Audio Research discontinuing lower lines components?

I have looked at several components in Audio Research's line and they are discontinuing the LS17-se, PH8, and PH6.  They discontinued the DAC 8.  I know there is a new Ref 6 to replace the Ref 5se and their is a new Ref Phono 3 to replace the Ref Phone 2se coming out.  I talked to my dealer and he stated that Audio Research seems to be making their components look more McIntosh like in the Galeo series. 

The dealer stated their isn't going to be anything that he has heard that will replace the other lines at this point and that AR will be starting at the LS-27, which is $7500 for preamps.  The Ref 75se is the beginning of the line for Amps, which I know, but man are they going the Mac route with prices, nothing to replace the DAC 8 and the other DAC in the line is $11,000, what's up with this, have you guys heard anything more. 

The starting point for AR equipment is getting pretty high and the only way a newer person without means will be able to afford it will be to buy use, which could send the used prices up if there isn't anything else in the line.  What do you guys think and what have you heard?
As a Costco shopper (bought my Superbowl steaks today!) I’d like to explain the three-for-$50 steaks to ya. At this price, they were undoubtedly Prime cut and at least two inches thick (I know, Prime ain’t what it used to be). So this nice steak cost $16.67/ea. Go to your local super market and price it (if you can find Prime meat there). So here’s the thing, The frugal will take it home and cut the steak in half so now you have six prime steaks ($8.34/ea). Not out-of-line considering what it cost to feed a cow. Of course, hamburger is nice too...
Meat industry is just as crooked and corrupt as high-end home audio.
Unless you're going to the butcher and asking for real cut off the flesh, Prime ain't no prime. It's just like most of specks on home-audio equipment are cut-paste and not measured.

Sunil Merchant.
Sunny Components Inc, USA

We are an Audio Research Full Line Dealer.

Audio Research Corporation has always been a Leader in building, engineering and delivering amazingly great sounding tube gear.
They have always pushed the envelope when it comes to Performance Audio products.
Their success has always been the Reference line of products based on Valve technology.
A year ago they released upgrades on their Amplifiers and called them Special Edition or SE Versions.
Their Reference 10 Pre amplifiers saw the full benefits on the improvements made on their amplifiers but the older Reference 5 SE was not able to get every single detail out of the improvements made.
To fulfill the benefits of the SE version Amplifiers they went back to their Research Labs and Warren and his team worked Diligently on developing the Reference 6 Pre amplifier and the Reference Phono 3.

They also introduced the Galileo series of electronics using the new KT150 Power Tubes in their GS150 Amplifiers.

Going from their name, Audio Research, they are surely working on new products, ideas to improve current products and purge older designs in favor for newer and fresher looks that bring newer and younger customers. Their improvements are possible by improvements in Cable manufacturing, Power management products that improve and source players that show improvements by adding newer Chips, circuit design etc. They actively audition products that matter to them through their own sources.
We at Sunny's have almost all their products in stock.
Very nice speech and very nicely said.
Going from their name, Audio Research, they are surely working on new products, ideas to improve current products and purge older designs in favor for newer and fresher looks that bring newer and younger customers.
Looks like it's still didn't cover dropping manufacturing affordable components such as PH3, PH3SE, PH1, D- solid state series...

I understand and respect the issues and feelings raised here.  I do feel that there is way too much AR bashing going on here.  Unless you work in AR's Accounting department, you have no idea what it costs to research, design and manufacturer equipment.  Let alone stock older parts for repairs.

One can speculate all they want, but, that is all it is, speculation. 

I believe that AR's parent company simply (probably wasn't simple) decided to discontinue the lower level (lower level, that is funny) equipment because the market simply could not support the continued manufacturing and upkeep of those components.  They most definitely were not going to eliminate the upper end equipment.

Auto manufacturers do this all the time.  They eliminate cars that simply aren't selling like they expected them to do.

I firmly believe that if AR was making the kind of money they expected on the lower level equipment, they would not have eliminated them. 

But, the real way to voice one's concerns is to write AR letters complaining about this. That is the only way they will pay attention to your complaints.

The comparison between the most expensive back then and the most expensive now is not scientifically accurate at all.  How much was a 1965 Ferrari vs a 2016 Ferrari?  Not trying to start or continue an argument, but, company's will charge whatever they can charge and get away with. Some have business plans and goals, based on R&D costs, parts maintenance expenses, manufacturing equipment expenses (this is huge), company overheads, health care expenses for employees, taxes, expected number of pieces to be constructed, prototype development(really expensive and of which the costs must be recovered),  etc.  All of this and more is factored into the price of equipment, cars, watches, etc.

Many Engineers have found this out the hard way.  They didn't have a solid business plan, had no knowledge of business, only engineering and lost their shirts.

I don't fault AR for doing this. It just means that I won't be able to afford their equipment unless I win the lottery or wait until they show up on the used market at a much lower price.

The good thing is that AR still maintains and repairs all of their equipment, old and new.  That is really saying something. 

Try to get an older Theta DAC repaired by Theta, they will tell you with a straight face that they won't do it.  Not Theta bashing, but I have learned the hard way that certain companies won't or can't support their products later on.  AR isn't one of them.

I would bet you a lunch that Atmosphere will repair each and every unit they have built from day one.  Companies that do that are rare.