I'm in the market for a new preamp and cd player and have auditioned quite a bit of gear from different manufacturers. One set up that recently caught my attention was ARC's new hybrid LS26 preamp and their CD3 MKII cd player. I noticed that Stereophile doesn't review many of their products at all, and I'm starting to wonder why, it just seems very odd that a company with such a big following as ARC's doesn't get many of their products reviewed by Stereophile. I'm not a fan of the brand per se, but during my auditioning the sound of this setup made me reconsider the options I had in mind (esoteric, meridian, ayre, etc). Looking at their products' specs, it looks as if they're not overly obsesed with them, I mean S/N ratios, channel sepration, THD+N, etc...they all look good but not excellent....but my goodness that sound!!
I have never been a buyer that goes ONLY by sound, I need hard cold data backing up the 'good' sound I'm hearing before I commit to a purchase. Is ARC concerned that if they submit their products to JA, these won't measure as good as the competitors?? Like I mentioned above, I heard a setup with esoteric gear (source/preamp) where the amp (ARC) and speakers (Pardigm S8's) remained the same, the sound was flat out subjectivey better with the arc's preamp/cd player...I just need validation from somenone that what I'm hearing is in fact a better product.
Thanks in advanced for any feedback,