ARC 100.2 - what preamp?

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wildboar

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ARC 100.2 - what preamp?
« on: 12 Oct 2021, 10:55 pm »
I finally picked up an Audio Research 100.2, what preamp would you guys suggest for it?

Jeff_From_Michigan

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Re: ARC 100.2 - what preamp?
« Reply #1 on: 13 Oct 2021, 10:49 am »
I got a used 100.2 over 20 years ago and have never had any problems with it. I used it with a Wadia 830 CD player and no preamp for most of my time with it, but  I recently found that it sounds better (to me) with a tube preamp in the chain.

It mates well with the Van Alstine T10RB in my experience. Maybe others can comment on it's synergy with ARC's own preamps.

Congratulations on picking up one of the all-time great bargains in audio with that amp!


wildboar

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Re: ARC 100.2 - what preamp?
« Reply #2 on: 13 Oct 2021, 02:10 pm »
Wow this Van Alsteine gear looks like a killer deal for the money.  Thanks for the recommendation!  The ARC preamps look nice but recently the prices have gone sky high like they are becoming collectible fashion accessories.

From what I've gathered so far, the 100.2 has its own tubey character so you don't want to put anything too lush behind it like an old Conrad Johnson.  From what  I can tell, it benefits from a newer, more modern leaner tube sound.  Does that sound right?

jjss49

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Re: ARC 100.2 - what preamp?
« Reply #3 on: 14 Oct 2021, 12:54 am »

From what I've gathered so far, the 100.2 has its own tubey character so you don't want to put anything too lush behind it like an old Conrad Johnson.  From what  I can tell, it benefits from a newer, more modern leaner tube sound.  Does that sound right?

i would largely agree with this, though adding a modern tube preamp that has good transparency will improve the overall soundstaging, if that is important to you

Jeff_From_Michigan

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Re: ARC 100.2 - what preamp?
« Reply #4 on: 14 Oct 2021, 02:21 pm »
Rouge Audio’s tube preamps also offer great sound and value. As always, audition in your own system if possible. I got lucky with the ARC/AVA matching, but that certainly isn’t always the case.

mresseguie

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Re: ARC 100.2 - what preamp?
« Reply #5 on: 14 Oct 2021, 03:15 pm »
Hello, Wildboar.

Congratulations on your acquisition!

I'd like to recommend a Don Sachs Model 2 6SN7 tube preamp for your consideration. <Warning: I'm very biased!> I own two versions of this preamp in different systems, and I love both of them.  Don is very easy to work with. The Model 2 does not have an overly tubey sound.

http://www.dsachsconsulting.com/custom%20line%20stage.html

Michael

Jeff_From_Michigan

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Re: ARC 100.2 - what preamp?
« Reply #6 on: 16 Oct 2021, 01:16 pm »
Wow Michael,  that preamp is beautiful.  I'll be looking at it a little closer when the financial picture improves a bit. Thanks for the lead!

mresseguie

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Re: ARC 100.2 - what preamp?
« Reply #7 on: 17 Oct 2021, 01:44 pm »
Wow Michael,  that preamp is beautiful.  I'll be looking at it a little closer when the financial picture improves a bit. Thanks for the lead!

A few years ago, there was an extensive thread on AC discussing the Model 2. I think it can still be found in the tube circle the Critic's Circle.  https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=138092.0

There’s another thread on Agon as well.

« Last Edit: 17 Oct 2021, 08:19 pm by mresseguie »

nickd

Re: ARC 100.2 - what preamp?
« Reply #8 on: 17 Oct 2021, 04:54 pm »
Had one of those about 20 years ago and used it with a AR 3a tube preamp. Vintage, but it had been restored with better caps etc. Really loved the tone and imaging through a pair of Thiel CS 2’s.
Perhaps the best tone I ever achieved in my home and I have owned several systems since with much “higher end” gear. I left a house sitter in charge with a new puppy we had and he managed to blow up the amp rocking to Seal one afternoon. Think the bias must have creeped up and one set of output transistors ran away and melted. Looking back, should have had it fixed. Loved that setup.