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Audio Research State of the Art Audio Reproduction

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Old 03-26-2021, 07:11 PM
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guitardave guitardave is offline
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Default who is keeping their Ref 75se?

I recently bought a Ref 160s, which sounds great. And with only 20 hours on it, I am sure it will sound much, much better as time goes on. But that said, I have NO desire to sell my 75se. It is still one of the best amps I have heard. Just wondering for those in the same or similar situation, are you still keeping the ref75se?
There is something about the style, sound, simplicity, and purity which I just don't want to part with, even if it goes in to semi-retirement. The classic meters on the faceplate, the "screw you if you are not balanced" attitude, the adequate but not overdone power, the just enough and not too muchness of the thing, I like it all!
I see that it is still listed on the ARC site as available new, yet I also see them discounted online from some ARC dealers. Interestingly, the discounted price is about the same as the discounted Ref150se...
I know the words "timeless classic" and "keeper" get tossed around, but I really think the Ref75se qualifies as both!
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Old 03-26-2021, 07:26 PM
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I had the non-SE, but I agree with you that it is destined to be a classic for decades to come. Fantastic little amp.

Unfortunately I sold mine to buy other amps. Sometimes you just need a little more horsepower.
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Old 03-26-2021, 07:42 PM
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There is a new REF80S which shares some designs with the REF160 coming.
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Old 03-26-2021, 09:14 PM
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I am now retired and have recently bought... and for various reasons broke in 3 REF 160s’. I found the first 10 or 20 hours takes the tube brittleness off. But the amp sounds good but uninspired for the first ~120 hours. Then the magic starts to comes in... it becomes really engaging. It flip flops between engaging and not sounding that good... then over say up until ~170 total hours and then it just slowly improves... it becomes completely captivating... I think you will forget all about the other amp. You are in for a real treat soon. While ARC no longer prints the hours to break-in in the manual, it is still 600, some people think longer. Personally I have forgotten all about breakin by 400 hours and don’t pay close enough attention to notice. After all the recording quality and mastering of records plays a huge role in what you hear. I recommend getting through the first 250 as fast as possible by keeping it running all days. Then you can Start enjoying the great amp it is. Life is too short... and getting shorter all the time.

And are you going to will your old amp to someone? If not I’d get rid of it unless you have a streak of Gollum in you and enjoy seeing it. After I retired I realized I had all this stuff taking up space... and no one was enjoying it. So I now trade stuff in and get rid of it... letting someone else enjoy it.
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Main: Aurender W20SE music server, ARC REF 9SE DAC / CD, Linn LP 12, Koetsu Rosewood SignCartrige, ARC REF 3 Phono Stage, ARC REF 6SE Preamp, ARC 160s amp, Sonus Faber Amati Traditional Speakers,Transparent Ultra IC & SC Library:Aurender N100, Ayre QB9 2020 DAC, Woo WA5-LE amp upgraded tubes, Focal Utopia HP, Sennheiser 800s HP, LCD HP.

Last edited by George Prentice; 03-27-2021 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 03-28-2021, 11:33 AM
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I kept my 5SE and 75SE as well as my SF Amati Homage for a second system. The 75SE is among the finest amplifiers made by ARC and is a long term acquisition in my opinion. My 160S is still breaking in (excellent observations from George above), but the 75SE can hold its own with the 160S in terms of detail, instrument timbre, and soundstage if not heft.
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2) SF Amati Homage; ARC Ref 5SE; ARC Ref 75SE; ARC CD6SE; Stealth Sakra V16 interconnects.
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Old 04-22-2021, 07:25 AM
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I do plan to keep my Reference 75SE for much longer than I had originally planned. I'd thought about eventually making the move to the 160s, but now I can't imagine replacing the 75SE. Before I purchased, I asked one of my local audio club members who's had the 75SE, the VT-80 and currently has the 160s about it and his comment was the 75SE will go down as a "Classic". I couldn't agree more.
Jon
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  #7  
Old 04-30-2021, 03:56 PM
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After 40 years of living with many amplifiers of AR I confirm that the 75 SE is one of the best musically Amplifiers I ever had!
I play him with the Anniversary Pre - CD 9 - Thorens 124 TD with SME 3012 with LPS on Sonus Faber Futuras!
Greetings from Austria
Franz
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