Acoustic Research AR-3A, full-range speaker system in enclosure.
Dimensions: 25 by 14 by 11 3/8 inches. Price: $295. Manufacturer: Acoustic Research, Inc., 10 American Drive, Norwood, Mass. 02062
By way of background, the AR-3(and before it, the AR-1) has been regarded as the granddaddy of acoustic or air suspension speaker systems, based on a woofer design that was introduced back in 1954. You have to drive the AR-3A with some what more amplifier power than most speakers take to get it to put out the "big sound," especially in a large or acoustically damped room.
How does an AR-3A compare to an AR-3? The difference may vary from fairly apparent to quite subtle, depending on the program material. Music which is rich in predominantly upper midrange tones and fairly open in texture probably would demonstrate the difference best. The new speaker seems to be free of a certain kind of "calling attention to itself" in this region that the AR-3, by direct comparison, occasionally exhibits. Specifically, the AR-3 has been criticized for emphasizing the lower midrange while, by comparison, depressing the upper midrange. In the AR-3A, we can detect no aural grounds for such criticism.
Check out the rest of the pics after the break.