AlgoRhythms

Advent or AR?

17 posts in this topic

Advent or AR?

I'm at a standstill trying to decide which speaker I should add to my 1970's vintage stereo set up.  I usually never have any problem making decisions about what audio equipment to purchase.  I'm a professional audio engineer and my purchase decisions are usually very easily made after listening.

I'm trying to decide between a pair of AR5s vs the New Large Advents with the non flush mounted fried egg tweeters and the newer metal basket woofers.  I'm not able to audition either of them, which is why the decision is so difficult for me.

In my studio I have a very high end monitor system in a tuned room which is very accurate.  So I'm not looking to replicate that at home.

I have a fondness for 70's equipment because that's the first real hi-fi sound I was exposed to.  That era sound what I want at home for quieter listening to all kinds of music, but primarily classic rock and jazz. Something musical and fun rather than super accurate.  I owned KLH and Advents in the 1970's but moved away from that sound to ADS 710.  Since then I've had many many different speakers at home, everything from B&W 801s to Altec 604-8Gs.  I remember liking my Advents very much at the time I had them but have honestly forgotten what they sound like.  The AR5 I've never heard but have a strong positive impression of the AR3a system a friend had at the same time I have my utility Advents.

I'll be using a completely restored Marantz 2230 receiver as the centerpiece.  I'm a big fan of the sound of those low wattage receiver of that era. If that isn't enough power I can add either a pair of Marantz 8bs strapped as monoblocks or use a Mac 2155 power amp ( although that's more 1980's), or any of the many other amps I have.

Any insight would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Michael

AlgoRhythms

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AR. Absolutely.

Now I'll admit I've never heard the AR-5 or the NLA, so take it from whence it comes ;)

But... I have AR-3a's and have had AR-2ax's and OLAs. I refurbed the OLAs with all high-quality parts per PeteB's advice and when they were finished I compared them to the AR-2ax and I really preferred the 2ax. My music tastes seem similar to yours: all kinds but primarily classic rock and jazz (OK. Not all kinds. No Country, Hip-Hop/House/Rap, Disco or Show Tunes). So Jazz, Classic Rock, Classical, World, "some" spacey stuff. Anyway, the OLAs were disappointing. The AR-5 is sort of an AR-3a in a 2ax box with a 2ax woofer. 

I don't know the right terminology to describe the sound. I also don't know how wine can taste like chocolate, tobacco, blueberries or wheat. Besides, I like beer. Point is, the AR2ax had a richer and more listenable sound. I know there are lots of Advent fans and I admire Henry Kloss, but in this competition I think AR wins hands down.

But speaking of Henry, one of my favorite under-valued speakers is the KLH Model Five. It was meant to compete with the AR-3a and it looks like an OLA. Nice ones are often available for $200-300. The crossover caps are shot by now so they must be recapped but they are well worth it.

And Welcome to CSP!

-Kent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your insights.

The KLH 5 is more speaker than I really want.  I've never been excited by any of the KLH models, except for the KLH 9's.

You've helped tip the scales towards the AR 5's.

-Michael-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, AlgoRhythms said:

The KLH 5 is more speaker than I really want

How so? Size? It's about the same size as the AR and NLA. Price? Probably about the same as the NLA, much lower than the AR. 

I've never heard the Nines, which are really Janszens, but would like to. I do get excited about the Twelves and the Fives. Nice to have so many choices.

Kent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was under the impression the KLH Model 5's were larger than the Advents.  I guess I was wrong.  I learned something.

I can fine Advents all day long.  I found a pair of AR 5 but haven't seen any any KLH 5 around.  maybe they are scarce.

I suspect the KLH 5 are even less efficient than the AR 5.  Is that so?  II have many amps to choose from but wish to use the 30w Marantz if possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michael,

The KLH Model Five is 26"h x 13.75"w x 11.5"d

The AR 2/2a/2ax/5 is 24"h x 13.5"w x 11.5"d

The OLA is 25-5/8"h x 14-1/4"w x 11-1/2"d I assume the NLA is the same

So they're all roughly the same size. OLA recommended 20wpc min into 8 ohms. I don't know the efficiency of these speakers but I'm guessing all roughly comparable. The Advent is a 2-way with 10" woofer. AR-5 and KLH Five are 3-way with 12" woofer. IMHO the KLH and AR are in the same league but the Advent is a step down.

If you aren't a KLH fan it seems to me the AR-5 is the way to go. Again--I've never heard them (but would love to). I like the 3a and the 2ax, and the 5 is sort of in between those. Many members here love the AR-5.

If you get a chance to listen to some restored KLH Fives I'd encourage it. Two considerations: The original capacitors are worn out by now and must be replaced and, like any acoustic suspension speaker, they should be properly sealed. CSP member RoyC mixes up an authentic woofer surround doping solution that is sold by Vintage_AR on ebay. It's the ONLY thing to use on cloth surrounds and makes a DRAMATIC difference if the surrounds have become porous.

-Kent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I see that the three speakers in question are roughly equivalent in size.  Thanks for bring me up to speed on that.

I would love to hear the KLH 5s.  But I don't know anyone who has them.  Nor do I see any for sale at the moment.

There is a pricey pair of AR5s presently on Epay which interest me as they look to be completely restored and ready to play.  I suspect I'll bid on them even though they are at the top of the price range for this speaker.  One good point about the AR5's is the 8 ohm impedance load which will be a bit easier for the old Marantz. 

I have plenty of power options if 30wpc doesn't cut it.  Probably the two Marantz 8b strapped as monoblocks at 105/ch/8 ohms will do it.

One more question:  How does the KLH Model 5s compare to the AR 3a's in terms of impedance load and sound?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jkent just posted a lot of what I was going to say.  I have OLAs, 2ax and AR5. The only way that OLAs come close to either of the ARs in character is if you are willing to use an equalizer.  The AR5 sounds like a 3a with less bass and is the best speaker of the three. But if you are a sweet spot listener it is possible you would never notice the difference between 2ax and a 5.  The only place the Advent outperforms is  deeper bass but only a half octave or so. 

Adams

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Adams.  Thats a great help, since I can't audition any of the speakers in question.

 

I'm sold on the AR5's ...... but the KLH  Model 5 is also interesting......

 

Damn!  too many speakers..... too little time...  (or space..... or money!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, JKent said:

AR-5 and KLH Five are 3-way with 12" woofer

Oops! ......correction......AR-5 has the 10" woofer. These are all very successful and iconic speaker models, but I'd put my vote behind the AR-5's - - I live for the midrange frequencies, and this speaker is superb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, ra.ra said:

Oops! ......correction......AR-5 has the 10" woofer.

duh. Of course. TOLD you I never heard them :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, ra.ra said:

Oops! ......correction......AR-5 has the 10" woofer. These are all very successful and iconic speaker models, but I'd put my vote behind the AR-5's - - I live for the midrange frequencies, and this speaker is superb.

I knew that but didn't want to correct you, being a noob here.

And you're right.  If the midrange isn't right, then forget it.  Unless you live in a frat house and have Cerwin Vegas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd go for the 5s, both for the mid/upper performance and the rarity. Because there will probably be opportunities to grab OLAs again before you ever see another pair of AR-5s for sale. If you find the bass a bit lacking, hide a subwoofer behind something where it won't disturb the visual authenticity of your 70s system.

Of course, the ideal solution would be to grab them both so you don't waste that Marantz receiver's remote speaker setting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too would lean toward the AR. I had many opportunities to listen to AR and Advent models in the 70's and to my ear the Advent is hollow sounding or something. This was not an isolated observation either, as I was lucky enough to be around a few friends with Advents, typically driven by Marantz or Harman Kardon SS. They are enjoyable enough, may even be the better choice as a "party" speaker, but I always enjoyed the AR models that were in my circle of friends homes, or dorm rooms in some cases.

In your case I would say given the choice, the 5s all the way. I would say the mono blocks will make them come alive but the 2230 solo may not have enough juice to allow them to open up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The choice is easy: AR 5.  You will benefit from a bigger amplifier in either case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You probably have the AR5 by now but if still deciding.....I have another AR that I like a bit better than the 5. It is the AR12. I actually like the woofer and the mid better than the 5 and have listened to both. Still have the 12's....:) Kinda rare....but worth buying if found. Specs are great on it also.

http://www.radiomuseum.org/r/acoustic_ar12.html

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! B&W 801s to Altec 604-8Gs. So this is obviously a nostalgic trip. In that case, get the Advents. Plenty of them around and they are relatively cheap. Easy to drive, set up and re-foam (if necessary). Won't have to deal with finicky AR pots.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now