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Edgar Villchur (AR) vs. Henry Kloss (KLH/Advent) Design Philosophy...

Over on the Advent side an interesting conversation is brewing regarding the apparent brightness "peak" some hear in both the KLH-6 and Advent Loudspeaker. Was it intentional, or was it a design flaw? Did it exist at all? I brought over a part of one thread in which AR/Advent user Bill Yee discusses a brightness "peak" mentioned by others in that thread. I have given my two-cents-worth on the way AR (read Edgar Villchur) designed speakers compared to the way KLH and Advent (read Henry Kloss) designed their speakers. What I did not mention in my reply was that pre-Teledyne AR speakers did, indeed, have a slightly rolled-off treble response -- partly intentional, partly unavoidable. Flatter on-axis response might have been achieved, but at the expense of smoothness, low distortion and extended acoustic-power response. On the other hand, I don't think that Henry Kloss was as interested in low distortion and flat response as he was in "bringing up" the treble response, and giving his speakers more subjective high-frequency output, relative to the bass.

Unfortunately for AR, the first AR dome tweeters lacked sensitivity compared to the woofer, but the decision was always to maintain uniform on- and off-axis accuracy even though the treble response overall was down a few dB. Also, some recordings of the day tended to be bright anyway, so the "AR sound" tamed many a hot recording. On the other hand, the increased-treble response that Kloss sought for his KLH and Advent speakers also brought with it complaints from end-users and critics.

Bill Yee's message:

>BTW, I also do suspect that the tweeters have not changed

>that drastically with age. I have some vintage KLH-5's and

>KLH-6's also designed by the late Henry L. Kloss and they

>too tend to have that bright region. I think it was Henry's

>ears, he liked that elevated midrange sound... God rest his

>sole, I have total respect and admiration for him as well as

>all the fore-fathers of the great old

>AR-Inc. company. They are a very happy, enjoyable, pleasant

>part and memory of my life! But really I wonder if Henry

>Kloss had some hearing loss in those midrange to upper highs

>frequency ranges to produce so many models with that

>characteristic. Too bad Henry is no longer here to answer

>for himself... I did write to him or his company a few times

>not long ago (when he was still alive) but never got a

>reply. He was probably not feeling well and I never knew it

>until I read the news. I felt so sad that we lost another

>great presence and icon in this lifetime! I feel depressed

>that all of the other audio greats (of my time anyway) are

>getting old and will soon be gone also. Depressing thoughts

>but it is a fact of life and inevitable (for all of us). So

>I do feel bad saying that the Advents and KLH's did not (do

>not) sound as good as the AR's... but facts is facts. The

>older vintage AR's sound smooth with no discernable peaky

>irritating regions that fatigue my ears. For old speaker

>designed back then and still holding up to this day, that's

>talent, skill, dedication, engineering at it's best.


It's good to see your post here, and I think you are correct in your assessment. I'm also glad that you made your statements regarding the sound quality of Advents and KLHs vs. ARs. If you look at how Henry Kloss designed his KLH and Advent speakers, you can (partly) understand why they sound the way they do. He did not rely on anechoic chambers and exotic test equipment; he primarily made adjustments based on "voicing" the speakers subjectively, and this was in contrast to Acoustic Research's heavy reliance on objective-test measurements with anechoic chambers, distortion tests, off-axis testing, and so forth, mandated by researcher Edgar Villchur. Villchur felt that loudspeakers could be measured and quantified, just like microphones, amplifiers and other audio devices. He felt that there was no reason (perhaps other than a lack of skill or knowledge in acoustic measurements) that one could not objectively measure loudspeaker performance. Listening tests -- primarily live-vs.-recorded demonstrations -- would then validate the measurements. And the feeling was that if a speaker "measured well," it would also sound good. I think history has proven this, especially in the literally dozens of highly successful AR live-vs.-recorded concerts conducted through the years. Neither KLH nor Advent ever did a public live-vs.-recorded demonstration, and probably for good reason. Kloss' objectives were well-intentioned, of course, and he did design some remarkably fine and successful loudspeakers. In the end, however, the KLH and Advent loudspeakers probably were not as accurate as the AR counterparts. This is my opinion, of course, and some people might strongly disagree.

When Kloss left AR in 1958, he was determined to design his KLH speakers with AR's great low-bass capabilities; but at the same time, he wanted to capitalize on what he perceived as AR's weakness, the reticent midrange and treble. The "reticence" in AR speakers to which Kloss referred was in fact a form of "accuracy" and "smoothness," yet some listeners on a showroom floor might think that AR speakers were lacking in treble capability, when in fact the speakers were truly peak-free. If you put two speakers side-by-side, and one sounds bright and the other sounds reticent, the first impulse is to say the bright one is the better one. Only after you get it home do you begin to realize that accuracy does not mean brightness, and you often develop "listener fatigue." Bill correctly suggests this in his message, above. One of the reasons that audiophiles love AR speakers so much today is that they are simply very accurate reproducers. They add to and subtract from the original source less than most other speakers. They sound like real music. Yet some people think they are dull-sounding or "laid back," or whatever. Villchur used to say that if you went to a live concert, the sound (spectral balance) was always somewhat "dull" compared to reproduced sound by hifi equipment, and he was exactly right on this point. Villchur's goal was simple: to produce the most accurate loudspeaker design that he could within the current state-of-the-art, and within certain budget restraints. The AR-2 series, AR-4 and AR-4x, etc., did represent a compromise due to cost; the AR-3 represented no compromise, and was the best and most accurate loudspeaker AR knew how to build, without respect to cost. This later applied to the AR-3a, and later to other top-of-the-line AR speakers such as the AR-10Pi and AR-9, etc.

--Tom Tyson

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What a great subject! Much of this has been touched upon before in a thread called "Reading Topic #385 AR-3a vs. Original Large Advent" in the AR section.

But Tom raises some fascinating points about the competing design philosophies that were--and still are!--at odds in the loudspeaker industry.

There were also some very fundamental marketing issues at play in the 1960's-70's AR/Advent saga that had a tremendous impact on the course of events.

I have some vivid first-hand recollections and experiences with many of the individuals involved with those events, so I will get my thoughts together and submit a post on the subject as soon as I can.

Steve F.

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The fundamental reasons for the difference in the sound of Advents and AR’s in the late 60’s-early 70’s era had to do with the very different design philosophies between the two companies.

KLH/Advent/Kloss, as Tom pointed out, relied mostly on subjective measurements and the evaluation of the speaker’s octave-to-octave balance. Henry believed that people responded to sound in broad frequency blocks—octaves—and if the relative balance from one octave to the next were correct, the device, whether it was a speaker, a compact stereo system, a radio, or whatever, would be pleasing and satisfying to the end user.

For the original Large Advent, Henry did the design work on the drivers and enclosure in 1968-1969, but gave an early pre-production prototype to his associate and protégé, Andy Petite (who later changed his name back to his original Greek family name, Andy Kotsatos after he founded Boston Acoustics), along with a 10-band graphic equalizer.

“Here, take this home, and make it sound the way you like it. Mark down the settings of the EQ when you’ve got it right, and then we’ll talk.”

So he did, and then he and Henry compared notes. That’s how the Large Advent was voiced—by Andy getting its octave-to-octave balance to be satisfying and convincing on as wide a range of program material as possible. It was hugely successful, obviously, because the speaker sold extremely well—although there were pure marketing decisions that contributed to the speaker’s success as well, which we’ll explore later.

Henry and Andy also believed in the importance of smooth on-axis response as a starting point for good loudspeakers. They didn’t place much importance on power response at all.

Villchur and Roy Allison believed much more in the power response approach. Very simply stated, power response is the total energy radiated by a speaker, measured in the reverberant field. It is essentially a summation of all the on-and off-axis “frequency responses” of the speaker, including the room reflections. In an energy response measurement, the on-axis response of the speaker is the strongest component of the measurement (because it is the axis on which the speaker puts out its greatest energy), but it is only a part of the total measurement.

Villchur and Allison felt that the general shape, slope, and smoothness of a speaker’s energy response, as measured at the listening position, was the primary determinant of a speaker’s sound. They felt that this could be a known, repeatable, verifiable way to measure loudspeakers: if the energy response measured within a very specific window, the speaker would sound accurate and correct.

Kloss and Kotsatos felt that the speaker’s on-axis response, shaped to a particular octave-by-octave curve, was responsible for how a speaker sounds.

This basic essential difference of opinion still rages today among the industry’s best, most respected designers. You can peruse the pages of the AES compendia and find a substantial measure of evidence to support both sides of the issue.

But the power response people will be quick to point out that a 2-way, large woofer system will have some trouble maintaining a smooth power response even if its on-axis response is flat. The reason for this is that at the upper end of its operating bandwidth, a large woofer will become very directional. That is, its off-axis response will drop off very quickly, even if its on-axis response remains flat. Driver directionality is primarily a function of the relationship of the radiated wavelength to the effective piston diameter of the driver. (Other factors can also affect directionality, such as cone shape, cone stiffness, breakup modes, among others, but the first determinant of directionality is driver size.) So in that frequency range, the speaker’s energy response—the sum of it total radiated output in all directions—will show a marked droop because there is not much off-axis energy coming from the woofer compared to its axial output.

Then, all of a sudden, you have this little tweeter entering the sonic picture. Its dispersion at the low end of its operating range is extremely wide—exactly the opposite of the large, directional woofer from which it has just crossed over. So the power response comes back up and is much stronger in the lower range of the tweeter than it was at the upper end of the woofer. Just using an on-axis measurement technique will not reveal any of this behavior. A 10” 2-way speaker could have a very flat axial response, but will have a ragged energy response. A typical 10-inch 2-way crossing over at 2500Hz to the tweeter will exhibit a droop in its energy response which makes the lower tweeter region seem “hot” by comparison, since the total radiated energy in the 3-4kHz area could be several dB higher than the 1.5-2.5kHz region. The ear may not “hear” the droop in woofer energy; instead, the ear may perceive an emphasis in the lower treble where the tweeter comes in.

The trick for a smooth power response in a 2-way is to use a small enough woofer to maintain reasonable dispersion up to the crossover region. (Or, in order to maintain sufficient cone area for good bass response, two small woofers vertically aligned, to preserve wide dispersion in the horizontal plane, and intelligent crossover design to minimize the inevitable problems that will occur in the vertical plane.) It’s a lot more complicated than that of course, but that’s a starting point. If you have the budget for a three-way, the designer can choose drivers that, among other things, are used in the frequency ranges where they are not directional, thus giving the designer the ability to maintain a smooth power response transition from one driver to the next.

Or, one could simply believe that power response is not all that important, ignore it completely, and go for flat on-axis response, with the feeling that first arrival, on-axis response is what dominates the perceived tonal character of a speaker. Take your pick.

The original Large Advent used a woofer of intentionally never-revealed size. Their literature says it was “built on a 12-inch frame,” but never actually calls it a 12- or 10- or 8-inch woofer. If you asked Henry or you ask Andy today what size it was, a smile is the only answer you’d receive. The Advent was a large-woofer two-way, but it crossed over around 1000Hz, so it’s energy response, as determined by driver size and crossover point, was not that bad. The tweeter was a well-mannered, consistently-made unit without any significant peaks or untoward behavior. There were no 5dB peaks in its off-the-production-line response. It handled power well, had a low enough resonance to allow it to work well with its 1000Hz crossover, and the inner “dome” section helped maintain reasonable dispersion well up into the treble—although not as wide and uniform as AR’s 3/4” dome. Any lower treble emphasis in the Advent was the result of an intentional voicing decision, not faulty driver design or sloppy manufacturing.

Advent’s marketing, advertising, and sales policies were just as instrumental to its success as anything else. The first decision Advent made was that they would only sell the speaker to quality dealers that could properly display and demonstrate the product. They had sort of an unwritten policy of “never less than no.2.” This meant that they wanted—and received—from their dealers a commitment that the Advent line would be AT LEAST the no. 2 speaker line in the store, most often the no. 1 line. In return, Advent guaranteed their dealers that the Advent line would only be selectively distributed (not every dealer on the block would have the line), and the line would follow a “fair trade” policy, whereby dealers would sell the product at agreed-to prices. The Large Advent “Utility” in walnut vinyl was $102 ea; the genuine walnut was $116 ea. The dealers’ profitability with the line was thus assured.

Advent also put considerable effort into creating advertising and literature that emphasized the “homey-folksy-aren’t-we-such-a-cool-company-that-gets-it” impression. If you read Advent material from those days, it had tremendous appeal to the waves of young, college-age baby boomers who were starting to buy stereo equipment by the truckload. “Be sure to Hear the Advents.” It was a great campaign, and it really spoke to its target audience.

AR, in contrast, did everything they could do to sabotage their own sales. They had built their market share in the 50’s through mid-60’s to an astounding 33% by some estimates, but they completely misread the coming changes in the market and resulting shift in buyer demographics. AR’s advertising and literature, from the inception of the company, was based on a clear, logical presentation of their engineering prowess. Acoustic suspension. The dome tweeter. Accurate response curves, all with “third party” testimonials by credible spokespeople, like Louis Armstrong, Herbert von Karajan, Don Ellis, and Woody Herman. This was not the approach that grabbed the attention, fired the imagination, excited the passions of the 19-year old college kid in 1969. Herbert von Karajan??!! While AR was still taking the staid, conservative tack and appealing mainly to middle-aged engineers who listened to classical music, Advent was out actively courting—and winning—the minds and buying dollars of a new generation. AR was “your father’s speaker,” paired with an old Fisher tube receiver. The Advent was today’s product, for a new generation, with a hip, relaxed, with-it attitude.

AR’s sales policies also disastrously missed the mark. Advent regarded their dealers as their business partners, and they worked hard to assure their profitability. If the dealer was profitable, they’d stay in business, and they’d buy more Advent products. Advent correctly recognized that the dealer-manufacturer relationship was an important two-way street. AR, on the other hand, took an almost arrogant, adversarial stance with their dealers. “We build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door if you carry our products. We invented acoustic suspension, and we’re the king of the hill. You need us more than we need you.” AR sold their products to anyone and everyone. Remember Baltimore Stereo Wholesalers? Illinois Audio? There were dozens of mail-order discounters who sold AR for 25% off list price. The local dealer who took the time to display and demonstrate the product had no chance, because the customer would just send away for them and buy it cheaper elsewhere. So if the dealer couldn’t make a profit selling AR products, why should they bother? That’s what led to so many non-AR dealers displaying a pair of AR speakers with the tweeter controls turned down, or with holes drilled in the back of the cabinets to ruin the acoustic seal and wreck their bass response. Compounding the problem at retail was AR’s design goal of wide dispersion at the expense of flat axial response. The 3a would sound particularly dull in a dealer’s showroom, because so much of its high-frequency energy would go off axis, reflecting off the walls, ceiling, and floor, and eventually being absorbed by all the other speakers in the room. (A static speaker in the sound room would do a great job of acting like a sound absorber, with it’s grille cloth, paper woofer, and underlying cabinet insulation soaking up reflected highs like a sponge.)

However, the Advent, with its elevated upper midrange response and more focused-beam dispersion would do much better in a quick retail demo. “See how much better the [incredibly profitable] Advents sound than these over-rated AR’s?” the dealers would say. And so it went. All of my friends, and I mean ALL of them, said the same thing to me after hearing my 2ax’s in my home: “Gee, they didn’t sound like THAT when I heard them at the store compared to the Advents.”

I remember speaking to Roy Allison in 1972 about the problems at retail that AR was having, but he just didn’t seem to quite grasp the situation. Roy has always been a terrific engineer, but he has never been as successful at marketing his products. By the time AR finally upgraded its distribution policies, improved its product cosmetics, and remedied its subdued treble response issues in 1975 with the introduction of the ADD line, it was too late. AR had lost its market lead forever, they had lost the opportunity to sell their products to millions of college-age baby boomers, and they had lost their reputation as the industry leader. Truly outstanding products continued for a short time, such as the AR-9 in 1978, but AR slipped into the “me-too-ness” of just another speaker company by the mid- to late-80’s.

Steve F.

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Guest Barrydor

I read with great interest your synopsis of AR vs. Advent marketing strategy. I was unaware that AR offered their speakers through mail order discounters. This had to be a great mistake, as the last thing you would want to do is upset your retailers. I would think that few people serious about buying speakers would but them through a mail order discounter without hearing them somewhere first.

I was also unaware of dealers "sabotaging" AR speakers to make their line look good. I guess this should not be surprising as unfortunately, there were many "sleazebag" dealers around during this period (including the dealer where I bought my AR-9s, which I still listen to today).

I always thought the Advent was a good speaker, but not a great speaker. You are correct in stating that the Advent speakers had a good "wow" factor, meaning that they sounded great at the retailer the first time you heard them (perhaps even better than the ARs and others at first). They made many people want to take them home.

Perhaps this was deliberate by design. If you took an objective approach and went back to the dealer with some favorite records and listened again, you would probably hear them for what they really were. But by then, many folks probably already had them in the living room thanks to marketing and high pressure salesmen.

As far as AR speakers, I had listened to many of the earlier models over a long time. When it came time to buy my first pair of serious speakers, I was convinced that I would buy AR speakers. This was in 1978, right about the time AR was sold to Teledyne. I seriously considered buying AR-11s or AR-10pi, but when the AR-9 came out, there was no choice for me but to buy them. I still listen to these speakers 26 years later and I think they are great. Few purchases have given me as much and as long a period of enjoyment as these speakers.

When I bought them, my impression was that Teledyne had steered AR toward making a speaker for every person and price point. This was unlike the earlier days when AR made few speaker models, all of which were excellent. I believe that in 1978, there were more than ten different speaker models in the AR line. This did not include the "AR verticals", which were in a separate brochure.

Some of these designs, such as the AR-11, the AR-10pi, the AR-9 and in my opinion, even the AR-18 were legendary, while others were quite forgettable. It seemed that there were several models which were "really this model with a smaller woofer and a slightly cheaper midrange than that model" which did not really appear to fit in the lineup. It seemed that AR Teledyne was determined to make a speaker to please everyone.

In my opinion, the AR-11 was basically an AR-3a with more rugged drivers and a slightly more forward mid/high range presentation. The AR-10pi offered a woofer level control very handy for those who wanted more placement options. The AR-9 is in my opinion the best speaker AR ever made. As I said before, I also had a great deal of respect for the AR-18 used in smaller second systems and I bought several pairs of them.

Right after this period of the ADD speakers, though, it seemed to me that AR began to make some very strange design decisions. The ADD took the legendary AR woofers and halved the free air resonance frequency with a large enclosure in the AR-9, I could never understand why they decided to "water down" the bass response of the design with smaller woofers as they did in the AR-90. I can only surmise that they wanted to sell the speakers to people who had heard about the AR-9 but did not want a speaker quite so large.

It seemed that AR never carried forward with the excellent drivers which were used in the AR-11 and AR-10pi. Instead, they used the AR-9 drivers in several of their subsequent designs. Although these were also excellent drivers, they were designed to handle considerably more power and produce considerably more SPL than the woofers in the AR-90 and AR-91 speakers they were used in. AR seemed to abandon the

drivers they used in the AR-11. The only reason I can think of for this is that AR wanted to lessen their warranty repairs due to midrange and tweeter damage due to overload.

Also, some very strange models started to appear in the line that added a suffix to existing models. For example, the AR-18S appears to be a slightly larger AR-18 with a cone tweeter instead of a dome. Also, I believe AR came out with an AR-9A, which was about the size of an AR-9 with a single down firing woofer, much like the Cerwin-Vega offering which was available at the time.

I distinctly remember seriously auditioning the AR-91 and AR-92 in about 1980 after owning my AR-9s for a couple of years and buying several pairs of AR-11s and AR-18s for friends and relatives. I remember being very disappointed with them because the bass character was considerably different from what I was used to from AR speakers. I remember thinking that these models were the beginning of the end for AR.


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I did, indeed, purchase my first pair of AR-3a apeakers from a discounter in the Washington, DC area - this after hearing them at a high-end shop in PA. I had pretty much decided that I was going to replace my 2ax speakers with the 3a, and I mentioned this to the salesman, who promptly demonstrated the one-and-only pair of 3a's in the store - WITH THE LEVEL CONTROLS TURNED COMPLETELY DOWN! Naturally, he was selling off of the AR speakers, and wanted me to buy God-knows-what brand of huge mark-up crapulance that would have been considered "high end" in 1972. Unfortunately for him, although I was just a college kid, I had heard the 3a many times before, and was quite familiar with its capabilities...not only did that guy lose a speaker sale, but he also eliminated the possibility of my ever buying ANYTHING in his shop!

AR's decision to market to the discount chains may have produced a spike in their short-term sales performance, but it clearly provided an opportunity for a company like Advent, and ultimately left AR in the hands of non-caring discounters (who sold "product"), and at the mercy of "legitimate" old-line hifi dealers, who loved price-protected goods, and didn't mind dissing Acoustic Research speakers.

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Steve's explanation of the design philosophies of AR and Advent is excellent, and there's really not much more that can be said within this context, but I have a couple of additional thoughts:

(1) AR's approach to dispersion and acoutic-power response was essentially to measure this performance in totally reverberrant and, later, what was known as a "semi-reverberrant" chamber; i.e., a test chamber in which half was anechhoic and the other half, basically, was totally reflective. Aside from wanting a wide and smooth acoustic-power-response characteristic in a real listening room, AR needed a quantitative, repeatable method of measurement, and the semi-reverberrant chamber was the answer. The room-measurement technique, alone, was not a practical method for AR to measure power response. Having the chamber was also not unlike having a thousand microphones mounted in different positions around a listening room, and getting the sum of the response curves and then averaging them together into a composite curve. Similarly, Julian Hirsch at one point used to mount microphones in different positions around his litening room/lab, and then average the results for his composite curves -- actually fairly representative of what the speaker was doing in the real room. Clearly put, AR's wide-dispersion, smooth acoustic-power response was a "far-field" speaker design. And once again, when you consider the requirements for accurate reproduction of live music, such as AR's many live-vs.-recorded concerts, the requirment for wide dispersion was paramount. The loudspeaker needs to replicate the spectral balance of the instruments to which it is compared; and if the speaker is directional (a near-field design approach), the spectral balance is disturbed except in a very narrowly-focused region. This does not imply, of course, that the old AR far-field approach to speaker design is better; in all fairness, the trend in recent years has been more in the direction of near-field design with focused, narrow-dispersion designs (some with their 8-inch midrange drivers) touting superior "imaging" and less boundary interference. There are precious-few, if any, high-end speakers made today that are truly wide-dispersion designs, but current designs no longer stress spectral or tonal accuracy so much as "realism" and "definition." You sit up close, and you sit in a sweet spot. Interestingly, devotees of narrow-focus, near-field speakers usually trade speaker once a year or so. They can never seem to be satisfied. Perhaps they are listening to the speakers rather than to the music.

(2) Steve is also quite right about the fair-trade marketing approach that Advent (and KLH) used compared with AR's "laissez-faire" approach to sales and marketing. Whereas AR (primiarily Villchur) felt that superior product design and innovation would bring about excellent magazine reviews (correct) and critical acclaim, along with many non-commercial endorcements from famous users (pre-Teledyne AR never paid any musician or group a fee for being in their ads), customer demand for the product would develop on its own without having dealers "push" the products in a showroom. It was, truly, "build a better mousetrap, and people will beat a path to your door." This concept worked well, as Steve points out, in the years up to the beginning of the Teledyne Advanced Development Division years. Prior to ADD, AR gave audio dealers specific, relatively meager, trade discounts (laughable by today's standards) with even lower discounts yet for less-than-optimal order amounts. Dealers were given no "spiffs," kickbacks, advertising cooperatives or other dealer: again, AR believed in a "hands-off" approach. On the other hand, if a dealer was known to disparage an AR product, a common occurance with a few KLH and Advent dealerships, AR would cut off that dealer immediately. It was not uncommon to see a pair of AR speakers with their level controls turned all the way down, sitting side-by-side with their Advent or KLH counterparts. But some cut-off dealers soon began to "drop ship" AR speakers, so the AR-disparagement practice continued. Although disparagement happened mostly at Advent and KLH dealerships, it was not exclusive to them. I once saw an Altec-Lansing dealer in El Paso with a single AR-3 -- sitting out in the middle of the floor -- level controls turned down, being compared to a pair of high-efficiency A-7 Voice of the Theatre speakers! How ridiculous is this, I thought? You could barely hear the AR-3 when the dealer switched back and forth, and sitting in the middle of the floor it sounded miserable, yet even then it produced more deep bass than the Altecs! Obviously, the Altec product made much more money for the dealer than the AR did, even though demand was much greater for AR-3 than the A-7! The low dealer discounts -- coupled with the fact that AR willingly sold to discounters -- made many dealers unhappy and reluctant to sell their products! Ironically, the discounters got the same dealer discount as the small audio stores, but big volumn allowed them to sell at bigger discounts. In the end, of course, you could say that AR was "customer-focused," and that Advent and KLH were more "dealer-focused."

--Tom Tyson

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>In the end, of course, you could say that AR was "customer-focused," and that Advent and KLH were more "dealer-focused."<

The only way to hear Cambridge Soundworks speakers seems to be either in your home or in Cambridge showrooms.

I've never been in a Cambridge store, so I have no idea if they have anything in their stores other than Cambridge speakers.

How interesting it might be to see AR take a similar approach - that is, control the comparisons, the dealership, the prices.

Of course, the only reason for that to happen would be if a number of AR enthusiasts were to get-together, buy the brand, and revive the wide-dispersion design methodology.

Wonder how much money such a thing would take?

Maybe "AR-Classic". Coke got away with it.


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>Of course, the only reason for that to happen would be if a

>number of AR enthusiasts were to get-together, buy the

>brand, and revive the wide-dispersion design methodology.

That would sure be cool, but so much time has passed.

>Wonder how much money such a thing would take?

Lots, as the brand is doing well now.

I think it has more to do with demand. Consumer tastes in audio seem to have moved toward products based on other design methodologies. Speaker companies seem to have a lot of different aims and objectives now. I guess the test case was the 303 series. It sure is fun to dream about. Imagine where audio would be if the company continued on its original course.

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>I'm sure it does. Uninformed and inexperienced consumers

>will buy whatever is on the shelf.


>But why does anyone buy a Volvo?


Good point Bret! There is a small existing market out there. I think you are exactly are right about the "uninformed" consumers. Perhaps a little old fashioned AR promotion would help. Live vs recorded demos etc. Some good advertising that is cognisant of demographics may also help influence existing tastes. Tastes are of course a demand determinant. I was an economics major; Steve F has a better handle on marketing.

Marketing is a powerful science. To me it seems counterintuitive that people would buy the Bose acoustimass system for any reason other than space constraints.

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>To me it seems counterintuitive that people would buy the Bose acoustimass system for any reason other than space constraints<

I hope I'm not flaming anyone, but I can't see any reason other than some form of TV Mesmerism that would account for someone buying one of those.


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>I could never understand why they decided to "water down" the bass response of the design with smaller woofers as they did in the AR-90. I can only surmise that they wanted to sell the speakers to people who had heard about the AR-9 but did not want a speaker quite so large.<

Price point. Price point. Price point.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe AR was paying a lot for AR9 enclosures. In fact, I seem to remember that AR bankrupted someone over an issue with 9 cabinets. (anyone remember at least a rumor?)

What stunned me is that the 90 should have sounded like the 9 without so much deep bass extension. It didn't. In fact, even though the speakers looked virtually identical in every way but sheer size I thought the 90 sounded very different, not bad, but not like an AR9-Jr. I felt they were more "up-front."

Then I read comments (in the files section here, I think) that said the 90 had a different crossover. "What the heck?" What sense would that make? I don't get it.

To be fair, I only heard 90s twice, maybe 10-30 minutes each exposure. I'm remembering the comments I made at the time rather than the sound. They might have grown on me.


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OK, here goes. Please have some patience as I blather on at great length about corporate marketing strategy in general and the evolution of the US hi-fi market in particular. I promise it will make sense if you grant me the courtesy of staying with me all the way through.

The first thing any consumer products manufacturer has to do in order to be successful is to decide who their customer is. Whether you’re making cameras or skis or consumer electronics or perfume or refrigerators, you have to decide for whom you’re really making your products. This is MUCH harder than it looks on the surface.

“Expensive perfume? Style- and fashion-conscious women 25-49, right?”

“20 cu-ft refrigerators? Upper middle-class homeowners, right?”

Not so fast.

There are several “customers” for a given product, and the manufacturer needs to get them straight in their mind, and orient their products and policies accordingly. Here’s an example of the different layers of customers for electronics products, as seen through a marketing person’s eyes:

1. The Buyer.

The Buyer’s concerns are typically centered around issues like profitability (dealer cost-to-retail markup), payment terms (does the manufacturer give 30 day terms? 60 day? A 3% cash discount if paid within 15 days?), distribution (does the manufacturer sell to every jamoke on the street, or is the line so exclusively distributed that no one’s even heard of it?), advertising allowances (how much will the manufacturer kick in to help the dealer pay for those fancy, expensive full-color flyers you see in the Sunday paper), freight policy (how large does the order have to be in order to qualify for pre-paid freight?), and return policy (can defects go back for credit, or for repair and return only? Will the manufacturer take back slow-selling goods?). These things don’t matter a hoot to the customer that walks into the store, but they can and do greatly influence whether a buyer takes on a line of goods.

2. The Floor Salesperson

The salesperson has a different set of needs than the buyer. Some of their interests overlap, and some don’t at all. Salespeople, whether they’re selling cameras, skis, perfume, appliances, electronics, anything, want the product to demo convincingly for a quick, easy sale, be reliable (so they don’t have the hassle of returns), and pay well (high commission or spiff). Advertising allowances, freight and payment terms, etc. are not necessarily their concern.

3. The End User

This is who outsiders traditionally think of as the manufacturer’s “customer.” Does the product fit the way the customer intends to use it? Does it satisfy a need (whether that need is based on actual use-- like good sound, or enough freezer space—or whether that need is based on social/psychological needs, like status)? Is it a value? Does it fit where it’s intended to be used in the customer’s home (or car or boat, etc.)?

Then there are the peripheral target market groups, like critics and magazine reviewers. Many times, manufacturers will include a feature (like gold-plated bi-amp binding posts, for example) that increases a product’s cost just for the sake of impressing a reviewer, even if the customer doesn’t really benefit from it and has to pay a higher cost as a result.

The end user very well be the predominant customer group for a manufacturer, but the point is this: THE MANUFACTURER BETTER DARN WELL KNOW WHO THEIR TARGET CUSTOMER GROUP IS, OR THEY’RE HEADED FOR DISASTER.

Now, see how all this fits together when looking at the 1960’s-70’s Advent and AR:

Advent correctly read the market and saw the demographics of the coming baby-boomer generation. They thought to themselves, “We better make nice to the dealers—which they did with a profitable selling and distribution policy—we better make sure we have a convincing story and sure-fire demo for the salesperson—which they did—and we better appeal to all those 19 year-olds who want to play their Allman Brothers and EL&P albums—which they did with a hip, earthy advertising campaign. They had all the major customer groups covered.

AR didn’t target the casual college-age end user. They targeted the sophisticated, engineering-minded adult male. They needed the dealer to get their point across. But then AR ticked off their dealer base with unprofitable distribution policies, limited payment terms, very sparse advertising assistance, and very tough, inflexible payment terms. AR wanted the 10% enthusiast group (more about the “10% group” later) as their customer, but they completely failed to recognize that the dealer and floor salesperson were just as important to their success.

Now, here’s how the hi-fi market in the US has changed in the last 20-30 years, and how Bose fits into this new marketing landscape:

In the US, the traditional 2-channel hobbyist component market is vanishing. Vanishing. All you have to do is look at the electronics manufacturer’s product line-ups: Sony, Pioneer, Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo, JVC, and the rest of the receiver companies now offer predominantly home theater equipment. There are no more stereo integrated amplifiers at all. The next level up—the Adcom/Parasound/Rotel/B&K’s of the world—are also home theater-oriented, with as many, if not more, multi-channel power amps as 2-channel. Even the “high end” is dominated by HT product. And look at our audio/music enthusiast magazines: High Fidelity—gone. Audio—gone. Stereo Review—gone (morphed into something called “Sound & Vision.”) Stereophile is hanging on, having changed ownership twice in the past few years. Listener and Sensible Sound are marginal, small volume entities. (Do they even still exist?) You can’t find the British mags anymore. Everything is now centered on home theater, and THAT MARKET IS NOT ENTHUSIAST-DRIVEN. Anything video-oriented is not a hobby industry. It’s a commodity, a signal-delivery appliance, the video equivalent of the toaster oven or air conditioner. There were no hobby-based VCR or projection television magazines after they came on the scene in 1980 (weak, artificially-hyped attempts like “Video” magazine notwithstanding). No one argued about the virtues of helical-scan heads with their friends. People just simply rented tapes, and let the 12:00’s flash away, inglorious tributes to the ignorance and ineptness of the average technology consumer. Someone may say, “Hey! Nice picture!” but they don’t say, “Wow, look at the increased definition of that 3D digital comb filter!” If manufacturers only knew how little their customers actually understood about their products, they’d be shocked.

My two daughters are 20 and 23, and none of their friends, male or female, has the slightest interest in the hobby of “hi fi.” Some of the guys are into car stereo, all of them like music and attend concerts, but home audio is no longer something that interests younger people like it did—and still does—us. The ubiquitous shelf system is now the stereo system of today. A central electronics unit with a 3-disc changer, dual cassettes, and a pair of flashy speakers in plastic housings. They sound decent, work pretty reliably, and take up very little room. They’re easy to connect and convenient to use.

My theory, based on my experience, on “stereo” as an enthusiast hobby is this: Although there will always be a certain group of customers that appreciates fine sound, quality performance, and beautiful aesthetics, for the majority of people, audio/video electronics have become a results-oriented purchase instead of a process-oriented purchase. True enthusiasts in any field enjoy the hands-on aspect of participation. The PROCESS of participation. We built Heath or Knight or Dyna Kits, we bought enclosures from Lafayette Radio and installed Goodmans 15” triaxials, we cut holes in closet doors and mounted EV speakers, we painstakingly aligned our cartridges, cleaned their styli with alcohol and fine horse-hair artists’ paint brushes, we added small paddles and oil troughs to our turntables to damp the tonearms, shot Zero-Stat anti static streams at our records before playing them, filled our speaker stands with lead shot, used special speaker wire, waxed on endlessly to anyone who would listen about how our painstaking selection of this new component would make a night-and-day difference in the sound, and on and on, while our non-audiophile friends and family looked on with a mixture of impatience and incredulity.

But it sure was fun. And for middle-aged veterans like us, it still is.

Other enthusiast hobbies follow the same pattern: Many young males today love working with computers. Magazines like Max PC treat computers the way the old audio magazines treated stereo equipment. There are articles on how to select and assemble the fastest, most powerful machines, comparison tests of hard drives, monitors, soundcards, peripherals, etc. It’s directly analogous to “component” hi fi in our day, and it follows exactly my observation of the “hands-on” hobby. Photography still has a certain enthusiast following. There are still a number of photo aficionados who buy their multiple lenses and SLR camera bodies, separate flash attachments, special film, etc. And there is an ever-increasing amount of information and advice, for amateur and professional alike, about digital imaging.

Then there are the rest of us who just want to take nice snapshots at Uncle Ed’s and Aunt Mary’s 50th anniversary party. For that, a $60.00 Minolta point-and-shoot with auto focus and red-eye reduction is just fine.

The $60.00 Minolta is actually an incredible engineering and manufacturing achievement. There is still a lot of professional satisfaction to be derived from conceiving, designing, producing, and marketing a product that delivers 70% of the “top-end” performance at 20% of the cost. Minolta will (and does!) sell a lot of them, probably more than they ever sold of the expensive SLR’s. And a greater number of people then ever before will get the benefit of an affordable, excellent product that delivers a satisfying result. But it is not a hobbyist piece of equipment. It’s the photographic equivalent of the shelf system. Or the toaster oven.

Bose has long followed a masterful marketing strategy, which is why they’ve been so successful. It really started in 1987 with the introduction of the original AM-5 cubes and subwoofer system. This was the product with which Bose went after the broader market of casual users instead of the smaller group of “hi-fi nuts.” Bose eschews the hobbyist market entirely, and instead, directs all their efforts of product development, marketing, and advertising exclusively to the casual end user. I’ve always referred to the potential customers for hi-fi equipment as being composed of 10% enthusiasts like us, and 90% everyone else. Most people just want decent sound that’s easy to use, easy to place in a room, affordable, and reliable. Period. They don’t want to re-surround a pair of AR-3a woofers.

There are almost 400 brands of speakers in the US market these days. Well, 399 of them beat each other’s brains in vying for the diminishing attention of the 10% enthusiast group, while Bose goes after the other 90%. Bose doesn’t make the product that the dealer wants; they make the product that the casual customer—90% of the market—wants. If the two needs (dealer and customer) coincide, well, that’s fine. If not, the casual customer wins. The reason the Wave Radio is sold direct from Bose isn’t because of some pre-conceived marketing stroke of genius. It’s simply because the retailers didn’t want it; they said they couldn’t sell a $350.00 clock radio. There was “no market” for it.

But Bose, to their everlasting credit, felt otherwise, so they went direct to their chosen target market, the end user. Direct selling is very expensive, contrary to what most people think. The advertising costs, the order processing and distribution costs (ordering and shipping ONE UNIT AT A TIME, instead of 1000 to a retailer’s central warehouse), and the costs of handling returns are tremendous. The manufacturer is lucky to make the same profit as they would with good retail distribution.

But people love the Radio. It’s easy to use, it sounds pretty darn good, and it perfectly fulfills the non-enthusiast’s requirement for good sound in a simple, easy-to-place package. Bose sells tons of them. And Bose’s reputation for “quality sound” becomes part of the mainstream market, because that’s who Bose targeted. Has anyone outside our industry ever heard of Boston Acoustics or Polk or Klipsch or B&W or Definitive Technologies or NHT or Infinity? (“Oh, you mean the car? Yeah, I know them.”) Yet everyone knows Bose, because they go after the 90%. AR in the 60’s and 70’s went after the 10% segment, which required the dealer’s help, but AR cut their own dealers off at the knees. Pretty dumb.

I can see that the electronics industry is moving inexorably in the results-oriented direction, away from the hobbyist. Integrated systems that include a DVD player/recorder, AM/FM tuner, Internet access, multi-channel, equalized amplifiers, mated with a proprietary speaker system that’s unobtrusive, placement-flexible, and good sounding will become the norm. Products will satisfy a purpose—provide a result—with a minimum of influence and customization (other than the decision of size, price, and color) by the end user. The product will still be high quality, well-engineered, nicely built, good-looking stuff. And there will probably always be a few models in the line that appeal to “traditionalists” like us. But the days of arguing in the dorm cafeteria over East Coast vs. West Coast sound or taking my 2ax’s over to my friend’s house to A-B against his Advents are gone for good.

Steve F.

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Guest rickcee

Hi sort of sad to say but your conclusion is probably right on. (end of 'stereo hi fi ') I'd go so far as to say - are todays teens more interested in the new playstation game or the new album by . . .. When I was 18 I didn't have any interest in my parents generational music. (that'd be pre-war. WW2) and I don't see why todays 18 ers should have any interest in the Stones. Or Advent.

sad but true. Happy holidays Rick

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>1. The Buyer. <

You're right, of course. And there's economics that come into play there, as you said. And there's something more insidious: Life, society, et al, have changed.

I used to assemble computers from parts. I saved a bunch of money. I ended-up with a better computer. I knew what was in it and why I put it there.

But now you almost can't afford to do that unless you are an enthusiast looking for the absolute fastest AGP slot and videocard on the market this week. Then the money just makes no difference. Shoot, a $350 close-out at Office Depot looks pretty-good to me.

I'm 43, three kids under 10, a wife, we both work.

Backstreet Boys and other synchopated teenyboppers or "divas" with famous navels are all the rage between programs on TV. There is no substance to the music. Before anyone laughs in my direction about how I didn't appreciate "Frank" and my parents didn't appreciate "Zeppelin," that's not it. I can find value in almost anything, but not that. It's all marketing, no substance.

The radio stations here don't even play those things. We have nothing but "classic rock" stations and "all hits" radio playing the 60s (not much), the 70s, (mostly), the 80s (a little), the 90s (almost none), and the 00s (once in a blue moon).

So my 9 year old son knows Jethro Tull lyrics and Led Zeppelin lyrics and AC/DC and Aerosmith and can usually correctly guess Mussorsky or Saint Seans or Beethoven, but he has no music of "his own."

What he does have is a schedule that requires a Day-Timer. At 9. It's nuts, but he wants to do things his friends do and they do everything.

So a "hobby" is out. Leisure time (weekend, seasonal) is usually spent in front of the TV. Spong Bob seems to be his Beatles.

There is no time for sitting in the sweet spot listening to a full symphony or Led Zeppelin IV.

Now you turn on a CD in the background. Under those circumstances, 20% of the fidelity at 1% of the cost would seem to make sense.

Like computers, audio stuff is evermore appliance-oriented. Does it work? Fine. It quit? Throw it out and get another one.

But, and here is where I could be entirely mistaken, it is my belief that the consumer CAN be educated. Volvo did it. Sony did it with Trinitron. I'm sure there are lots of examples of successfully marketing a "superior, more costly" product.

In the mid and late 70s people would come into the stores where I worked looking for "console" stereos. Aunt Ruby had a Fisher that just sounded great. You and I know that it didn't sound great at all. They were shopping for furniture. Nobody ever A-Bed a console and even a pair of vinyl-clad piezo encrusted Featherweight Audio loudspeakers for them.

I wonder what would have happened if they had?

What's bugging me is: In your analogy a person buys a compact Minolta instead of an SLR and full set of lenses because they don't need or have use for the SLR. Today people are buying audio gear that costs as much or more than the real thing and are getting the results of having spent much less.

Could they be educated? I hope my kids will.

Way too much stuff, way too little time. If music is unimportant, then so is poetry, artwork, literature. . .


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Steve makes an important distinction between the manufacturer's "customers" and the "end users." AR seemed to think of the end user as their customer and the dealer as a less important part of the equation. Perhaps they lacked a little human capital in the marketing field or they discounted the importance of it.

AR also didn't seem to have a good handle on demographics. Their target market would seem to be quite limited in scale. From a sociological standpoint, there is a huge difference between the baby boomers and previous gennerations. For example, baby boomers generally have higher educational attainment and they grew up in an era of post war prosperity. They have a different life experience and a different world view. You would be likely to find more "engineering minded" individuals in the post war genneration, than in the pre war gennerations. Also, the pre war genneration generally was and is, somewhat more conservative with money. How many middle aged men in the 1960's and early 1970's would have thought that $250.00 for one speaker was nuts ? AR didn't seem to see the baby boomers coming on the scene as the big buyers. In contrast, look at how the domestic automakers responded to the emerging youth market of the 60's.

Even if they were to revive the AR/Advent design methodologies as Bret says, they would be doing so within the confinds of the flooded 10% of the market. I think Steve in essentially correct in this assessment.

Having said that, I do not completely accept that gen Xer's and the subsequent genneration are all that different in beliefs and lifestyle than the baby boomers. Baby boomers and younger people are interested in computers, digital imaging and home theater alike. All post war gennerations have lots of vehicle enthusiasts, although they have somewhat different tastes. There may be some hope for HiFi.

Please excuse my poor spelling !

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I agree that we live in an era of disposable appliances. My dad has a 49 year old freezer made by RCA. The damn thing belonged to my grandfather and it's still running, no problems. Nobody buys things today anticipating that kind of service life.

Life does seem to be running at a faster pace these days, but I think that varies from household to household.

I fully agree with the 90%/10% analogy, and to some degree tastes have changed. However, the point about consumer ignorance is very valid. Although simplicity and ease of use no doubt account for much of Bose's sales, there are many people in the 90% group who bought Bose systems believing that they were 100% state of the art.

How could a manufacturer better educate the end users ?

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Clinics, concerts with their gear as back-up, some sales literature that actually says something useful rather than, "We've made great loudspeakers before and these are even better," without saying why.

They could also leave a model on the market long enough for it to get a reputation.

They could offer a history lesson.

They could. . . advertise truthfully.


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>They could also leave a model on the market long enough for

>it to get a reputation.



This is a great observation. The AR-3 was introduced in 1958 and replaced by the 3a in late 1967--9 years as the top of the line offering.

Bose introduced the AM-5 in 1987 and they still have it, and its multi-channel offspring, today. Like 'em or hate 'em, those little cubes are an audio icon at this point. People walk into the stores and say, "Do you have those little speakers by Bosie or Bosé (sic), that, you know go like this?" (The customer makes the twisting motion.) The cubes have made Bose's modern-day reputation.

But justified or not, in today's impatient, instant gratification world, manufacturers seem to feel that Buyers, floorsalespeople, and end users alike all want to see something "new" all the time.

The computer world hasn't helped, with their annual new model intro of faster machines at lower prices. That's what today's customers have been trained to expect.

It's a shame.

Steve F.

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My sister-in-law who couldn't care less about music says "why don't you get those Bose speakers, after all they are the best". The power of advertising/brainwashing. I have gone to listen to the acoustimas systems *am6/am10, etc.) many times and all I still hear are shrill highs, bboomy bass and a very thin midrange. WAF factor is about 100% acceptance however.

Happy holidays to all. This forum is truly a pleasure. All disagreements (that I have read) so far have been handled in a most gentlemanly fashion.

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Guest rickcee

So a curiosity - You seem to have a grasp of 'marketing' - What the heck is Recotrons marketing strategy in buying AR AND Advent - and then reducing AR to generic slop, and essentially destroying Advent ( even in mid '90's the Advent Ruby, Jade were at least decent. And I think the -last gasp- AR 338 - 302 - 303 -- were pre recotron.?)What could Recotron possibly be thinking? hint: brain dead. Anyway Rick

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On this Christmas eve, I cannot help but recall a Christmas of the past when sitting still under the tree was the most joyous of gifts a 14 year old boy could possibly receive. Regally reclined in velvet, cased in a box of brass and walnut, with an engraved pill-box for good measure, a miracle; my first Stanton 681EEE-S type.

In the design philosophy thread we were discussing the demise of hi-fi and it shocked the Dickens out of me to realize that stereo designers have mostly turned to Scrooges; each turning-out product which is their expression of the sentiment, "Baaa, humbug!" toward the faithful reproduction of sound.

So, perhaps a fitting start to our analysis of the hi fidelity marketplace should, this night at least, have begun with the saga of a young couple out to buy their first stereo system -

"The Marleys were [deaf], to begin with. You must remember this, or [everything] that follows will seem wonderous."

Let us hope that, like Scrooge, some speaker designer will this night be visited by three ghosts.


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Hi all, hey I am glad to contribute whenever I can to raise the consiousness level of just how really great and accurate sounding the old vintage AR Inc. speakers are (notice I again said are and not "were"!):-)

First off, I'd like to jump in here (again) to say that I wish everyone a Happy Holiday(s) and coming New Year!

I really like this goldmine of information on all the classic speakers even though I am a diehard AR Inc. enthusiast, I do play around with and listen to any and all classic speakers that I can get my hands on. I've tried quite a few of the famous name brands and models that were touted to be excellent and outstanding during their (and my) time era. And so far, I honestly come back to the AR Inc. sound as being the most neutral and accurate of the bunch. There may be times when other speakers sound better in one situation or other and may sound more impressive, but when it comes to overall listening enjoyment and accuracy on most program material and music, I find the old vintage AR-3a and AR-5 to be the best. Believe it or not I have also found that the modern Sony ES top of the line of receivers drive the older AR-3a's (as well as other speakers) marvelously! Try it! I am not kidding.

Anyway, just wanted to also express my admiration and thanks to all the fine contributors like Steve F. and Tom Tyson and Ken Kantor and Mark Spencer and all the rest of y'all for creating such an enjoyable and informative cyberspace where someone like me can hang out and discuss all the various topics on classic speakers.

My vintage AR speaker collection is growing with time, but I think I have mostly all the models I want now... the AR-2ax (newer version), the AR-5's, the AR-3a's both newer foam surrond ones and older cloth surround ones!, and most recently a very expensive outlay for a pair of AR-LST's which I am listening to right now. It's a toss up between the older AR-3a and the AR-LST as to which one I like better right now. I have not lived long enough with the AR-LST to form a solid opinion on it yet. I have newly refoamed surrounds on its woofers and need to let them loosen up and break in for along time to see how the bass settles in. The AR-3a has very deep octave bass.

The AR-LST does not seem to have this deep sub octave sort of bass output (yet?) and I think it is because of the weird auto transformer and series capacitance they introduced into the crossover network. But then it just may be the new tight foam surrounds have not broken in yet.

BTW, my AR-LST crossover network is slightly different from the schematic shown on this site and what is also shown in the original AR-LST manual. I seem to have a later produced AR-LST (mid 1970's?) with the tweeters and midranges that are "back wired" instead of directly on the front baffle boards. They switched the 5000ufd series capacitance bank and replaced it with one single non-polar 2500ufd paralleled with a 10 ohm resistor. Was this supposed to be an improvement or just a mod so that it would present a less harsh load on some cheaper solid state amps of the time, I wonder. I am wondering if I should put the crossover circuit back to using only a series 5000 ufd value to get the lower octave bass notes through to the woofer better. Any AR-LST experts out there? I know what I am doing technically and engineering wise, but I am just curious to hear if anyone knows why this modification was made to later AR-LST's. Perhaps cost cutting? A 10 ohm resistor is much cheaper than another 2500ufd 60VDC non-polar capacitor for sure.

Anyhow, keep up the good work in these forums... and I will try to contribute my findings and facts (and opinions) too as I can with time.

Please excuse any typos of mine, it's late and I just got back from a Christmas party! :-)

Happy Holidays!

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Ok Steve .. I'm going to let the cat out of the bag here after reading your post. :)

I'm 25. This has surprised some people I have met who previously only knew me from my posts here.

I think there still exist pockets of interest in these classic speakers amongst teenagers through to my peers. What I have found though is that it is the "geeks" among us who really take the time to investigate specifications, history, design theory, etc.

All the guys in my lab are around my age, and anything audio or video related going into our homes is thoroughly researched even though our jobs have nothing to do with audio or video. We just appreciate research and design, because that component is part of our job and in turn who we are.

Hopefully this website is able to spark the interest in these components for younger people who don't have the benefit of having been at the AR live vs. recorded demonstrations, displays, reviews, etc. involving these pioneering brands. I know for certain there are going to be plenty of younger people who get tossed older AR's, Advent's, KLH's, etc., and if they can get them functional once searching for advice on Google, they probably will!


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