lakecat

Acquired a pair of ADS L980's in walnut......

36 posts in this topic

I grabbed a pair of 980's today after a half hour ride to see them. Older guy in 80's was downsizing from a huge house and saw they had been babied. Had metal stands that came with them.....and bought them after the first song...lol Also had the owners manual. Wasn't cheap.

Anyways......gonna mess around with them a bit and see if they are keepers. Haven't had a chance to set them up yet. Not much info on these speakers and have been looking. Was going to compare them to my 3a's and see what differences I hear. Anyone currently have these?

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I grabbed a pair of 980's today after a half hour ride to see them. Older guy in 80's was downsizing from a huge house and saw they had been babied. Had metal stands that came with them.....and bought them after the first song...lol Also had the owners manual. Wasn't cheap.

Anyways......gonna mess around with them a bit and see if they are keepers. Haven't had a chance to set them up yet. Not much info on these speakers and have been looking. Was going to compare them to my 3a's and see what differences I hear. Anyone currently have these?

Yes, same drivers as the famed L-1590 towers ... expect less bass than the AR-3a ... probably cleaner sound overall with more power handling ability but I've never A/B'd them against the 3's so it will be interesting to hear your impressions.

If you paid $500 or less you got a good deal as they can sell for a lot more. They are not well-known so the used price never went through the roof on these but they are rarely seen offered compared to the 3/s.

Roger

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Yes, same drivers as the famed L-1590 towers ... expect less bass than the AR-3a ... probably cleaner sound overall with more power handling ability but I've never A/B'd them against the 3's so it will be interesting to hear your impressions.

If you paid $500 or less you got a good deal as they can sell for a lot more. They are not well-known so the used price never went through the roof on these but they are rarely seen offered compared to the 3/s.

Roger

Thanks for reply. I got them for $500 with a nice pair of metal stands that has them sitting up about six inches or so and tilted back just slightly. I was surprised at the metal grills but all in excellent shape. Gonna set them up here in a bit and give them a listen. You would think that metal would be the last thing you would stick in front of a driver.....but alas....still much to learn.

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Well....kind of scratching my head on these speakers. The 3a's kicked their ass but I don't think these speakers are up to snuff. My wife calls it thick....the music playing. I call it muffled. The keyboards are not bright and are in the background. It just doesn't have the musicality of the AR's and just not what I have read about these great speakers. You can sense their clarity and ability but it's like a blanket is over them.

All the drivers work soooo....at this point....befuddled. Are studio monitors this flat? I am pushing the volume to 11:00 o'clock on these and the AR's were at 9:00 or slightly less to have the same scale. Hard to describe but bummed. Anything I should be looking at?

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Well, there has been some debate about the condition of the ferro-fluid in the drivers. I think David recently sent off a set of 1590 drivers to a former ADS tech in AZ for rebuild. Maybe we can get him to chime in here.

update: Here is the 1590 thread: http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?showtopic=8526&page=1

Roger

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Yes, same drivers as the famed L-1590 towers ... expect less bass than the AR-3a ... probably cleaner sound overall with more power handling ability but I've never A/B'd them against the 3's so it will be interesting to hear your impressions.

If you paid $500 or less you got a good deal as they can sell for a lot more. They are not well-known so the used price never went through the roof on these but they are rarely seen offered compared to the 3/s.

Roger

The L980's have a 12" woofer, the 1590s have 10" woofers.

Please don't crush my dreams.. I have AR-3a speakers and was hoping to score some L980s at some point, but if the AR-3a's destroy them in the bass area.. well.. that just stinks! haha

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The L980's have a 12" woofer, the 1590s have 10" woofers.

Please don't crush my dreams.. I have AR-3a speakers and was hoping to score some L980s at some point, but if the AR-3a's destroy them in the bass area.. well.. that just stinks! haha

Oops, should have said same mids and tweets as the ....

If you are addicted to the 3a's bass I would pass on the 980's.

Roger

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Well, there has been some debate about the condition of the ferro-fluid in the drivers. I think David recently sent off a set of 1590 drivers to a former ADS tech in AZ for rebuild. Maybe we can get him to chime in here.

update: Here is the 1590 thread: http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?showtopic=8526&page=1

Roger

Thanks.....I looked into it....not sure if that is problem or not. On your 980's, do you have to push your volume more than normal for the same level of sound compared to your other speakers? I had the volume knob at 2:00 and could get only ten watts showing on the meter....odd. THis Sansui G-8000 is recapped and pushes 120w a side.

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Me sending the mids and tweets to Roger So is more of a "preventive maintenance" thing. there is definitely a life cycle to the stuff so I am being proactive before Mr So no longer provides the service. Otherwise, yes, they sounded very good as they were. Probably not much different than when we jump to replacing caps on these older specimens and may not always need to. We shall see when I get them back.

I am currently using a pair of L-990's that I picked up for a friend (and haven't delivered yet :ph34r: ) and I like them a lot too in the smaller room they are currently in.

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Thanks.....I looked into it....not sure if that is problem or not. On your 980's, do you have to push your volume more than normal for the same level of sound compared to your other speakers? I had the volume knob at 2:00 and could get only ten watts showing on the meter....odd. THis Sansui G-8000 is recapped and pushes 120w a side.

Haven't noticed that much difference in efficiency driving them with an Adcom 555II compared to other acoustic suspension speakers. I haven't touched the crossovers on these yet either.

At one point, the neighbors were convinced there was an explosion in my place while playing back Telarc's recording of live cannons on the "1812 Overture" at performance levels. Can't do that with my "classic" AR's without risking damage.

Roger

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Haven't noticed that much difference in efficiency driving them with an Adcom 555II compared to other acoustic suspension speakers. I haven't touched the crossovers on these yet either.

At one point, the neighbors were convinced there was an explosion in my place while playing back Telarc's recording of live cannons on the "1812 Overture" at performance levels. Can't do that with my "classic" AR's without risking damage.

Roger

I bet your neighbors love you...lol. Well...playing around with them some more.....and when pushed for volume, they do perform....very nicely. I can see what the fuss is about on these speakers when played with volume.....but no easy listening with these I guess. Just sounds muffled and thick. Maybe just a wrong amp for these and will try it on some others I have. Also...not willing to spend over two hundred in case dollars on them either on the ferro fluid.

The previous owner said he never played them so maybe they just need exercised.... :)

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On 2/1/2016 at 4:26 PM, lakecat said:

I bet your neighbors love you...lol. Well...playing around with them some more.....and when pushed for volume, they do perform....very nicely. I can see what the fuss is about on these speakers when played with volume.....but no easy listening with these I guess. Just sounds muffled and thick. Maybe just a wrong amp for these and will try it on some others I have. Also...not willing to spend over two hundred in case dollars on them either on the ferro fluid.

The previous owner said he never played them so maybe they just need exercised.... :)

Well, I had to change out my preamp today so I decided to give the L-980's a run for their money ... using everyone's fav rock reference album they do sound thick and muddy even with them vibrating the walls. No amount of EQ seems to help.

Switch in a set of cheap 2-way Advents with them and the sound opens up nicely.

Will need to investigate further or add a piezo tweeter array.

I know they were designed to be flat but there is a difference between flat and dull.

I went back and read a thread I started on the AR forum which may add some detail to this discussion:

 

Roger

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22 hours ago, owlsplace said:

Well, I had to change out my preamp today so I decided to give the L-980's a run for their money ... using everyone's fav rock reference album they do sound thick and muddy even with them vibrating the walls. No amount of EQ seems to help.

Switch in a set of cheap 2-way Advents with them and the sound opens up nicely.

Will need to investigate further or add a piezo tweeter array.

I know they were designed to be flat but there is a difference between flat and dull.

I went back and read a thread I started on the AR forum which may add some detail to this discussion:

 

Roger

Well, now I don't feel so alone....lol. I had read that thread you had as well as about everything I could find online. Seems they are well liked in the review committees of the sonic world and fairly rare. I do love the craftsmanship of the cabinets with the tapered corners and the looks of the metal grills. I still feel I am doing something wrong to not get the best out of these speakers.

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I'll have to spend some more time with mine but probably not this year -- too many other things going on. Expired ferro-fluid would account for what we are experiencing.

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Well....I broke down and removed the tweeters and mids....and shipped them to Richard who is going to refresh the ferrofluid. I came to the decision when I was playing them at around 70 watts and they starting to break up. They are suppose to handle 300....so off they go....sigh. I do have to say that ADS put some heavy gauge wiring in their cabinets. Hopefully, this fixes the problem.

Also....anyone know how to remove these woofers? It acts as if it is glued in! I had my hand even inside cabinet and tried to push up...but no go. No room for prying on outside without messing up cab. Thanks for any suggestions.

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16 minutes ago, lakecat said:

Well....I broke down and removed the tweeters and mids....and shipped them to Richard who is going to refresh the ferrofluid. I came to the decision when I was playing them at around 70 watts and they starting to break up. They are suppose to handle 300....so off they go....sigh. I do have to say that ADS put some heavy gauge wiring in their cabinets. Hopefully, this fixes the problem.

Also....anyone know how to remove these woofers? It acts as if it is glued in! I had my hand even inside cabinet and tried to push up...but no go. No room for prying on outside without messing up cab. Thanks for any suggestions.

Keep me posted on the tweeters and mids.

With the crossover removed from the back are you able to apply any pressure to the woofer magnet.  Richard has a photo of one up on the auction site if you want to look at the back otherwise ask Richard how to get them out ;)

Roger

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I will.......and I can't find the pic you are talking about. Where is it? Thanks.

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1 hour ago, lakecat said:

I will.......and I can't find the pic you are talking about. Where is it? Thanks.

Hmmm, I guess he let the woofer recone auction expire. Here is one showing the front of the basket. You would have to be careful working from the backside as it would be easy to damage the cone.

Roger

ADS.L980.woofer.thumb.jpg.d49c2649000a59

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I saw that view and just perplexed as to what holds it so well. When I talk to Richard, I will ask...but for now....leaving it alone!...:)

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Whew!!!......Heard back from Richard today as he got my drivers yesterday....and this is his message...... ( All the drivers are ferro fluid dried up with heat build up and deforming the dome cause the voice coil sit up high off magnet gap.)

Glad I wasn't being goofy about this! Can't wait to get them back and hear the true ADS sound....and Owl...

asked him about removing woofer....and he said you have end making a mark in front of cabinet because the fit is so tight and sticks really good to cab. Showed a picture of garage hanging bracket with large wood screw threads that you put in one of the woofer screw holes and lift with it after you pry it somewhat loose with a flat bladed screwdriver......guess I am leaving them alone!...lol.

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1 hour ago, lakecat said:

Whew!!!......Heard back from Richard today as he got my drivers yesterday....and this is his message...... ( All the drivers are ferro fluid dried up with heat build up and deforming the dome cause the voice coil sit up high off magnet gap.)

Glad I wasn't being goofy about this! ...guess I am leaving them alone!...lol.

Ah ha ... am eagerly awaiting your report ;)

Roger

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Wow, 1500!

Pair of 780's been on CList her for a while at $145

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Richard got the drivers done and due this week. Here is the pics he sent of repairs. If your drivers look like mine in the before pic....you are not hearing them correctly.

IMG_2964.JPG

IMG_2984.JPG

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Got the drivers today and installed them. What a HUGE difference!...lol..  These speakers sound awesome....with a clear, crisp response that makes you stand back and go..WOW!  Nice flat response with volume....and can hear every detail in a song. Bass is more than adequate and fills the room. The sound is more JBLish so not necessary to compare to the AR speakers as it doesn't have that warmth....but is a professional crisp sound and why they were used as studio monitors.

Breaking them in and not turned up the volume yet but anxious to hear them at volume....well....I did a little ....but thought wise to turn it down. I can see why they are popular with music enthusiasts.

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