AR-142, AR SPIRIT 142

Read more on the Acoustic Research AR-142 in our home audio section

Audioreviews2010-11-22 15:56

Made in 1989-1991, 8" woofer, 6" mid, 1" tweeter, 25Hz-25Khz response, 90db sensitivity, 23.5lbs, $799.90 price, the AR Spirit 142 speakers can be refered as the Studio Reference Monitors.

Sound good, full range and deep bass.


David2011-01-16 14:45


I bought the floorstanders 162s in the 1990s.
Very impressive big sound, as they worked comfortably with a philips 22rh521 amp rated at 40 watts pc into 4 ohms, since the 162s were 4ohm and very efficient/sensitive.
Very deep bass, very tight and controlled, beautiful warm midrange and sweet treble. The whole sound was integrated and smooth, very well designed minimalist crossover.

Stereo imaging poor, but then I was using them in a room probably too small for them.

They went on for years, butabout 2 years ago developed the prob of the foam surrounds breking up on the mid and bss drivers. They are currently boxed awaiting tlc poss at Wembley Loudspeakers as I am based in London. Any advice?
I know purists disagree if I regard them as classics, but compared with what cam after, the ar90s and holographic imaging series, I think they were the last of the ars that offered the quality of the previous models.
At the moment using a pair of kef concertos in ace condition with a sansui au717. Retro man?

Anthony Lee2011-02-16 20:57


I have this cracking sound of the bass in one of the 142 and have problems in finding any distributor in Hong Kong to fix it since AR went into liquidation in 94. Any recommendations on how to fix it?

Phil2011-03-02 07:46

Well, another Spirit 162 owner! I have a set I bought here in Canada in 92, they dveloped foam rot, I pulled them to re-surround, and then all 6 drivers were destroyed in a fire. Still have the cabinets, and found AB Tech in Massachusetts that has replacement woofers with AR printed on the rears, with either buytl surrounds or foam. The mids are another story - I'm still waiting to hear what is happening with those.
If you decide not to rebuild yours, do. :)

Phil2011-03-02 07:48

Here is a link - I dealt with Alex Barsotti (A-B) who worked for AR for many years. I'm sure he can source you the 142 drivers. DOn't know if they are the same as the 162's, but they may be.

David2011-03-03 17:23

On the 162s

Having said all that about the sound quality having went from the much smaller AR3 to the AR162 I feel the sound quality was to do with the paper cones and the sealed box design I dont know how re-coning or having butyl surround would affect the liveliness and bass response of these floor standers.
I think a a straightforward refoam would be about as far as I would be prepared to go without assessing whether getting new drivers or other extensive rebuilds would be worth it. You can purchase kits on the market to DIY but I had a quote froma speaker company who would do the 3 per side, 6 drivers altogether, including manually removing from cabinets and replacing and checking other aspects of the finished sound quality, that means for the 162, per speaker 1 8" passive complementary bass unit, 1 8" woofer, 1 5or so" midrange for about £300 which seems good value for a professional job. I fear I could do the refoam DIY but you need practice to do it properly.

Anyway good luck with the search!

Phil2011-03-03 17:44

Are the 8's not both powered in your cabinets? Mine are both active....
Refoaming is actually not that difficult, but get some junker woofers to practice on first.

The 162's are crazy rare, or not lauded as a great speaker. There is so little info out there....
I'm sure I have some original brochures, and even my boxes in storage......

David2011-03-04 14:36

Like all AR owners I looked all over the web for info and info on repairs and I foundthe US is well provided with specialist companies who can tackle just about anything, they have all the history and parts numbers, whereas in the UK trying to get something fixed - properly - is a struggle! I suppose its something to do with the size of the market.

I am fairly inexpert with glue and stuff so I think getting the refoam done by a firm who have had time to practice makes sense.

On resourcing the drivers with butyl surrounds, wouldn't that affect the sound quality, as it was the paper cones and foams that gave the speakers a responsive lively and dynamic quality? Read somewhere that the enclosed cabinet design and coupled woofers led to a lot more stress on surrounds, hence the failures, but I think the foam just rotted anyhow. I never removed the drivers from the cabinet so I suspect you are right and the two 8 inchers are active which would account for that emphatic deep bass.

When I bought the ARs I listened to both those and another manufacturers floorstanders with a metal dome tweeter and they sounded harsh and bright!. The bass wasn't the deciding factor in purchase, though I was already an AR fan, who wasnt in the 70s? or 80s? - it was the incredibly smooth natural treble performance which you could hear in the showroom.

The bass came later when I got them home.

I had a quote for refoaming of the two 8 inch drivers and two 6 inch mids inc removing and refixing into cabinets and carrying out other checks and restoration for £300 which seemed good value to me. Anyway thats the future, at moment the Kef Concertos are fine, but not as lively or musical as the ARs!

Anyway Phil good luck with what looks like a huge project. I think the selection of sensitive dynamic drivers probably with foam surrounds and good tweeters is key to getting back to the original sound.


Anthony Lee2011-03-05 04:01

Go onto You Tube. Type "refoam speaker", you will find it is not that hard to fix it yourself plus you can order spare parts of AR speakers on the internet. I decided to refoam may AR 142 by myself.

Ton2011-03-10 22:52

I have found several tweeter which were used in the AR Spirit models. They are new and never been used.

If you have a problem with these tweeeter I can provide you with new ones.

Just mail me, then I send you a mail with fotos and details


Ton2011-03-10 22:54

You can send your mail to for the AR Spirit tweeters

Ton2011-03-11 22:49

I could help you with original tweeters for several Acoustic Research speaker

The follow original partsnr are availible:

AR 1210099-OA
AR 1210126-OA

If your ara looking for those tweeters mail me

David2011-03-12 00:20

Hi all

Can somebody help me with this first step to checking the serial numbers of the drivers on the 162,

how do you go about remving the acoustic baffle which is one piece. Does it slide upward on inner retaining screws. You need to get this off before you can access the front of the speaker and get to the driver screws.
Or does it just pull off like a grill? I dont want to break it obviously!
Can any one help, perhaps Phil.. you must have worked this out to remove the drivers.


Phil2011-03-13 02:05

Oh, it's actually more simple than that. The grill is actually a sock. That groove that runs around the perimeter of the front of the cabinet is where the elastic is stitched on the grill. I would start at the bottom and firmly pinch the grill cloth on the corner and pull it away from the groove at 90deg. You'll see how it fits in and the gently go around the whole perimeter.
The drivers are held in with screws which are hidden behind a trim ring - just use a small flat blade screwdriver to lift an edge of that rubber ring to expose the screws. Same goes for the mids.
Putting the sock back on is a bunch of fun - use something thin, but dull, and tuck each corner in first and work your way around making sure that is doesn't bunch up or catch, and be very careful not to damage the cloth. Fortunately, the Spirits look awesome without grills, as if they were an afterthought. If you mess them up, leave them off - that are stunning to look at!
I'm actually about to settle in and put all the brand new 162 drivers into the cabs after spending some hours replacing surrounds on some other woofers.

Lenny2011-09-11 06:06

Hi everyone!

I'm sorry if I'm resurrecting a dead thread but I need to know the size of the midrange driver of the Spirit 162. I've been searching around the internet and many say it is a 6.5" driver and not a 6" driver and vice versa. Can someone please enlighten me on this dementia?

I am close to ordering a foam surround however I cannot find the exact values of the foam itself. If the foam surround is 6", is it this:


Thanks for your help!

David2011-09-22 16:04

Hi Lenny

This thread isnt dad at all!

I am sure its the 6.5 inch you are after.

I have a pr of 162s, the cabinets are lovely, and need to refoam the woofers and mids.

I recently bought the tiny AR122 bookshelf spkrs off ebay in the UK, which sport a tweeter and the 6.5 inch acting as a bass unit I suppose in this tiny box.
Also I purchased 8 inch and 6.5 inch refoam kits from SimplySpeakers in the USA, go on their website, and they came OK at reasonable cost. My aim is to "practice" on the 122s first, before going ahead with the big 162s, that is the 6.5inch units. I really think you need to to do a couple on old or expendable drivers first before starting on the main item.

Phil was right about the rubber cosmetic covers that go over the screw fixings for the drivers, they prise off with a screwdriver. But you do have to be ultra gentle as the baffles with the nice black finish are liable to fray and chip with pressure of the screwdriver.

I currently have KEF Concertos and have tried all sort of speakers, but nothing to my ears approaches the sound of the 162s, so they are definitely due for refurbishmnt and pride of place once again in my system.

Once again I am 99% sure they are 6.5inch and NOT 6inch mids.

Let us know how the work is proceeding: especially what fluid you use to get the old glue and foam off the paper cones when preparing for the new foams.


Lenny2011-10-09 01:57

Sorry for my late reply David!

I have repaired the 162s exactly 2 weeks ago! I just kept forgetting to reply to this thread.

You were right. The AR 162s do indeed have a 6.5" midrange.

Surprisingly these speakers didn't go wrong with the repair and these are the first speakers I have ever repaired. Repairing these speakers were a gift for my Dad and these made him very happy :)

I'm not sure if you have already repaired your 162s but here's a tip. The old deteriorated foam on the 8-inch drivers is a bigger hassle to get off than the 6.5 inch mids. I used a chisel, sandpaper and alcohol based washing liquid. Even though this didn't get rid of all the black residue off the driver frame, using sandpaper would create a nice smooth surface. Note, all the sandpaper-ing and chisel-ing created a big mess so be prepared before starting work on them :S

The speaker cones are quite easy to work on as well. Slowly tear the old foam off and using some sand paper, gently rub off the old foam and eventually it's going to be reduced to an extremely thin layer. The edge of the cone should feel slightly rough but there shouldn't be any fragments of old foam sticking out.

Applying the foam surrounds wasn't as scary as I thought either. Using the glue 'SimplySpeakers' supplied, be very careful and try to squeeze a thin layer of glue as close to the outer rim as possible; once the surrounds are placed on top, they tend to squeeze the glue towards the centre which dirties the speaker cone.

After that, wait about 10 minutes while checking the position of the surrounds and hopefully they are centred. Glueing the outer rim of the surrounds is more complicated but isn't too hard. after applying the glue directly under the surrounds onto the frame, repeatedly press down on the cone and release for it to spring up. This is a good way of centreing the cone. Also note that the surrounds are still quite wet and won't stick onto the frame until they dry a little. In the meantime, continue to centre the cone using the 'press-down, spring-up' technique.

I'm not the best at explaining so here's the link to see what I mean:

Note on the cosmetic covers, I found them to be a pain to put on and this was the part I screwed up. What I did was apply glue on the bottom of the speaker gaskets (the cosmetic covers) and place them on to the driver. What this did was to stick the gaskets onto the surrounds itself! I realised this while testing the speakers because they were making a squeaking noise. I also realised that just placing the gaskets on were also quite problematic because they actually limited the movement of the cone/driver. I'm not sure if this impacted the sound but they are only cosmetic add ons and Dad likes to have the cloth on so I left them off.

I haven't had the pleasure of listening to high end speakers and to me, these are the best speakers I have heard. The other comparisons I have access to are 2 speaker sets from JBL: the E60 and LX2003. The ARs are just in a different league when compared to them! I have never heard such sweet highs and the midrange is just so much more apparent than the 4" midrange on the E60.

I'm a headphones kid so the way the sound is presented is very different from speakers. I use Sennheiser HD650s and in truth I find they have more detail in most parts of the spectrum but there's always the bass thump of a drum or the reverberation of an electric guitar that can only be found in a speaker.

Wish you all the best on your speakers Dave!

P.S I'm sorry if there is a great deal of grammatical errors in this post...

Dave2011-10-13 16:16

hi Lenny

your complete and very detailed explaining was totally right.

One thing, I was advised by WillysHiFi in UK to go sparingly on any fluid, and rely on dry scraping or sanding the old glue and foam off.

Done the 6.5 inch foams on the little 122s, and...they sound fantastic!
What's going on, the driver units are quite budget I think, but the sound quality is delightful?

Anyway, the 162s will be next. I am sure that some of the drivers espec the tweeter is a more high end unit, on the whole my experience of the refoaming has been very good. You are right about the cosmetic rubber gaskets, though I think loosely attached they dont really affect the sound.

My two last thoughts are:
you need a quiet couple or more hours and be in a patient frame of mind before you start attaching the foams and opening the glue!

second, how long will it last?


Matt2013-03-11 19:59


This thread is probably closed now, but if it's any help I re-foamed my 142s, bit fiddly but they were fine afterwards with no noticeable affect on the sound.

Got a problem with one of the mid range speakers cutting out + have moved to a flat so was thinking of getting something a bit smaller, but have yet to find anything modern with a comparable sound. I've not heard anything that has the same warm & fantastic mid range. Have any of you ever found a comparable sound in other speakers?



Lenny2013-03-12 09:18

Wow I'm late! This thread is pretty old... and it's been 2 years since I visited here.

Anyway hi Matt, I haven't heard anything like these Spirit 162s (yet), in fact I am still discovering them.

Recently the power amplifier got changed to a much more modern unit and the sound is much improved with the lower midrange being a highlight. The background noise is also greatly reduced but other than that I can't offer much more as I have far greater experience with headphones than speakers. Hopefully someone else lurking around this forum may help you here.

Did you ever get to find out why one of the mid-range drivers started cutting out?


Now in regards to Dave's question (if he's still around), the speakers are well! I haven't pulled back the cloth covers in a while so I can't physically see the state of the foam surrounds, however the sound is still quite intoxicating at times, which I suppose is a good sign :) With the improvements the new power amplifier has brought onto the sound quality, I don't have much of a doubt that the surrounds are still going strong but I expect them to last at least a few more years.

Also your statement of using any fluid sparingly to get rid of any old glue and foam is intriguing. I thought that as long as none of the fluid makes contact with the actual driver and cone, it would definitely be fine so long as it doesn't cause any corrosion to the frame or anything more delicate.

Dave2013-03-12 12:23

Hi Matt and Lenny

I am still around!

Guess what, after all that, the 162s are still in the boxes and I havent got round to the painstaking job of repairing the surrounds, after all there is four total to do. My excuse is I moved house and I just have a limited space now.

However, its a challenge for sometime soon and willl be definitely done.

In the meantime I have a Philips 494 3-way and an older KEF Concerto which is fat and ugly and very difficult to get singing. Alas I miss the ARs the lively sound and ability to rock the room...classical or pop...and the ultimate treble and midrange! As you said you simply cant get this now....I doubt even in the thousands of dollars/£s price range.

In the meantime I also have moved to a pre/power combo, the 1980s Philips 280 pre and 380 power (By the way I have a question about those!)

Getting back to the 162s, or 142s, which I havent heard, but I imagine are similar.

Matt if you have taken time to refoam them and there seems to be an internal fault on one, why not get them checked out, it might just be a loose wire or a driver needs replacing (which you can get on the internet, but replace both, not just one) I would even go as far as to say just wack in a couple of replacements you can buy for perhaps £30 a pair or less. They are standard cone units so not the more difficult to source dome type mids. Check the impedence carefully, and I suppose the power handling of the speaker: this is important I think as the mids are very easy to blow on a speaker. I will look up the names of the supplier I got some replacements from and they work great in another KEF speaker set I have got.

I got as far Lenny as refoaming the 122s (terribly cheap disposable type kiddies speakers)as a dry run for the 162s and did find it a bit fiddly, perhaps that is just me. You do need a whole day and plenty of space, everything to hand, AND NO DISTRACTIONS to do a good job.
The annoying thing is that after refoaming the original rubber vanity gaskets, that press in flush between the drivers and baffle unit, giving it a sleek appearance, dont fit properly anymore! What a shame.

Another tip...protect the tweeter with card and tape (or remove it!) while your are taking out and replacing the low and mids.

What with your post about changing to a better amp it makes me think I had the 162s from new and for half the time I had them they were connected to an early type Pioneer theatre amp, which was really dreadful - the opposite of hi-fi! So in a sense...once I get to it and fix them the best is yet to come! Hang on...I need more space to let them sing, so I might have to move again!

Cheers David

Matt2013-03-13 21:25

Thanks David & Lenny

Wasn't really expecting a response on a post that old - but thanks both of you for replying. Re-foaming - did it about 5 years ago, and also found the new surround wasn't quite the same size but did get it to fit flush in the end.

Driver - is probably a loose connection and easy to fix, but one of the terminal posts has snapped off the other one, will have to see if I can solder it back on without affecting sound. I've had these in storage for a couple of years and listening to them again I love the sound. Main reason for looking for a replacement is to get something that doesn't take up so much space. The bookshelf speakers I demo'd are about 1/5 of the size with an impressive sound for the size- was expecting to compromise on the bass but was surprised at the lack of mid-range compared to the ARs. Testing out a few more this week but if I can't find something as good will stick to the ARs. Even if I do replace them I'll keep them until I get a bigger place.



Dave2013-03-13 21:47

You know Matt, if there was a substitute for the AR I would be telling the world about it. They seemed to know how to put a speaker together for a reasonable price...something which Philips for example NEVER cracked. In particular the great bass and lively sound. Thats why I suggested repair, even any repair, rather than waste money on another different pair you would prob get fed up with quite soon. Me..I regard the speakers I have at the moment as temporary until I get the 162s fixed. When that happens or starts I will get back in touch. All the best. Does anybody know, on a Philips 380 power amp why there are two sets of inputs, one called "Normal" and the other called "Direct"? And what set should I use with the 280 preamp? Does it make any difference?
Cheers David

Pev2015-02-18 07:51

Hello and thanks to members of this forum.
Please can I get some advice on dissembling AR 162'a Spirit series AR's. Tweeters have stopped working and local technician is battling to get these out. Fronts very brittle. Had surrounds on base speakers and midrange rebuilt a few years back. Quirky but much loved part of our home. Tight sound but without treble range, awful.


David2015-02-18 20:05

Hi Pev

I have only dealt with the re-foaming issues of the mids and bass drivers. I can only say that if both tweeters have completely packed up they may have been blown by an overload of some sort, or there might be a protection fuse or linked blow out in the crossover - it would be easy to test for dead tweeters by simple substitution with similar - but as the crossover is a very simple unit in this range I reckon you will have to find replacements for the tweeters.

These will be the soft dome type tweeters so most cheap plastic or metal coated types available now will sound far too bright for the ARs and destroy their nice musical balance.

I have noticed that the Spirit range was a fairly budget late models that split into two halves. The smaller boxes in the range seemed to have very cheap drive units and build quality. The 142 was a three way floor standing design - you need to find out in what other models the tweeter was used in and if possible what was the model number and most important its impedance and power rating - if you need to get new for old - which do exist - from a generic supplier the last two ratings are critical as of course the dimensions. On refitting there has to be an absolutely air tight seal.

There is a US company called AB Tech Services which you could email for advice. They supply a lot of orignal replacement parts. Then their is Madisonsound Speakers for help.

Finally go to Classic Speaker forum website and search for advice on tweeter replacements. I am sure you will get pointed in the direction of equivalent new ones to buy and fit or secondhand replacements.

You will probably end up looking on Ebay!

Good luck!

Pev2015-02-19 17:40

Thanks for the practical advice. Much appreciated. Will follow up.

Pev2015-02-24 14:31

David hi Thanks for the advice so far. Please could I get some feedback. In testing the 162's today, we are getting 2,7 ohms on an ohm test. This is deemed to be very low. Please could you and the members tell me if this abnormal? Still can't get the tweeter out of the brittle surround without cracking this Thanks fpr your responses to date.

David2015-02-24 14:57

Hi Pev
I think when I have time next week I will unpack my AR162s to start the refoaming of the bass driver and bass/passive, I might do the mids as well but I have to get some more foams from Springfield Speakers. In the meantime I have a double page review/tech of the 162s coming through the post. The original spec I am sure was 4-6 ohms, which is quite low by today's standards but my mid sized amp never had problems driving them. I think at 2.8 ohms you are in danger of clipping the amp and causing damage . So be cardful! The plastic rings which can be very carefully prised out of the recess may have perished - but I will get back to you in about a week after I take a look. Good luck.

David2015-02-24 22:38

You've got me eager now to get on with this long overdue job. I refurbished a pair of AR91s a few months ago which I found altogether different beasts! Perhaps that was training for the 162s?

David2015-02-26 13:16

Hi Pev
I have the 1990 test review which says this:

" the systems impedance was one of the lowest we have measured on a speaker, reaching a minimum of 2.9 ohm at 60 Hz (its DC resistance was 2.7 ohms). The impedance varied between 2.9 ohms and 7 ohms over the frequency range between 20 to 1,500 Hz and reached a maximum of 11.5 ohms at 3,500 Hz. Although the system's average, or "typical" impedance was not far from 4 ohms, it might prove a difficult load for some amplifiers. "

So you might be measuring the lowest impedance the system is capable of. It says the results were identical for both speakers. The tweeters are 1 inch treated cloth domed with ferro liquid cooling - I know from the Philips tweeters that are like this, the liquid can dry up in either one or both tweeters so they have to be replaced. So the only option here is to get used replacements on Ebay.

I am going to start working on mine either next week or in a few weeks time as I use the space in the outside lean to to do this and it is still chilly.

Good luck.

Pev2015-02-27 07:20

Thank you very much for the help with this. I will start looking for tweeters.

David 2015-02-28 22:45

Hi Pev
Just found out the small bookshelf AR18 or AR18LS had ferro liquid cooled tweeters - who knows, they might be perfect replacements. There is a pair of these for refurb, the woofers need refoaming. You could take these out. Just an idea.

David2015-03-01 20:53

Hi Prev
the following webpage will give you all the info you need I think

which can be translated back to English of course, good pics too!

Good Luck

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Pev2015-03-13 12:22

Thank you so very much. Very useful information. Still all in bits but getting there.

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Martin2017-08-07 02:24

Hi, nice to hear there are still people talking about AR. I found out a 2nd hand AR Spirit 142 sold locally, but I can't find any info on the speakers' impedance. My amp is Marantz SR5004 only support 6/8 ohm. Worse case I guess it may be 4ohm, then I heard so many people talking about how dangerous to connect 4ohm to 6/9 ohm amp just like shorting the channel. Anyone has any info, please. thanks.

David2017-08-07 10:36

Hi Martin,you're right the Aphenos website which lists virtually all the ARs doesn't have any info on impedance. The AR162s are nominally rated at less than 6 and one of the reviews/tests stated the impedence went to a minimum of less than 3. Nevertheless I would have thought any big powerfully rated amp will have no probs driving these speakers at normal levels - I have used my Sansui 717 with the AR 162s and a pair of 152s (which I think are slightly higher than the rest of the range at 6ohm with a Philips 960 amp. Both amps rated at 80 watts into 8ohm 120 or more into 4 ohm. I would go ahead and get them if,
1, the cabinets are in good cosmetic condition especially if grill cloth/sock is still intact good
2, the drivers (check tweeters) all work, woofer/mid is refoamed or can be refoamed
3, the price is low to reasonable, after all this entire range was a budget product designed to compete in the mid range market with MA and Mission etc.

Cheers David
PS I think the real danger arises when you connect an amp designed for 4 ohm loads to 8 ohm speakers!

Martin2017-08-08 02:14

Thanks, David very much for the quick response. I am very glad the forum still active, let me provide some background.

1) I love AR speakers too with Sansui when i was with my dad back in the 70s 80s. Too bad I forget the model details, just remember everything was huge in size.

2) my goal is try to enjoy the music (classical) at a budget now I have more free time and not too picky. I am very knowledgeable in computer stuff (in work), but very novice in hifi stuff.

3) I have 3 targets: <sorry site written in Chinese as I am now located in Hong Kong), the site is similar to craglists .

a) AR Spirit 142 @ $800 Hong kong dollar . ref:

b) AR28S @ $700 HK dollar. no ohm info too.

c) B&W V204 @ $1500 HKD almost double 142, label shown 4ohm and somehow

as a reference point Sansui AU-717 used one sell about $2800 HK dollars which is about 1/3 to 1/4 macDonald worker monthly salary.

About impedance matching, my understanding is :
1) e.g. 8ohm amp to 4 ohm speaker, the problem is at amp side, since lower impedance can draw more electric current, so Amp will overheat more easily and if impedance is too low, it can short the amp channel circuit or reset. So power dissipation is important.
2) 4 ohm amp to 8 ohm speaker: as you said it is more likely to burn the speaker since too much power if turn up the volume too high.

I checked AU717 : Power output: 85 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo), as you are running it safely with AR 162, 152, I feel more comfortable now with 142.

As 142 seems budget product, does it make sense to get the BW204 instead? They are sold by different sellers unfortunately, so I can't try different models at the same time and buy one. pretty much have to decide which one to go. both AR and BW is very rare in Hong Kong. How about AR28S..

By the way, is there any way to check if it is fake? what I mean is that in Hong Kong now part of China, there are so many many fake products you can't even imagine, from baby milk powder to wine, to electronics all made in China and flood to HK and perhaps worldwide .

cheers, Martin

David2017-08-08 12:23

Hi Martin, looks like the AR28s is a 6 ohm with 8 inch woofer and 1 inch cloth tweeter a bookshelf model. If all original and properly sealed should be quite nice. But my guess you will soon want a beefier set up so a three way system is the way to go. If the 142s are in top condition at a reasonable price go for them. Or wait perhaps for a AR11 or AR12 to turn up, I have a pr of the latter and had to repair the mids which was very fiddly, but they sound great. I can't say about the BWs and there was something about their metal coated tweeters which put me off. Thete's this link for the 1981 28s

It looks like a quality build speaker - better than the AR142 which was a "budget" model. However, the audio results are very good! So I would ask more pics and info about the woofers and tweeters if all original and work, may need refoaming mids and woofers, factor in the price of that and go for the 142s.
I took a LOT of photos of my refurb of the 162s and will post them up when I get time.
I think the advice is more directed at heavy rock and disco volume levels for long periods of time than normal listening.

Martin2017-08-08 13:04

Hi, David, Thanks for the reply. I guess I will keep looking as I am in no hurry to buy one yet. I will keep my eye on any AR11 or AR12 and hopefully someone will sell AR162.. I am trying to minimizing the number of times to change speakers. I would rather save more money to buy a decent more expensive one than buy one cheap then buy another little bit better than .... in the end, may spend more this way. Since now I know 142 is more a budget speakers, I can now focus on researching more and improve my knowledge for a better one to come. Thanks for pointing that out, it save my money, and I can now spend more wiser. Too bad , if I were in the States ( I lived there for 30yrs before going back to HK for my family), there are more 2nd hand speakers sellers from craiglist to ebay to ...., more supply more stuff to choose ... and most importantly sellers are more polite than those in HK which somehow look down on anything used.

David2017-08-08 14:50

The ones to look for are (in this order) AR91#, AR92, AR11#, AR12
# means 12 inch woofer which makes a difference, the others 11" All three way and efficient with amps. Worth waiting!

Martin2017-08-08 15:02

Thanks, I copied that to my notebook.

Martin 2017-09-03 09:20

David, Hi, I had brought the AR142 as the seller willing to reduce the price and surprisingly it is well-maintained. Comparing to other speakers that I checked out, this 30yrs old speakers is pretty good deal, sounds very natural and good bass too , I don't even need a subwoofer. That further increase my love for AR speakers. I will keep looking for AR91, 92, 11, 12 for my next upgrade. Thanks for your help.

Martin 2017-09-03 09:20

David, Hi, I had brought the AR142 as the seller willing to reduce the price and surprisingly it is well-maintained. Comparing to other speakers that I checked out, this 30yrs old speakers is pretty good deal, sounds very natural and good bass too , I don't even need a subwoofer. That further increase my love for AR speakers. I will keep looking for AR91, 92, 11, 12 for my next upgrade. Thanks for your help.

Seb2018-01-10 00:57

I have a set of 162s that I have owned since the early 90s.
I love them. I have refoamed the drivers myself having bought the kit from a Dutch company that charged me 20 pounds approx. When I was refoaming I discovered that on one cabinet I had 2 active bass drivers and on the other only one was driven....
They sound much better now lol...

Seb2018-01-10 00:57

I have a set of 162s that I have owned since the early 90s.
I love them. I have refoamed the drivers myself having bought the kit from a Dutch company that charged me 20 pounds approx. When I was refoaming I discovered that on one cabinet I had 2 active bass drivers and on the other only one was driven....
They sound much better now lol...

David2018-01-10 07:50

Hi Seb, I am the same as you as per AR162s owned from new. Both 8" woofers are driven and coupled. They are very efficient but low Ohm, the review said can go as low as 2 Ohms. Forward involving sound - since I refoamed them don't quite get the tight deep bass as new, but stil very adequate. I did label all the wiring and seal the drivers to get a nice air tight fit, so I suppose its jusr the general ageing of the speakers and new foams. We all get old.I think you an pick up shabby units in the Spirit range secondhand which will cover replacing any tweeter or the 6.5" mids.

Because of the modern slim line design they look good and fit in well with modern homes. Especially if the cabinets and stretchy cloth "sock" is in good condition. Ar_vintage on Ebay do grills and retro cloths and a sock for the AR94 so they might be able to help with that.

The Spirit range was quite differentiated with fairly cheapish AR122 tiny bookshelf at the bottom. I was able to acquire a pair of AR152s almost NOS in their boxes, and these are bi-wired bigger two-ways for stands or shelves. The bass units are "8 but rubber surrounds. Wood veneer and quite heavy. They sound great. I def think the range goes from AR142 - AR152 - AR162 in that order.

Having said that, they clearly are built to a mid price range, but perform beautifully, probably one of the best value lasting hi fi investments I ever made. It's a real pleasure to know other people think the same as most of the discussion and spotlight is on the pre 1980s models, especially just a handful from the 1960s and 1970s.

Cheers David

Martin2018-01-10 08:06

I agree fully with David on "probably one of the best value lasting ". After I got AR142 (162, 152 not available), I did go around some 2nd hand hifi shop audit some other speakers , and seems AR still the best price vs performance.

Ton2018-11-18 20:16

I have a couple AR Tweeters in stock 1210099-AO brandnew.

If some is interested let me know

David Murphy2018-11-19 11:26

Hi Ton

I will check the back of my AR162s as I wrote down all the part numbers on a bit of paper. Are the tweeters boxed NOS and tested and what price/postage would they be?

Ton2018-11-19 19:41

@ David,

The tweeters are brandnew (new old stock) oem packed without box.

Before shipping the tweeter are tested.

Price € 25.00 unit

Shipping by on costprice base



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