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Sam Berger Sam Berger is offline
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Default AR3a vs. JBL-100

On Tuesday, October 19, 1999 at 12:00:00 AM UTC-7, wrote:
(MYanchick) wrote:

Yes it is a relative thing, therefore the only situation in

which the 3a
would prove to have wider dynamics would be when listening to a

generator, pipe organ music, rap, or some weird synthesizer music.

Most music
doesn't contain much information below 50hz relative to the mid-bass,

and highs. Also speakers that go down very low don't necessarily play

loud at
low frequencies, they bottom out.

If you listen to any music today, be it classical, jazz, pop or
whatever, you will quickly find that there are many, many recordings
that contain a great deal of information below 50 Hz. Granted, some
pop recordings don't contain much information below 50 Hz., but many
others do have lot's of energy down to the 30-40 Hz. range. There can
be no question that many classical recordings have information not only
to the 40-Hz. range (typical bass drum fundamental), but all the way
down to 18 Hz. and below (organ recordings and some up-close recorded
Steinway Concert D piano recordings). Jazz and New Age, etc., are full
of powerful deep-bass recordings. A good example is Russ Freeman's
Rippington's *Topaz* recording. Try "Snakedance" and tell me about low
frequency. I could probably drum up 50 other good examples. I also
hasten to add that these are digital recordings I am referring to, not
analog or LP recordings, which typically compress some of the extreme
deep-bass information on some recordings.
There is no basis in fact for your statement about speakers that go low
can't play loud; they bottom out. Where did you get this notion? In
truth, an AR-3a -- which is acoustic suspension -- is much better
protected against "bottoming" out than the L-100 which becomes unloaded
at subsonic frequencies due to its bass-reflex design, yet the AR-3a
can go much lower in frequency than the L100. In fact, the AR-3a can
play much louder at 20, 30 or 40 Hz. than the L100 because it is
capable of reproducing the fundamental frequency without gross
distortion. This is not a criticism of the L100 specifically: it was
not designed to reproduce the lowest frequencies to begin with. It is
more of a midrange/prescence-sort-of design, and it is superb as a
studio monitor for that reason. But the L100 is no match for an AR-3a
at low frequencies. By the same token, the AR-3a is no match for the
L100 at mid frequencies in terms of SPL output.
To be honest you can buy some cheap $300 speaker by NHT or

Paradigm today
and it would be more transparent and accurate than the 3a or the

L100. Modern
speakers the size of an L100 that will play loud and clean like the

L100 are
few and far between though.

You might find some "cheap $300 speaker by NHT or Paradigm today" that
is brighter sounding than the AR-3a, and perhaps better on-axis output
at the highest frequencies than the AR-3a, but that's where it would
end. They would never match the AR-3a in power response, overall
flatness and power bandwidth.
Don't get me wrong. The L100 is a fine speaker -- I have a pair -- but
this speaker system was designed with a different goal in mind than the
AR-3a. It is brighter, more "up front" sounding than the AR-3a, but
lacks the overall smoothness, accuracy and extension of the AR-3a
--Tom Tyson
Sent via
Before you buy.

I love them both and use both ever day with McIntosh amp. The L100's with a MC2300, and the AR3's with a MC2105. The AR3's have been completely restored, the L100's are stock. Both sound great.
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