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Acoustic Research AR-LST and AR-LST-2 Speaker Review and Specs

Description and Review
AR LST-2 Speaker
AR-LST-2 Speaker
Acoustic Research´s LST speaker system was the company´s most advanced speaker system, designed for professional use. Most striking are the LST´s angled sides, differentiating this pair from all other AR speakers. The AR-LST, meaning Laboratory Standard Transducer, uses the same drivers as the AR-3a. Not only is each speaker equipped with the 3a´s 12 inch woofer, but with four of its midrange speakers and four of its tweeters and has therefor a significantly higher power handling capability.
The LST´s output energy can be controlled with a switch, allowing six different levels (spectral energy profiles). AR´s LST-2 is based on the AR-LST, offering similar features, but at a significantly lower price. It has only three available spectral energy profiles instead of the six of the LST.

The LST-2 utilizes the speakers of the AR-5, in detail, the AR-5 10 inch woofer, three of its midrange speakers and three of its tweeters. Acoustic Research´s old manual states that the major difference between the AR-LST and AR-LST-2 is that the LST´s bass response extends slightly lower and that its power-handling capability is slightly higher, but at a higher price.

The shape of both speaker systems is nearly identical. However, the LST is slightly bigger, measuring 27 x 20 x 9 ¾ inches (the LST-2: 25½ x 18½ x 9¾). Also, the weight of the LST is significantly greater with about 90 lbs. for each speaker (LST/2: 60 lbs.)

You found this speaker? Clean it!

We frequently receive images of old, dusty speakers that some lucky owner found in his or her garage after decades of storage. Others purchased an old set of speakers for little money at a garage sale. Our advice: Don´t let them deteriorate, but also don´t scratch them with the wrong tools. 
Instead: Clean them carefully. Get a set of soft brushes and other cleaning utensils. If the wooden speaker cabinets look dull or out of color (e.g. due to sunlight), give the wood some new life: 
1. wipe off the dust . 
2. take a very fine sandpaper (1000 Grit and finer) and to sand down the wood. 
3. Use an oil finish, ideally "natural" to maintain the original wood color, such as Tried and True danish Oil

Price AR-LST
Acoustic Research AR-LST speaker
AR-LST without grills
The AR-LST has originally been sold for $600. As the speakers are rare and of great value, its highly price did not fall over time. The price of AR´s high-end speaker depends on its condition and can be everywhere from a few hundred up to a few thousand dollars. A decent pair of LST speakers will cost around $1500, but they have also been sold on ebay for over $2500 in 2009. If you are lucky, you will find them on ebay, however, they are rarely available for sale.

Price AR-LST-2
Acoustic Research AR-LST-2 Speaker vintage
AR-LST-2 without grills
As the LST-2 was the lighter, smaller and cheaper version of the LST, they have been sold in higher numbers and are nowadays still available and more affordable. For a good pair of LST-2 you will have to pay at least $500, frequently a little more. On ebay, the LST-2 has been sold for $1020. In any case, prices vary, as the LST, as well as the LST-2 are rare and usually only for sale every other month.

AR LST Price: $1500-2500
(Depending on overall condition)
AR LST-2 Price: $500-1000
(Depending on overall condition)

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