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Looking for Amp recomendations

Charlie H

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Just picked up a pair of AR 3a's this evening.  Going in I knew I'd need an amp upgrade.   Not necessarily needing it to be vintage but want to be able to drive these plus a pair of Advents or Bose 901's.   Also looking for some accessories:

1.  A/B switch with volume equalization capability so I can do side by side comparisons of different speakers

2.  A good multi speaker selector box - I have an old Realistic that works good but the wire connectors get disconnected very easily

3.  General source of hardware - banana plus and what not.

Thanks in advance!


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Hi Charlie and welcome

Based on your question it sounds like you know you need some power. And you probably know you need 4 ohm capability. Experienced member Tom Tyson (and others) has recommended the powerful and relatively inexpensive amps from Crown. Here's the lineup. Shop around for the best price--sometimes there are sales. Crutchfield, Parts Express, Musicians Friend, Sweetwater, B&H are all good sources. QSC is another high power inexpensive 4 ohm amp. BUT I would not try to drive the Advents or Bose speakers off the same amp at the same time. 4 ohm loads are tough.

Don't know about A/B switches but others will chime in.

I use an Adcom multi speaker selector. Niles and Russound are also good.

Many of us buy hardware from Parts Express. I also like Madisound. Excellent service and fast delivery but they have a more limited selection.

Be sure to read the AR-3a restoration booklet linked at the beginning of the AR section. Have yours been restored?

Good luck and keep us posted.


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If you're going to A/B AR3 and Bose 901 you need to figure out how to remove the Active EQ from the signal path.

Typically the EQ is placed between the Preamp and Amp. You will need a switched processor or monitor/tape circuit to hook the EQ up to.

Not knowing which version of 901 you are thinking of you should know the original and series 2 are acoustic versions and sound the best but need lots of power. Series 3 thru 6 are ported and need less power but will still sound best with more power. A current pushing amp is best.

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Thanks!   I have a Denon DRA-800H on the way.  I'll use that to power the ARs.  It has a preamp output so I can use that with another amp (still looking for more ideas on the amp) to power the 2nd set of speakers.  Good info on the Bose   I did know they are very power hungry, but I didn't know the equalizer went between the amps.  Fortunately the setup I'm headed towards will support this!  The Bose I'm considering are series 6.

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The Bose 901 VI manual says "Your 901 speakers are designed to work compatibly with receivers or amplifiers rated from 10 to 450 watts per channel." So you have a lot of choices. Don't rule out an inexpensive Class D or T amp.

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The Bose EQ can demand 8x the amplification at anytime.

Having good power reserves is best to avoid clipping.

I had a pair of the series 6 but went back to series 2.

Hooking the EQ up to a tape monitor will allow you to take it out of the signal path. If its hooked between amp and preamp then it is always in the signal path.

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