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AR-8 Craigslist Score


briodo
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I hit my vintage gear quota for 2021 but this appears to be a heck of a deal.  Quantity 4 AR-8's, in Denver area.

https://denver.craigslist.org/ele/d/littleton-acoustic-research-ar8/7374964296.html

I have some AR-7's, these appear to be very similar with 10" driver VS the 8 on the AR-7? 

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I've never thought of the classic AR's as "rock" speakers and didn't realize that they had a model advertised as such.   I always thought of products like the (brutal) Marantz Imperial 7 as "rock" speakers.   The AR12...I thought it was just an updated version of the AR5 and not a rock n roll speaker?

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2 hours ago, AR surround said:

I've never thought of the classic AR's as "rock" speakers and didn't realize that they had a model advertised as such.   I always thought of products like the (brutal) Marantz Imperial 7 as "rock" speakers.   The AR12...I thought it was just an updated version of the AR5 and not a rock n roll speaker?

 

ar12.jpg

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As I see it, AR was late to the 'College Craze' audio scene and probably quickly created something to offer in an affordable speaker.

AR-8, 1973-1974, 10" Woofer, 1.25" Cone tweeter, 48-20k ± 2.5db, 1800hz, 15- w, 8 ohms, 13.5x24x11.5, 32.0 lbs, $129.00

AR-12, 1977-1979, 10" Woofer, 2.25" Cone Mid, .75" Dome Tweeter, 44-30K ± 3db, 86 db, 700/4000hz, 25-100 w, 8 ohms, 14x25x11, 37.5 lbs, $225.00

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During a search for more info on them I found this observation from Andrew over at Audikarma:  https://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/acoustic-research-ar-8-what-are-these.388524/

The AR-8 was AR's entry into the rock speaker market and was voiced to emulate the west coast sound made famous by JBL. Longtime AR customers considered this model to be boomy and unrefined, and JBL owners liked JBL's version of the west coast sound better. In the end, no one was really happy and the AR-8 was not a big success, it lasted only a short period of time. If you are looking for a comparison, the AR-8 sounds most like a JBL L26. That said, the AR-8 is a fun speaker to listen to, and some folks really like them. Andrew

I found it interesting that AR would voice a speaker to match a specific type of sound VS accurately reproducing the original signal, which was one of the reasons I bought mine back in 1980.

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Accurate reproduction was the AR mantra under Villchur. Once the five-year transition ended in 1972 and Villchur's people started to exit, product development was controlled by Teledyne management and chasing their perceived "consumer preference" resulted in the introduction of "low end" stuff like the AR-8.

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2 hours ago, lARrybody said:

If I remember correctly the AR8 was only available in a simulated (vinyl) wood grain finish.  Thus holding the price down.  

I think IARrybody is correct. If you look closely at the photos of the speakers in the Craigslist ad, they look like they have the texture of vinyl. I just did some quick research online and there are ads for AR-8's indicating that the speakers are vinyl covered. 

 

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