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Audio Research REF 210 Monoblocks
Among the most popular monoblocks, the Audio Research REF 210 is an excellent choice for most home audio systems. It features high-end performance in a compact package, and comes with a host of features.
Reference 210 vs Premier 350
ARC Reference 210 is the latest monoblock amplifier from William Zane Johnson. It’s an ultra-wide-bandwidth design with improved energy storage. It also features lower distortion circuits. It’s the first amplifier in the Reference series to feature remote controls.
It’s also the smallest Reference amp. It uses four 6H30 output tubes per channel. The power output is said to be 110Wpc, which is pretty decent for an audiophile-grade amplifier. The Reference 210 is fully balanced and uses custom parts. The output stage is an ultra-linear combination of the Reference 610T’s gain stage and Audio Research’s “partially cathode-coupled” circuit. It’s claimed that the partially cathode-coupled circuit yields better sound than conventional operation.
The Reference 210 is a good-looking amp. It features a thick front panel, a large vacuum-florescent display, and an enclosed chassis. It’s also available in a natural finish. It’s the same size as the Reference VT100 and VTM200. The front panel is also one-piece ventilated.
The Reference 210 also features the aforementioned tonal color. It turns low bass tones into rumble and impacts bass transients. It also projects a large choir of instruments towards the listener. It’s an impressive feat, especially for an affordable amplifier.
It’s also got the highest power reserve of any Reference monoblock. It uses four output tubes per channel and stores 767 joules of energy in its power supply. This is a good thing, as it means that it can be used as a stereo amp. It also has a remote-controlled volume and balance adjustment, which is useful if you don’t want to fumble with knobs.
REF 610T vs REF 210
Among monoblock amplifiers, the REF 610T vs REF 210 rivals the monoblocks of old. Both monoblocks are powered by two 6550C driver tubes controlling a bank of three output tubes. The REF 610T has a power output of 650W, while the REF 210 has a power output of 700W.
The REF 610T’s vacuum-florescent display offers a number of features including logarithmic power output, a display showing A.C. line voltage and bias measurements for each output tube. Both units also offer remote-control turn-on capability and remote-control balance adjustment.
The REF 210’s output has separate taps for 4-to-8-ohm and 8-to-16-ohm speaker loads. It also has a 12V trigger.
The REF 210 is a monoblock amplifier using a push-pull vacuum-tube circuit, using two 6550C driver tubes and three matched pairs of 6550C output tubes. It also has six solid-state regulators to minimize distortion. The power supply also features film-cap bypassing of all electrolytics. It also has a power scale function.
The REF 210’s monoblock has the same power output as the REF 610T, but it also has an output transformer that has an ultra-wide bandwidth design. It also improves energy storage.
The REF 210 has a full-balanced vacuum-tube circuit, using 6N1P tubes. It also uses a partial cathode coupling mode to improve efficiency. It also features a vacuum-florescent display that measures the power output of each output tube.
ARC Reference 3 vs REF 210
ARC Reference 3 vs REF 210 monoblocks: Despite a similar design, they are not an apples to apples comparison. The REF 210 is a ground up design, whereas the Reference 3 is a “statement product” of ARC. Using a partial cathode-coupled output stage, ARC claims it offers better sound and higher efficiency than conventional operation.
The Reference 210 monoblock amplifier boasts an ultra-wide bandwidth design, as well as lower distortion circuits. It also has a remote turn-on capability. The circuit board is a four-layer design. It uses a 6550C tube as a voltage regulator. The monoblocks are finished in black anodized aluminum. The circuit boards are mounted horizontally, while the transformers are mounted in a raised central channel.
The Reference 210 monoblock amplifier has a frequency response of 0.5Hz to 240kHz (-3dB). ARC Reference 210 monoblock amplifiers offer a broader bandwidth than their predecessors.
The Reference 210 has remote controls that allow the user to monitor the power output of the amplifier. The remotes also allow for polarity and balance adjustments. They also feature a power scale function.
The Reference 210 monoblock amplifier is a ground up design by William Zane Johnson. The monoblocks also offer a larger power storage capacity and better fluidity in volume. They are available at Edwards Home Entertainment and Design in South San Francisco.