ACOUSTIC RESEARCH: AR-11 turntable – so … what happened?

Audio Tools write: Although this company is mostly famous for their loudspeakers they did indeed make a line of hi-fi from the early 60's into the late 80's. Their turntables were almost legendary in the US but are seldom seen in Europe with their 80's models being an exception, but those were actually manufactured at the company's UK plant. There is an archive here of articles and pictures concerning the modification and rebuilding of classic 60's AR turntables.

The AR-11 model from the early 70's is unusually enough not a USA made or designed table but rather a OEM Japanese model that features a rim drive and auto return in contrast to the belt driven manual models that you have come to expect from the company, this model may not have been sold in all markets. The AR Turntable was the first UK made deck that was introduced in 1984 (slightly different to the US model that was introduced in 82 and not to be confused with the original 60's era models which are classified by the serial numbers), it was a reasonably priced unlike most of the indigenous opposition, got excellent reviews and sold quite well at the time, it's a classic AR 3 point suspended design a la Linn.

The deck was usually sold with a unbranded or AR branded Japanese arms, available in a fixed headshell version with a straight armtube or a S type arm with a replaceable headshell, this means a standard Japanese mounting hole and thus it's easier to fit an arm originating from the land of the rising sun such as one of the Linn or Audioquest models than a SME or suchlike. The table could be had without an arm and some dealers sold them set up with Linn arms, company brochures state that the fixed headshell version of the AR arm will only work properly with carts of 8 g. or less, but provides no technical info. There is some info on the USA made models on the Vinyl Nirvana site and the same site offers repairs, parts and upgrades to most AR models.