Audio Research amp repair in New Jersey/New York

I bought a used REF75SE last month from a reputable dealer who either listed it knowing an LED was out in one of the meters or overlooked it. THey're not being as proactive on helping get it repaired as they should be in my opinion and are letting me do all the leg work which has been a pain in the neck- calling ARC many times, getting vague answers, no urgency, minimal help. Now ARC is supposed to be sending me the ten cent LED that may or may fix the problem. Either I need to install it or take the amp to a servicer - and there seem to be virtually no authorized servicers around in NYC or NJ- and any servicer I talk with is cagey about turnaround times, some quoting 2-6 months which is freaking absurd. Not rocket science to be able to call a customer on a wait list and let them know that they have bench time available in a week and then drop it off rather than drop it off only to have it sit on a shelf for 2-3 months before being looked at. 


Does anyone have any advice , referrals on servicers in the New Jersey area, NYC as a fallback? They don't need to be "authorized" just competent.


Thanks- I love the amp but if getting it fixed is going to be so much hassle I may consider returning it. 



I’d consider returning if you can’t get help from the dealer and ARC is being difficult. 

I’m fairly certain ARC amplifiers use cathode resistors for biasing. If a tube goes haywire and blows a resistor, the amplifier will need to be serviced. This isn’t entirely uncommon.

If you aren’t comfortable soldering, and you can’t get help for a simple LED light, you’ll end up being in the same position again if you get a bad tube. 

Manley uses a similar design but they offer “clip-on” resistors so the user can service the amplifier at home. 

Good post-purchase support can be critical for tube amplifiers built like this. 

My McIntosh, they mailed me the LEDs, I removed the faceplate, switched lamps (easy), done.

My Vintage Yamaha, cover off, replace burnt lamps with new ones I bought on eBay, done. I stuck with 'wheat' incandescent, many people today convert to LEDs.

Not too handy: cleeds mentioned VAS, he is right, they can fix anything!

Steve and his son Ray at VAS are terrific people.


If you have the part, he might fix it while you wait. Write/call and ask him, pick a time with him, drive it there. If it proves tricky, leave it with him.

Tell him Elliott, Jim, Darius, Rick sent you! I met them all here, we meet and listen here, go there in pairs sometimes.

Where do you live? I'm in Plainfield, NJ, 35 mins from VAS