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tysontom

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  1. tysontom

    The Venerable Bose 901 Discontinued After 50 Years

    The Bose 901 may not have been the best-selling loudspeaker of all time; that honor probably goes to the Dynaco A25 or perhaps even The Advent Loudspeaker (original version), but the Bose 901 was—with the exception of the low-production Klipschorn—in production longer than any other commercial system, nearly 50 years. It’s interesting that the 901 was extremely maligned over time; for one thing, it could make some other speakers in a showroom seem very anemic, and many dealers “bad-mouthed” the speaker unmercifully. The 901 had equalized deep bass down to nearly 30 Hz, albeit accompanied by an increase in 2nd order (generally less objectionable) harmonic distortion, and few speakers could reach down that low. With an appropriately huge power amplifier such as Bose’s own 1801, the 901 could play at volume levels approaching ear-bleed, and few other speakers could come close without damage. But in terms of generally good overall sound quality and unsurpassed “spaciousness” in the sound field, the Bose 901 was a fine loudspeaker, and it was more than good enough for most high-fidelity audiophiles. It always sounded effortless playing classical music. It was certainly the product that energized the great Bose Corporation to become one of the very largest, and most-successful, consumer-electronics firms in the world. Bose revised the 901 over time to make it easier to mass-produce to improve quality, up the efficiency (one major problem with the early sealed systems) and improve profitability by eliminating much of the hand-labor involved with the original versions. —Tom Tyson
  2. tysontom

    ADS L1590

    Yes, better late than never! I didn't realize that I could edit the actual subject line itself, but the originator has some slight latitude. What files do you need? I think I dropped some files after my file load approached maximum. I can replace any that are needed for download. --Tom
  3. tysontom

    ADS L1590

    Also, check the number of "views" on this one topic! More than 72,000! There are very few topics that have been viewed this often. This shows the popularity of ADS' L-series tower speakers, especially the L1590. --Tom Tyson
  4. tysontom

    ADS L1590

    Notice any difference in this topic? I corrected my early logo mistake: "a/d/s/ L1590 to the correct version, ADS L1590!" ADS didn't change to the more avant garde "a/d/s/" until the late 1980s with the M-series. --Tom Tyson
  5. tysontom

    Book: The History of Acoustic Research

    Hi Mike, Thanks for your message! Any information (particularly images) would be great as I plod along with my project. I would love to see what you have collected. I notice a couple Hewlett-Packard instruments stacked together in the background. Send me a message offline, too. Thanks, --Tom
  6. tysontom

    ADS L1590

    lakecat, I think your comments about the ADS L980 do reflect a common sentiment about the spectral balance of the ADS woofer, midrange and tweeter. These are accurate and analytical dome drivers, but they have a lot of output, and this sometimes comes across as being a bit forward-sounding. Also, some ADS woofers tend to be slightly over-damped in some instances in an effort to avoid "warmth" in the sound, and this makes the speakers seem dry and lacking in bass in some respects. I don't sense this dryness when I listen to my 1290s, but it may be that the 980 is that way since it was intended to be used in recording studios and high-end installations. Also, you are going to be hard-pressed to find a woofer that can surpass the AR-3a in the region from 500 Hz down to 30 Hz or so; it is nearly perfect in this range with very uniform output and extremely low harmonic distortion. I would love to see the measurement curves on the L980, but I'm sure it is excellent, nonetheless. I don't know the Q of that system or its actual bass resonance (fc) frequency, but I think the latter is around 41 Hz or so, similar to the AR-3a. I suspect that the Q is somewhere between 0.7 and 0.5 judging by the "dry" sound. The AR-3a is 0.7 to 1.0, approximately. I have found that the best place to listen to ADS speakers (in general) is in a large, well-padded living room with little slap echo. A "live" room can be difficult sometimes, but in the right room these speakers can sound great! In any event, ADS always tried to get the most accuracy from their products, and their design and production-control methods for the dome tweeters was outstanding, and there is rarely any variation in the sound. It is unfortunate that most of the ADS (and later a/d/s/) models did not get widespread critical acclaim and reviews in the way that AR speakers did through the years. Julian Hirsch did give the 1290 very high marks, and Julian was basically very fond of Acoustic Research products through the years. Overall, AR received many glowing reviews and tests, and ADS was not tested as much for some reason, yet each design was superb in its own way. Consider this interesting tidbit: ADS manufactured (for the most part) their drivers for the 1090, 1290 and 1590 in-house in the Wilmington, MA facility; the cabinets were made in Germany and shipped to the US! It's amazing that this could be considered economical, but somehow it worked for ADS at the time. --Tom Tyson
  7. At one time there was a very nice Marantz 10B FM tuner in EV's system, and the speakers were AR-3s upgraded by Roy Allison to replace aging original midrange and tweeter with the Allison: Three midrange and tweeter. EV also had a beautiful rosewood harpsichord among other things. It was a very nice home in a sleepy area of Woodstock, NY. Did you get an pictures while there? Thanks for your report.
  8. tysontom

    AR-XA in box?

    Frank, I can see you are fully committed to LPs and vintage vinyl, and that’s wonderful—to each his own, of course. And you're right, there is a resurgence of vinyl (although miniscule in the grand scheme of things) with collectors. This is good to know, because I have many hundreds of LPs that I am going to sell soon. I listen to an occasional LP, and I really enjoy some of the early LPs that I have—mostly classical and jazz, but I prefer CDs to vinyl simply because: · CDs have much wider bandwidth · CDs have more accurate, lower-distortion reproduction · CDs have much lower noise · CDs have much greater dynamic range · CDs don’t have record noise, scratches, pops and clicks that are present to a small degree on even the best-preserved LPs. · CDs don’t gradually wear out over time · CDs don’t require a lot of personal intervention to start and stop, etc. For casual listening when I’m not fixated on sound reproduction, I listen to HD FM broadcasts. However, I will say one thing, I have had a number of manual and automatic turntables over the years. I had a Thorens TD-124 with an SME tonearm and Ortofon cartridge. Later I owned a Linn Sondek LP12. I later had a very nice direct-drive Denon table with another SME tonearm. But through it all, I had my two-motor and my later single-motor AR-XA turntable (with the AR arm, which I consider excellent) and a variety of Shure V-15 cartridges. I never ever saw any advantage to any of the Thorens, LS or Denon (although the Denon direct-drive setup came up to speed almost instantly!). The AR Turntable tracked about as well as any of them, had perfect speed constancy and virtually no acoustic feedback, which the others had to some degree or another. The biggest compliment to the AR-XA was the complete and unabashed imitation of the AR-XA by the Linn Sondek LP12, with the only difference being the price. The LP12 was probably 10X as expensive and offered absolutely no improvement in performance. —Tom
  9. tysontom

    AR-XA in box?

    This is definitely not "new-old stock," but rather an AR-XA (or TA) that "has a box with it." Most responsible AR Turntable owners held on to the boxes. What this seller is trying to do it convince potential buyers that this turntable has never been used and has been in the box forever. One look at the way the inserts are arranged on top of the platen (obviously, the seller wasn't familiar with the way the turntable packed into the original box), and it's clear that the turntable has definitely been out of the box. This is my old AR two-motor turntable, and how one should look if well preserved. I displayed this one at the AR "40th Birthday Party" in New York in 1994, too. The pictures below were taken a couple months ago, the turntable was build around 1963. --Tom Tyson _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  10. tysontom

    Filled Fillet Foam on AR-9 8" LMW

    ________________________________________________________ That treatment ("bead") just inside the surround was a machine-applied butyl-rubber compound used on nearly every AR stamped-basket, foam-surround woofer beginning with ferrite woofers used in AR-3as, LSTs, later AR-5s, AR-6s AR-7s and so forth. It was there as an edge-damping and termination point on the cone and as part of the attachment. I don't think a newer filleted surround -- other than its compliance advantage -- offers that much improvement in edge damping. Even the bead has only a minor effect, but it was a small enhancement. An early version of that was the pre-1964 AR-3 Alnico woofers with its foam inner damping pads and the foam ring just inside the cloth surround. This outer ring was later discontinued, as it did very little to improve performance. --Tom Tyson
  11. tysontom

    ADS L1590

    Glitch, Thanks for your interesting comments and for the part numbers as listed. The L980 and AR-3a are very similar, of course, in layout and function. Both are low-resonance acoustic-suspension designs with dome midrange and dome tweeters (both ¾-inch) and similar crossover characteristics. A direct A-B comparison would be very interesting. I've never read a report on a comparison between these two fine speakers, but I think there were far fewer L980s out there than AR-3as or its later iterations (AR-10, AR-58, AR98Ls, etc). On the other hand, I did compare my L1290/2 and AR-3a speakers, and I can comment a bit on that comparison. It was difficult to compare them, as the optimal spot for the 3a is flush in a bookshelf, and the 1290 has to be out slightly from the front wall, toed-in a bit, to be positioned optimally. I am fond of both the 1290/2 and the AR-3a; unfortunately, the 50-year-old AR-3a dome tweeters are beginning to deteriorate, causing lower output from the domes. Perhaps a better comparison for the L980 would be an AR-10π, AR58 or AR78 with their cloth-dome tweeters. In the bass, the AR-3a has a slight advantage in low-frequency extension, but the differences are subtle and only noticeable on organ or electronic music or jazz with prominent kick drum or orchestral bass drum. The 1290 isn't deficient, but it's slightly less prominent and less "warm." Part of this difference, too, is the relative balance between the woofers and high-range drivers in the ADS vs. AR speakers. AR's midrange and treble are more reticent, on-axis, and the output is slightly downward-sloping in the higher frequencies; this is not the case with the 1290, as it is quite uniform throughout the midrange and treble. Therefore, the 1290 is more "forward" and brighter-sounding than the AR-3a; however, well back in the reverberant listening area, where the predominant sound is reflected, there are fewer differences in the balance of the sound between these two systems, mainly because the dispersion of the 3a's hard-dome tweeter is somewhat wider than that of the soft-dome ADS tweeter. Therefore, the excellent power response of the AR-3a makes up for its on-axis reticence. The AR-3a's 1½-inch dome midrange also has better dispersion than the 2-inch dome in 1290, but the clarity of the output from the ADS tweeters is just about unsurpassed. Both of these speaker systems are so good that it would be hard to find too much fault with either system. Therefore, I never found a favorite. The ADS seems to bring you a bit closer to the music and there is that outstanding midrange and treble clarity. The AR-3a is more laid-back, but it has a smooth, very natural reproduction of midrange and treble. In the bass, the AR-3a is more solid, but the differences are subtle. Perhaps a draw. —Tom Tyson
  12. tysontom

    ADS L1590

    Hi Glitch, Great message. Regarding the L980s, I wonder how it would compare, ultimately, with the AR-3a? There would be a fairly close resemblance in terms of bandwidth and spectral balance, except that the ADS speakers would have noticeably greater upper-midrange and treble output in comparison with the AR-3a. As for accuracy, it would be a close call, with both speakers representing a very high level of smoothness and low distortion. I am quite surprised that at least one of ADS's later designs didn't make it to Stereophile magazine's "Best Top Speakers of the Past 40 Years." You just never know how these things will go, but there were several ADS speaker that could easily have outmatched several of the magazine's top picks. Of course, Stereophile magazine (much like TAS) reviews and articles were heavily weighed on subjective evaluation and judgment, and the results were usually more emotional than objective. https://www.stereophile.com/content/40-years-istereophilei-hot-100-products-page-7 By the way, you are exactly right about the different part numbers for the ADS 1590 and 1290! For some reason I thought the tweeters were identical, but it's not the case. According to what I found in my files: L1290: tweeter 206-0117, mid 206-0211, woofer 206-0349 L1590: tweeter 206-0119, mid 206-0213, woofer 206-0350. I'm not positive that these are the Series 2 part numbers or the original series, but I think so. You may know for sure. --Tom
  13. tysontom

    ADS L1590

    Hi Glitch, These were very interesting comments, especially the contrast between the L1590 and L1290. Sorry I'm so late in commenting on them, over a year later! I think the different crossovers and slight differences between the 2-inch dome midrange drivers between the two speakers probably accounts somewhat for the difference in perceived transient performance. Except for the more robust L1590 woofers, I don't understand why the L1590 has greater overall power-handling capability than the L1290, especially since the 2-inch dome is driven to a lower crossover frequency in the big speaker. How this could represent greater power-handling, I don't know! The upper end should be equal across the board. Thoughts? Also, do you have any copies of your measurements on these speakers? I would love to see them if you have saved any. If you could do some impulse tests—even the old transient-response tests—it would be interesting to see if there are any differences in the two speakers' midrange performance. I would not think so, as both use the same magnet and voice-coil assemblies. Did you actually find the Ferrofluid dried up in the 1290s? Was it partially dry or what was the case? Also, as for imaging, I would think that the L1290 and L890 speakers, with their higher midrange crossover, might image slightly better than the 1590, but the latter would have somewhat greater "spaciousness" in the reverberant field. More three-dimensional in the far field. These were all great speakers! Do you also have a pair of L980s? —Tom Tyson
  14. tysontom

    AR-5 Technical Details

    Hi Pete, I think 1.15 is very close to the average Qtc measurement for the 10-inch (and 8-inch) series. --Tom
  15. Both controls at or near maximum. These were my AR-3as that were tested at AR by Bill Bush and KK before being sent to Julian Hirsch for the initial test of the AR-303 by Hirsch-Houck Labs. AR-303-Review_H-H_Julian-Hirsch_June1995.pdf --Tom
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