After recently buying and being utterly blown away by the elekit TU8600S tube amplifier I was really excited to inject some tube magic into my speaker chain. Enter a recently acquired ARC Ref5SE unit that I purchased from a seller in USA. ARC had a look and tested it to ensure it was in good working order. They just replaced the top plate with a thicker one less prone to warping and a Sovtek 6550WE with the Tung Sol tube for the PSU as they preferred it in terms of sonics and reliability of the former.
It was about a 2 month wait but I can say it was absolutely well worth it. Once in my system and given some hours to warm up it was immediately obvious the sound out of both my ATC SCM7s and especially NS5000 had changed significantly from my prior Audio gd HE9 preamp (my power amp is a Pass Labs X350.8) .
Imaging, sound stage
Through the ARC sound completely detached from the speakers and became much larger and diffuse sounding...