Why are People Dumping their Audio Research Gear and What Does it Say about them?

Title says it all. Either you like it and it sounds good or not. What does it say about dealers that are dumping their demos? 

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Some tough decisions arise:

Dealers are about BUSINESS. Clearing out ARC now rather than later is probably good business. Not to mention, it makes space for other available equipment in their showrooms.

I wonder about warranty coverage:

recently purchased still within warranty period

current demos (demos are like open box) initial sales date usually gets full warranty from that date. Promises might not be kept by new ARC owners if that occurs.

buy NOS now? buy NOS later?

Existing ARC Owner: IF you were thinking you might go for something else before the announcement: soon or after/if inflation calms down, then what?

It’s getting old, will there be authorized service? Parts?

IF you want max resale price, now or wait till market might get flooded with ARC, much better/newer/less use than yours?

btw, Steve at VAS has some nice ARC pieces he will sell (if you ask him, he doesn’t advertise them). I wonder what he thinks.


Same people that trade in their car before the warranty expires. they’ve always been around and always will. They have their place in the economy.

Now a dealer is a different story.  If they have made the decision to move to a new manufacturer, the old stuff gets reduced.


I remember when Sonic Frontiers was going away, I had just bought much of their top of the line equipment and I didn't know if they were going to bought out or just close their doors. My Sonic Frontiers equipment was exceptional, and I kept it and upgraded all of it over the next 25 years. 

When I was looking to replace my SF equipment I wanted something just as neutral in tube equipment, I now I have a REF 6SE, Am I worried, no. does it sound spectacular, yes! Will I hold on to this preamp for another 25 years, probably not I am not sure I will live that long.

But I do wish AR the best, I hope they survive this turmoil and come out even stronger.

If you were a dealer is there any certainty that under the renewed ARC you would continue to be a dealer?  If they really don't know the answer, then they should reduce their inventory now rather than later.  And that's assuming they assume ARC will survive.  This has nothing to do with how great the ARC products sound.

In addition to the question of continued authorization to continue selling the brand, and the goodwill associated with being an "Authorized Dealer"  a dealer may be concerned about the cost of warranty coverage if the company does NOT continue. Often there are good business reasons for a retailer to honor and pick up the warranty costs for products they have sold if a particular manufacturer is no longer able to.   That could be a significant expense if they do not have an in-house repair facility for that particular brand. There is also the common psychology surrounding businesses in distress and being associated with them. 

Buyers may look for similar uncertainties with EVERY brand you sell and shy away from your storefront. Perhaps very unfair and even unwise, but not unusual.  I have been involved in retail sales and management since 1966 and can even recall one store owner who would initially not carry a line because of how the brand name sounded!  Over 50 years later the brand is still around, but unfortunately that small chain of stores isn't.

In a market as subjective as this one, reading the tea leaves has always been an inexact science.  Who in the late 90's would have predicted the CD, and all the hardware needed to get the best from that medium, would soon see a decline as steep and total as it had risen?  

Bottom Line - If YOU like the sound, keep enjoying it until you find something you feel suits you better.  Equipment ages (especially capacitors), and people age (especially their ears), and there will always be something new.  Enjoy what you have while it works well, and keep an open mind about what the future holds!