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Any reviews of AR-98LS(i)?


Kuja
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A recent post (Reviews of TSW-910), made me wonder if any forum members have any reviews of AR-98LS(i) speakers as well?

I couldn't find any by myself.

Reviews of any of the LS series spakers would be interesting too (9LS & 78LS)...

I'm a very happy owner of one pair of AR98LS speakers:

http://www.kujucev.com/ar98ls/ar98.htm

Recently I visited a local Audio&Video Fair.

There were lots of manufacturers present and maybe the only pair of speakers that sounded more impressive to my ears were B&W 801D costing 12.000 euros (some 14.000$).

Few other speakers costing up to 4.000 euros were OK too, but none were as natural sounding as my ARs.

If you have any reviews and you have means to scan them,

can you send them to:

aleksandar(x)kujucev(x)com

...of course, replace (x)>@ and (x)>. - spam is killing me these days :-)

I'm on cable, so largish scans are not a problem.

Thanks in advance!

Aleksandar

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Aleksandar,

I have never seen a review of the 98, at least not by any of the "Big Three" (Stereo Review, High Fidelity, Audio).

High Fidelity did review the 9LS and gave it an outstanding review, claiming it had "perhaps the deepest, firmest, most natural" bass they'd ever heard.

Some time later, they reviewed the 78LS and it came off merely as a good product in a sea of good products. Certainly nothing to harken back to the glory days of previous AR 12" 3-ways like the 3, 3a, or even the 10Pi/11.

There is a scanner at my work, although they look askance at people using it for personal reasons. I'll try to scan these two reviews for you and send them your way in the near future.

BTW, I followed your 98 restoration project when you originally posted it, and it is quite impressive.

Steve F.

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Steve, thanks a lot!!!

I'm looking forward to receiving those reviews! :)

After comparing crossovers of 9LS and 98LS speakers (they are identical except for the additional 10" woofer), can I assume that the two speakers share the same general sound quality?

Of course the 9LS will have greater bass extension, but since the two speakers share majority of the drivers and the crossovers (as I already said) are almost identical, what can be said about the rest of the frequency spectrum of 98LS compared to 9LS?

Aleksandar

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/dc/user_files/1296.gif

post-101175-1147817520.gif

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This is a slightly more complex area than we might think at first glance. The technical answer to your question is yes, the two speakers will have similar anechoic FR response, especially from the mid-bass on up. In-room FR response will be somewhat different, since the 98’s cabinet is much shorter than the 9’s and therefore the speaker’s response will be affected differently by its dimensional relationships to both the room boundaries and the listener’s ears.

The low bass will also affect the perceived tonal differences between the two speakers. The AR-5 and 3a were the “same” speaker except for the low bass, yet in practice the two had markedly different personalities—more than the “numbers” alone would have predicted.

Now, the difference between the 3a-LST-type 12” bass response and the 2ax-5 10” response was greater than the difference between the 10-inchers and, say, the 6-4x-7-type 8” response. A great deal has been written in the audiophile press over the years about the masking effects of low bass (below 40 Hz) on midrange transparency, and whether, or to what extent, the presence of truly deep bass might affect the perceived tonal balance and transparency of any given speaker system.

I believe the 98 had pretty much the same rated low-end response as the 3a-LST-11 series of speakers: down about 3dB at 35Hz or so. I don’t remember if AR ever rated the 9 LS’s LF response, or did they? Down 3dB at 28Hz? I don’t recall off the top of my head.

There’s a lot of usable musical information in the range between the 5’s LF response (-3dB at 45Hz) and the 3a’s –3dB at 35Hz. Low C organ pedals (like the famous “2001” opening sequence) occur at 32Hz—well within the 3a-11-98 range, but clearly too low for the 5-2ax-48 speakers. Is there as much real, usable, musical information available on commercial recordings that would show up the difference between the 9 LS and 98 LS? I don’t know.

I will freely admit that I have never A-B’d the 98 LS and 9 LS side-by-side. My hunch—-and it’s only a hunch—-is that the 98 and 9 are somewhat closer to each other than the 5 was to the 3a.

Steve F.

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Thanks again for your valuable reply!

There are some discrepancies in data that I've found on this site and what is printed on my pair of speakers.

You can see everything on the attached images.

According to the two brochures, -3dB points are at 39Hz and 32kHz for both LS and LSI models.

9LS and LSI's -3dB is at 28Hz.

But, my pair had this plastic front with some data printed on it (eh, those eighties :)) and it says that -3dB point is at 28Hz and that the range goes up to "only" 25kHz.

What happened here?

Or did the graphic designer that designed these fronts just put on some wrong numbers?

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/dc/user_files/1298.jpg

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/dc/user_files/1299.jpg

post-101175-1147910029.jpg

post-3-1147910029.jpg

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Hello Aleksander,

Your refurbished AR98LS's look superb! I have two pairs of 98LS's. I bought the my first pair in the early eighties. I was advised by AR in the UK then, that I was the first owner in the UK. The sound then and now just knocks me out! I would never part with these speakers. I bought the second pair last year as 'spares'. At the time I was concerned that if a problem with the dual driver should occur that I had spare parts.

Do you recommend the upgrade of the crossover to the 'I' version? I read elsewhere in this forum that someone fitted a switch enabling the 'I'mprovement to be enabled / disabled.

Now that I have seen your 'new' speakers I will now refurbish my 'spare' pair. I intend to keep my originals as originals. They look like new. The foam surrounds have not been replaced (yet) either.

I agree with posts in this forum, that we don't hear enough about the AR98LS's. They as close as you can get to the AR9LS, although I have never heard them side by side.

A few weeks ago I was at a friends Hi Fi shop. He demonstrated to me some Danish speakers made by Dali. They sounded very nice. The first pair cost £1800, the second pair cost £6000. Would I replace my AR98LS with the Dali's?, NO. Not even if they were given to me! I forgot to mention that the electronics feeding the Dali's were made by Linn and Naim. I was advised that the Linn CD player alone, cost £12000.

Regards Mark

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Hi Mark,

Thanks.

After "Improving" my pair of AR-98LS, I never looked back.

Their sound before the upgrade was somewhat fatiguing and harsh.

I don't know if this was partly due to capacitors that were 20+ years old.

After the upgrade, my speakers were transformed! They sound much better now.

I didn't spare any money on the parts, I bought the best that was available.

I also replaced the internal wiring and the outside terminals.

I removed the clips and soldered internal wires directly to drivers' terminals.

You should at least replace those old and expired capacitors.

Todays capacitors are much more advanced compared to what was available more than twenty years ago.

But you say that you like the sound as it is - it can all depend on the rest of your equipment. If your system is somewhat "dark" sounding, maybe unmodified LS speakers will suit it better...

I don't know why compared to AR-9, AR-9LS is looked down at as inferior by some members of this forum.

AR-9 was an innovative and ground braking product, but it seems that 9LS was a further refinement.

Did anyone on this forum heard both (in comparable conditions)?

I just received a scanned 9LS review from Steve.

Steve, WOW, thanks a lot!!! This is what I was looking for! You're the greatest! :)

I did some copy&paste and attached a smaller part of it.

It seems that AR made quite a few improvements to the original AR-9.

I almost forgot... Mark, do you still have some original materials from your 98LS speakers? Brochure? User manual maybe?

Can you scan them? Email them? :)

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/dc/user_files/1303.gif

post-101175-1148405745.gif

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Hi Aleksander,

Yes, I have the original user manual and brochures. The front cover photograph on the brochure is really impressive. I will scan them this week and email to you.

I still have the original boxes and packing material.

Regards

Mark

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>Hi Aleksander,

>

>Yes, I have the original user manual and brochures. The front

>cover photograph on the brochure is really impressive. I will

>scan them this week and email to you.

>

>I still have the original boxes and packing material.

>

>Regards

>

>Mark

That would be great!!! :)

Since I'm on cable, I can receive quite large attachments.

Thanks in advance!

Aleksandar

PS

I never had the original griles for my 98LS speakers.

I'm thinking of making some. What material AR used to make original frames?

I made some frames from MDF. I'll dye them black and I have to find a suitable fabric...

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/dc/user_files/1304.jpg

post-101175-1148486184.jpg

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I have attached some pictures of the original grills. The frames are plastic. The cloth is brown and stretched over the frame. You will also notice that a red trim is used.

Also attached is the front cover of a folded 'original' brochure (I will have to email the 'unfolded' files as they are about 4Meg in size).and the second brochure version. It will show the AR9LS and 98LS with walnut veneer on the front panel.

Regards

Mark

1305.txt

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Guest beannyball

Aleksandar

I have 3 pairs of these speakers. Five of which are presently in my home theater. Sadly, my home theater is out of commission as the foam surrounds on the woofer and the midbass of each speaker have finally rotted away. Saving money to refoam.

There was a formal review of this speaker in the January 1985 issue of Audio magazine by Richard Heyser IIRC. I loaned my copy of this issue away twenty years ago and never got it back. Still annoyed about the lost to this day. Perhaps some forum member might have a copy and supply, please?

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Mark,

Thanks a lot for the photos and scans!

I got to see them today, since I was offline for almost a week - some idiots had cut the internet optical cables while digging in our street doing some other repair.

You did a very professional job with those grille photos! :)

I'm looking forward to receiving the rest of the scans!

Thanks again,

Aleksandar

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  • 11 months later...
Guest robotczar

This is an old thread, but I have a copy of the Audio review of the AR 98LS. It was very thorough and positive, though RH did not like the grills much. I own a pair of these speakers and I think they are very very good for direct radiating dynamic speakers. They sound very good a high and low volumes. An improvement over AR 3as, which I also own.

The major weakness of the speakers is that I could get the terminal mounts to vibrate with some classical music. I always suspected that they would sound better with foam or other soft material on the front of the speakers. The author of the base post probably did the right thing by replacing the front surfaces. He ought to see if he can do something about the whole in the cabinet for the terminals.

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>...but I have a copy of the Audio review

>of the AR 98LS....

COOL!

Can you scan it?

I've heard somewhere that posting of copyrighted material (like magazine reviews) is usually not allowed on forums.

But if you have a scanner, It would be so great if you can send it to me at:

aleksandar(at)kujucev(dot)com

replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .

Please?!?! :)

I'm on cable, so bigger the scan the better! :)

If you're interested, I have those brochure scans I got earlier from Mark...

Aleksandar

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Guest robotczar

I'm a little busy for a couple of weeks, but I will send it along after that.

I wonder why you chose to place soft material on the speaker front but did not place such material on the plate holding the dual tweeter/high mid? I would think that sound absorbing material near the high units would be a good idea.. I also note that you have the speakers on stands. That will probably degrade bass response which is more room and placement dependent than the AR9LS.

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  • 1 month later...

>I'm a little busy for a couple of weeks, but I will send it

>along after that.

>

>I wonder why you chose to place soft material on the speaker

>front but did not place such material on the plate holding the

>dual tweeter/high mid? I would think that sound absorbing

>material near the high units would be a good idea.. I also

>note that you have the speakers on stands. That will probably

>degrade bass response which is more room and placement

>dependent than the AR9LS.

Hello again,

Did you get some time for scanning? :)

I'm really looking forward to this review! :)

Yes, I was thinking of putting some felt on the front dual driver plate.

So far I can't find the right material locally.

Also I have to figure out the way to attach it without ruining the finish if I decide to remove it.

Bass response is OK since my listening room is quite small.

Sometime with some bass heavy music, it even gets too strong.

With stands and away from the rear wall, imaging and depth is much improved.

Thanks in advance,

Aleksandar

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  • 12 years later...
On 5/16/2006 at 12:56 PM, Kuja said:

A recent post (Reviews of TSW-910), made me wonder if any forum members have any reviews of AR-98LS(i) speakers as well?

I couldn't find any by myself.

Reviews of any of the LS series spakers would be interesting too (9LS & 78LS)...

I'm a very happy owner of one pair of AR98LS speakers:

http://www.kujucev.com/ar98ls/ar98.htm

Recently I visited a local Audio&Video Fair.

There were lots of manufacturers present and maybe the only pair of speakers that sounded more impressive to my ears were B&W 801D costing 12.000 euros (some 14.000$).

Few other speakers costing up to 4.000 euros were OK too, but none were as natural sounding as my ARs.

If you have any reviews and you have means to scan them,

can you send them to:

aleksandar(x)kujucev(x)com

...of course, replace (x)>@ and (x)>. - spam is killing me these days ?

I'm on cable, so largish scans are not a problem.

Thanks in advance!

Aleksandar

Kuja,  if your still here, there is a review of the AR 98LS in the old Audio Magazine but I have never seen a review on the 98LSi

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