hifi engine



do you know which under 1000$ amp can drive ar3a?
i tested marantz
2216b 2230 2245 2250 2270 1150 pm45
fisher t550 t200 and 1000 integrated 60wpc
sherwood 7900
yamaha ca2000
ess power amp
and dual cv40
but no one was not ok as i want.
thank you.


Re: AR3a

Dear AR3a owner,

I have 5 pairs of AR speakers. 2 pairs of AR3a, 1 pair of AR11, 1 pair of AR10pi and 1 pair of AR91.

I have tried to drive the AR3a with : Hafler DH220, Luxman L11, NAD3080, Luxman M12, Luxman B12 150W, Goldmund mosfet 140W, Mitronic PA100 120W and many receivers.

None of the mentioned amplifiers did the "work" with sufficient superiority because the mentioned amplifiers did not deliver enough current. The AR3a needs a lot of current when they occationally hits the impedance of 2 ohm.

The DC- amplifier "The End mk.II" and "mk3" is able to deliver beyond 50 A in peak and keeps at the same time a "silksoft" tweeter responce and a very detailed midrange reproduction.

I have tried most of the dynamic speakers available during the last 4 decades ( JBL, Epicure, Kef, B&W , Isophon and more) and IMO none of them really reaches the authoritative and natural soundstage reproduced by the AR3a.

Find "The End mk.II" here:


And the AR3a as well:


Rgds. Kim

Re: AR3a

thank you very much dear Rgds.Kim
i have
3a improved
and 7.
i looked at link."The End mk.II" seems powerful good design power amp
and so RARE.
what about tube amps?
now i use yaqin mc100b
and nos 12ax7 and 6sn7 + vandenhul speaker cable.
and i have sansui au111 and heathkit aa121 too.
but i prefer mc100b.
how can i to distinguish high current amps?
thanks again.

Re: AR3a

Dear Babak,

Thank you for your reply.

I have been thinking of which amplifier you could look for to drive your "3a" and your "3a Improved" speakers.

As far as tubeamps is concerned two pair of KT88's with +550VDC on the plates should do it with approx. 75W as output pr. channel.....but...the output transformers is the key.

If you look at the "Conrad Johnson MV75" , the driver circuit is very well designed and the OP's is huge with a limit close to 50kHz (more than sufficiant) 20-to 20kHz straight 0 - -0,5dB....but the output transformers goes deep...very deep. Conrad Johnson MV75 has a very expanded soundstage and sounds supergreat.

My Michaelson & Austin TVA-1 sounds great too , but the design needs a little change. TDP used the old MOV KT88 and they could take more current than todays reissue KT88's. Reduce the grid to ground resistance on the M & A's KT88 to below 120Kohm, and you will have one of the best sounding tubeamplifiers, because of the fabulous TVA-1 outputtransformers.

Mr. David Hafler's Dynaco MK.III mono blocks also sounds very good.

I have to admit that I don't know anything about your Yaqin mc100b with the KT90 .

If you look for a solid state amplifier to drive your AR's , the Audio Research D130 has the right sound and power...the same goes for Mark Levinson 332. But you see...they are both very expensive, which are the reason why I tried to make my own amplifiers more than 30 years ago. The goal was a clean and powerfull amplifier without harshness in the mid - and tweeter range....just like the Audio Research D130.
After I back then made more than 12 different amplifiers with the same driver setup, we (10 different hi-fi nerds) finally aggreed, that we were unable to detect (or measure) any loss in sound quality between the D130 and ..."The End mk.II" .

If you don't want to build your own amplifiers, my advice to you is to find one amplifier built as two mono-blocks...double psu's...with a lot of current.....Sansui has some...NAD208 has the power...there are several amplifers made that way.

Cheers to you!



Re: AR3a

i tried solid stade ESS eclipse500 power amp (125w 8ohm/250w 4ohm) with a antiquesoundlab tube pre amp (model aq2006dt) but the sound had thin body and weak in mid bass and low end frequency.i used pre out of marantz 1150 which has tone control to increase the bass.but then sound lost its mid/vocal and focus.
yaqin mc100b has nearly 60w in 0.55v bias in ul mode and 30w in triode mode.
(i have a little tube collection that includes ge/tungsol/sylvania 6550 tube and so many pre amp tubes).
not bad just i feel bass must be stronger but mid bass is ok and has clean satisfactory vocal details.
im thinking about audiolab 8200 mono blocks which has warm powerful sound.
i like know about your ideas.
thanks for your attention.

Re: AR3a

I would recommend a Hafler DH-220 or larger. These amps sounds amazing and easily drive low impedance speakers.

Re: AR3a

I have a substantial history of driving Teledyne-era AR-90's with both vintage Sansui AU-719 and AU-919 amps. The AU-719 amp is less costly to acquire than the AU-919, the former currently well below $1K, but occasionally a pristine AU-919 will crest the $1K mark on eBay. Into 4 ohms the AU-719 likely hits 90W/ch, while the AU-919 likely hits 140W/ch into 4 ohms.
For speaker comparison purposes the AR-90 is a 4-way (each speaker w/two 10" subwoofers) that dips down to a 3.2 ohm low, with a 4 ohm nominal, & wrt efficiency produces 87db SPL @ 1meter for 1watt. Given that efficiency, the Teledyne-era Acoustic Research recommended the following 4-ohm amp ratings:
50W min per channel to produce 104 db SPL in a 3,000 ft3 room of average reflectivity.
100W per channel to produce 107 db SPL in the same room.
250W is maximum per channel recommended.

The AR-3a in question is also 4 ohm nominal w/a factory-recommended 100W maximum per channel,
so I would think an Sansui AU-719, in good shape, would be a nice match for an AR-3a.

In general :
a) Most good amps will state somewhere near their speaker terminals what range of speaker ohms they will drive. Some will say 8 ohms _only_, and would likely be damaged in driving 4 ohm speakers. I have personally seen other owners of '8 ohm-only' amps who have blown channels trying to drive AR-90s.
b) Most amps that state they will drive both 4 ohm or 8 ohm speakers, but also require you to change a back-panel amp switch wrt target speaker's ohms will, in general, not drive significantly higher wattage w/4 ohms speakers than 8 ohms speakers. This is not a problem, per se, just something to be aware of when the amp's specs only cover 8 ohm loads. The same is generally opposite when such a switch is absent as handling both 4 ohm or 8 ohm speakers was a forethought in the amp design (again, assuming mfg states both are allowed). Ideally, though, having the amp mfg's specs that list the wattage for both 4ohm and 8 ohm loads is best.

Re: AR3a

thank you.
i had sansui too.aud907 100wpc in 8 ohm.
aud907X 180wpc in 8 ohm.both of them are 4to16 ohm in a or b channel .
and make 3a sound good just in high range.
i tested yesterday another amp that sounded amazing.now i dont search any more amp for my ar-3a.
it was scott 382.it is in good shape really.i bought it 300$.
but you made me thinking about au-719.
i like hear its sound .
thanks again.

Re: AR3a

The AU-D907 is, for all practical purposes, an AU-919,
same 0Hz -> 100'sKHz freq response, so I wouldn't bother
w/a AU-719 as it would very likely sound the same.
CAVEAT: I've never liked the AU-7/919 Loudness control
and have found that defeating it and using an ES-level Sony EQ
between the pre-amp->main sounds best to me.

Anyway, as long as your AR-3a's mid and/tweeter controls
are allowing you the range to optimize a given
amp's->AR-3a->room response, then the
Scott Stereomaster 382 & AR-3a sounds
like an excellent vintage audio set up to enjoy.

Re: AR3a

I've never liked sansui Loudness control too.
i prefer vintage fisher or marantz amps.
i will add photo of 382.
i think it was my habit to finding a good amp for AR3a.all of last 2 years.it makes me cool in july and warm in december.
and now i just listen to my records and enjoy of it.(sinatra is my first choose,leonard cohen and soprano parts from italian operas... ).
this time i will think about more expensive amps(tube amps maybe)(sherwood s-5000,s5500or s5500mk2 or dynaco mk II or III.)
i will send you news and thanks about your help and hope to hear from you about best amps for 3a.
i found a new pare of AR-5 with not sweet 730 $ price.

Re: AR3a

No problemo, just my 2-cents. The AR-3a began one of the two core speaker design principles (ie: domed drivers for both midrange/tweeter) that culminated in the Teledyne-era AR-9/90. And every AR-9 cabinet has a pair of AR-3a woofers in it. So we owe a lot to the AR-3a, wish I had a pair myself.

BTW - If you like Sinatra's livelier pieces you might enjoy a jazz-big band classic called 'Moten Swing', and I'm thinking specifically of the 'HDCD Sampler Volume 2' release of 'Moten Swing w Clark Terry, Frank Wess, Bob Lark & the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble', a circa 95-96 recording.
Not sure if it was ever pressed to vinyl but very thrilling to listen to (IMO) and it will well-exercise any audio system during play (ie: read 'massive dynamic range', so careful w/the volume).

Re: AR3a

good news.
at last i bought a tube amp.its my firs experience with tube amps.
its a yaqin mc100 b.really good sound my 3as.but i think i have to change tubes for better sound.are you agree with 5751 in place of 12ax7 for make a brighter high and warmer mid?what about 6550 for power tubes?

Re: AR3a

Re: AR3a


Afraid I am clueless wrt tube amps. Basically I went w/a AU-719 and a Acoustic Research AR-90 combo quite literally decades ago and have never looked back. My only recent mods have been upgrading to an AU-919 amp for my stereo setup, then getting a 2nd pair of AR-90s for a home theater setup that's driven by Sony STR-DA5es home theater amp (the latter w/some cool DSP supporting a virtual 6.1 speaker setup via the single pair of AR-90s, which puts speakers that I enjoy greatly into a simulated 6.1 environment, thus avoiding the utter fiasco (IMHO) of trying to match up 7 diff speakers (of dubious current-era quality) & dealing w/all their mounting, wiring, etc.), so I'm pretty much content at this point.

But I have seen 3-4 blog entries on the Yaqin MC-10L tube amp
at :
& the author (prev a solid-state centric) is certainly enjoying it,
+ he has some good tech suggestions wrt correcting minor dust-in-pot noise on that particular tube amp (which I assume has some similarities to your Yaqin MC-100 b).

Enjoy the new amp!

Re: AR3a

Hello ,

I'm From the Netherlands , and great fan from AR speakers

i have here AR-4 with el84 push/pull tube amp (2x 6 watt ?? ) Great !!!

Ar2-Ax whit el 84 p/p OK with 2x6 watt class A
but with my other amp better KT88 P/P ( home made ) OK

Ar3-A whit my KT88 P/P ( about 15 Watt max class A ) GREAT !!!!!!

About tube amp , if your amp is new ? let is play with the tubes you have .
the amp must settel , not only the tubes , but al other parts too .
and when you are playing 2 hour each day ?? is will take about 2 months
before your amp wil sound like a tube amp .( en still getting better )

Better tubes ? i don't have a tone control , so 1:1 amplifier , mijn favorit
are philips 1st stage and last stage Svetlana C-wing , but that is MY FAVORIT .

Listen to your music , if you think , : That trumpet is not strong enough ?
Then you can try other tubes ( so i did )
after all .... you must like the sound , not what somebody tell you .

Have much fun whit your beautifull setup .


Re: AR3a

thanks for your attention .im great fan from AR speakers too like you.
yes!its a new amp and your right .i play it every night for 2 or 3 hours and now after one week it has better sound.
i used my best speaker wire(chord)and it made opener high range.
thank you Hans and n_dt .