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Audio Research State of the Art Audio Reproduction

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  #11  
Old 02-24-2019, 07:46 PM
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Not saying that the Ref 6 isn’t an excellent preamp at its price point. It most certainly is. It just isn’t in the same league as the Ref 10, as one should expect at one-half the price.

Ken
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  #12  
Old 02-24-2019, 08:16 PM
triode12 triode12 is offline
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Originally Posted by Dsholl1 View Post
Yep. It was at Lifestyle Store. I know someone that went to it having in mind to get the Ref10. He ended up sticking with his Ref 6 after the demo.
Thanks - I was going to see Vinod about getting the Ref 6 to replace my 5SE.
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  #13  
Old 02-24-2019, 08:21 PM
ariess ariess is online now
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Default Ref 10 and Ref 6

I think you also have to give Audio Research some credit here that they know their own line.
It would be a pretty stupid manufacturer who charges **much more** (not a small delta) for something that is actually not as good. They are in the business of trying to get people to go up their lines by paying more for something they can trust is better no matter how small the increment may be. If someone who has a Ref 6 decides to pay more than double to go to a Ref 10, brings it home and finds it sounds worse, not only are they pissed, ARC may have cost a customer for life as the trust factor is gone. Its just bad business to knowingly fool your customers in this way and no sensible manufacturer would do this. You can certainly argue and I would agree that the Ref 6 is the sweet spot of performance to price. But every indicator I trust, the two vs one box design, ARC's own hierarchy and my ears tell me that the Ref 10 is better, though the law of diminishing returns has certainly kicked in.
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  #14  
Old 02-24-2019, 08:41 PM
Dsholl1 Dsholl1 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triode12 View Post
Thanks - I was going to see Vinod about getting the Ref 6 to replace my 5SE.


Vinod is a great guy to deal with. Ref 6 is a big forward move from the 5SE. I love my Ref 6.
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  #15  
Old 02-25-2019, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlanarSpeakerFan View Post
Not saying that the Ref 6 isnít an excellent preamp at its price point. It most certainly is. It just isnít in the same league as the Ref 10, as one should expect at one-half the price.

Ken
Exactly.

The overall presentation of the Ref 6 and Ref 6 Phono are different from the Ref 5se/2se and Ref 10/Ref 10 Phono. I suppose the 6-series is an evolution from the 5/2 series, but it's not a straight line evolution. But, it's nowhere near a black/white contrast - they both share many ARC traits: clarity, spaciousness/dimensionality, relatively neutral tonality. The 6-series is bold, vivacious, music jumps off the speakers; the 5/2-series is seductive, intimate, drawing you into the music. The words are stronger than the reality. All four units are top notch and pair up well.

The 10-series is considerably more refined, transparent, dynamic, with fleshed out detail and less grain, better highs and more articulate lows. It's overall character leans more toward the 5/2-series and that's not by accident. The Ref 10 linestage is, at its core, two mono Ref 5ses, just as the Ref 10 Phono is two mono Ref 2ses. That means the design of the gain stages is almost the same. The dual mono power supplies are a major influence. As Ken, gadawg and airess suggest, you're getting what you pay for. If ARC takes the same approach (they may not) with the Ref 15 series (or whatever culturally appropriate numerology is in play), we may already have a handle on its architecture.
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  #16  
Old 02-25-2019, 01:50 PM
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Default There seems to be a bit of rationalizing happening here.

I had owned the Ref 5SE for over a year and was being "talked into" buying a Ref 6 by my dealer. I listened to it more than once, and noticed that it was an improvement over my Ref 5SE. I listened to both the Ref 6 and Ref 10 in the store. I then decided to take home the Ref 10 for an audition. It happened to be at the time ARC was getting rid of two of their factory demo units. One silver one black. The units were priced way below msrp. I returned the store demo unit and sold the Ref 5SE. Dealer arrived the following week with the Ref 10 and placed it in the system. The one thing that I can say is that the Ref 6 is not the same league as the Ref 10. It's the separate tubed power supply that makes it much more refined. I'm sorry to burst the bubble.
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  #17  
Old 02-25-2019, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp 1080 View Post
I had owned the Ref 5SE for over a year and was being "talked into" buying a Ref 6 by my dealer. I listened to it more than once, and noticed that it was an improvement over my Ref 5SE. I listened to both the Ref 6 and Ref 10 in the store. I then decided to take home the Ref 10 for an audition. It happened to be at the time ARC was getting rid of two of their factory demo units. One silver one black. The units were priced way below msrp. I returned the store demo unit and sold the Ref 5SE. Dealer arrived the following week with the Ref 10 and placed it in the system. The one thing that I can say is that the Ref 6 is not the same league as the Ref 10. It's the separate tubed power supply that makes it much more refined. I'm sorry to burst the bubble.
Hmm...even the factory is getting rid of their demo units...could it be a sign that a replacement is in the wings? Interesting times.
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  #18  
Old 02-25-2019, 11:19 PM
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Is it possible that a 50th anniversary two piece line stage is in the works? Maybe to be released in late 2019 for the year 2020? Just sayin.
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Old 02-26-2019, 12:00 AM
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I have asked them this a few times and they said that current efforts are revamping amps based on the Ref160M and that a new Ref 10 is a ways off. At least a year. Having said that I do not believe everything I hear. Telling people too early about what is coming cuts into sales of current gear. Still I donít think the sale of a few demo units is a strong indication something is coming either.
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  #20  
Old 02-26-2019, 07:49 AM
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And two of the demo units are from the same dealer ...
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