Well, I got my AR9's home and gave them a good workout. I am quite pleased with their overall sound. They seem quite accurate from top to bottom, certainly more so than my old speaker systems. They are more directional than what I am used to and to me have what I would consider to be a rather narrow focus. I don't have them positioned ideally and need to work on that aspect.
I went from listening to 40 speakers with 750wpc 8 ohm down to 10 speakers and 385wpc 4 ohm so it's bound to be different. I appreciate the accuracy the most. I would not call it a huge difference from where I was but at least an improvement in the accuracy. Most notable difference is cleaner, clearer treble. I will work on proper positioning, obstructions and room acoustics to fine tune for some more listening.
Overall, they seem to be very nice speakers.
Question for Skeptic or anyone in the know. These speakers are rated for 400wpc at 4 ohms, correct? Does this mean that they could handle 400 watts of class A power? That would be around 2,000 watts of AB power. Just wondering. I would consider using my Parasound amps in dual mono mode again as they sounded incredible that way. They'd be 1000 watts each in 4 ohm. I don't want to hurt the AR9's but am wondering what this might do for them or to them.
You are not getting more watts than what comes out of the wall...so frankly I don't see most of these high watt totals being remoely plausible. Most every speaker does not need anything remotely close to 100 watts anyway unless you want to intentionally damage your hearing.
I would post this identical question on the speaker asylum forum at www.audioasylum.com No registering and much better layout than this place. You will have more people there as well.
Congrats on your new speakers. I also get suspicious when people claim X speaker to be the best in the world. Theoretically the best speaker should be a very tiny speaker. A "point source" or a single pinpoint in space. Some of this does not apply to panels like electrostats.
Very large speakers have inherent disadvantages, though of course there are exceptions and they generally oprovide the room filling aspect and "thunder" which most of us enjoy.
400 watts is 400 watts, class A, class B, class of 42. A watt is a rate of doing work. 400 watts is roughly 1/2 horsepower. This rating is based on the woofers each being able to handle 200 watts and being perfectly matched. Exceeding 400 watts applied continuously DOES risk damage but 400 watts will produce an enormous amount of sound. As you will discover, the bass potential of these speakers when properly positioned and the music contains bass tones is awesome. However, the speaker cannot handle anything like 400 watts or 200 watts at higher frequencies. All of the other drivers can handle less. Still, in a home, these speakers can produce very loud undistorted sound levels. Either your Crown or Parasound amplifier should be able to do them justice.
I must admit that I didn't like mine all that much when I first got them. they were good but now they seem much better. Breaking in? Hardly. Adding additional tweeters, and properly equalizing them makes all the difference IMO. By the way, you might visit Classic Speaker pages at http://www.arsenal.net/speakers/ . You can get a lot of information about AR9 including the schematic of the crossover network and the discussion pages will put you in touch with among other people, the guys who designed them. BTW, you can also download the instruction manual there too.
I moved the speakers and also rearranged some furniture and obstructions in the room, the difference was nothing short of amazing.
Whatever narrowness or focus that I was experiencing is gone. Their ability to fill the room with sound was apparent right away. I would not say that it's perfect yet as I feel that I'm missing alittle bass, just because of the positioning but the overall sound is fantastic.
Last night, we listened to some vinyl, Bach, Steve Miller, Cat Stevens, Heart, Pink Floyd and Rush. These albums were all chosen for their certain effects and the fact that they are all in perfect condition. All I can say is Wow. I can't say that I've ever heard better anywhere. Three other listeners agreed that they had never heard better. I'm not going to jump up on a soapbox and try to say that I have the best amplifier, speakers, cartridge or whatever in the world but I can say that I was completely blown away.
I have never heard so much from a home stereo. After each good song, all I could say was "awesome, or phenomenal". I was pretty speechless. The fluidity of these speakers from top to bottom is really something to behold. I'm not sure whether I'd attempt any mods of these speakers as I can't imagine that I was missing much of anything. I'm a happy SOB.
PS. Skep, thanks for the heads up on power, one Parasound seems to be plenty and it should with 385wpc 4 ohm, right near the limit of the speaker system which is where I like to be. I'll probably fiddle around with some other amps just for grins but the Parasound put on a helluva performance. Truly an amazing experience.