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Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Audio > Speakers

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Old 07-20-2010, 03:55 PM   #1
phlydude phlydude is offline
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Default Acoustic Research AR-3 (AR3) Speakers

When I was 15 years old, my uncle gave me a Sherwood amplifier for my birthday. Seeing that I needed some speakers for this amp, he trolled around yard sales and such and found at a church sale, a set of AR3 speakers in excellent condition...the price, $30.

When I got them, I didn't understand the intricacies of load and resistance and for some reason, kept blowing fuses in my amplifier.
Then I figured that my amp was 8 ohm and the speakers were 4 ohm and to make them work, I had to build more resistance in the speaker wire to allow the speakers to be driven at their range while making my amp think the overall resistance was in line. So I wired in series, a set of MTX truck box speakers to the AR3s and went for years and years without blowing another fuse and continued to get complaints from my parents and neighbors about my listening habits.

Well, when time came to move out, I left those behemoth things behind...they had to weigh 40 lbs each. They didn't fit in with what I was doing in my apartment and they became a bit of a relic for me as I moved on to better speakers (NOT) in Bose direct reflex 201s and a Pro Logic surrouond set from another manufacturer I though was good.

I was thinking about new speakers when it came back to me, those AR3s are still in my parents house, possibly right where I left them (because they were too heavy to move down the steps from the 3rd floor where I made my bedroom).
If I don't wind up using them personally, I might decide to move them along to someone that would appreciate them more and be able to drive them with a proper 4 ohm amp and the 150+ Watts of power needed to drive these things...

Anyone else a AR3 fan?
PS3 Slim Hard Drive Update with pics - http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=112248
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:45 AM   #2
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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A long time ago, I used to be a fan of AR speakers. My hobby back then was to visit audio dealers (no video back then) and listen to different types of speakers such as AR and Ohm. Several of my friends in college had AR speakers. AR was synonymous with East Coast sound. Unfortunately, AR as a high qaulity speaker manufacturer, no longer exists. It is currently owned by Audiovox and makes mostly cables and low end electronics.

http://www.acoustic-research.com/
Quote:
Brand History

The Acoustic Research Brand (AR) has been synonymous with quality sound for over 50 Years. Founded in 1952 by audio pioneer, writer, inventor researcher and audio-electronics teacher Edgar Villchur and his student Henry Kloss, the company soon grew into a major force in the sound industry. In 1956, the company was granted it's first patent for the air suspension woofer that solved the problem that affected all loudspeakers at that time... bass distortion. That development led the way to a host of other scientific and engineering breakthroughs that highlight the brand even today. By the late '50's AR had set the acoustic world on fire again with the introduction of the first speakers to include "dome" high frequency tweeters; the first long throw woofer that produces more bass by pushing more air...a standard in the industry today. So confident were we in our quality that in 1956 AR introduced the first 5-Year Warranty that is the standard today. For more than 10 years after those introductions, the AR speaker line dominated the industry thanks to their life-like reproduction of sound. Other technological breakthroughs highlighted the 70's and 80's, like the first high current amplifier, the first belt drive turntable and the first multi-driver vertical loudspeaker another standard configuration that still holds today. In September of 1993, as testimony to the breakthroughs of speaker technology, and AR 3 speaker was placed on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. The Acoustic Research brand continued to make technology breakthroughs in the speaker industry with a variety of industry firsts that included the first environmental controls that allowed a speaker to be placed in different room areas, the Acoustic Blanket that minimized defraction and interference in speaker baffles and the first speaker line designed to compliment home theater and the digital technologies of the 90's. In 2004, the AR brand was sold to Audiovox Corporation who reinforced the brand's commitment to quality by retaining the services of many of the AR engineers who had helped make the brand famous. The result is just two short years after that acquisition, Acoustic Research has once again made history with introduction of Infinite Radio™. Infinite Radio is the next generation of Internet radio and part of our innovative line of "connected" products that bring you the richest listening experience available on the market - away from your computer. We combine all the standard global music, news, sports and talk content with a personalized, interactive music service called Slacker with no monthly fee!

Acoustic Research is one of the most respected names in sound reproduction and has been for nearly a hundred years. Today’s AR products feature sophisticated electronics and high end speaker technology to support the latest and greatest in personal consumer electronics. Our iPod Docking solutions let consumers enjoy audio and even video or photos from their Apple iPod and iPhones with better audio quality, convenient portability and extended functionality. Acoustic Research...the sound of sophistication!
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Last edited by Big Daddy; 07-22-2010 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:28 PM   #3
Pycroft Pycroft is offline
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Default AR's

I have heard a few pairs of AR's -

Of particular interest, if I ever got my hands on a pair of Teledyne AR9's, I would never let them go. They also made some very high quality book shelf speakers. A friend of mine is VERY big on vintage AR's, and he thinks that AR advanced speaker technology a long way. They often used fabric on the front of the speaker to minimize vibration being lost, helping to focus the sound - almost like a sound dampener on a speaker. He can go on for hours about AR's. Again, I was close to owning Teledyne AR90's (One step down from AR9's) and AR9 LSI's - a later model with a few changes, but have always been one step behind. I'm hoping Karma catches up with me!

James
Home Theatre: HK AVR 354, Parasound HCA 806, Center Polk Audio CS400, Fronts Polk Audio RTA 11TL's, Surrounds Polk Audio Monitor 30's
Definitive Technology Prosub 800, Panasonic BD35
2 Channel:
Sony SSM7a's, Dynaco ST-70 with Wellbourne Modification, TAD 150 Signature Tube Preamp, Sony SACD player
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:59 PM   #4
progers13 progers13 is offline
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I'm not familiar with AR brand speakers. I still own an Acoustic Research 112 sub. It's a 12" sub, 250 watts peak power, 112 watts RMS. I bought it in 1998 and it still works today (although it's currently sitting disconnected in my closet).

That being said, it doesn't compare to a lot of current subs and bottoms out on nearly every blu I played through it. It held up well through the entire DVD generation, but most of the the newer audio tracks on blu have really exposed its weaknesses.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:59 PM   #5
prerich prerich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pycroft View Post
I have heard a few pairs of AR's -

Of particular interest, if I ever got my hands on a pair of Teledyne AR9's, I would never let them go. They also made some very high quality book shelf speakers. A friend of mine is VERY big on vintage AR's, and he thinks that AR advanced speaker technology a long way. They often used fabric on the front of the speaker to minimize vibration being lost, helping to focus the sound - almost like a sound dampener on a speaker. He can go on for hours about AR's. Again, I was close to owning Teledyne AR90's (One step down from AR9's) and AR9 LSI's - a later model with a few changes, but have always been one step behind. I'm hoping Karma catches up with me!

James
Had AR9-LS speakers in Rota, Spain. Here's a picture of what they look like (these are not mine - mine are long gone).
Attached Images
File Type: jpg AR9LSPIC.jpg (24.5 KB, 20 views)
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), SVS 16-46 CS (X2) 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Xonar Essence ST/H6 Muses modified, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:10 PM   #6
Pycroft Pycroft is offline
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Those are beautiful speakers - I believe the LS were very finicky - even more finicky than the original LS and the modified LSI's. Still a fantastic speaker. I think they are sexy as hell! I've been looking for 2 years for AR9's, and am still crossing my fingers.

James

Quote:
Originally Posted by prerich View Post
Had AR9-LS speakers in Rota, Spain. Here's a picture of what they look like (these are not mine - mine are long gone).
Home Theatre: HK AVR 354, Parasound HCA 806, Center Polk Audio CS400, Fronts Polk Audio RTA 11TL's, Surrounds Polk Audio Monitor 30's
Definitive Technology Prosub 800, Panasonic BD35
2 Channel:
Sony SSM7a's, Dynaco ST-70 with Wellbourne Modification, TAD 150 Signature Tube Preamp, Sony SACD player
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:16 PM   #7
DangeRuss DangeRuss is offline
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Old 07-30-2010, 03:19 PM   #8
ZoetMB ZoetMB is offline
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Back in the 1960s, AR has a "listening room" in Grand Central Station in the balcony space now occupied by Michael Jordan's restaurant. As a kid, I would go up there to listen to the AR-3 (and later the AR-3a and 3ax, I think) speakers and they sounded remarkable. AR maintained an association with Dyna and they would play everything using the Dyna preamp and power amps (D70s, IIRC).

I remember they would feature a lot of acoustic guitar recordings and you would think there was someone playing live in the room. Like the Advent and KLH speakers that followed, they were a very clean, crisp, yet warm sounding speaker. I always wonder what they would sound like to my current ears.

One of the nice things about that AR listening room is that they did not conduct any sales activity. It was totally dedicated to informing the public about high-fidelity and stereo in general and AR's products in particular.

I could never afford the AR-3 series, but I did purchase the much smaller AR-4Ax (I think) 2-way speakers. I kept those until the tweeters blew for the second time and gave them to a friend who wanted them. I replaced them with DCM Time Windows, which I still have and still sound pretty good. Nothing else I can currently afford blows me away enough to replace them, although I'll probably eventually relegate them to surround usage.
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