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AR-16 Resurrection


Guest Viikari
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Guest Viikari

Hi! Thanks for the nice forum. I've been reading bits here every now and then.

I've posted a short story of a AR-16 Tweeter fix on my blog(-to-be).

Might be completely off-topic if Teledyne is a curse here but thought it might interest some of you.

LINK: http://nulldose.com/blog/?p=5

If someone knows the story of AR-16 speakers by heart, I'd like to know when these were made. I know they're not the most common model and originate to mid-1970's but that's about it.

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Guest Viikari

>VERY interesting !

>

>Thanks for taking the time to shoot those photos and lead us

>to them !

>

>Were both your tweeters in the same condition, or only the

>one?

>

>Bret

You're welcome!

Both speakers had the same problem, just differing by the level of distortion in the sound. The other was quite bad. Overdriven rock music was so-so "listenable" but any clean bits (like a plain piano track) would be ruined completely.

Now I've come to realise the overly sharp sound might be caused by aging circuitry? I just thought it was the sound design feature of the era to put aggressive high-mids there(to compensate the recordings?).

-Antti

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The AR-16 was introduced in 1976, as part of the second wave of the Advanced Development Division products. (The 10Pi, 11 and MST were inro'd in 1975; the 12, 14, and 16 followed in '76.)

AR took special effort to talk about the lack of baffle protrusions on the 16, and how this design, with its lack of destructive defraction, resulted in a cleaner sound.

While I was in college at BU, there was a Boston-area radio program on BU's radio station WBUR 90.9 called "Shop Talk" hosted by the late, great Peter Mitchell and Dick Goldwater. I remember during a fund-raiser (those NPR stations have been using that "We're poor, we need your dough" shitick for 30 years--it's getting old, don't you agree?) in the spring of 1976, a pair of AR-16's was a gift offered by BUR to any listener who made a pledge of X dollars.

The 16 was actually a rather short-lived speaker. For some reason, it was somewhat bass-shy, and was replaced about a year later by the AR-15 (yes, the newer model had a lower model number). The 15 had cabinet proportions more like the AR-6 (the 16's cabinet was more like the 4x's shape) and used a home-grown AR-built 1" dome tweeter, instead of the 16's 1" Peerless tweeter.

The AR-16 was a decent product, but not one of AR's shining moments.

Steve F.

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Hi there;

Teledyne was a part of AR's history and should not be excluded in any conversations.

There are those, that, enjoy certain classic speakers, but AR was, and is, from the mid 1950's up until now.

There was several changes in management and ownership in those many years.

Any positive and constructive comments are always welcome.

There is over 1,000 members worldwide that will enjoy reading your thoughts and interests.

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>The AR-16 was introduced in 1976, as part of the second wave

>of the Advanced Development Division products. (The 10Pi, 11

>and MST were inro'd in 1975; the 12, 14, and 16 followed in

>'76.)

>

>AR took special effort to talk about the lack of baffle

>protrusions on the 16, and how this design, with its lack of

>destructive defraction, resulted in a cleaner sound.

>

>While I was in college at BU, there was a Boston-area radio

>program on BU's radio station WBUR 90.9 called "Shop

>Talk" hosted by the late, great Peter Mitchell and Dick

>Goldwater. I remember during a fund-raiser (those NPR stations

>have been using that "We're poor, we need your

>dough" shitick for 30 years--it's getting old, don't you

>agree?) in the spring of 1976, a pair of AR-16's was a gift

>offered by BUR to any listener who made a pledge of X

>dollars.

>

>The 16 was actually a rather short-lived speaker. For some

>reason, it was somewhat bass-shy, and was replaced about a

>year later by the AR-15 (yes, the newer model had a lower

>model number). The 15 had cabinet proportions more like the

>AR-6 (the 16's cabinet was more like the 4x's shape) and used

>a home-grown AR-built 1" dome tweeter, instead of the

>16's 1" Peerless tweeter.

>

>The AR-16 was a decent product, but not one of AR's shining

>moments.

>

>Steve F.

These are great comments by Steve F. regarding the AR-16. I tend to believe that the AR-16 was a bit too expensive to produce economically at a competitive price-point, so it did not last all that long. It was available by February, 1976 and I believe it was discontinued before the end of 1977. It was available in two finishes: (1) Geniune wood veneer for $115.00 each; (2) AR-16V in Walnut-grained vinyl for $99.95 each (sold only in pairs).

The AR-16 was a good performer, however. It used the same basic woofer as the other 8-inch AR speakers, such as the AR-4xa, AR-6 and AR-MST, but the 1-inch Peerless tweeter was an improvement of sorts for this class of speaker, and the AR-16 had a relatively sophisticated LCR half-section crossover. The bass response was probably pretty much the same as the AR-4xa, but the treble level was higher due to the more-efficient tweeter, and the apparent low bass seemed thinner-sounding.

HH Labs tested the AR-16 (see pdf files below), and Julian Hirsch praised the "unusually flat frequency response of +/- 1.5 dB from 100 to 15,000 Hz. There was a 3.5-dB rise at the bass resonance of about 60 Hz. The overall response variation was an impressive +/- 2.5 dB from 30 to 15,000 Hz." Measured that way, there are not many current speakers that could surpass that performance! A "dryness" in the lower midrange kept the AR-16 from getting close to "perfect" in the simulated live-vs.-recorded test, according to Hirsch.

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/dc/user_files/970.pdf

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/dc/user_files/971.pdf

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/dc/user_files/972.pdf

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/dc/user_files/973.pdf

--Tom Tyson

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  • 12 years later...

This is a really old thread and the links to those PDF files no longer work. Any chance that the original files can be re-uploaded for eager AR-16 owners like me and any other interested parties to see them?

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