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Preamp Change?


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Not wanting to step on the other thread running, I too am thinking about a preamp change. Currently I have the ARC SP-11, which sounds sooooo good when it is warmed up fully. The down sides are two, It needs warm up, sometimes up to an hour to achieve full awesomeness, and it does not have a remote (which is me inclined to be lazy when consuming brown liquid).

There is an Audio Research Reference 3 available at a good price point, but having never heard an Audio Research Reference 3 I don't know if it is more of a lateral move, or if time and technology has brought improvements. There are other manufactures out there, but ARC & Vandersteen seems to hit my goose bump place. If anyone having heard both has some guidance I would be appreciative. Another path would be to wait and get a Audio Research Reference 6SE down the road

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hi Rick. I have directly compared an SP-15 with a REF5se with 7 mk2 which are VERY revealing to upstream components. i too would advise waiting on the upcoming Vandy preamp. the ref series ARC preamps have tge magic caps and Rcore power supply, big game changers. i don’t know but suspect, RV will shoot for a preamp that deliver sonics to match or better the Ref6se.

i believe the long gestation period due to getting it very right, gathering some key dealer inputs and the bedeviled supply chain havoc…. argh. I have a verbal order in for one for condo system.

Having said that, a well cared for ARC ref series pre purchased right will provide relatively good store of value….in future trade or sale. I love having a remote…or 4…..

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9 hours ago, Huang said:

Another path would be to wait and get a Audio Research Reference 6SE down the road

Myself… I would want to try and get a listen somewhere.
(But I did get my used (w/ remote) preamp without a listen. The (SoCal) local dealer would not even fire up the newer model, so it was a bit of just jump or not jump.

But ARC is more common to find.

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23 hours ago, Huang said:

and it does not have a remote (which is me inclined to be lazy when consuming brown liquid).

Rick, I sold my ARC SP-9 Mk II for a used SP-17 just for the remote.  Laziness may fit into the equation, but for me, the decision was two-fold.  I went from a 30 step volume attenuator to a 103 step; and, the ability to adjust the volume from my listening position (kinda important, yeah?) versus standing between my speakers. 

I've also found ARC preamps to shine with Vandersteen speakers; BUT, if Richard's upcoming preamp is in your territory cabbage wise, I'm confident it will include a remote and that it would probably be the last one you'll ever want.

Play on  

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1 hour ago, Steve Edwards said:

Rick, I sold my ARC SP-9 Mk II for a used SP-17 just for the remote.  Laziness may fit into the equation, but for me, the decision was two-fold.  I went from a 30 step volume attenuator to a 103 step; and, the ability to adjust the volume from my listening position (kinda important, yeah?) versus standing between my speakers. 

I've also found ARC preamps to shine with Vandersteen speakers; BUT, if Richard's upcoming preamp is in your territory cabbage wise, I'm confident it will include a remote and that it would probably be the last one you'll ever want.

Play on  

The Vandy pre I'm certain will be a great option, I literally had forgotten it was in the works. The volume adjustment and inability to mute while listening the the TT are my main reasons for wanting a remote. The DAC  has a remote with volume control & mute. You are correct cabbage plays into the equation, but I do have to say Richard does make sure you get value for what you spend. 

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3 hours ago, Huang said:

but I do have to say Richard does make sure you get value for what you spend

I think it is one of the reasons I find this brand to be so exceptional. That the Model 2 speaker is still available shows that the initial design was sound enough to last for 40+ years.

Buying the M5 amp is only limited by my budget, which is somewhat limited this year. But, God as my witness, I'll never power my Treo's with any other amp (once I can find a used pair). {Cue up the dramatic music and pan out  to show me under a picturesque tree with a withered half eaten carrot in my hand}.☺️

bob

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have powered my 2C speakers for quite a while with a Proton AA-1150 amp.  The right preamp took some time to settle on.  I used a Luxman A-007 integrated a lot, as it has a preout and a remote.  I just love a remote volume control!  I have no complaints about the Luxman.  For a while I used a Marantz AV600 tuner/pre.  It had outputs for six channels and never seemed quite right for two-channel.  Back to the Luxman.  About a year and a half ago, I fried the outputs of my Cyrus 2 amp, and felt bad because it was a good sounding amp, especially since I had recapped the preamp section with really good caps.  One day I had the idea to turn it into a preamp.  Some DIY got a pair of cables soldered to the downstream side of the volume pot - also I cleaned the source selector with deoxit...and it worked!  Now the Cyrus 2, as some of you probably know, is British minimalism at its best:  gain and source selection are the ONLY features.  I put it in my main system with a Musical Fidelity X-10v3 between the pre and power amps.  Aside from losing the remote gain, it's VERY nice...a keeper, I think.  The tube buffer really does seem to integrate pre and power amps in a way I can hear but not explain.

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  • 4 weeks later...

At the seminar recently in Tacoma Richard formally announced the forthcoming preamp… called Audio Control Center. He spoke at some length about the innovative circuit used in the M5 and M7 being even MORE effective in a preamp. ( my emphasis ). The ACC also has a perfect no sonic impact defeat mode to take tone controls and other record fixing effects out IF the purist so desires… Let’s face it… many records could use as Mick sang “ Mother’s little helper “…. ha.

i have one on order….in black….

Jim 

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On 10/3/2022 at 5:01 PM, Moose said:

My dog's name is Moose, and my cat is Squirrel!

EBA663A5-F719-4503-9DD5-DA42556397AF.jpeg

We have a variation.

One dog is Holly J. Dog and the other is Zak J. Dog.  

Neither especially like listening to music, although one does like my wife singing to him when there's a thunderstorm passing.  (She's a trained professional - I would NEVER consider doing that myself.)

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