Music Reference RM-5, Mk. III
Purist Design Tube Preamp with Phono Stage
Stereophile Class B Recommended Component

Excellent Condition with Original Box and Manual - current list price $1950


Music Reference, led by chief designer Roger A. Modjeski, has developed a reputation for creating some of the finest audio components available, including the classic RM-9 and RM-10 tube power amplifiers, and the RM-5 tube preamplifier.  The RM-5 is a purist tube design with adjustable negative feedback, two line inputs (tuner and CD) plus two tape loops and an excellent phono stage that accomodates both moving magnet (MM) and medium to high output moving coil (MC) cartridges.  The RM-5 features high quality 6922 tubes.

This preamp would make an excellent foundation for a high-end two-channel tube-based music system.  I used it with a Conrad-Johnson Premier 11a tube amp to drive Martin Logan speakers for a wonderfully musical experience.  But since it also has two tape loops, you could use it with an external processor as the center of a multi-channel music and movie system.  The RM-5 also features separate "record" and "listen" selectors so you can listen to one thing while recording another.

Music Reference RM-5, Mark III - front view
Solidly constructed, with simple straightforward controls, the RM-5 exudes quality.

The design challenge in creating the RM-5 was simple: "to provide excellent sonic performance at a price that represents a great value to the audiophile."  And this goal was apparently met, as the preamp earned a solid Class B recommendation in Stereophile Magazine (Volume 13, No. 4).  In reviewer Dick Olsher's words, the RM-5's bass is "tight and extended," the mids are "clean, with plenty of dynamic bloom," and the preamp generates a "spacious soundstage with convincing focus and resolution of spatial nuances."  He describes the RM-5 as a "very enjoyable preamp," with "no serious sonic weaknesses top to bottom."

This glowing review covered the RM 5, Mk. II.  The preamp offered here is the Mark III, which is an improvement on that design with sonic enhancements as well as an additional line input for a CD player.  The preamp is in excellent condition with no cosmetic flaws and in perfect working condition.  It sold for $1495 when new in 1994.  The list price today of the RM-5 Mark IV is $1950.  It is offered here for only $699 (SORRY - THIS ITEM IS SOLD!)

Music Reference RM-5, Mark III - rear view
The RM-5 features 4 line inputs (2 of which are tape loops) plus a high quality phono input.
Components are all mil spec and connectors are high quality gold-plated jacks.

For more details on the Mark IV version of the preamp, please consult the Music Reference web site

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