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  1. #1
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    Audio Research LS28SE vs Esoteric C-03XS

    I Have owned an Esoteric C-03x pre-amp for about 5 years. I have the itch to upgrade and found these 2 preamps are in my price range.

    I was talking to my local dealer and they recommended an LS28SE over the C-03XS. I know the LS28SE has tubes.

    Has anyone had experience with both of these. Is the LS28SE a good way to go.

    I would be pairing it with a K-03XD and Bryston 28B3's.

  2. #2
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    Re: Audio Research LS28SE vs Esoteric C-03XS

    strangely enough if i had a choice i would have the esoteric . the ls28se may well be a sideways move . to get better you would have to go ref 5se or ref6 imho
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  3. #3
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    Re: Audio Research LS28SE vs Esoteric C-03XS

    The ref6 SE was out of my price range but one came up for sale(they claim mint only 4 months old), that would be possible. One problem is i would be buying blind, and hope i liked the sound. I have never heard an ARC before. The other problem is the current tube situation.

    I like the top end of the C-03x, but find the bottom end a bit lacking. I tried it in a friends system who also owns Bryston and PMC speakers, and got the exact same sound. Not sure if the higher end Esoteric(like C-02x) has more lower end. Again unable to try, so a lot of $$$ to do a test.

  4. #4
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    Re: Audio Research LS28SE vs Esoteric C-03XS

    ARC has a distinct sound, I would really recommend waiting until you have a listen or buy with return option. Not saying anything negative, it's not good to buy without having an idea of the sonic character.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Audio Research LS28SE vs Esoteric C-03XS

    I'm an ARC fan but, I agree with Mr P. Find some way to listen to one with a speaker some what similar to yours.

    As far as tubes the LS28E is only 4 6H30p you should get about 4000 hours on before replacement. It is an ongoing expense to keep in mind. All depends on how you feel about the amp.
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Audio Research LS28SE vs Esoteric C-03XS

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