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Acoustic Research Classic 30's


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I'm about to put up for sale my AR classic 30's (cherry color).  I bought them brand new back in 1993, directly from AR in Canton, MA.  They were my "dream speaker" back when I bought them, much too expensive for a struggling chef at the time and definitely too big for the studio apartment my wife and I lived in (she thought and still thinks I'm nuts.).

I still have the original boxes, they are in near mint shape, I also have an extra spare OEM tweeter, 2 extra 10 inch OEM woofers, and 2 Spare OEM midranges.  I bought all of the spares just in case because I had planned on keeping these until i died.

8 moves later including a move from cross country from Mass to Washington state and it's now time to move on and sell my precious speakers.

The question I have for this group is what would be the going price for these things?


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I don't know much about the Classic series but I think they were designed by Ken Kantor. Beautiful wood cabinets.

According Aphenos.net they retailed for $2400/pair.

Condition and area being sold in may affect price.

Pictures showing their condition may help those who know this series.

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When I was at BA, our head transducer engineer had previously been at AR and he was one of the lead system engineers for these Classic models. He did a lot of work on the 30. He did say that they were a bear to ship because of the unusual cabinet shape, the way all the panels sloped in and down. A lot of early shipping damage before they got the packaging straightened out.

I only heard them briefly, during a tour of the AR plant when it was at 330 Turnpike St in Canton MA, just before they left for CA. They sounded clean and detailed, but I wasn't using my own "test" material and I couldn't form a definite opinion.

I always wondered about the low end--with two 10" woofers, did this have 90-like bass? I have reason to doubt it. The AR3 Limited came out in the same timeframe as the Classics and the 3 was a very "audiophile-ish" speaker with a 12" woofer and a MTM array with 3" dome mids and a dome tweeter. It had that off-standing metal screen grill that made it look like an electrostatic speaker.

Anyway, true to its early-90's timeframe, the Limited 3 was a 'lean' sounding speaker in the audiophile tradition, not a gutsy, powerful-sounding speaker like the 3a, 11 or 9/90.

Can anyone give me a real, accurate assessment of the Classic 30's sound character?

Steve F.

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  • 2 years later...

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