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Modern Speakers With Classic Vintage AR Sound.


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#1 ligs

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:47 PM

It would be interesting to make a list of modern speakers which to you sound like vintage AR speakers, I am talking about AR2ax, 3a like sound., musical, even tempered, and natural.

Hsu Research HB-1. This is the first horn speaker I ever owned. To my ears, a pair of them just sound like vintage AR speakers! No shrill treble, smooth midrange. No listening fatigue.
http://www.hsuresear...ducts/hb-1.html

Lineaum Extreme. A simple 2-way speaker with 7 inch Peerless woofer and mono-pole Linaeum tweeter. Very similar to HB-1.

http://www.audiorevi...87_1594crx.aspx

#2 Rat44

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 06:22 AM

I was just asked this myself recently.
A guest asked where he could find new speakers similar to my AR 9's.
I had no answer for him.
What is on the market that could replace them soundwise ?
Or a set of 10pi's .

#3 ligs

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 12:16 PM

I had AR 3a, 9 and 11. I assume AR 11 sounds like 10pi. I remember I returned a pair of brand new AR3a because they sound different from an old pair of 3a at home. Now I think they probably just need more time to break-in:(

Back to question of AR9's and AR11 or 10 pi. To me they don't sound the same, No speakers I know can project like AR9s. By using the pair of 12-inch woofers to only 200 Hz and a dedicated 8-inch midwoofer, AR9's have very very low distortion(2nd harmonic 1% or less from 40 to 10000 Hz at 100 db/1meter), pulsed output at 300Hz reaches 123 db SPL for 4114 watts peak. Data from High Fidelity Magazine. Oct 1978.

#4 ligs

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 11:50 AM

Just found this link talking about "the equivalence of AR9 speakers"
http://www.audiokarm...p/t-337316.html

I wish someone can come up with a two-cabinet version of AR9. At 130 lbs each it can be a little too heavy:) I believe putting two woofers in one cabinet is definitely feasible.

#5 Steve F

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 01:54 PM

I hate to be a stickler or a naysayer, but the discussion here was originally about what modern speakers sounded like Classic Vintage ARs.

None.

If we take the "Classic Vintage AR" sound to mean the AR-3, 2a, old 2ax (the 1 3/8" tweeter models), then the 3/4" tweeter models (3a, 5, 2ax), and the 2-ways like the 4/4x, 6, 7, then the answer is absolutely none.

The 10 Pi/11/9 are not considered to be "Classic Vintage" ARs if we define the C-V era as being from 1954-1974. The ADDs and Verticals had ferrofluid-cooled tweeters and therefore a completely different (hotter) tonal signature than the C-V speakers.

If you like that C-V sound and are lucky enough to have a set of correctly-performing vintage AR speakers, treat them well, don't use them at too high levels in home theater systems and appreciate and cherish them for what they are, because we're rapidly approaching the time when (even nearly) fully-functioning C-V AR speakers will be gone forever.

Steve F.

#6 Gerry S

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 02:07 PM

It would be interesting to make a list of modern speakers which to you sound like vintage AR speakers, I am talking about AR2ax, 3a like sound., musical, even tempered, and natural.

Hsu Research HB-1. This is the first horn speaker I ever owned. To my ears, a pair of them just sound like vintage AR speakers! No shrill treble, smooth midrange. No listening fatigue.
http://www.hsuresear...ducts/hb-1.html

Lineaum Extreme. A simple 2-way speaker with 7 inch Peerless woofer and mono-pole Linaeum tweeter. Very similar to HB-1.

http://www.audiorevi...87_1594crx.aspx


Poh Ser is a dear friend of mine; knew him when he founded his company. I'm not surprised that you find that his HB-1 similar to the AR3a. His passion (besides very high SPL @16 hz) was always for small British speakers that sounded "natural" and "imaged"

I don't think he ever owned AR3a's (did not meet his imaging criteria) despite their famed bass capabilities, which is why he developed his own subwoofer company. But I can certainly understand how he may have determined the final "laid back.AR3a sound" for his HB-1.

Poh Ser has ALWAYS taken "preventive measures" to protect his hearing; wore earplugs when not doing "critical listening". And, unlike me, he didn't like "rock" at "semi-realistic" playback levels !

I believe that his hearing TODAY isn't all that "worse" compaired to when he was "young". Steve F also retained "good hearing" (especially at high frequencies).

Decades ago, both could easily hear that 15-16 Khz "whistle" emanating from CRT TV's. I could not.

#7 Carlspeak

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 03:31 PM

If I may blow my own horm...... " AR3, 3a Super-Mod"
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC!

Carl
Carl's Custom Loudspeakers

#8 genek

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 04:02 PM

The closest thing I have heard in a new speaker to vintage AR sound is the ESP Bodhran. Probably closer to AR-9 era speakers than classics because it didn't have the characteristic rolloff. The speaker achieves wide dispersion with a second set of MR and HF drivers that send angled side signals reflecting off walls, similar to Ken Kantor's MGC series speakers. In fact, other than the fact that there's no delay it comes across as a virtual clone of the MGC-1.

The bad news: $16,000 a pair. We can restore a heck of a lot of old AR speakers for that.

#9 genek

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 04:10 PM

I believe that his hearing TODAY isn't all that "worse" compaired to when he was "young". Steve F also retained "good hearing" (especially at high frequencies).

Decades ago, both could easily hear that 15-16 Khz "whistle" emanating from CRT TV's. I could not.


It's not hard to preserve your ability to hear high frequencies into your later years if you plan on it from an early age and avoid getting infections that can damage your ears. What is pretty much unavoidable as you age is loss of hearing discrimination, the ability to distinguish tones from one another and to pick them out from background noise.

I can still hear test tones as high as 17-19kHz (17 in one ear, 19 in the other), but can no longer tell the difference between 15kHz and 18Khz test tones, and picking out certain sounds, such as the speech range, from either recorded or live sound from background noise is also hard. So my HT setup has the center dialog channel turned up 4dB higher than the other channels, and if my wife and I want to talk while anything is playing, the mute button is essential.

#10 Gerry S

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 04:58 PM

It's not hard to preserve your ability to hear high frequencies into your later years if you plan on it from an early age and avoid getting infections that can damage your ears. What is pretty much unavoidable as you age is loss of hearing discrimination, the ability to distinguish tones from one another and to pick them out from background noise.

I can still hear test tones as high as 17-19kHz (17 in one ear, 19 in the other), but can no longer tell the difference between 15kHz and 18Khz test tones, and picking out certain sounds, such as the speech range, from either recorded or live sound from background noise is also hard. So my HT setup has the center dialog channel turned up 4dB higher than the other channels, and if my wife and I want to talk while anything is playing, the mute button is essential.


Think my "tone dicrimination" is still pretty good despite being an "old geezer". Had my hearing tested 10 years ago (but not since) and found the usual HFroll-off normally associated with aging. Being a loudspeaker designer certainly do anything to enhance my HF hearing abilities.

I certainly agree about "early prevention" as a method to delay hearing loss. Fortunately, my early years of exposure to deafeaning "live rock" was limited; much prererred "recordings" for that (and just about all other forms of music).

But back to topic ! I don't see why one can't take ANY "decent speaker" made today and "mimic" the "tonal balance" of the 3a. Since I believe the 3a to be a "reverberant field" playback device, simple tone controls or an equalizer should do it. This assumes the "modern speaker" has low distortion, smooth on-axis and uniform power response; especially at the crossover points.

#11 genek

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 08:20 PM

But back to topic ! I don't see why one can't take ANY "decent speaker" made today and "mimic" the "tonal balance" of the 3a. Since I believe the 3a to be a "reverberant field" playback device, simple tone controls or an equalizer should do it. This assumes the "modern speaker" has low distortion, smooth on-axis and uniform power response; especially at the crossover points.


I would certainly agree with that for the on-axis response. But what are you going to do about the reverberant field?

#12 Gerry S

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 08:39 PM

I would certainly agree with that for the on-axis response. But what are you going to do about the reverberant field?


I AM referring to the "reverberant field". For example, the AR 9 (which is not considered "vintage") would be my speaker of choice because of it's nearfield "imaging capabilities". If I wanted it to sound like an AR 3a in the reverberant field (where the "image" is going to be "diffuse" anyway), using tone controls and/or an EQ should make them sound very similar.

However, I don't believe the reverse is possible; taking a 3a to make it "image" like the 9 in the "near field". I suppose it's possible to make the 3a sound similar in tonal balance to the 9 in the reverberant field using tone controls and EQ, but the 3a wouldn't be able to play as loud as the much larger and advanced 9.

#13 Tetrode

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 08:51 PM

Vandersteen.


#14 genek

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:48 PM

However, I don't believe the reverse is possible; taking a 3a to make it "image" like the 9 in the "near field"


I have no experience with the 9, but I did do a home trial on a pair of later 303's. It was no big deal at all the adjust tone to make the 303 sound like a classic speaker head-on, but it never produced anything resembling the soundstage. I think it is not possible for the newer speaker to be EQ'd into producing the same reverberant field as the classic without adding additional drivers LST-style to make up for the missing dispersion.

#15 ligs

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:14 AM

I have been listening to a pair of AR Hi Res Model 15 speakers for quite a while.
http://www.classicsp...834

Due to the use of metal drivers for both woofer and tweeter I expected bright and even peaky highrange from AR Hi Res 15. But a pair of them sound so natural and free of sibilance and very AR like. BTW, the midrange of AR Hi Res 15 is among the most natural I ever heard.

#16 Craig25

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:38 AM

I stumbled upon a pair of B & W DM580's last year at Goodwill. Since then I have A-B'd them quite a bit with my AR 5's which are 100%. Although the 5's are less efficient, adjusting for that, they are more alike than dissimilar. The 580's were made in 1989 so I don't know if they can be considered modern. When I A-B-C them with my NLA's, the Advents are the odd man out.

#17 Gerry S

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:32 PM

I have no experience with the 9, but I did do a home trial on a pair of later 303's. It was no big deal at all the adjust tone to make the 303 sound like a classic speaker head-on, but it never produced anything resembling the soundstage. I think it is not possible for the newer speaker to be EQ'd into producing the same reverberant field as the classic without adding additional drivers LST-style to make up for the missing dispersion.


I have to admit that I have NOTactually tried it. But the "reverberant field" as I would define it would NOT have a "soundstage". What I'm suggesting is that as long as the power response is similar between the two speakers, they can sound very similar in TONAL BALANCE.

The AR LST and the Allison One has very diffferent driver configerations. Once in the "reverberant field" (I think "far-field" is the more technically accurate term for small rooms found in homes) the "soundstage" which provides the localization or imaging goes away because the "first arrival" sound is overwhelmed by the buildup of late arrival contributions from a "live" room. With a multi-band EQ, one can make the AR LST sound very similar to the Allison (or vice versa) as long as one level-matches the two AND neither system is overdriven.

I'm also suggesting that if one took all the "vintage" AR classics and "band-limited" the source material (to not overdrive the smaller systems into obvious distress), it would be difficult to disinguiish the 3, 3a, 4x, 5, 7, etc. consistently when in the far field. Like in real concert halls with a true reverberant field, the "soundstage" essentially becomes "mono".

#18 genek

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 11:33 PM

I'm also suggesting that if one took all the "vintage" AR classics and "band-limited" the source material (to not overdrive the smaller systems into obvious distress), it would be difficult to disinguiish the 3, 3a, 4x, 5, 7, etc. consistently when in the far field. Like in real concert halls with a true reverberant field, the "soundstage" essentially becomes "mono".


This is definitely true of the 3a and ax, both of which I have here. Somewhat less so for the 6, which I also have. Even playing some very band-limited CDs of old recordings from the 1930's the sound of the 6 just never seems to fill a room the way the other two models do even though it sounds the same close-up.

#19 Aadams

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 12:50 AM

Assuming the speakers are well placed and set up in the listening area It seems to me that the better subjective test for reverberant field comparison would be "how close can one approach along the centerline of the speaker pair before they become obvious left/right sound sources". And from the nearest point where the reverberant field is perceived "how far off axis can one move before the near channel becomes dominant"?




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