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Max Estrella

an AMP for AR 2a?

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Hi all, 

This is my first post in this forum,'ve been reading some post...Congratulations for the contributions!!

Two years ago bought a pair of AR 2a in very nice status, but I never have heard them well (musical fidelity a100, marantz 1150, NAD 352...)...could you recommend some that work well with it?

thx in advance

Diego

 

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Hi Diego, congratulations for Your AR 2a, AlNiCo woofer and the same wonderful tweeter of AR 3. Your speakers aren' t a heavy load and are moderately sensitive , a good 50 wpc amp or receiver will be the right choice , recently I heard an excellent '71 Sony STR 6065 receiver : or a vintage tubes integrated like Eico ST 70 . However , if You want the best possible result try some powerful professional modern power amp , they 're not expensive , well sounding and have high damping factor for a perfect control of the woofer's back EMF . Obviously , if You have a turntable You need a preamp , while high output sources can directly coupled to the power amp using the output pots as volume control: take care about it , these amps are extremely powerful , but on the bright side it' s almost impossible to reach the clipping . A 50 watt amp in clipping can destroy a speaker with its distortion. These amps are AB class , I use the QSC with my AR 3 with extreme satisfaction. 

Cheers , Adriano 

Screenshot_20170904-083536.png

Screenshot_20170902-120057.png

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Welcome Diego

Adriano gives good advice. QSC and Crown make very high power amps that work well with AR speakers. I would avoid the Electro-Voice if for no other reason than their misleading advertising. The EV Q44's "650 watts" is into 2 ohms. Legitimate power ratings are RMS into 8 ohms. The EV Q44 is rated at 200 watts into 8 ohms.

Having said that, I can't imagine your current amps being inadequate for the AR2a so I wouldn't run out and buy a new amp (yet). The NAD is rated at 80wpc and the Marantz is 75, and those are "big" 1970s watts. The AR amp and receiver were 60wpc and they are fine for the 2a.

I would suggest that, if possible, you borrow a high power amp and see if it brings the ARs to life, to your ears and in your listening space. Bear in mind too that these speakers sound wonderful with jazz and classical, maybe a bit less so for rock. So your listening preferences are important.

You did not mention whether the speakers have been serviced. There "may" be an issue/issues with your speakers. My 2a's have mil-spec oil-filled capacitors so I'm guessing yours do, too and therefore the caps are probably fine. But the potentiometers are notorious for corroding. Try spinning the level controls back & forth several times, then see if you can find a sweet spot.

Another possible problem is the tweeters. These are getting a bit long in the tooth and may have diminished output. Or the domes may have "popped" off the foam suspensions. The result would be a dull sounding speaker.

What exactly do you find lacking in these speakers? Maybe we can help.

-Kent

 

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17 hours ago, Max Estrella said:

Hi all, 

This is my first post in this forum,'ve been reading some post...Congratulations for the contributions!!

Two years ago bought a pair of AR 2a in very nice status, but I never have heard them well (musical fidelity a100, marantz 1150, NAD 352...)...could you recommend some that work well with it?

thx in advance

Diego

Diego, if you really want to get the very most out of your AR's you might consider bi-amping. With bi-amping you dedicate an amp for the woofers and another stereo amp for the mids/tweeters. 

What you gain with bi-amping is total voice control ... far better than those pots on the back of the speakers. Further, you vary voice by varying the power you send to each speaker half.  

In the post below I explain about a somewhat unique amp I discovered about a year ago. This particular Sherwood has 4 full range amps capable of 4 ohm loads in a single box.  With this unit, you can bi-amp safely with the 3 terminals AR provided. To vary voice all you do is alter the power on either amp via remote clicks.

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?/topic/9108-cheap-charlie-amp-solution-for-those-power-hungry-ars/

I have attached the datasheet below.

Regards,

Jerry

 

Sherwood-RX-5502-datasheet.pdf

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23 minutes ago, onplane said:

if you really want to get the very most out of your AR's you might consider bi-amping

Jerry, I know you're the bi-amping maven but I think it's premature to go right to Diego's question; asking us to recommend an amp for the 2a. He already has some very good amps. And as Adriano wrote, "[the] speakers aren' t a heavy load and are moderately sensitive , a good 50 wpc amp or receiver will be the right choice". 

I don't think he needs more wattage--I think he needs to troubleshoot his half-century-plus-years-old speakers to find out why they don't sound right. 

Kent

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I agree , Kent . I spent a lot of time working to my AR vintage speakers to restore its original conditions , and some money to refurbish my old AR amplifier . The first AR 3 pair ( 1966 ) were only aesthetically beautiful , but it sounds muddy and dull : then new caps , cleaning pots , new mortite to seal woofers and finally they sparkle as they do .

Adriano 

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11 hours ago, JKent said:

Welcome Diego

Adriano gives good advice. QSC and Crown make very high power amps that work well with AR speakers. I would avoid the Electro-Voice if for no other reason than their misleading advertising. The EV Q44's "650 watts" is into 2 ohms. Legitimate power ratings are RMS into 8 ohms. The EV Q44 is rated at 200 watts into 8 ohms.

Having said that, I can't imagine your current amps being inadequate for the AR2a so I wouldn't run out and buy a new amp (yet). The NAD is rated at 80wpc and the Marantz is 75, and those are "big" 1970s watts. The AR amp and receiver were 60wpc and they are fine for the 2a.

I would suggest that, if possible, you borrow a high power amp and see if it brings the ARs to life, to your ears and in your listening space. Bear in mind too that these speakers sound wonderful with jazz and classical, maybe a bit less so for rock. So your listening preferences are important.

You did not mention whether the speakers have been serviced. There "may" be an issue/issues with your speakers. My 2a's have mil-spec oil-filled capacitors so I'm guessing yours do, too and therefore the caps are probably fine. But the potentiometers are notorious for corroding. Try spinning the level controls back & forth several times, then see if you can find a sweet spot.

Another possible problem is the tweeters. These are getting a bit long in the tooth and may have diminished output. Or the domes may have "popped" off the foam suspensions. The result would be a dull sounding speaker.

What exactly do you find lacking in these speakers? Maybe we can help.

-Kent

 

Thx for your comments Kent. I didn't expect such a rich ones..thx a lot, I really love vintage sound but don't have enough knowledge.

I bought these for jazz and classic music but paired with my amps i felt distortion operating at 1 or 2 level (depending the dynamics of the recording of course)

 I lived in Chile (i'm spanish) and don't find a low power, nice sounding amp in Santiago

Thx again

Un abrazo

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19 hours ago, Sonnar said:

Hi Diego, congratulations for Your AR 2a, AlNiCo woofer and the same wonderful tweeter of AR 3. Your speakers aren' t a heavy load and are moderately sensitive , a good 50 wpc amp or receiver will be the right choice , recently I heard an excellent '71 Sony STR 6065 receiver : or a vintage tubes integrated like Eico ST 70 . However , if You want the best possible result try some powerful professional modern power amp , they 're not expensive , well sounding and have high damping factor for a perfect control of the woofer's back EMF . Obviously , if You have a turntable You need a preamp , while high output sources can directly coupled to the power amp using the output pots as volume control: take care about it , these amps are extremely powerful , but on the bright side it' s almost impossible to reach the clipping . A 50 watt amp in clipping can destroy a speaker with its distortion. These amps are AB class , I use the QSC with my AR 3 with extreme satisfaction. 

Cheers , Adriano 

Screenshot_20170904-083536.png

Screenshot_20170902-120057.png

thx for your suggestions adriano, I think find the Sony STR 6065 would be better solution for me. I don't have any Tube amp for music -I have a lot for guitars , my passion-...It'd be nice get some of this marvelous things :-).

I was surprised about using high wattage modern amp with these delicate boxes!...it could be dangerous...couldnt it?

Thx a lot, I will think about your advices

Keep in touch,

Diego

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6 hours ago, onplane said:

Diego, if you really want to get the very most out of your AR's you might consider bi-amping. With bi-amping you dedicate an amp for the woofers and another stereo amp for the mids/tweeters. 

What you gain with bi-amping is total voice control ... far better than those pots on the back of the speakers. Further, you vary voice by varying the power you send to each speaker half.  

In the post below I explain about a somewhat unique amp I discovered about a year ago. This particular Sherwood has 4 full range amps capable of 4 ohm loads in a single box.  With this unit, you can bi-amp safely with the 3 terminals AR provided. To vary voice all you do is alter the power on either amp via remote clicks.

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?/topic/9108-cheap-charlie-amp-solution-for-those-power-hungry-ars/

I have attached the datasheet below.

Regards,

Jerry

 

Sherwood-RX-5502-datasheet.pdf

thx Jerry, it will be nice to test this option. Right now I lived in Santiago, Chile and I have few options of finding this marvelous equipment you recommend but I'll take down your advice for future searchings!

Thx a lot, the attitude of people of this forums is exceeding my expectations!

Diego

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5 hours ago, JKent said:

Jerry, I know you're the bi-amping maven but I think it's premature to go right to Diego's question; asking us to recommend an amp for the 2a. He already has some very good amps. And as Adriano wrote, "[the] speakers aren' t a heavy load and are moderately sensitive , a good 50 wpc amp or receiver will be the right choice". 

I don't think he needs more wattage--I think he needs to troubleshoot his half-century-plus-years-old speakers to find out why they don't sound right. 

Kent

Agree Kent.

but Bi-amping sounds great!. I will test it in future

Un abrazo!

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The first thing you want to do is determine what kind of listening you're going to do. If you have a small room, your media is not terribly demanding and you listen at normal levels (defined as a level at which you can have a conversation with another person without having to raise your voice), you can probably be happy with any of the electronics you listed. 

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On 9/3/2017 at 11:16 PM, Max Estrella said:

Two years ago bought a pair of AR 2a in very nice status, but I never have heard them well (musical fidelity a100, marantz 1150, NAD 352...)...could you recommend some that work well with it?

Fellow CSP members: Allowing for a very mild language difference, I read this as "these speakers appear to be in good condition but they just don't sound good no matter which amp I use with them."  He also wrote "I bought these for jazz and classic music but paired with my amps i felt distortion operating at 1 or 2 level".

So even though he's asking about amps, I'm convinced the problem is the speakers. 

Kent

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Diego , the Musical Fidelity A100 is an excellent, fine sounding amp and probably it sounds better than a vintage Sony receiver . Many years ago I had a Musical Fidelity Synthesis , a 50 wpc mosfet integrated amp that sounds very fine , but it was not a muscle amp , and I had some problems with my AR 3a , very low sensitivity and a difficult low-z load . AR 2a are much more easier to drive , I have a pair of AR 2 ( same as yours without tweeter ) and I drive it easily with my 32 wpc Yamaha CR 600 receiver ( 1973 ). So I agree with JKent , the problem isn't in the amp but probably in the speakers . Powerful , professional amps aren't dangerous if You use it in the right way : they sounds loud and clean and use modern SS circuital topology and modern electronic components . My advice is,  replace caps and clean pots , and check the dual cones midrange .

Cheers , Adriano 

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Good evening Diego, mine is a late intervention, but I write to ask if now listening to your AR2a after a long time of use has improved, especially in the medium / high frequency range?
In my opinion (if all 8 speakers work and are without electrical and physical problems), after several tens of hours of use, "magically" all the frequency they are designed for should be back almost as new.
The same thing happened to me in two pairs of these wonderful speakers that I have: the first days of listening to both pairs, the mid / high range was considerably lower than the low frequencies (satisfying the bass right away), with the passing time and frequent use of these speakers, the sound has slowly opened and increased on the high extension! Magica Acoustic Research:
I think this also happened to your speakers.
I have 14 pairs of Acoustic Research, but the AR2a, are practically in operation every day and for many hours a day.
Good listening
Giorgio

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