Audio Research or Macintosh?


Could I have comments/opinions on the two tube/hybrid amps on my short list, namely the Audio Research VSi75 and the Mcintosh 252.

Thanks.
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arc more linear more transparent

mac more overtly tubey, somewhat rolled highs fatter midrange and mid bass

both will image well, wide tall and deep
The ARC is so neutral that I have a tough time recommending it.  I mean, why go with tubes if it's going to sound warm, neutral and very close to say a Parasound?

It sounds great, but.... I'd rather have that in SS. 

I haven't heard Mc in a very long time. 
while i do share some of eriksquire’s sentiments about audio research tube amplification, i would also say that no one with decent hearing would mistake the sound of an audio research vsi-75 with a modern solid state amp of the same price range
ARC has been bought by McIntosh years ago. Guess that tells how good ARC was doing with it’s products compared to Mac...
Please send me a review sample for 24 months to refresh my memory. :-) 
In general, ARC >>> Mc in SQ. My opinion only.
Parasound?? Hardly.

Also, ARC no longer owned by Mc if memory serves. 

Mc has almost infinitely more models though and hits every price point from budget to expensive. Also probably looks nicer and retains value better. Surely some will also prefer it for SQ, but not most esp if they listen side by side. My opinion only

I would never buy an ARC, too many horror stories about tubes failing and causing damage....  use anything but a tube purchased from them and take your chances.  

McIntosh is the more reliable brand without question.  I have owned a few McIntosh components over the years and never a problem.  I put some new lamps in my buddy's C26 and it cleaned up and sounded great....  still working and its 50 years old...  it appears it had a recap in the 90's but still.....
it is unfortunate that arc tube amps don’t implement best possible measures to deal with tube expiration...

but many many folks learn to manage it and feel the tradeoff is well worth it for the exemplary sound

for some others, not the case... it’s all good... the world keeps turning
I've had a number of ARC amps and preamps and never have had a problem with any of them.  Mac looks cooler, ARC sounds better (to me).
Thanks to everyone for their opinion and feedback, very helpful. An opportunity kind of made my mind up for me as a fellow on Canuck Audio was selling a VSi75 with a set of KT120' and KT150's with only a 100 hours on both. His unit came with the 120's but he contacted AR and they said there was no issue using 150's so he bought a very expensive set from them; I think I will go to the Tube Store or Upsacle when I need new ones. The only issue now is to get a Cardas XLR to RCA adapter as I am currently running a balanced interconnect from my Audio Analogue Settanta to me Ayre P-5xe; no balanced inputs on the 75.
Cheers.
Sorry, that is obviously the other way around, from Ayre phono preamp to Settanta.
Great choice, I’m sure you will totally enjoy!

I have audio research equipment and used upscale audio For my last set of replacement tubes. Very satisfied. 
Also have not had any problems with my audio research gear.
It's nice to hear that you have experienced reliability biketony, lots of naysayers out there criticising the longevity of AR products.
Also had good experience with Upscale Audio for replacement tubes in my AR preamp.  Using AR components throughout my system.
Early ARC tube amps had little protection and gave them a reputation that is still around but totally unfounded today. I think you made a nice choice with the VSi75.
BillWojo