IMO, you need French speakers if you want floorstanders with that amp. I would highly recommend Triangle speakers. I don't think the AR Comp would be able to handle 100v2s effectively (I used to own a pair). Arthur
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Thanks, ABall. Can you be more specific re: why you believe the Triangles would be particularly well suited to the ARC? I've read some good reviews but the reviews have also stated the speakers can be very fussy re: room placement, and I have very little flexibility in that dept. Any other speakers you can think of that might work well? What characteristics affect driveability other than an 8ohm rating?
Thought the Complete is rated at only 50W it is beefy with a steep slope to the volume pot.
I use one on 6 ohm 86db efficient floorstanding speakers. At very high volume levels it starts to compress the music a little but sounds wonderful at normal volume levels.
The physical size of a speaker will not dictate teh type of amplifier you can use. The efficiency, however, can limit the choice of amplifier. An 86db efficient speaker should not logicaly work all that well with a 50W amplifier. In this case it does though.
Room size, seating distance from speakers, and location of speakers within a room are also big factors.
The Complete sounds very good with a number of speakers. Audition, audition, audition.
NHT 2.5i's, Von Schweikert VR-1, VR-2, Spendor anything, and a whole host of other mid-fi speakers. I have even heard it on Klipsch K-horns.
If you have teh ability to bring potential conteders home for audition it is worth the effort. Otherwise take your amp to the store and insist on demoing with it.
IMO it is best to find your speaker before the amp and then get what you need to power the speaker. If you like the Paradigm Ref. Studio 100V2 then get that speaker and worry about finding the appropriate amplifier later. in the meantime use the Complete as the "A" in A&B comparrisons. You may find (as have I) that the little Complete can best some more $$$ and brutish amplifiers.
I've owned the ARC 4 times and have it on the way again for the fifth time. I've loved it with Revel m20's, B&W CDM 1 NT's, and believe it or not, Martin Logan Areius i speakers. I will try it with my current choice, the paradigm studio 20 v3. I agree you have to be smart about speaker choice, but it will uncommonly drive speakers that you think it wouldn't.
The reason I'm going back to it again is because I heard it paired with some JM Labs Electra 906 monitors. Awesome.
I am very happy with my Complete running Soliloquy 5.0 monitors. I've had it at very high levels and have heard some hardness and compression, but not to point of clipping. I do use rather lively and bass-solid cables, and have felt with some cables that I was a bit limited.
I have also run several of the Soliloquy floorstanders with it on audition and it could run and control them quite well.
S7, no version 1. The amp tends to congeal at rather moderate levels, I should give you more specifics, but I will not be home to take out my sound level meter tonight. Sounds fine on small jazz and folk and female vocal, OK on moderate progrock like Steely Dan. Useless on rock like Ten Years After, Hendrix, or Led Zep. Leave your Clash records at home. YMMV
I had an ARC as a back up to my back up amp. This was not to say that I did not use it, but rather I made the decision to simply my life. I actually set it up as a second system with Penaudio Charisma/Chara (87 db 4ohm load) in our family room/kitchen. It handled anything I threw at it. So my recommedation is to find 1-2 pair of speakers that YOU like and then see if they still souund good with the ARC in your room. I found that the amp mates best with a speaker that you may think is too good for a $1000 integrated. Your wires will make a difference too. Analysis Plus and Audience worked the best for me. Hope that this is not too much of a non-answer.
Stay away from tough loads such as those that dip into lower than 6 ohms. Although some people claim that the AR complete can handle something lower than that, I had it running a pair of Gershman X-1 and SW-1 with efficiency 89 DB and lowest impedance dip being 5.6 ohms, but the AR Complete failed me, twice, having to send it back to the AR plus for fixing. Believe it or not, they claim that I overdrove the amp with a tough load, something that could not be said of an amp like AR Complete. For whatever it is worth, when it worked, the complete was excellent, jumpy, pratty, I would stay with mid efficiency 2 ways or high efficiency floorstanding...JM Labs, JM Reynauds and of course, Triangles come to mind, Living Voice is also an easy load.
PS: I bought and sold two AR Completes within 2 year spans, tried to love it, but the last one, with fixing and everything I felt shattered the image and the reviews that made it famous. Maybe the regular YBA integre was more reliable?
Hey Stuart - If it's not too late - I'm using Paradigm Studio 20's, and they sound absolutely amazing with the Complete. Very easy to listen to, detailed without the fatigue. And yes, they do play quite loud. I've never turned it past 2 o'clock. And that was waaay loud.
FYI I think the Paradigm Studio 20's are rated 88. Haven't tried it yet on my Audio Note AZ-Twos - rated 93.