ARC Reference Anniversary preamp in 2011

Audio Research Reference Anniversary

Available for one year only.
"Available for one year only"....that is because they will launch a Audio Research Reference Anniversary Mk2 pre-amp.
Looks like Audio Research's version of the BAT REX
Looks like the REX, but is it more like the SP-10 with separate power supply. The "astound-me" website title and the laudatory vacuum-fluorescent display at turn-on are somewhat tacky. It must herald the second coming.......I hear trumpets.....
I know a reviwer (not OP) that is going to wet himself .... :-)
I'll hold out for the Mk5 Anniversary.
$25,000 is alot of money. If I win the lotto...
Uncle PowerBall... can I have some cash?
For 25K, I would want mine hand signed by William Z. Johnson.

Perhaps i will sell all of my ARC Ref gear to get one so that i can just look at it in my bare audio rack!!

You could do a review stating how incredibly quiet the pre is! LOL
It looks like another example in the long line to join this thread.
That thread got pretty damn ugly about halfway thru John !
Things tend to get ugly when money is involved Pat.
It sounds terrific - maybe really the last preamp !!
05-30-10: Thuchan
It sounds terrific - maybe really the last preamp !!

Yeah, last preamp.....until the next one....LOL!!
You mean 50 th Anniversary? Can you wait so long?
Well, if the 40th Anniversary is THE LAST PREAMP, you'll have no need for the 50th Anniversary model.
For $25K.....yes, I can wait.

It was just a chuckle for me because after 35 years in this hobby, I know that there is no such thing as the LAST one of ANYTHING.......unless you are lying or dying. Anyone who thinks they are buying their last preamp is lying to themselves or planning on dying soon.

you`re right. This was somehow also an ironic statement from my side. It is the same with someone telling you he has reached Audio Heaven and he wll buy no more gear at all.
So we will watch together who is next from the two of us!?
all the best
Has any one out there audition the ARC 40th Anniversary preamp ? How good is it compare to the Wavac top end pre amp ?
Not a full review, here's a few Casual Revelations.
I just heard one in an all ARC, Wilson Sasha system at the local dealer, and I have to admit it the presentation was spectacular. Great articulation in the bass, no smearing of any frequency that I could hear, just a very musically engaging performance. If I only had the bank.
I remember what a ground breaking preamp the SP-10 was compared to the then current SP-6b,6c,6e and SP-8. There was really no comparison. The SP-10 just did everything spectacularly better. So I would assume the anniversary addition will do the same to the REF 3 and REF 5. If I only had the cash, I'd purchase one in a second!
I heard one for a few hours one afternoon. It was glorious.
(and much better in all ways than the Ref)
When will arc get it right, even $10k is too much for a volume control when they released ref3, so now comes the 40th reference. That should come with a guarantee that nothing will surpass the performnce. Didn't roswelhl produce a good design.
Well---for those who are thinking of upgrading from a ref 110 to a ref 210 or a 610 to get more power and a more substantive midrange without losing holographics that ARC is famous for--JUMP NOW. Th Ref 40 does it all in spades. In the first hour of a 600 hour break in period, I am floored. As one who has had a ref 5 with a ref 110 and 210s in my system ( Sashas as speakers), the improvement in overall sound going from 110 to 210s was IMHO about 10% to 15%. But with Ref 40 and 110s is about 25% or 30% just out of the box. Trust all the great things you hear about the Ref 40. It's all true.
This is by Jonathan Valin of The Absolute Sound.
The 40ith A Ref sounds great but I preferred the preamp I'm using now . The reason why it's only available for a year is simple , in a year ARC will be 41 years old .
I thought Jonathan will become 41 ... :-)
We will see the Anniversary running longer (already prolonged from December 2010 until March 2011) or even a successor. Marketing is King!
There has to be a successor. Technology marches on. If
is the last one, that would be tantamount to saying that it
can never get any better. The Ref 6, Ref 7, then they will
march out the Ref 8 stating that it surpasses the Ref
Anniversary 40 model. I don't have a problem with any of
If I start saving now, I can hope to pick up a Ref
Anniversary 40 model in five years for about $10k.

Oh, and yes, there WILL be a Reference Golden Anniversary
Edition preamp for the 50th anniversary. It will sell for
$35k, ($50k with optional 18k gold plated faceplates and
handles), it will be a big success and be worth every penny.
I'm going to start saving for mine now.
I am glad to read about the 40ref being that good!
Can we expect this design to trickle down to the lessor priced preamps?
Let's hope so.
If the sound of this ref offends very few and gets things so right ARC can build their line around such a successful product and be heralded as the best preamp company in the world. Everyone wins the hobbbyist and ARC.
Then we can read and hear about ARC like we do Bose, in Time magazine, in Best buy, in Metropolitan opera house, in PLayboy and audiophiles will finally be mainstream--(never but wishful thinking).
Can one company dominate in an area such as preamps? Hasn't ARC been a leader in the past?
Wasn't CJ's ART preamp also priced at $25,000 way back when?
The first addition of Conrad-Johnson's ART was in the April 1999 issue of Stereophile P107 listed at $14,995. I did see the third addition at $25,000.
Nice mid fi stuff eh .
Nevertheless to be very honest - it is a benchmark preamp and maybe one of the three very best preamps
Fun Only - Thuchan
"Wasn't CJ's ART preamp also priced at $25,000 way back when?"

The CJ ART started out at 15K around 1997. The last 25 (called the ART 3) were made around 2006-7 and went for 25K loaded with CJ's propiety teflon caps in them.

The TOTL AR and CJ's would be my top choices for tube preamps (chose the ARTs myself). No such thing as a "best" preamp but I would nominate both of these for some of the best ever.

Tmsorosk, Nice hi end stuff eh :-)
Hey, any of you have experience with the EAR 912? I need to replace my Hovland HP-100.