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Fun Topic - Is the Yamaha NS-1000/M the ultimate AR3?


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#1 Guest_centaurus_*

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 10:01 PM

There are similarities:

- Acoustic suspension
- dome mids and tweeters
- similar dimensions
- heavy as heck
- wall of sound soundstage with sort of vague imaging :-)

i bought a minty pair of Yamaha NS-1000M a few months ago and still in total amazement at how incredible they are. especially the transients of the Beryllium dome mids and tweeters. almost electrostatic-like. the bass is tight and punchy, but doesn't go much below 40Hz due to the relatively small size of the cabinet. i have a REL Q100 sub to round out the bottom octave though.

a better comparison is probably the larger NS-1000 with the ebony wood veneer. they hit a bit lower than the M.

anybody tried the NS-1000/M?

Robby

#2 speaker dave

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 08:47 PM

I certainly remember them when they were in the stores.

The 1000M in black paint was fairly common. I only saw the Ebony version once and the finish was gorgeous. Incredibly smooth and so dark you could barely see the grain. I really lusted for a pair.

I recall that the crossover was pretty simplistic in a 70's way but the construction (cabinet, drivers and crossover)was first rate.

I wasn't aware that the size or internal volume was any different between the two versions?

David Smith

#3 dingus

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 03:14 AM

therein lies the problem. in order to match the performance and sound of the 3a, LST and other great AR speakers, you'll have to spend quite a bit more in new gear than it takes to purchase and rebuild the originals.
Teledyne AR9, Yamaha B-2x, Yamaha M-2, Yamaha C-2a, EAD DSP 1000, Squeezebox v3, Wadia WT-3200.

#4 mluong303

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 02:40 AM

Yamaha and Denon are more of the Companies I feel can make the seems to be impossible happen. They have huge capital and wide spread and steady dealerships around the Globe. These are the kind of Companies that can produce Super-3a and Ultimate-LST for $500 & $1000 a pair.

Personally I would rather spend these kind of Money to purchase a new pair of speakers than to constantly thinking about what should I do to restore and to save my old AR speakers in the long run...! The hardest thing is to convince these Companies of how great these two models of AR speakers have always been and the urge and pride of owner ship still exist within different generations of HiFi lovers around the World...

Mark Levinson's Cello Legend and Amati Pro were the answer to my thought of the Super-3a and Ultimate-LST 15 years ago but the prices were set at $6,000 and $16,500. They are gorgeous and sound awesome but difficult for me to even day dream of owning them anymore!!!

Well, I will keep on dreaming and one day the ship may come in...!!!

Minh Luong

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#5 kkantor

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 01:12 AM

Hey, last time I was in GCT, both the upstairs balconies were occupied by upscale bar/restaurants. As such, it might be easier to orchestrate a small-scale dinner party, without having to rent the venue, hire catering, etc. I'd go, certainly! (It's a lot of work to put something like that together, though.)

Back in Norwood, we bought a few NS1000M's to check out. I had a pair at home for a couple of months, too. We all thought they were very competently designed and good sounding speakers, even if "voiced" a bit differently from AR status quo.

-k

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#6 Guest_groved_*

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 06:40 PM

Hi Minh,
You are so on! What a great daydream to have! I think there are many of us who share your thoughts. If things were different, Luxman might have been a good candidate to take on the challenge! Thanks for the dialogue.
Regards, Doug

#7 mluong303

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 09:03 PM

The 1973 YAMAHA NS-690 speaker was the model that started it all that the Japanese was trying to compete with the AR-3a/AR-10Pi. The built quality was excellent and drivers were beautiful to be look at but the bass was no where near the American built AR-3a! One year later the beef up NS-1000(home model) and NS-1000M(studio model) hit the market and the quality of drivers, parts and cabinets workmanship certainly live up to the Top of the Line Japanese made products. They sound quite different and can not be compared to the AR-3a/AR-10Pi. Personal preference and musical taste are the final decision of which speakers to keep. The NS-690II which I owned for a long while and the NS-1000M were less famous than the 1977 NS-10M 2 way studio monitor speakers that many recording studios around the world use for monitor recordings for all these years...

If you enjoy speakers like the JBL Century L100 or 4311 like I used to then you will find the NS-690II, NS-1000/1000M and later NS-2000 to be great speakers. Otherwise you will think they are a bit too bright and forward plus the bass just won't go as low compare to the AR-3a/AR-10Pi speakers.

Of all the Money and Diversity of Yamaha Corporation owned, why can't they hire speaker designer like Ken Kantor to design and fine tune the sound of their speaker products?!?! I would love to purchase a pair of Ultimate three way AR book shelve speakers with cosmetic and built quality of the NS-1000M but carry the the sound quality and power handling of the AR-10Pi to keep for life... Japanese know their limitation of Movies making skills so they just bought Columbia Picture among many other American technologies. Why can't they buy AR to continue the AR legacy with couple of serious models like Super-3a and Ultimate-LST so we will be able to celebrate AR's 50th Anniversary in Grand Central East Balcony in 2008 which all of Us will have a chance to partying and meeting with Ed Villchur, Roy Allison, Ken Kantor and Tom Tyson??? ... Well, I know I am 4 years too late but still day dreaming and hoping for miracle!!!

Minh Luong

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#8 tysontom

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 02:28 AM

>There are similarities:
>
>- Acoustic suspension
>- dome mids and tweeters
>- similar dimensions
>- heavy as heck
>- wall of sound soundstage with sort of vague imaging :-)
>
>i bought a minty pair of Yamaha NS-1000M a few months ago and
>still in total amazement at how incredible they are.
>especially the transients of the Beryllium dome mids and
>tweeters. almost electrostatic-like. the bass is tight and
>punchy, but doesn't go much below 40Hz due to the relatively
>small size of the cabinet. i have a REL Q100 sub to round out
>the bottom octave though.
>
>a better comparison is probably the larger NS-1000 with the
>ebony wood veneer. they hit a bit lower than the M.
>
>anybody tried the NS-1000/M?
>
>Robby

The Yamaha NS-1000 system was used in some recording studios shortly after being introduced, and the speaker was considered to be quite good. It never had the notoriety of the AR-3/AR-3a, and has gone pretty much "forgotten," as so many speakers have through the years. Some considered the speaker to be somewhat bright and forward-sounding, adding a strange sort of coloration to music. It had a more "West Coast" flavor to the sound; i.e., brighter, more forward than the "New England" (primarily AR, KLH and Advent). As for the ultimate AR-3? It was not a match for the ARs in deep bass, and probably not as accurate overall, but certainly a beautifully built speaker, and it was highly regarded for a period of years. Because of the high initial cost not many were built, so finding a good pair is unusual.

--Tom Tyson

#9 soundminded

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 03:24 AM

It seems to me everybody has their own concept of the ultimate AR3a. Isn't that what Carl has been trying to do? Even for AR, wasn't AR3a in a sense their ultimate AR1 at least until AR 10pi and AR LST came along? Funny how more than 50 years later, few if any have managed to equal the performace of the AR 12" woofer in a 2 cubic foot cabinet. Think of how far other areas of electronics have advanced in that time and then realize that in this regard, industry has gone nowhere. You can make your own ultimate AR3a many different ways by starting with any AR 12" woofer in a 2 cubic foot box. By setting the speaker on the floor placing the woofer at the top, you have a stand putting the woofer at perfect height. Disconnect the midrange and tweeter and add your own favorite two or three way system above it and substitute an electronic crossover for AR's own, then bi-amplify the system. Equalize it and you can custom tailor the sound to what you think is accurate. Impossible in 1957 or even 1967 for the average audiophile, a simple and affordable project for just about anyone today. Or of course you could just accept AR3a as the ultimate AR3a.

#10 soundminded

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 01:21 PM

>Soundminded,
>
>I'd move the chance to tweak my equalizer to perfection, but
>there is one major obstacle stopping me. My wife generally
>rearranges the furniture once a month and has been know to
>move the speakers without regard to proper placement.

When she's not around, epoxy them to the floor. Then stick around and have some fun next time she tries. :-)

#11 rrcrain

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 12:07 PM

Soundminded,

I'd move the chance to tweak my equalizer to perfection, but there is one major obstacle stopping me. My wife generally rearranges the furniture once a month and has been know to move the speakers without regard to proper placement.
Richard Crain

#12 soundminded

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 01:34 AM

At the time of AR3/AR3a/Yamaha NS1000, frequency response irregularities were big trouble for consumers because only recording studios could afford the $900 per channel it cost for a graphic equalizer. Some studios had their monitor speakers checked and their equalizers adjusted once a week just to be sure they were as flat as possible. This often substantially reduces or even eliminates gross differences between the sound of different speaker systems or overall sound system response. When graphic equalizers become affordable to the public, all that changed and the consumer had the possibility to make substantial improvements to the performance of equipment and sound systems that had previously been dismissed as too inaccurate Unfortunately, in my experience, the calibrated microphones, pink noise generators, and fluorescent display spectrum analyzers which also became available cheaply were of no value in optimizing audio equipment with these equalizers. Instead a well practiced ear which is very familiar with the sound of live instruments and a great deal of time an patience are usually required but the reward is great. (It usually takes me about 2 to 3 years to adjust a 10 band equalizer optimally.) But most audiophiles do not have this skill and so this equipment is little more than a toy to be played with and discarded, the results from them often worse than without it. So there is another class of useful equipment nobody wants and can be had for cheap used.

#13 Guest_centaurus_*

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 06:57 PM

lots of good stuff there Tom. you definitely know more than me (not a surprise at all).

as far as the AR1/janszen combo, i heard a certain disconnect between the woofer and the ESL panels. same thing i heard, to a lesser extent with my janszen Z-200 (because the janszen woofer can't reproduce lower frequencies like the AR1 - so the woofer seems to meld with the panels better). with the AR1/janszen combo, the woofer just seems a split second behind the ESLs. my opinion only.

what i meant by impedance's is that the janszen 130U is 8 ohms and the AR1 s 4 ohms.

again, i fully realize i posted this to an AR site. i dig both the NS-1000M and my old AR3 (now sold). i was so used to running my REL Q100 subwoofer with my NS-1000M, i was totally amazed that the 50 year old AR3 reproduced bass better than the sub!

as far as listener fatigue with the NS-1000, well, they are definitely "in your face" speakers. they are very revealing to the point where they brought out the worst in early 1970's solid state gear. with tubes, the yammies sound very lively, but smooth.

see ya,
Robby

#14 soundminded

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 06:01 PM

Tom, I enjoyed reading your reply but I have to disagree with you on one minor but I think interesting point.

"What makes you think the AR woofer is too slow? Do you think it will not follow the input waveform? The term “slow” is a *Stereophile* magazine slogan to describe a loudspeaker driver’s performance, but it is a meaningless and non-scientific term."

As you may know, I have only contempt for Stereophile Magazine, its editor, its reviewers, and its basic attitudes but this is neither their terminology nor is it without foundation, however it is probably very different from what most audiophiles think they know.

Whenever two drivers of the same diameter are driven to the same amplitude at the same frequency (regardless of differences in efficieny) at each point in their motion, they will travel at exactly the same velocity, neither is faster than the other. What is meant by fast or slow is the difference in time between the application of an electrical voltage to the voice coil and the corresponding mechanical response of the cone. This is due to overcoming the moving elements' inertial mass. Generally if all things are equal, the more mass, the greater the inertia, the longer (slower) it takes for a response. In a clearly naive effort to build "phase coherent" loudspeaker systems, the differences between the time delays of different drivers in the crossover regions was taken into consideration by some designers. It was believed that if two drivers had comparable delays meaning that they would be traveling at the same portion of the waveform at the same time, this would eliminate phase cancellations and reinforcements, they would essentially be like one larger speaker driver moving in unison. The phase interference normally occurs because the sound from one driver is at one part of its motional cycle at the same instant as the other driver is at a different part due to the difference in this input/response delay. This results in locations of constructive interference where the amplitude can be three decibels higher or destructive interference where the cancellation can be...infinite. The exact nature of this frequency response irregularity depends on the spacing of the speakers, the frequency in question, and location you are listening at, a small change in location or spacing can result in entirely different sets of interference patterns. But as anyone who has taken a course in wave mechanics knows....this idea can't work. The reason is that because the drives are not coaxial and have different centers of radiation, the interference patterns are inevitable. Only when the time delay difference is eliminated and the speakers are on the same axis can the phase interference problem be solved with linear motion drivers and then only on axis.

Here is an analogy that might explain it more easily. You have a still pond an throw two rocks into it at the same time. In a time delay (phase) compensated speaker of the type usually bearing this designation, both rocks land in the water at the same instant but in different locations. Ripples spread out from each and you will see the complex pattern as the surface of the water moves up and down where the expanding ripples cross each other. In a non time delay compensated coaxial design, the two rocks land in the same spot but at different times. Only when they land in the same place at the same time do you get a single coherent ripple spreading out from the point of excitation.

The good news is that generally, these interference patterns are inaudible to most people under most circumstances if the drivers are spaced reasonably closely enough. But it did make good advertising copy for speaker makers in the 1970s. There are many more speaker design problems to be solved which the designers failed to address.

BTW, some speaker designers tried to sell their designs as phase compensated by tilting them back. Dick Shahanian's Rectilinear V was one of them, he tilted it back about 4 degrees. Did this work? Well it put the tweeter slightly further away (a technique common in many so called phase coherent designs) and it bounced more high frequencies off the ceiling while putting the listener slighly off axis to the tweeter. Big deal. (Rectilinear III was a much better speaker IMO, it beat V hands down and Shahanian had nothing to do with it.)

#15 tysontom

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 04:37 PM

> a little late to the discussion (which is funny because i
>started it ;-)
>
>Tom, are you by chance, thinking of the crappy little Yamaha
>NS-10M, not the NS-1000M?
>
>i dig vintage AR speakers but to say the NS-1000M is not an
>accurate speaker, especially in comparison the the AR3a, is
>pretty far off IMHO.
>
>the Beryllium drivers have literally no break-up and have the
>fastest transient response this side of an electrostat. the
>NS-1000/M are known as still being one of the most accurate
>dynamic speakers ever made. exotic drivers from scan-speak and
>focal, might still come up short to the Yamaha Be drivers.
>
>NOW, you are right about the bass response but i do think it
>was done on purpose. the JansZen/AR1 combo never totally
>melded together because the AR woofer was just too slow to
>keep up with the ESLs (not to mention the impedaance
>mismatches). so, i think Yamaha overdamped the woofer to keep
>it tight and punchy. necessary to keep up with the Be domes.
>
>I'm no expert though so it's totally feasible that that
>gorgeous cast Yamaha woofer can't match the AR woofer's free
>air resonance. would not be a suprise as AR is "The
>Master of the BOOM!" :-)
>

No, Robby, I am talking about the Yamaha NS-1000M (I had a pair several years ago which I traded in for a pair of KEF R107s) and not the NS-10, which is not as terrible as you describe. I also didn’t say the NS-1000M was an “inaccurate” speaker; I said it was probably not as accurate overall as the AR-3 (or AR-3a) speaker. But although accuracy is objective and can be measured, it is also highly subjective, and it is not something to which all speaker designers aspire. There are other attributes such as durability, sensitivity, acoustic output, power-handling capability and “imaging” characteristics that might appeal to many designers and end-users. Many recording studios prefer these attributes over all-out accuracy. And with respect to power-handling capability, there is probably little doubt that the NS-1000M can handle more power and play louder than an AR-3 or AR-3a; but in terms of accurately recreating the sound of live instruments, I would put my money on an AR-3 or AR-3a any day before the NS-1000M.

As for transient response, I don’t think you can find any frequency where there is poor transient response or “ringing” in the AR-3 or AR-3a midrange and tweeter; it is surely as good as any other dynamic driver ever made, and certainly the equal of the Yamaha drivers. Just look at the anechoic frequency response of the AR-3 and AR-3a drivers and you can readily see the accuracy and flatness of the acoustic output. If there was transient distortion or “ringing,” you would also surely see it in the response curves. Just because the Yamaha domes are made out of beryllium doesn’t guarantee that they are superior to the domes made from phenolic or hard paper or treated fabric. It is in the overall *design* of those AR domes, their ability to resist breakup nodes and the proper diaphragm mass and motor-strength relationships that assure flat, uniform response. And in one area, the AR dome tweeter are superior to the Yamaha units: dispersion. Somewhere I have the response curves of the NS-1000M, and I remember that it was not comparable to the AR-3a in dispersion.

The bass-response issue comes down to this: to get good low-frequency extension and low distortion in a sealed-box a/s loudspeaker requires a trade-off for a speaker designer -- efficiency. You just about can’t have them both. Low resonance and low distortion require big power, and the Yamaha engineers knew that they had to have a speaker that was not inefficient, so they gave up some of the low bass to keep decent sensitivity. And yes, you are right that the Yamaha woofer is over-damped. It rolls off too soon, and this gives it a dry sound in the bass that some people equate with “tightness,” a term which doesn’t exist in reality. Overdamping results in a form of coloration, whether it sounds "tighter" or not.

I don’t understand what you mean when you say that the JansZen/AR-1 “combo never totally melded together because the AR woofer was just too slow to keep up with the ESLs (not to mention the impedance mismatches) combination.” What makes you think the AR woofer is too slow? Do you think it will not follow the input waveform? The term “slow” is a *Stereophile* magazine slogan to describe a loudspeaker driver’s performance, but it is a meaningless and non-scientific term. Besides, it is not the woofer but the midrange and tweeter that reproduce the transients associated with so-called “tight” speakers; the woofer only reproduces that part of the waveform that is basically the low-frequency sinusoidal waveform. The transient information -- such as from a drum rim-shot or the impact of a bass-drum hammer on the drum -- is the attack part of the waveform and is reproduced by the midrange and high-frequency drivers. The low-frequency “feel” you get comes from the woofer moving large quantities of air. True, the woofer must not have “hangover” or “ringing,” but you will not be able to show me a tone-burst photo of the AR woofer that shows either of those characteristics. That woofer is extremely flat and uniform across the band with less than 1-1/2 dB of variation from 38 – 800 Hz. There is no ringing with that driver, either.

Look, no one is blaming you for owning the Yamaha NS-1000M. In its own way it is a beautifully built speaker with many attributes. It is a different sort of animal from the ARs, KLHs and Advents. It was designed primarily for the recording studio to sound bright and forward, and listeners used to the more restrained, laid-back sound of AR speakers simply could not stay in the same room with them for too long. I was one of them. This used to be known as “listener fatigue,” one of the reasons that people with exotic speakers tend to trade their speakers so often for a newer model.

--Tom Tyson

#16 soundminded

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 01:40 PM

I heard the Yamaha NS-1000 on two occasions, once in the mid 70s at a store in Greenwich Village somewhere around Bleeker Street called something like the Audio Workship or Hi Fi Workshop or Electronics Workshop (Gene Shepherd advertised the store for awhile on his radio show on WOR) and again in 1982 at a consumer audio show at the Long Island Inn where it was being used to demonstrate the first Compact Discs I ever heard. I was impressed both times that this was a formidable speaker, very well made, with a very wide range clear sound. It's a speaker I would not have minded owning myself. As I recall it was fairly expensive, maybe about $1000 a pair??? I can't say how its bass compared to AR3a but I'd have to guess it was not equal to it.

While the speaker has some similarities to AR3a being a 3 way acoustic suspension bookshelf speaker (about 2 cubic feet) with a dome midrange and tweeter, that's probably about where the similarity ends. There are far too many differences to say it is the ultimate AR3a. Is a Lincoln Town Car the ultmiate Chevy Caprice?

Calling AR3a the master of the boom is a strange thing to say. In fact, exactly the opposite is true. It's hard to believe that after more than 50 years the competition hasn't slaughtered this design with countless refinements, a much lower price, and a much better price/performance ratio but the truth is that few manufacturers have equaled this woofer design at any price. It's a sad commentary on a strangely dead area of the electronics industry. I always think of Villchur as one of those people who in this case got the right answer for the wrong reasons. He was not a physicist or an engineer. His hypothesis about thermodynamics seems an inappropriate model and had he used that science to design his speaker instead of to explain it, I don't think he would have been successful. Yet there is no doubt that when applying Newton's second law of motion, the speaker comes off as an ideal application of its principles and when you apply that law to other designs, you can see exactly where they went wrong. It's also interesting that he never realized (nor did I until recently) that the nature of what I think should have been called a "pneumatic suspension" woofer reduced harmonic distortion at least in part by sharply reducing both differential radial and differential circumferential shearing forces on the woofer cone by eliminating unequal distribution of the restoring forces inevitable in conventional mechanical suspension speakers. It's clear Yamaha's engineers never figured this out either or they would have optimized it. I don't think cost was an overriding factor in their design, it seems like a flagship effort.

I think Yamaha marketed a smaller version using a similar 10" woofer, the NS500 and strangely enough, it was sold also under the RCA brand name as part of a complete package system, possibly entirely manufactured by Yamaha in the mid or late 1980s or so.

#17 Guest_centaurus_*

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 12:05 AM

a little late to the discussion (which is funny because i started it ;-)

Tom, are you by chance, thinking of the crappy little Yamaha NS-10M, not the NS-1000M?

i dig vintage AR speakers but to say the NS-1000M is not an accurate speaker, especially in comparison the the AR3a, is pretty far off IMHO.

the Beryllium drivers have literally no break-up and have the fastest transient response this side of an electrostat. the NS-1000/M are known as still being one of the most accurate dynamic speakers ever made. exotic drivers from scan-speak and focal, might still come up short to the Yamaha Be drivers.

NOW, you are right about the bass response but i do think it was done on purpose. the JansZen/AR1 combo never totally melded together because the AR woofer was just too slow to keep up with the ESLs (not to mention the impedaance mismatches). so, i think Yamaha overdamped the woofer to keep it tight and punchy. necessary to keep up with the Be domes.

I'm no expert though so it's totally feasible that that gorgeous cast Yamaha woofer can't match the AR woofer's free air resonance. would not be a suprise as AR is "The Master of the BOOM!" :-)

here's a cool article that started the latest NS-1000/M craze:
http://www.hi-fiworl...ahans1000m.html

see ya,
Robby

>The Yamaha NS-1000 system was used in some recording studios
>shortly after being introduced, and the speaker was considered
>to be quite good. It never had the notoriety of the
>AR-3/AR-3a, and has gone pretty much "forgotten," as
>so many speakers have through the years. Some considered the
>speaker to be somewhat bright and forward-sounding, adding a
>strange sort of coloration to music. It had a more "West
>Coast" flavor to the sound; i.e., brighter, more forward
>than the "New England" (primarily AR, KLH and
>Advent). As for the ultimate AR-3? It was not a match for
>the ARs in deep bass, and probably not as accurate overall,
>but certainly a beautifully built speaker, and it was highly
>regarded for a period of years. Because of the high initial
>cost not many were built, so finding a good pair is unusual.
>
>--Tom Tyson
>




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