My dad has the ARC LS16, checked out the LS26 then bought the Ref 3 wich will be installed in a week, the 26 is no slouch but he splurged for the ref 3.
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What pre are you using at the moment?
I bought the LS26 about a month ago. It replaced my Krell KRC-HR. I still cant believe how much better the ARC is. It beats the Krell in every possible aspect. I am now considering a change to a tube power amp.
I would thoroughly recommend this preamp
I've had the ARC LS26 for almost a year. I love it! Prior to the LS26, I had an Aesthetix Calypso and, before that, I had a Sonic Frontiers Line3, and, before that, a Jeff Rowland Synergy3. The LS26 is superior to all of those and some preamps costing twice as much. It is a very dynamic preamp with a fantastic soundstage. I auditoned the ARC Ref 3 at the same time, but, alas, I could not afford it. My next preamp, if I can afford it, will be the Ref 3; it's everything the LS26 is and then some.