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AR3's with McIntosh MC2300 and a Allision ESW...wow


samberger0357
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A quick comment.

 

After a short period(seemed more like an eternity, though) without my beloved 3's and MC2300 because of both being on the disabled list, they are now back in full glory and together they seem joined at the hip. I'm sure there are greater combo's(hell, my Allison One's with the 2300 gives me the chills) but there is something indescribably wonderful about how this amp, with it's brutish 300 watt power,  yet THAT  tone that 1st generation solid state Mac's seem to have,   swing with each other. And when I add this marvelous little Electronic Sub Woofer that Roy Allison developed to go with not only his line of speakers, but all "closed box systems of high quality, with woofers of appreciable size and linear long-excursion capability"(from the manual) it wrings out every last ounce of greatness that the 3 has in it. Truly great stuff.

 

Wishing everybody in the CSP community a healthy, happy holiday season and 2022.

 

 

 

 

post-101828-1241040398.jpg

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10 minutes ago, ar_pro said:

That's a very cool system, Sam. I've always wondered what an AR-3/3a/LST would be like with the Allison ESL.

When I had a bi-amped AR-9 setup, I used an Audio Control low-frequency EQ limited to the woofers, which gave some great results. 

Wow would've loved to hear that set up.

 

The ESL is much more impactful with the 3's then the Allison One's, which is I had heard when I acquired it. Works better, or is at least more noticeable with the smaller Allison speakers and speakers like the 3.

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17 hours ago, samberger0357 said:

when I add this marvelous little Electronic Sub Woofer

Gorgeous item !! I want it ... after having seen the thread and reading the specifications of "The Electronic Subwoofer" I am convinced of the advantage and help of this beautiful project of Roy Allison.
Sam let us know how much difference you will find in the low range of your AR3a after testing it together with the splendid Mc2300, returned to your home in great shape!

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Wow!...never heard of this. I have the McIntosh 2205 with the MX-117 pre with the equalizer slightly adjusted for more bass for my AR3's. Both units are recapped and the bass has always been there in spades so can't imagine needing more.

What does this unit do to the woofers? Would this be extra hard on them? Says it would damage vented cabs...so what am I missing?

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3 hours ago, Giorgio AR said:

Gorgeous item !! I want it ... after having seen the thread and reading the specifications of "The Electronic Subwoofer" I am convinced of the advantage and help of this beautiful project of Roy Allison.
Sam let us know how much difference you will find in the low range of your AR3a after testing it together with the splendid Mc2300, returned to your home in great shape!

Giorgio it’s 3’s, not 3a’s that I own. 
 

The low range is very positively enhanced by a big amp like the 2300, and the ESW while by no means necessary really does add an extra layer of bottom much in the way an external sub might, or perhaps an equalizer which in essence is what the ESW is. 

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1 hour ago, lakecat said:

Wow!...never heard of this. I have the McIntosh 2205 with the MX-117 pre with the equalizer slightly adjusted for more bass for my AR3's. Both units are recapped and the bass has always been there in spades so can't imagine needing more.

What does this unit do to the woofers? Would this be extra hard on them? Says it would damage vented cabs...so what am I missing?

I’m with you. More bottom is not something 3’s in proper shape should be lacking, and mine aren’t. But since the ESW is in the house and since RA specifically noted it could be used with speakers outside of the Allison stable I thought I’d give it a try. 
And yes using overdoing it with it in the mix by not being moderate with one’s volume could result in a problem but I think if used correctly one can see some additional benefit without harm. The AR3 woofer is a fairly hearty driver, as are the Allison One woofers and while using an external sub is probably a better idea if one is really concerned about possible long term consequences I’m confident that my use of the ESW along with my conservative approach with the volume is not going to result in any dire consequences.

Famous last words I know…

 

 

 

 

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I was amused at how seemingly complex the ESW is for what is basically and LF EQ and high pass filter. If one can't be found the late S Linkwitz offered a circuit with use info and a spread sheet to construct your own. Of course measurements of the AR or Allison design would be required to accurately compensate for the system characteristics. Below are photos of one I repaired about 8 years ago. High quality assembly (unless you don't agree with the chosen op amps.)

DSC02664.JPG

PC board layout.jpg

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On 12/17/2021 at 3:24 PM, samberger0357 said:

The ESL is much more impactful with the 3's then the Allison One's, which is I had heard when I acquired it. Works better, or is at least more noticeable with the smaller Allison speakers and speakers like the 3.

And Allison had to confront the practical issues of LF equalization in regard to noise generated by LP playback; hence, that steep below-20 Hz attenuation.

It seems like a very clever device for its era. On that note, does anyone recall the DBX Model 100 "Boom Box" subharmonic synthesizer, touted to supply LF information that didn't make it through the recording process? 

dbx.jpg

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Never heard of the Boom Box, but I'm interested in learning more.

 

David Moran, who I think is a member here but is a longtime member of the Allison Google group and who I acquired the ESW from, worked at DBX(was also a longtime music and audio gear writer for the Boston Phoenix and member of the Boston Audio Society) for a time. Perhaps I can get him to comment on this.

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That would be great, Sam. I can recall reading about the DBX unit, but I'm pretty sure that I never encountered one in the wild. 

Interestingly, the company has been producing a subharmonic synthesizer for professional use - it seems to be a tad more sophisticated than the 50 year-old model:

The dbx 510 answers the call of audio professionals everywhere delivering Subharmonic Synthesis in the convenient design of a 500 Series module. The 510’s two separate bands of subharmonic synthesis provide the best combination of smoothness and control, while the independent Low Frequency Boost circuit is designed to get the most out of high-performance, low frequency speaker systems. Unlike other attempts at bass synthesis, the dbx process produces musical low frequencies that don’t interfere with mid and high-band information, even when the maximum synthesis and boost are applied. The result is a low-end punch that people really feel!

Amazon sells it for $175 - too bad that I've already sent my list to Santa! ^_^

https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?sa=L&ai=DChcSEwjvgsyw8_X0AhX49uMHHVbBCaEYABAPGgJ5bQ&ohost=www.google.com&cid=CAASEuRo73A_Z4JzPig0Y3db29OGNg&sig=AOD64_2sa1qFlFi5Xb2I5kxF1szdELOAzw&ctype=5&q=&ved=2ahUKEwiuusKw8_X0AhUWkIkEHXnXDikQ9aACegQIAhBG&adurl=https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?sa=L&ai=DChcSEwjvgsyw8_X0AhX49uMHHVbBCaEYABAPGgJ5bQ&ohost=www.google.com&cid=CAASEuRo73A_Z4JzPig0Y3db29OGNg&sig=AOD64_2sa1qFlFi5Xb2I5kxF1szdELOAzw&ctype=5&q=&ved=2ahUKEwiuusKw8_X0AhUWkIkEHXnXDikQ9aACegQIAhBG&adurl=https://www.amazon.com/dbx-510-Subharmonic-Synthesizer/dp/B00U2L0Q7E/ref=asc_df_B00U2L0Q7E/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312146578215&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=9910348058177901278&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9007214&hvtargid=pla-567406862580&psc=1

dbx.jpg

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Roy A. was a sly one.  He knew that the ESW worked better on Allisons than on most other brands including AR.

Any Acoustic Suspension Speaker that could withstand the stress such as a Large Advent or AR3, 3a, also had a crossover so high into the midrange that phase or “doppler” distortion could become a problem.  The Allison One, Two and Three had a low crossover of 350hz, low enough that such distortion could not be an issue. 

An ESW combined with the 1000hz crossover of a Large Advent or AR3 would be a doppler distortion generator.  

AR didn’t avoid phase distortion from amplified low bass frequencies until the AR9.

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31 minutes ago, Aadams said:

Roy A. was a sly one.  He knew that the ESW worked better on Allisons than on most other brands including AR.

 

Any Acoustic Suspension Speaker that could withstand the stress such as a Large Advent or AR3, 3a, also had a crossover so high into the midrange that phase or “doppler” distortion could become a problem.  The Allison One, Two and Three had a low crossover of 350hz, low enough that such distortion could not be an issue. 

 

An ESW combined with the 1000hz crossover of a Large Advent or AR3 would be a doppler distortion generator.  

 

AR didn’t avoid phase distortion from amplified low bass frequencies until the AR9.

 

Well yeah, he designed it as an Allison product.  But I've read about successful pairings with AR 3's(Tom Tyson for one)and between my 3's and A1's, the ESW has noticeably more effect on the former then the latter. That said, it is my understanding that the design in general has more impact with smaller boxes like the 3's, and the Allison Fours.

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