Opinions on ARC D125 and/or D115 Mk 2 Amps ?

Hello all,

I have an opportunity to perhaps purchase an ARC D125 from a friend or a D115 Mk2 from outside. I' d appreciate anyone's listening opinions on either amps or even better, comparisons between the 2.

PS - Anyone know about their reliability -- one of these will be my first tube experience.

Thanks in Advance.
I've owned the D115 Mk2 which is an all tube design. My listening experiences with the D125 which is the first of their hybrids preceeding the Classic series, is so limited it would be of no benefit to compare the two. I will say I preferred their all tube designs of the 80's to their hybrid Classic series. If you get a chance you should just hear the D79 from the 70's, one of ARC's best efforts.

The D115 mk2's notable characteristic, even by todays standards, is the large stage and a sweet midrange, a very open sound. High frequency and bass are not up to the best offered today but this would be relative to the system it will be used in. Bass is powerful but doesn't have the control of a ss amp, not many tube amps do.

A matter of note is that the amp has 8 6550 tubes that are biased quite high, 65ma. This adds up to a lot of heat. Also you may want to consider the hassle of biasing when replacing outputs, ARC didn't make it too easy on this one. Overall it is a wonderful amp. I personally have had no problems other than tube replacements and would certainly recommend it to someone getting into tubes for the first time.
I owned the ARC D115 MkII for 12 years (1988-2000). It performed flawlessy. I experienced some tube arching problems some yaears ago when I tried the Chineese 6550. Since replacing the Chineese 6550 with the Sevetlana tubes, the amp was trouble free. I loved the D115 MkII. It is a great amp. Highly recommended.

The D125 is a Hybrid. It has better control in the bass and mid-bass. However, I prefer the midrange of the D115 (sweeter, more liquid). However, either amp would be very satisfying.

PS: I upgraded to the ARC VT100 MKII.

Thanks to both of you for your feedback. I was tempted to look into current production tube amps, but my budget stopped me cold.

Had a chance to listen to both amps the past week and ended up buying the D125. More extension from top to bottom, although the D115 Mk2's midrange was one of the best I've ever heard. Vocals have a "you are there" feel to it.

The D125 was, overall, more satisfying to me for a wider range of music. I do listen to, and enjoy just about every type of music. The D125's mids are not quite as natural and sweet, but sounds more like a modern amp. (It is the stereo version of the M300's,at the time.) Its hybrid design also seems more user-friendly for tube replacement and over-all maintenance.

Thanks again.