Audio Research I/50 Integrated Amplifier ARC's integrateds

ARC's integrateds

Audio Research resisted releasing an integrated amp until 1996 when the CA50 arrived, styled like a lab-look ARC preamp. The response to customer demand, it was the first of a sequence that would include the VSi55 [HFN Mar '04], the VSi60 (2008), the solid-state DSi200 [HFN Mar '10], the VSi75 (2013), and the GSi75 [HFN Jan '16]. That's a mere half-dozen during its first 50 years versus the many tens of ARC pre- and power amps launched during the same period. Clearly, this was a brand wedded to separates.


By the 2020s, the company needed to revive a less expensive series. Having for some years abandoned relatively affordable gear, the I/50 project was initiated by the design centre in Italy, while ARC was still part of the McIntosh family. After the return to self-ownership [see HFN May '21], the I/50 was completely revised back in the USA, retaining the overall look and a choice of colours [see inset picture] – itself a bold move declaring ARC's intention to reach beyond purist audiophiles. With no lack of features, cool styling and ideal ergonomics, the I/50 kicks off a new series below the Reference and Foundation models. Further models are planned using the I/50's chassis, including a pre and stereo power amp. Monoblocks, too? I can dream, can't I?

Audio Research Corp
Minnesota, USA
Supplied by: Absolute Sounds Ltd
0208 971 3909