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.  

Sooooo disappointing.
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!
As mentioned above, you can source power tubes for a fraction of the cost stated, Bias accordingly and there is no difference. ARC is taking advantage of lazy people who don't do their homework.


Have to agree with
 "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."
Class A tranny stuff ain't exactly frugal with the old wall socket, either.  Thank goodness for Stand By switches.
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