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In 1954, Edgar Villchur changed the home audio world forever by introducing the Acoustic Research AR-1. This speaker was like no commercial loudspeaker before it. Up until this point, to get accurate, low bass you needed a speaker with a stiff suspension, and a refrigerator-sized ported enclosure. The AR-1 was revolutionary, because it took a speaker with a loose suspension and mounted it in a small air tight box. The air inside the box acted as the suspension (hence the term 'acoustic suspension').
This Acoustic Research AR-1 had one drawback--it was nowhere near as efficient as the existing hi-fi speakers (which were driven by diminutive, but musical tube amplifiers). Instead of 10 or 20 Watts, your amplifier now needed to put out 60 to 100 Watts. This encouraged the solid state revolution during the 1960s within home audio, since it was much cheaper to build a 60 Watt / Channel transistorized amplifier, than a 60 Watt / Channel vacuum tube amplifier.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|