The Acoustic Research integrated amplifier Specifications

Sidebar: Specifications

Description: Solid-state stereo integrated amplifier. Power rating: 60Wpc continuous sinewave into 4 ohms; 50Wpc into 8 ohms; 30Wpc into 16 ohms.
Dimensions: 15.75" W by 4.5" H by 10" D, with wood cover.
Price: $250 with black aluminum cover; $265 with oiled walnut cover (1969). No longer available (2018).
Manufacturer: Acoustic Research, Inc., Cambridge, MA 02141 (1969). Acoustic Research (a division of Voxx international), 3502 Woodview Trace, Indianapolis, IN 46268 (2018). Tel: (844) 353-1307. Web:

Acoustic Research, Inc.
3502 Woodview Trace
Indianapolis, IN 46268
(844) 353-1307

mrounds's picture

I really wanted to get one of those back in the day, but couldn't afford it as a starving student. Got a Nikko instead, of which the less said the better though it was greatly improved after being the subject of a reconstruction project by an EE roommate.

dalethorn's picture

The biggest dog I ever got was the Advent Receiver, containing a preamp by one Tomlinson Holman. I'm sure the preamp was great, but the receiver had a hum that couldn't be fixed. Worse yet was after borrowing a set of LS3/5a's that I discovered had a defective woofer, the owner of those speakers was sure that my Advent receiver blew the LS3/5a.

soundhound's picture

I bought the AR amp when it first came out. I use it up to this day, but now its in my workshop doing 3rd system duties. Like all examples of this amp, the bias circuitry went wacky due to the cheap bias-setting potentiometers, but that was easily fixed. I never noticed the sound quality issues mentioned in this review, but I regard all reviews in magazines like this more entertainment than something which provides actually useful information.

tonykaz's picture

Back in 1969 was any information "useful"?

Our superb Music Systems today are conduits of Suberb Recordings, aren't they?, capable of sounding rather horrible when playing the rather horrible source material we had back in those times -- the 1960s.

I'm not-much interested in this AR Amp. I'm reading Mr. Holt and fellow panelists, who don't seem to merit identification. Who are "we" in J.Gordon Holts constant references ?

I don't recall knowing about Holt (or Stereophile ) until recently ( 2014 or so ) because Stereophile was the Parent of Innerfidelty and Publisher of our Tyll the Headphone Authority that I happened to meet at RMAF in 2011 and thought to be conspicuously brilliant. In fact, I discovered ( or perhaps uncovered ) that most of the entire group at Stereophile are working at a very high level of Journalistic Integrity, along side the Guardian, NYTimes, Washington Post, my 4 regular daily reads.

For me it's interesting that you own an AR Amp that still sings after nearly 50 years, geez, that's gotta make it an A+ Recommended piece of electronics.

So Mr. Holt should've concluded with :
Buy this Amp and own it for the rest of your Life!

I'm say'n :
It doesn't get much better than that! ( at any price )

Tony in Michigan

dalethorn's picture

The principles of hi-fi, well-presented by Gordon Holt, are essentially the same today. What are different are the gear and the recordings. Good stereo recordings that sound great on today's gear do exist, albeit some remastering usually helps.

I've subscribed to Stereophile since 1971, and can appreciate what Holt heard in speakers, amps, and even headphones. Holt knew the differences between the better amps and the not-so-good amps all the way back to the 1960's, and I came to appreciate his advice after buying the likes of Crown and SAE, to name a couple of brands.

I even soldered out the tone controls from a Dynaco preamp on his advice - time well spent. But as they say of many subjects as well as hi-fi, those who don't know the history very precisely are likely to repeat some of the mistakes.

dmineard HT's picture

I actually remember reading this review when it was published. I had owned the Dynaco Pat-4 pream & Stereo 120 amp for about 3 years when the AR integrated amp was released.

At the time I agreed with the review, consistent with what I heard. I had that Dynaco system for 5 or 6 years and sold it to move up to McIntosh preamp and amp.

Although I did not subscribe to that magazine for a year or two, I really liked the technical reviews of Gordon Holt. Really enjoyed reading this review...brought back fond memories of a simpler time. Thanks.