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About Sonnar

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 09/01/1960

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  • Location
    Rome, Italy
  • Interests
    Vintage Hi-Fi, Photography , Music

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  1. Thank You, Nes! Your AR-2 are very beautiful , and they're very good sounding speakers . I still use it, they have good sensitivity and are easy to drive . Excellent woofer, fast , full, clean sounding. I have also AR 3 and 3a , and sometimes I 'm thinking about a better extension on AR-2 highs, just adding a supertweeter , just like in AR-2a. Some Seas 1" soft dome probably will fit. Godd luck with Your project and enjoy it! My best wishes Adriano, Rome, Italy
  2. My mother and my father in 1959, AR-2 on the shelf. I still have it, finished on three sides, light color wood, golden thread grille. Low left, Heathkit FM 3A tuner. I 'm listening through AR speakers before my birth ( 9/1/60 ) ! Adriano
  3. Hi Frank, ciao! I 've been very busy late, two daughters graduating in law and in psychology, helping my wife in her business and my own business, that's enough to me...and sometimes I have fun times playing my eight AR speakers ! The Carver C1 is an excellent preamp, with a very good phono mm/mc inputs , very clean and neutral: I 'm so enthusiast that I m in serach of a PM 1.5 power amp, Bob Carver's machines seems very good to me . I still use my Crown Macro Tech 2402 and the QSC ISA280, but last fall I bought this little BGW 6500T Proline II from a recording Studio, they used it with two Ampex tube mono preamp and JBL 4333b as monitors. This tiny BGW is only 150 watts per channel on 4 ohms , and use hybrid Sanyo power modules , not a powerful brute, but what a fine sounding amplifier! Smooth, detailed richness of tones , silky but well extended on highs. I simply made a short video with my Samsung smartphone, saving on videos, and uploaded it , then I edited it with double-click option. All the best Adriano
  4. If properly restored, AR 3 is still one of the best sounding speaker ever made, surely needs some accurate works , but their excellent bass and smooth mid-highs easily outperform many modern expensive speakers. Yours are like mine, unfinished pine, plywood, I painted it and treated with glossy lacquer. Best wishes Adriano
  5. Check the pots and change caps in crossover: here are my AR 3 after a little restoration, including new mortite. Before they sounded very dull, one midrange and tweeters were mute. Very often the problem is on nonworking pots. Best wishes Adriano VID-20190510-WA0007.mp4
  6. My musical preferences are for classical, baroque and electric '70s funk/jazz like Miles Davis " Big Fun " and my vote is for AR 3. The reason is, AR 3 is a more complete speaker than 3a, has a more linear frequency response and very sparkling and detailed highs while 3a has a noticeable roll off . AR 10 Pi is a bit " honky " to me, and later Teledyne production is too bright sounding. The AR 3 isn't a muted speaker, but You have to choose the right amplifier: weak tubes or old vintage SS amps aren't the better way to listen this marvelous sounding speaker. Recently I suggested to an unsatisfied professional musician friend (saxophone) who has a very expensive hi-end system to buy a pair of AR 3. We found a nice pair, some scratches on the furniture but loudspeakers and x-overs are ok ( I 'm a magician in founding AR 3, I have four of them in excellent working conditions ). The first impression of my friend was " it's my sound! It 's the sound of music! " Villchur's AR 3 are musical instruments for musicians. Other speakers are only good or excellent loudspeakers. The picture shows the african mahogany AR 3 after restoration by another friend from south of Italy, he 's younger than classic AR lover, 40 years old, but has fine ears. Best wishes and Happy New Year! Adriano
  7. Never seen in Italy although we were the most important market for AR outside U.S. . I remember a shy three-way , 8" woofer by Avid in mid '70s. In early '80s JBL made the L 86 with the same mid and tweeter of the L 112 and L 150 , but with an 8" woofer instead of 12" : but L 112 and L 150 made big sales while nobody cares of L 86 . In mid '70s , JBL sold in Italy more L 100 Century and 4311 than L 36 Decades . AR's and JBL's customers probably wants the best bass response their money could buy , and it seems a nonsense to have a speaker with expensive midrange and tweeter and a poor bass response by a small woofer . Adriano
  8. When my two daughters are studying , I use a little NAD 3120 with my AR 3 , because the fan of the Macro-Tech is audible at low listening levels . The first evident difference is bass reproduction , also at low levels : with powerful amps AR's woofer seems have no limits in its excellent performance .
  9. I have no doubt HiVi tweeter improves AR 3a performances . The AR 3a tweeter has a progressive roll-off and that is the reason I prefer the more sensitive and linear AR 3's tweeter. I use a very strong power amp, 750 wpc on 4 ohms : AR speakers could easily sounds very loud , but I think they 're speakers made first of all for quality . I use the Crown because it' s very stable on difficult, low-z loads, but I don 't use the very high amount of power because of the risk of burning coils and stiffen spiders . These are hi-fi woofers, not high-efficiency , high power P.A. loudspeakers. Even if You put tons of watts in an AR 3a , or in every direct-radiating speaker, they will sound different from a high sensitivity , horn-loaded or bass-reflex speaker , You needs very few watts to rock the house , and it means lower distortion at very high SPL . Of course, it needs a little sacrifice , and that is fine sound quality ( You cannot have Your pie and eat, too ). AR 9 are excellent speakers with very deep low end ( maybe a little tight ) but they 're a little bright sounding to me . When I use a direct radiating speaker with dome mids or tweeters I want the best possible high fidelity sound with classical recordings or acoustical instruments : I want precise timber, tonal balance: AR 3 and 3a are the most rigorous speakers in doing that kind of natural home reproduction of the original musical event . Cheers, Adriano
  10. And that is the reason why I prefer MM cartridges . You can always have a new stylus . And probably You 're right , modern designs and materials are better than older ones , but vintage gear has a fashionable way in sounding , not perfect but with a lot of personality . The only vintage gear I don' t like are solid state amps, obsolete circuitation and obsolete materials , not a real personality but very bad sounding . Adriano
  11. Yes, I know . And it should be the same for the suspension of every midrange and tweeter in old AR 3 . But the FR 1 mkII today sounded better than a new DL 103 , and my four old AR 3 sounds sparkling and alive . Probably 40 years ago they all were better sounding , but still today they gives great satisfaction.
  12. Yes, a high mass arm would be better with DL 103 : the re-issue of the SP 10 it' s the ideal , interchangeable arms , but at 15000 euros it 's a bit expensive . My friend bought the FR 1 mkII by a collector , almost like new .
  13. The arm of the new SL 1200 G is fabulous and very " general purpose ". We used it with my old Shure V 15 III , a Grado Signature Black , then MC Denon DL 103 and the marvelous FR 1 mkII ( Lehmann step-up ). In every situation it shows excellent ability to drive every pick up. Probably it's build with close tolerances and with better materials ( magnesium ) . The turntable weights 39.68 lb. ! Adriano
  14. Sunday afternoon listening to a friend's hi-fi system. Pro Ac K6 speakers , 17500 euros ( silly priced, if not idiot ) . Boomy , slow bass , shy midrange , crisp highs , not more detailed than AR 3's highs , surely less transparent and natural sounding . The only component I appreciate so much in this system is the new Technics SL 1200G ( a re-edition of a vintage turntable ) and the Fidelity Research FR 1 mkII moving coil, a pick up of 40 years ago. Thanks, but I prefer the vintage but natural and clean sound of my AR speakers .
  15. Frank , the reason I ( and many audiophiles ) prefer this vintage sound is because it 's natural like music. Of course , here in Rome are many hi-end , hi-fi shop, B&W, Dali, Dynaudio, Focal Utopia are highly regarded speakers here in Europe. Recently I heard a couple of B&W 803D3 ( 17000 euros ! ) driven by Classe' Audio CA 2300 power amp ( 7000 euros ) and Classe Audio preamp . I was with my wife's cousin , classical violinist at Academy of St. Cecilia . He noticed the beamy and unnatural sound of the system , with spectacular but prominent and harsh high frequencies. Hyper-detailed, cold, unnatural. He says AR vintage speakers gives the better reproduction of strings , and I and many classical music lovers in the world agree. Jazz? Rock? Frank , no one of the modern hi-fi speakers have the dynamic of live music : tons of watts in a low efficiency , direct radiating dome mid or tweeter means distortion. When I 'm in the mood of listening " not reticent " speakers with jazz or rock I use my Altec system , now with 288/1005b multicell horns ( beamy, beamy, beamy ) , it leaves You breathless. But when it comes to realistic reproduction of acoustical instruments , AR 3/3a/LST are my choice. Cheers, Adriano
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