Acoustic Research AR1 Floorstanding Speakers

AR1

3 metal driver D'Apolito array w/15 inch sealed sub w/500 watt Sunfire amp

User Reviews (63)

Showing 1-10 of 63  
Britt   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 14, 2004]
Strength:

Footprint, sound, value, BASS, works great with home theater (2 15" powered subs), adjustable gain for the subs. AR Stands behind their warranty!!

Weakness:

If you drive the subs too hard, the surrounds come unglued. I've replaced 5 subs so far. AR has given me no problem at all. The pots for the gain on the subs should have been recessed in the cabinet. Mine got pushed in, (but they still work).

These are great speakers for the money, assuming you didn't pay retail. I own a pair of 315HO's and my dad own's a pair of AR1's. Both pairs of speakers offer very similar sound and tone quality. I'm pretty sure they changed the type of glue that they were using on the sub surrounds. It takes a good bit of clean power to get the most out of them, but you also have to be careful not to overdrive the subs. I've used them twice at two dance parties. The dance room was about 30' X 60'. They filled the rooms completely. They made the toilet seats rattle all the way in the rear of the building, (about 75'away). We had people stopping in thinking a new club had opened up. I use Bose as my surround speakers. They match up pretty good. AR suggests the AR2C for the center and an AR2C for each surrounds. The only other speaker that I've heard that comes close to these were a pair of Klipsch of a similar design. I do not remember the model of the Klipsch, but they retailed for $3200. Accessories4less is a GREAT sompany to deal with! Not only did they sell me great speakers, but have readily and quickly answered any questions that I had. They even went back through their files to find my receipt and send me a copy for warranty purposes, (1.5 years after the sale). I would most definately buy from them again.

Similar Products Used: Onkyo TX-DS989ver2 (receiver) Bose 201 series III (L/R surround & rear surrounds) Bose VCS-10 (center) JVC video equipment w/ digital audio out
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Brett DiMichele   AudioPhile [Jul 05, 2003]
Strength:

Fantastic Imaging,Neutral to Warm Tonal Ballance, Rock Solid Construction, Very Astheticaly Pleasing to my eyes..

Weakness:

Placement takes time, Break In takes time, Hard to remove grills.

Hey Tim D. (AudioPhile) Parts Express has the Midrange drivers from your DaffyTack speakers on clearance for $5.00 each.. Okay now that I am done flaming lets get serious. I don't own the AR1 I own the smaller unpowered brother (AR9) and I can review the Midrange and High Frequency aspects of the AR1 since the drivers are 100% Identical. I have lived with my AR9's for well over two years now and I have all the while upgraded my electronics but haven't even considered replacing the speakers. Too many negative reviews here show just how little the person knows about audio. One reviewer states that ''they fell flat on thier face in my room'' well hello genius if your room is that acousticaly BAD why don't you deal with your lousy room before calling the speaker junk. The truth is that your room bites the big one and you must be too lazy to understand the room interactions at hand. The whole Hi-Res Series is well built from 3/4" MDF that has heavy internal bracing. The cabinent work is very well done, sure the finish would be nice if it was real veneers but that hardly has an effect on the audio. The Crossovers are typical of any mass market speaker (including Def Tech and numerous other companies) they contain ceramic cement resistors, Bennic Caps and small guage inductors. The Crossovers can benefit from much better componentry like 1% Mills Resistors, Foil/Film Inductors and much better Film/Foil Capacitors. The raw midrange drivers are HiVi Research and are phenominal in thier midrange to my ears.. Sure we all have our preferences some like super laid back, some like very forward. I consider my 9's to be neutral bordering on laid back. The Trebbel is not harsh, does not create listener fatigue. The Midrange is clear and very dynamic and presents Winded and Strung instruments with the utmost presence. Male and Female Vocals are vivid and completely believeable. I wouldn't call my room perfect but I have spent lots of time setting up the AR9's and dealing with 1st and 2nd reflections and to my ears imaging is fantastic.. With the D'Appolito arangement you get a very pinpoint precise sound stage but at the same time the foam wave guide helps off axis response so that you still get that wide sound stage.. In other words it is not pinpoint by sacrificing width of the stereo image. Depth is also very good! Are these the best speakers in the world? No.. Is there such a thing? (no...) Are they a phenominal speaker for thier MSRP or lower? (yes) Do they compete with many other offerings in the price range or even higher? (Yes) Will everyone love them? Obviously not.. But it is my beleif that this is your loss not mine. Final comments... Set up your room.. And then set up your speakers RIGHT... Use good components and take care of them like you would any other expensive purchase and they will treat you right for many, many years to come. My Equipment: Parasound Halo P3 Preamp Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-20 DT Tube Mono Block 20 Watt Push/Pull Amps (Midrange and Tweeters) Bob Carver Sunfire 500 Watt Sub Amp (from and ARS-500 Sub...) Technics SL-BD22D Turntable with an Audio Technica AT-331LP Moving Magnet Cartridge Delphi Sky-Fi XM Tuner Panny CV-51 5 Disk DVD/CD Changer

Similar Products Used: You name it...
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Don Young   AudioPhile [Apr 11, 2003]
Strength:

When tuned properly, the AR1's are powerfull on the bottom and realistic and sweet on the mids and top end. The hook up is quick and simple, an overall great listening experience for the money.

Weakness:

I think they would be unbeatable if they only had some output adjustments on the mids and highs.

As with any speakers you must have good signal and power in order to realize the potential of your speakers. With the AR1's, room placement is critical and tricky. I have found them to work well in a larger enviroment. If your serious about your music, you won't mind the time and effort required to tune them to your room.

Similar Products Used: The usual
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Martin Ritchie   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 15, 2002]
Strength:

500 w built-in Subwoofers Small footprint

Weakness:

Very directional (hey, they're towers)

I have had these speakers for over 2 years. I have never had any problems with them. I listened to many speakers, including $5000 + but went with the AR 1s because they sound great deliver ample base and don't take up much room.

Similar Products Used: Infinity JBL Polk
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
William McMillan   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 11, 2002]

Hey Peter Wack. Apparently, you don''t even own a pair of these. How can you give them a bad review. You must be some jealous pud who dislikes AR. I have a pair of 315HO''s (the predessesor to the AR1). I love em and wouldn''t trade them for anything. They rock!!!!!! Maybe my review will even out your pathetic attempt to defame AR.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rod   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 01, 2002]
Strength:

For those who dig bang for buck sound,these beasts dish out dynamics,lows,image well. The great thing is for your money you get 3 things in one package the tower eliminates need for stands,Carver amps one 500watt/2000 momentary peaks in each tower,plus 15"sub in each. Purchase Minimonitors,stands w/spikes,two powered 15"subs and see what the ticket adds up to. I feel those griping and tagging these w/low scores did not have patience or brains or both. Others show their Audiosnobbery,like theres a shortage of that! before you audioboobs read this and cry foul,wait don''t rip your garments and slap ashes on yourself read My take on weaknesses... Mains are fast articulate,transparent. Your amplifier is not called on to move 15"s just 2 5 -1/4mids and tweeter in each tower. This makes many decent amps sound like much more.AR is a large company how many fine speaker makers have went under recently.I imagine Acoustic Research will be around to honor warranties or after warranty needs should they arise(mine run fine )These are designed to focus image so as not to bounce off sidewalls as bad as wide dispersion types this can be a strength in many rooms.Cass "B" Stereophile rated goo

Weakness:

So the Rose has thorns...AR-1 do require long breakins(many,many more costly speaks do to)You need outlets near to each tower supplied cords are short(they however are standard IEC 3pins).You can purchase longer ones in the after market but this does add cost.Towers w/built in subs are alway a bit tricky due to nodes in the room and boundary differences,placement is tricky woofers in or out.They like large rooms better. They like to be out in the room and away from side walls.The Bass is slower than the mains.Though rated as highly sensitive they prefer amps that are not troubled by 4ohm loads.They sound best grills(front)off and they are not easy to remove. I leave bottom portion loose to make this easier.They image nicely but not large and open as many in this price. Sweet spot is small in reality its a one listener speaker once set up and toed in right.Turn off noise is annoying(may be addressed in 01'' or 02'' models.If your room is smaller look into the smaller powered AR towers they make a powered 10,12" all w/ same great top end.The cabinets should be braced better at this price level but most people find these for around 1500.00 so thats less an issue I mean u can spe

In ready many of the previous reviews on the AR-1 towers I noticed most fell in 2 camps. Those who bemoaned it and others whos comments such as good value,nice sound,nice imaging,attains high volume.. I purchased mine after hearing a pair in a largish 25 by 22 l.room slab floor,powered by Bryston 4nrb,and bp 25 preamp,amp combo,aragon cd player.

Similar Products Used: JBL L7,Ininity Composistion II powered towers
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Eric   Casual Listener [Feb 01, 2000]
Strength:

I have never feel so much bass before. Tight and not too boomy bass. Crystal and detailed highs and mids

Weakness:

Do not know yet.

After three phone calls to AR, I finally found a AR dealer 2 hours away from my town. I think it was worth the drive. After listened to all the above speakers which all have built in powered subwoofer, I think only Klipsch and AR1 stand out. The music on them is the most balanced without the bass overshadowing the highs and the mids. But as for the bass, no one could match the AR1 which has most powerfull and deep bass. Bass on Klipsch and AR1 is also tight and not too boomy.

All these speakers are excellent for home theater as front speakers. But I think only Klipsch and AR1 are good for music as well (although not the best). My third choice will be Energy e:XL28p, its bass is also tight and deep, down to 22Hz. There is no need to add external powered subwoofer to AR1 because it is already powerful enough to hurt your heart. For the other speakers, you may want to add one depending on how much your heart can take !

(Note I have not tried AR3 and AR5, they used the same mid-range drivers and same tweeter. Only the bass drive is smaller with less watt, made by same SUN Fire company)

For the highs and the mids, AR1 and Klipsch are both excellent and I can not tell which one is better since I did not listen to them long enough at the stores. You should listen to them on your own to suite your own taste. Make sure you bring your most favourite CD's and DVD's.

The surround speakers for Klipsch seems better to me because it is like bi-polar which could have better sound effect at the rear.

I could not hear any hum noise from the AR1 speakers when the room is quiet. I also turned the volume way up with no audio input to it. If your AR1 is giving any hum noise, I think you should get it fixed.

I know the bass volume control is only a small meter knob at the back, but it is acutally good size to me because I do not have big fingers.

Overall, I must get a pair of AR1 or 315HO for my HT. If anyone knows any good price, please let me know.

If you are looking for a pair of music speakers only, then these powered speakers may not be for you. There are many good music speakers at this retail price. Always try them out first.

I also like to try the Phase Technology Powered PC500s speakers, but the dealer is too far away. I need to take a vacation to visit them !! Their speakers are the most colorful but I have never hear these speakers before.

Similar Products Used: Klipsch KSP400, Engergy e:XL28p, Polk RT2000, Infinity Overture 3, Boston Acoustic VR975.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
FRED   Casual Listener [Mar 15, 2000]
Strength:

great bass - full range from hi - to low pass

I love them - for home theater they sound great. I got my set at www.sounddistributors.com They had a great price. I am adding the surrounds today. Hopefully getting another sub in the future. The acoustic research speakers are clean sounding in both home theater and regualar stereo mode. I Highly reccommend them

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Anthony Von Holten   Audiophile [Mar 13, 2000]
Strength:

Everything

Weakness:

Have found nothing

I have updated my home audio system recently and for the price I don't think I could have done better. I bought a pair of AR1's,AR2-C center,and have yet to update my rears,currently useing Bose 401's. The AR1's are some of the best sounding speakers I've ever heard,and for $1500 a pair are the best for the price. I also bought a Onkyo777 reciever and a Pioneer DV-302D DVD player. The combination of these components is amazing,and the DVD is one of the only one that will play audio,dvd,photo,cd-r,and cd-rw. All in all I have pushed these speakers very hard and have not had a single problem,and would recommend them to anyone looking for a new pair of speakers.

Similar Products Used: Polk RT2000
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tim Durkin   Audiophile [Nov 13, 2000]
Strength:

Good Bass, Good AMPS, you can't lose with Sunfire

Weakness:

The tweeters are weak and will blow constantly and at much less then the 300 watts they claim they will handle. This is good clean power, no distortion. The tweeters will NOT keep up with the rest of the system

The Bass and amplification of these speakers is acceptable. The Sunfire AMPS do the job well. The bass is tight and hits hard when you want it to. The midrange is acceptable but nothing to write home about in any event!

The tweeters are NOT able to keep up with the rest of this speaker system. They blow at very low levels (85watts of carver power to 125/150 burst) and they will die quick and fast. The tweeters in my Bose Bookshelf speakers handles far more highs then these and keeps up with the mids and highs much better. My old outdated Cerwin Vega speakers have better highs and mids then the AR1s and they were much cheaper/lower end then the AR1s.

NOTICE: All their HI-RES speakers use the same mid and high yet claim different power handling capacity, how is this possible with the same drivers??????.......does this sound fishy/crooked to anyone else?

Their support is aweful, they ignore their customers and hide their phone numbers and corporate information very well so as not to deal with unhappy customers. I have registered the domain name acousticresearchsucks.com and will be posting all my documentation and problems. I would not have to resort to this if they didn't hide from their customers so well.

Please don't contact me and tell me that they work fine for you with your 100watt integrated amplifier. I just don't want to hear it. If you have ever hit these with anything approaching 200 watts of clean high quality power, you have already blown the tweeters youself and know what i am talking about!

Similar Products Used: Sony DA90ESG Receiver, Bose Surround Speakers, Infinity Center Channel, Carver TFM-55 AMP
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Showing 1-10 of 63  

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