• 01-10-2004, 12:01 PM
    Hey Skep, ever biamp your AR9's ?
    I biamped mine as of yesterday and the difference is like night and day.
    The dynamics and bass are much better than before and absolutely no clipping. With one amp, when I would go for the near concert level, I'd get popping which worried me. The guys at arsenal said biamping would cure it and they were right. How I ran out of power and you don't baffles me. I wonder if you underestimate the dynamics of rock and pop music.
    I think if you tried biamping, you might find more about these speakers that you'd like also. Maybe not but I'd sure recommend it. This is another example to me of what power does to a speaker system. They are perfectly able to play louder than I need but more importantly they now have a fullness, depth and punch that I did not have with one amp. I was quite amazed at how they came to life.
    Also found some recordings in my dad's old collection that were of interest to me. Unfortunately, many are cassettes and I don't even have a tape deck anymore except in my truck. I might have to look for one. In the collection is Virgil Fox, Laser Light and some others, Helmut Walcha, about 3 different incl. the bad DG on tape, Hector Olivera, several, Peter Hurford, Diane Bish, Robert Salisbury and probably 4 or 5 other organists. Pretty good haul for going through old junk.
    There was a few CD's too mostly collection types . There is a 4 volume Best of Mozart on Madacy (I think) from Quebec in 1991, have no idea if they are any good. There is a Royal Philarmonic sampler on Durkin Hayes Music, looks like a bunch of excerpts from longer pieces
    of 14 classic composers. Also Beethoven's 9th symphony in D minor by the Tbilisi Symphony (What? Who?) an Excelsior CD from 97. Also a 4 CD set The complete Beethoven Symphonies on Musikforderung/Intersound, by London Philharmonic, London Festival, Bamburg Philharmonic, Ljubljana Radio Symphony (who?), Slovak Philharmonic, and New Philharmonia Orch. of London. Whether this is just a laughable bunch of garbage or if there is some good listening here, I'll have to see. Still missing several CD's, probably stashed in a box somewhere. I guess my sister gave away all his LP's thinking that nobody wanted them (I sorta wanted to wring her neck) but they were probably in rough shape as I played alot of them as a kid on a very old junk stereo and was none too careful. I've got some listening to do.
  • 01-10-2004, 08:09 PM

    have i been asleep? didnt you have 901s and desire for a heil tweet? and a haze linear 400? wasnt i trying to get you to see the sense in direct radiating speakers?

    now you have ARs and parasound? well, happy days! tell me what youve been hearing image-wise.

    and now, biamping. it seems youre confusing power and dynamics. compressed dynamic range music such as rock can clip an amp faster than a short duration crescendo in classical music. oh, they all use compression and limiting but the VU meters dont waver much on loud rock whereas they are continuously fluctuating in most classical. this means the amp has to deliver full power for long durations on the rock and only short duration (most of the time) in classical.

    i can cite some amplifier busters in classical too but long duration crescendo level signals are fewer and far betweener (how do you like THAT word?) in classical.

    did i get everything wrong about your system or did you change quickly?
  • 01-11-2004, 09:05 AM
    Several months back, I added 4, 12 inch Peerles woofers to two pair of 901's and liked how much easier bass came. I did talk about adding Heils but you may have talked me out of it. My son evidently decided to put on a little demonstration while my wife and I were out of town and I came home to two blown voice coils in the Peerless woofers. Wasn't too happy with that. Anyway, this set me to looking for a new set of speakers all together.
    Found a pair of like new AR9's on ebay that were within 100 miles driving distance so I bought them for $735. They were all refoamed, refinished and new grills made about 2 years ago and they do appear as new. I never did have a PL 400, feanor and a couple of other guys have them though. I've had two Parasound HCA 2200 II's for a couple of years when I replaced a pair of Sony ES power amps which I was never fond of. The Parasound amps are much stronger and cleaner than the Sonys and they are excellent when bridged mono or biamped as they are now.
    So, it appears that you have been asleep for a while. As to imaging, the AR's do a nice job for forward firing speakers. Sometimes I think they should have done something different with the woofers (like one forward and one back) but they are certainly capable of some deep bass. They seem best suited to a fairly large room and most of the people who I have spoken with, listen from 12 to 18 feet away. My room is large enough but with my son occupying half of the room, I am only able to get about 8 or 9 feet away. Still, I'm very pleased with them as they sound very natural through most of their range. I occaisionally sense what some say about their treble problems and why Skeptic added new tweeters. On the very highest treble, I sometimes get alittle tinniness but not very often. This is stuff that I probably was missing completely with the 901's.
    I may be confusing dynamics and power but what I mean to say is that they have a more dynamic sound with the added power. Bass, especially is much stronger and tighter. The rest of the range didn't change much except maybe has alittle more punch when asked for. My rantings the other day about never hearing a piano sound so real unless I was playing it myself were with one amp and the only difference now is again alittle more slam. Pipe organ sounds fantastic.
    I've always thought that rock music presented a big challenge to a lot of stereo systems and whether you want to call it dynamic, a need for power or whatever, much of it will clip an amp in many systems, especially when you are going for that "take me there" feeling.
    You know how much I talk about Cat Stevens and I consider his music to be very dynamic. If you don't play it loud or have the power needed for a lot of the effects he uses (which are mostly acoustic or vocal), you won't get it. Tori Amos also has some great dynamics with the piano, her voice and many orchestral instruments. Great stuff and great loud. That Under The Pink vinyl that I was talking about is really a great one and really showcases what vinyl can do. If you don't have at least some sense that a beautiful young redhead is sitting playing the Bosendorfer concert grand, in your listening room, you're missing something.
    I've even found some CD's that are good and even excellent. The most recent one being Virgil Fox, Encores, a Living Stereo, RCA Victor/BMG CD from 1993. The original recording of this is from 1958 and I did not expect it to be as good as it is. There is a very faint tape hiss in the background but so minute that it's not a distraction at all. I get more of a tube hiss when I play vinyl than there is on this. The pipe organ sounds perfect in every way and Mr Fox plays better than anyone I've ever heard. This was recorded at the Riverside Church in New York (biggest pipe organ in NYC) where he was the organist for nearly 40 years. This CD has more variety than most of my Virgil Fox vinyl with Bach, Handel, Boyce, Mulet, Purcell, Schumann and Widor. Some outstanding works and he shows just how good he was on this one. Certainly one of the best in my collection for the pipe organ. Amazing to me that the master tape is from 1958.
  • 01-11-2004, 10:22 AM
    good sunday morning to you bill
    i will suppose that your son is now a eunuch after blowing the peerless woofs. ive got my daughter so she adjusts everybodys eq in their cars and turning down their volume. she also wont touch the turntable even though she owns vinyl. i have even tried to instruct her but she is too wary.
    AR9s should be pretty good, possibly designed by roy allison or ken kantor. it was about that time (when they were new) that i got my dynaco a25s which handily outperformed the ar4Xs. thats certainly at the opposite end of the spectrum, eh?

    biamping is a great idea, most all professional speakers are designed for that so they can play louder. the biggest bugaboo is the crossover. getting a seemless match is difficult. are the 9s made for biamping or did you have to surgerize them?

    i guess the PL400 was being discussed by others at the same time period as when we were discussing the 901s. the haze appellation is well deserved, the parasounds are far and away the better amps.

    if you contact this guy, paul squillo, he has a source for some large heil type drivers:


    he worked at a stereo shop here in the sf valley and has since moved up to moorpark, about 30 miles from here, and sells there and has developed some speakers for theater and sound reinforcement use. they sound pretty good and i heard them with live dan hicks playing from them. click on the equipment news button and see a description.

    rock music is certainly complex and difficult for stereos to dig out the details from the density of information. and maintaining clarity at sustained loud levels is hard work for most electronics.

    cat sevens is one of my faves too, izitso is a standout. for a while during the 70s and 80s, you couldnt go to a stereo shop without hearing his records. the tori will come to me next week, AFTER the paycheck. check out white stripes-elephant. i get my new vinyl at circuitcity.com and they dont charge delivery either. some of it is available at tower and virgin locally but the ease of having ti delivered is nice sometimes.

    as for organ on cd, the jean guillou version of pictures of an exhibitionist on dorian label is probably right up your alley.


    this was done in 1988 and is apparently still available. the reviewers went nutz over it when it came out.

    thats enough for now dontcha think?
  • 01-12-2004, 08:38 AM
    well, good Monday morning to you
    Had a bout with the flu and Sunday was a sleepy blur.
    Well, my son is not a eunuch yet but it's been threatened more than once. 22 years old and still at home, sometimes helpful but sometimes drives me nuts. He's a bass freak like many young people and seems to have no problem pushing a stereo beyond it's limits. He is actually forbidden to touch my stereo but tends to forget this when I'm not around. He has his own stereo with my old Crown setup, a pair of 901's and the two Peerless 12's that are left. CD's only but capable of making a great deal of noise.
    I can't remember who I read had designed the AR9's but they were their big boys in the late 70's and weigh 135 lbs each. AR3's and 4's were very popular but a different animal. I think the AR9's are a very fine loudspeaker even by todays standards. They claim a frequency range of 18hz to 30khz and who am I to argue. I get crystal clarity througout the range and have no complaints. Since I biamped, they got even better and yes, they were designed for this with two sets of binding posts. When you remove the factory straps between the binding posts, one amp supplies the woofers and the other amp supplies the rest. The results are fantastic.
    Some complain about the complicated nature of a 4 way crossover network and getting it right. I've never been a big fan of crossovers but as long as it sounds like this, I'm not complaining. The ever so slight tinniness in the highest treble (which is rarely heard by me anyway) could probably be solved by tweeter replacement. Skeptic installed 3 Audax tweeters in each cabinet. I wonder what a ribbon might do. I'm not in a big hurry, I could listen to them for a very long time just the way that they are.
    Cat Stevens has at least some great music on every album of his that I've ever heard. Picking a favorite would be difficult but since I have 4 different copies of Tea For The Tillerman, it could be my favorite. Sad Lisa is one of the prettiest songs I've ever heard. Another present to myself was a 1970 Cat Stevens album, The World of Cat Stevens, Decca Vinyl, which I had never seen before. Wouldn't be one of my favorites but still some good music. Another was Back to Earth which I had never owned before. Catch Bull At Four, Buddah And The Chocolate Box and Izitso all have some great music.
    I've not heard of Jean Guillou but I'll check it out. I've been listening to lot's of pipe organ lately and I'll still say that I've never heard better than Virgil Fox. A couple of other artists were downright lousy. Helmut Walcha sounded good but I got a bad LP, bummer.
    OK, enough, I could babble forever.