Audio Research Corporation is one of the oldest manufacturers of high-end audio equipment still in operation. They were pioneers at advancing the state-of-the-art for audio reproduction in the seventies, re-introducing the vacuum tube as the primary active amplification device. Audio Research prefers the class-A amplifier design. With the help of audiophile publications such as Stereophile and The Absolute Sound, they solidified their position as one of the most well respected audio manufacturers. Many industry observers consider the president and founder William Z. Johnson as one of the true originators of the entire concept of high-end audio as it exists today.
The company was founded by William Z. Johnson in 1970 and is located in Plymouth, Minnesota. Johnson began designing custom audio electronics in the early 1950s and operated a specialty audio retail store until the mid-1960s.
In 2008, Audio Research was acquired by Fine Sounds SpA, a subsidiary of Italian private equity fund Quadrivio, which also owns several other highly esteemed high-end audio companies, including McIntosh, Sonus Faber, Wadia, and Sumiko. 
- "Quadrivio SGR - Fine Sounds Group". Retrieved 2013-04-23.