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AR9 Mids and Tweets


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So I am sitting here listening to my AR9's that I drug back out and inserted into my main system (12x12 room with White Oak 400 amp).  While these, and all the AR's for the most part, always get credit for the famous and glorious 12" woofer, I tell you what, the musicality of the tweeters and midrange drivers in these really are spectacular.  I forget just how good they are if I haven't listened to them in a while.  Very natural, not rolled off in the least.  Instruments just sound real in front of me.  Apparently Teledyne wasn't resting on the reputation of the woofers alone in their design of the 9 and other related speakers in this family.

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Hi David I will agree with you. And I am curious what you were using before for your main speakers, and how would you compare the 9s to modern high end speakers, ps the 9s were always my dream speakers to own

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I roll through numerous speakers now in this my main lounge.  I had stated elsewhere that I recently put the 9's away and sold off the Adcom gear I was using to drive them in biamp configuration in a larger room.  In my lounge I have been using my AR3's and then ADS, both the 910 I have been restoring and the L1590's with the recently Richard So serviced tweets and mids.  So, for all intense purposes each in their own right have highly regarded mids and highs.

All are excellent and make it difficult to decide what speakers to go with so I don't put too much thought into it.  I just change them occasionally.  With the 9's I had moved them from upstairs (yes down stairs by myself!) down to the lounge as we were getting the carpets upstairs cleaned and I had been procrastinating with moving the speakers out anyway.

I really like the 1590's in my lounge.  Initially I thought they may also be too large in a 12x12 room but they really aren't. They punch nicely at all volumes.  Of course that was the same thought I had about the 9's, that they would just be too big.  Maybe not.  Hmmm.

The other new variable in this is the White Oak Phase Linear 400 amp.  It has driven all these speakers with authority and grace thus far without a hint of any noise.  Truly a remarkable reinvention of the famous Phase Linear - and now safe too.

i would say the AR3 lags behind the others in terms of the top end.  Not that it is poor, but that you just don't get the sparkle on occasion that you get from the others.  I don't expect it to though either.  The higher ranges coming out of the 9's are so very realistic and with their large presence in front of me sitting only 8' away I feel like I am part of the group.

Unfortunately my room has too large 4' wide entries.  One behind me and the other to the left that opens up into our foyer.  There is more bass presence in the foyer than in the lounge.

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DavidDru, regarding the ‘WOPL’ mods. Have you found that the PL400 is enough to drive the AR-9’s to realistic levels, or did the amp run out of steam at certain levels with certain music?


I have used two PL-400’s to bi-amp my AR-9’s and felt they actually weren’t enough for high volume sessions.

I’ve been on the “Phoenix” site and asked a few questions. I also spoke with “Ed B.” last week and he had some interesting views about modding these amps, as I do.


The big question is that when you modify a component to such a degree does it mean the original sound quality remains the same, or is it crossly changed? My assumption is that it is changed at least to some degree and therefore it may not be appealing to me.


I have a number of PL400’s that are dormant, I'm just not sure what direction I'd like to take.

I two use PL700’s that Ed B. restored about 7 years ago in my main system so I can take my time in making my mind up as what to do but, I still want to get moving on this.


When I spoke with another of that site's members he suggested if one was going to mod a PL amp, one would be better off modding the PL-700 merely because it has more power and the cost would roughly be about the same for parts. Having a few PL400's is making me second guess my choices.

Roughly pricing-out the cost of suggested mod, it adds up from $500. to $600. for a full mod.


I’m wondering about your thoughts and especially how you feel it sounds. Did you have much experience with the PL-400 sound before you had it modded as comparative starting point?


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Hey Frank.  I will answer as best I can but I did not do the mods to the PL myself.  I purchased it already done by a member of the Phoenix group for $1200.  Amother guy has a couple of the 700's listed on BT on AK and they are going for around $1600-$1800 each.  At $1200 if figured I was doing pretty good considering the price of an old amp plus he $600 in new materials/components plus labor.

The White Oak mods basically result in a new amplifier.  It is my understanding that not much of the old PL remains when done so I am not sure you can relate the old PL sound to the new.  It is dead quiet and runs cool.  Has all the protection circuitry of a modern amp.  The 400 has no trouble pushing the 9's in my smaller room, but I really don't listen at high volumes a lot.  At some point I will either get a 2nd 400 or a 700 just to be safe.  I would imagine 2 of the 400's would be plenty.

For reference i use a tube preamp.

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