ARC Ref110

cmalak -- Sun, 09/28/2008 - 12:50

I purchased the Ref110 about 10 months ago and 6 months into the purchase I had a tube blow out on me with ~350 hrs of usage, which is not out of the norm. After replacing the tube and its matched pair (supplied by ARC thru my dealer), i had another tube pop on me yesterday (after another 300 hrs of usage), which seems to me to be a bit too frequent. I have all my electronics plugged into a Shunyata Hydra 8 power conditioner. Has anyone had tubes go bad on them on the ARC Ref110 this frequently or does this seem anomalous and does it suggest that there may be something wrong with the circuitry on my particular unit causing frequent tube failure which would necessitate shipping the unit back to ARC for service. Interested in other folks experiences with the reliability of the Ref110. Thanks much.

SundayNiagara -- Sun, 09/28/2008 - 16:07

cmalak wrote:I purchased the Ref110 about 10 months ago and 6 months into the purchase I had a tube blow out on me with ~350 hrs of usage, which is not out of the norm. After replacing the tube and its matched pair (supplied by ARC thru my dealer), i had another tube pop on me yesterday (after another 300 hrs of usage), which seems to me to be a bit too frequent. I have all my electronics plugged into a Shunyata Hydra 8 power conditioner. Has anyone had tubes go bad on them on the ARC Ref110 this frequently or does this seem anomalous and does it suggest that there may be something wrong with the circuitry on my particular unit causing frequent tube failure which would necessitate shipping the unit back to ARC for service. Interested in other folks experiences with the reliability of the Ref110. Thanks much.

Seems like you need to shop elsewhere for tubes.

Anonymous -- Mon, 09/29/2008 - 13:46

While I do not have any experience with owning that particular component, I did have a KT88 tube integrated last year that had the same problem, although with much shorter life on the tubes in the same tube socket / position on the ampliifer.

I purchased a matched quartet of JJ / Tesla tubes from The Tube Depot of about 33mA current draw each, which is low for a KT88 and even lower for the 6550's that ARC uses since they often draw around 50 to 70MA each. (generally)

Two burned up in just a few days. It turned out that the problem was not the tubes, but the tube socket itself had cold solder joints and a loose internal contact for the pin that produced intermittent problems. I found this out myself as I have work experience from a tube amp manufacturer in the US. I've had EL34's shoot pink flames at my face as I was looking down at the amp while testing it at that certain company, but these KT88's glowed bright purple (way more than normally) and then lit up inside with flames before leaving a white powder all over the inside. Wild !!

I would contact ARC's technical support dept., tell them what has gone on (in as much detail as you can), and see what they suggest. They are fabulous in taking care of their products and customers even more so.

I hope this helps you. God Bless.

Robert Harley -- Tue, 10/07/2008 - 13:32

I've had only one tube failure in thousands of hours of use over many years. I would have ARC check out your Reference 110.

cmalak -- Sat, 10/11/2008 - 15:59

Thank you both for your response. I have returned the amp to my dealer for servicing and it turns out that the issue this time was not with any of the tubes but rather a few resistors went bad. Thx again.

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