My #@%$ Cat Destroyed My ARC REF 5SE. Soliciting Suggestions.


(Public service announcement-keep your pets away from your audio equipment)

I love my cat. But not as much as I once did :-)
The short story is cat pee corroded the main board to my ARC REF 5SE. 

Homeowners insurance doesn't cover repair or replacement because owning a pet means you assume liability/responsibility. Ironically, or strangely enough, If my neighbor's cat or dog did this, I could collect.

My options-
Repair it. Fixing it will cost 7K. The main board alone is 6K.
Buy a pre-owned replacement at close to similar price. And if I go pre-owned, what's the market on a REF 5SE with a destroyed main board.
Go in a different direction.

What would you do?

TIA,
David
wharfy
The cat is still alive?!?  Seriously, you probably have to view this as sunk cost and buy a used replacement.  There are a couple of folks that advertise to buy damaged top brand gear.  See if they'll give you some value?
Tell the insurance company, your neighbor's cat did it.
B
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As somebody that has had double digit cats...cats only pee outside the litter box if YOU are doing something wrong and the cat is telling you there is a problem albeit your not cleaning the litter box enough, the cat (male) isnt happy with his living conditions and is marking his territory, There is a Urinary tract problem etc.  So the Cat just got even and now your both unhappy.
Get that dude a litter box not a power amp.
I noticed in one of John Atkinson's video interviews, there is a cat lying on top of one of his components getting warm.

I've never loved a pet so much that I'd allow that to happen.
riaa_award_collectors_on_facebook
"So the Cat just got even and now your both unhappy."

Feeling morally superior today?

My cat was scared to death during a straight-line microburst that took down trees around my residence. He threw himself against the door and flattened himself in the smallest of clearances for safety.

FYI-I didn't start this post to be subjected to your cat-expertise bloviations.
Cats are attracted to spinning turntables. Particularly if the record has a slight warp. They'd love to bat the tonearm around!
Dear ebm-
Read my response to riaa above. This applies to you too.
I started this topic because I'm looking for help.
Clearly, you have none to offer.
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Hi Dweller-I did that and the uric acid salts in the cat urine was so strong it etched the main board. I then brought it to a ARC certified tech who informed me that ARC said it wasn't repairable. A second repair tech agreed. 
jbrrp-The cat is still alive :-)
Thanks for the re-sale advice. I hadn't thought of that.
Ok, I think I have a solution for you.

First, open up the preamp and dry of what you can.

Second, take alot of photos of the inside from every angle you can

Third, get some small paint brushes

Fourth, if you are comfortable, take as much of the interior apart as possible and set aside

Fifth, buy some of this https://antiickypoo.com

Sixth, with the small brush dab/lightly paint the affected areas with the solution. Leave on for a while then dry. Repeat for every area.

Seventh, let it all air out and be completely dry

Eight, reassemble and fire it up.

It will either work or it won’t and you will be out only the effort and less than $100. I hope for your sake that it works. As an aside, where did you get that crazy price for the main board?
Cat piss has a distinct and strong odor. Did you not notice this going on? I have 5 cats only two have access to my listening area extra litter box in area along with water fountain. Happy cats that fall asleep to music.
Markum01-I came home to this. I couldn't get to the house for hours because the street was closed.
ghasley-Too late. But it’s terrific advice.
I got the main board quote from ARC. They only sell it to ARC certified bench techs. Crazy!


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Your preamp is HISTORY!!!!Goodbye!!
Being a cat owner for coming on 30 years now, I would...

Isolate any tube/other gear that carries HIGH voltage/AMPERAGE from the little blameless ones.

As you can see from my system profile all my electronics are contained in a closed/doored hallway closet located behind the speaker wall.

If you don’t have such an option, then think outside the box/closet for a proper solution.

My "placement" was based upon exactly your scenario (pet urinating on a powered up high current HiFi component and the aftermath of the pet’s survival/health) - happy to read that your cat survived.

Experienced a few (3) major shocks from 110/220 when I was younger and they were scary, as were the after affects (unontrollable muscle spasms and dilated pupils to name a few).

DeKay

Sorry to hear about your misfortune 😬 Buy a new amp to enjoy for a few years and wait for a great deal on a pre owned or parts only sale of a Ref 5SE to become available. Then replace that faulty board and decide who gets to use the extra amp or sell it. Quality never goes out of style, it’s also a great excuse to try something different you’ve had your eye on. I’ve seen $15k amp sell for 50-70% off after 5+ years.


Your ARC Ref 5SE is a very nice piece, although it is a bit old.

If you still liked how it was performing, I would recommend getting it fixed, even at the cost you mentioned.
Sorry to hear about your loss. I wouldn’t spend $7K for repairs....the used 5SE been selling between $5k-$6K.

https://www.hifishark.com/search?q=audio+research+5se
I'd find a neighbor with a cat, tell them to mask up and bring it over.
As a proud owner of the REF5se, I am happy to say, I don’t have a cat or dog and so far am fairly accurate at hitting the toilet. 
Sorry for your loss, I think ARC is being ridiculous by not selling the parts you need. What do they care, it’s not a warranty issue and the profit they make is US Currency. 
Glad to see you're taking it in stride.  Unfortunately, stuff happens.  As others have pointed out it probably doesn't make sense to fix.  It might just be a sign to get something different.  If you need more proof, go outside and look at the comet!
I must be really lucky, or a cat whisperer. Have owned many a cat and while they like to listen to the music they never messed with any components of my system even though they all had free run of the house.
If your amp was made by Pass Labs, you 'd be in luck. They would have repaired it for next to nothing. They have an insanely liberal and cheap repair policy.

I had a beloved cat who used one row of my LP to sharpen his claws. I loved her so much I didn't mind the spine damage she did. The Lp's themselves were untouched. Pee is another story. Joe 
I sympathize. The only thing worse is if it happens again:

https://radiodustcovers.com/index.html

I am very happy with the covers they made for me.
I don't know where you are located, but I had Ben from High End Audio Repair  in Brooklyn NY http://highendaudiorepair.com/ replace output caps that were damaged in shipping by careless UPS. He is a authorised ARC repair shop and a dog lover (so I hope he can relate). It can not hurt to at least contact him. Sometimes these shops have units and or parts from pieces that the previous owners abandoned (kind of a long shot with a 5se) but you never know.

His price was more than reasonable in my estimation and turned the job around (after a shipping delay from ARC) and I have been enjoying it ever since.
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Sorry about your misfortune. 
I would add a third option- I would evaluate newer equipment options. Technology has progressed and there may be new companies like Rogue that may he an enjoyable replacement. 
Personally, I make a purchasing decision then ownership often adds or reorders my selection criteria.  
Sorry to hear about your ordeal . 5 or 6k is alot of money . Lesson learned I hope . I had a pair of Magnepan 1.6 which one of my cats mistook for a giant scratch board and totally destroyed the tweeter strip on one of the speakers . 

Yesterday while installing a cartridge on my turntable I totally destroyed inadvertantly the cantilevel of the cartridge . Being a MC I'm going to have to buy a new cartridge or send it to Soundsmith for a new assembly . At least 200 dollars down the drain . Lesson learned the hard way .
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That is one pissed off cat
@arcticdeth Cats won’t protect you? When my brother was probably about 4 or 5, a neighbor’s dog ran into our yard and went to attack him. My cat at the time came outta nowhere and went after that dog with a vengeance like it was her job, luckily keeping my brother from a dog bite/attack/whatever. That cat was a warrior.

@wharfy I’m so sorry to hear about your 5SE and wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide to do.
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I have lots of equipment but I've never had any pets, because I am very strict and cruel...
My two cents is if you really love the piece (I love my ARC stuff) put it in a closet and get something else, whatever brand, to replace it.  Then continue to look for a 5SE that is possibly an estate sale or preferably cosmetically damaged and swap the boards. If you find you have stopped looking, well then you bought the new one wisely.  Attempt to sell the peed version with full disclosure. Probably end up in Asia somewhere.
YouTube: "Hero cat saves toddler from dog attack"
@wharfy,  Oh my, that must have been excruciating when you found out.  One thing I learn here is patience . . what to do when something terrible happens, instead of going with your initial reaction (me).

Im a novice, so pardon my ignorance in this regard, but is there anyone out there that could build and install a replacement board for a fraction of buying a new board from the manufacturer?  If you could significantly cut the cost of replacement, while maintaining performance, that seems like a great option.  I don’t know how many people have access to those parts and the expertise to do the work.  Some members here seem pretty skilled.  

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
Rather than paying 7K for a repair, you are probably better off value-wise picking up a used REF6 for <=9K if you can (one was listed for $7,750 in June). Then upgrade it at a later date if you want (and if the upgrade is worth it, haven’t seen any reviews yet), for another $3K.
Sorry this happened to you. Good luck finding a replacement board :(
Is the cat's name Mayham?

Good luck in your quest!
Looks like there is no kitty love here on Audiogon.

B
Now, THAT is a cat!
 Cool to see the cat chasing a dog away!
good stuff!”!!!

 Wife had a cat years back, was she cool, yes, friendly and all, but pretty useless, our English mastiff and the cat would play like crazy, 
pour dog would push the cats belly with her big head, and the cat would look like a crazed mma fighter hitting her head with her paws, declawed of course. They were peas n carrots!
wharfy - try to make lemonade.  i have two cats i love - one of them, in jumping onto my Audio Note AN-E Lexus Signatures, shredded the woofer with his rear claws.  i ordered upgraded hemp woofers, and invited my nephew, who’s pretty handy with a soldering iron, to help with the surgery.  they sound even better than original!  ironically, what i came up with to prevent a recurrence was to put cat toys lying around on top of each speaker - the cats are very smart, of course, and recognize they no longer have a flat surface to land on!  Good luck.
Not sure this would work for your situation. I had a fried circuit board in my central AC unit a several years ago and sent the board to
Industrial Repair Service- 800-950-2349. They repair/ rebuild circuit boards. That circuit board was smallish and I remember the cost being just under $200.00. My AC worked fine with the new board.
Wharfy, really sorry to hear about the damage. 
I have a cat also—and guess I should take solace in that my electronics are all sealed.  I don’t like ventilation slots/holes. They are always an invitation for damage. Hope you can find an affordable way to get your music back in gear. 
As for all the cat haters on here—my cat is highly trainable and understands what we want and need. None of that is gonna help if s/he is terribly startled, which sounds like the case here.

BTW, if you weren’t home, how do you know what caused the cat’s behavior?