Got Acoustic Research AR6 - honky nasal tone?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by duckrabbit, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. duckrabbit

    duckrabbit New Member

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    Anyone with first hand experience with the ARs compared to modern, post 2000 speakers care to post?
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018

     

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  2. ra.ra

    ra.ra Super Member

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    Without an address in your signature, I sort of suspected these might be Euro versions, so I'm guessing either unfinished pine or birch or teak veneer? Anyway, they look great in that room, and we now know where you get your avatar. :)
    Good one.....this cracked me up. I know you are reluctant to dig into these, but I do want to say that I'm not altogether certain that you have original AR woofers, and you may want to remove one (only four screws) to inspect the backside. Pic attached shows a fine pair of Euro AR-6's with teak veneer, slimline cabinet profile, rear-wired tweeter, three-position switch (in lieu of variable pot control) and original AR woofer.
    That was a helluva third period last night. Happy to see the Caps grab the Cup, but this fair-weather Bruins fan wanted the series to stretch one or two more games.

    AR-6 Euro.jpg
     
  3. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Late night Hockey is forgivable. :p

    I agree on the woofer inspection. Just use both hands to guide the screwdriver so you don't do the old cone-punch maneuver. :D
     
  4. ra.ra

    ra.ra Super Member

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    Am embarrassed to say I've been there.:(

    Could the OP please post a close-up pic of the AR-6 grille badge? Thx.

    Pic attached of another original AR-6 woofer - - this one is very early version with large alnico slug magnet and ribbed cone, but all versions I've seen seem to have flat dust caps, and those outer trim 'gaskets' shown on the OP's woofs appear unfamiliar.

    AR-6 Alnico woofer.jpg
     
  5. StimpyWan

    StimpyWan AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    That was the 1st D.C. championship since the '92 Redskins Super Bowl win...! :beerchug:

    Back on point. Those woofers don't look original to me either. :dunno:
     
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  6. duckrabbit

    duckrabbit New Member

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    IMG-1463.JPG

    You could be right. Indeed the woofer, not only the foam, somehow looks newer than the rest. Could that also add to the nasality, for example if the cross over frequency has altered from the original spec?

    Anyway, despite the good looks I think this is not a good pair of AR6s to keep. If I had got them cheaply, refurbishing these could have been a fun project but these would cost me quite a bit (in this part of the world gems like these are not found in local boot sales for 2 bucks). So I won't mess with the screwdriver on these even if that would have been interesting.

    I'm probably returning these today. At least it was a good learning experience.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
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  7. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Not so much the crossover frequency (although that may change too) but a different woofer is not going to have the same response curve as the original.
     
  8. GD70

    GD70 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    That badge looks hand made, not a commercially cut brass badge and silk screened image, OR being a European version, it was originally like this and someone in the past took a marker to it, tried to trace over the existing faded lettering to make the lettering stand out. Can you unscrew the badge to show the back side?
     
  9. spark1

    spark1 Super Member

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    I own a pair of AR-6 speakers. First, I've not noticed the "honkiness" described by the OP. I've always found these little speakers to be very impressive, with a full, rich and punchy sound. In fact, as I've dramatically reduced the number of "vintage" speakers I own and sold most of my old ARs (3, 3a, 5, 4ax and LST2); only the 6s remain - they are perfect for our guest room (smaller space). Well, actually I also kept a pair of AR2a....but for sentimental reasons, rather than sound quality (altho they are certainly not bad sounding).

    Mine have been recapped, and the foams have been replaced.

    The badges on mine are original, and are printed as "AR-6", but the lettering of the six is quite different than the one in the OP's picture, and the badge is rectangular, not square.

    The woofers in mine are original as well, but look different than those pictured by the OP. They are identical to those in the picture posted by ra.ra.

    My conclusion would be that someone has replaced the woofers in the OPs speakers, and by doing so has changed the tonal characteristics of the speakers. Someone probably also made/modified the badges; I've seen pics of the European version of this speaker and if memory serves the badges were the same as the "American" version.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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  10. StimpyWan

    StimpyWan AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You sold LST-2's??? For shame! I've always wanted to hear (and own) a pair. Kind'a want to get the various 10" woofer models, from AR, to match my AR-90's.
     
  11. spark1

    spark1 Super Member

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    I did a major restoration on them and even built custom stands for them. Tried them as my main speakers, and while they were impressive the sound was ultimately not to my liking...so I kept my Vandersteens and sold the ARs.

    For a long time I bought and restored many of the speakers that I drooled over when I was young (and broke!). It was fun, and I've kept a few pairs, but for my tastes I've found other, mostly newer speakers that I prefer. It would have been nice to keep them all, but at the end of the day I wasn't using them, they were taking up a lot of space, and we will be downsizing soon.

    IMG_0035.JPG
     
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  12. StimpyWan

    StimpyWan AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Wow! Those are gorgeous! Beautiful work. And if you don't mind, can you describe their sound quality, and why it didn't appeal to you? Just curious.

    Thanks!

    Edit:

    Seeing your LST-2's makes me want an AR-90/LST-2 hybrid. An AR-90 from the lower mids down, and with LTS-2 tweeter-dome mid pairs on front and each side. Though, with the LST-2 angled sides, for the top section.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  13. spark1

    spark1 Super Member

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    I found them to be somewhat harsh in the midrange, and a bit lacking in the low end. Of course, the low end could have been addressed with good subwoofers, and in fact I did run them with a pair of Vandersteen subs for a while, but in the final analysis they were just too aggressive for my tastes.

    FWIW, I no longer use the Vandersteen (2Ce Signature II) as my mains either. Now I'm running JBL L-112s...which are a bit forward in the midrange but without the harshness. So I've got nothing against a punchy midrange...but the LST2s just didn't sound natural/realistic to me.

    My wife, by the way, loved the look of the LST2s and liked how they sounded much better than I did.

    EDIT: Thanks for the kind comments regarding how they turned out. I was especially proud of the stands, which I left unstained so that a future owner could choose his own. Oddly, the person who bought the speakers did not buy the stands. Instead, I sold them separately to another LST2 owner (in St. Louis, I believe). I still hear occasionally from the fellow who bought the LST2s...he loves them, which is very cool.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
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  14. StimpyWan

    StimpyWan AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    "Harsh in the midrange"? That's surprising. My AR-90's are very revealing, but not harsh. My 58S speakers are even smoother, with better bass, due to their 12" woofers. I wonder if the LST-2 speakers needed a recap? Old AR NPE's can get pretty gritty and distorted sounding, once they get old and start to fail.
     
  15. spark1

    spark1 Super Member

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    The restoration included new crossover caps.

    And of course, speaker preference is highly subjective.
     
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  16. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    ^^^ I think that last line says it all. Although speakers can be relatively heavy or light in various areas, you can measure that, but which part of the spectrum each person prefers is highly personal.
     
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  17. GD70

    GD70 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Completely agree, but I too have not found the mids harsh at all on my LST-2's. Interestingly, you replaced the caps, I left mine original, except for the mod needed for the HiVi tweeter swap.
     
  18. spark1

    spark1 Super Member

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    I ran mine as is, with inductors on HiVi tweets, then updated one and compared to the other...no definitive change. Went ahead and did the second after that.

    Just my personal observations. Did no measurements.

    EDIT...if I remember correctly, I only replaced the two smaller caps. I also experimented with a couple of different values on the tweeter circuit to keep the HiVi tweets from stepping on the mids.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  19. ra.ra

    ra.ra Super Member

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    Man, I really want to like these speakers, too, but there's already at least two issues (woofers, badges) that would make me very suspicious unless these were offered for next-to-free.

    Methinks those poor badges are simply a poor attempt to "copy" an AR-8 badge.

    AR-8 badge.jpg
     
  20. duckrabbit

    duckrabbit New Member

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    That's what I also gathered. So they went back to the seller.

    On the basis of the info here I will look for another pair, hopefully I can try before buy again.
     

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