Soooo disappointing. So you want to use in home theatre mode. Get ready to pay up to operate. The tubes stay on and when family uses system 10 plus hrs a day for tv and videos, the tubes burn away. Most of the 8 tubes have life of 4000 hrs and cost $150 per tube to replace. Over 5 years operating costs could approach $5000 or more. And this excludes wasteful elec costs of $100 to $200 per year for bulbs running without being used. Sooooo disappointing.
I called audio research and they confirmed all this. Further, they lacked any sensitivity to theses issues. Seemed kinda arrogant.
The tubes only cost that much when you get them from ARC. They are in sockets for a reason- they are considered 'user replaceable' which means you can buy tubes from the Tube Depot or the like and spend considerably less!
Absolutely no sympathy for the OP. If you didn't know this when you purchased your preamp, then you didn't do adequate research. Only yourself to blame. Also, if I owned an ARC preamp, and I don't due to high operating costs, I would only buy replacement tubes from ARC.
I never use HT-Passthrough. W/my Bryston I hook up the Balanced connections to my Krell Showcase. W/the RCA's I connect the amp to my Luxman CL38U-SE. When I had a CJ ET-3 SE I did the same. All I had to do was hit the switch on the amp and turn on the preamp I was using. Saves on tube use.
Considering a tube product..basically of any kind, that will be left on 100% of the time and utilized for HT is NOT a great idea, IMHO. To then question the fact that the tubes will age more rapidly than if one where to use a ss piece, seems a little 'crazy' to me. No wonder ARC were not that receptive!
Reading the OPs issue with Audio Research, I just got a mental picture of their staff leaning in on the conversation while on speaker phone with you and then just cracking up in the back ground as you dredge on about their lack of concern and I wonder, are you their targeted market? Have you considered solid state? Enjoy the music
emerging soul I have a Bryston amp that shares double duty. I hook up to Luxman w/the RCA connects and the Balanced to the Krell processor. I just flip the switch on the amp according to what processor I'm using . I E-Mailed James Tanner at Bryston to see if it was OK. He wrote back there was no problem. Saves on tube life as w/most HT/passthroughs you have to leave the preamp on.
If you run a respectable hobby but cannot keep away people from your gear who do not cherish the value of this high end-preamp you do not deserve any compassion for the situation/problem. There are enough solid state solutions out on the market to amplify goofy films on TV. Just my opinion...
This can’t be real tred. You open sliding door and boot all those people out the doors. Tell them to ride bicycle, play basketball, learn to sword fight, go mountain climbing, get BB gun and shoot target and maybe learn to hunt. I don’t see how this arc problem this family to much on the tv problem.
Clearly the OP has no love for ARC. My suggestion is buy a solid-state preamp and be done with it--there have been some good suggestions made above. If you really want the ARC, get a cheap solid state integrated amp/HT processor for your home theater and just use the ARC for music. But stop bashing ARC for the fact that it's expensive to own and operate--I think most of us know that.
Where are you buying your tubes? Wow... a typical ARC retube is much less. I’ve done a few. And agree with the others, for that kind of hours used, a secondary receiver would be best, or make it really easy and do a sound bar for tv.
I think you mean 6h30 by sovtek which sell for $34. I was looking at a rare brand which was so much higher and arc wasn’t helpful to guide me. So now I ponder an arc 6se vs a McIntosh 1100, which has a phonostage. A very tough choice.
My experience with Audio Research tube gear has been excellent. The tube replacement cost is not out of line with other top tube equipment manufacturers. Of course it is more expensive than having a solid state piece. Seems like a lot of belly aching over nothing here.
Get the McIntosh. The tubes last forever. Some guys are still using the same tubes in their unit, 20 years later. McIntosh does not push their tubes and tube life is greatly extended. I have done a lot of experimenting with tubes in my C2500 preamp and after spending almost $400.00 on more expensive tubes, I went back to the stock McIntosh tubes 12ax7 which are rebranded JJ’s. 6 tubes at a cost of 90.00 total. Not too shabby.
The McIntosh c1100 is nice but it bothers me that I am getting a phonostage and headphone amp that I will not be using. And it takes up a lot of space. Mc needs to do a higher tube preamp without this extra stuff. It would do really well.
If your are considering going to that level, I would think a sound bar would be your best choice for a dual use room situation... but honestly, even if you didn’t, the cost per hours really would be negligible in the long run.
Decooney, yes tubes were used in TVs for years... not because they worked well, but because that's all we had. I remember pulling the heavy TV out from the wall, removing the 10-20 screws and power cord interlock so I could access the insides of the TV, making a map of where each type of the 10-15 tubes were located or in some cases, hidden...pulling them all out, driving to the electronics store with a showbox full of tubes and testing every one of them...getting positive results on many, negative results on some and unknown results on others. You spend money buying replacements for the known bad ones and maybe some of the questionable ones, take them all home and carefully re-install the tubes, put the cover on, cross your fingers and turn it on. If it worked, great! If not....back to the store to re-test the questionable ones, repeat until it works. This was a once in 6-18 months routine. No...when transistors became available, NOBODY kept building TV s with tubes. SS was the way to go. Yes, I have a tube phono stage and it's great. And, it's only on for a half hour to an hour before I listen to an LP, and gets turned off when optical or other digital sources are in use.
DUH! I’ll give you $100 for your ARC preamp and that’ll give you a start toward something that you should have bought in the first place! Somebody needs to come up with a quick online audiophile competency test. Have you checked the "ohmage" on your speakers? Maybe they use too much energy too. Sorry. Maybe we need new ’thinking caps’ or ’tin foil hats’ or those crazy laser hats that are supposed to grow hair. Anything would be an improvement.
My suggestion is to purchase a high quality sound bar/sub combination driven off the TV for general viewing. Save the ARC for movies and audio. No need to listen to food network channel through a high def sound system.
That is ARC. I had an SP 10 and then SP11. Had to retube every 8 months. Horrible life on those units. Now I have a Veloce' which smokes the ARC and tubes last for years. My Audio Note DAC5 is on 24-7 and I get at lest a year form the tubes and it is under $250 to retube.