Acoustic Research AR9LS owners? Just for thought

I am the new owner of a pair of these fine speakers and they are in mint condition. Drivers redone, wood polished, new foam in lower cab area... all done right. Original owners manual and recipt from purchase in october of 1984. WOW. Please give me some input as to how these should be placed, wired, ran, etc etc. I would love to talk to some other owners. THanks.
I have a pair of AR-11's and always wondered about the AR-9.... the AR-11 can really suck up the power, likes to be fed by a high current dumping amp with 200 watts a side, or even more I think.. for the AR-9 I would think for them to sing you would need a big Krell or similiar, 250 watts minimum I'm thinking.. 500 watts per channel would be best. those twin 11 inch acoustic suspended woofs REALLY need some current! I use Cardas Golden Cross speaker cables which work great. Place back against the wall... or about 3 feet out even. Only think I don't like is the sometimes overwhemingly beamy quality of the mid dome on mine... I have the control set on the lowest setting.
Don't know if this helps... I would love to have a pair of AR-9's.

place them with their backs up against the wall and as wide apart as you can manage. any high power amp of decent quality should do nicely. also, if these dont have the Lsi mod i would highly recommend it.
I had a pair of 9Ls back in the 80's bought them new-powered with a mac 2600-i think was around 500w per channel.I grew up with AR3a the 9's continued with the 3a's impressive low end-but were louder and way more durable-they could pretty much handle all the mac could supply.As much as I enjoyed them I traded for a pair of B&W 802's series 80, and at the time was a big improvment,although few speakers can macth vintage AR low end.
Thanks for the responce guys... I happen to be running these on a yamaha A-1000 integrated amp... auto class A??? 140W a channel I think.. I am assuming this is WAY underpowering the speakers... is there a risk of damage to either component? What amplifier would you recomend for me with a small budget.. ($300) obviously I am looking for used...
Oh, and by the way, I dont have the option of placing them against a wall for now... I do have some space apart.. about 9 or 10 feet apart from center to center... I also would like to mention that these do have the 'i' mod and I wouldnt know how to say what difference it makes although it seems to be the popular vote. MORE RESPONSE PLEASE GUYS!!!
What about a used Threshold amp, in the 150 to 200 watt range? those typically go for around 1500 or even less sometimes.. bullet proof amp, should be a good match I think? Krell KSA 150, Forte 3 (higher watt one), I should think the Mac amp mentioned would be right match also.
140wpc is getting there, not underpowered, but not realizing their full abilities either. that said there should be nothing to prevent you from enjoying them as is.

for $300 you are not likely to find anything significantly more substantial than the A-1000, so i'd recommend putting something aside on a regular basis towards a future purchase, though you might get lucky and find a big amp that fits within your current budget. you might also consider looking for a pair of mono-blocks (that can handle a <4ohm load).
Hey guys I really want you to know how much I appreciate your time and input thus far. As a "newbie" it can be tough for me to feel like a am a part of the community and I know that I have A LOT to learn. Is there any way I can get in touch with a few of you via email for easy conversation and questions? It seems to me that out of the 3 threads(which i am not familiar with doing) I have attempted, that this is the only one that shows on my list of threads. ????? Anyway, so be it, I still want to say thank you to you guys and glad I am a member of the community here.
Sorry to say this but you will never realize the full potential of your speakers when placed out from the wall. Go to Classic Speakers site and read about the design of the AR-9 series. I think 3-4" is max. Most folks have the opposite problem, they cannot place their speakers (other models) far enough out into the room for best performance.

I assume your AR9LS are rated at 4 ohms. How is your Yamaha amp rated? Is the 140 wpc at 8 ohms? What at 4 ohms? A good quality amp should come close to if not actually doubling output into 4 ohms. From my limited experience with AR speakers (none of the 9 series), amplifier choice can be critical to optimize them.

Good luck.
So, why is it so important to have these up againtst the wall? Is this just simply by design? Are my other speakers suffering due to being out from the wall about 16inches.... I dont know much about the yamaha amp... I just cant find any info on it. A-1000 integrated amp... it wasnt super high dollar, but was no cheapie either... I can only assume its pushing more power at 4 ohms. Please give me advice as to placement. I could move them into a bedroom that is 17x13.5 feet ***can you please tell me how a pioneer elite vsx-54tx would fare against the yamaha? It is rated at 100w per channel but might be more in stereo mode and may be a cleaner 200watts at 4 ohms??? Just a thought for you guys to ponder.
FWIW, I believe when the AR's came out 'depth of imaging' was something hi-fi enthusiasts didn't have in their sights yet. That came a few years later with Harry Pearsons focus of 'sound staging' including things like depth of image and air, etc. Designing the speakers system's bass to sound best when the speaker wall was backed up to the wall was no more that designing it to work as most folks were positioning their speakers then. Consider Allisons, Snells, etc. So it follows that if you pull these speakers out into the room to a locus where the speaker is about 25% or more of the room's length from the wall behind it you may loose a lot of bass, but you might, just might, greatly improve the speakers sound stage, i.e. width, height, and depth. And in practice you could add a sub woofer to compensate. Could. Maybe. :-) FWIW.
Agarrison, you need to search the link to Classic Speakers and go to the AR section and find information on the design of the AR-9 series. It all relates to room loading, frequency range of woofers and mid-woofers, and crossover points. Then you may better understand about placement. They will certainly play music out from the wall but you will be sacrificing their intended performance.

Your other speakers may be fine. But they might also improve with greater distance from the front wall. Normally bass information loads up (increases) near room boundaries (wall/floor/ceiling intersections). Placing most speakers too close to walls, and especially corners, results in excess bass loading. Some folks may like this as it produces more apparent bass, but it will not be clean and accurate bass. The AR-9 series was specifically designed to overcome this rule of acoustics.

I'm not familiar with any Yamaha or Pioneer gear so can't help there. My comments on amp power are a general guideline. Many people believe you should get x 1.7 to 2.0 the 8 ohm rating into 4 ohms. Thus a 100 watt amp at 8 ohms should output 170 to 200 watts into 4 ohms. Some amps may not even be fully stable into 4 ohms but any competent design should be.
WOW, thanks for the response guys. Here is another bone to throw at you to chew on. My yamaha has an option on it to run "auto class A" whatever that means. I have done some research on class A power but its confusing to me to say the least. I have noticed no audible difference when i use the class A setting but it does seem to run a lot hotter. Can anyone explain?
What I suspect is occurring - is that most amps operate in class a/b which means that its initial gain is in class a but it switches to class b at a very low levels. This switching from class a to b gives your amp the ability to operate up to a high power output but the switching can cause sonic issues some folks are sensitive to. So enter class A where the amp operates only in class A up to its rated power. No switching distortion, lower power, runs hot(er), and costs a lot of loot. A lot!

What I ASSUME Yamaha has done (remember there is no free lunch - no one is giving pure Class A amps for nothing) is that in 'auto class a' the Yamaha's class a is running up to a higher level before you switch to class b, so if you have efficient speakers you will never encounter the problems switching might intoduce. Its still a Class A/B amp, just smoother at higher power levels.

This is very common in Class A/B amps except most don't usually have an option and the class a power levels vary. Some manufacturers have the level high enuf that they try to pass off the amp by implication as pure Class A.

Hope that helps a bit.
It sure did help Newbee, so would you recomend I just leave the auto class a OFF due to these AR9s not being what you would call efficiant or would you say that the class A power will do better with them. In your opinion
Yep. Especially if you can't hear a difference. That would be the only benefit and you might not be the only person who can't hear it. It is rather subtle.
all the info you need is in the manual. i agree with Newbee, run the Yamaha in Class B mode.
This is just a guess but from what I can tell from your posts it appears that you have the speakers centered on the long wall firing across the short dimension of the room.

I have done that and the result was aways a loss of upper bass -lower mid range energy. While the speaker measured well in the bass the overall sound was cold/bass shy. What I think occurs is that when the speakers are on the short wall there are a lot more reflections/reinforcements and the bass frequencies sound fuller.

Try moving the speakers to the short wall and see what happens.
Your awesome!!!! How many years have you guys been doing this to be able to know these things. IT worked like a charm. THANKS
Ok, so now after listening to music for a while now with this set up... I am noticing that there is still a definate lack of low end power on certain songs and volume levels. Could this be due to the lack of power on my amp? Seems like when I crank up the volume to hit some of that pink floyd long deep bass, there is just too much high and mid range... like the woofers arent getting enough juice. My question is though.. if i get a bigger amp, wouldnt I still suffer from the same problem?
So many questions, such difficult answers.

You stated upfront your speakers are "mint condition" and "done right". First of all I don't believe any speaker will be mint condition after 25 years -- too many parts will age even if unused. Second, done right -- were speaker cones refoamed with original weight materials? crossover parts replaced with correct values? all wiring reconnected in proper phase? None of us here can answer these questions on line. And all that comes before any consideration about a good amplifier match.

So what can you do? My advice is to find an experienced friend or possibly a member of a local audio club to come to your home to help you evaluate your situation. If neither of those answers is likely, find a dealer who sells quality components (not a big box store) and see if they have any staff or can recommend a consultant to help you out. In that case be prepared to pay for their time. In the long run, I think this will bring you to the answers you want much faster than continuing questions here when there are so many unknown factors.

As you found, many 'Goners are willing to help but your situation seems complex.
Yes, I understand what you mean. Well, I dont know who can help me figure out what is right and what is wrong but I want to look into an audio club out here in my area.
Agarrison, keep those AR9's they are going to be worth it; but I really really think you are going to have to get a real he-man ball busting amp in order to get the bass potential out of them. Sorry but the Yamaha amp and the Pioneer amp are not going to cut it.. not trying to demean them but.. when you hear the AR speakers with a big bad current dumping amp, you will know it. The old Infinity Quantums with the watkins woofers had the same problem. Sometimes it is the power amplifier that can make all the difference how a speaker can sound. But take your time getting there, hang on to them and build slowly if you have to.

Thanks for the reply. I have decided that I am going to do my very best to keep the AR9s and the polk SDA. I love both of them and I know exactly what you mean about the amps. I know they are NOT what I need for my speakers and they are actually up for sale on my local craigs list. I have had a few suggestions on amps, can I have your input on the matter? I would like to stay in the 500 dollar and BELOW range. 400 or so would be optimum. I know thats not much to spend on an amp, but used, with the marked as it is maybe you have some suggestions. Thanks
I sent you an email, I have an amp you can demo in your home and see if you like it but ofcourse that trust comes after a call or two :)
Hey guys, any ideas on a friend of mine telling my that the speakers should be towed in and not exactly flat up against the wall? Also, how far apart from each side wall do you think they should be? thanks
Agarrison, again I must ask if you ever went to the Classic Speakers site and read the information on the AR-9 series? There is much good information on these speakers, including design concepts and the resulting set up recommendations.
I did look and its the same info that was in the manual that came with the speakers. I know they say up against a wall and at leaset 2 feet from side walls. What was interesting is they mentioned that in some cases they could be placed across corner and it would result in a large bass boost. I am really thinking about moving some furniture around and putting them in the corners like that just to see how they sound. :)