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tysontom

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  1. tysontom

    Original AR 3a's???

    Wow! Thanks so much for sending that link! I have only seen a few AR-3s built after the very first ones that had all-plywood cabinets with wood veneer! These AR-3s, SN C 44135 and C 44136, are quite unusual, especially since they were built well into the mid-1960s, probably around 1965 or so! --Tom
  2. tysontom

    Original AR 3a's???

    I agree with Roy completely on most of his description of these nice AR-3as. What I see first is the different tweeter (definitely the Peerless 1-inch) on a custom mounting plate to fit the AR-3a cabinet, using the stock AR screws. The midrange has a similar custom mounting plate (using AR pan head screws instead of the flat-type), and the lead wires are under that flange piece, as Roy states. I wonder what happened to the original midrange mounting flange when the new mounting plate was added; apparently it was cut down in size and glued to the underside of the new mounting flange. The original midrange-driver flange cannot be removed without damage to the dome voice coil, etc. The woofer is an early ferrite version (long wire), but with a peculiar foam surround and a lot of glue, not too atypical. The cone surface appears to have been coated similar to treatments done on the AR-2ax woofers, so perhaps the cone is original and stock. The cone might have been one of the ferrite woofers with a damping ring (since removed), but I can't tell. At first, Roy Allison and Chuck McShane experimented with different, subtle treatments to the cone on nearly all of the AR woofers, so there were variations. I could be wrong, but I don't think these cabinets are "walnut-clad plywood." I think Roy might be referring to the front baffle and the rear panel, but not necessarily the veneered panels, as they appear to be original walnut-panel MDF cabinets with solid-walnut grill molding, completely stock from what I can tell. After the early AR-1 cabinets into the late 1950s, AR stopped using plywood cabinets (except for the front baffle and rear panel) for veneered-wood finishes. There might be exceptions, but I haven't seen any. The veneered cabinets were usually Novaply or MDF-type cabinets. The "Utility" plywood cabinets, however, were unfinished-pine plywood on all panels. The AR-3a-style grill mounting strip around the perimeter of the black-painted baffle board appears original, and there are traces of USM glue in places. I can't tell about the actual grill panels themselves, but the grill-cloth appears to be the Norwood-style white-linen material used after 1973 or so. --Tom
  3. tysontom

    AR-303A Rosewood Ser. Nos. 0000-0001 For Sale

    I don't know what finish was used. I will try to find out.
  4. tysontom

    AR speaker low frequency perspective

    Note that I have toned-down my original message! I got a little carried away!
  5. tysontom

    AR speaker low frequency perspective

    Aadams, it probably goes without saying that I will frequently jump at the chance to debate this subject -- I'm sure you know that by now -- but you are exactly right that I should have first asked where you were going with this post. As you left it, however, it was wide open to interpretation, and I was right in there. It might have been better for you to have described what you were trying to say in your first message; thus a debate could have been averted. I completely missed the 42 Hz blue line thing you mention above. I see the blue line, but I didn't see the reference to the 42 Hz in your image; I now understand that you were pointing to a specific piano key that represents 42 Hz, the approximate resonance frequency of the larger AR bookshelf speakers. I tend to get into a spirited discussion anytime I suspect something isn't correct, but I also realize that you are an AR buff, no argument there. Discussion and debate are good things and no harm meant, but I tend to raise the tension level sometimes, so I apologize for that. --Tom Tyson
  6. tysontom

    AR-303A Rosewood Ser. Nos. 0000-0001 For Sale

    Kent, the black "laminate" AR-303, the first version, was a non-wood laminate. It was a hard, "steel" Formica-type laminate, and the material was very durable but it tended to show fingerprints quite easily. There was also a cherry-veneer version of the first 303 which was real wood and, finally, a genuine-rosewood cabinet in some of the last AR-303 original versions. With the AR-303a, all were made with genuine rosewood veneer. Granted, this was not the rare, stripy Brazilian Rosewood, long banned for export, but likely Bolivian or another black rosewood species. The AR-303a manual also states, "The AR-303a Loudspeaker System is finished in a genuine rosewood veneer on all sides, accented by a unique gold logo and serial-number plate." --Tom
  7. tysontom

    AR speaker low frequency perspective

    "I hope the visual speaks for itself." First of all, the first key of all standard pianos -- those used perhaps 99.99% of the time for any recording -- is A0 at 27.5 Hz., not 16 Hz. Only the obscure and very expensive Stuart & Sons special piano (shown in your visual) and the rarely used, supremely expensive Austrian Bösendorfer Model 290 Imperial (half a million US dollars) have the extra bass and treble keys that allow a 16 Hz note, similar to an organ 32' foot pipe. But those bottom keys are not well heard due to the difficulty in reproducing nether-bass frequencies with strung vibrating mechanism; i.e., those notes can barely be felt or heard anyway in a live performance. Only a close-miked recording of the piano's sound will show any palpable low-frequency energy; moreover, nearly all recordings are made with microphones well above the soundboard or strings to keep the sound natural. In addition, all of these pianos have to be at least the Concert Grand versions, 9+ feet in length or larger, and nearly all orchestral (and most jazz) piano recordings are made with the Steinway Model D Concert Grand. Rarely are recordings made with anything else except a few special recordings. Then there is the issue of virtually no music ever having been written by composers for the notes below the standard-piano frequencies. Even A0 is rarely in use on any piano. Consider the the issue of the "-3dB down point" of these various loudspeakers. The -3dB down point is strictly a technical measurement to give one the point in which anechoic frequency response dips below the reference-output level. This is an free-field type of measurement, not a room measurement. With room gain, it's likely that 30 Hz in any AR-3a is not going to be diminished by very much, barely noticeable with most recordings. Almost every room has "room gain," a phenomenon that actually bumps-up the low frequencies significantly, so that there is quite a lot of bass reinforcement below the loudspeaker's normal bass resonance. While it's certainly true that the AR9 will sound more full reproducing the bottom octaves than an AR-3a, or an AR-3a more so than an AR-5, there is really very little lost when playing most music, particularly piano music, with any of these speakers. If the extreme low bass is the number-one issue, an equalizer can always be used. This is usually an organ or electronic-music issue, not a piano issue. AR woofers have low harmonic distortion, so these speakers can be equalized to bump up the subterranean bass frequencies if needed. --Tom Tyson
  8. Frank, the speaker stand, shown in my picture, was the first such AR speaker-mounting device and was priced at $30 per stand, not particularly cheap at the time ($30 in 1959 would be $256.45 in 2018, multiplied by 2). This was shipped directly from AR to customers as a kit with the two veneered plywood shelves and four wrought-iron legs with attachment point underneath, hardware and tool. The legs were solid wrought-iron one-piece legs in black, and the bottom of the legs had a plastic protective piece added. This stand was actually quite handsome and was very sturdy and capable of supporting the weight of any of the AR bookshelf speakers mounted horizontally. It was designed to be placed back against the wall. Following the stand was the first speaker base, a solid-walnut, 2-piece design, also quite handsome. Later, an inexpensive vinyl-covered MDF "speaker base" was offered to allow the AR speakers to be brought up off the floor at least a minimum of ten inches. This base was inexpensive, and it looked inexpensive, available only in walnut-grained or ebony vinyl. It was always important to get any of the AR "bookshelf" speakers up off the floor to prevent them from sounding boomy. In the mid-1970s, AR brought out a welded-steel stand that was powder-coated in black, and this was designed to fit primarily the Advanced Development Speakers (AR-10Pi, AR-11, AR-12 and AR-14). --Tom Tyson
  9. The 1960 mounting of the AR-3s on speaker stands on the roof of the Music Room:
  10. tysontom

    ADS L1590

    I think this ADS L1590 thread has become the most widely read topic in all of the Classic Speaker Pages! Up above 76,000 reads, and that is amazing. Says a lot about this remarkably fine loudspeaker, at or near the top of ADS's engineering efforts. The 1590 woofer loafing along at relatively low power at 20 Hz. Much more excursion left to go! One of the hallmarks of the ADS 1590A was the robust pair of 10-inch woofers -- each with 2-inch voice coils and lots (5/8") voice-coil overhang -- was deep bass with very low harmonic distortion. This speaker was one of the best at reproducing clean deep bass with low distortion. --Tom Tyson
  11. "I was there in 1974 also and the sound did not by any means fill that huge place up with sound. In fact the sound level emanating from that far corner was a faint output which sounded like a small high fidelity system playing in the far corner of a huge room. The AR speakers were mounted on top of a temporary looking room which was and housed AR’s demo room. If standing in the center of the huge hall, one had to get very close to that corner that AR was using in order to hear any sort of high quality sound coming out of two speakers into that huge hall where they were lost if in any attempt to fill the hall. If anything it was a teaser and beckoned a person who may have been interested in hi-fi (me) to walk closer as I did and I was met with a somewhat faint audible ‘hi-fi’ sound. That huge hall had to be thousands and thousands of cubic feet in size. There was no way two or even multiples of AR-3’s would ever fill that space." --FM ________________________________ Frank, First of all, I am almost certain that the AR-3s were not still mounted on the ceiling of the AR Music Room at the end of the room's existence, which was in fact 1974. They were actually placed up there near the beginning of the room's existence in 1959-1960, and they were later removed, so what you heard was almost certainly not the AR-3s playing Christmas Music, the only time of the year that they were used. Consider, too, that the AR-3a was the main attraction in the Music Room by the fall of 1967, and the AR Amplifier was added to the room in 1968, so it would not have made sense to continue with the AR-3/Dyna Mark III combination fifteen years later anyway. Why would AR even consider keeping the AR-3 on the roof of the building at that time? Most likely what you heard in Grand Central Terminal was music from some other location. The AR-3s were mounted horizontally. splayed outwardly, on AR Stands on top of the building on the West Balcony of the terminal and connected to two Dynaco Mark III amplifiers. The sound output was fairly high, causing the Mark IIIs to nearly clip (>140 watts peak/channel) at times, and the AR-3s could definitely be heard throughout the station (I've heard it during those early years), but it was very diffuse and could only be heard clearly when there was not a rush of passengers and people milling throughout the huge main concourse. Listening to the AR-2a, AR-3 and AR-1 during the early years in the AR Music Room. --Tom Tyson
  12. tysontom

    AR-303A Rosewood Ser. Nos. 0000-0001 For Sale

    Item No. 323562878508 This pair has sold, thanks for looking! --Tom Tyson Acoustic Research AR-303A Loudspeakers Sale Price: $1,026.00 Item #: 323562878508 Date Sold: 11/28/2018
  13. This is a pair of (genuine) Rosewood AR-303As that I am currently selling on eBay. This pair was given to me by AR for helping with the "AR 40th Birthday Party" in New York in 1994. Very low serial numbers. Originally, AR sent a pair of laminated black AR-303s, but the speakers were damaged in shipment. In return, they sent another set, this time in the newer AR-303A in Rosewood veneer (only difference is the back input connections and finish availability). This pair is in excellent, like-new condition both physically and electro-mechanically, and the speakers have been played at moderately low volume levels in an office system since the day they were received from AR. They have never been stressed. The AR-303 is a excellent, accurate loudspeaker, probably unsurpassed by any speaker anywhere near its size. eBay listing: https://www.ebay.com/itm/323562878508?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649 eBay listing Number: 323562878508
  14. tysontom

    A pair of AR-3 fell into my lap this week

    I believe the serial number for this one is C 23638, not 438. You got a great find, particularly if all drivers are functional, which is very likely. Those cabinets are rough, but the drivers look good and have not been removed, which is a definite plus. --Tom Tyson
  15. tysontom

    AR LST Stand

    Two types of AR-LST stands I have used in the past, one a wall mount and the other a floor mount to get the LST up approximately 36" or so from the floor: Tom Tyson
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