Picked up an Audio Research Ref 3 this week. Sounds wonderful. Dead silent in spite of being all tube, Class A, zero feedback design. Here are some pics: Front faceplate. There is about a 2" size volume number in green vacuum flourescent when turned on so you can easily control and see volume from across the room. All inputs are swtichable and it has a mono and invert polarity button on the remote. You can see the 6H30 "supertube" (4) in this picture. There are four (!) vertical circuit boards. All inputs and outputs are balanced or SE switchable by remote. Upgraded power regulation tube to a NOS Tung-Sol 6550: I've been dreaming of purchasing this for some time. This preamp redefined line stage design when it came out. Next up will be a Ref 150 power amp in a year or two depending on how reasonable used prices get. I'm running this now with an Audio Research VT-100 tube amp and Magnepan 1.7 speakers. A terrific sound combination. Sources are CD, hirez files via Mac Mini, SACD, DVD-Audio, and LP.