Audio Research GS150 Musings

Good day my fellow ARC Agaricus Bisporus.

In light of the relative ambivalence that seems to have descended upon ARC's latest, and Should we to believe the "word' on the street, greatest stereo amplifier, I thought that I would initiate this thread for the most part as a vehicle whereby any early adopters of this particular model might comment upon their considerations of the amplifier thus far, and hopefully utilize the same, as a place where they may log their considerations as they journey through the Roller Coaster ride that is ARC break in.

I hope that I will be excused for the somewhat laxidaisic cut n pasting that follows, however I plead the 'Humungous Hangover' defence!

" For my part I have listened to the same GS150 at 60 hours, then with 166 hours on the clock, and whilst there were signs of an opening up in the midrange, I felt the amplifier to to be rather 'Tight', and still a Tad constrained in some areas of tonality, texture and harmonics, particularly on acoustic strings.

Whilst considering comment made thus far in respect of the KT150, I was expecting to be impressed with the lower registers, even at this point in what can be something of a roller coaster ride where break in of ARC is concerned, however this particular GS is still quite some way off, in reproducing the gravitas evident in for example, Der Ring des Nibelungen, as imparted by my Ref150 even at 300 hours on the clock.

However! Even at this early juncture, It is in the upper mid-range, ascending, where the GS has ,for me, impressed the most. The retrieval of filagre micro detail is quite excellent, the GS seeming to impart additional 'air' and light with an effortless extension to the very upper registers. Smooth, clean and accurate, whilst remaining quite organic and utterly convincing in nature.

Way too early to come to judgment .... 600 hours is the break-in period.

I am interested in learning how the GS-150's innards differ from the Ref 150.
Several hundreds of hours would have been ideal, It is unfortunate that this particular unit has just the 100 hours on the clock as I rather suspect my loan period will not extend quite that far.

Another run out sees the clock just ticking over the century mark, midrange opening up a smidgen! Vocal inflections? *particularly* impressive, even in comparison with my 100K hours Ref 150/ KT120. Soundstage ? although having expanded outwards a tad from the frontal plain of the Martin Logan CLX's comparative to 60 hours, I am far from replicating the projected 3D soundstage, verging on surround sound, that I can achieve with my Ref 150 in combination with its 16 Ohm tap.

Imaging and separation? Even at this stage, most impressive!

Returning to vocalisation. Even at this point in break in time it is clear to me that the nuances in diction and phrasing were being elevated to a point beyond that which I had previously considered as quite excellent, via my Ref150, these evolutions of inflection may be subtle, yet are perceivable enough, in taking the listener that one step closer to the old cleche that is 'Sinatra in the room'

However, A most compelling and pertinent question yet remains.

Just how close is a Ref150/KT150 to the GS150?

Especially were one to be an oddball like myself that utilises the 16 Ohm tap, phased out on the later GS Amplifier.

For anyone interested, more anon.

Jasper, send a "Help" e-mail to A'gon staff. I had a similar problem once before and they fixed it right away.