Problem with Ref 5SE

I recently purchased a 5se and took delivery the other day. Did not get a chance to open it up until last night. Upon installing it into system I switched it on and after it warmed up, I was very much interested in hearing how it sounded against my current 27. After listening to several tracks with the 27 I switched pre's and after a couple of minutes playing a CD I got some noise, almost a loud static sound coming from the right channel. It was not effected by changing volume controls or input selector. It went away after 10-15 seconds and then returned. At that point, as it was late, I shut everything down and figured I would take another look in the morning.

This morning I removed the top cover and pulled and reset the output tubes and then the power tubes. I fired it back up and still had the 'static' sound but now it also had a humm, like an impedance type hum and constant. I do not believe that the humm was present last night as it is quite noticeable. 

The static type load noise seemed to have abated after the unit warmed up after maybe 15-30 minutes.

Can I assume that perhaps a tube was damaged during shipping? Do you ARC guys think a new set of tubes will fix this issue or am I looking at something more severe? Any additional suggestions to try and pin this down?

I rerouted the IC going to the amps to get them further away from source IC's and no help...

I am a little bummed, as my initial impression it that it is a leap from the LS27, my current...
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Showing 3 responses by theo

Not sure what the problem is, but as a Ref5se owner. I did find out that the 6550 power tube needs to be replaced every 2000 hours, this is not mentioned in the manual. It only mentions the 6H30 has a 4000 hour change interval. If you look at the REF6 manual, it now mentions at. My power board burnt, but ARC replaced it as a warranty claim. Just telling you this so you don’t find out the hard way.
That said , have you tried the second set of outputs to the amp to see if that gives the same result? Also the tubes really should have been shipped in the foam packing that ARC includes. If you do ship it back to them ask if they prefer the tubes not in place and maybe they can send you the foam packing cube they sell tubes in.
Good luck on the power tube. Also when you change the tube take a look at the board around the tube socket and see if it shows any sign of overheating or burning. Pull the bottom grate as well and look the bottom of the circuit board over as well. As mentioned, mine had burned from the tube being into long, I bought a demo and the dealer didn’t realize it was past it’s life expectancy. He was cool and paid freight. But if it shows a sign of overheating send pictures to ARC so they can further diagnose if the 6550 doesn’t solve the issue.
But I hope it is just the tube. Let us know how it pans out.
One last note, mine is dead quiet as well unless at full volume with no source. But really when would ever happen
I think the price wouldn’t be tonight out of line. I have only had warranty work done on 2 Pre-amps, but they have been great to communicate with. I would send it to them because 1) you’re in the hands of the designers 2) they will only use genuine parts 3) they may discover the problem could be something they did and decide to cover or partially cover the cost. But be prepared to wait, and you are with the LS27.