Is the audio research D150 still a worthily amp?

I recently inherited an audio research D150 from my grandfather. the amp has not been used in over 15 years and will cost fair amount to money to get it serviced. I would like to know how this old amp will fair up against a modern power amp in the $2000 region? i would also like to know if there are places specialised in servicing old Audio Research gear, perhaps giving them some new life with modern capacitors?

finally, i'd also like to know what speakers would work well with this amp? i prefer speakers that are time aligned with a sealed box. please, only advice from experience with the same or a very similar set up. i do not need any random suggestions.
The amp is a piece of junk! It is worthless.....I'll take it off your hands for a fair amount ($200)...


You have a pearl! Sure it's old. Sure it may need repair. But, I would think, if you have it serviced (ARC can do it or others)you can sell it for a good and fiar amount. This amp is a CLASSIS!!
call/e-mail steve huntley at The Great Northern Sound...he would be at the top of my list if i needed to have an audio research amp serviced, repaired or modified.
i would think at the very least he'd be able to give you straight advice on what you can expect from this amp, both after basic service and/or modification.
check his website out and get in touch, it can't hurt...
Steve Huntley at Great Northern Sound would be a great guy to talk to about that amp. They are factory authorized ARC service to get it back up to speed(the power supply caps may be about ready to need to be replaced if nothing else)and they do high quality custom mods like you are asking about on ARC gear. You would only need to ship it once that way. It won't be cheap, but that's a great amp and worth the cost and effort.

As far as speakers I worked for an ARC dealer that had one of these and it will drive about any speaker you like the sound of with a sensitivity from about 86db and up depending on the size of your room and how loud you like to listen. We had it hooked up to some real power hog Maggies. If it can make them sing anything else is a breeze. If you have a bog room or listen loud or both go for speakers with a few db higher sensitivity figure say 88, or 89db and up. This isn't just a random suggestion. That amp is a jem and can drive damn near any speaker you can hook up to it and sound fantastic. Ask Steve when you call him. He was an ARC design tech. He knows that amp inside and out. With new electrolytics in the supply, a real power cord and some modern coupling caps(I hear that Steve likes the Cardas cap)that thing will be a killer!
I didn't recall that there were only roughly 200 of that amp ever produced. It might be worth more in stock form to a collector than you realize. Any mod might reduce it's dollar value, even if it makes it's sonic value higher. Check out this link,

It will kill any currently produced amp today that cost $2000 new in many ways. You can't afford a power supply like that in a 2K unit now, but you should be able to get a whole lot more than that for it from the right person just the way it is, in it's original state, providing it is in excellent physical condition. I think it might be the most sought after of the ARC amps to collectors.

Unless you are attached to it becuse of the provenience, it would be tempting to me to sell it and buy a current ARC offering that you don't need to worry about maintaining. It might suprise you what it would bring on e-bay.
Don't turn it on unless you have access to a variac & you can "wake it" gradually!
If your not familiar with this procedure, you'll have plenty of input on this site...
If the amp was my Grandfathers,I would restore it and use it and NEVER sell it.Surely it has some memories for you.JD
I really appreciate all your inputs. it seems that i really have a jem on hand. i will get in touch with steve a great northern sounds to see if i can work something out with him on my limited buget.
I know this is an old thread but I'm interested on how you did with your AR D-150, just in case you happen to read this. Did you go ahead with the restoration or just sold it?