Why Are There So Many Audio Research Reference 5SE's For Sale

Been looking for a tubed preamp with high quality balance capabilities. Was looking at the Ref 5SE's but there seems to be many available. Generally when you see that there is some kind of issue. Sometimes they want to move up the line to the latest or they just arent that good. Case in point when was the last VAC Signature you saw out here. The good stuff seems to be rare and when they show they go fast. Comments and recommendations welcome.


I decided to buy a dealers demo REF5se and couldn't be happier with it. I had intended to buy an LS27 or a Modwright 36.5 but decided this would put me in a better place.

So yes; I am in a better place.

I have had a number of Arc components over the last 7 or 8 years including the Ref 5 and the Ref 40 which I now own. I’m very familiar with the Ref 5se sound which is between the Ref 5 and Ref 40. Obviously, the Ref 40 is noticeably better and is also a steal used if you can assemble the dough. I cannot say that either one is more of a steal at their used price points. I only know I believed I got more than my moneys worth when I paid for each of them at virtually retail when they came out.

Sorry to the OP, but the answer seems pretty obvious. ARC is one of the biggest High End suppliers, ergo, 1000's of amps around. They have just introduced a Ref 6, thus many will be upgrading. Conclusion, many 5SE's will be coming on the market.

As an aside, I would not get on that particular upgrade treadmill. ARC bring out new models frequently and yes I am sure each new unit may be better than the one it replaces, but it becomes a very expensive process over the years. It's certainly to rich for me.

David12, I agree with your first point, but I would point out that ARC generally has a 3 yr minimum sales life on a product before an updated one is released.  I think the Ref5se came out in 2011.  The Ref 6 came out in late 2015.  
The "upgrade treadmill" would not continue to run if each product were not a significant upgrade to the prior one.
For myself, having been on the treadmill, (ref2, ref3, ref5, ref5se and now ref6) I have found that the resale prices on these units are very good, so the upgrade is really not very painful.  And the value for the used purchaser is excellent.  The older products hold up VERY well against current competitive products from other manufacturers.

Post removed