Jump to content
The Classic Speaker Pages Discussion Forums
DeSelbyofDalkey

AR-90 New Owner

Recommended Posts

Hello.

I only this week discovered the Classic Speaker Pages forum. Shame on me, I suppose. 😁

I have been wanting to own a pair of AR-9s or AR-90s for a long time, and today I picked up what appear to a very nice pair. No original boxes, there is some oxidation on some screws, and the cabinets need a minor going-over, but everything seems complete. The woofers were either re-foamed or checked by a technician that I trust.

The original owner cleverly installed 0.5amp fuses on the tweeters. I removed them because my amps will not be clipping and I likely will not be trying to scare the neighbors. One of the fuses was blown, thankfully saving that tweeter from further abuse.

I plan to install larger terminal posts on the back and take a look at the crossovers. Are there any other common upgrades I should consider? I upgraded the crossovers and wires on my Dahlquist DQ-10s to good effect but am not sure if it is worth worrying about this with the AR-90s.

Obligatory photos attached. Sorry for the yellow tint. Not much sun outside today.

Daniel

IMG_2790.JPG

IMG_2791.JPG

IMG_2792.JPG

IMG_2794.JPG

IMG_2795.JPG

IMG_2796.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Daniel very nice i am so jealous i bet the soundstage is awesome on those   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great score ! Welcome to CSP.

I have a pair of 90s and love them. I'm trying to get my son to take them so I can put my 9's in the room but he's being stubborn.

A good 5-way binding post that fits w/o need of alteration is this from Parts Express >>>

https://www.parts-express.com/mini-gold-plated-insulated-5-way-binding-post-banana-jack-set-2-red-2-black--320-3375

You might want to consider recapping them as I'm sure many of the caps have drifted from original specs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations on your nice new speakers!

Old-timers will immediately note the presence of both foam inserts for the upper midrange & treble drivers, as well as the absence of plastic "chrome" piping around the side grille panels.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations on the 90s.  A great pair of speakers, regardless of their vintage.

As far as being refreshed, I'd recommend replacing the high range capacitors.  Especially, if your 90s use the black/red Callins brand of electrolytic capacitor like mine.  While I never measured my capacitors, the performance of my speakers had most certainly degraded.  Replacing the stock capacitors made an easily heard improvement in sound.

As to which capacitors to replace, I always suggest series capacitors first, as they'll have the biggest sonic impact.  They're the 4.0, 6.0, 24.0, and 80.0uF caps.

image.gif.5dd0044b398b543ee364b2dac837bfad.gif

NPE or Poly is fine for those.  But personally, I like Poly, and that's what I used in my recap.  There are several great vendors where you can shop for capacitors.  I've used the following without issue:

Madisound

Parts Connexion

Parts Express

Sonic Craft

While I've never shopped through these sites, they're also good parts suppliers:

Erse Audio

Meniscus

Good luck, and Welcome...!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, DavidR said:

I have a pair of 90s and love them. I'm trying to get my son to take them so I can put my 9's in the room but he's being stubborn.

Please adopt me. I'll take them 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, ar_pro said:

Old-timers will immediately note the presence of both foam inserts for the upper midrange & treble drivers...

 

And the absence of rim filling material on the woofers. It was the first thing I noticed. That meant the woofers were re-foamed or at least inspected. 😊

So my guess (from the serial numbers) is that I have some late production models, yes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Stimpy said:

Oh, a beautiful room and system too!  :D

Many thanks on the detailed recommendations for the crossovers. That helps quite a bit.

My room is set up well for speakers that need space around them—specifically my DQ-10s and Acoustat Model 3s. I am still playing around with positioning the AR-90s. I have a subwoofer to compensate for the bass I would gain by placing them closer to walls, but it would be nice to get as much from them as possible.

I did notice some incredible bass response last night playing some Boards of Canada. The depth and accuracy of the low end response was surprising. My Acoustats are wonderful with mid-bass, and the Dahlquists  have very nice low-end bass (when using the Luxman 5M20), but the AR-90s introduced me to a new level of bass reproduction. I want to see if I can capitalize on the that.

I also discovered that my iPhone 11 now is my best digital camera. My Canon Powershot SD700 served me well for many years, but I guess it is time to retire it. Funny how times change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 90s and 9s should be positioned against the wall and approx 5 feet from side walls. Subs with 90s and 9s should not be needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, ar_pro said:

Old-timers will immediately note the presence of both foam inserts for the upper midrange & treble drivers, as well as the absence of plastic "chrome" piping around the side grille panels.

My AR9's have the chrome trim around the sideovers, but my 90's dont. I think all 90's came that way.

eFyXuAFm.jpg1sFsWGdm.jpgPYKnWM7m.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, lARrybody said:

My AR9's have the chrome trim around the sideovers, but my 90's dont. I think all 90's came that way.

eFyXuAFm.jpg1sFsWGdm.jpgPYKnWM7m.jpg

I agree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, JKent said:

Please adopt me. I'll take them 😉

My son is very into audio and his musicians. Quite the concert goer. His room is set up with his TSW610s with posters, albums and other paraphernalia positioned according to their height.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was pretty certain that I've seen AR-90s with the chrome trim (it might be exclusive to the ones with wooden grille panels), so I went pokin' on the internet.

Yay, Google Images!

ar-90.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, DeSelbyofDalkey said:

My room is set up well for speakers that need space around them—specifically my DQ-10s and Acoustat Model 3s.

We owned the Acoustat 2+2 several years ago, and it was a terrific speaker if you could get it out into the room, a bit. Your setup looks like it would be excellent for your Acoustat and DQ-10 systems, and you have plenty of space to play with the 90s. 

The AR manual calls for the speakers to be positioned against the wall, but I've also had very good results from both systems when they were brought forward - say 18 to 24 inches, maybe. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ar_pro said:

The AR manual calls for the speakers to be positioned against the wall, but I've also had very good results from both systems when they were brought forward - say 18 to 24 inches, maybe. 

That is the current compromise. As you note, the room placement works very well with the other speakers but less so with the AR-90s. That said, I have been playing with placement and those wonderful crossover switches on the back.

These are the first speakers I have owned which truly respond to any sort of crossover/level adjustment. I was surprised. For most speakers, I run with no alteration to speaker levels, but on the AR-90s the different positions made very noticeable and very worthwhile changes. I like how the AR manual recommends adjusting each speaker individually—which is really how it should be. Not that I did it, but I like the concept.

I just finished listening to my early mono edition LP of Kind of Blue. I am beginning to like these speakers. 😋

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Daniel one of my favorite bands to show people my AR 93 (your AR 90s Baby Brother)is a Jazz Fusion band from Germany called Passport I bet they would really open up the soundstage with your speakers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just now signed up for an account here on CSP because I have a line on a pair of the AR90's and wanted to learn if they are worth the asking price. I have several, and have had many different speakers from the most popular brands and models of that era with my Infinity Kappa 8's so far my favorite. I know it's the Emit's and Polydome mids that produce the airy and articulate highs I like but I also have a pair of Acoustic Research 302's I like a lot and wanted to ask if anybody on here could give their professional opinion in describing a comparison to the AR90's. These AR90's are in excellent condition with new foam on the woofers and Dayton caps ion the crossovers. Asking price is 850.00 and he says that's firm. He's had them for sale for a couple weeks at this point. I have enough time in this field to know they aren't going to depreciate (at least not much) but will they appreciate times 10 in 8 yrs like my JBL 4312A's have done? Any help will be much appreciated

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Kenyer I think that is a fair price not a steal but not overpriced like I have seen the AR 3s on EBay going for(not knocking anything on the AR3s but I love the AR 9 series)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eight hundred and fifty bucks, would probably be a top amount, for refreshed 90s.  Personally, I wouldn't pay more, unless the restoration were first-class, and well documented.  Boutique capacitors a given, if the seller has a top dollar asking price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey sorry guys, I didn’t mean to take over your topic with mine. I’ll be sure to be more attentive when I post something again. But to be quick, I don’t know for sure but I’m fairly certain there isn’t any documentation on anything, let alone the restoration. And for sure the capacitors have been replaced by Dayton brand. Never have I considered that brand to be boutique. But at least they were changed. And on one of the pics I saw where one mid bass looked like an original with the metal ring around the speaker while the other looks like the original speaker as far as cone and dust cap matching an original but no bright ring around the outside of the speaker. This is Denver. Where everything is priced at the outer limits. So idk what to think now. Still they are really very nice looking and they can be seen on Denver’s Craig’s if anybody wants to see. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, kenyer said:

they can be seen on Denver’s Craig’s if anybody wants to see.

I took a look. They look very nice. I paid $800 for my restored (cabinets only, no caps) pair over 10 years ago and they are worth every penny. The lower mids  (8 inch woofer) look to be original. One is missing the cardboard overlay gaskets that hide the edge of the surround and basket/frame - no big deal. You can buy replacements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it helps put things into perspective, my AR-90s cost approximately $100 less than the Denver pair. That said, I am nearly certain the crossovers are untouched—but the drivers are either in top condition or rebuilt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, DavidR said:

I took a look. They look very nice. I paid $800 for my restored (cabinets only, no caps) pair over 10 years ago and they are worth every penny. The lower mids  (8 inch woofer) look to be original. One is missing the cardboard overlay gaskets that hide the edge of the surround and basket/frame - no big deal. You can buy replacements.

Both 8" drivers are missing their trim pieces - the left driver looks as if someone has tried to fashion trim from foam or the like.

And two of the bolts on the right 8" don't appear to be original. 

The cabinets look great, but you'd have no idea about the quality of the crossover work done - they specifically mention the bypass caps, but don't say if all of the crossover caps have been replaced, or the type of capacitors used.

If you're reasonably close,  drive over & take a look - maybe $700 on the spot would get it done.

 

ar-90.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...