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AR 303a midrange


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Just a side note: I believe that the AR-303 was actually designed by Bill Bush under Ken Kantor's oversight management. Bill was also responsible for the NHT-1259 woofer that was used in the NHT 3.3.

Substituting the standard 303 midrange with the Dynaudio D-54 would probably be satisfactory, but a crossover change would surely be indicated. The Dynaudio D-54 driver (quite excellent, I'm sure) is quite different from the AR midrange, and the D-54 also has a "semi-horn" appendage on the top plate, which greatly affects the sensitivity throughout much of the pass band as well as the off-axis response, which is significantly reduced at the expense of added output on axis. Overall, the sound quality would be changed, and the spectral balance would be different as well, but the conversion might work perfectly satisfactorily. Acoustic-power response would surely suffer, meaning that the new midrange would detract from the spaciousness of the original design.

While some people prefer a more focused sound and less off-axis output, the AR-303 was designed specifically to be a wide-dispersion speaker, much in the vein of the original AR-3a. The AR-303 is definitely a spacious, three-dimensional-sounding speaker designed for the reverberant field and not necessarily for near-field listening. For this reason, a change in the design of the drivers will also change the character of the speaker as well: perhaps better or worse.

--Tom Tyson

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