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Member Since 30 Nov 1999
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Topics I've Started

Edgar Villchur: American Inventor, Educator and Writer

30 October 2015 - 11:58 PM

Edgar Villchur: American Inventor, Educator and Writer


Miriam Villchur Berg, daughter of the late Edgar Villchur, has assembled two excellent historical websites about her famous dad: edgarvillchur.com and her blog, villchurblog.com.  There is a great deal of wonderful Villchur information in these websites, correcting many historical inaccuracies in the Wikipedia website (which I am going to correct soon).  Aside from Roy Allison's excellent article, "A Glorious Time," the "best" article is my little tribute to Edgar Villchur:




—Tom Tyson

New, Hindsight-Design AR-5 Loudspeaker

13 July 2015 - 08:06 PM

Compelling AR "Hindsight" Questions:


Instead of the 3-way AR-5 with its excellent, expensive midrange and tweeter, should AR have made a good 3-way bookshelf unit using the AR-3a 12-inch woofer and an AR-2ax-type midrange and dome tweeter—at the AR-5 price point—to better compete with (or outgun) the Large Advent?  It would use the AR-3a-size cabinet, but it would not include the expensive midrange-dome driver or solid-wood grill molding.  It would look like a slightly larger AR-2ax box.  As we all know, the AR-5 was (except for deep bass) technically superior to the Advent, but it failed in the market place because of its lack of low-end "punch" and its relatively high price.  The AR-3a was definitely (and technically) superior to the Advent in deep bass, but it cost nearly twice as much.  Therefore, would a watered-down 3-way, using the heavy AR-3a woofer, been the answer?  Another angle: perhaps a 2-way design with a redesigned, Advent-like 10-inch woofer and a new mid-tweeter, capable of a lower crossover?  By the time of the AR-14, these things were seriously contemplated, but it was too far down the road to try to catch the Advent's sales advantage.  The AR-14's bass fell squarely between the AR-3a and the AR-5.


Another angle: should AR have designed the AR-5 with the AR-2ax's cone midrange and dome tweeter, but a more-potent, lower-resonance 10-inch woofer that would be equal to the Advent 10-inch woofer?  This woofer would have the same low-resonance response of the Advent, but it would lack the extremely low distortion, potent output of the bigger AR-3a 12-inch woofer.  Each of these designs might have cost less than the original AR-5, but looking back, hindsight is 20-20.  Would any of these designs been the answer in 1968?  


Thoughts... comments?


—Tom Tyson

Bill Bush—1963 - 2015

15 April 2015 - 05:03 PM

 I read with sadness that Bill Bush, NHT speaker designer under Ken Kantor for many years, died in February of this year.  Bill was a very talented and bright loudspeaker designer, and he designed many products for NHT and Acoustic Research during his many years with NHT in Benicia, California.  Bill was also a very kind, friendly and honest individual with a great sense of humor, and I enjoyed spending time with him out in California at the AR/NHT plant in the late 1990s.  Bill helped me get the AR Archives shipped back to the east coast in 1998, and without his help—and Recoton's legal counsel—getting these this archives would have been an impossible task.  I first met Bill during the 1994 "AR 40th Birthday Party," in New York, celebrating this milestone.  He was very curious about AR's great history and accomplishments.


Bill made many contributions to AR and NHT.  He was the designer of the famous NHT1259 woofer, and I think that he was very involved in the overall development of Ken Kantor's excellent NHT 3.3 loudspeaker, one of the finest speakers ever designed.  Bill was also very closely involved with the development and design of the Acoustic Research 303 and 303A speakers.  Some have suggested that he designed them, but at least he was very involved with their development.  Bill did the complete shakedown check of my early pair of AR-3a speakers to be used by Julian Hirsch of Hirsch-Houck Labs during his 1995 test in Stereo Review magazine.


Bill was a kind-hearted, unselfish man with great talent and intellect!


—Tom Tyson  


The Top-Ten, Most-Influential Speakers of the Last 50 Years

03 January 2015 - 02:33 AM

Interesting and well-written article about famous speakers and their influence on the high-fidelity speaker industry.  What do you think are the most influential speakers; not necessarily the most famous or smoothest or those with the lowest distortion, but speakers that influenced the industry with changes over time.




Following is an incomplete [and  random] list of several noteworthy and influential loudspeakers over the past 50-60 years.  Please add to the list.  It's difficult to know which ones would be the most influential other than, of course, the AR-1/AR-3/AR-3a series and how it completely changed the industry in the 1950s and 1960s.  Prior to that, speakers such as the big Bozak B310B, JBL Hartsfield and Electro-Voice Patrician, among others, helped to change the industry immediately after WWII from a components-based setup to more factory-built designs.  The Klipschorn was very influential, and the Altec VOTT and similar designs also were very influential.  The Altec Lansing 604 coaxial was a very influential speaker, among others  of this type.  Quad's ESL was very important, early on.



The Advent Loudspeaker

Quad ESL Electrostatic

Acoustech/KLH Nine Electrostatics

KLH Six/AR-2a/AR-2ax

AR-1/AR-3/AR-3a/KLH Four/KLH Seven/KLH Seventeen

B&W 801 Series

KLH Six/Four/Five/Seventeen


Infinity Servo-Static/IRS

Altec Lansing VOTT

Altec Lansing 604 Duplex


KEF 104

KEF 107

Celestion SL-600


JBL Hartsfield

JBL Ranger Paragon

JBL L100

Jensen Imperial

Jensen G610B

Bose 901

Allison: One/Three/IC20/AR-LST

E-V Patrician

Stephens Trusonic

Electro-Voice Interface A

University Classic/Classic MkII

University 315C

Bozak B310B Concert Grand

Dahlquist  DQ-10

Rogers LS3/5A

Magnepan Magneplanar

Dynaco A25 Aperiodic


--Tom Tyson