Responses from arcguy

Stereo or monoblocks
Just buy the best amp(s) you can afford with an appropriate amount of power for your needs. Mono doesn't automatically mean magic, it means separate left and right chassis and the imaging will be better, everything else being equal.  The MC402 ru... 
Which ARC ref linestage to try: Ref3, Ref5, Ref5SE? HATE forward sounding systems
The most lush of the Ref preamps is the Ref2 Mk2. The Ref3 on up are more neutral and are not forward. If you consider a non-Ref, stick to an LS28 or 28SE.  
Vandersteen 2ci with tube amps
Audio Research with Vandersteen is a classic combination going back 40 years. Use the 8-ohm output tap on the V70 and it should be magical. Call Richard Vandersteen and he will tell you the same.  
Amp biasing question
If an ARC amp does not have auto bias, then the amp should be on for 20 minutes before adjusting bias. ARC amps can be on with no input cables, and without speakers cables connected. They are perfectly stable. This is not true for some other tube... 
Transparrent Ref XL vs Opus
I believe the Gen 5 to Gen 6 upgrade is comparable in magnitude to the previous upgrade to Gen 5: that upgrade really opened things up with much more air and transparency, with superior dynamics and life. In the 5 to 6 there is more information a... 
Transparrent Ref XL vs Opus
Mixing and matching Transparent cables is fine, but the order of your upgrades depends on which Generation you currently own. We just upgraded from Ref XL Gen 5 to Gen 6 and the improvement was startling. If you have G5 interconnects I'd upgrade t... 
Audio research and krell
Your 300S is over 25 years old and it is likely that some of the capacitors are showing their age. If the two halves are not discharging evenly when you turn it off then you will get some funny noises. If you turn off the 300S (with the 5SE muted)... 
Audio research and krell
You can use your Ref 5SE into any Krell amplifier ever made. Many years ago Krell said they would not warrant their amps when used with tube preamps because too many tube preamps did not have auto mute circuits (you had to have it manually muted ... 
Trade off? New vs used
You should talk with John Rutan at Audio Connection in Verona, he has both the ARC and the Ayre.  
Trade off? New vs used
The safest and best thing to do is to audition, which reputable dealers will encourage. Whatever you are considering has to work well in the context of your system, room, and musical preferences. Emergingsoul, where do you live? 
Pre Amp comparisons
You really owe it to yourself to audition an Audio Research Reference preamp or the LS28 SE that Steve Guttenberg reviewed. An ARC preamp will work with any amp and will give you the best combination of resolution, dynamics and textural detail.  
Why was the entry level line at Audio Research eliminated?
The pandemic stopped almost everything in its tracks, which was and is compounded by the parts delays by some of ARC's key suppliers.There is nothing to divulge now. If anything comes (big maybe), it will be a much more modest product. 
Why was the entry level line at Audio Research eliminated?
The good news and the bad news is that nothing has changed at ARC.Everything is still made by hand, with every component soldered into every board by hand in their Minnesota plant. ARC bought a $100k wave soldering machine, which is what is normal... 
Preamplifier, in need of input
You really need to hear the new LS28SE from Audio Research, I heard it in a very familiar system and it was stunning. I believe it is easily the finest preamp in its price range, BUT, whatever you do, you need to hear it for yourself. None of us o... 
Reproduction Audio Research cabinets
If you are on Facebook then you should join the "Fans of Audio Research" group and post there to find out if anyone has interest in your high quality cabinets. Seems like the best place to go. Cheers!