Stupidgood: Ars Sonum

There are lots of "terms of art" used by audiophools to describe sound and equipment. I propose a new one - stupidgood - a piece of equipment that blows you away, as good as it gets (more or less), and the price or the looks of it makes you incredulous as to how good the equipment is. Of course, I did not come with the term; that would by Bobby P. (Mr. von Merlin) describing the Ars Sonum integrated amplifier. I've had separates from ARC, Joule, LAMM, and CAT, and I can tell you, the Ars Sonum is stupidgood driving Merlin VSM-MXes, which can driven very easily be this little 30 watt gem.
How are those ARS-Sonums treating you guys? Any updated thoughts? I just sent my deposit in a few weeks ago. Now, some how I need to forget about it for 6 months or so.
The Ars remains an outstanding pre/amp when matched with the Merlins and competes very well with well thought of separates. I don't really have any new thoughts, it continues to be an excellent piece and if you stay with Merlins it could be your endgame for electronics, unless you simply like experimenting, and most of us do. That does not mean there is nothing better in absolute terms, but at $4000 it is stupidgood and will fully satisfy the music lover. It will be well worth the wait if it gets you off the merri-go-round, and it just might.
I have had mine now for over a year and have not even thought of replacing it. It is driving the Merlin VSM-MX.
That's about the best compliment that I can pay to this integrated amp as I used to switch equipment out every few months for years.
And just to give a little more weight to the assessment, I've been using a CAT JL2, and I believe David had been using a Joule VZN 100 - both outstanding amps, and especially so with the Merlins -- in that company, the Ars is a viable option (with the Merlins) to these great separates.
I love the concept of "Smartbad". I'm afraid that, for me, most high end audio equipment falls into that category. I think there are a lot of well intentioned, but ultimately off the mark, manufacturers and retailers.

I've not heard the sonum, but I own or have owned CAT and Joule stuff and those manufacturers get it. If an audiophile who likes that stuff endorses the ars sonum, it makes me interested in hearing it. YMMV, IMHO, etc. Jeff
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