Jump to content
The Classic Speaker Pages Discussion Forums


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About frankmarsi

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Profile Information

  • Gender

Recent Profile Visitors

8,721 profile views
  1. frankmarsi


    An excellent reply and well spoken. I could ago on however, what you and I have spoken about rests with the younger generation as we both know they are the makers of the future. The fate of our pleasures and necessary responsibilities we have learned rests with them. And as I have stated, I will go on and continue to enjoy myself as I've learned to appreciate the grand efforts of others that have led me here. My willingness to enjoy music and all of its meaning that has meant so much to man through-out the ages will not become lost on my watch. I can only hope for a future where others retain these and other gifts that have brought us to and mean so much as one of the better aspects of mankind. FM
  2. frankmarsi

    LST revisted....pleasant surprise!

    Ah-gee fellas, glad to hear of your enjoyment. Lakecat, I'm not familiar with your set-up but, I will add what I've learned since I first acquired mine in 1987, and then set-up in 1989. One major aspect is that these speakers were made to be placed against the front wall. In terms of driving power, they will accept pretty much all you can give them with high power amplifiers. I went from two Phase Linear PL400's which will put-out about 400 WPC RMS @ 4 Ohms and until I felt it necessary, my feelings were the smaller 400WPC was running out of steam so, I just had to get bigger amplifiers to experience the LST's full ability. It wasn't until I purchased two Phase Linear Series II amps which will do 700 WPC RMS @ 4 Ohms, and that brought me to new glorious heights that's hard to convey to most others who haven't tried the same thing. I was inspired to do so after meeting a British AR executive that I met in 1990 at the 'Singer' stereo shop in NYC at the introduction showing of AR's new high-power amplifier with matching pre-amp and their 'new' 3 way speaker which I have never seen for sale since. He told me of the AR's executive staff using 4 LST's along with 2 Phase Linear PL-700B amplifiers. He enthusiastically stated the sound was beyond description. He, at that time set my mind in motion to have the same set-up. I had already had the four LST"s but only one PL-400. It wasn't until the early 2000s that I upgraded to using larger dual amps. Bear in mind, higher power doesn't only mean higher volume. It primarily means more defined detail, depth, exciting fast and effortless transients, a higher level of transparency with a large amount of space and 'air' around each instrument and each note. Additionally, a huge and deep soundstage with more over-all naturalness and coupled with huge power is a larger scale of the music playback, AKA a much bigger sound. That sense of scale cannot be realized with anything but high power. An apt term would be 'life-like' and so, a satisfyingly 'real' sounding system. These LST speakers are a demanding speaker when it comes to wattage and that is a fact. They were made for professional situations and will absorb wattage like sponges so, anything below 400 WPC will not be as satisfying or totally adequate for long term use as it is with higher power- you can take that to the bank. As typical of most of the classic line, the tweeters are the only short coming and this issue should be addressed if you really want to hear what they're capable of. I will also stress that they will reflect the quality of input that you feed into them, quality source inputs are mandatory. For me, my LST's are my standard and each time my considerations for change were solely to input better quality program-material and better quality source transducers in terms of better cartridges and tonearms. I went from $300.- $500. cartridges to $700.-$1,000 and then, to $2,000. high quality cartridges and presently I'm using a Benz-Micro 'Gull-Wing' MC at $4,000. With each and every change the LST's reflected the changes of input quality bringing me to new and excitingly lofty levels of realistic sound quality. To quote TAS in their review of this cartridge's sound as being; "more produced than reproduced". Using the 'Gull-Wing' cartridge lately has put my Delos, Kleos, Ortofon Cadenza Blue and ART-9 cartridges on temporary hiatus. In other words, these speakers are the standard-bearers and will give back in spades what you give to them, while each time always responding to a higher order of input quality, in this case a higher priced phono cartridges. Consequently, I almost feel that I've reached a point that the only way to improve upon what I've assembled to this point is by spending large sums of money and changing my system entirely. Costlier speakers, costlier amps, costlier everything. However, I've been in the same AR groove for almost half a century now and I find myself extremely content at this level with this system. Dare I say, this system must be heard to be believed. So, to cap it all off, the AR-LST's will respond to every change that is made in front of them. As it is, my most expensive cartridge actually costs more than my four LST's and not in any way have they taken a back seat, they simply, like I said, give back what you put into them. Neutral and able to respond to any changes for the better and seemingly limitless in their capabilities really speaks to their level of high quality musical reproduction. Good luck and welcome to the higher echelon of AR speakers. P.S. I need to head up north and get "AR surround" in tune with LSTs. If I invite him here, he probably won't want to leave. P.S. II "lakecat", your description of these speakers was a very good one and welcome to the very special niche of TOTL AR speaker owners, congratulations.
  3. frankmarsi

    What AR Speakers Do I have?

    Well, this is like horse betting to 'win, place, show'. Larry, you are correct about the cut-outs or if the OP could see the tweeter dome color with a flash-lite.Though the grill cut-out would be the quickest way. It could also be a '5', with a badge simply placed there complicating matters further.
  4. frankmarsi

    What AR Speakers Do I have?

    As far as I can tell it's a later AR-2a as the AR-2ax would've had the full badge. Then again, could've been a replaced/throw-on in a pinch badge by some one also. In any event, once it's opened and or a successful attempt of the 'ole-flash-lite probing' will be the key and easiest way.
  5. frankmarsi


    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vtg-Acoustic-Research-AR-3A-Speaker-Grilles-Cloth-Grilles-Brass-Logo-Badges/323776892532?hash=item4b629b4e74:g:mZcAAOSw68ZcslZ- More than ten years ago, I purchased 2 pairs of fabric covered grills and appropriate badges from Larry in upstate New York to finish two of three pairs of AR3a’s that are on seemingly ‘work-in-progress’ status for way too long and packed off to the side. Luckily, I've purchased all required drivers in the ready. I understand someone needing or wanting an original masonite grill who will probably cover it with fabric but if one could get a newly made set why not? More to the point with-in these last several years the rising costs or all things for vintage AR- speakers has largely increased. That brings us to the future ownership and enthusiasm of these vintage speakers. Taking a general note of the younger generations with their button and screen pressing energies used for things so distant from what many here consider the ultimate way to enjoy oneself with music, what will the future bring? I’m growing increasingly doubtful my system and speakers will be appreciated in similar ways that they are to me now. I sometimes come to the fearful realization of knowing that all the dedication, time, effort and expense that I spent to make my system the best that it could be will all fall to the wrong hands of an individual who has no concept of what good sound actually is. I hope I’m proved wrong. So, the only possible way I see it all going will hinge on the acceptance and popularity of music appreciation. Though when in 2007 I asked a energetic late 20 something what would she recommend as good current music I was answered with “I don’t know, there isn’t much good music around these days”. This was my thought exactly but, I felt I’d ask. While it confirmed my thoughts what did it say about the future of music? Regardless of what the rest of the world does, I’ll continue to enjoy and improve my listening system. Being this has been a life-long dream since I first heard an AR-4X in '66 or so and then purchased my first set of AR-3a’s five years later in ’71 or ’72. I've refused to use another brand of speaker after all these years.
  6. frankmarsi

    AR3a restored and positioned horizontally

    Buon-giorno, ascolto and let me say; rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. I might add that my system is sounding better than it ever has since I began five decades (half a century) ago.* Giorgio, may I suggest that you frequent the e-bay pages in Britain, you never know when some may show up. Italia also has many vintage hi-fi fans and many super 'high-end' fans too. In facto, I'm considering a 'Gold-Note' PH10 phono-stage, a high quality and fair priced unit that's flexible and able to be modified, and is also made in Italia. If you're into vinyl as I am, I've learned many new good quality pressings are coming out of Spain, Holland and Germany. If and when you might purchase anything, my advice is to communicate with the seller and make sure if needed you are able to return if 'not as described'. I've purchased many hi-fi items from Canada, England, Germany, Japan, China and Australia and never had a problem because I asked questions and made the seller aware of my knowledge of the item I was interested in. I've purchased six pricey high-end phono-cartridges from England, and another from Japan along with four S.U.T.'s with-out any difficulties or problems and was always completely satisfied. Additionally I've purchased eight S.M.E. tonearms from England and three tonearms from Japan and never regretted my actions in doing so. Study the included fotos and the asking of to the point questions has always worked for me. https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=acoustic+research+speakers&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR1.TRC0.A0.H0.Xphase+linear.TRS0&_nkw=acoustic+research+speakers&_sacat=0 * A brand new Benz-Micro 'Gull-Wing' MC cartridge is the reason my system has reached new and lofty levels of sound quality. I've put over 50 hours on it thus far so, it's almost fully broken-in and has reached its ultimate level of total audio bliss. I've done nothing except listen to it almost everyday neglecting my other cartridges it's that good. Below is the reason my AR-LST's are sounding the best they ever have. It's the three year winner in a row of 'Editor's Choice' in "The Absolute Sound" Magazine, 2015, 2016 & 2017 and it also won in 2012. Clearly and once again proving that a vintage system can be updated to compete with the better and newer technology systems of today. It must be heard to be believed. I wish that every one could have one. I'm more than thrilled and certainly elated!
  7. frankmarsi

    AR9 cost

    Why that would mean my four speakers would be valued at near 15 grand if the stars were in perfect alignment. Even though this is silly, I like to sometimes fantasize this way because to me, they're certainly worth more.
  8. frankmarsi

    Unknown '70's era? Says AR>2 and mk-llla

    Correct, these are not AR's. These are the same 'DIY' cabinets that I have exact duplicates of that I bought in '67. They're completely 'glued' together with-out a single screw in their construction except for their back-panel and like wise the X-over and speakers were no doubt purchased as separately available at the same time. It appears as though 'Calrad' is still in business, do a search and see. And I will admit, oddly, they are overly heavy, even when empty.
  9. frankmarsi

    AR TSW 910 Tweeters-Substitute?

    I bring you exhibit 'A' a post by a "owls place" AKA roger the snake man, or was that 'man-snake'? It doesn't matter see here his post: Of particular interest is "SteveF's" post. Informative as always, it's all I have to go-on. Looking at the complement of drivers here which includes two 12 inchers per-side, I pose the guestion. What if this model is actually the best of all AR speakers made that happened to get lost in the shuffle of the late 1980's? I mean after the 1960's and 1970's, didn't a lot of us get somewhat lost by the late 1980's, or at least slightly singed around the edges? Could have these speakers been rejected by the usual snobbery of lovers of the 'classic' original line of AR's? In any event, now that the dust has been kicked up again, I will keep an eye open and if I see these for a cheap price I may consider them. See here as they do seem too have notable qualities. https://stereonomono.blogspot.com/2011/01/acoustic-research-tsw-910-1987.html FM
  10. frankmarsi

    Unknown '70's era? Says AR>2 and mk-llla

    2-22-19 When I graduated from high school at 17 years old in 1967 my first ‘real’job was in NYC. Having worked at various small jobs since I was 13 years old such as check-out counter clerk at a large local food super-market, a junior baker at a local Italian bakery, and a number of other small jobs but, working in Manhattan was a big-deal and new experience for me. It also gave me the daily lunch hour time to further explore all of the electronics stores all along “Radio-Row” aka Cortlandt Street, NYC that my father had brought me to when I was much younger at 10 years old. We went there often so he could buy tubes to fix our TV and our small tube radios. At 17-18 years old, working as an ‘open-order’ clerk for a well known Wall Street stock trading company every chance I had to take off for lunch I’d hurriedly make my trip from the East of lower Manhattan to the West-Side which was about a 15 minute walk while eating a hot knish and two frankfurters on the way there. There, on the far west side of Cortlandt Street, were many four and five almost abandoned apartment buildings, probably built in mid to late 1800’s. Apparently the city condemned these old building considering them unsafe to live in but, the lower floors could be used as storage warehouses and also small shops which were occupied by countless electronic stores and parts suppliers. After a brisk walk of 15 minutes I was in electronic heaven as almost any electronic item was available in these stores. Repeatedly, I would frequent a couple of stores that offered ‘blank’ pre-made wood speaker cabinets of varying sizes. In those early days, I knew I wanted 12 inch woofers, especially if I were to build my first system. Part of the plan included a purchase of either an “Eico” kit, a “Heath-Kit’, or a “Dyna-Kit” for amplification, and an entry level Garrard turntable, and a Shure M3D stereo cartridge. Early on I decided I wanted ‘separates’ in terms of pre-amp and separate amplifer because I had read in countless books and magazines that this rendered the best sound quality, something to this present day that I beleive in and fully practise. Anyway, these stores offered pre-made press-board cabinets that one could install one’s own choice of speakers, cross-overs, grills etc. Sizes ranged from a facility for 8 inch to 15 inch woofers of your choice. Some cabinets were offered with-out cut-outs, others offered pre-cut baffles of various sizes. I choose the 12 inch woofer pre-cut size which also included a cut-out for a 7 inch exponential driver horn. One weekend I borrowed my oldest sister’s ’64 Impala and drove to lower Manhattan and I loaded up the car with two empty but heavy press-board cabinets with the best wood-grain veneer I could see on the store’s shelves. During the week, I purchased two Jenssen 12 inch woofers and two 7 inch horns which I was able to carry home on mass-transit. Luckily the horn included a capacitor in its box as the cross-over. Before I bought those two press-board cabinets I had built a few others from scratch speaker cabinets of plywood and also one cabinet of solid pine in late 1966 using 'found' speakers of all types and sizes I had found in the streets out of discarded TVs and discarded radios. Of course sound quality was less than I wanted nor did I completely know what I was doing. So, to finally answer DavidR’s question. Back then in the mid to late sixties and probably into the 1970s’ and probably in the 1950’s also there were numbers of private wood-working shops around that jumped onto the new rage of the ‘Golden-Era” in high-fidelity. And, just like choosing separates of electronic components, one could build their own design speakers as I did back then using the 'generic' general purpose cabinets. Funny thing is: I still have these speakers with the 12 inch 'Jensen' woofers and 7 inch no-name horns but, I haven’t heard them since I hooked then up for another one of my sisters back in the mid 1970s but, took them out of commission a couple of years later because she had stopped using them. FM http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/tas-legacy-phase-linear-700-power-amplifier/
  11. frankmarsi

    Calling Frank Marsi

    2-16-19 Sadly, my favorite used record store that I had harvested over 6000+ records from across the last 10 years has closed due to the store's owner of 30 years retiring. I truly believe that I was probably his biggest customer in that period and I even came away with a few classical disks that are valued at $150. and more each on the auction site and that I paid only a few dollars for in his store, I am grateful and will forget. Most with an over purchase of 10 were $0.89 and certainly, I never walked with less than were decent to almost new condition. After VPI 16.5 RCM washing and or 'ultrasonic-cleaning', I remain the lucky one and fortunate consumer who got his money's worth, and then some. Though lately, I've been purchasing many as reissues and originals online, my costs have increased greatly. Now,I must seek-out other stores at an appreciable distance from me but, that won’t stop me as today I’m making a pilgrimage to a few other stores in my state though they’re all an hour away or so, whereas my old favorite was only 15 minutes away. In the last few years I’ve been able to clean around 3500+ disks and enjoy those but the calling for more music is ever present. Many in my collection cannot be found on any other medium except vinyl, many being out of print and no longer available. Next week I’ll be receiving another high-performance cartridge so you know I’ll be riveted to my turntable, swinging those vintage tonearms and enjoying the tactile musical experience by revisiting some of my ‘system-testing’ records that I use whenever a new phono cartridge comes into my hands. It's all part of the fun of bringing musical enjoyment into my mist by using vinyl. Pictured below is the altar if you will, where the ritual of my musical dedication takes place. And no, this is not a stacking-up or a hoarding collection of equipment like some 'newbies' might have but instead, a fully operating system. Accessible inputs are: 3 turntables, 2 tape decks, 2 CD decks, 1 FM tuner. Nothing here is being stored or shelved, all pieces are fully functional and an integral part of my success at using vintage equipment and although not shown all of the musical sounds culminate in using four AR-LST speakers. And trust me, I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't have AR speakers provoking me to make them sound the best they could. Other hobbies have very similar callings such as this; https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/02/13/why-i-drive-1950-mercury-coupe?utm_source=SFMC&utm_medium=email&utm_content=19_Feb_16_Weekend_News Though in the 1980's I also did it with cars but, cars require more room and harder work. But, these days, I do it with vintage stereo system listening. Experimenting these days is minimal, actual enjoyment is maximized as the 'system' is pretty much complete. Mounting a new high-end cartridge or dialing in a tonearm are the furthest extent of my efforts. In the spring or sooner, I'll be installing more shelves to store the huge amount of disks because their number has become overwhelming. I will openly admit, vinyl has become an obsession and to me, rightfully so. You can ably use the cliche; 'so much music, so little time'. So, for me, I've reached the pinnacle in what I set out to do starting in the mid 1960's. Now, I have AR's classic series high-point, the AR-LST's powered by high power period correct amplifiers and feed by period correct turntables. It bears repeating, though every piece is vintage the system is feed by modern moving-coil phono cartridges as moving-magnets* just don't afford the higher degree of performance that I demand since being spoiled with MC's for five years running now. And to think, in mid 1967 I started with a Shure MD3 cart., a Dynaco PAS-X kit built tube pre-amp and 17.5 WPC ST-35 tube power amplifier and two Cortlandt St. NYC bought speaker enclosures. P.S. DavidR, you still have a good way of making me laugh and JKent, I thank you for the drink offer but, make mine a double please. Or as my father use to say: "Eh, per cento anni, a tutti", (eh, a hundred years to all!). * In the future I may out of curiosity buy into 'Clearaudio's' upper-tier MM's. Presently the best MM's that I have are the AT-150MLx, AT-440MLa and my original Shure Type III w/Saunders better stylus and a Shure Type IV with a 'SAS' stylus. I haven't used any of those in over 5 years.
  12. frankmarsi

    Calling Frank Marsi

    Kent, Re: "Sadly, things written on the interweb can be misconstrued. People don't get the body language, tone of voice or facial expression. The fact is, I was supporting your point of view, Frank, not being divisive." I accept and welcome the olive branch. About myself, I sometimes may be sensitive whenever vinyl is questioned or challenged as I place much emphasis on it in my systems, or should I more aptly say, total emphasis on it. I spend much money on new and used vinyl disks every month and have invested much in numerous expensive vintage tonearms and like wise on modern cartridges, phono cabling and record cleaning machines. It can be said that vinyl is almost an obsession for me and can be confirmed by anyone who has experienced a 'listening-session' on my main system. I say listening sessions because that's the term my friends and I used back through-out the 1970's when it was the norm for a person of my age to be deeply involved in the enjoyment of music listening all based on vinyl, assembling stereo systems and enjoying our lives. Back then it was common-place to be completive as to who had the better components in their system too. These days, it seems a few folks are offended and become defensive because their system may not measure up, whereas years ago when the newer 'tech' was coming into the public arena circa the 1970's it was all good clean fun. In fact going back to 1971-72, I was the only owner of AR speakers in my group of friends. I found it satisfying and pretty amazing that with a few short years, my closest buddies all purchased AR speakers after having listened to my AR-3a's leaving us only with turntable and cartridge wars but, even then they eventually purchased what I was using as a cartridge, the famous Shure V15 Type III. To your point JKent; "People don't get the body language, tone of voice or facial expression", I agree whole-heartedly and will add that some folks even use it (the internet) as a shield behind which they can hide and defend themselves while talking about things almost as if they're experts when all they're doing is repeating what they've read from other's perceptions and dialogs. Some even take 'sniper' shots so to speak and spew their vitriolic slanted views or psychotic notions. Okay...enough said. Excuse me while I go man the 'con' and start up my system. Yes, there are a few switches to be turned on to initiate operation, this ain't no minor league set-up here you know. Because my home has many trees around it, when not being used I separate my system from AC wall power. Once the power is applied it then proceeds to a power-conditioner with a power delay to the two amplifiers bulging with high power, then I let the whole system warm-up for a minimum of 20 minutes before I'll sit in the room to be immersed in the glorious sound of music. Here, have an olive.
  13. frankmarsi

    Calling Frank Marsi

    I guess that's because I'm so well loved here.
  14. frankmarsi

    Calling Frank Marsi

    Let's see your phono/vinyl set-up. Finally, an accurately priced AR turntable. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Acoustic-Research-AR-XA-Turntable-with-dustcover-cartridge-manual-receipt-works/183684043144?hash=item2ac46c1188:g:UDMAAOSwe0tcZA9E:rk:10:pf:0
  15. frankmarsi

    Calling Frank Marsi

    2-12-19 To "ar_pro". Yes it is and it’s a 8.7+ in condition and barely used when I acquired it it 2010, I have another that's about a 7 in condition. To "Stimpy". I decided to augment the classic S.M.E.3009 by adding the ‘split-weight’ earlier counter-weight addition, it being a very difficult part to locate. What it offered me was better tracking by moving the main counter-weight closer to the pivot-point while using the split-weight to balance out the stylus’ weight. I had to do this as I find most cartridges sound better with an arm of higher mass. In this case I’m using a “Orsonic” headshell which is 10 grams plus wires, tags and mounting screws so, to balance this along with a 8.5 gram “ART-9” cartridge I decided to operate with the additional split-weight. It's no secret that my Ortofon Cadenza Blue cartridge sounds excellent in the Dynavector 505 arm. In the very near future I will be using this set-up with all of my S.M.E. Pre-Improved arms as I find not only does it afford better tracking additionally, the sound quality is improved because of the more steadfast tracking and inertia due to the increased weight. For the longest time I have been fond of the classic S.M.E. 3009 Pre-Approved arms as they’ve been a thing of beauty for me ever since I first became aware of them in the mid 1960s. Their graceful ease of use and excellent/neutral sound qualities have been world renowned for over 60 years. However, when using my “Dynavector” DV505 tone arms such is not the case as those arms are quite massive and can easily support a heavy cartridge and heavier headshell with-out the need of adding more counter-weight as does the “Fidelity-Research” FR-54 in my ever growing tonearm collection. I’ve even gone as far as beefing-up my two Grace F 840 arms in a similar fashion as they have responded remarkedly well to such modifications also. This is all due to my moving away from lighter weight moving-magnet cartridges these last few years to the more detailed and exuberant sound quality of moving-coil cartridges. And in terms of the vintage AR speaker sound quality, any heightening of the higher frequency response is always welcome. To answer “Stimpy”, I’ll only throw a few in here as there’s too many to list. Oscar Peterson Cannonball Adderly Nat Adderly Art Blakey Ray Brown Eddie Cleanhead Vinson Joe Williams BIll Evans Ahmad Jamal Louie Bellson Ella Fitzgerald Eartha Kitt Della Reese Benny Carter Count Basie Roy Eldridge Niels Pedersen Zoot Sims Thelonious Monk Dizzy Gillespie Horace Silver John Coltrane Lee Morgan Red Garland Hank Mobley Dexter Gordon Sonny Rollins Sonny Clark Chet Baker Duke Ellington Ornett Coleman Art Pepper Miles Davis Joe Newman Ben Webster Wayne Shorter Just to name a few as I find I dwell in the jazz years of the early 1950s to 1965 though I have some late 1940's also. I'm more of a 'Be-Bop and 'Swing' fan. If you wanted to know a more concise list by album name, that's possible but would take more time. In the last two years I have added over 500 albums of jazz only. But, please don't be dissuaded as the main collection is presently over 7000 and that's 90% Rock with about 600+ disks of classical. Of course when I see a 'classical' title I enjoy, I'll buy that also. I'm a music listening person who listens with vintage 'TOTL' AR speakers and high amplifier power. Is there any other way? FM