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knife edge

AR-18: one of the best little speakers ever?

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In these days I have compared my AR18 with a little Mission speaker, the 731, which was very appreciated by various hifi magazines at the time they were out (about 1994-95).

At a first glance, the 731 appeared the winner for overall clarity, but after more accurate listening, they demonstrated some serious discontinuity in the mid region, with distant voices, as a bass response which was somewhat lacking and inconstant (no, the speakers was connected in phase :):P ), with tendency to boominess (at least in my room)

When I reconnected the AR18 the difference was huge: I mean, the AR18 was much better. Except maybe for ultimate estension in high region. And the coherency and the bass are wonderful! (bass is deep, tight and controlled, although very powerfull)

So... as I can't believe that all the reviewers of the 731 was deaf.. how much really good is the Ar18? ;):)

Pity my isn't totally ok, with that squeezed tweeter I was not able to reaccomodate (but it seems to sound well anyway).

I think that when I will change speaker for larger ones I will have some difficulties to find some that matches the musicality and correctness of the AR18!

And you.. what do you think of the AR18 compared to today little speakers?

Andrew

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My cousin has a pair of AR18's. They were amazing little things when she got them many years ago. I was over her place the other day and given their size, they still amaze me unlike any speaker I've ever heard. Marvelous little buggers!

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I think that when I will change speaker for larger ones I will have some difficulties to find some that matches the musicality and correctness of the AR18!

And you.. what do you think of the AR18 compared to today little speakers?

Andrew

Hi Andrew,

I have long been a fan of the AR-18, and its predecessor, the AR-7. I currently have a pair of AR-7's and two pairs of AR-18's in service. Although I have not compared them to any of "today's" speakers, IMO they sound more neutral and present a far better sound stage than TOTL vintage speakers from Advent and KLH (specifically the Advent Speaker and KLH-5). To put things in perspective, when I ran my first tests on a pair of recently refurbished Allison Ones (one of the most highly regarded vintage speakers of all time), it took me quite a while positioning them until they sounded better than my AR-18's, which had been my main speakers up to that point.

The only thing you really sacrifice from a listening standpoint with a pair of AR-18's is bass extention and the ability to play at extremely loud levels. Regarding bass extention, it's not that the extreme low bass is not there - it is, and I from my own tests I have verified that a pair of AR-18's will accurately reproduce a sub-contra "C" (32.7 hz), albeit at a reduced level.

If you are looking to upgrade, in smaller rooms IMO you may be better off with a pair of AR-18 rather than (am I blaspheming?) a pair of AR-3a's. They need less space to "bloom" and present a better sound stage in smaller spaces than a larger speaker.

Incidentally, my current "primary listening space" set up consists of a pair of refurbished AR-3a's in the front channels, with a pair of AR-18's in the rear channels. Watching a Dolby 5.1 DVD with this set up is a thrilling experience. I also use a vintage Sony SQ 4-channel decoder to derive back channels from a normal two-channel source. Sounds wonderful!

Best Regards,

Rich W

.

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Eureka! I was able to restore in someway some of the "domeness" of the squeezed tweeter.

Hi Andrew,

I have long been a fan of the AR-18, and its predecessor, the AR-7.

...

If you are looking to upgrade, in smaller rooms IMO you may be better off with a pair of AR-18 rather than (am I blaspheming?) a pair of AR-3a's. They need less space to "bloom" and present a better sound stage in smaller spaces than a larger speaker.

Best Regards,

Rich W

.

The Ar-7 is another speaker I'm looking for... I hope to find a pair in good condition some day. And I also hope to listen some day to an AR-3a, I think it will be a very interesting listening.

Anyway, it seems that I should be "proud" of my Ar18 :)

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