Sure it can. His old Ref 5se was finished in black and his new Ref 6 is finished in silver. Sounds like night and day to me.
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OP - Amen brother!!!
The exaggerations have always had to be there for one of two reasons from what I can tell:
1. If the reviewers don't exaggerate how do they convince you to ditch that totally acceptable $5000 piece of gear to get a marginal at best or just lateral move for just $10,000.
2. You just spent $10,000 and you need to justify how this marginal if not latteral equipment upgrade is worth it.
This isnt to say there arnt huge leaps, but in my experience from one generation to another do not huge night and day differences make.
In my honest opinion . I owned the Ref 5 se for about 2 and a half weeks and the demoed the 6. Lets just say that i put my 5 se up for sale right away and bought a brand new 6. The 5 se is a very good sounding preamp, the 6 is like that but WAY more in every way you can think of the 5 se. It is so good i didnt want a used one. I wanted a brand new one from ARC. To me it was well worth the extra thousands. I love this 6 so much that for a single chasis preamp it will stay with me for a very very long time. And yes i totally agree that it a totally different preamp than the 5se. It is not even an upgrade to me but a totally different preamp.
tlong1958........What you said is so not true to me. I DONT have alot of money buring a hole in my pocket. I DONT like getting something new every year..I am NOT jumping on the ARC train. This ARC Ref 6 is so AWESOME that yes to ME it is a jaw dropping difference between the 5se. I have a Krell FPB 600 and B&W Matrix 800s and never ever will sell or upgrade them . Thats the way I FEEL about the ARC 6. And Jim Morrison and Jim Hendrix came back from the dead and he appeared in my room !!!!!
jafant......Thank you....And every time i turn on the 6 another great dead and alive artist appears in my room playing right in front of me !!!!. I really think this is the best audio investment i ever made with such an improvement in sound...All i can tell the people who have not heard the 6 and only up to the 5se and below they are really missing out on an awesome preamp and something very special and dont judge the difference in sound between the 5se and the 6 if you never ever heard the 6 .. mofimadness .......... You are exactly RIGHT ON....
Never meant to say you had money to burn, obviously I would have no idea about that. But ARC introduces upgrades (SE versions) and new models more often than most manufacturers, and for the person that has to have the latest and greatest it will require constantly sending units back to them for upgrades, trading in or selling the soon to be eclipsed gear. Costly, and to stay on top of it you will not keep anything very long. I used to sell ARC, and I think it’s very good. But imo, not usually “night and day” improvements. YMMV
tlong1958........Never meant to say you had money to burn...... I know that was not meant for me. You just wrote that in general. And for me , yes i do plan to keep the 6 for a very long time if not forever. Also the Ref 40 and 10 are prob def better than the 6 but i have not interest in them as they are a 2 component set up and have no room for them ,so that is even not an option for me. Like i said TO ME it was a night and day difference between the 5se and 6 with MY ears and components. To each their own. Thats another reason why this hobby is so fun.. So many different opinions. debates , ect ect.. Its all good... The only thing that really matters is you and what you like.
Also if you read what mofinadness said in the 4th down from top. He is exactly right about the Ref 6. The Ref 6 is a whole new unit not even an upgrade from the 5se. Like he said ,,,,,,,,,The Ref 6 is a completely different preamp from the REF 5SE. New chassis , new circuit board, new circuit design, larger power transformer, 2 more tubes, etc.. Why couldnt it be a night and day difference in sound?