I recently had a chance to compare newly restored AR-3a's, 5's, and 2ax's side by side, and have a theory why the AR-5 did not do better in the showroom. Although it is not reflected in the published specs, the AR-5 is clearly the least sensitive of the 3 models....so simply switching without compensating for this makes them sound "lesser" than the other two. I personally prefer the AR-5 over the 2ax, and at lower volume levels and/or with more acoustic music, actually prefer it over the 3a! It