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AR18's


Guest RLT
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hey everyone

tonight i was given a pair of AR18's by a family friend. they appear to have been looked after real well, and he mentioned that they have been reconditioned.

i wondered if anyone would know how old they are.

underneath the foam they say "teledyne acoustic research", then some address details, "AR18AU" and the speakers have the serial numbers 1643 and 1644. does anyone know where i could possibly access any additional information on these speakers, such as manuals?

thanks.

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underneath the foam they say "teledyne acoustic research", then some address details, "AR18AU" and the speakers have the serial numbers 1643 and 1644.

Hi,

If you can post a photo, that would help. However, you did give a clue as to the generation of AR-18 you have. When you said "underneath the foam", are the speaker grills approx. 1" thick and made of a spongy foam material? Is the tweeter location offset, above but to the left of the woofer?. Is there a high frequency level switch on the back of the speaker?

Best Regards,

Rich W

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heya,

well here is a photo of the front.

the grills are about 1 inch thick and they do have a high frequency level switch on the back. sorry that the photo isn't great!

i hope this is enough info for you to help me out.

beck.

post-102898-1199882683.jpg

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Hi Beck,

Thanks for the photo. Your AR-18's are from the ADD (Advanced Development Department), also known as the "Truth in Listening" series from the mid 1970's. The AR-18 is direct successor to the AR-7, one of the most highly acclaimed small bookshelf speakers from the original Classic series. Please refer to the archive Library, under 'ADD Series" and you'll find a wealth of information. There are also numerous posts on the discussion forum regarding the AR-18. I'm a big fan of this speaker, and believe it to sound superior to any other vintage speaker I've compared it to, including such highly venerated speakers such as the Large Advent. Only my AR-3a's sound better, and in smaller rooms, I would give the edge to the AR-18's, since they don't need as much as much space to "breathe" as an AR-3a (3a's need a to be heard at a greater distance in the so-called "free-field" to sound their best).

From your photo, it appears that the foam surrounds on the woofer are in good condition and were replaced recently, so your speakers can be enjoyed "as is". It is possible that the single 6uF internal capacitor has drifted out of spec over the years, and should probably be replaced if it hasn't been already. If you have basic soldering skills, this is not difficult to do. However, if the speaker sounds good, I wouldn't be too concerned.

Enjoy your new AR18's!

Best Regards,

Rich W

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  • 9 months later...
Guest wattman

Hi my name is Brian. I have an AR 18 and it is just as you described in this thread except it does not have the high freq toggle switch on the back. Do I have just a plain old AR 18?

underneath the foam they say "teledyne acoustic research", then some address details, "AR18AU" and the speakers have the serial numbers 1643 and 1644.

Hi,

If you can post a photo, that would help. However, you did give a clue as to the generation of AR-18 you have. When you said "underneath the foam", are the speaker grills approx. 1" thick and made of a spongy foam material? Is the tweeter location offset, above but to the left of the woofer?. Is there a high frequency level switch on the back of the speaker?

Best Regards,

Rich W

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Hi my name is Brian. I have an AR 18 and it is just as you described in this thread except it does not have the high freq toggle switch on the back. Do I have just a plain old AR 18?

Hi Brian,

Later versions of the AR-18 had no toggle for cutting the tweeter -3 db, and in fact, no other incarnations of this very popular speaker model had a level control afterward (i.e. AR-18S, AR-18B). In addition to it being a cost cutting measure, I suspect there were not many applications where the speaker sounded better at the -3 db setting. Without the toggle, you're essentially getting the 0 db (flat response) setting.

So yes, you have a "plain old" AR-18, albeit a later version. In my estimation, the AR-18 with no suffix was the best built and best sounding of the series. The AR-18S and AR-18B do not sound as smooth in the treble to my ear - they are certainly brighter in overall character. They are also more cheaply constructed.

Best Regards,

Rich W

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  • 9 years later...

Oh wow, some very happy memories of this speaker. This was one third of the 'holy trinity' of my very first proper sound system. Rega Planer 3 turntable, Nad 3020 amp and of course a pair of AR 18 speakers.

As we all do, went on to buy better equipment as time went by, but these speakers still hold a special place in my heart. Heard and owned better sounding speakers since then, but like your first love, there is never anything quite like it :-)

 

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  • 1 year later...
31 minutes ago, TODD said:

have a pair of AR18 speakers. Does anyone know or can provide a link to where I can buy replacement woofers for these speakers. They are worth rehabbing. Thank you. Todd

Do you have the original woofers? If so provide photos.  They might be repairable. 

 

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7 hours ago, Aadams said:

Do you have the original woofers? If so provide photos.  They might be repairable. 

 

I have the same question . I have a pair of AR18s that are in excellent condition but the woofers were replaced long ago with Radio Shacks.  I scan eBay for the original woofers but I’m wondering if anyone has ever used the so called modern replacements from Simply Speakers. 

https://www.simplyspeakers.com/advent-acoustic-research-replacement-woofer-1210132.html
 

Thanks for your patience with a rookie!

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1 hour ago, Albany said:

I have a pair of AR18s that are in excellent condition but the woofers were replaced long ago with Radio Shacks.  I scan eBay for the original woofers but I’m wondering if anyone has ever used the so called modern replacements from Simply Speakers. 

Most here would look for proper used AR replacements.  The Simply Speakers units have a reputation for proper fit but not same as original performance and might not be an upgrade from the RS units already in place.   The correct model numbers for the drivers can be found in the library.

CSP member Ra Ra will know a lot more about this.

Adams

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11 minutes ago, Aadams said:

Most here would look for proper used AR replacements.  The Simply Speakers units have a reputation for proper fit but not same as original performance and might not be an upgrade from the RS units already in place.   The correct model numbers for the drivers can be found in the library.

CSP member Ra Ra will know a lot more about this.

Adams

I had a hunch that was the answer! I’m sure they’re fine, but for the price, the juice ain’t worth the squeeze, sounds like

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14 minutes ago, Aadams said:

Most here would look for proper used AR replacements.  The Simply Speakers units have a reputation for proper fit but not same as original performance and might not be an upgrade from the RS units already in place.   The correct model numbers for the drivers can be found in the library.

CSP member Ra Ra will know a lot more about this.

Adams

And to finish my though, yes, the RS units sound respectable. I have an all original set of AR8b as a point of reference. The both have very similar characteristics, despite the RS woofers in the 18s. I’ve recapped both sets of speakers, and will keep an eye out for AR woofers. General question - other than foams what are some general things to be skeptical or inquire about condition wise when shopping for the used woofers? I’ve been burned on eBay many a time for all types of items.

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22 hours ago, Albany said:

And to finish my though, yes, the RS units sound respectable. I have an all original set of AR8b as a point of reference. The both have very similar characteristics, despite the RS woofers in the 18s. I’ve recapped both sets of speakers, and will keep an eye out for AR woofers. General question - other than foams what are some general things to be skeptical or inquire about condition wise when shopping for the used woofers? I’ve been burned on eBay many a time for all types of items.

Best bet is purchase from someone who is a member of this group.  Post your request in the for sale/wanted forum.  You will probably get a Personal Message if there is a seller for your item.  You can also try Vintage AR on Ebay. 

General advice.  Don't buy drivers where the seller states "as is" and "untested". If the foam is rotten it is not a problem as long as the model number is shown and correct with no visible damage and there is electrical continuity with no rubbing in the voice coil. 

Adams

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