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AR spirit 162


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I've never heard the Spirit Series.  Sorry.  But, my wife owned the AR 410 TSW speakers.  Not bad.  A more modern, flatter balance than classic AR's.  Good snap and detail, with more high end, but maybe not as neutral as classic AR's either.  Still, I thought they were pretty good.  My wife liked them a lot.  She likes a speaker that sounds exciting, with good bass timbre, and she liked the 410's for that.  Though, that eBay auction is a bit pricey, especially since the speakers will need refoaming.  While NOS is nice, that doesn't mean they're band new, without issue.

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  • 10 months later...

Hi brianw. 

Did you buy them? I spotted them on Ebay. 

I have ALWAYS had them working from new in the 1990s. They were a produced as a higher end budget model in a competitive markets by AR in its last days as a Teledyne subsidiary. 

Verdict. They sound really great if not rock solid audiophile like the iconic AR speakers of the past such as the AR3 AR91 - they are still a joy to listen to and being very efficient can outperform those in smaller systems. They look good as well if the stretch "socjs" are still in good condition. 

Proper AR collectors can be a bit sniffy about later AR models but all the company's music making experience is in them and they are keepers. 

With mine all the bass unit and mid surrounds needed replacing - remember to label the wires  and keep careful note! Also carefully refit gaskets or use sealant ir new strips in order to get an air tight seal. 

Mine have been well used over the years but not abused and aoart from the above have nevwr failed! If a driver does blow - all the drivers in this range can be interchanged so sourcing a replacement tweeter for example from Ebay shouldn't be a problem. 


Cheers David

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HI David

No I never did get the 162's .   We instead ended up with two sets of AR 9  flagship, both in near mint condition, as well as 1 set of AR 91's I would consider excellent like new condition  with the exception of having the surrounds done on all the speaker systems.



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Hi Brian

That's fantastic. Wow! 

Well the AR9s 91 are in a different class.

The 162s pictured from Ebay seemed overpriced for condition anyway. 

Can I ask how do the AR9s perform compared with the AR91s? 

Is there a huge difference apart from the bass which I guess must be impressive? 

Do the AR9s need a big amp (I have a Sansui 717 with my 91s) to get the best out of them? 

Sounds like a first class set up. 

Cheers David 


PS the AR9s are a very rare speaker in the UK. I don't think any of that particular model range were manufactured here and price plus cost of importing restricted us to the smaller models. Even in the U.S. the AR9s are quite rare I expect. 

Edited by david
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Hey David

The Ar 9's are definitely smoother with a lower bottom end, very impressive on those low bass notes, and very flat and honest. The 91's do keep up though, still great bass just not as low.  Running them together they compliment each other very well, becomes quite the sound stage.   Had many a comment that it sounds Live and real !!   The problem for most people is not enough good clean power.  My background in Electronics, sound and music does help a lot.

The AR 9's have been compared side by side with many speakers in the 3000.00 to 15000.00 range, (B&W) Bowers & Wilkens 804 and Nautilus,  Model T Signature from Bryston,  GoldenEar Triton One,  Paradigm,  Vintage JBL., Bostons,  infinity,  RBH T30, Definitive Technology BP7000 and a few more, all in all for the cost I will take the AR 9's re-foamed and with renewed crossover electronics sticking to the original design and parts values.  Some of the newer speakers definitely can do better in certain areas but overall nothing that makes me want  to spend 10K or 20K .  In the end I like the AR 9's after many, many comparisons.    

As far as driving them, with any speaker the more clean power the better.  With the AR 9's and the AR 91's you can use them with a lower powered amp but at much lower listening levels.

I currently drive the AR 9's with a BRYSTON 4B ST power amp about 450 watts per channel into 4 ohms. As well the AR 91's are also driven with a BRYSTON 4B ST .  So in total I have 3 Bryston 4B ST Amps, the third to run my other toys like AR 7 and AR 4xa.   They are drive by a Marantz AV 7005 preamp. I also have the option of feeding a ROTEL 985 MK II power amp. I prefer the Brystons.


 Best Regards




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