Audio Research Mark 1or 2, Super Tubes or rolling?


I am putting together an AR system and opinions are very devided about the newer AR equipment that uses the new "Super Tubes" or rather their older mark 1 components that are designed for tube rolling. Which sound better? I know that is a relative question. I have heard both at different times, but never done a side by side comparison. Some like the warmer, more tube sound of the Mark 1 series while others like the newer sound of the newer Mark 2 components. I would like some opinions of which you prefer and what your experiences are with the newer and older AR series. Thanks.
dougd1015
Dougd1015,
I have owned LS25 MKII (uses 2-6H30s), the VT-100 MKII (uses 6922 input tubes and voltage regulators), CD3 MKII (no tubes) and now own all ARC REF gear (CD7, REF3, REF110) that use 5-6H30s in the REF CD7 and 4-6H30s in the REF 110 with Wilson Sophia IIs. I am very familiar with REF 210s (no 6H30 tubes used) and with the LS-26 (2-6H30s used). I've also heard the BAT VK-300x with the 6H30 option on Wilson Sophia IIs. Net is that system matching is the ultimate answer. Interconnect cables, speakers, and components together yield the final sound of the system but you probably knew that. Some say that the 6h30 components sound a little "whiter", more neutral sound whereas the 6922 components are warmer more "bloomy" in the midrange. Maybe. Depends on what speakers are used and what front-end. If it were me putting together an ARC system from used components (a great idea if you ask me!) I would go CD-3 MKII, LS 25 MKII, VT-100 MKII. A couple of other recomendations: Kimber Select ICs and speaker cable (copper KS-1111, KS-3033) all for about $10K. What speakers are you going to use?
The "super tubes" cannot be "rolled" and to some are more "neutral".There are some "very neutral" NOS tubes that can be used.One gives you an option to "tailor",the other does not.
Thanks for your response Rsorren1. I am thinking of trying something a little different this time and try the Martin Logan electrostats Vantage speakers. I have owned the humble, yet nice SP 16 before and I really thought it was a wonderful entry level tube pre. I am sort of staring over again.
Thanks for your response Rsorren1. I am thinking of trying something a little different this time and try the Martin Logan electrostats Vantage speakers. I have owned the humble, yet nice SP 16 before and I really thought it was a wonderful entry level tube pre. I am sort of starting over again.
dougd1015,
If you are thinking of running Martin-Logan elecrostatics, look into a VT-200 MKII amp. I've seen a few on A'gon. I would match the VT-200 and ML Vantage with a Ref 2 MKI or II and the ARC CD3. Nice system. Good luck with it.
Thanks for the good advice.