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Audio Research State of the Art Audio Reproduction

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Old 02-28-2018, 05:09 AM
triode12 triode12 is offline
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Default Ref 5SE Volume control problem?

I have been having weird issues with my 5SE for almost a year now. Each time the problem is different.

First was the a channel imbalance which went away after a few weeks.

Then on/off switch started functioning intermittently. That happened 3-4 times. Each time I bring it back to the store I bought it from, they test it and they can't find the issue.

The last time, they replaced the logic board and when I got it back, the volume was stuck at 30 and the Mute switch would not work.

I take it back and again they cannot find the issue. The unit was shipped back to the Distributor and they tore it apart and put it back together again and still the problem would not appear.

Tonight one of the store managers delivers the unit back to me and we hook it up.

Now the system(Ref250SEs driving Apogee Stages) is very soft set at 40 on the dial (measuring 60db on my iPhone app) and I have to crank it up to 60 on the dial for it to measure 80db on the app.

I distinctly remember that anything over 40 on the dial was very loud previously. Is this this the same for other owners? Or am I imagining things? Should the gain be so low when the dial is set to 40? The volume level suddenly jumps up when the dial is between 45-50,
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:12 AM
jakegt3 jakegt3 is online now
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Are you seeing the same behavior with both the remote control and the front panel controls on the preamp? It certainly does not sound normal. On my Ref 5SE, I run the gain level anywhere between 40 and 60, depending on the level of the recording. A setting of 40 to 45 is typical. In that range, each increment of 1 represents something like 0.5 to 1 dB increase in output, which is quite small. The gain setting will also depend on your amplifier gain and the efficiency of your speakers.
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Main system: ARC Reference 150, ARC Reference 5SE, ARC Reference CD9, Focal Sopra No. 3, Hsu TN1220 (pair) subwoofer + Hsu 500W amp, VPI HW19 Mk 3, Sumiko Blue Point Special, McIntosh MR7084.
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Old 02-28-2018, 07:30 PM
triode12 triode12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakegt3 View Post
Are you seeing the same behavior with both the remote control and the front panel controls on the preamp? It certainly does not sound normal. On my Ref 5SE, I run the gain level anywhere between 40 and 60, depending on the level of the recording. A setting of 40 to 45 is typical. In that range, each increment of 1 represents something like 0.5 to 1 dB increase in output, which is quite small. The gain setting will also depend on your amplifier gain and the efficiency of your speakers.

Hi Jake,
I'm running ARC 250SEs to a pair of Stages (4 Ohm - can be run on a 50watter amp) , hardly taxing setup. I haven't tried using the remote yet - thanks for the tip.

I do remember before I sent it away for repair the that 40 on the dial was already hitting 80 dB on my sound meter app.
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Old 03-01-2018, 01:33 PM
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Harlequin Harlequin is offline
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Considering all the hastle that you have had with your 5se how about putting the squeeze on your dealer on a nice trade up to an REF6......Just a thought.

Last edited by Harlequin; 03-01-2018 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:28 PM
cleeds cleeds is offline
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Considering all the hastle that you have had with your 5se how about putting the squeeze on your dealer on a nice trade up to an REF6......Just a thought.
That's a great suggestion!
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin View Post
Considering all the hastle that you have had with your 5se how about putting the squeeze on your dealer on a nice trade up to an REF6......Just a thought.
That’s exactly what I did and never looked back.
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Old 03-04-2018, 06:14 AM
triode12 triode12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin View Post
Considering all the hastle that you have had with your 5se how about putting the squeeze on your dealer on a nice trade up to an REF6......Just a thought.
Yes, I did have one as a loaner while the 5SE was away for investigation and despite hating it's looks, it more than made up for the way it sounds. So yes, I am thinking about going that route. But downunder, the RRP for a Ref6 is $25K AUD. More than double what I paid for the 5SE.

BTW, the dealer said that quite a number of Ref6 users have been reporting that the Lexan or perspex top covers have melted from the heat emanating from the unit. If I do get one, it'll have to come with a steel lid.
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:00 AM
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doggiehowser doggiehowser is online now
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Odd. My Ref 6 came with a metal cover. The Ref 3 Phono with an acrylic
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:10 AM
cleeds cleeds is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triode12 View Post
... a number of Ref6 users have been reporting that the Lexan or perspex top covers have melted from the heat emanating from the unit. If I do get one, it'll have to come with a steel lid.
This issue has been reported with other ARC units, including the Ref 5 and Ref Phono 2. Based on what I've seen and heard, they don't melt but some have warped - the result of inadequate ventilation.
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:40 AM
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The Lexan starts to create a small depression over the 6550 tube. When I complained, my dealer got me a replacement cover under warranty. But all that heat buildup can't be good for them. I run both my Ref 5se and Ref Phono 2se without covers for best ventilation.
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