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AmA732MX1

AR90’s vs Paradigm Sound

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21 minutes ago, Stimpy said:

Me too.  Very much so.  A talented designer, than never got the respect that he was due.

Absolutely !  I met Brian way back in 1982, when I flew down from Seattle, to go to his shop in the Frisco Bay area.  I owned the VMPS Widerange Ribbons back then, and returned them to Brian. He gave me my money back, and a pair of VMPS Supertowers. He just asked me to fly down and hear the Widerange Ribbons properly set up and powered. LOL, I was in my 20's, back in the 80's, and the big VMPS Supertowers were great for me back then. Big, forgiving speakers with stunning bass the VMPS Supertowers were. Just the thing for the Hard Rock I listened to back then.

 

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17 minutes ago, ka7niq said:

Absolutely !  I met Brian way back in 1982, when I flew down from Seattle, to go to his shop in the Frisco Bay area.  I owned the VMPS Widerange Ribbons back then, and returned them to Brian. He gave me my money back, and a pair of VMPS Supertowers. He just asked me to fly down and hear the Widerange Ribbons properly set up and powered. LOL, I was in my 20's, back in the 80's, and the big VMPS Supertowers were great for me back then. Big, forgiving speakers with stunning bass the VMPS Supertowers were. Just the thing for the Hard Rock I listened to back then.

 

I met Brian and Shirley, along with John Casler, and the great James Bongiorno (Zoot Suit and all), at CES 2004.  Brian was demoing the RM30's and 215 sub, along with Jim's amps.  A stunning system.

Widerange Ribbons!  Wow.  A truly rare creature.  I wonder if you'd appreciate them more now?  :D

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1 minute ago, Stimpy said:

I met Brian and Shirley, along with John Casler, and the great James Bongiorno (Zoot Suit and all), at CES 2004.  Brian was demoing the RM30's and 215 sub, along with Jim's amps.  A stunning system.

Widerange Ribbons!  Wow.  A truly rare creature.  I wonder if you'd appreciate them more now?  :D

Bongo is dead too :(  Yes, I was too inexperienced as an audiophile, back when I had the widerange ribbons, and even lacked an amp to properly drive them. I WISH I had them now !

 

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3 minutes ago, ka7niq said:

Bongo is dead too :(  Yes, I was too inexperienced as an audiophile, back when I had the widerange ribbons, and even lacked an amp to properly drive them. I WISH I had them now !

 

I met Brian, Jim Thiel, and Arnie Nudell at that CES.  All 3 gone now...!

A funny thing though.  I was in the Genesis Tech room, listening to their new speakers.  Sounding very good, even in surround.  But, over in the corner, was this diminutive, quiet man.  He smiled at men, and asked if he could help, and how I liked the speakers?  It was then that I realized it was Arnie!  I got so flustered and tongue-tied, I couldn't answer...!  I still regret that.

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4 minutes ago, Stimpy said:

I met Brian, Jim Thiel, and Arnie Nudell at that CES.  All 3 gone now...!

A funny thing though.  I was in the Genesis Tech room, listening to their new speakers.  Sounding very good, even in surround.  But, over in the corner, was this diminutive, quiet man.  He smiled at men, and asked if he could help, and how I liked the speakers?  It was then that I realized it was Arnie!  I got so flustered and tongue-tied, I couldn't answer...!  I still regret that.

Wow, I have never met Arnie or Jim Thiel. I have met Richard Vandersteen, and Albert Vonschweikert,  and Bob Carver. Actually, I have been over Bob's house several times, and heard the transistor amp he took to Stereophile that he made sound exactly like a Conrad Johnson Tube Amp. It really did! The problem is, he could only do it on one set of speakers and wires. 

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Back on topic.  All this CES talk, reminds me of a speaker brand that might fit into our AR vs Paradigm discussion.  Alon.  Or Nola, whichever you find.  Now there is a speaker line that sounds both vintage and new.  Warm, relaxed, yet dynamic and detailed.  I've heard Alon's at dealers, and Nola's at shows, and I've always been impressed with their sound.  Plus, they sound good on solid state, but love tubes.  A win-win.

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15 minutes ago, Stimpy said:

Back on topic.  All this CES talk, reminds me of a speaker brand that might fit into our AR vs Paradigm discussion.  Alon.  Or Nola, whichever you find.  Now there is a speaker line that sounds both vintage and new.  Warm, relaxed, yet dynamic and detailed.  I've heard Alon's at dealers, and Nola's at shows, and I've always been impressed with their sound.  Plus, they sound good on solid state, but love tubes.  A win-win.

Yes! Carl Marschiotto of Dahlquist is their designer, and indeed they sound good! They are imaging champs as well.

 

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2 hours ago, ka7niq said:

Both, as long as the speakers "disappear". Actually, few speakers can "get out of their own way". 

This thread may be destined for the Other Speakers Forum but right now I have one last question about "spooky imaging".  Is "spooky imaging" a near field or far field phenomenon?

Adams

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3 minutes ago, Aadams said:

This thread may be destined for the Other Speakers Forum but right now I have one last question about "spooky imaging".  Is "spooky imaging" a near field or far field phenomenon?

Adams

Well ........ I have heard it happen in both the near and far field, because most of the rooms in the houses I have lived in, I was in the near field. 

Talk about spooky imaging. I own  a pair of DBX Soundfield 1a Speakers, that are more or less omnidirectional. Out 1/3 of the way into the room, you can't tell where the sound is coming from. I have also owned OHM Speakers that are also omnidirectional, and they do the same thing. 

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3 hours ago, Aadams said:

This thread may be destined for the Other Speakers Forum but right now I have one last question about "spooky imaging".  Is "spooky imaging" a near field or far field phenomenon?

Adams

I think that the concept of near field imaging is a more recent construct, say the past 30 years or so, with highly directional monitors establishing the performance parameters for near field imaging, and reviewers creating the language used to describe the effect. The same sort of thing has been going on with headphones for the past couple of decades.

Far field imaging was baked into the commercial application of early home stereo reproduction, and was certainly important in the design of the AR-3, AR-3a, and  AR-LST systems.

Since this topic is probably headed for the Other Speakers Forum, let me put in a plug for the far field imaging capability of the Magnepan 3.7i and 20.7 ribbon models. In a large-enough room, with significant available power, there's really nothing like them; "spooky" is an understatement.  

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'Audiophiles' seem to be OBSESSED with imaging.  I generally consider imaging neat when it happens. I like live music, that sounds real, so to me sound stage is key. The larger the better.

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19 minutes ago, ar_pro said:

I think that the concept of near field imaging is a more recent construct, say the past 30 years or so, with highly directional monitors establishing the performance parameters for near field imaging, and reviewers creating the language used to describe the effect. The same sort of thing has been going on with headphones for the past couple of decades.

Far field imaging was baked into the commercial application of early home stereo reproduction, and was certainly important in the design of the AR-3, AR-3a, and  AR-LST systems.

Since this topic is probably headed for the Other Speakers Forum, let me put in a plug for the far field imaging capability of the Magnepan 3.7i and 20.7 ribbon models. In a large-enough room, with significant available power, there's really nothing like them; "spooky" is an understatement.  

Amen! I currently own 5 pairs of high end speakers, and a pair of Magnepan 1.6's are one of them. My room is 20 by 24, with 4 large bass traps, in the corners. Powered by the awesome sounding Mackie 1401 "Pro Sound" amplifier with over 500 watts RMS into 4 ohms, they can be stunning.  But then, I have taken great care, to be sure my first  lateral reflection points are the same, in my room. I also have a pair of DBX Soundfield 1A Speakers. These speakers have 4 - 10 inch woofers, 4  - 5 Inch midranges, and 8 Tweeters, and are designed to have a more or less Omnidirectional radiation pattern. Pulled out a 1/3 or more into room, they too are stunning, as far as imaging. No loss of bass even 1/2 way into the room with these, because they are equalized by their controller, and you can simply adjust both the boost and bass level.

My other speakers are HiRes AR 1's and HiRes AR 9's, and huge Kindel Audio PLS A's. The Kindel PLS A's are big line array speakers, with a total of 22 drivers per side! Each speaker has 16 1 inch dome tweeters, and 6 - 6.5 inch woofers. I am in the process of refreshing their crossovers.

My last pair of speakers are Fostex powered monitors, hooked to my computer.

LOL, needless to say, I am Single !!!!!!!!!!

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43 minutes ago, DavidR said:

I like live music, that sounds real, so to me sound stage is key

This is my preference.  I like the feeling that I am there.

Regarding AR9s  They can image well but it sounds to me like "spooky imaging" involves a ratio of direct and reflected sound. The AR9 series verticals don't do this until well back in the listening area. Earlier ARs can be made to do it in the near field and the LSI models can do it out of the box. Of course you still have to find the spot.

 

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Back to the original question, my experience is that my AR90s are better balanced overall. It was a long time ago that I auditioned Paradigm towers, but my memory is that they were powerful at the top and bottom, treble and bass. My newly re-capped and re-wired AR90s seem—after a fair amount of adjustment—displaying the type of clear treble, midrange, mid-bass, and low bass that I could not get from my DQ-10s or Acoustat Model 3s. Imaging is not quite like the Dahlquists, but it is very good. Slightly wider and easily perceptible than the Acoustats, too.

I found that an amp/preamp change made a significant difference in my listening room. I tend to listen to a lot of jazz at moderate levels, so outright SPL is not important to me. Accuracy and overall balance are, and the AR90s are getting very close to what I seek.

My 2¢. HTH.

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The older Studio Reference towers were a tad bright, but over about 10 years and 5 revisions they dialed them in nicely. They have never had the bass energy though. An M & K sub works pretty well in my system. Glad to hear you are getting enjoyment out of your 90’s. I would love to spend some time listening to a properly restored pair. They are a very nice speaker for sure. I longed for a set of those like nothing else when they were new and for many years later. Who knows, I may still end up with a pair. 🙂

 

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3 hours ago, AmA732MX1 said:

The older Studio Reference towers were a tad bright, but over about 10 years and 5 revisions they dialed them in nicely. They have never had the bass energy though. An M & K sub works pretty well in my system. Glad to hear you are getting enjoyment out of your 90’s. I would love to spend some time listening to a properly restored pair. They are a very nice speaker for sure. I longed for a set of those like nothing else when they were new and for many years later. Who knows, I may still end up with a pair. 🙂

 

I've been doing exactly that, to my 90s.  Or at least, trying to restore them.  I recapped the crossovers, with Mundorf poly's and added new Mills resistors.  I've replaced all driver surrounds, and added Dynamat to the baskets.  I also added a couple of extra cross braces internally.  The LMR tube enclosure has been reglued.  I'm now working on the cabinets, stripping them down.  Though, I'm not sure if I want to refinish them back to stock, or create a pair of Naked 90s?  The only question is how to refinish the front, as the 90s aren't veneered on front.  It's plywood.  :(

(Thanks ar_pro)

 

post-100370-1117653779.jpg.0c89765f9b52de1cd2c917733196a2e0.jpg

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1 hour ago, Stimpy said:

Though, I'm not sure if I want to refinish them back to stock, or create a pair of Naked 90s?

Stock. The acoustic blanket is there for a reason.

 

AR90_a.jpg

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1 hour ago, DavidR said:

Stock. The acoustic blanket is there for a reason.

 

That, and it's pure hell to remove!  :o

I never realized that the AR-90's front panel wasn't veneered, Stimpy. 

The AR-90 cabinet also lacks the slightly chamfered transition seam between the front & side panels that's present on the AR-9.  

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10 hours ago, Stimpy said:

I've been doing exactly that, to my 90s.  Or at least, trying to restore them.  I recapped the crossovers, with Mundorf poly's and added new Mills resistors.  I've replaced all driver surrounds, and added Dynamat to the baskets.  I also added a couple of extra cross braces internally.  The LMR tube enclosure has been reglued.  I'm now working on the cabinets, stripping them down.  Though, I'm not sure if I want to refinish them back to stock, or create a pair of Naked 90s?  The only question is how to refinish the front, as the 90s aren't veneered on front.  It's plywood.  :(

(Thanks ar_pro)

 

post-100370-1117653779.jpg.0c89765f9b52de1cd2c917733196a2e0.jpg

Stock, and do not remove the acoustic blanket, and if you already did, be thinking about how to make a new one. 

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2 hours ago, ka7niq said:

Stock, and do not remove the acoustic blanket, and if you already did, be thinking about how to make a new one. 

Nothing too drastic yet, as the acoustic blanket is still in place.  The only thing I've done to the cabinets, is to strip the polyurethane, that my brother applied (for whatever reason), along with the black paint.  So, while I'll keep the stock design, for the front, I will not be repainting the black woofer trim on the sides.  There's walnut veneer under that paint, and I do want to leave it exposed.  With the side grills in place, the look will still appear stock, and no harm done.

One other variation I'm considering, is to make a short set of stands for my 90's.  Something 6-sided, completely enclosed, and maybe filled, that the 90's can set on.  The stands will bring the height of the 90's to the 9's.  Or at least, match the height of the tweeters between the 2 models.  Just for looks.  Though, in my listening room, the extra height should improve treble response.

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1 hour ago, Stimpy said:

Nothing too drastic yet, as the acoustic blanket is still in place.  The only thing I've done to the cabinets, is to strip the polyurethane, that my brother applied (for whatever reason), along with the black paint.  So, while I'll keep the stock design, for the front, I will not be repainting the black woofer trim on the sides.  There's walnut veneer under that paint, and I do want to leave it exposed.  With the side grills in place, the look will still appear stock, and no harm done.

One other variation I'm considering, is to make a short set of stands for my 90's.  Something 6-sided, completely enclosed, and maybe filled, that the 90's can set on.  The stands will bring the height of the 90's to the 9's.  Or at least, match the height of the tweeters between the 2 models.  Just for looks.  Though, in my listening room, the extra height should improve treble response.

Stimpy -

How does the side veneer look without the paint? Is it close to the color of the unpainted section?

Your idea for the stands is really interesting. I prefer the sound of the AR-91 with its tweeter at the same height as the AR-9.

Here's what Forum member Tom Tyson had to say about the Acoustic Blanket back in 2005:

They may not sound quite as good, but the acoustic-blanket stuff is 80% marketing, 20% functional, in my view at least.

I tend to agree. I'm completely biased about the appearance of the blanket and the vinyl stickers on the front panel, but listening to AR-9's in the far field - maybe 15-20 feet - I never missed the blanket. ☺️


 

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1 minute ago, ar_pro said:

Stimpy -

How does the side veneer look without the paint? Is it close to the color of the unpainted section?

Your idea for the stands is really interesting. I prefer the sound of the AR-91 with its tweeter at the same height as the AR-9.

Here's what Forum member Tom Tyson had to say about the Acoustic Blanket back in 2005:

They may not sound quite as good, but the acoustic-blanket stuff is 80% marketing, 20% functional, in my view at least.

I tend to agree. I'm completely biased about the appearance of the blanket and the vinyl stickers on the front panel, but listening to AR-9's in the far field - maybe 15-20 feet - I never missed the blanket. ☺️


 

Hey ar_pro,

The veneer completely matches.  It's one solid piece, on the sides.  I just need to finish the stripping process, to completely lift the black paint, and I think it'll look nice.

As to the blanket, I'd like to remove it, mainly due to the fact that would make the refinish process much easier.  Nothing in the way then.  But, I'd have to repaint again, after.  Though, I guess I could try and veneer the fronts too? 

I've been thinking about stands for a while.  It's something I will definitely try, as the 90's look a bit squat, since to me they have a Napoleon Complex, compared to the 9's.

Oh, my listening room is 14x16'.  Maybe not large enough?  Another reason I guess I should leave the blanket?  Though, Tom's comments are very interesting...

Stimpy

 

 

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5 hours ago, Stimpy said:

As to the blanket, I'd like to remove it, mainly due to the fact that would make the refinish process much easier.  Nothing in the way then.  But, I'd have to repaint again, after. 

Mask it off like I did to my 9's.

I used both painters tape and masking tape.

 

131_3190.JPG

131_3189.JPG

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I just want to put my 2 cents in   You got nothing to lose   If these folks are doing all this cabinet work and stuff they must like them a lot  l recently got 9s  they were reconed and they still put my Maggie 3.6 & rel subs aside for now  I have finally found synergy after all these years. 80s electronics updated hafler with updated linn and modern cd rega   I’ve heard the 100s almost got them but bought the Maggie’s instead  I’ve had countless brands most American few English couple japan and the nines are just perfect for me . And if you think about it most have been renewed in some ways so it comes down to design  drivers technology hasn’t changed that much. I think nothing to lose and it’s why it’s a hobby. Good luck

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On 12/18/2019 at 12:39 PM, Stimpy said:

 

The veneer completely matches.  It's one solid piece, on the sides.  I just need to finish the stripping process, to completely lift the black paint, and I think it'll look nice.

 

I'd wondered about that - I know that painted surfaces can sometimes leave a "shadow" on the veneer after the paint has been removed. 

Any further thoughts on a stand for the AR-90? Just poking around on Google Images brought this up:

 

stand.jpg

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