Audio Research Ref 6 SE


Hi , was told today that Audio Research Ref 6 SE is about to get released with first shipment scheduled by the end of December/ early January, if anyone has more information about specs please share , I emailed AR support waiting for response with details but they confirmed about Ref 6 SE release . I was about to purchase one so would be interested to see what got upgraded or how much will current Ref 6 will drop in price ..,
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Ironically, the rise of forums like this probably make it much less likely that companies will provide the kind of advance "heads up" you were looking for.

25 years ago if a company told a customer an upgrade is coming, they only had to worry about that customer and maybe the customers friends (who he/she told in person or by phone) would delay purchase - negligible risk to company.  

Today, telling one customer, who then posts it here or any of the other forums, could literally be like telling nearly the entire universe of folks seeking to imminently purchase (at least anyone who before spending $15k does a search to see what's up).
ARC wasn't sitting on inventory. That would perhaps make its behavior marginally understandable. Dave Gordon and Wasserman could have simply said the 6SE was coming out in two months and I could have suffered with my LS28 for another few weeks. Or I could have gone ahead with a purchase of the Reference 6 and have saved the $2k, but it would have been an enlightened decision.
Well unless they were sold out they certainly were sitting on "inventory," even if it hadn’t been fully assembled and boxed.

Here’s what I mean.

Obviously each time they get an order ARC does not order one set of printed circuit boards, and doesn’t separately order each of the individual components for that amp.

They have all of those pieces in stock and ready for the next scheduled production run of that amp. So although they may not have a bunch of them built and boxed, they likely still have sunk the $$ to have everything to build them, some of which (e.g., PCBs and certain components) likely won’t be useful for anything else.

I get it that my view on this isn’t as pro-consumer as yours, but that’s because I’ve worked on the other side and see both sides of it. (and obviously I’m not personally affected as you are so your frustration is fair given the bad timing, just presenting the countervailing view)
Those may be valid observations, but I wonder how many parts in the 6SE are truly unique. I doubt, for example, that it has a whole new circuit board. If it were truly revolutionary, it would be called the Reference 7. Also, knowing at least six months ahead that the 6SE would be in production now, I doubt ARC had tons of useless parts in inventory.

My frustration with ARC is greater because of a current negative experience with my barely 3-year-old REF75SE and having to pay $10 apiece for four LEDs -- which are nothing special and cost ARC pennies -- with less than 100 hours of use plus $9 shipping when the actual shipping cost was $3.74 USPS. One LED burned out despite the fact I hardly ever have the meter lights turned on. The first REF75SE arrived from the factory in late summer 2016 with none of the LEDs working, so there seems to be an issue.
I don’t have your experience with ARC, as I only have one piece (DSI200 integrated). I think it is fantastic but it’s admittedly by far the highest-end amp I’ve owned so I don’t have lots to compare against in my room. I hope to one day move up the food chain.

As a longtime owner of dozens of ARC products, do you still feel that ARC makes the best sounding stuff overall from sound quality standpoint, and you are now just frustrated with customer service?

Or have you also noticed that ARC’s equipment is not what it used to be in terms of sound quality versus the competition?