ARC REF150 ADVICE

Pfmaudio

New Member
Jun 29, 2019
6
3
3
53
Porto, Portugal
#1
Dear members,

I have the chance to exchange my current ARC Ref 110 (10 years old with 2200 h on the current 6550 tubes) for a demo (with total warranty) ARC REF150 (about 300h on the KT120 tubes). The asking price is €5500, giving my REF 110 as Exchange. I will have the chance to listen to it in my place, but would like to hear your opinion on the performance upgrade and the price. The amp drives a pair of Wison Sophia 3.

Thanks in advance.
 

Pacha

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2014
9
5
210
#2
I recently moved from a Ref 75 to a Ref 150. The tonal signature remained everything I liked with more bass extention and hit. I love the fact that the sweetness of a violin remained while adding a whole level to the bottom end.
 
May 30, 2010
16,755
1,590
720
Portugal
#3
I have owned the REF150 and consider it one the best designs of Audio Research - an excellent balance of tube power, articulated bass and the midrange fluidity on voices. In fact , paired with the REF 40 Anniversary preamplifier it gave me what I consider an excellent sound quality. I only moved because the the speakers I have got , the Sonus Faber Aida , needed more power.
 

tdh888

Well-Known Member
Nov 5, 2010
287
17
425
Philippines
#4
Hi ,
Have you tried KT120’s w/ your REF 110 . My recently retired audio research dealer have tried the KT120 equipped REF 110 and was able to compare it to a REF 150 and he said the REF 110 can give the REF 150 a run for for the money . But if it’s a REF 150SE he said that it’s much better than the REF 110 even w/ the KT120’s .
Subjectively power difference won’t be much of an issue .
 
May 30, 2010
16,755
1,590
720
Portugal
#5
Hi ,
Have you tried KT120’s w/ your REF 110 . My recently retired audio research dealer have tried the KT120 equipped REF 110 and was able to compare it to a REF 150 and he said the REF 110 can give the REF 150 a run for for the money . But if it’s a REF 150SE he said that it’s much better than the REF 110 even w/ the KT120’s .
Subjectively power difference won’t be much of an issue .
I had the REF110 and the REF150, both with KT120 side by side. Power, bass articulation and general definition was better in the REF150. However considering we can get a REF110 at a much lower price than the REF150 it represents a very good deal. BTW, the REF150 has the double of the capacitance in the power supply of the REF110.

The REF150 SE uses the KT150 tubes - I never listened to it in comparison with a REF150 fitted with KT150 tubes.
 
Likes: Pacha

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