Audio Research Reference 160M monoblock power amplifier Specifications

Sidebar 1: Specifications

Description: Fully balanced, class-AB tubed monoblock power amplifier. Tube complement: four KT150 (output), two 6H30 (gain stage). Inputs: unbalanced (RCA), balanced (XLR). Three sets of speaker output taps: 4, 8, 16 ohms. Output power: 140W continuous, 20Hz–20kHz (21.5dBW). Frequency response: 0.5Hz–110kHz, –3dB at 1W. Power bandwidth: 5Hz–70kHz, –3dB. Input sensitivity: 2.4V RMS balanced for rated output (25.5dB gain into 8 ohms). Input impedance: 300k ohms balanced, 100k ohms single-ended. Output regulation: ca 0.6dB into 16 ohm load to open circuit (damping factor: ca 14). Signal/noise: 101dB, re: 0dBW A-weighted. Overall negative feedback: 14dB. Slew rate: 13V/µs. Rise time: 2.0µs. Power requirements: 400–700W, 260W at idle, 1W off.
Dimensions: 19" (483mm) W by 10" (254mm) H by 17.7" (450mm) D; with handles, 19.25" (489mm) D. Weight: 56.2 lb (25.5kg) net, 73.2 lb (33.2kg) shipping.
Serial numbers of units reviewed: 50745, 50746.
Price: $30,000/pair. Approximate number of dealers: 60.
Manufacturer: Audio Research Corp., 6655 Wedgwood Road N., Suite 115, Maple Grove, MN 55311. Tel: (763) 577-9700. Fax: (763) 577-0323. Web:

Audio Research Corp.
6655 Wedgwood Road N., Suite 115
Maple Grove, MN 55311
(763) 577-9700

tonykaz's picture

Better keep some sort of connection with Kevin Deal's Tube Vault and plenty of Dinero for those pricy Tube replacements when they suddenly exhaust themselves.

I've accepted numerous pieces of ARC Gear in Trades of one sort or another, ( like all Tube Gear ) ARC is very Tube selection sensitive. You'll need the hand selected and Juried Tubes and plenty of Back-up Glass.

Still, you can get on the Arnie Nudel tube subscription level and even get your Glass Cryogenically treated, while staying first in line when an especially good sounding batch of Tubes have been located.

I've been a Tube lover for over 7 decades but what Nelson Pass, Krell, Elecrocompaniet, PS Audio bring is a lovely release from having to cope with the ever changing performance of Glass Gear.

Audiophiles and Glass are Neurotic and Psychotic. A curious match of idiosyncrasies.

Tony in Michigan

Jason P Jackson's picture

Those measurements at 1 watt and below. Wow.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Wonder how we can get replacement tubes to a "desert island"? :-) ...........

dalethorn's picture

Desert islands have been served by a fleet of aviators long before the surprise attack on PH. Hmmm. Anyway, whether desert island or Manhattan (redundant), you'll have to worry that you don't hear a dramatic change in the sound with the new tubes. So, 1) Make sure your original tubes maintain their full performance up to the time you replace them, 2) Burn in your new tubes for awhile, 3) No matter what anyone (mfr., reviewer, or friends) tells you about the flawless heat-sinking with your amp, feel around for anything besides the tubes that gets hot, and add some extra heat dissipation yourself.

Charles E Flynn's picture

It would be interesting to see photos of vacuum tube amps taken with an infra-red camera, and to see the temperature of the different heat sinks.

tonykaz's picture

Hmm, you are onto something with the IR Gun idea.

We have scads of important details to keep in mind as we prepare to play that next 33.3.

It's what being an Audiophile is all about, isn't it?

Tony in Michigan

Anton's picture

My wife and I went to a store that carried these.

My wife’s first response to seeing these while powered off was, “They should clean that front window.”

They look like someone ate fried chicken and then put that faceplate in.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

"Come to My Window" .......... Melissa Etheridge :-) .........

Ortofan's picture

... worse (as in lower power, higher distortion and less flat frequency response) into an impedance lower than that of the output transformer tap, why would the maker of the reviewer's speakers recommend using them that way?
It's an unfortunate missed opportunity that JVS didn't also evaluate the amp using the 4 ohm output.

Ali's picture

Excellent review Jason just wonder any comparison of M160 and Progression bass slam on reproducing double base details and weight. Also dynamic contrast they can provide in some heavy-bass rock music. Thanks