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Thread: Audio Research Reference 160M

  1. #11
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] andromedaaudio's Avatar
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    Sorry my mistake its tung sol kt 120, very reliable ime.
    IT might be arcs configuration they often use Just a few tubes for the wattage in comparison, IT might have something to do with it

  2. #12
    Site Founder And Administrator Ron Resnick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marty View Post
    Well, well, well...
    After years of denigrating everyone who uses output tube autobias by saying it simply can't be done without compromising audio quality, they have apparently changed their tune and have implemented this feature now (and probably forever). Better late to the party than not at all. Now, we'll just have to see if their reliability factor has improved from past performance (I blew up both of my 610s within a week of installing them many years ago). I certainly hope so.
    One friend of mine own two pairs of Siegfried IIs and I believe he has had zero trouble with them.

    Another friend of mine has been auditioning ARC Reference 750SEs and I believe he has had zero trouble with them.

    Having written that I always tell people that I derive significant comfort from knowing that if a big VTL tube amp has a problem I can relatively easily (i.e., easy relative to fitting an amplifier into a wooden crate and arranging the pick-up, transport, delivery and return logisitics and cost) drive it up to Chino, CA to be looked at and fixed.
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  3. #13
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] andromedaaudio's Avatar
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    Sorry for bringing cat up again .
    Cat states in their manual that although bias changes over time gets lower , that is a good thing ,biasing older tubes up Will degrade the sound , they recommend to only adjust new tubes in the beginning and after never again

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by marty View Post
    Well, well, well...
    After years of denigrating everyone who uses output tube autobias by saying it simply can't be done without compromising audio quality, they have apparently changed their tune
    I wonder if their circuit is now similar to VAC which actually optimizes bias. They do mention a proprietary auto-bias, so doubt its like VTL or others.

    By far the worst part of ARC amps of yore (besides the whitish/SS sound) was the manual biasing of tubes with a voltmeter. The 75, 250, and 750 can all be done via front panel for the past five years.

    But yes, I agree on ultra-high powered tetrode tubes - I'd probably go SS with a tube preamp instead.

  5. #15
    Single ended input with Triode mode option as well (at last)... very nice. Tho calling it Ref160 when it’s output has been reduced down from the Ref150 and GS150 to 140 watts is more of a marketing thing as a Ref140 isn’t going to sound as a step up from a Ref150. But i suppose if winding it back a bit makes it sound better or may increase tube life then that is a good thing. I also couldn’t see an output figure for the Triode mode but it hopefully might be at least 50 to 60 Watts.

    For sure if it’s a sonic advance on the GS150 then it sounds a very promising option.

    Comments on how successful the KT150 as a tube is proving also then makes me wonder how long before Cat also offer a KT150 version of their JL5. That would also be a nice thing to see. Maybe also with more and more KT150 amps coming out with time maybe the boutique tube makers like Psvane and Kron may also start offering their takes on the KT150 as well.
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  6. #16
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] microstrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the sound of Tao View Post
    Single ended input with Triode mode option as well (at last)... very nice. Tho calling it Ref160 when it’s output has been reduced down from the Ref150 and GS150 to 140 watts is more of a marketing thing as a Ref140 isn’t going to sound as a step up from a Ref150. But i suppose if winding it back a bit makes it sound better or may increase tube life then that is a good thing. I also couldn’t see an output figure for the Triode mode but it hopefully might be at least 50 to 60 Watts.

    For sure if it’s a sonic advance on the GS150 then it sounds a very promising option.

    Comments on how successful the KT150 as a tube is proving also then makes me wonder how long before Cat also offer a KT150 version of their JL5. That would also be a nice thing to see. Maybe also with more and more KT150 amps coming out with time maybe the boutique tube makers like Psvane and Kron may also start offering their takes on the KT150 as well.
    All recent ARC amps could be used in single ended mode. The manual states "approximately 75 watts/ch in triode mode " and also refers the longevity of KT150's - KT120's were supposed to be replaced at 2000 hours, KT150's at 3000 hours.

    People will have to get a logbook - the signal tubes (6H30) should be replaced before 4000 hours and the KT150's at 3000 hours. I think everyone will replace them all at 3000 hours!
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  7. #17
    50 per cent more output tube life is very useful and 140 Watts linear and 75 Watts in triode would make them a nice option for quite a few speakers I’d imagine.

    Very much looking forward to them being released and also wonder if there’ll be a Ref250 replacement with triode mode also somewhere on the horizon... hope so.
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  8. #18
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] andromedaaudio's Avatar
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    A logbook hmm sounds to much like work.
    Luckily i m deaf anyway , i cant differentiatie on cables CD player s , and tubelife. , Lol
    Saves heaps of money

  9. #19
    i like these monoblocks. they look sexy.
    and you can use your choice of kt-88/120/150.
    some nice 88's will sound creamy.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by marty View Post
    Well, well, well...
    After years of denigrating everyone who uses output tube autobias by saying it simply can't be done without compromising audio quality, they have apparently changed their tune and have implemented this feature now (and probably forever). Better late to the party than not at all. Now, we'll just have to see if their reliability factor has improved from past performance (I blew up both of my 610s within a week of installing them many years ago). I certainly hope so.
    I cant speak for reliability since they are new and I have not owned them but they did sound good at Axpona. It was one of the few rooms I had time to visit and liked what I heard. It seems to be priced at a good number as well.
    Me personally I am done with things that glow in the dark I have seen the light LOL and will live with my M1
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