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Julian Hirsch's LST's on ebay.......

Guest J Schuldt

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Since the subject came up,Can anybody give information about the second spectral balance control?The tweeters look like 1st generation AR10pi?What about the mids also?

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  • 2 weeks later...

>Since the subject came up,Can anybody give information about

>the second spectral balance control?The tweeters look like 1st

>generation AR10pi?What about the mids also?

These AR-LSTs were custom-built for the late Julian Hirsch. I should say, "re-built," as the original versions were the standard arrangement, and Mr. Hirsch made his original *Stereo Review* test report based on the original pair. Later, he had them modified as you see them today, with a special spectral-balance control for each bank of midrange and treble drivers (very similar I believe to the control that was on the Allison IC-20 flagship speaker from Roy Allison), and the cabinet and drivers were modified. AR-10Pi back-wired midrange and the early, orange-yellow 3/4-inch 10Pi back-wired tweeters were also used. The old tweeter terminal strips on the front were replaced with the inserts that were also used in the transition models of AR-3as, AR-2axs and AR-5s and so forth before the new back-wired cabinets became available for production. The AR-10Pi tweeter was not ultimately as good as the AR-3a tweeter in dispersion, but it was about 3 dB more efficient and had much greater power-handling ability. It was much more durable, as well. The dispersion issue is academic, insofar as the LST had the angled side panels, and the acoustic-power response was still far better than nearly every speaker ever made.

These AR-LSTs were obviously very special, made for Julian Hirsch for his "reference standard," in which to compare with all his reviewed speakers. Since he was doing white-noise, distortion and frequency-response testing and so forth, there was always the risk of damaging the tweeters, and this was another reason to make the speakers more robust by adding the newer tweeters. The midrange drivers were identical to the originals, but were back-wired AR-10Pi versions.

Julian Hirsch was one of AR's best supporters. His testing lab, Hirsch-Houck Labs, was probably the most-respected audio-testing organization in the trade for many years, and his published tests and reviews were widely used for reprints and quotes in the industry. Yet from the time he first heard an AR-1s at the 1954 New York Audio Fair, Mr. Hirsch recognized the low distortion and high accuracy of these speakers and became a solid supporter of AR products. All through the years he could barely suppress his enthusiasm for AR products, and he had to be careful not to offend other manufacturers who provided a lot of advertising in *Stereo Review* magazine. An early example of this enthusiasm was stated in the *High Fidelity* "Equipment Reports" for the AR-3: "The sounds produced by this speaker are probably more true to the original program than those of any other commercially manufactured speaker we have heard." This is a polite way of saying that the AR-3 was the most-accurate speaker available at that time.

--Tom Tyson

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Tom is quite right, of course, about Julian being a big supporter of AR. I visited the "Hirsch-Houck Labs" on several occasions (the "Labs" were actually the basement of Julian’s house in New Rochelle NY), and among all of his test gear, equipment, speakers, etc. was a pair of AR-7’s, still mounted on the wall.

The last time I was there, in 1998, Julian had already announced his retirement to take place 6 months hence, so I finally asked him why he still had those 7’s up, 25 years after he had tested them for Stereo Review. He told me that when he tested them originally, he thought they were truly remarkable speakers, so he left them up and still listened to them from time to time.

He tested a pair of AR Spirit series speakers in the early ‘90’s and found them to be pathetically ordinary and it was quite sad to read his test report as he struggled to find something—anything—good to say about them.

Julian was a terrific engineer and extremely knowledgeable about audio matters. He was absolutely unimpressed with fads, "magic" solutions that had no scientific basis, and supposed "improvements" that couldn’t be rationally explained or quantified. The original Classic AR’s, with their sane, logical technological advances to the state of the art, were his "cup of tea," so to speak. His support and loyalty to those products was born from a deep-seated agreement and respect with AR’s design approach and execution.

Steve F.

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