@twoleftears sounds. like stock purchase buyers remorse to me....I lie awake wishing I had shorted them....
- 50 posts total
- 50 posts total
I own three ARC pieces. I purchased a Vt-100 in I believe 1997. About 5-6 years ago, I had to purchase from ARC a plate resistor and a screen resistor than had blown due to tube rolling at my hands. The ARC service tech was wonderful to talk and very helpful and the shipment came quickly.
About 3 years I purchased some new feet for the VT-100, and had the same experience: ARC tech was helpful and friendly.
My Ref 3 Line stage, although 10 years old has always provided such much satisfaction, I've never had the desire to replace it. (Although with all praise for the Ref 5 and then the Ref 6, I thought I should give something newer a shot). My CDT-1 and Reference 3 line stage have performed without issue for many years.
ARC techs from my perspective have always been quite satisfying to deal with.
McIntosh partnered with a private equity group to buy out the company Fine Sounds , who originally sought to by them out. McIntosh became the McIntosh Group when they absorbed the Fine Sounds Portfolio, one of which is AR.
The Trade off is that The McIntosh Group has to be profitable for their share holders. This comes at a cost which is the homogenization of Production and Services. I do not think that AR is in danger of experiencing the same fate as Wadia, another McGroup absorbed brand, - However shared resources of parts, labor and services is a reality. (usually not the best - but good enough).
As Many have pointed out The McIntosh Group is no longer the same company that it once was before the merger. Some of the products they and their subsidiaries once produced are too expensive to maintain, and are no longer relevant to what the current market demands are to be profitable.
McIntosh has evolved into a brand name audio lifestyle conglomerate. AR is a link in that chain.
It feels a little strange to do this but I kinda feel the need to step in and defend ARC a little bit. I ran Wadia for ARC's parent before we moved Wadia under the Mcintosh umbrella. We were housed in ARC's facility and worked around them and with many of their employees. I had a unique window into ARC. I can tell you a few things:
1) The people at ARC are as dedicated as they've always been. Every brand ought to have employees who love their company and their customers that much!
2) The parent isn't actually all that heavy-handed as a lot of acquirers are. Sure, they want to make money but not at the expense of destroying the brand. So while ARC may not be as free and liberal with all they can do for customers, they still go far and away over other brands.
3) While I'm not even remotely a tube guy, I can tell you that they go to what I always thought were ridiculous lengths to get quality tubes and to make sure they were matched. They treat those little glass things like preemies in a neonatal ICU.
As for some of the departures from ARC, people change jobs for personal reasons, they retire, and sometimes they just need a change. But they are very careful that they people they hire really fit their culture, and the late Mr. Johnson is a huge part of that culture and legacy.
So while I get that the industry is changing, it's changing for everybody and I assure you that they are trying hard to continue serving customers like they always have. If you have specific complaints or suggestions for them, send them an old-fashioned letter and I would expect that you'd see some concrete action and get a response from them.
OK, I'm going back to my day job, making the world safe from Analog Sound! (Just Kidding!)