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Newboy a pair of AR 58LS speakers


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Hi guys

I have recently been given apair of AR 58 speakers they are the UK variant and have a number 00743 ,which I assume is the serial No. the surrounds have perished on both woofers and I do not know the state of the tweeters as yet. I think I can obtain new surrounds from a contact in Holland who sells refurb kits for classic speakers. I would however like your appraisal of these speakers, are they as good a speaker sonicaly as the finish and general engineering standards would suggest. I am ignorant as to the quality and reputation but they look to good to just throw away. My system uses an Audio Research SP 14 preamp driving a pair of Audionote P4 valve monoblocks into a pair of Tannoy Cheviott DC speakers approx 20amps per side. The Tannoys are very sensitive so if I were thinking of using the ARs I would need to know their sensitivity. Finally have they any residual value? Thanking you in anticipation.

JL Platopuss

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From its inception in 1954, AR was known for the excellence of its 12” bookshelf speakers. The AR-1 was followed in 1958 by the AR-3, then by the -3a in 1967.

Major upgrades/improvements followed in 1975 with the AR-10 Pi/11.

The AR-91 12” 3-way of 1980 was a compact floorstander rather than a bookshelf speaker, then the AR-78 LS followed in 1983/4, also more of a compact floorstander.

The AR-58 came out around 1981-2, and originally it was a direct bookshelf version of the AR-91, with the 1 ½” dome midrange and ¾” dome tweeter. This version was very short-lived, however, and was replaced soon thereafter with the AR-58 LS (there may have been an ‘L’ version first, and an ‘LSi’ version later). UK versions often had their own numbering conventions and didn’t necessarily follow the US’s model numbers.

In any event, most versions of the 58 were 12” 3-way speakers with a 4” midrange and a ¾” dome tweeter. The mid and tweeter were often mounted on the same plastic mounting plate, for cosmetic reasons.

It was a very good speaker, if not quite up to the standards of the earlier 12” 3-ways. IMO, well worth restoring, with a very solid bass end, and a lively mid/high end, well-dispersed, and with good power-handling.

If I recall, sensitivity was around 87 dB 1w/1m, so low-to-average. How much power you need depends on the size of your room and your listening habits. 75 solid WPC is a good starting point.

Steve F.

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I have a pair of 58LS and they are well worth the effort of restoring.

The woofer surrounds are available but the surrounds on the 4" mid are probably perished too. They have to be slightly oversized and cut to fit.

They are very similar in sound type to the AR78-98, which in my view are all slightly brighter than the older speakers such as AR3A etc.

As Roy says, not a lot of sale value but worth the effort to get a fine sounding pair of speakers. There was a mod to the crossover if I remember rightly, I think between the LS and LSi, to make the mid/hi less lively.

Excellent speaker nonetheless.

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