Acoustic Research AR-3a Speakers

$1,699

One of the most sought after and best speaker AR made in this era. Second only to the AR3.

Gorgeous wood finish and grill fabric combination makes this the best looking package.

All drivers are in perfect working condition and have been thoroughly tested though the frequency range in our lab.

The woofers have been re-foamed in order to ensure another 20 years of reliable use. The potentiometers were cleaned and are super quiet.

The cabinets are simply stunning. No deep or noticeable scratches anywhere which is pretty rare for a speaker this age. The labels in the back are mostly intact although look a bit rough.

Acoustic Research AR-3a

The AR-3a is a three-way speaker and measures approximately 25” x 14” x 11½ ” inches and weigh about 46lbs each. It´s cabinet is made of real walnut veneer, grills are mostly cream colored. Each speaker has a 12 inch woofer, a dome midrange and a ¾ inch dome tweeter. High and mid-frequencies can be additionally adjusted at the back of each speaker. I can recommend to place the AR-3a´s on small stands, in this case solely to keep them a little cleaner and safer.

The sound of the AR-3a´s is very warm, but clear. Considering the fact that the speakers are nearly 50 years old, their bass is strong too. However, not rock or heavy bass music, but music with classical instruments or in general classical music lets these speakers shine. A big pro for these speakers is the huge variety of replacement parts available. 

R-3a Quote from 1970

A quote from the original Acoustic Research owner´s manual: The Ar-3a is the best home speaker system we know how to make. It has been designed to reproduce music as accurately as present day knowledge of acoustics and electronics permits. In addition to incorporating the 305mm (12in) bass driver with which AR introduced its acoustic suspension systems to home listeners, the AR-3a was the first speaker system to use two miniature hemispherical speakers developed by AR to give better midrange and high-frequency response. The new miniature speakers offer an unprecedented degree of accuracy in their respective ranges. 

The design of such small speakers – one is only 19mm (3/4 in) in diameter – although technically difficult, allows the laws of physics to operate to the listener´s advantage. While larger speakers must beam high frequencies straight forward, AR´s hemispheres instead spread these frequencies through a wide angle, considerably improving the realism of music reproduction for listeners in all parts of the room." (Quote out of my old AR-Manual, 1970ies)

Acoustic Research AR-3a Specifications:

Drive Units: 305 mm (12 in) acoustic suspension woofer, 38 mm (1 1/2 in) midrange hemispherical dome, 199 mm (3/4 in) high-frequency hemispherical dome.

Crossover: 575 Hz, 5000 Hz

Impedance: 4 ohms nominal

Controls: Midrange and high-frequency driver level controls

Amplifier: Up to 100 watts per channel

Size: 356 x 636 x 289 mm deep ( 14 x 25 x 11 3/8 in)

Weight: 24 kg (53 lb)

Woofer resonance: Free air 18 Hz, in enclosure 42 Hz

Volume of enclosure: 48.2 litres (1.7 cu ft)

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