Noice from fan in Audio Research VT 100 MK III

I just bought a used ARC VT 100 MK III and I find the fan rather disturbing. Clearly audiable from a ten feet distance. What to do? Risks of disconnecting the fan?


It is possible the fan needs replacement. Mine was never that loud and I could not hear it from my listening position. The tubes in the VT-100 MK III are not that close together so I don't think it would be a problem to disconnect the fan. The original VT-100 did not have a fan at all.
Arenakbt, strongly recommend that you call Calvin at ARC and discuss problem with him. There's a couple of threads current or recent running on A'gon which speak to the deleterious effects of heat on elelctronic parts, particularly certain types od caps.

If Cal recommends that you stay with a fan, he may advise you that it's an easy DIY. You may want to ask him if the fan used in the new Ref 150 could be dropped into the VT100 MkIII. I mention this because the ARC web site says the fan used in the Ref 150 is super quiet.

Good luck.
I own a VT-100 MK III, and I would say your fan needs replacement. My listening position is roughly ten feet from the amp, and the fan is completely inaudible past about two feet. I'd suggest you take this opportunity to send the amp to ARC to have the fan replaced and have the amp given a general check-up. ARC is great about finding and replacing any parts out of spec for reasonable fees.
I believe the Ref 150 fan is almost or exactly the same as that in the Ref 110 and that the silence of the Ref 150 fan is due to different venting to cut down on turbulence.
Rdavwhitaker makes a fair suggestion about sending the VT 100 MkIII back to ARC for a check-up, which would include looking over the fan. I recommend raising the question with Calvin. Having said that, I checked the ARCDB web site and see that ARC introduced the MkIII version in the Fall of 2001. The VT100 was discontinued in 2006

So I suppose it's possible that ARC hasn't seen the amp for as much as 10 years, but it could be less. Your amp's serial number would help to pin point the important dates.

FWIW, Calvin previously advised me that the parts used in ARC amps are pretty robust and can last for 15 or more years. If he recommends sending the amp in, do so. But, IME, I do not like schlepping and shipping heavy amps around because of the risk of damage, most importantly to the amp and less so to my back. Also, I gotta believe that your amp will be off line for a couple of weeks while at ARC. So, it's your call, but I mention these points for your consideration.

Another possibility is to have the amp looked at by an authorized ARC service tech in your neck of the woods. Again something to think about. FWIW, my ARC VS-115 blew a bias resister a week or so ago. I spoke with Calvin and confirmed my amp was still under warranty. There's a local ARC service tech near me. He kindly agreed to come to my house that evening like an old fashioned Doc who used to make house calls. The tech replaced the resister in about 45 minutes. The service call was free and I was back in business that evening. You gotta love ARC!!!
Whatever you do, do not disconnect the fan as previously mentioned. If Audio Research put a fan in your amp you can bet it is there for a good reason.
It's is very easy to replace the fan. If you can use a Philips screwdriver you can do this. There is no soldering required. Place the amp on its side and the rest is easy. Just make sure the amp has been off an unplugged for a few hours. The wire that goes to the fan is a little 2 conductor plug. Four screws hold the fan in place.
Fans are easy to remove and clean or replace. I've done it with ARC amps and with my composting toilet fan several times.

Did you try to vacuum it or clean it with a Q-tip for dust binding up the blades?
Try cleaning it, fans will increase noise as blades pickup dust dirt hair etc.