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Old 11-04-2020, 09:22 PM
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Default Who is still loving an older ARC preamp or amp?

I saw an ad looking for an arc ref2 mk2 (nothing else) which got me thinking... as a guy who chases the latest new arc preamp release I so appreciate a wanted ad like this. I owned one of these many years ago, and that was the preamp that started my arc continual chase, with the subsequent ref3, ,5, 5se, and now 6. And I have appreciated each upgrade. But I have had the experience more than once of listening to a component that I “upgraded “ from and been stunned that it still sounded simply excellent, and wondering if the multiple upgrades and many thousands of dollars had got me any more satisfaction or pleasure. More detail, yes, but more pleasure or satisfaction? Hmmm
So this has me wondering, anyone who just loves their sp10 or whatever and has not been tempted to change it?
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:13 AM
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Just visited with a friend who must have 50-odd pieces of gear and a couple of dozen speakers. His main system consists of an SP8 (if memory serves, might be an SP10), McCormack amp & Dahlquist DQ-10 or Maggie 2.7 speakers with several sources. A great sounding system. The one piece of gear that remains is his ARC preamp.
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Old 11-05-2020, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitardave View Post
... this has me wondering, anyone who just loves their sp10 or whatever and has not been tempted to change it?
I traded my SP-10 in on a new SP-11 Mk II which I used for many years, until upgrading to a Ref 5SE about nine years ago. I sold the SP-11 to a friend who often buys my retired equipment and last I heard it at his house (pre-Covid) it still sounded great. The SP-11 is extraordinary even by today's standards.

Don't get me wrong - I wouldn't want to return to using the SP-11. But neither do I think the path to happiness requires continual upgrades.
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Old 11-05-2020, 05:16 PM
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When it comes to older gear, and this is not just related to ARC, one thing to do that will greatly improve the sonic of said gear is to change the fuses. Be it Synergistic Orange or Blue, Hi Fi Tuning, etc. the differences in sonic is dramatic. In my experience with the Blue and Orange fuses, the component will retain its sound character but will only be improved in terms of details, precision, soundstage, cleaner bass, etc. Cost wise, they aren't cheap but they can be seen as a relative bargain when auditionned per their performance.
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Old 11-05-2020, 08:33 PM
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Serge - do you recommend the preamp or amp first for a fuse? Orange or Blue?
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Old 11-05-2020, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Formerly YB-2 View Post
Serge - do you recommend the preamp or amp first for a fuse? Orange or Blue?
If I refer to Synergistic themselves, they do recommend to start with the source or as close to it as possible, then moving downward to the amplifier. In my case, I did the opposite and I changed all my fuses in my amplifier with the Blue. I started changing my fuses about 2 years ago so the Orange was not out yet at that time. Still, the results were staggering. Since I had to change 7 of them, I went baby steps to offset the costs a bit. With each added fuse, I could clearly hear the improvements each time.

There are some discussions over Audiogon forums about the Orange versus the Blue (now they are all closed due to some trolls) and the improvements they bring is pretty much unanimous among those who upgraded. Changing fuses may not be everyone cup of tea but the reward is there for those who try. I know audio grade fuses is a contreversial topic and I do not have the intention to debate here about it, and thread crap OP's post.

So, back to topic. My point is that, based on my experience with vintage gear, you can gain a lot of sonic improvements by swapping fuses and the results could almost equate (even more) to an upgrade to a more modern piece of gear. There are some people who have the same gear for many years and only changed the fuses for every generation and they always got better sound without even upgrading the component itself.
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Old 11-05-2020, 10:57 PM
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Those electrons can be very picky but give them a nice fuse and they can get real happy.



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Old 11-05-2020, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitardave View Post
I saw an ad looking for an arc ref2 mk2 (nothing else) which got me thinking... as a guy who chases the latest new arc preamp release I so appreciate a wanted ad like this. I owned one of these many years ago, and that was the preamp that started my arc continual chase, with the subsequent ref3, ,5, 5se, and now 6. And I have appreciated each upgrade. But I have had the experience more than once of listening to a component that I “upgraded “ from and been stunned that it still sounded simply excellent, and wondering if the multiple upgrades and many thousands of dollars had got me any more satisfaction or pleasure. More detail, yes, but more pleasure or satisfaction? Hmmm
So this has me wondering, anyone who just loves their sp10 or whatever and has not been tempted to change it?
I am reminded of that fact each and every time I visit my friend who has not changed a thing for over 20 years now. He built a magnificent system then, it is still as impressive as it was all those years ago. There were many generations of each component since, he doesn't care. I agree. Great gear is timeless. Unless there is a revolution in technology, (hasn't been for analog devices) a great speaker, amp and preamp will always be great.
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Old 11-10-2020, 11:02 PM
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I’m still in love w/ my pair of D79B’s specially after I had the power supply recapped Dec 2018 . It sounds great and performs like a modern amp specially if I used my ARC REF 40 Linestage & REF Phono 2 SE . I seldom use my vintage ARC SP10 MK2 in this vintage setup . I’m thinking of selling my ARC SP10MK2 and REF Phono 2 SE so I can upgrade to the REF Phono 10.
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Old 11-11-2020, 05:44 PM
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I employ a pair of Classic 120’s in my system and truly love their triode sound. Purchased them several months ago and they still had the original tubes in them but someone had gone through them and replaced all the electrolytic caps. I replaced all the tubes with Audio Research’s recommended Sovtek 6550 and rebiased them and they are truly remarkable.
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