Audio Research service

I have heard that ARC's service is not the greatest, is there truth to this? Give your experience.
I have no idea where you heard this but numerous times I have called or had work done by ARC and they have been extremely helpful. Leonard was especially patient with answering questions on older products that I had acquired on the used market. And their turnaround time to do updates or fixes has also been very good.
Ditto what John said. I had some work done on an SP 9 MkII preamp a couple of months ago and the turnaround time including shipping both ways was less than 2 weeks; the total bill was less than 100.00 AND the unit came back in brand new double boxes with a screw driver included for removing the top cover to reseat the tubes
I echo Jafox. I have had several thousand dollars worth of maintenance work and upgrades done by Audio Research. I'd love to tell you about my experience with repairs, but their stuff rarely breaks. Leonard has always been more than helpful. They ARE as good as their word when they promise something. I'll stop now before I start sounding like an AR commercial...
I agree with Jafox. My experience has been entirely positive. How many companies that have been in business as long as Audio Research still service every product they have ever made?
Ditto the above.... Nothing but a pleasure to work with.. Very helpful for the DIY person, echo the prompt and reasonable response when I have sent equipment there.. Knock on wood - I have never had a reliability issue that was a fault of Stock ARC products.
Depends on who you work with there IMO. Terry Dorn is extremely pleasant and helpful. Not sure if he is still with ARC, as I dealt with him a couple of years back. Anyway, he was great. I have had mixed experiences with others there on some warranty issues.
Everyone at ARC, from the phone receptionist to the techies, has been gracious, informative and very helpful. No problems w/their service or social skills whatsoever. I don't know where you heard your report but I haven't heard anything like it before. I have owned one or more ARC pieces from 1990 on and have been very pleased w/them all.
I have owned a number of pieces and still do. The first amp I bought brand new started sounding bad in one channel after 3 months. Upon calling ARC Leonard says" I don't know you'll have to ship it back". The ONE tube that was replaced cost $200 in shipping and 3 hours in my time lugging the box to fed express.
I love the sound so I upgrade to a better amp: VT-100 tube replacement after 2 years of very light use was $1300. A bit annoyed I immediately sell this amp and guess what it doesn't work when the buyer plays it for the first time. My ears are still ringing from the buyer's yelling. Yes ARC eventually fixed it.
The equipment is very good but there are considerable concerns with the cost of maintenance and EASE of maintenance.
To retube my VT100 MKIII from ARC is $500. Maybe that's only the power tubes. And you can certainly get them somewhere other than ARC for less. The other tubes are 6H30's which shouldn't need replacement for years. So that $1300 sounds mighty steep!
In addition to my previous response, you probably will never need service. As it states in the owners manual
"this amp will bring musically satisfing results as long as you care to own it". Enough said.
Not only is their service incredible but they are one of the few that have not down graded the quality of the parts that go into their products. They are knowlegeable and very focused.
Excellent service from AR. Honor warranty without a question. Perform service and return quickly.
Hi, I still have the invoice on the VT-100 retube (all the tubes) for $1300. As I say I love the sound but it makes me think twice on owning another ARC amp.
Just try to call Conrad Johnson and ask them about some of thier older units like the MV-75 or Premier 1, and NO one will know anything about it , nor will they have any interest in assisting you .
ARC, on the other hand, SUPPORTS all products they have made since the SP-1. Try to find this from the many mfrs out there.......Maybe Bryston, maybe Madrigal, heck many companys are not in business anymore.
Before you part with big money, be sure the company will support you.
All good and well that ARC service is good. That doesn't excuse the outrageous prices they charge for everything. Nor the attitude you'll get if you question it.
I had an experience just last week, while after some tube
rolling and tweeking my VT130, the amp blew a screen resistor. I called Lenoard at ARC and even though it was totally my fault, I had parts within 2 days at no cost to me. Now if thats not service, what is? Also, this amp has funtioned flawlessly for 8 years until I messed with it, so how's that for ARC reliability! Lessons learned; If it ain't
broke, don't fix it!
I can only add that I have owned 20 pieces of Audio Research equipment and I have always had perfect service from Leonard and the service department at Audio Research.I have a piece of Muse equipment and I can't even get to talk to anyone.....ARC is as good as it gets.
I've bought 27 years old SP5 preamp just recently - faxed a querry to ARC and have full answer too all of my questions(including full part list and schematics) within 4 days and I live in Poland, Europe - does that count for a great service - answer yourself. They are great.
One experience about three years ago. They were absolutely superb! I compare my ARC service experience with service I received from another very expensive American manufacturer about six months ago. The work was first class. Communication was ok although I feel I was being told whatever I wanted to hear. Turnaround was horrid. My ARC experience was better by a large margin.
It does not get any better! From Ruth, who answers the phones, (Yes! a real live person) to Vicki who will help you with product info and history, to the great guys in service, Chris, Don and Leonard. They will spend the time with you to answer all your questions and concerns.Other High End manufactures should take note...This IS the way a company should be run. AAA
From the time that ARC takes a call (Ruth) to the management (Leonard) and finally to the technician (Don). These folks are very courteous and helpful. The unit was sent in, checked, repaired and send back within one day! All industries, not necessarily high-end audio, should take note and learn from ARC
Audio Research did warranty work on my LS-1 when it was five years old, it can't get any better than that.
All of my experiences with ARC have been excellent. And speaking of Ruth ... think of all of the various companies you've called over the years. Has there been a better telephone voice than that which is projected Ruth? She makes me smile.
Ruth is great, helpful, sweet - just great and she always makes my day. One day they had a problem with my creditcard when they charged it - she called me, wondering - I asked her to try again, and it worked.

I live in Copenhagen, Denmark - 7 timezones away.

That's service and customer care...
The tubes on my A.R.C. Ref3 preamp were $550. The hours i put on it required me to change them once a year . It only broke once in the there years I owned it .
My experience has been so-so. I recently purchased a VS60 and trying to speak to Calvin has been tedious at best. He's never available and I have to leave a message. Sometimes, he gets back to me and sometimes not. I ended up going to the ARC tech here in NYC.
I've had to deal with AR service three times in the mid to late 80s. Leonard was the man back then, as he is now. The first time was converting it from 240V to 120V when I emmigrated. Quick turn around time and reasonable charge. The second time was when one channel started to make a rustling sound. With just a phone call, Leonard says 'You probably need to replace V1- a 6DJ8. Which was exactly the problem and exactly the solution. Finally one of the filter caps leaked electrolyte all over the circuit board, essentialy destroying it. In spite of the amp being probably out of warranty, and purchased in a different country, it was fixed FOC, including return freight I believe.

I don't know how service is 25 years later, but if it is only half as good as it was back then, it still adds immeasurable value to any of the AR products.
The fact that you can get schematics for old stuff is simply great. Friend of mine was working on a SP-8 - turns out there were something like three or four pretty distinctly different versions of this product - because the unit had been worked on by others (a lot) - it wasn't completely clear what it was at this time in it's life. Tech sent out two schematics - units fixed and sounds absolutely wonderful.I would also agree that Leonard is a champ on the old stuff - product knowledge is so rare today.
Leonard isn't there anymore, and Audio Research service doesn't seem to be there either.........I wish I could say I had a good experience, but I can't........My remote being lost on the last service I had on a LS-10 was too much.......They don't have the remotes anymore and don't seem to know where to get one, my loss.......I now have a 5500.00 LS-10 with no remote........
Thanks! for sharing- autospec-

it is imperative that we all share our experiences when dealing w/ these companies. Customer Service, should always be 1st in order= complete satisfaction.  ARC lost your remote, then, it is on them to replace or compensate!  Keep me posted & Happy Listening!
I am extremely happy with ARC service. They go beyond and above to help me out even my ARC power amp is out of warranty.

My REF 250 power amps were out of warranty and the replaced the faulty capacitors with the latest and greatest and also upgraded the internal wiring to the SE caps and internal wiring for no cost.  The only difference between my REF 250s and 250SEs now are the KT150 tubes.

They also have replaced blown tubes for me at no cost many times and when I needed complete sets of replacement tubes for other Audio Research equipment, I had no problem with them.

I would be very surprised if they lost a remote and refused to replace it.


As a ARC dealer Audio Research takes great care in what they do, offers us a great support system for our clients equipment,
" some even decades old."
Unless the remote was thee problem
Typically No-one ever sends a remote or a power cord back with the unit for service anyway.
 Did you ever think it could of been half well packed / Taped, fell out of box or an inspected and opened UPS or Fed Ex package?
 That remote can easily be cloned so its not the end of the world for you Autospec
From my experience, ARC customer service is 2nd to none.

I was also wondering why ship the remote unless it also needs repair.