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amp for AR 302's


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I recently purchased a pair of AR 302's from ac4l.com for $250 ($1000 MSRP). I have yet to acquire an amp to drive them; I just started my foray into higher-end audio. The AR 302's are rated at 85dB sensitivity and have an impedance of 6 ohms nominal, 4 ohms minimum. From what I understand, this means that the speakers are inefficient, and require more power to get the same increase in volume that can be had from more efficient models. I will not be interested in getting super-loud sound from the speakers (I listen mostly to acoustic music), but then again my music collection includes orchestral pieces that may require higher volumes.

I have been looking at two amps in particular, the AMC 3050a and the NAD 317; both are integrated ss amps. The 3050a is rated at 45wpc, and the 317 at 80wpc. Could 45wpc work with these speakers, or is 80wpc necessary? Perhaps even 80 is insufficient? I would greatly appreciate any help.

-- Marcus

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Marcus;

The AR302s are similar to the classic ARs. For starting out with classic ARs (and the AR302/3) I recommend an Adcom 545, 545 II or 5400, these are rated at 150 to 200 watts into 4 ohms.

You can find the 545 and 545 II for very reasonable prices on ebay. There are many better amplifiers out there, for more money. Price/performance is were Adcom shine, they are the Toyotas of audio.

Another alternate is a classic high power receiver, I have an Onkyo TX8500 driving my AR9s, and just got a second one to bi-amp them.

I would suggest you look for a rating of at least 150 watts into 4 ohms, for a small room (less than 150 sq ft).


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Guest rickcee

hi well, to me - totally depends on your desired loudness and room size. lets say 92 db avg in a 15 ft x20 ft room (totally

avg. to me) so 0ne watt would be maybe 86 db (one channel, the other could be considered 'headroom as far as loudness/power) so

the story is - double power for 3 db. : 89 db 2 w., 92 db 4w ,

95 db 8 w. now you probably want maybe 10 more db for peaks

(twice as loud ) which would be about 60 - 70 w for 103 db peaks

that's conservative watts per ch.. .. in a 'normal ' room. totally my opinion. 50 - 75 watt /ch would be o.k. Now the audio philes are going to request 100 w, 200 w, etc. (or $5,000.

tube amps with 50 w.) remember the original AR amplifiers were around 50 - 55 w per ch. excel. for "normal-( read the neighbors

don't complain )loudness in an avg. size room." rick

audiophiles are going to insist on much more. or

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