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  1. Follow up ar-5

    My pots were a very ugly green color. When you get corrosion this bad, it's my experience the root cause is dissimilar metals in contact with current flowing. (This is a major headache for all of us boaters. We even use huge sacrificial anodes to protect the metals we consider important.) At the time, I knew I was heading in the direction of bi-amping so I wanted a more permanent solution. Basically what bi-amp does is it moves those voice controls from the back of the speakers (those constantly corroding pots) to the volume controls on the two amps. Volume controls can also need cleaning (well some do - modern digital controls do NOT), but it's far easier to clean these than opening the AR's and messing with those pots. Then the other huge advantage is you get far, far more control with amps than you get with pots plus it's much easier to vary voice at will. Regards, Jerry
  2. Follow up ar-5

    John, I agree with your comments about tweeter output. I would like to take a minute to clarify the issue of "level controls were bypassed". If you look closely at the pics, the controls were NOT by-passed. Instead, someone took the lead normally attached to the wiper and soldered it to the top of the pot. This is the same as setting the controls to their max position, back when the pots were new and there was no corrosion. In short, the pots are still very much in the circuit. Further, setting the pots to max is what AR did in producing the graph below (AR-3a's). As you can see from the graph, the tweeter output is muted. Now, if you do remove the tweeter pot from the circuit as in a total by-pass, you will gain 1 to 1.5db. Still not enough! ... as least for me, it was still muted on my 3a's. What I eventually did is add a padding resistor to the mid driver and this knocks down the mid relative to the tweeter. That's not all it does, however! It also knocks down the mid relative to the woofer making a bass heavy speaker even more bass heavy!! So to bring everything back into balance, I bi-amp and sent more voltage to the mids/tweeters via the mid/tweeter amp. I did this nine years ago and still listen to my 3a's. So, I'm sure you are wondering whether it's worth all of the effort. In my opinion the difference is tremendous. For a control I also own a pair of AR TSW-610's with titanium dome tweeters. When I started this project, the 3a's sounded dull and muffled compared to the 610's. Today the 610 tweeters still out perform the 3a's, but NOT by much! I can hear the tweeters on the 3a's without the paper tubes whenever drummers hit the cymbals and ... hear very clearly. There is an old thread here where I documented the voltage I'm sending to the tweeters and surprisingly it isn't that much. Nevertheless, my black, 3/4" tweeters are now "seeing" far more voltage than they got nine years ago. Fortunately, my den is small and I rarely listen above 2 watts so the strain on the tweeters is small. Frankly I don't think it's a good idea to "push" any of the 3a drivers given their age and here I credit Roy for his encouragement and recommendations to go easy on these old drivers. Now, the 610's ... well that's another story. AR clearly had power in mind in the design of these speakers. These speakers you can push and you don't get the impression they are struggling at all.
  3. an AMP for AR 2a?

    Diego, if you really want to get the very most out of your AR's you might consider bi-amping. With bi-amping you dedicate an amp for the woofers and another stereo amp for the mids/tweeters. What you gain with bi-amping is total voice control ... far better than those pots on the back of the speakers. Further, you vary voice by varying the power you send to each speaker half. In the post below I explain about a somewhat unique amp I discovered about a year ago. This particular Sherwood has 4 full range amps capable of 4 ohm loads in a single box. With this unit, you can bi-amp safely with the 3 terminals AR provided. To vary voice all you do is alter the power on either amp via remote clicks. http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?/topic/9108-cheap-charlie-amp-solution-for-those-power-hungry-ars/ I have attached the datasheet below. Regards, Jerry Sherwood-RX-5502-datasheet.pdf
  4. Should I attempt to repair an AR3?

    I understand that you get no sound, but the whole idea of using a scope is to see where the failure exists. If you get "no sound", but you can see voltage exists across the tweeter, then the tweeter is most likely dead. On the other hand, if you apply voltage to the main speaker terminals and can not see anything across the tweeter, then this explains why you get no sound. It also means the failure is in those damn pots or not as likely in the cap. Regards, Jerry
  5. Should I attempt to repair an AR3?

    There is no need to connect direct to the tweeters. Just connect your amp to the normal speaker terminals. Those high frequencies should be passed directly to the tweeters. Also be very careful of those wires on the front. They are very delicate and some would say brittle. Also do NOT apply any significant voltage to the tweeters. You will fry them. You should start at 1000Hz and make certain that you are not over driving. Once you can get a modest sound out of the mids at 1000, then you can try 7000Hz and put your scope across the tweeter wires very carefully. If you can't see anything on the scope, you know no voltage is getting to the tweeters. Regards, Jerry
  6. Should I attempt to repair an AR3?

    With your scope you can see whether any voltage is getting to the tweeters. Now bear in mind that there isn't much music in these ultra high frequencies. You must look for tracks full of cymbals like a jazz trio. Also to even hear working AR tweeters requires a toilet paper tube over the tweeter at one end and near your ear at the other end. If you hear anything, they are working. Those pots are notorious for corroding and significantly reducing voltage. I by-passed mine nine years ago and they haven't given me any problems since. Regards, Jerry
  7. AR's TSW line (1980s)

    David, if you are going to all that effort, you might as well bring two terminals out as well. This way you could at some time in the future, bi-amp the 610's. Since the 610's come with no controls, why not provide some? Regards, Jerry
  8. AR's TSW line (1980s)

    In addition to my 3a's, I own a set of TSW 610's. The voice of these speaker systems is totally different. While the 3a's are bass heavy and laid back, the 610's are much, much, much brighter. There is no question those titanium domes put out far more SPL than the 3a domes. Last December when my 30 year old amp died, I bought a new amp that allowed for extremely easy bi-amping. In short, with the remote, I can vary power sent to each half of the 610's. (Now to do this required that I bring out a separate terminal/wire to separate the woofers from the other drivers. The 610's don't come with that three terminal system found in the older AR's. They also don't come with those "self-destruct" pots.) So now I can balance the 610's to my liking (my amp has digital volume controls so getting equal or unequal voltage to each side is very simple ... oops forgot to mention, all 4 amps are in a single box). So how do I balance? What's most pleasurable to me is the mids/tweeter amp slightly behind the woofer amp. Again that's what I like in my room, on my set of 610's, listening to music I like. Obviously, YMMV. Now, the "elephant in the room" is which system sounds better? Well, that is not a simple question to answer. Each system has it advantages and disadvantages. If you want raw SPL, the 610's will run rings around the 3a's. No question power was a design consideration in the 610's. Unfortunately, that means nothing to me! Both systems can played far louder in their respective rooms than I would find comfortable. Another huge difference is sound dispersion. Here the 3a's really shine. That is, when you get a little ways off axis on the 610's, high frequencies really drop off and it's quite noticable. My den is quite small and I am forced to separate the speakers way too much. The 610's sounded awful in that room, yet the 3a's work just fine. In my large family room, the 610's are positioned mid wall and separated the recommended distance vs the listening position. In this room, the 610's with their focused mid frequencies sound great. In summary, I like both systems and each performs well in the rooms they currently reside. In terms of voicing, via bi-amping both systems, I find I adjust as follows: 1. 3a - I always prefer the mid/tweeter amp ahead of the woofer amp (i.e. more voltage to mids/tweeters than to woofers) 2. 610 - just the reverse, more voltage to woofers than to mids/tweeters Once the systems are adjusted as above, it's remarkable how similar they sound. There are minor differences, however, such as the 610's still exhibit superior high frequencies while the 3a's do a better job on the very lowest frequencies. Again, let me emphasize, these differences are very, very minor and require listening very closely with multiple recordings. Regards, Jerry
  9. Rich, that is a very interesting report on your measurements. As I recall the A-25 has a 10 inch woofer vs an 8 inch in the AR-4x. So what is going on here? Do we get a "faster" bass roll off in the aperiodic design similar to the 24db per octave we see in vented systems?
  10. Steve, do you know whatever happened to the aperiodic design? From what I've read, aperiodic is essentially acoustic suspension with some "tweaking". In short, the vent is used for pressure relief NOT for sound augmentation as in ported or reflex. I also understand that it is "tricky" getting the vent stuffed correctly. Regards, Jerry
  11. In the review of the A-25, there are several mentions of AR products. I guess at the time of this review, AR was the standard against which everything was compared. http://www.stereophile.com/content/dynaco-25-loudspeaker#KOozMceFiJCv3uCu.97 Anyone know whatever happened to the "aperiodic" design? Today most speaker systems are ported, but there are a number of sealed bookshelf systems. Further, some of the best subs around are sealed boxes. I can't remember ever seeing a modern aperiodic system. Regards, Jerry
  12. Dynaco A-25's & Subwoofer

    Below is a link to the afore mentioned J. Gordon Holt review of the A-25: http://www.stereophile.com/content/dynaco-25-loudspeaker#KOozMceFiJCv3uCu.97 Regards, Jerry
  13. External Jumper on AR crossovers

    As Carl mentioned, the ability to listen to the acoustic suspension woofers by themselves was considered a big deal back when the AR's were first introduced. Acoustic suspension WAS the big technology innovation ... deep bass with extremely low distortion from a small box! Fast forward 50 years and those three terminals can be used for bi-amping with common ground amps. That is, we "split the load". One amp is dedicated to the acoustic suspension woofers and another amp is dedicated to the mids/tweeters. Further, if both amps are integrated (with volume controls), you gain control over the speaker's voice far better than with those controls on the back of the speaker. Today, almost all high quality speakers come from the manufacturers pre-wired for bi-amping, so once again, AR was way, way ahead of its time. Regards, Jerry
  14. Steve thanks for starting such an interesting topic and Tom thanks for your terrific historical perspective. I happen to own two AR three-ways, my 3a with the dome mid and my TSW-610 with a 6.5 inch cone mid. Prior to bi-amping the TSW sounded orders of magnitude brighter than the more "muffled sounding" 3a. With bi-amping and tone controls, I can make them sound pretty much alike except for dispersion! Here the 3a dominates with distinction. My TSW's are in a large room (40 x 20) and I listen in a normal position. Result is excellent sound and good separation. My AR-3a's are in my den, a much smaller room. Here the speaker's are NOT normally positioned. Because of the room and the "stuff" in it, the speaker's are way, way too far apart and I sit too close. When I tried the TSW's in this position, the separation was so much that you got the impression of a "hole" in the middle. The 3a's with their superior dispersion masked this problem such that separation sounds both normal and pleasing. Seriously doubt AR designed these speakers with this problem in mind, but the dome mid just seems to fill with sound space that the cone mid cannot equal. Regards, Jerry
  15. How Long Have You Owned AR Speakers?

    New AR-4x's either 1967 or 1968. Sold in 1969. New AR-3a's 1969 and still have. Bi-amped approximately 8 years ago and still bi-amped today. New TSW-610's I believe around 1989/1990 and still have. Bi-amped 2016.
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