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Are Certain Speakers AR-ish?


Jon King
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I’m missing the Acoustic Research sound. 

I once enjoyed the ability to dig deeper into jazz recordings, especially for hearing exquisite percussion parts. 
Anyone have ideas on what brand, model of speakers I could get?

jk

 

Edited by Jon King
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14 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

 

Don't know what you mean by "dig deeper." Certain frequencies (maybe treble)  emphasized?

Yes, I miss hearing the ping of the various cymbals in a drummer’s kit.  My only reference standard for this was my previous AR-5’s that I parted with over 30 years ago.  My preference is what it was.

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That ping you heard 30 years ago may still be there with your current speakers. It could very well be that your ears are no longer capable of hearing it. :)

You should be able to pick up a pair of fully restored (re-coned/re-capped) AR-5's for under $1,000. Just be prepared for them to sound different from what you remember. Many of our memories of things from 30 years are colored. Some would say "rose-colored". What I'm saying is that you might find yourself disappointed.

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I've got a pair of B&W 800s that I bought used about 12 years ago (the last model before they introduced their diamond tweeters), and I've never looked back. If I want more detail or just don't want to disturb the whole house, I go to my Sennheiser 625 headphones, with a good headphone amp.

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25 minutes ago, bresna said:

That ping you heard 30 years ago may still be there with your current speakers. It could very well be that your ears are no longer capable of hearing it. :)

You should be able to pick up a pair of fully restored (re-coned/re-capped) AR-5's for under $1,000. Just be prepared for them to sound different from what you remember. Many of our memories of things from 30 years are colored. Some would say "rose-colored". What I'm saying is that you might find yourself disappointed.


Well, of course my ears are “blown” from over-listening to “the mother lode.”  But in my mind, I’m willing to pursue some guilty pleasures, hopefully, beyond my failures of the flesh. I still like to fish for trout and go to limited-walking, jazz events.  Recently experienced a similar restriction in owning another Sunbeam Alpine and buying a power boat. Alas!

My speaker quest keeps my need for crossword puzzles and Prevagen less deafening. 
Besides…old cars, boats, hearing aids are harder to pay for, sir.

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1 hour ago, Larry Kart said:

I've got a pair of B&W 800s that I bought used about 12 years ago (the last model before they introduced their diamond tweeters), and I've never looked back. If I want more detail or just don't want to disturb the whole house, I go to my Sennheiser 625 headphones, with a good headphone amp.

Thanks for your advice, sir.  I was, however, able to recall my personal choice of speakers over headphone “mechanics.” I liken all headphones to booths-at-a-library. Another course, might be using bone projection outfits in combination with a new, more high tech receiver (I am using a cheapo Sherwood, non Bluetooth, with never functioning   headphone Jack presently).  Any receiver guidance?

 

 

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I've got a medium old-but fairly pricey (maybe $500 or more) Marantz PM15S1 amp that's built like a truck. But as far I know almost any amp's headphone connection should not be relied on; one needs a separate headphone amp. I got mine for about $100 from Schiit Audio, and it's great.

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3 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

I've got a pair of B&W 800s that I bought used about 12 years ago (the last model before they introduced their diamond tweeters), and I've never looked back. If I want more detail or just don't want to disturb the whole house, I go to my Sennheiser 625 headphones, with a good headphone amp.

I have B&W speakers on both of my systems and I agree that they are pretty damn fine sounding speakers. But even used, they are pretty expensive.

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And the necessary B&W speaker stands weren't cheap either.

The B&Ws fill my basement listening area with, to me, accurate sound. You do need, as with any speakers though, to set them up properly in terms of placement in the room -- distance from each other, from the back wall, from the place where you listen, etc; properly being a subjective judgment.

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Classic AR speakers were sealed box acoustic suspension speakers. If you are looking for something similar from a somewhat more recent vintage try checking out speakers from ADS. ADS had its heyday from the 1970’s to the early 1990’s. One model, L710, was manufactured for many years and are not too hard to find.

Edited by Tom in RI
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4 hours ago, Tom in RI said:

Classic AR speakers were sealed box acoustic suspension speakers. If you are looking for something similar from a somewhat more recent vintage try checking out speakers from ADS. ADS had its heyday from the 1970’s to the early 1990’s. One model, L710, was manufactured for many years and are not too hard to find.

I have a set of ADS L710  in my office. I purchased them for my father around the early '80s. They are perfect for the room.

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Vintage ADS speakers, like the AR-5's mentioned by the thread starter, will likely need updating in many cases. If you do decide to go the vintage route, check the surrounds and considered re-capping the crossovers. Both are relatively easy and not too expensive if you do it yourself. I have a friend who re-capped his 1980's era B&W towers and the improvement in the sound was substantial.

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I had AR speakers for about 20 years, then bought a pair of Klipsch Tangent 100 bookshelf speakers which I've had for 25 years, and have always been very happy with them.  I have been using Sennheiser headphones for several decades (several iterations, I wear them out from constant use), consistently happy with them, and definitely notice the difference between them and other brands.  I'm not an audiophile, and have 67 year old ears and a middle class financial base, but what I have sounds great to me.

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On 8/28/2022 at 5:53 PM, Tom in RI said:

Classic AR speakers were sealed box acoustic suspension speakers. If you are looking for something similar from a somewhat more recent vintage try checking out speakers from ADS. ADS had its heyday from the 1970’s to the early 1990’s. One model, L710, was manufactured for many years and are not too hard to find.

Thank you, I’ll certainly check out your suggestion too!

 

5 hours ago, JSngry said:

Simple test to see if it's your speakers or your ears - find some cymbals and some sticks and have at it. See how much "ping" there is and then proceed accordingly 

Re: JSngry - Maybe then I’d know: “who put the ping in the Rama-Rama Ping Dong”

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I bought a pair of AR-3 speakers back in about 1970. They were a step down from the AR-5 but more affordable, and I loved them. Kept them for roughly 40 years. 

Now have a pair of Audio Physic speakers that are wonderful. Have had them for quite some time. Can't indicate the style number as i am out of town on summer vacation. 

I should say the Audio Physic speakers are my main speakers and floor standing. In some other rooms in the house I have smaller speakers that are also very good . One set of B & W speakers, and a set of excellent Paradigm speakers.

m

Edited by Peter Friedman
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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, felser said:

I had AR speakers for about 20 years, then bought a pair of Klipsch Tangent 100 bookshelf speakers which I've had for 25 years, and have always been very happy with them.  I have been using Sennheiser headphones for several decades (several iterations, I wear them out from constant use), consistently happy with them, and definitely notice the difference between them and other brands.  I'm not an audiophile, and have 67 year old ears and a middle class financial base, but what I have sounds great to me.

Well, great response to my Post.  Your sense of my ping withdrawal has given me new hope.  I’m thinking that some of my problem relates to my listening room size (10x12 +/-).  I currently am using a pair of Sony floor towers, a’la early 2000 Best Buy). Maybe I should think about Klipsch or Edifier bookshelf type replacements??

My AR’s were in a room twice as large in my parents much larger house.  

18 hours ago, JSngry said:

Simple test to see if it's your speakers or your ears - find some cymbals and some sticks and have at it. See how much "ping" there is and then proceed accordingly 

 

 

2 hours ago, Peter Friedman said:

I bought a pair of AR-3 speakers back in about 1970. They were a step down from the AR-5 but more affordable, and I loved them. Kept them for roughly 40 years. 

Now have a pair of Audio Physic speakers that are wonderful. Have had them for quite some time. Can't indicate the style number as i am out of town on summer vacation. 

I should say the Audio Physic speakers are my main speakers and floor standing. In some other rooms in the house I have smaller speakers that are also very good . One set of B & W speakers, and a set of excellent Paradigm speakers.

m

Thank you, for your suggestions.  Most appreciated. 

Edited by Jon King
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3 hours ago, Jon King said:

Maybe I should think about Klipsch or Edifier bookshelf type replacements??

I own a pair of Edifiers, and the bass response is not impressive.  Try to listen before you buy, or make sure you can return them if needed.

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