Audio Research Convert...

I never thought I would do this but I've recently sold my Ayre V3 for an Audio Research 100.2, I have two words to say about it. Dynamic and Smooth! The 100.2 has all the qualitys of the Ayre, but even better resolution on the top and the bottom, and so smooth. There is just such a sence of ease with this amp. I believe part of this is that it is also a better match for my Audible Illusions M3A. This amp is a real sleeper and it really takes charge of my Maggies. If anyone else out there has this amp I would love to here the contents of your systems.
Hi Gmele Glad to hear about system. I recently went the ARC route, but instead of a new pre I went backwards in terms of age. I had a Anthem pre2L and it was alright but I traded it in on a LS7 and WOW. Everything the Anthem was not. It mated well with my Anthem Amp1 which to me is a sleeper. I believe even with dated ARC gear they are a statement of what highend is all about.
I also have the ARC 100.2 amp mated with the Audible Illusions M3A preamp. The rest of my system consists of a VPI mk4 TT, Pioneer PD54 stable platter CD player and I recently purchased a pr. of Gallo Nucleus Reference speakers. Gmele, you are right, the 100.2 is very smooth but also very dynamic. I also listened to an ARC 100 mk2 tube amp and I prefered the 100.2 SS amp. This is a real sleeper in the ARC line. They may be known for their tube amps, but this is a REAL beauty! Check out how many used ones you find. Almost NONE, that's how many. When people find out how good they are, they hang on to them.
I sometime back talked to one of the main guys at Audio Research and he uses the 100.2 in his home system. I mean this guy could be using anything and he chooses a solid state amp from their line. I've heard it and it's real good.
How good? Let's just say that in comparison with the Mark Levinson (megabuck) amp it was way smoother and listenable.
I'm convinced that it may be one of the most underated products in all of high-end audio.
Gmele, which Maggies do you have? I am bi-amping 3.5s with an Ayre V-3 on top and a Levinson 332 on the bottom. Before bi-amping I listened to a VT100MKII vs. the 332 and the 332 did it for me but not by much. I never considered the 100.2 but now that I have read your post.....I guess this is part of the hobby. Out of curiosity, what does a used 100.2 go for? Thanks, Rayd
Rayd-I have Maggie 1.6's. With the 100.2 in place I am now getting more top and bottom than I thought was possible with the 1.6's. You really don't see many 100.2's used. I would try and pick up a demo from a dealer. When I have seen them they go between $1800. and $2400. During the summer Audio Research runs a speical with there dealers and you can get a new one for $3000. Since I have sold my Ayre I have not looked back. That's something I never thought I would say! Best-Gary
Count me in....I recently bought the 100.2 and couldn't be happier.Although considerably more than I had planned to spend,after listening I had to have it.Money well spent for a change.I was most surprised at the added depth,3D soundstage if you will,that this amp provides.Hey just one comment on operation if anyone is still following this thread: do you get a pop in your speakers after the unit comes out of the protection start up and clicks to full on?
Hehe..... I have a ARC 100.2 amp. I couldn't find any reports about this amp but bought it anyway and boy am I glad! It is an EXCELLENT sounding product. Used together with Audible Illusions L-1 pre amp & Totem Model 1 signature speakers. And yes, a small thump is normal about 10 seconds after amp start-up. Turns out that to avoid the "thump" would have undesirable sonic effects on the amp's output. Am pleased to now read such nice comments about the 100.2 amplifier.
I had a 100.2 before I got a VT100, I felt it was exceptional for a SS amp. When I told some local dealers that I felt it was better than the Classe or Aragon etc stuff that I auditioned, I got a really funny look but I just really liked the amp.
I'm suprised no one has mentioned the Audio Research D-130. This continues to be IMHO the best buy for AR on the used market. Released in 1996 and only replaced last year with the 100.2. Available for around 1 K or less. I have one matched with a Audio Research LS-3. The combination is wonderful. I do believe that these solid state amps have a synergy with Audio Research preamps. I do not think they reach their potential with OEM preamps.
My 100.2 is mated with an Audible Illusions M3A preamp and they are a PERFECT match! If you own the AI M3A preamp, give the AR100.2 a try. They are a match made in heaven. Since purchasing my Gallo speakers I really feel that my system is complete. I now have the most musical sound that I could ask for. I have no desire to change or upgrade anything.