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Recomend Ar speakers to pair with fisher 400?

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Picked up a fisher 400 that I was going to use with a set of Klipsch Kg4  that I have had for 30 some odd years. I have always remembered them as being a little harsh but wow they are harsher then I remember??  Anyone want to recommend a smaller Ar to pair with the fisher? I have a set of Ar5 (needs new surrounds) but is 25/30 a side really going to drive them? There is an inexpensive pair of ar15 on flea bay right now I was considering? What do you guys think?  

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I'm not familiar with the Fisher 400, but I enjoy several models of small AR two-ways using very modest amplifier wattage. My favorite amp is a ±26 watt Scott tube amp from the mid 60's, and it is superb with any early 8" two-way models I have paired it with - - - - AR-4, 4x, 4xa, 6, 7.....etc. Re: the AR-15 - - - it is a terrific speaker model, but the pair I've seen put up on online auction are problematic. The seller does confirm that the tweeters are non-original, but methinks this applies to the woofers as well. 

I mention the 8-inch two way models, but I suspect the 8-ohm 10-inch models (AR-2a, 2x, 2ax, 5, etc.) would work almost equally well. In 1971, AR literature recommended 20W per channel for the AR-5.

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RE the AR 5s ...........I ran AR5s with an 18 watt Sherwood for while in a 1000 cft room.  What can I say?  It works for narrow dynamic range music and background.  Not very satisfying.   It really depends on room size, listening distance and music preference but the parameters for a good experience will be very confining at 30 watts.  My thumbnail estimate says, listening at 6ft, you will have maybe 8 db of headroom at 86db spl, which is not much with modern recordings.   IMO do what ra.ra. said.  Find some AR 2ways.

 

Adams

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I easily drive AR91 and 10Pi with a Bob Latino Dynaco mod. Its 32W triode mode and 60W pentode. I think the Fisher will drive the AR5 and sound quite nice doing it.

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Hi arken,

I rarely comment on posts as I generally don't want to offer advice when I don't know about one's listening habits.  I have a pair of AR-2ax(s) in my den that are 3-4 feet away from my "ears" that are driven by Marantz MA-500 mono blocks where the volume is backed way-down.  I listen to organ music (I'm building a 13 rank pipe organ) and I also listen to jazz/new age music at low volumes.  I also own AR-3(s) and AR-91(s) in addition to the AR-2ax(s), all driven by MA-500(s) at low levels (granted that the MA-500(s) offer a lot of head-room).

Most of the time I listen to music as the background.  When distracted by a particular passage, I "rewind" the CD player to repeat that passage.  So what music do you play?  Where is the system located?  Do you listen to listen to choral or symphonic music?  Do you read a book while listening to music?

IMHO, I would refurbish the AR-5(s).....they should/will sound better than any two-way systems (AR-2ax(s) for example) and a lot better than a pair of  the AR-15(s).  Your Fisher 400 will work just fine!

Steve

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23 hours ago, sadams said:

IMHO, I would refurbish the AR-5(s).....they should/will sound better than any two-way systems (AR-2ax(s) for example) and a lot better than a pair of  the AR-15(s).  Your Fisher 400 will work just fine!

Steve

What Steve said.

If you're in the MA area I'll be happy to help you restore the 5's

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I have direct experience in this area.   I have a restored Fisher 400 and have used it for several years with AR speakers.    A Fisher 400 will deliver about 20-22wpc throughout most of the audio band, slightly less in the deep bass.   I have used the following speakers with my 400:  Dynaco A25, Polk Monitor 7, Acoustic Energy Aegis One, ADS L410, AR 92.  The best sounding speakers were the Polk Monitor 7 and the AR92.   The AR92 is an updated version of the AR5....10 inch woofer, dome midrange and tweeter, 8ohm impedance, and somewhat greater sensitivity than the 2ax/5.

I used this combo in the family room of our summer vacation house in a moderately large space.  I completely enjoyed the sound.  Great bass (as expected), clean and clear midrange and treble.  I enjoyed the imaging when in the sweet spot.

However- maximum volume was just above moderate.  Anything more and the combo sounded compressed and harsh.  Within limits, the AR92 sounded the best of all of the speakers I used, there was a synergy that was not present with other combinations and the sound always brought a smile to my face.

My recommendation would depend on how you will use the combination.  If for low to moderate level listening then you should enjoy the sound.  If you expect this to be your "only" system, or if you expect high volume levels you will be disappointed.

Make sure your Fisher 400 has been restored...new power supply, coupling capacitors and rectifier at least.   Note that you or your tech will likely have to adjust resistor values around the rectifier to be sure the new rectifier does not provide too much voltage.   You can purchase a restoration kit from Ebay, and it shouldn't take more than about 3hrs for a qualified tech to install and test all new parts.  Expect to pay more if you also want the tuner section aligned, and the phono section checked to ensure that it provides correct RIAA compensation.

If you are lucky your 400 includes original Fisher branded Telefunken 12ax7 tubes !   7868 output tubes are easy to find and relatively inexpensive.

Good Luck and keep us posted.

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I had the opportunity to try out my father-in-laws' Fisher 800c with some of my AR speakers after getting it restored for him.  The 800c has slightly more power (30wpc) than the 400.

The 800c matched up very well with my AR-15's.   It also performed reasonably well with my AR-14's and AR-11's, but I was most impressed with the AR-15 match-up.

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Hello AR55,

Would you please be more definitive regarding your characterization that "the 800c matched up very well my AR-15's" and that you were "most impressed the AR-15 match-up" given in that you included the AR-11's in your discussion.  What do you mean by "match up" or "match-up"?

Steve

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On 9/9/2018 at 9:08 PM, arken said:

Anyone want to recommend a smaller Ar to pair with the fisher? I have a set of Ar5 (needs new surrounds) but is 25/30 a side really going to drive them?

Arken are you there?  You asked as a broad question and received some good general opinions.   Do you have a thought now or just stirring things up?

Aadams

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I do have a thought after hooking up a few different speakers. I tried a few different pair's to start to get an idea of what I'm working with.  First try was the ar11's They sounded good as long as you didn't try to turn up the volume. Tried the 90's but that was not working at all, Just severely under powered. Just bought a set of 91's really cheap that I replaced the twitters in because the guy before me put Pyle tweeters in but you couldn't tell until you pulled them out. They sounded good as well even producing a little more bass than the 11's, Though still under powered. Having said all that the dynamic range seems to be limited as well. So I am defiantly going to have to scale down the speaker to something smaller and more efficient. I love the sound of the tube Receiver, it just has to be the right speaker. Tried my little elac's to see how a small speaker sounded , while they sounded good for a modern day 100 dollar speaker, they just aren't big enough for my taste. Here what I learned: While you can play most any speaker with a tube receiver especially at low volume it wont sound like the speaker it was designed to be. So I guess I'm going to have to get the 5's going. I have never replaced a set of surrounds and I'm certainly not going to start on a set of ar5's. I would never be able to forgive myself. I have a speaker to practice on this weekend , well see how that goes? On another note I can't believe you guys don't talk more about the AR91? The sound is terrific! I love the way you can listen all day and not get fatigued.  They are going to be the new speakers in my main system at least until I get the 3's going.

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2ax's should work really well. I've used both a Fisher X-100-B(pretty much the integrated version of the 400) and Fisher 500C(a  little more powerful, but negligible) with them and they sounded excellent with both of them. Big full sound, no issues with lack of bottom. FWIW, those amps also did well with the 3a like KLH Model Five's, although of course the Five's are 8 ohms vs. the 4 for the 3a. 

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2 hours ago, arken said:

ust bought a set of 91's really cheap that I replaced the twitters in because the guy before me put Pyle tweeters in but you couldn't tell until you pulled them out. They sounded good as well even producing a little more bass than the 11's, Though still under powered.

AR5s and 91s are very near identical sensitivity. 

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5 hours ago, arken said:

Just bought a set of 91's really cheap that I replaced the twitters in because the guy before me put Pyle tweeters in but you couldn't tell until you pulled them out. They sounded good as well even producing a little more bass than the 11's

I have 91's and the bass isn't as good as the 11's or 10pi; close though. That's using both SS amp and tube amp.

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image.png.4d21d2e274e18ba8ece51c3454c80687.pngOut of curiosity I checked and honestly, to my surprise the 15 is the least sensitive of the entire ADD series.  Maybe an AR4 is more sensitive. 

 

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On 9/9/2018 at 9:08 PM, arken said:

There is an inexpensive pair of ar15 on flea bay right now I was considering? What do you guys think?  

The AR 15 from the ADD series are some excellent 2 way 8 in speakers. There is only one listing for AR 15's on the auction site currently, so I am guessing they are the ones you referred to. 

If you look at the pictures they appear to be some decent looking cabinets, but they are not really AR15's beyond that. The tweeters are some phenolic ring paper cones and the woofers I cannot identify, but definitely not AR. I pulled my 15's out to show what they look like. 

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The seller does state the tweeters are replacements, but even the original he is including is from a AR17 and not 15's.  Mine came with Radio Shack woofers which I replaced with the correct 20001-1 woofers refoamed with filled fillet surrounds. One of the soft dome tweeters was dead and had a broken face. Replaced with 2000024-1 tweeter which were used in AR28s,15,14 and48S and maybe others. The nice original foam grills came from some AR25's I found at Goodwill. The offered speaker cabinets don't look too bad. Maybe the crossovers are OK. But not true ADD AR15's.

Your AR5's may be a good match for the Fisher 400. If you are apprehensive about doing the foams there may be a member near you that can help.. I have a restored Scott 299C amplifier which I have paired with some 1963 KLH Model 6 speakers and the sound is astonishing.  

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3 hours ago, lARrybody said:

The AR 15's ... are some excellent 2-way 8 in speakers.

This is a terrific post, and I totally agree with Larry's assessment. The AR-15 is a somewhat rare model, IMO, and I suspect its excellence can be attributed to at least three factors: the large-ish cabinet volume; the unique 1" dome tweeter; and the surprisingly sophisticated crossover circuitry.

4 hours ago, Aadams said:

.....the 15 is the least sensitive of the entire ADD series.

Perhaps.....85dB for the AR-15, and 86dB for the remainder of this series. Does this small difference in published laboratory measurements really have much validity once these speakers are 45 years old? 

12 hours ago, arken said:

I can't believe you guys don't talk more about the AR91...

The AR-91 is a terrific loudspeaker and it has plenty of ardent fans on these pages. This is your forum, too, so do make a point of telling us more about why they are among your personal favorites. My own (biased) suspicion why they might not get as much airplay here is because all of the floor-standing vertical speaker models are far less visually appealing than the earlier "bookshelf" models, and therefore they take a backseat. Performance-wise, I believe that some members may find the AR-91 to be the pinnacle of the 12" three-ways. 

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I should have given a more detailed accounting of the Fisher 800c matchup with the AR-15, AR-14 & AR-11.

Usually the speakers are connected to a 120wpc McIntosh amp in a 12-ft x 14-ft room.   With all but the most extreme music source, such as Telarc's 1812 Overture, the AR's haven't pushed that amp to noticeably distort (I do have a subwoofer for movie sound effects). 

It is true that the AR-15 is less sensitive than the AR-11 or AR-14, but at the same time it doesn't have the bass response of the others.  When I individually hooked-up each set of speakers to the Fisher 800c, all three sounded very good with most music sources even a at fairly high volume levels.  The only time that the Fisher struggled is when the music had a significant amount of bass energy.  That was most noticeable with the AR-11's.  To be fair, the Fisher still did very well with with the AR-11's until the volume level started to become uncomfortable.  In a much larger room I feel that the 11's in particular could overwhelm the Fisher with some music sources.

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8 hours ago, ra.ra said:

Perhaps.....85dB for the AR-15, and 86dB for the remainder of this series. Does this small difference in published laboratory measurements really have much validity once these speakers are 45 years old? 

I don't know if impedance changes with age or if so whether it drifts up or down.  Diff in 86 in 85 db is imperceptible to the ear but with the combinations under discussion practical headroom is not more than around 8db at 2 meter listening distance so 1db difference is 12% to 15% of headroom.  Most non-orchestral music has dynamic range of not greater than 6db whereas  the 1812 performance referenced above is 12 to 15db.  86db avg spl at 1watt with AR5s would be plenty loud for me at two meters and would require 2 watts sustained.  To cover a 6db peak I would need 8 watts in reserve. To cover a 15db peak you will need 64 watts...................more than 3 times the Fisher 400 rated power.  My point is, many speakers will work ok , just don't expect a lot using modern recordings with this level of power,  unless  you get Klipsch Horns or L300 JBLs for example.

 

Aadams

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I bet the AR12 would be nice.  Mine are hooked up to considerable SS power right now but I have a restored Dynaco St70 sitting next to the SS amp and I will switch it over to that today to check the difference.  I also have a recapped and restored The Fisher TA600 receiver I can try with them.

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Update: Found a pair of Ar4x at a very reasonable price and they sound terrific! Now it's not the kinda bass that you feel ponding on you chest but that's not what I'm doing here. The get plenty loud. When I play on the tube receiver I'm usually playing some acoustical piece or something along those lines. I've become quite fond of Bob Dylan(insert joke here) and Miles Davis both sounding quite good on tube! I still wonder what those AR15 would have sounded like given there size. I really like the 4x you don't need a ton of power to drive them and the are very musical. I didn't relies just how small they are are but that works in my not very big living room.  ARKEN

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Excellent.

If you ever see a nice pair of KLH Model 17, 23 or 6, give those a try as well.

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