Would I be a happy boy with an ARC CA-50?

I found an ARC CA-50 on Audiogon ad. I've read reviews of it from time to time, but I've never used one before.

I am mainly interested in this integrated amp to stop me from spending more on audio purchases. Ok, I know that won't happen. But, at least, I don't need to buy too many cables with an integrated.

Anyhow, I have a pair of KEF 103/4. I can only find specs on KEF.com for the current Reference 1 and 2, which the 103/4 is in between in regards to technical specs. The sensitivity - 2.83v @ 1m would be around 88db. The living room is about 20x15x10.

Sound preference: I like analytical dry "British" sounding audio gear like KEF and Tannoy professional speakers. As long as the detail is accurate, there is ample soundstage and the frequency response is flat, I am a happy boy.

Thanks y'all.
what is the impedance of your speakers? 8 OHM or higher would be better than 4 OHM for a tube amp to drive. There is a formula for that way of rating speakers (2.83v @88db), you really need to know the speakers impedance to optimize your matching of equipment. I think you should have just enough power for normal listening volumes.
If you like to play music "loud" you may want more juice in a room that size with a speaker of that rating. If not it should sound wonderful. I have never found the ARC amps to have trouble driving the 4 ohm speakers I have used them with. The amp section is basicly a VT 50, little brother of the VT 100. These are a great value. You can find a CA 50 cheaper that you can buy a VT 50. No need to buy IC cables or a pre amp. The only problem with asking us is that loud to me may mean something else to you. I use an ARC VT 60 which is a great sound for the cash and the VT 50 is of that same lineage with an ARC pre amp for free.
Great advice Maxgain.

Thanks for the advice. I just purchased a CA-50 this morning. My speaker is 4 ohm. Sorry I left that information out.
I hope it does well for you. I almost got one myself a few months back. I have a TT and would have had to sell my current pre amp and then replace the phono stage that is built into my current ARC pre amp, and there was an issue of needing to permanantly install the caps for my Vandersteen sub(no pre amp out/amp in), it just was too many changes at one time.
Welcome to the world of ARC. I recently re-vamped my bedroom system. Swaping out some Classe solid-state stuff for an ARC LS-15/VT-100 Combo. This stuff sounds great. Last night I added some Electrostatic speakers, now that was the icing on the cake. Man this system sounds smooth. I'd still like to tweak the cabling, but will wait a little while before spending any more money. Enjoy :^)

I think CA-50 has preouts for an amp or sub. You can use that if you don't mind driving your speakers full range with the CA50. I hope the CA50 has a good phonostage too. I haven't used my turntable in ages.


Did you win the lottery? What speakers did you get? And that's ONLY your bedroom system......
Viggen, It does have some sort of sub out jacks, but it is not pre out(the vandersteen is not like the REL), and it has No phono stage, only a line stage.I hope this is not bad news?
Hey Max,

I stand corrected. It has a subout, but at least the output is variable? This way, if I am to power the LF with my aragon, which might be too much for the CA50 since it has 250w@4ohm, I wouldn't need another attenuator.

TT isn't a big deal to me for now. I only have this 15 yr old Luxman. It would be a plus to be able to use it. I guess I can get a phono preamp like from creek to go into the "phono" input of the CA50.

Nope, not having preouts and phono inputs isn't a big deal. It would be nice to have tho.
Viggen, Don't you know "Nothing exceeds like excess". You'll be upgrading before you know it!!! I went with the Martin Logan Accents. Tubes with Electrostats rule!

YouÂ’re not the first person to say that's a little excessive for a secondary system. I'd still like to think I'm not as bad as some people at this web-site.

Take care

I double checked. Eventhought ARC's website describes the "preouts" to be a subsonic or multiroom output, I surmise it is a full range pre-out, thus the CA-50 can be used as a preamp as well. First of all, it makes no sense that the CA50 can be used to operate in multiroom situation if the output isn't full range. Second, I check Audioreview, for the 5th time, and one reviewer stated the CA50 is close to his LS15 when used as a preamp. Doesn't that give your shivers down your spine? Ok it's just me.


Nothing exceeds excess because excess already exceeds excess so excess can't logically exceed itself. = D


I am one person to choose my stereo over my girlfriend, so I don't place a nice system in my bedroom incase my girlfriend gets jealous. I hope you don't have the same problem = D

You take care too!
Oops, the seller of the CA-50 just informed me that it has a variable sub out...