We have all come to know SONY as an audio company that is both rich in its knowledge of audio and a company that has the resources to come up with a ground breaking product with that immense knowledge. They have done it time and time again and with the SS-AR1 speakers you see here, chalked up another smashing product that changes the dynamics of high end audio. In the $20,000 to $30,000 price category, there is a generous offering of great speakers from the likes of B&W, Focal, Wilson, Magico etc. And now with the SS-AR1, we can safely say, SONY, is the newst member in this elite membership.
The SS-AR1 is a beautifully crafted speaker. Upon first glance, you might think it is the usual gloss black finish we see in so many other speakers but upon closer inspection and under certain light condition, you can see the darkish red (almost like mahogany) wood grain under the glossy finish. Truly beautiful. Each speaker weighs a pretty hefty 126lbs and measures almost 42.5″ tall, 12.5″ wide and 19.5″ deep. Its a 3-way design with 4 drivers on the front – two 8″ woofers, one 5.25″ midrange and one 1″ dome tweeter. Nominal impedance is 4 ohms (make sure your amp is capable of running in 4 ohms) and sensitivity is 88dB. The speaker is pretty current hungry and it displayed an audible difference between an 80W amp and a 200W amp. With the larger amp, the speaker sounded fuller, more robust with a tighter more impactful bottom end. The mids were transparent and revealing and the highs, detailed and clearly defined. Speakers do require a large room to sound their best and very careful placement in that room to extract out the very best from these speakers. As they throw out a pretty large soundstage, placing them away from the rear and side walls by 20″ or more is ideal. Frequency response is an impressive 28Hz to 60KHz.
Cosmetically, the SS-AR1 is in very nice shape. One owner since new. There are some minor scuff marks here and there (mainly light polishing swirl marks and a tiny nick on the bottom edge of one speaker) from use but nothing major. We have the manual and original boxes but due to their weight and size, will have to be shipped freight. Local pickup from our store welcomed.