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Just bought my 2nd pair of AR9


Mez
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I bought a 2nd pair of AR-9 speakers yesterday. Only had to travel 30 minutes to get them.

I bought them from the original owner.  He bought them new in 1978 and they haven't moved from his living room since.  They came with all the original boxes, packing material, and manuals.

The foam surrounds were professionally replaced a few years ago and they look perfectly done.  But he didn't replace the caps on the crossovers.

The cabinets are in excellent condition with a few minor imperfections which should be easy to fix.

I will may sell these and keep the 1st set I bought in July as I don't have room for 4 of them.  I haven't decided which set to keep.

Here are some photos.

 

AR9 with boxes.jpg

AR9 Front.jpg

AR9 Woofer.jpg

AR9 chip.jpg

AR9 Chip 2.jpg

AR9 nick.jpg

AR9 stain.jpg

AR9 Top.jpg

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Two pairs of AR-9 systems in two months - that's a pretty good streak, Mez!

Before selling one set, you could always try to replicate the AR MGC-1:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/acoustic-research-mgc-1-loudspeaker

A digital delay/EQ box from eBay and another stereo amplifier should probably get you in the ballpark.

All by themselves a single pair of AR-9 woofers would provide better bass than the MGC-1, so that 2nd pair might be overkill! ^_^

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On 8/19/2018 at 4:24 PM, Stimpy said:

Come on, the obvious answer  -  Stacked AR9's...!   ?

I have 4 New Large Advents that I stacked before getting the AR9s.  The sound quality of the AR9 is much better top bottom no question there.  Mid and high frequency dispersion much better.  Much sharper upper mid range and the AR9 woofers are, for lack of a better description, sneaky.  Most speakers I have listen to have a peak or hump in the 50hz to 100hz then drop quickly below 50hz.  Depending on placement, the AR9s are flat and don't have that one-note bass response so common.  Just when you think the AR9s don't have much bass, a recording shows you it does and its not flabby or exaggerated.  

I also have a pair of Magneplanar MG-10s I bought in the mid-1990s that I will do an A-B  comparison to the AR9s.  Of course, the MG-10 bass is pretty weak below 70hz, so I use a MK-70 subwoofer that has two 8 inch drivers that do a good job of being relatively quick and giving bass down to about 30hz I think.   The MG-10 run out of steam long before the AR9s but for classical, jazz, and voice dominate material, they are outstanding. I also have a 12" Carver Sunfire subwoofer but I use that for home theater.  I had to ship out the internal Carver amp recently to get rebuilt, so this does an excellent job for home theater use where there is a lot of really low frequencies (below 25hz).

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1 hour ago, Mez said:

I have 4 New Large Advents that I stacked before getting the AR9s.  The sound quality of the AR9 is much better. to to bottom no question there.  Mid and high frequency dispersion much better.  Much sharper upper mid range and the AR9 woofers are, for lack of a better description, sneaky.  Most speakers I have listen to have a peak or hump in the 50hz to 100hz then drop quickly below 50hz.  Depending on placement, the AR9s are are flat and don't have that one-note bass response so common.  Just when you think the AR9s don't have much bass, a recording shows you it does and its not flabby or exaggerated.  

I also have a pair of Magneplanar MG-10s I bought in the mid-1990s that I will do an A-B comparison comparison to the AR9s.  Of course, the MG-10 bass is pretty weak below 70hz, so I use a MK-70 subwoofer that has two 8 inch drivers that do a good job of being relatively quick and giving bass down to about 30hz I think.   The MG-10 run out of steam long before the AR9s but for classical, jazz, and voice dominate material, they are outstanding. I also have a 12" Carver Sunfire subwoofer but I use that for home theater.  I had to ship out the internal Carver amp recently to get rebuilt, so this does an excellent job for home theater use where their is a lot of really low frequencies (below 25hz).

I'm sad to admit, I've never heard AR9's.  But, I do own AR90's and AR58S speakers.  So, I have some idea with how good the 9's should sound.  Especially, the AR 12" woofer.  I agree, it's a phenomenal woofer.  Capable of speed, detail, and depth.  And it will surprise when music provides the correct content.  I don't feel there's any music that woofer wouldn't do justice.

And like you, I own planar magnetic ribbon dipole speakers.  Just for different flavor.  They're relaxed and smooth, with good detail and presence.  Still, the AR's sound so good, and the UMR dome is such a strong performer, I don't switch speakers in and out, as much as I used to.  Not much need.  Especially since I've recapped all of my AR's, to bring them back to new working condition.

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Congratulations on your second set of 9's. The original boxes too.  Question. Have your first set had the caps replaced?

Mine too were missing the tweeter and upper midrange foams. Found a nice pair for the tweeters from some 91's, but the upper midrange foams are exclusive for the 9's and may have to be made.  Oh, also the two buxom blondes sounds good, but I would be more than happy with the new gal up in HR.

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I replaced the caps on the 1st pair I bought right away.  I think the sound was much improved.  Tonight, I ordered the caps for the 2nd set. Going to try the small .01uf caps in addition to the regular replacement caps.

My current significant other is now a blonde.  Every day I tell her she is hot in a new and clever way.

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Electrolytic or poly?  All caps, in the 1st pair, or did you leave the metal caps in place?  I at least like to use the best caps that I can for the series values (4, 6, 24 & 80uF).  Plus, I like the small value bypass caps too.

You have the makings of a great surround system, if you want?  Add a 91 or 92, as a center, and you're set.

Good luck.

 

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15 hours ago, Stimpy said:

Electrolytic or poly?  All caps, in the 1st pair, or did you leave the metal caps in place?  I at least like to use the best caps that I can for the series values (4, 6, 24 & 80uF).  Plus, I like the small value bypass caps too.

You have the makings of a great surround system, if you want?  Add a 91 or 92, as a center, and you're set.

Good luck.

 

I ordered the caps from the list posted in another thread.  I got spanked because I first used the wrong brand for the 24uF and subsequent  replaced that with the Mundorf e-Cap combo 22uf +2.2uf.  For the new pair, I ordered the by-pass caps.  I plan to just replace the caps on the upper frequency crossover.

The cabinets clean up really nice using the Howard's Finish Restorer.  All the drivers paper cones look untouch.  Whoever did the re-foam on the 12" woofers and 8" upper woofer did a perfect job.

For my den where we watch TV, I have the surround system consisting of 4 old Radio Shack LX5 speakers that have the Linaeum tweeters plus the Radio Shack center speaker with the Linaeum tweeter.  They have 5.25" woofers have been either re-foamed or replaced.  I don't recall which.  For the LF, I have the Carver Sunfire sub woofer which can shake the pictures off the wall. 

While the LX5 speakers volume won't make your ear bleed, they sound natural in everyday listening and have good WAF.

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9 hours ago, Mez said:

I ordered the caps from the list posted in another thread.  I got spanked because I first used the wrong brand for the 24uF and subsequent  replaced that with the Mundorf e-Cap combo 22uf +2.2uf.  For the new pair, I ordered the by-pass caps.  I plan to just replace the caps on the upper frequency crossover...

As I found out, adding those 0.01uF F&F bypass caps will turn the tweeter's performance from a "chuuuuh" sound to a "shuuuuuh" (as DavidR would say.)  It's much more natural.   Also, putting the F&F bypass cap across the Mundorf E-Cap will further smooth out the sound of vocals.   It will take out that last bit of "noise."

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17 hours ago, DavidR said:

I see that your 9's pictured above have the reverse grill pegs as do mine. I've been contemplating switching them except I don't have the plastic anchor holes for the cabinets.

I assume the 1st generation had the cover pegs on the speakers cabinets.  They must have changed them because they had a lot break off.  The shipping boxes had cut out for the pegs at the top and bottom end caps but they seem pretty susceptible to get broken especially when pulling the out of the cartons.  The set I bought in July must be the 2nd generation.

I also notice the grills on the 1st generation were particle board and the 2nd generation were plastic.  The 2nd generation had thick sound absorption rings around the drivers but not on the 1st generation.

The cartons for the pair I just bought show a ship date of January 1978 which I assume were the 1st generation.  I'll have to post the serial numbers of both sets I have.

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1 hour ago, Mez said:

I assume the 1st generation had the cover pegs on the speakers cabinets.  They must have changed them because they had a lot break off.  The shipping boxes had cut out for the pegs at the top and bottom end caps but they seem pretty susceptible to get broken especially when pulling the out of the cartons.  The set I bought in July must be the 2nd generation.

I also notice the grills on the 1st generation were particle board and the 2nd generation were plastic.  The 2nd generation had thick sound absorption rings around the drivers but not on the 1st generation.

The cartons for the pair I just bought show a ship date of January 1978 which I assume were the 1st generation.  I'll have to post the serial numbers of both sets I have.

My grill frames are particle board.

Having the pegs in the cabinets makes it much more difficult to refinish the cabinets.

You should post the 9s in the FS forum. Where are you at and how much are you asking? Details on the recapping, too.

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2 hours ago, Mez said:

I assume the 1st generation had the cover pegs on the speakers cabinets.  They must have changed them because they had a lot break off.  The shipping boxes had cut out for the pegs at the top and bottom end caps but they seem pretty susceptible to get broken especially when pulling the out of the cartons.  The set I bought in July must be the 2nd generation.

I also notice the grills on the 1st generation were particle board and the 2nd generation were plastic.  The 2nd generation had thick sound absorption rings around the drivers but not on the 1st generation.

The cartons for the pair I just bought show a ship date of January 1978 which I assume were the 1st generation.  I'll have to post the serial numbers of both sets I have.

I bought my pair in August 1978...Hey, that's 40 years now!!! ?  They are 1st generation with no sound absorption rings around the drivers.   But the pegs are in the particle board grills; so AR must have changed the peg installation design very early on.

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On 8/22/2018 at 12:39 PM, DavidR said:

You should post the 9s in the FS forum. Where are you at and how much are you asking? Details on the recapping, too.

I've seen prices on eBay up to $2000.  I would be firm at $1200 as the surrounds were replaced and I've re-capped them.

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AR9 c.jpg

 

The veneer was removed at the base due to damage.  Today, its painted MDF which frankly isn't perfect because MDF has a texture.  I am planning to put new veneer there, but to match the original walnut veneer color will be next to impossible, so plan to paint it satin black. I actually think that will look pretty good when all finished. The rest of the veneer cabinets are in perfect condition.  None of the corners or edges are damaged.
 

 

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