Acoustic Research AR18 .. anyone know of them ?

I'm just trying to put together a low budget system for my mother in law and I noticed that she has some AR18s in the house already. Could anyone shed some light on these speakers ... original list price, good/bad and whether they might be worth keeping and perhaps reconditioning.

Thanks Sean
I used to own a pair in the early to mid 80's and they were a decent speaker-I upgraded to Linn Indexes and then to Elipson floor standers. I would think they would be bettered by today's smaller Missions, B&W's or similar budget speakers. Seems to me they were a $250-$300 pair speaker then. I wouldn't pour a lot of money into them.
I think that these were an 8" two way of sealed design if i remember correctly. Nothing to write home about, but a very reasonable little speaker. Obviously, a design of this nature and age would lack deep bass extension. Had the typical AR sound of the day i.e. very tight and quick bass, slight elevation in the warmth region, slightly recessed lower mids, small peak in the upper mids / lower treble, gradual roll-off on the extreme top.

A good combo that should be able to be found quite reasonably might be an older NAD or Proton integrated or receiver with the "bass EQ" feature. This added a bass boost at a much lower frequency than a typical tone control and would help to fill in the last octave or two on these. I think it was centered somewhere between 40 - 60 Hz or so. Since NAD's tend to be somewhat "warm and slow" themselves, try some Kimber 4PR to add some speed and apparent high frequency detail for speaker cables. A used pair of PBJ's from the CD player of your choice might also be in order, depending on the tonal characteristics that it displays. Sean
Thanks for the help. I'll check out their condition. I've purchased a Mission Cyrus 2 amplifier to drive them. This is a very detailed amplifier with great bass drive so it sounds like a good match. As for repairs, if any are needed it sounds like it would be worthwhile so long as the cost doesn't exceed $100 or so.
Try this website if you need info about them. Sean
This is an ancient thread, but I'm adding this in case someone goes looking for info on AR18's today. The next generation after the lenegadry AR7's from the 1970's, I have a pair of these which I've used since 1980. IMO they kick butt in a small to medium sized room, and suit my acoustic tastes perfectly. Not huge in the bass dept but lovely mid to righ range which is bright and clear without being abrasive or overcooked. A friend who visited me some 15 years after I bought them said "I forgot what those things could do." They can handle and punch out a lot of volume using a decent amp, and after 26 years I am getting my rubber surrounds fixed rather than buying a new pair of whatever this year's model is. I have heard floor standing speakers which people paid literally 10 times as much for which sounded inferior to these, with no decent midrange or top end (admittedly in a slightly larger room).

My advice is if you come across a cheap pair of these in working condition, don't even think twice about buying them. If they're dirt cheap, what do you have to lose if I'm wrong?
Thanks Fluke. I refoamed them myself for $25 in the end, and they work fine. I think if you find a pair for under $50 they may be worthwhile, but I wouldn't pay too much more for them.
Sure do-I had two pair-they were my college dorm speakers, way back in the fall of 1978. They were ARs first vinyl-veneer covered speaker. They were slightly smaller than the otherwise identical 17s-which were in turn a cosmetic (and slightly improved) version of the older AR7. All were acoustic suspension, of course-mine worked until 1996. They made various versions of it-improving the efficiency, and other things (mine had foam grills-later versions-'b' and 's' into the very early 1980s-went with nicer cloth grills). If you find some old 1977-1978 magazines, you'll see an ad AR did, putting these speakers next to their large, floor-standing AR9s, and titling them 'Mutt and Jeff.' They were pretty good, played through mostly mid-fi 1970s integrated amps and such-I had them equalized like crazy. Relegated them to bedrooms, backs of cars in parks, etc. Mine held up nice-foam now rotted out-I keep them in my kitchen just as a nostalgia piece. If they still work-enjoy! By the way-the cost was 130.00 a pair, moving up to 145.00 a pair by 1980.
Thanks actung .. if you ever need a spare set of speakers try refoaming them. There are plenty of sites on the internet. I used these guys

For $25 and a couple of hours of time it beats buying some modern junk speakers at one of the electric retailers.
Old thread, but I want add some considerations. I have them, and they are little killer speakers. It's not true they don't get low in bass. They can do a lot of music, with a very deep bass for their size (the today little bass reflex speakers can't simply match their extension and lack of coloration), at least in non-very-large rooms. In my room I don't loose any of the bass, and a 32 Hz sine is still audible. Good mids and gentle highs too. I think they're still worth a lot of consideration. Any time I've tried to change with another little speakers, AR18 won.