Audio Research 100.2 amp

I have been in the market for amp upgrade. Integrated was my first option, but someone recommended ARC 100.2 power amp for audition. Does anyone know or have experience with this amp? I did a little research on the net but could not find much. Any input would be appreciated. MY speakers are Sunes Faber Signum and Pioneer DV-525 (to be mod'd and DAC to be added later). Music preference is 95% classic, especially strings and chorals. Also, any recommended dealer, approx price would be great! Thanks. Ken
Also take a look at the VT100s.... I personally prefer the tubes to the Solid State in ARC gear...
The ARC VT100 tube amp (you did mean the tube ARC, right?) is the gold standard in tube amplification today. It is as good as the rest of your system and does everything amazingly well (I've owned one for about three years). Yes, there are amps that will do one-or-the-other thing better (see: Single ended triode), but for plug-and-play good for the next ten years amplification, your search ends with the VT-100 (or VT100 Mk II, or VT-100 MK III). It costs between $500 & $750 (depending on dealer ethics) every two years to retube (bummer) but the best is always more trouble (and worth it). Did I mention the amp is only as good as the rest of your system? Enjoy!
I own a ARC 100.2 And it a great sounding amp. When people think of Audio Research, they automatically think tubes. That is why this amp is so overlooked. I auditioned it along with a ARC VT100mk2, and if money is ANY consideration, get the 100.2. It sounds much more like a tube amp than a ss amp. The 100.2 is $3000 new and about $1800 to $2000 used if you can find one. Check out the ads on Audiogon a see how many VT100mk2's are listed compared to the 100.2. You very seldom see 100.2 for sale used. That's because people that own them love them so much. The 100.2 just sounds like music and you can't get better than that.
Thank you folks. Slowhand, I was just wondering why ARC 100.2 is so "clandestine" while ARC in gereral is famous. I would very much like to audition it, but do you by any chance know a dealer around NY? Thanks again. Ken
If you live on or near Long Island try Audio Visions in West Babylon.
khogkugo, the 100.2 is *clandestine*, cuz it's solid-state, made by one of the reknowned tube mfr's. i've heard it driving a pair of proac 2.5's w/a res-audio cd-50 thru an arc ls-16 preamp - *wery* nice.
Sedond: Is there any professional review or article on this? Gmkowal: Is there any dealer in NY city? Thanks!
I have personally owned a 100.2 and I can attest to it's great sound. The only solid state I have owned that sounded as good or better was a Pass Labs Aleph 0s. The Monarchy amps sound very nice too.
Khokugo: Stereo Exchange in NYC is an authorized ARC dealer. You could call them to see if they've got the amp on display.
Rcprince: Gosh, thank you very much! I will visit them. Have you ever dealt with them? Good experience? Thanks again. Ken
khokugo, forgive me, but i'm not sure what it is you refer to, when you ask about articles *on this*. my opinion about the 100.2 being "clandestine" cuz its a ss amp made by a company known for their toob-stuff is yust that - an opinion. my experience listening to the arc stuff driving the proacs is also yust that - *my* experience. i can say, tho, that its owner bought the arc gear cuz he already had & liked the proacs, & it's what proac recommended he buy for their speakers. he also told me he heard from a reliable source at arc that arc's owner uses this same amp-n-pre to drive proac 2.5's in his own home, but i can't swear this is true...

regards, doug

Sedond: sorry for confusion. I really appreciate your opinion. Totally aside from that, I was just wondering further whether there has been some publicity about it. I am now curious how it could match with Sonus Faber..... Ken
Ken, I've had some experience with S.E. and its been generally good. Of course the usual caveats apply: depends on the particualar salesman,day you go there, and making them understand that you are there for a serious listen(not that you're absolutly buying the product). If you are interested, email me and I'll give you someone's name who i've dealt with. Peter
Ken, take Peter up on his offer. I have only dealt with S.E. long ago, when I was looking for a used piece of equipment (they have a LOT of good used equipment); they were friendlier and more helpful than the other NYC high end Meccas (except Innovative Audio, to which I have sent numerous people starting out in this hobby because they are good at educating and at letting you listen). A friend of mine bought VTL MB 750s from them, used, at a great price and he was happy with the amps and the buying experience.
Reprince: Thanks for your input. I was a bit concerned by those feedbacks on Peter: You've got a mail. I really do appreciate both of your help. Now I am tatally at a loss, but this is the fun part. Ken
hey khokugo, what preamp do ya use? this wood also affect yer amp choice.

how about a nice electrocompaniet aw100 amp? i got one adwertised here on audiogon, asking $895... ;~) yeah, i know - shameless plug! only selling it to find an aw75 to match my aw75, so i can run a pair bridged.

Khokugo, the ARC100.2 is an all-FET transistor design which in my opinion sounds somewhat veiled compared to solid state amps possessing bipolar transisitor outputs or even MOSFET outputs. The 100.2 has the same "problems" that older all-FET Conrad Johnson SS amps had, although in newer CJ's they've switched to bipolar output (keeping only the FET gain stage), for increased clarity while retaining some warmth. (See Stereophile review of CJ MF2500 amp for details.) If you listen a lot to classical and want to avoid the harshness of many bipolar amps (e.g. steely violin sections), you should try some MOSFET-output amps, which are being made nowdays much better than before (they used to be somewhat hazy and bass-wimpy). With MOSFETs you get the warmth & 3-D imaging of tubes without the etched/brittle sound of many pure-bipolar transisitor amps. There are many such amps available; do a search on AudioAsylum (using keyword MOSFET) for many discussions and recommendations. Finally, consider the new BelCanto EVo200.2 solid state amp (which I own, and can be found used for as low as $1600). It has a unique MOSFET-type switching ouput device, and is a great synthesis of solid-state and tube-like character. Of course, you could go in the direction of tube amps, but in my experience dealing with tube gear can be expensive and complicated. (Tube amps can sound wonderful, though...) Good luck in your search.
hey ral, mebbe that's why i like my electrocompaniet amps - also a mosfet design. & no haze or bass wimpyness that *i'm* aware of... not that i have one for sale, or anything... ;~)
Many thanks, members. OK, what do you think of combination of Sonus Faber Signum and its integrated, Musica, then?