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Information on AR-58s

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#1 Steve F

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Posted 20 December 2002 - 10:40 AM

Anthony V and SteveG—

The first generation of the AR-58, circa 1981, was a legitimate, quality AR speaker in the time-honored tradition of the company. It used essentially the same drivers as the floorstanding AR-91: the same 12" woofer, a 1 1/2" dome midrange, and a 3/4" dome tweeter. The dome midrange was the AR-9/90/91 generation driver, not the 3a/11/10pi unit.

The speaker was housed in a genuine walnut veneer enclosure, and was of "large bookshelf" dimensions. Quite a good product, but very short-lived in its original guise.

Shortly after its introduction, the speaker morphed into the AR-58B. The high-quality, wide-dispersion (but very expensive) dome midrange was unceremoniously discarded in favor of a 4" cone midrange driver, marking the first time ever an AR 12" 3-way speaker did not use the company’s best drivers for the mids and highs. The 3-3a-LST-11-10pi-91-58 winning streak of superb 12" 3-ways with dome drivers had been broken, as AR began to cave in to the competitive pressures of its rapidly disappearing market share and vanishing profits by cheapening its product line. It was also during this time period that AR stopped making its drivers in Canton MA, and instead, farmed out driver production to Foster/Tonegen of Japan. Tonegen was one of the world’s biggest, most capable OEM driver manufacturers, but nonetheless, it was the end of an era when AR stopped making their own.

(AR did introduce one additional 12" 3-way domed driver bookshelf speaker a few years later, the AR-78LS, which utilized the "dual dome" mid/tweeter arrangement of the 9LS and 98LS. The 78LS was reviewed in High Fidelity magazine in the April 1984 issue. It fared pretty well in the review, with comments like, "The resulting balance strikes us as very natural…AR has taken a classic configuration, retained all that was best…and made it radically better." Still, the 78 didn’t exactly have a 3a-like impact on the industry.)

The 58B was a very large bookshelf or small floorstander, with vertically-oriented styling, standing 26 3/4" tall. Its crossover frequencies were 600Hz and 4500Hz. It was introduced in 1983.

The 58BX followed in 1985. It was essentially identical to the 58B, but was a little taller at 30 1/2" (strictly a floorstanding model). The crossover remained the same at 600 and 4500Hz.

Next came the 58BXi. Again, it was a floorstanding 12-inch 3-way with a 4" cone midrange and crossovers of 800Hz and 5200Hz. The increase in midrange crossover frequency from the first to last generation of the 58 was a probable indication that AR was cheapening their crossovers by using smaller, less expensive woofer chokes, and paying less attention to their original company principles of wide dispersion and uniform energy response. If anything, it’s very likely that a good 4" cone driver would have a significantly lower resonance than a 1 1/2" dome, which would mean that AR could have crossed the 4" driver over even LOWER than the dome midrange if ultimate performance was really their goal. But it wasn’t.

Corporate survival was their goal.

The 58B-BX-BXi were respectable sounding speakers, but they were a far cry from the industry standard-bearers that preceded them.

Steve F.


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Posted 06 February 2003 - 11:53 PM

I have a pair of AR 58b's. They produce loud distortion free sound when run off my Carver M200t amp. They are vinyl clad and one of the grills has candle wax drippings. At least my wife didn't burn them like she did with my music box :-(

Anyhow I am NOT an audiophile. There is something wrong with guys that want to encase their turntables in cement.

I want to sell them because they are too large (1/4 inch) to fit where I want them. I will sell the pair for $100 plus shipping whatever that might be. If that price is outrageous I wouldn't know but that's what they will go for. If your intersted or have any question....ask.

Best Regards,



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Posted 29 October 2002 - 03:07 PM

If that's the case, I'm glad I decided to keep my large Advents!

#4 Guest_SteveG_*

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Posted 29 October 2002 - 01:31 PM

Anthony, I saw same ebay list. The 58B is VERY different from the 58s in appearance of both the cabinet and the drivers. Per the history of AR speakers provided in this site, the "B" came later. Others can advise you about how the B stacks up to the 58s, 11, and 3a that preceded it. Some comments earlier in topic #328 seem to indicate that some feel these started to go down hill with the 58s and even more with the 58B. Good luck!!



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Posted 29 October 2002 - 01:11 PM

I noticed that a pair of AR-58b's are currently being auctioned off on ebay at the moment. Still contemplating whether or not to make a bid as I'm not all that familiar with these models after all these years...I seem to recall that they were pretty impressive and didn't sound all that much different than Advent's "Loudspeakers" I already had at the time. Might wait, though, until I hear from some people who owned or are familiar with the 58b models before I decide what to do.

#6 Guest_SteveG_*

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Posted 29 October 2002 - 12:55 PM

Anthony, You might look at topic #328 (AR 3a vs 11). I mentioned a pair of "AR 58s's" that I bought recently, ai item 9 in the topic. These were purchased new in 1982, and the AR lit that came with them was dated 1981. The topic containes a number of comments by others on the 58 model series.

I dont know about the 58b model, if this might have come after the 58s. But the 58s model I have does have a very nice walnut veneer (NOT VINYL) as did the earlier speakers. I note this because the lit that came with the 18s thru 58s series mentions that the 58s had walnut veneer, but the 18s thru 48s had vinyl. Curious that AR would have differentiated this series in this way.



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Posted 29 October 2002 - 02:15 AM

I rarely ever see AR58b model speakers being sold - on ebay especially - so can anyone offer a little information on the quality and performance of this particular AR model, as well as when they were offered. I recall either be interested in this model or having the chance to purchase them years ago, but didn't as I still had a pfine air of "Loudspeaker" models by Advent at the time. I've not seen much written regarding these handsome speakers but it always bothered me that I never picked up a pair. ALso, are they worth grabbing for a fair price today?

#8 Guest_love2listen_*

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Posted 15 July 2004 - 02:56 AM


I own a pair of 58bxi that i have owned since 1987 and overall have been pleased with them.The woofers were replaced last year,but all other components are original.Someone suggested to me that I should replace the crossover due to the age of the speakers.What is your opinion?Any info.would be appreciated.You can email me @ gba245@aol.com or on the forum.Thanks for your time.

#9 Steve F

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 01:05 PM

>I own a pair of 58bxi that i have owned since 1987 and overall
>have been pleased with them.The woofers were replaced last
>year,but all other components are original.Someone suggested
>to me that I should replace the crossover due to the age of
>the speakers.What is your opinion?Any info.would be
>appreciated.You can email me @ gba245@aol.com or on the
>forum.Thanks for your time.

Dear L2L,

If the woofers have been replaced (I presume because of surround deterioration, correct?) and the systems appear to be operating properly, then I wouldn't think you need to do anything else.

It should not be necessary to "replace the crossovers." The crossover's components will still be good, assuming the speakers have been operated and treated over the years with reasonable care.

Enjoy your speakers. They may not be the very best ones AR ever made, but they're still excellent performers, especially when compared to the glitzy, cosmetics-over-engineering offerings presented by most manufacturers today.

Steve F.

#10 KlausDK


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Posted 20 September 2014 - 10:27 PM

Just found a set of AR-58s (tweeter dated 43/1983 - Serial # U006394) in good original unrestored condition;  It is quite a nice speaker, that I haven't really noticed that much before; in my opinion a much nicer design than the AR-91.


Does anybody have the x-over schematics for these these speakers? There is no level control switches on this model, x-over frequencies are the same as the AR-91: 700 Hz and 7500 Hz, according to documents in the library (AR18s - AR58s Manual dated 12/81).


BRgds Klaus


Edit: here is what I can get from looking at the x-over in the actual speakers. The coils are of unknown values but here assumed the same as AR-91, this x-over is probably similar to the AR-91, just without the level correction switches. Notice that the polarity of tweeter is not reversed as in AR-11/10Pi. Woofers are the square magnet version, capacitors looks like low-cost crappy quality.


Edit Edit: found it! official paper on crossover design. Only difference to mine is the 1.5 Ohm vs 1.0 Ohm resistor.


Attached Thumbnails

  • AR-58s_Schematic.jpg
  • AR-58_x-over.jpg
  • AR-58s.jpg

Acoustic Research AR-2ax, AR-3a, AR-3a Improved, AR-5, AR-6, AR-7, AR-10Pi, AR-11, AR-90, AR-LST, AR-LST-2

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