FS: AUDIO RESEARCH REFERENCE PHONO 2SE in excellent condition with new faceplate in natural finish
Asking Price: $5700 or best offer (new $12,995)
This ARC Reference Phono 2SE is approximately five years old and I am the second owner. It was originally purchased from Optimal Enchantment in Santa Monica, CA. I purchased the unit in November of 2014 and it has been sitting in the same position on my rack until today. The REF 2SE has performed flawlessly since day one. It has not been serviced nor have any parts been replaced other than the tubes. The serial number is 12004803.
I am selling because I’ve upgraded to an ARC Reference Phono 3. Although the Ref Phono 3 is incrementally better than the 2SE (e.g. a slightly deeper soundstage), IMO the Ref Phono 2SE remains a superb performer. Prior to the 2SE, I was using the John Curl-designed Vendetta SCP2-D which I loved. However, after hearing the Ref 2SE Phono stage, I was hooked with its magical midrange, soundstaging and density of tone. You won't be disappointed.
Total 2SE hours = 3337. The prior owner replaced the original tubes at about 1674 hours. The current tubes (2nd set), purchased from ARC, have about 1663 hours on them although the unit reads 473 hours. I "zeroed" out the hour clock when I installed a new cartridge.
The (5) 6H30 tubes are expected to last 4000 hours and the single 6550WE tube is estimated to last 2000 hours according to the ARC REF 2SE manual.
Cosmetic condition is 9/10 with a brand-new 2SE faceplate/front panel which I just installed. The front panel from ARC cost $450. I originally purchased this replacement panel because there were some tiny scratches on the edge of the panel that initially bothered me. I never got around to installing it because, after a while, the scratches weren't really noticeable. For this sale however, the new owner will get a brand new front panel. The black metal chassis is perfect. I should mention that there is a very tiny scratch on the underside of the right handle (see picture) which cannot be seen unless you hold your head under the front panel. The Plexiglas top is in excellent condition without warpage. The remote control is 9/10 because it has been used but shows no discoloration or functional defects.
The detachable power cord, remote control, owner’s manual, ARC note about the break-in period, tube warning sheet, 4” screwdriver, and foam packaging for the 6 tubes and a factory box. It should be pointed out that the box is from an ARC REF Phono 10 power supply as the prior owner could not find the original 2SE box. It fits the 2SE perfectly as the chassis is the same size.
Shipping and payment
I will ship insured for the total purchase price through FedEx (estimated to be about $95-$125 depending on location in the continental USA). Shipment to Hawaii and Alaska would be more. The 6 vacuum tubes will be packaged in a factory foam container. Paypal fees, shipping and insurance will be the responsibility of the buyer. Paypal is the preferred method of payment but I will accept a certified check or wire transfer. Funds must clear before the item is sent. I have 100% feedback on eBay (wlem321). I have less feedback on Audiogon (lem321) but all reviews have been positive (100%). I will only ship to the USA. No returns or trades please. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to see additional pictures. Cheers!