I have been shopping for a ref75se or ref150se for awhile and have noticed either they get sold pretty quickly, or are on the market for awhile.

I have been in snooze you lose situations, but am hesitant to pull the trigger on one because of it being unsold for quite some time.

Just would like to know from the experience here on the forum what you all think.


Decide on the model you want, the condition you require, and the price you're willing to pay. When you find one that meets your critieria, place an immediate offer. What could be easier?

Guess I should rephrase my question.

 I am curious as to why some units are for sale for a long time, like months.

 I know there are variables like local pickup no shipping,etc.



you basically answered your own questions

price, local sale only, no packing materials, availability of the seller (amazing how many posters of ads are very slow to answer inquiries)... not to mention usual issues of condition/history of unit and so on

no reason to be hesitant to buy if the seller is an established one with a good track record based on buyer feedback

Perhaps they were asking a ridiculous price for the amps  and thus, sat forever. 

I would personally start a back and forth with the seller and get a feel for him and the AR unit you are seeking, emails are fine but a phone conversation is better. You can tell a lot about someone and their for sale item by these conversations, could become very clear why it has been sitting for a while. Also it is a #s game with limited supply and limited buyers for that item and could be as simple as everyone that wanted one, except you, has bought theirs and look at it as a plus that there is one left for you. Good luck and enjoy the music

"...the search for exotica is much like hunting in a jungle....

I shopped for a particular piece of machinery a while ago.

Very difficult to find in the states.... Harder still, by what I was willing to pay.

Grew a brain, launced 2 seach engines.

Took 1 1/2 yrs.

Patience may be a virtue, but occasionally a necessity.

Good luck, J ;)

Btw, it was nearly 'new', if already 20+ yrs. old.

I guess 'they just didn't like it', is all I can figure. *shrug*


Sometimes the right buyer comes along quickly and the price is right.  I have a REF75SE and it's the best amp I've owned so far.  I bought mine at a great price so that helped.  

The Ref 150se was the best audio component for the $ that I have ever owned.

It is a world class amp that could fetch twice the price based on its performance.

That is your reason.  They are great amps and will sell quickly for good money.

I run Krell power amps but for nearly 40 years most of my pre-amps and phono amps have been AR and have served me excellently.

So, given so many who love AR, isn't that good reason to dive in?

Thanks to all for your insights.

 I am slowly upgrading my shop system and I am trying to do it with some forethought.

As of now here’s where I’m at.


forte III speakers with GR research crossover’s , braced cabinets, no rez, damped horns

Canare and DH labs

Carver tfm45 updated/ overhaul by Nelion audio.

I am ok with my amp, but I know there’s definitely room for improvement there.

Sure is an over abundance of options from when I started my “stereo system “ in the 60’s/70’s.

ref 5 se linestage certainly deserves a matching arc reference amp downstream of it! -- even a ref 110, now reasonably priced - simply a superb amp

You may want to ask how many hours are on the tubes. Tubes are pricey. Also ask if the tubes came from AR or are they replacements?

You know this is my first outing with tubes, with my pre,and my impression is I’ll bet I could get hooked. I still have my Carver C19,  but it will now go in the closet.

My other thoughts are to maybe try a Rogue 100 dark, and or a good SS. Pass, Bryston, Parasound??

 I would like to be “done” and just listen to the music, right?

I haven't been able to bring myself to sell my '75SE.  It's been in storage for a little over a year (since I got my '160S) but it's such a sweet little amp that I've become emotionally attached.

Can't go wrong.



You are a member of a large group of folks that cannot let go. This is a common thing… even though folks admit they like the REF160 better… they can’t part with the REF 70SE

OP a “ shop “ system ? Nice preamp…i have one in my reference system..solid state in the shop.


And yes the 75se is an absolute sweetheart of am amp and with Forte…plenty of power….



OP a “ shop “ system ? Nice preamp…i have one in my reference system..solid state in the shop.


And yes the 75se is an absolute sweetheart of am amp and with Forte…plenty of power….

Yes my system is in my shop. It's the wifey thing. She finds my system is annoying. Prefers quiet time. That's OK though. I have more square footage in shop area than my house, so it is actually a win-win.

OP,  I’ve also had my eyes on Ref75SE for years. I buy, use, sell many items. My opinion is the Ref75SE in Black sells almost as soon as it arrives on the selling block. Silver seems to linger and my opinion is that the right price is $5K give or take 5-10% less or equal to 5K. AR holds its value very well. There is a black one in Canada for sale now. 

Question is for me: 

Does an original 75SE mean more to a buyer than a Factory Upgraded 75 to 75SE? 

@skids You are probably aware of it but happen to notice there is a 75se on sale for 2 days now on US audiomart.


Yes I saw that one yesterday morning, right before I had to leave for work.

Well, it so happens I was late for work. Reason why? Well, I will soon be a ref75se owner!  Oh the anticipation of it all! Talked to the gentleman and worked out a deal.

I wanted to hold out for a black one but just didn't feel like waiting any longer.

Sincere thanks to all who chimed in. I will report back and give my impressions. It appears this really is a wonderful amp.I know I will need to adjust to the overall sound off my system , which I bet will be pretty dramatic.

Glad I bought the black one 😁 You’re going to love this amp.


Wanna trade??👍

@skids Congratulations on your purchase.

Color choice of course varies.  If I had a black one I would definitely trade for silver.  

I think the silver looks way smart.

I believe it ties a lot to the fickle nature of the audiophile market.  I personally have a REF75SE, sold it, missed it terribly, and went to buy a replacement as soon as one became available.  From the audiogon listing to sale lasted less than 1 day.  Of course, pricing things realistically (thank you audiogon blue book) makes a big difference.  So if you have buyer waiting for something to hit the market, a sale can be very quick. If not (especially given the price of a lot of the gear here plus some economic uncertainty) than things can sit.  And sit. And sit.

what does amaze me is when something sits for quite a while and seller won’t budge on price.  Somewhere many moons ago I read something about “supply and demand.”