Good for them. It's too bad that the prices are a joke.
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Bojack, if the GSi75 is made up of all reference grade components, the pricing may not be too bad because there's a DAC function too. For example, if the GSi75 also has a headphone amp and/or a phono pre, then all the better. Putting together a like combo with the Ref 75 amp and the DAC 8 alone would cost some pretty change. Add to it PH-8 or Ref Phono 2 functionality, and you're way over the top. Just saying.
But you're 100% right on about the GS-Pre and GS 150 -- way, way over the pricing of the Ref 5 SE and Ref 150.
I gotta believe the pricing is based on more than just pretty looks and KT-150 tubes. Let's see what other folks come back with.
Kinda interesting that ARC is trying to touch a very well heeled market niche for this class of products. I wonder how this gear will compare with the Ref 10 and Ref 10 Phono? Both Ref 10 units price at $30K a pop.
I agree, that is interesting. I have a thread running about the KT-150's and the current reference line. ARC is evidently running an endurance test to see if swapping out the 120's and 150's, is feasable.
All I would say about the integrated GSi75, is that I compared the Ref 75 with the current i75 integrated and it was no contest, the standalone amp was, in every way better than the integrated. Now I know the GSi75 is completely different and if it is a reference product, which the current i75 is'nt, it may be a lot closer to the power amps. When it comes out, I would urge anyone considering it, to compare with one of the Reference power amps, before commiting to a purchase. I notice there is no equivelant to the current Ref 75, the smallest Power amp in the G series, is the 150. This may reflect that the 150 valve is more powerful, but if there is going to be a reference G75 or 100,power amp, it may be worth waiting for. I am not the only one, who thinks the current Ref 75, is a nicer sounding amp than the Ref 150, with suitably sensitive speakers.
Here's a few snippets from your "What's Best Forum" link:
"I think we are seeing the demise of ARC as we have known it, not saying its bad, just a significant change in direction.
Hold on to the ARC gear you have and purchase now because you never know what is going to happen. Inevitably, new owners [want] to make changes and that can be dangerous.... "
"Most definitely this is the driver behind this exercise. Catering to the emerging market of nouveau riche audio snobs in emerging markets - slap new look on existing designs, jack up price and presto. Can't fault commercial enterprises for wanting to make a buck though."
Being a die-hard ARC fan, I will keep an open mind. But at the same time, I am concerned that ARC may be directing its marketing focus to a more well heeled market segment, thereby freezing folks like me out.
Having said that, if one looks at ARC's complete product line, I suppose a credible argument can be made that ARC hasn't written off us "lesser well heeled" folks. Instead, they're just filling in the market niche between the Ref series and the "super" Ref 10 line.
Personally, I would like to see ARC cater more downstream by raising the Q factor of their existing product lines even more than the high level at which they are holding and lowering prices (gasp). But I suppose that the Fine Sounds Group market analyst types have done their homework and run the numbers.
Last point ... I remember from my basic marketing courses way back in Business School (40+ years ago) that a common marketing technique that retail companies often use is to change the package to keep an "old" product looking fresh. I hope the G Series is more than just pretty gingerbread and KT-120 tubes.
Hopefully we'll learn more from ARC in the coming weeks.
I think it's Fine Sounds and the Italian designers trying to make their mark on things, at least aesthetically. They have also done this to Wadia. With companies such as Wadia and ARC and their heritage, I would think you would want to take more of a hands off aporoach as a parent company.
My main thing is I just don't want to see ARC get too 'watered down' with too many products and a less than clear distinction between products. Like you said, time will tell.
Perhaps the new owners, LBO France private equity group, might consider taking a look at the European/UK dealer RRP on the Reference range (watch out for Low Flying Pigs). As of today's $/£ exchange rate, the UK RRP on an Ref10 equates to $47,014.59.
Even allowing for +30% Taxes, duties,etc. etc, on the US RRP an Ref10 really should be closer to £23K, as apposed to the current UK RRP at £28,900.
I believe the G series would come under the heading of audio jewelry, a segment opened by Dan D'agostino. The visual/mechanical design of the G series was designed by Italian designers. The circuits were designed at ARC. I'm sure this was a marketing decision. The products were designed for those who not only can afford it, but where the W.A.F. (wife acceptance factor) of the current line of products are visually unacceptable. Think interior designer. The G series is a compliment to the current ARC product line. That's all there is to it.
That's a useful term I had not heard used in quite a while.
Some watches are highly functional and keep time quite accurately and meet peoples needs for that easily. Somse do this and are also nicer looking pieces of Jewelry.
Same true with audio gear and most popular technical gadgets these days. Even becoming more popular with home appliances in recent years, though its debatable if an expensive washing machine necessarily works better than the ones that are most popular.