I recently received my ARC Ref 2 phono back from GNS, after they performed their Statement mods, plus adding XLR input sockets. The sound is superb.
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It's pretty amazing you are willing to modify such a new machine. I have no desire to go that route. A reference product should be just that - the best possible right out of the box. That's especially true since the reference 2 phono is such a new model. But I do hope you enjoy it!
Anyway I went ahead and purchased the Basis Exclusive 2010 model. I'll wait for the Ortofon A90 to arrive first before installing it. We'll see how it works out.
Interesting that you liked the AR Ref phono 2 better than the Ypsilon. I believe that Michael Fremer commented that he liked the Ypsilon much better than the AR that he heard at this year's CES; I guess everyone is different...
I liked the AR Ref Phono quite a bit; most powerful sound I have ever heard come out of my KHorns; powerful, with GRUNT, but with all the beauty, detail, transparency, and realism I am looking for...now, if I just had $12k....
Hi Stickman, what Mike Fremer said back in January on 'Gon was, "I have only heard the Ref 2 at CES this past week. I found the bottom end a bit fat and out of control, which is what I found on the PH7 too. I know because we brought the admittedly far more expensive Ypsilon VPS100 into the room (it was the Continuum room) to audition for the CEO of Atlantic Records and the difference was enormous--and the Ypsilon is also tubes. I liked much of what the ARC Ref 2 did, but if you have a full range system and a turntable that has deep, solid bass, i believe the Ref 2 will not provide you with all that your system and/or turntable can offer you. Just my opinion..."
I replied, "I agree with you on PH7 in a full range system Mike and sold mine for that reason, with not many hours. Just bought a Ref 2 and its away getting modified right now - will post how that turns out.
I heard what Ypsilon pre & power amps can do driving the big SoundLabs in Singapore with a Thales t/t set-up, made me think about my own system and how inadequate it sounded in some areas. Bit a out of my budget."
I can now say that IMO: the ARC Ref phono 2 modded by GNS does NOT sound a bit fat & out of control in my full range system, and has deep solid bass.
I think something is very wrong here. Either ARC is hosing people with the price of the ARC REF 2 because it is essentially an unfinished product which must be sent off to be modded right away to fix all of things that ARC negelected or people are just plain crazy. What does GNS do besides swap caps and resistors and high speed diodes?? Does their mods really make the ARC *better* or is it just more spices added to the mix due to the new flavors of their passive parts? Does GNS actually modify the design of the circuit or are we simply talking about parts swapping? If GNS is so smart, how come they don't design and sell their own products instead of *fixing* other designs?
I understand sending a vintage piece back to its maker to have passive parts upgraded. I have done that myself with my Counterpoint gear. But my gear was made in the 1980s, not in 2010! I would not buy a very expsensive brand new piece of gear only to have to send it off and spend thousands more on it with some parts swapping outfit. For the prices ARC charges, you should expect to have really great passive parts used already. Something is wrong here people.
I am having a hard time reconciling "nothing is wrong" but yet you feel the need to mod a brand new very expensive piece of gear. Doesn't that void your ARC warranty or does ARC acknowledge GNS mods? ARC usually doesn't look kindly on their gear that has been modded by Tommy Ten Thumbs and his merry band of brothers. They have been known to refuse to touch gear that has been modded.
Maybe some of you are the type of audiophiles that have never met a piece of gear they loved until it was modded with their favorite brand of caps and resistors and magic high-speed diodes. And then you can have your Goldilocks moment where everything is "just right" after your favorite mods have been completed.
Does GNS mod the brand new gear they sell or only brands they don't sell new? This would be telling me thinks. I just answered my own question. GNS does mod new Aesthetix gear, but it has to be bought new from them. That probably means they void the Aesthetix warranty with their mods and now they are covering the warranty.