ARC Ref 5 SE vs Ref 40

jmiltr@yahoo.com -- Wed, 07/18/2012 - 09:51

While waiting for JV's blog and review on the new ARC Ref 5 SE, I have an opportunity to buy a lightly used (just broken in) Ref 40 but at higher cost than the SE.  Has anybody heard these two?  Specifically, can the SE match the Ref 40?  I would certainly not expect the Ref 40  to be superceded but has it been equaled?  I am unable to hear these units locally.

SundayNiagara -- Thu, 07/19/2012 - 12:56

The 5SE is based on the parts installed in the '40.

Elliot Goldman -- Tue, 07/24/2012 - 16:44

Dear JM ,
Althouhg the updated REF 5 has parts from the 40 it is NOT a 40. The 40 has a massive power supply and is capable of taking what a REF 5 does and expanding it, it terems of space, size , lowering of the nise floor. This means to you great ease in the music and more defined space around the players and instuments. It is a special piece.
 

Sam -- Thu, 07/26/2012 - 00:36

Elliot, Thanks for your input. Ref 40 vs Ref 5 would boil down to affodability at the end of the day. I know in the same way Ref 250 is also stellar. Any thoughts/experience with the Ref 150? How does it compare with Ref 250? is it the same situation where ref 150 has some parts from the 250 but mostly very different. I know its not the forum for the amps but I would think/guess that they go hand in hand as pairs. Ref 5 with another ref amp and ref 40 with ref 250

L3AND3R -- Thu, 07/26/2012 - 01:45

 If you can get a 40th Anniversary Reference preamp, buy it. You won't be buying another preamp until the 50th Anniversary comes out. I've sold a 40th, hear it weekly in two different systems while having the only REF5SE on demo in South-Africa in my own setup.
 
 
The REF5SE however crosses the void between REF5 and 40th almost completely. The sound takes on a majestically spacious and transparent soundstage very similar to the exemplary standards set by the lofty 40th. It's rhythmic capabilities are also vastly superior to the standard REF5 as is it's bass response. The SE 's foundation forming capabilities through its lowerst registers comes closest to the REF40. Acoustic space definition took on a new meaning with the REF40, but I feel the SE is as close if not right there with it in this regard. This is a defining aspect of the latest ARC gear. 
 
One area where the 40th Anniversary does show the SE a clean pair of heels, is in its way of combining the transparency and speed with addictive liquidity. To appreciate this aspect however one has to hear them one after the other. If you've never heard the 40th, you'd think it doesn't get better than the SE.
 
 

L3AND3R -- Thu, 07/26/2012 - 01:46

 If you can get a 40th Anniversary Reference preamp, buy it. You won't be buying another preamp until the 50th Anniversary comes out. I've sold a 40th, hear it weekly in two different systems while having the only REF5SE on demo in South-Africa in my own setup.
 
 
The REF5SE however crosses the void between REF5 and 40th almost completely. The sound takes on a majestically spacious and transparent soundstage very similar to the exemplary standards set by the lofty 40th. It's rhythmic capabilities are also vastly superior to the standard REF5 as is it's bass response. The SE 's foundation forming capabilities through its lowerst registers comes closest to the REF40. Acoustic space definition took on a new meaning with the REF40, but I feel the SE is as close if not right there with it in this regard. This is a defining aspect of the latest ARC gear. 
 
One area where the 40th Anniversary does show the SE a clean pair of heels, is in its way of combining the transparency and speed with addictive liquidity. To appreciate this aspect however one has to hear them one after the other. If you've never heard the 40th, you'd think it doesn't get better than the SE.
 
 

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