Audio Research Sp-6a up in smoke

Well, my housemate woke me up yesterday, "There's a fire."
White smoke had filled the stereo cabinet. Unusually, I had left the preamp on for 3 days. The smoke stopped quickly.

Was this a catastrophic failure or just the old capacitors giving up? I have a Bedini 25/25 driving Kef 103-2's.

Should I send it Steve Huntley Northern Sound for a refurb, or do think I should send it to the factory? I'm near Philly and I hear that Bob Backert at RHB Sound Design is a genius.

Or, is it so old that I should think about something else? It gave a sweet, woody sound to the music.

Collect from your home owners insurance first..I did.Same situation with a Sp8..Christmas morning we had a telephone pole transformer blew up next to my house and it took out my Audio Research sp8..While playing..Smoke everywhere...Recieved $1800 ( replacement value ) from insurance company and got to keep the unit...$400 repaired good as new ..No questions asked..Hope you had insurance???
Thanks for the response. I have a $1000 deductible and your advice has caused me to change the policy.

Miles, did you have a transformer blow up outside? If not I doubt most homeowner policies will cover the failure of electronic devices UNLESS it is caused by outside forces like that or something such as a flood, fire, etc. A homeowners policy doesn't cover routine failure of electronics devices, appliances, etc.

"Was this a catastrophic failure or just the old capacitors giving up?" Impossible to tell from here. Find a good shop and get a repair estimate and go from there.
FYI : I was told by my insurance person that it would be covered even with just a power surge..As long as there was smoke or fire damage the piece would be covered..Ask for info on a " Rider " on you insurance for Replacement cost...Its only a few bucks a year extra..Well worth the miniscule amount of extra money.......This should be pretty much standard procedure for anyone with there own home and electronic toys...Hope that helps........
Bob Backert at RHB Sound Design is a genius. He's worked on plenty of sp6's too.
Sending it to ARC can make it as good as new. Send it to Steve and he will make better than new!
I've always sent my SP-6B to ARC. It's been there three times since purchased in 1980. ARC has the parts and will bring it back to original, if that's what you want. My last SP-6B service was in 2008 and ARC had it done in a couple of weeks.