At least ARC is no longer hiding the "fixes" they made to design weaknesses, problems, and outright failures as they did during the SP3 and SP6 days, sneaking them in when they introduced the New! Improved! Mk.2/3/4/5/6 versions.
ARC pulled another con when they discontinued the LS2 Mk.2. They sent all the "Reconditioned" units they had left in stock (where did they all come from?) to their dealers, discounting them from $2995 to $1995. Once those were all sold, they sent their still new (non-Reconditioned) units to the dealers to sell at the same $1995 price! What an ethical company would have done is offer both the Reconditioned and non-Reconditioned units at the same time, with the Reconditioned pieces at a lower price than the non-Reconditioned pieces, letting the consumer decide which version to buy. After that, I vowed to never again buy a new piece of ARC.
That's okay, there's better stuff available anyway. Ask Audiogon member folkfreak; he compared his Ref 40 to the big VTL pre, then sold the Ref. Has any ARC owner ever compared their Ref pre to the EAR-Yoshino 912?