I have not heard the DS 450. I much prefer the Ref 110 over the VS 115. And a Ref 110 for $5000 is a real nice deal. I have owned and listened to a lot of Audio Research amps since the mid 1980s. I currently own a Ref 110 and am very happy with it. I don't hear the fans from my listening position. I would call ARC but if they are a problem I believe they can be unplugged. I don't think the fans are really necessary if the amp has good ventilation.
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