Heads Up: ARC is introducing the new SP-20 in Fall

An excerpt from ARCDB web site:

"Tube stereo preamplifier.

"As a result of the ever-increasing demand for a full-function preamplifier with a level of performance substantially above that of the SP17, we are pleased to introduce the striking new SP20 vacuum-tube preamplifier. Influenced by some of our classic groundbreaking SP preamplifiers but with performance that is only achievable by our best LS- and PH-series designs, the SP20 offers inspirational performance combined with real value. ..."

MSRP is $9000 -- a veritable bargain. ;-(
Folks...it is great speculating about ARC's cost relative to the price they are charging for their products (Bifwynne's guesses are generally good rule of thumb but still there can be significant variations from his numbers from product to product) and ultimately, yes, manufacturers price to the what the market is willing to pay. And it may also be fun to bash ARC (or whichever brand you feel sucks and overpriced) and to defend ARC in response to the haters' comments.

I would however very much appreciate anybody's comments about the sonic qualities of the SP-20 (I know it's early and there may not be many folks out there who have received the unit yet but ARC has begun shipping the SP-20 out). I am an ARC owner (Ref 3, Ref 110, Ref CD 7) and I am familiar with the ARC sound, although I understand that the Ref 5SE and Ref 150/250 iterations have added more meat on the bones to ARC's traditional sound but does anyone know whether the SP-20 compares more to the LS-27 vs. the Ref 5SE on the linestage stage and more so the PH-8 vs. the Ref 2SE on the phono stage side.

You can see Marc Mickelson's brief comments here: http://www.theaudiobeat.com/blog/audio_research_sp20.htm but I am looking for any feedback from actual SP-20 owners or folks who have demoed it and have a familiarity with the current ARC linestage and phono line up who can place the SP-20 in the context of that line-up.

Appreciate any feedback. Thx
The SP-20 looks like a knockout piece. I too would be interested to hear read comments from folks who demoed it. By the way, my old eyes aren't what they used to be. Can anyone identify the speakers in Marc Mickelson pic?? The amps look like Ref 250 monos.
Can anyone identify the speakers in Marc Mickelson pic??

Those are the Sonus Faber Amati Futuras. The amps are the Ref 250s.
Now that Fine Sounds owns Sonus faber and ARC, I believe Sonus Fabers will be the speakers of choice for the ARC listening room

As far as I am aware , the companies in the Fine Sounds group are operating totally independently so it will be interesting to see if this turns out to be the case . As for myself , I would be tempted to rationalise my Ph5 and LS27 into an SP 20 if the sonics were comaparable .