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Stereophile AR-3a Review Stumbles, Pitches Forward, Falls, And Then Just Lies There, Stone Dead


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I'd say that's a pretty good hunch. How does he like the Advents? Haven't read mine yet.

It's hard to take much from Dudley's piece, because there's no there, there.

30% of the article was devoted to the amusing tale of how he acquired his Advents, and 30% to an exposition on replacing foam surrounds, while another chunk merely reviewed Gordon Holt's original take on the same speaker - Dudley was (sort of) at odds with Holt, as was Henry Kloss in the original "manufacturer's comments" section, and as he would certainly (if still living), now be with Dudley.

Reading between the lines, it's clear that Art certainly did not approach this "restoration" with anywhere near the respect that he had previously shown in in his Thorens TD-124 turntable re-build. He does demonstrate the typically passive-agressive writing style that is ubiquitous among High End reviewers, in that he's able to compliment the Advent as a relative value against the current $500-$1K loudspeaker offerings, but still manages to state that the speaker has a distinct "papery sound", whatever the hell that means.

Anyway, it's amusing to re-read Holt, who pretty much began the "subjective reviewer" concept, while birthing a whole lexicon of nonsensical audiophile jargon - just try *not* to smile when Gordon mentions the KLH Nine, Altec A-7, and Advents in the same breath...there was no there, there, then, either:

"As for the Advents versus the top-of-the-line speakers, we can only say that you may prefer them to a pair of KLH Nines or Altec A-7s, or you may not. By all the accepted standard of evaluation (excepting sensitivity, where the Altecs excel), the Advents are as accurate reproducers of sound as any top-line system we have heard. But we must face the fact that accuracy is no guarantee of personal satisfaction with a loudspeaker, and that many people value transparency above lack of coloration and find that a closer or more distant-sounding speaker conveys a more convincing illusion of realism than one that is completely neutral. We feel, though, that listeners who have no particular preference for a certain aspect of or kind of reproduced sound will be as happy with the Advents as with anything costing up to five times as much. Maybe even more so."

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HEY, now that we're in The Kitchen, how'd the JBL 1400, the current implementation of Speaker Dave's pioneering 1980 design, do there? ;)

For what it's worth, Larry Greenhill, the reviewer, seemed to like them, with the usual disclaimers that would prevent his being painted into any sort of corner.

In the Measurements section, JA professed suspicion of horn-loaded designs, but was "not surprised" when the system spec'd well.

Best part of the review? The final paragraph, where LG basically writes the same thing, twice:

"The JBL has the smooth frequency response, the bass extension, the wide soundstaging and the unique ability to render voices that I've heard only from far more expensive loudspeakers. Even with a retail price of $11,500/pair, the 1400 Array's width of soundstage, wide dynamic range, and accuracy in reproducing male voices - all as good as I've heard in my listening room from other more expensive floorstanders - makes them an audiophile bargain."

Nice editing, Atkinson.

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