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RoyC

Avid and Consumer Reports

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Very interesting reading. I haven't read them all (check the links) but the May 1970 CR contains the infamous report on the Bose 901. For anyone not familiar with this, CR reported that "individual instruments heard through the Bose system seemed to grow to gigantic proportions and tended to wander about the room." Bose did not take that lying down. They sued CU. I don't care for Bose speakers (except in my car) but they had and have FAR more business acumen than our dear departed favorites.
Speaking of which, that same issue noted that CR had previously praised the AR-3 they were unimpressed with the mid and tweet in the 3a, and said they preferred the 2-ax. They also had praise for the AR-4x. Interesting to compare the CR comments with those of some of us here.
Kent

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Of the speakers in the 1976 CR ratings list with which I have some experience, I am not surprised the Avids scored at the top. The Avid 102 and 103 were Large Advent killers of the day, imo. They didn't have the popular "mid bass hump" or attractive cabinets of the Advents, but were very balanced and satisfying across the spectrum....and their original high compliance rubber woofer surrounds are usually still functioning perfectly today!

Roy

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Hi Roy...nice to see the comfirmation of your thoughts on the Avids. With their quality drivers, strange that the cabs were done cheaply with the vinyl wrap. Would love to hear the 103 someday.

Kent....speaking of the 901's, I have read that the 4 1/2" mids in the 103 was the drivers that Bose chose to put in the 901's. Looking at pictures of the 103, I can see it sure looks like them.

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As a young man I lived in Bergen county NJ. Just across the Hudson river from NYC.

My brother and I made frequent treks to listening rooms back in the "golden" days of stereo h-fi shops.

Back in the 1970s there were a large number of stores you good go to and listen to stereo equipment in a dedicated listening room. These stores were geared toward the middle class consumer. Speakers lined up across the wall on shelves and also on the floor. Switch boxes for speakers and amps so you could compare on the fly. If they weren't too busy, you could sit and listen for hours. What fond memories I have of those days.

Anyone remember Lafayette electronics, Harvey electronics, Stereo Exchange or Sam Goodys? And there were also a number of smaller "stereo" vendors that I can't recall just now. One I do remember was "Eardrum" in New York state. We listened there for hours on end before I purchased my Sonab OA12 speakers. The proprietor's name was Artie.

Anyway, I clearly remember the Avids. In one store, the salesman spent a lot of time demonstrating the Avids superiority over the Advents. Advent seemed to be the market that Avid was after. Me and my brother listened extensively, switching back and forth between not only the Advents and Avids but also EPI 100s, Bang & OLufsen and Ohm B. After many listening sessions over a number of months, we both wound up buying Advents. Avids may have been an Advent killer, but I didn't know anyone who had a pair of them. Advents were all over. At least where I lived.

The AR3 and AR3a speakers sounded great but few stores carried them and their cost was prohibitive for me at that time. I think Lafayette Electronics carried AR.

Today most young people listen to MP3s on Iphones and most older folks are just interested in home theater.

Those who are interested in Hi-end Stereo and would like to audition have to go to places like Lyric hi-fi. A really nice store with serious listening rooms but certainly not suited for the average guys wallet.

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Hey Stan

I grew up not far from you, then lived most of my adult life in Bergen County. One of my favorite hangouts was the Sounding Board in Ridgewood. Their stuff was out of reach at the time but I remember drooling over it. Eardrum was in Nanuet NY and Artie actually discounted high end stuff during special sales that were advertized on WNCN, the now defunct classical music station. Bought my Hafler 220 kit there and some other stuff. My Allison speakers came from a cool store on 17 north in Paramus but I forgot the name.

In the 60s I was a college student and had to hunt for bargains. I bought my KLH 18 tuner, Dynaco ST-35 ($45) and AR-4x speakers ($88/pr) from Sound Reproduction in East Orange--no listening room and in a pretty seedy part of NJ but their prices fit my budget. Another good place for stereo gear was E.J. Korvette on Route 4 in Paramus. Bought my AR turntable there for about $75.

As 2013 approaches it's fun to reminisce.

Happy New Year!
Kent

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