ARC REF 610 VS. VTL SIEGFRIED 800

D79B -- Tue, 04/21/2009 - 19:32

DEAR FELLOW MEMBERS,
HAS ANYONE TRIED TO COMPARE THE ARC REF 610 AND THE VTL SIEGFRIED MONOBLOCKS. I HOPE WE CAN GET  SOME COMMENTS,
OPINIONS FROM BOTH MR. VALIN AND MR PEARSON.
 
THANKS IN ADVANCE,
 
D7B

oz (not verified) -- Sat, 05/09/2009 - 23:20

Ugamotz and Jim
 I have owned Ref 610ts since 2006 march...I have had ZERO tube problems with my set...Instead of calling the 610s unreliable explore what might be the problem...first it might be that you didnt install the tubes properly...second your voltage might be having spikes...there can be millions of different reasons for blow ups like that ...especially that frequently...I have used mine with magico minis , yg anats , krell resolutions, martin logan summits , proac response4s to name a few..

i think this reliability issue wud have been a valid point if it wud have been the previous design of the 300 or the 600s...when the tubes were lying horizantally in a the box...the tubes on the bottom row heating up the upper row was causing serious troubles in the 600s or 300s..but the 610ts due to their design has zero fo those issues..

please check your power line before calling ARC unreliable...

Jonathan Valin -- Sun, 05/10/2009 - 00:20

Oz,
 
I'm glad to hear that your experience has, like mine, been entirely positive. Like I said, I've asked around and nobody I've talked to has had a problem with his 610T; nor has anyone heard about a rash of 610T failures. Frankly, from what I've been told, big ARC amps are better behaved than some of their competitors. Sure, big complex amps (the 610T has 22 tubes per monbolock) can have problems, but if tubes were persistently failing in my 610T the very first thing I would do is send the amp back to ARC for diagnosis and repair. Jeez, that's what a warranty is for. If there is a mechanical problem, ARC'll fix it for free (under warranty) and pay one-half of the shipping. Of course, tube failures can be caused by a multitude of things, as you note--not all of them the manufacturer's responsibility. 
 
Jon

oneobgyn -- Mon, 05/18/2009 - 09:04

 
Mr Valin
 
I thought you might be interested in a read of this very short thread.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showpost.php?p=16481004&postcount=1
 
I used to own the Ref600 Mklll so I found the topic interesting. Thank goodness I don't own those amps any more. Let us know when your610T explodes :)
 

victor tubeman (not verified) -- Tue, 05/19/2009 - 06:35

Hi,
I have owned ref600mkIII for a few years and in my experience they do have a have trouble every 6mths or so,blown resistors mainly due to heat related problems.The new model 610t should be more reliable as output tubes away from sensitive conponents.We have to be realistic ,these are complicated components with high voltages and things will go wrong and most of us would have backup amps to use while away on repair.
regards victor

Jonathan Valin -- Mon, 05/18/2009 - 09:17

 Hey, and let us know when you get some decent speakers! : )

oneobgyn -- Mon, 05/18/2009 - 09:26

 C'mon JV it is early Monday AM and you are already busting balls.
 
My point was not to be disrespectful (although I was shooting a lob at the end) but rather to illustrate another user's experience with high powered ARC amps

Jonathan Valin -- Mon, 05/18/2009 - 09:33

 Jeez, I was kiddin'!

oneobgyn -- Mon, 05/18/2009 - 09:37

 I knew you were but I was just trying to be funny with my last comment re the 610T.
 
Ugamotz earlier made some very valid first hand observations about the 610T and I thought the thread I linked showed anecdotal evidence of its predecessor the Ref600 Mk lll which I owned.
 
Surely ARC must be aware of these problems

The Signal Coll... -- Mon, 05/18/2009 - 09:56

Jonathan, et al:
 
The theory has been floated in the past that high powered tube amplifiers are somehow more apt to fail than their low powered counterparts. I can't exactly intuit why that would be necessarily true.
 
The only high powered tube amp I've owned was a pair of  VTL Ichiban (sold because the heat was unbearable in my small listening room at the time - this is 12 years ago), so I cannot attest to that as it was rock solid with no issues whatsoever. All my other tube amps have been medium or low power (and also trouble free): Golden Tube SE 40 ('95-'96), Bel Canto Orfeo 30s ('96-'97 - replaced the Ichibans), BAT VK 60 ('97-98), Manley SE/PP 300B (original and NeoClassic) ('98-'07), Berning Seigfried ('07 - present)
 
 
Has anyone had experiences regarding high powered vs. low powered tube amps in terms of a pattern of reliability?
 
Chris
 

The Signal Collection, LLC
North American Distributors
of Connoisseur-Grade Hi-Fi

D79B -- Mon, 05/18/2009 - 18:45

TO ALL MEMBERS WHO RESPONDED TO THIS POST,
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR OPINONS. WITH REGARDS TO EXPERIENCES REGARDING HIGH POWERED VS. LOW POWERED TUBE AMPS PATTERN OF RELIABILITY. IN MY EXPERIENCE MY MOST RELIABLE IS MY HIGH POWERED TUBE AMP.I CURRENTLY OWN THREE STEREO AMPS ( ARC D79B W/ KT88'S ,ARC D79B W/ SOVTEK 6550'S, ARC D250MK2 SERVO) AND A PAIR OF MONOBLOCKS (ARC CLASSIC 150). MY D250 IS THE MOST RELIABLE AND MY LEAST RELIABLE AMP IS MY CLASSIC 150'S.PROBABLY RELIABILITY IS DEPENDENT ON THE CIRCUIT DESIGN OR TOPOLOGY OF THE AMP DESIGNER.
 
MY TWO CENTS WORTH,
D79B

oneobgyn -- Wed, 05/20/2009 - 13:25

From the link I put up several days ago here is another anecdotal post
 
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showpost.php?p=16497594&postcount=13

Jonathan Valin -- Wed, 05/20/2009 - 15:52

 The post is about Ref 600s not Ref 610Ts for chrissake. I've heard plenty of stories about VTLs blowing up, BTW. Let's cut this propaganda out.

Allis -- Wed, 05/20/2009 - 19:57

JV- Not sure how anecdotal reporting on amplifier reliability is "propoganda". Why you felt the need to attack
VTL when you don't even think it appropriate to comment on ARC reliability is surprising. 
As to other high powered tube amps -  my experience - VTL S-400 bulletproof , ASL Hurricanes - not so much.
 
 
 

 

Jonathan Valin -- Wed, 05/20/2009 - 20:08

 Allis,
 
I'm not attacking VTL. I'm pointing out that "anecdotal" evidence is, well, anecdotal, and that the amp referred to in the thread wasn't even the same amp that I use as a reference (although it was the amp that Robert Harley used for several years, and, as far as I know, he never had a problem with it.) And let me say, yet again, that in my experience the ARC 610T is also "bullet-proof." 

oneobgyn -- Thu, 05/21/2009 - 00:41

 [quote]that in my experience the ARC 610T is also "bullet-proof." [/quote]
 
JV it may be bullet-proof, but I would suggest that you wear your flak jacket when listening as you might pick up some shrapnel :)
 
All kidding aside though you have been very fortunate

Cemil Gandur -- Thu, 05/21/2009 - 07:37

All kidding aside though you have been very fortunate
Not really - I think the ones who have had a 610T blow up on them have been unfortunate. I know of a few 610s in operation (including mine) - they are all performing flawlessly.
 

Jonathan Valin -- Wed, 06/03/2009 - 19:11

Let me say once again, passing along hearsay is meaningless and mischievous. In fact, in trying to make this very point I was unwittingly guilty of it too. I shouldn't have said a thing about VTL amps because (a) I've never heard or tested one in my home, and (b) no one whom I know who owns a big VTL amp--and the truth is I know more experienced listeners who own and use big VTLs than big ARCs--has had any  problem with them. Indeed, VTLs have a sterling reputation for quality and reliability. My whole point was that because someone passes along a bit of gossip doesn't make it so. 
 

Luke Manley (not verified) -- Thu, 06/04/2009 - 02:45

Thanks for clarifying that Jonathan.
I should mention that we have been using at least a basic form of circuit protection in all of our amps for over 20 years now, at its simplest a fuse in the high tension to open when the current exceeds the rating.
 
In all of this talk of failures this is surely the main point: Just because a tube hasn’t failed yet obviously does not speak to whether or not a particular amp is adequately protected against the eventuality of something happening. If a tube fails and the amp does not have adequate protection then it is only a matter of time until the weakest point in the circuit is exposed, resulting in the need for repair.
 
However if a fault sensing system has been designed into the amp then the amp can be designed to temporarily withstand the fault condition and will be able to protect itself against tube failure without the need for any soldering or return to the factory.
 
In my mind it really is as simple as that – either the amp has a proper fault sensing and protection system or it does not.
 
Hopefully this is helpful to the discussion.
Luke Manley, VTL

Elliot Goldman -- Thu, 06/04/2009 - 09:22

Hello Luke,
It is nice to see a manufacturer stand up for his product and make a comment. IMHO it is long overdue that the industy stop cowering in the background afraid to offend the magazines or a few memebers of the public.
I applaud you,
Send my reagrds home as well,
E
PS
It would be nice for the reviewers to have a bit more insight into products when reviewing than one sample and one opinion but then again what do I know. Since the search for what's new has become the main objective rather than "the Absolute Sound"  we are only left with a never ending series of less and less significant opinions.  IMO TAS has lost its way let me join the GOLDEN EARS CLUB maybe that will help!

Jwalters (not verified) -- Sun, 07/05/2009 - 21:45

I just read this whole thread which caught my attention while I was looking for information on ARC products.
I have to say, my respect for JV has grown immensely.  He has the patience of Job. 
Some of you guys are quite reasonable and make intelligent points, but others are imbeciles who can't seem to understand simple points that have been repeatedly explained and a few of you are just plain jerks. 
Why JV puts up with this and keeps posting is beyond me.  As an outside observer, the fact that he has managed to keep an even tone in his posts in the face of some of the nonsense that has been thrown at him is nothing short of remarkable.
Stop asking for things that are impossible, impractical or just plain dumb. 

Jonathan Valin -- Mon, 07/06/2009 - 18:42

 Bless your heart.

Anonymous_XXXUserXXX (not verified) -- Thu, 02/25/2010 - 08:42

Getting back to topic...
Just picked up some Soundlabs A-3. How would the sound be different between the big ARC and the big VTLs?   No, not interested in the "champeen of the world" but in making a good decision.  Can someone please compare/ contrast?

New_SL_Owner (not verified) -- Fri, 02/26/2010 - 22:40

I just picked up a pair of Soundlabs A3's.  Can someone advise on whether the ARC or the VTL would work better?  What are the different sounds by each of these amps?

brian -- Sat, 02/27/2010 - 16:54

I am a Sound Lab dealer. Faced with the choice between ARC and VTL, I would recommend VTL based on others' experiences - the 450 monoblocks are reported to work. A pair of ARC Ref 600s or 610Ts will drive the speakers, but there are far less costly alternatives. Based on input from a fellow dealer, a VT-200 will not drive the speakers adequately...I know of two people who tried them with M-1s and gave up. The A-3s are slightly less efficient due to smaller panel area.

Brian Walsh
Essential Audio  ~  Chicago area ~ 773-809-HIFI (4434)

New_SL_Owner (not verified) -- Sat, 03/06/2010 - 14:08

Thanks, Brian. Based on your experience ....being with the speaker and hearing what your clients own, what are the top 5 amps I should check out to make these babies sing?

T_Bop -- Tue, 03/02/2010 - 20:55

 This conundrum reminds me of the line in Crocodile Dundee when Mick says "Arguing about who owns the land (i.e.  Australia - the aborigines or the recent arrivals) is like two fleas arguing about who owns dog they're sitting on." 
There is no loser here.  No matter the purchase, you're going to get one incredible behemoth.  But damn, it's sure is fun to consider.  I only wonder how much influence (good or bad) Harmon Industries has been on Audio Research since they were acquired?
I'd like to think that William Zane is still in charge (it's the romantic in me), but then again, this is the real world.
i wish all live's problems were this much fun!

SundayNiagara -- Wed, 03/03/2010 - 08:14

Harman DOES NOT own ARC, they own Mark Levinson. ARC is owned by the same Italian firm that own's Sonus Faber.

The Signal Coll... -- Wed, 03/03/2010 - 08:20

ARC is owned by Quadrivio, not Harman

The Signal Collection, LLC
North American Distributors
of Connoisseur-Grade Hi-Fi

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