Audio Research discontinuing lower lines components?

I have looked at several components in Audio Research's line and they are discontinuing the LS17-se, PH8, and PH6.  They discontinued the DAC 8.  I know there is a new Ref 6 to replace the Ref 5se and their is a new Ref Phono 3 to replace the Ref Phone 2se coming out.  I talked to my dealer and he stated that Audio Research seems to be making their components look more McIntosh like in the Galeo series. 

The dealer stated their isn't going to be anything that he has heard that will replace the other lines at this point and that AR will be starting at the LS-27, which is $7500 for preamps.  The Ref 75se is the beginning of the line for Amps, which I know, but man are they going the Mac route with prices, nothing to replace the DAC 8 and the other DAC in the line is $11,000, what's up with this, have you guys heard anything more. 

The starting point for AR equipment is getting pretty high and the only way a newer person without means will be able to afford it will be to buy use, which could send the used prices up if there isn't anything else in the line.  What do you guys think and what have you heard?
Back in the 1980's , when I first started buying ARC gear , there wasn't the plethoria of options there are now , you had the SP8 & SP10 for preamps and 3 or 4 power amps and that was it . In 1983 the Australian dollar retail for an SP8 was $3,300 , that's an enormous amount of money in inflation adjusted terms , probably close to $25,000 today , and for that money you can get an LS27/SP8 combo which is a far superior product in every way . I admit I'm not a big fan of the Galileo type styling , but I'm probably old , boring and long for the good old days of the golden era of HiFi , but the Ref75Se , which is their new entry level power amp , will probably walk all over a D70 Mk2 , which again , in inflation adjusted terms , was probably more expensive , there is hope yet !
ARC is overrated anyways. Plenty of great stuff that can be had for much less...
"ARC is overrated anyways. Plenty of great stuff that can be had for much less"

You could say the same thing about most of these high-end companies.

You guys are bashing the wrong brand and looking at it all wrong.

First of all, there are plenty of budget audiophile brands that offer good performance for the money (Parasound, NAD, Emotiva, Prima Luna, etc.).  Most budget-minded audiophiles don't even use the brick and mortar dealer route anymore, so that adds another element to the equation that you guys aren't considering.

ARC is NOT a budget brand and doesn't sell via online dealers.  They also deliver higher performance that can compete with the very best regardless of price.  Companies like Ayon, VAC, Boulder, DCS, etc. charge obscene amounts for arguably no better performance. Thus, ARC is still a relatively good deal if you want the "best of the best" sound.

On top of that, they have tons of equipment out on the used market, so it makes no sense for them to make a brand new $3k amp when I can buy a Ref110 used for the same price and get better parts/performance.  In fact, many of their legacy models still deliver SOTA performance that will embarrass newer models from other companies.

What would you rather...a used ARC Ref 110 or new pair of Emotiva monoblocks? Virtually every seasoned audiophile would rather the Ref 110 hands down (assuming sound quality is the primary focus).

If you're on a budget and want ARC, it's not that hard to get great deals used.  I picked up a Ref110 for $3200, a VTM200 (single mono) for $1300, a VT50 for $1k, an LS12 for $1200, and there are constantly DAC3 for less than $2k that still give you performance almost anybody's system will appreciate.  

In fact, there is an LS5 for sale right now that many will tell you is one of the best preamps ever made by ARC.  To beat that LS5, you would have to spend 3-10x as much brand new...and even then you're not guaranteeing a material improvement.  It's reference quality as-is.

I'm not saying prices aren't ridiculous overall in the industry.  However, relatively speaking, ARC delivers sound that has almost no there is a level of service and pedigree that you get with ARC and not many others.  

In SHOULD have to pay more for ARC, but, even if you can't buy brand new, you can still join the club via the used route.  Bashing ARC is like worrying more about a leak in the roof of your garage versus a busted pipe flooding your house.  There are countless brands with less pedigree/service 
that charge far more for lower performance.
labtec is right, there is no sense in bashing ARC, they are simply the messenger. Sure, their top of the line preamp lists for 3X the price of their top preamp 8 years ago, but look around, just about every other audio company has done the same thing in the last 8-10 years.

As schubert pointed out, this is about income inequality, not about ARC.
ARC is just doing what their customers demand. Their customer base wants to spend more money, so ARC will oblige and take more money. No different than what the other high end companies are doing.

Why would any of these fine high end companies wish to compete with the booming Chinese market of products? There is no future there.

It's not's just business.