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Audio Research Classic 30

Hybrid Valve / FET Stereo Power Amplifier (1988)

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Audio Research Classic 30


its tempting to regard the Classic 30 as merely the smaller sibling of the Classic 60 and 150. But the sceptical music lover or audiophile who auditions the Classic 30 is in for quite a shock. Because this little hybrid stereo amplifier - rated at 30 watts per channel packs a sonic authority and eloquent musical veracity that larger, more conventional power amplifiers might envy.

Our engineers have discovered that sometimes less is very definitely more. Of course. the Classic 30 features almost all the same technology as its bigger brothers, scaled down for more modest applications. It has four 6550s instead of eight, two 6FQ7 driver tubes instead of four, and no fans because it runs remarkably cool without any help whatever.

But this smaller design still retains a similar degree of exceptional musical resolution. Even at low gain settings, the Classic 30 is far more musically lucid than amplifiers objectively far more powerful.

The Classic 30 is at its pristine best with moderately efficient loudspeakers in small to medium sized listening rooms: with program materials that demand high resolution and subtlety rather than pure muscle. In that context, it reveals the same sonic mastery as its more powerful siblings.


Power output: 30 watts per channel into 16Ω (stereo)

Frequency response: 15Hz to 20kHz

Total harmonic distortion: 1%

Damping factor: 23

Input sensitivity: 0.4V

Signal to noise ratio: 93dB

Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω

Valve complement: 4 x 6550, 2 x 6FQ7/6CG7

Dimensions: 480 x 180 x 370mm

Weight: 20.9kg

Year: 1988



re: Classic 30

I have used this as my primary power amplifier for many years. Quality of construction and component selection must be something of a benchmark compared to other makes. Sound is clean, fast but musical, with timbre and tonality of acoustic musical instruments faithfully recreated. It also faithfully reproduces the character and shortcomings of ancillary equipment, so matching is fairly critical.

This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by Audio Research. To purchase Classic 30 spares or accessories, please contact the company via their website or visit an authorised retailer.