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Acoustic Research/AR Model R receiver...why are these go for so much money? Please educate me...


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I'm wondering about the original AR Model R receiver. I see them going for $700-900. Why are they worth so much money? What am I missing here? Isn't it just an AR integrated amp with an FM section? What is the deal? Thanks!

Note typo in thread title...sorry about that.

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I'm wondering about the original AR Model R receiver. I see them going for $700-900. Why are they worth so much money? What am I missing here? Isn't it just an AR integrated amp with an FM section? What is the deal? Thanks!

Note typo in thread title...sorry about that.

Hi there

I have never touched or heard an AR receiver.

I do own an original AR amplifier and AR FM tuner.

When I had the amplifier I wrote to Roy Allison and he mentioned the tuner would be available in a few months.

I waited with baited breath and bought one of the first ones out their door, serial number 00031 I believe.

It does not have an AM section, same as the receiver, but I have never have regretted buying separates.

The power is adequate and stable for most any reasonable speaker system, past or present.

The FM in stereo was often tested to have less distortion than mono.

There was at least two different tuners produced under the same descriptor, this may also be true with the receiver.

A combination free service manual is available on the net.

I never sought out a receiver, when I bought the amplifier first and the tuner second, it was too late for me to buy one, with the added divorce factor.

Barring a divorce, I would have bought one in a heartbeat because it was AR's and no other reason.

Over time I've seen a few on ebuy and some are trashed, a good find is rare.

A good find is in good working order and in minty visible condition, a difficult find after so many years.

After all this has been said, I would snap up a minty one today, not at so high a price though but maybe in the $250.00 - $300.00 range.

All of the AR electronics will likely need some servicing, a difficult task today obtaining OEM parts and even subs and even more so in the future.

I believe that all of the classic AR products have a cult following.

UPDATED 20110905 5:30 PM

I remember back in the days that having separates was a desirable feature, more expensive but desirable.

Separate chassis and power supplies were added costs.

As a side note, I wonder why Dynaco did not make a PAT-4/ST-120 integrated amp and later maybe add an FM-5 FM section.

Still another would have been a ST-400/PAT-5 Bi-Fet/AF-6 AM-FM receiver, or ST-416 amplifier section. MMMMMMMM

If one item broke down, presumably the AR tuner, you still had an AR amp to use with your turntable.

The amp was tested and peaked out at around 110 watts output per channel, the receiver may have as well.

Rated at a very conservative 60 watts per channel, the amplifier section certainly was a very capable performer.

Silent circuitry turn on and very valid treble and bass contour controls was unheard of at that time at such a reasonable price.

The two different tuners was not what I meant, two different tuner blocks were used in the production of at least the tuner.

Because the receiver came out later maybe they had standardized with the final choice of tuner block throughout it's production.

I do not know why they changed tuner blocks midstream.

I also do not know which tuner block was in the tested model tuner when it had lower stereo distortion than mono.

Usually a mono signal is cleaner than stereo.

There is an AR amp/tuner/receiver service manual in the library for your reference.

A lot of pages but a very nice clean file to copy.

I did not read the service information before I edited this writeup so the manual may have serial numbers posted.

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At one time I used an AR amp for my vintage setup. I liked its clean & simple appearance, and the fact that it was made in the USA by AR. I actually bought 2 and picked the best parts to combine into 1. Took both for service and although one was OK the other was a lost cause. Sold that one as-is for parts. Later added a nice serviced AR tuner and after-market wood cabinet from Vintage-AR (at a very good price btw) and figured I was all set but shortly thereafter found a MAC4100 at a fair price, so the ARs were sold. I'm sure they went to Asia, where collectors prize vintage American h-fi.

They were very nice, but I don't regret selling them. The amp is just 60wpc and everything inside is old, so there could be (WILL be) issues. The Mac is newer, I replaced every bloody capacitor in the thing myself, the company is still in business and my tech is an authorized McIntosh repair center.

Personally, I would not spend $700-$900 for an AR receiver. That's in the range of what I paid for the MAC. And you can probably get the AR amp & tuner as separates for that price or less. Photos of the ones I "had" below--very nice, clean lines.

Bottom line: If you love the AR receiver maybe that's all that counts, but those prices do seem awfully high. And whatever old amp you buy will definitely need to be serviced or at least thoroughly checked by a good tech. Add that to the cost.

Just my 2 cents.




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