rock the sofa, listen, adjust volume without having to get up.
 
Feb 1, 2022 at 6:19 AM Post #11 of 40

erik701

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I'm curious if its headphone output is capable to drive LCD-4 or Susvara headphones. I hope Marcello @MRHiFiReviews will find out.
I also remember someone saying that Audio Research is working on Headphone amplifier and I'm not sure if they meant this device, or AR is planning to release standalone headphone amp later this year.
 
Feb 1, 2022 at 4:22 PM Post #13 of 40

RONJA MESCO

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Though I like that volume display, sometimes I wonder if it takes away from how the tubes are displayed...I am so torn on this aesthetic for 5G. May take some time to get used to.
 
Feb 1, 2022 at 4:28 PM Post #14 of 40
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What transformers are used ?
Good question, I’ve asked that and asked for the output measurement. They are supposed to reply with that data today. I don’t think they actually measured the headphone output stage other than it’s half volt measurement
 
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Feb 1, 2022 at 6:22 PM Post #15 of 40

Loftprojection

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Good question, I’ve asked that and asked for the output measurement. They are supposed to reply with that data today. I don’t think they actually measured the headphone output stage other than it’s half volt measurement
Would you by any chance know if it is driven by the main power tubes or it‘s just an opamp they added after the preamp stage like most integrated speaker amps? Since they don’t talk about it in their marketing I have a feeling the headphone out is not very important like it is for the Primaluna EVO line, those folks took the time to list all the headphone out details.
 
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