Audio Research is pleased to introduce the VT80 vacuum-tube power amplifier to its Foundation Series. From the same design and engineering team responsible for the award-winning Reference Series, the VT80 allows the Foundation Series to be shown as a complete system. Combining an enticing new aesthetic with worry-free operation and great performance, the VT80 is a vacuum-tube amplifier that will make Audio Research accessible to a larger group of music lovers. The U.S. retail price is $8,000.00 in North America; the retail price is $8,500 outside of North America because those units are supplied with a CE-compliant ventilated tube cover.
With its beautiful new look, flexible connection options and important new features, the primary goal of the VT80 is to provide an incredible musical experience. The core of the VT80 is adapted from the Reference 75, including the same power and output transformers, a similar circuit topology, and many of the same parts. The result is breathtaking and provides a new sonic reference in its price range.
Two important new features never before offered by Audio Research are at the heart of the VT80. The first is a proprietary auto-bias circuit developed entirely in-house by Audio Research’s chief analog engineer. Once the tubes are installed and the unit is powered-up, the VT80 will automatically adjust bias for each output tube. The circuit adjusts for tube wear or fluctuations in the power in real time and does not compromise performance. The VT80 will also work with different types of output tubes, including 6550, KT88, KT90, KT120 or KT150.
The second new feature includes individual fusing of each output tube. In case of a fault condition, a replaceable fuse blows, providing worry-free operation.
The 75 watt-per-channel VT80 is a balanced design that provides startling dynamics, powerful bass, and natural clarity combined with a very holographic presentation. The open architecture of its extruded metal chassis provides beauty and a rigid structure from which two 6H30 driver tubes and four KT120 output tubes emerge. Available in both natural and black anodized finishes, the low profile front panel contains a black inlay that matches other Foundation Series products, along with a power switch, flanked by two handles.