Acoustic Research AR 303 loudspeaker System & Setup
The ARs were auditioned in my dedicated listening room driven by a pair of Mark Levinson No.20.6 monoblocks, a Krell KSA-50S, a Conrad-Johnson Premier Eleven A, and a Cary Audio Design CAD-300SEI integrated amplifier (see RH's review of the Cary elsewhere in this issue). The preamplifier in my room was the remote-controlled Mark Levinson No.38S, with a Mod Squad Phono Drive EPS used to amplify LP signals from a Linn Sondek/Cirkus/Trampolin/Lingo/Ekos/Arkiv setup sitting on an ArchiDee 'table.
Digital sources were Mark Levinson No.30.5 HDCD and Parts Connection Assemblage D/A processors driven by a Mark Levinson No.31 transport via Madrigal and Illuminati AES/EBU cables, and an Audio Alchemy DTI•Pro or a Sonic Frontiers UltraJitterbug.
Interconnects used were AudioQuest's AudioTruth Lapis x3 alternating with XLO 1.1 Signature; speaker cable was a doubled run of AudioTruth Sterling. All source components and preamps used in my listening room were plugged-in to a Power Wedge 116 Mk.II, itself plugged-in to a dedicated AC circuit and fitted with the Power Enhancer option. The amplifiers were plugged-in to a Power Wedge 100, again fitted with the Power Enhancer.
The speakers sat on 11"-high sand-filled bases, which in turn sat on Mod Squad Tiptoes. This combination placed the 303s' tweeters 35" from the floor—a sideburn below my seated ear level.—John Atkinson