Audio Research I/50

Does anyone know anything tangible re: the ARC I/50 Integrated, apparently soon to be released?
There are some slick-looking pics on Instagram, and I’ve seen reference to an optional phono stage and DAC, but that’s about it. Will this be their first release post McIntosh Group spin out? 

The i50 is a really nice looking unit, and it's nice to see AR release a product available to those with somewhat more modest means. It is a little strange that they release a product for what could be described as entry-level (per cost...not in the quality sense) with manual bias setting, but requiring it be done by a technician. 

The skeptic in me wonders if this is a way for AR to have consumers build relationships with dealers by design (with the benefit of recurring revenue), a'la John Deere or any modern automobile.

i hope that sometime soon there will be a comprehensive review, in a serious magazine/site   about it's sound quality 

I just ordered one for a second system and look forward to providing more clarity on the biasing issue from my AR dealer.

I agree that brands like Linear Tube Audio that provide complete audio bias around this price point would generally be more agreeable to the younger listeners their branding cultivates. Even my truly high-end SA Lab integrated auto-biases its 6550 tubes, and that is meant for experienced listeners. This said, I always liked manually biasing my Octave Audio (great bias readout) and Rogue (less so) tube amps, which should be telling of how others will experience this, as I am under 40 and lack comprehensive experience with the servicing of mechanical gear relative to other fields (i.e., automobile / home repair).

In addition to assessing ease of use and seeing if I can access a service manual, I will report on how the I/50 performs in my second system, using Graham Chartwell LS6 speakers that seem to strike an appropriate price and specification balance with this unit.

@ Transience 

That's great. Let us know how you like the I/50. The Graham LS6 speakers are very nice. My assumption is that the two should be a good match. I agree with you on the Octave amps. They have implemented a unique and easy way for all users to bias the tubes. 


@ Transience

how to your opinion is the Linear Tube Audio soundwise compare to an arc around this price point ?
and what is the reason for this:
"be more agreeable to the younger listeners"