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ar 90 vs 9


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#1 ironlake

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 01:28 AM

what is the difference of the low hz -3db point of the two. I have heard the 90,s with the 10 woofers have a much tighter bass than the 9. Never heard either so have no experience with the two. thanks for any info.

#2 ar_pro

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 02:22 AM

What does "tighter bass" mean?

#3 Joel

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 06:00 AM

I own both the AR90 and the AR9. The 90's I've owned since 1980- the 9's I just got 2 weeks ago. Both have been recapped and foamed. I made the change because a friend of mine had them stored in his closet and he was willing to sell them to me.

I gave the 90's to my daughter, and put the 9's in their place. I don't hear much of a difference between the two. On some material that goes really low, the 9's have a bit more authority, but other than that they are very similiar. My guess is that in a bigger room, there may be more of a difference, but for most people they are both great speakers.

-Joel

#4 fordf250

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 02:15 PM

I bought my 9's, new, in 1980; the AR9 manual quotes the low end as"-3db at 28cps".

#5 tysontom

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 06:34 PM

The -3 dB point for the AR9 is 28 Hz and for 32 Hz for the AR-90. In contrast, the AR-3a/AR-11 series has a -3 dB point of around 35 Hz. Therefore, there is somewhat more extension in the AR9; more importantly, however, the AR9 can move more air in the deep bass with less distortion than the AR90. For all practical purposes, however, there is not much subjective difference between the two speakers when played side-by-side, on most musical content. The midrange and above are identical for both.

Also, there is no substance whatsoever to the statement that the 10-inch woofers in the AR-90 have "much tighter" bass than the AR-9's 12-inch woofers. First of all, "tightness" doesn't describe anything scientifically tangible, but it is a nebulous, subjective term used by some less-than-rigorous high-fidelity journalists over the years writing for magazines such as The Absolute Sound, Stereophile and other cultist publications. "Tightness" would nevertheless actually apply to frequencies in the midrange and treble—not the deep bass—and especially in speakers such as the AR9 or AR90 with their 200 Hz crossover. The woofers in both speakers simply reproduce the fundamentals in bass—mostly lumbering sine waves and such—and not the transients, which come from the mid-bass, midrange and treble units. The "attack and decay," as such, of the music is in the upper registers, not the low bass. By the way, if there is a subjective equivalent to "tight" bass, it would be "over-damped bass," with the relationship of attack and decay (the "falling away" portion of the waveform) disturbed from its original amplitude. The result is a "dry" or over-damped sound, therefore, would be sound lacking in the original warmth of the program material. This is actually a form of coloration.

As for the 10-inch AR90 versus the 12-inch AR9 woofers in these systems, the AR9 is actually more heavily damped than the AR90, with a "Q" of 0.5 at resonance while the AR90 has a "Q" of 0.8 at resonance, meaning that there is technically more overshoot or ringing in the 10-inch woofers of the AR90 than in the 12-inch woofers of the AR9. Remember, the higher the "Q" at resonance, the less the damping, but in actuality, both speakers are nearly perfectly flat within their operating range, and neither has overshoot or ringing in the output at any frequency being reproduced from 200 Hz on down to the bottom.

--Tom Tyson

#6 ironlake

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:56 PM

How does the Ls version fit in with the 9 and 90,s improvement of any or basically the same speaker.

#7 Cereza

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:18 PM

I suppose I should just leap in here and see where it goes. This is my first post, so if I'm at the wrong place or if I break some protocol, I'll beg your pardon and just say hello. Small bit of further information right now. I'm the owner [or perhaps I should say, I've "been owned!"] by a set of AR-3a's since 1969. I still have the invoice. They continue to be wonderful members of our family. At age 72 [me, not the 3a's], I have decided to add a set of AR-9Ls to our family. They are packaged with care [I pray!] and are in route as I speak from NYC via FedEx. They look beautiful and are from what seems to be a reputable Ebayer. However, "beautiful" and "reputable" are perhaps more subjective even than listening to music, delivered transparently through AR vintage technology.

I can't wait to unpack these. Excited as a 6 year old at Christmas! Now what? Thanks for listening. Much, much more, but the idea of linking a set of AR spearkers with another set----this thread speaks of "4, AR-3a's---Wow!---sets me to considering what might happen with these 9Ls and my own 3a's.

Did some one say "amplification"----Ohms----??---tube or solid state?

Stay tuned and thanks for reading this!

#8 ar_pro

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 07:08 AM

Congratulations - the eBay photos look very good, and the speakers certainly appear to be in fine condition.

There were some significant design changes made to the 9LS as a replacement for the original AR-9, which include both the 10" woofer, and the dual-domed shared-magnet structure of the upper midrange & tweeter.

I'd be interested in reading about your impression of the 9LS after you've had some time to play with them.

#9 ironlake

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 03:12 PM

If you are going to use both 3a and 9LS on the same channel wire them in series, that is hot from amp to + on 1st speaker - on 1st speaker to hot on next speaker and neg on next speaker back to amp. This way you add the impediances and not ad reciprocals. If the Ls is 4 ohms and the 3a;s are 4 ohm total impediance the amp sees is 8 ohms. I have my ar 3a in series with the advent heritage for 10 ohms and it works great.

The heritages are rated at 8 ohms by jensen but the review by julian h says the nominal impedance is 6 ohms so that is what I am going by.

#10 Cereza

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 11:20 PM

Thanks to all of you for your warm welcome to this AR lover! Good info which I shall pay heed to. The 9Ls speakers arrive tomorrow here to Cody, Wyoming...a looooooooong [expensive!] trip but they are well packed and tracked.

I have not purchased amplification equipment in years, so to surf the net today for what might work was daunting! [Whew!]

I'm dizzy... Any suggestions would be welcomed. This looks good on ebay?

MCINTOSH MC7270 AMPLIFIER and the Hafler P505 is well spoken of. I have a few integrated amps, but nothing I have would drive all these or even the 9Ls' My sense is that I'm getting more into some kind of philosophical question than simply clean amplification.


Help!

Peace!



#11 ironlake

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 12:53 AM

How about the new dynaco 70's that are offered in kits that were talked about earlier on this fourm. They are tube amp that is an improved design of the originals,.

#12 ar_pro

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 06:36 AM

Thanks to all of you for your warm welcome to this AR lover! Good info which I shall pay heed to. The 9Ls speakers arrive tomorrow here to Cody, Wyoming...a looooooooong [expensive!] trip but they are well packed and tracked.

I have not purchased amplification equipment in years, so to surf the net today for what might work was daunting! [Whew!]

I'm dizzy... Any suggestions would be welcomed. This looks good on ebay?

MCINTOSH MC7270 AMPLIFIER and the Hafler P505 is well spoken of. I have a few integrated amps, but nothing I have would drive all these or even the 9Ls' My sense is that I'm getting more into some kind of philosophical question than simply clean amplification.


Help!


Peace!


The former top-of-the-line amplifiers from McIntosh will all do a fine job (MC2205, MC2255, MC7270, etc.), each with a rated 200 watts/channel (or more) of stable power.

Be aware that these 20-30 year old amplifiers will most likely need work to bring them up to original specs, but there are a couple of excellent establishments that are Mac experts, and know these amps inside out.

Another factor is shipping - these Mac amplifiers are glass-fronted monsters that weigh 100lbs, or more; if they're not packed appropriately, expensive, often irreparable damage can be done.

I can't imagine that any iteration of the Dynaco Stereo 70 would show the AR-9LS at its best - just not enough juice. :D

#13 Cereza

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 05:47 PM

Thanks again to all of you. I'm tracking, tracking these babies as we speak. Due to arrive this afternoon.

I've always loved the old Mcintosh line of amps but never could afford one, and I'm getting a sense from reading about them in this contemporary jungle that "Mac" has stopped sucking up to reviewers. Call it arrogance or perhaps, just confidence. I did read an owners "review" that the model he/she owned was wonderful, but if you have a very quiet listening room, you'll probably hear the fans in the quiet sections of whatever you're listening to. Don't remember the model?? I do live 15 miles on out on the Wyoming prairie and the closest thing to "traffic" is the mailman/person once a day. I moved down here from 28 years in a bush Alaska village [Dillingham], accessible only by air. My wife and I moved there in 1968 and I purchased the AR-3a's there from a local fisherman's coop. As I mentioned, still have the invoices.

Ah, but I digress...sorry.

So, any and all suggestions for amping the 9ls would be welcome. I'll not get ahead of myself yet. "Matching" them or experimenting with them and the 3a's will come later...I'm certain the old 3a's will need a "tune up" anyway!

Be well---use ear protection when listening to anything outside excellent music, i.e., Eric Claption's most lucid, articulate piece of rock music ever recorded [CROSSROADS] or perhaps something more gentle, James Levine's [Beethoven] MISSA SOLEMNIS...

#14 Cereza

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 07:31 PM

AR-PRO

You say, "...Be aware that these 20-30 year old amplifiers will most likely need work to bring them up to original specs, but there are a couple of excellent establishments that are Mac experts, and know these amps inside out...."

Can you give me contact information on some of these Mac experts please? They may also have rebuilt units they would sell.

#15 ar_pro

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 07:41 PM

A less-expensive, but reliable substitute for McIntosh would be one of the large Adcom (GFA 555II or GFA 565) or Crown (PS-400 or PL-4) amplifiers.

I've used Crown & Adcom with the AR-9 and AR-90 with excellent results - the big Mac amps still have an edge, but the Adcom & Crown are very impressive, for a lot less money.

You must have been reading about one of Mac's "commercial" amplifiers, like the MC2500 or MC2600 - they use cooling fans, but the other Mac amps are passively-cooled.

#16 ironlake

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:47 PM

The big thing to me is how clean are the amps at rated power, bandwidth at rated power. Some companies rate power at 40 to 20,00. 30 hz bass requires ton,s of power and an amp rated with 100 watts at 40hz could poop out on you if you are an organ nut.
I deal in live music every day and know that some of these off band names or even known names can find ways to cheat power on you. My jazz band bass amp has 500 watts rms at 20 hz as good solid bas sucks power like crazy. You really need to audition an amp if you can before putting out big bucks for one. Mac maybe but how much of the price is name.
I have always had an amp especially bass on trial before buying. If you are not a bassophile you don;t need tons of power for midrange.

Check craigs list. We have an audiophile on craigs list who has a GAS (great american sound) 200 watt per channel amp for sale. And many other amps too. Just check craigs list for minneapolis mn to see it.

#17 Gerry S

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 02:03 AM

If you are going to use both 3a and 9LS on the same channel wire them in series, that is hot from amp to + on 1st speaker - on 1st speaker to hot on next speaker and neg on next speaker back to amp. This way you add the impediances and not ad reciprocals. If the Ls is 4 ohms and the 3a;s are 4 ohm total impediance the amp sees is 8 ohms. I have my ar 3a in series with the advent heritage for 10 ohms and it works great.

The heritages are rated at 8 ohms by jensen but the review by julian h says the nominal impedance is 6 ohms so that is what I am going by.


I'm curious as to why you would want two different models playing at the same time. Are they in different rooms or the same room? If in the same room, wouldn't the net result sound "strange"? What was your primary objective in this series configuartion ?




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