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  1. AR-3a vs. Original Large Advent

    Steve, your observations are spot on! Below is an example of that original AR frequency response graph. My 3a's still sound fairly decent (I am the original owner), and I did NOT spend a fortune restoring. I by passed both pots, and added a padding resistor to the mid to drop it further behind the woofer. Finally, I bi-amp using just the 3 terminals AR provided. Then to bring everything back into balance, I simply provide more voltage to the mids/tweeters via the volume control on their dedicated amp. In short, I have moved "voice control" from those pots behind the speakers to the volume controls on my amps. Further, on my latest amp the volume controls exist on a single remote, so altering voice is now a matter of remote clicks. This was done on my 3a's ten years ago and I have experienced zero problems with this setup. Now, in all fairness, Roy cautioned me ten years ago about the eminent demise of the tweeters. He felt the additional power they now see, will kill them off. The 3a's are in my den, a very small room, so keeping Roy's advice in mind, I rarely apply more than a watt of power. At that level the voltage across those tweeters ... well, it isn't very much ... NOT very much at all! They really aren't being "pushed" that hard and I suspect that is why almost 50 years later they still work and sound better than the original "muted" setup. Regards, Jerry
  2. The Quintessential AR Speaker

    I realize I am veering a little off topic, but if I had a friend with a pair of AR-4x's, I would "suggest" a stacking experiment. Since the 4's are 8 ohms, most decent amps could handle them in parallel. Has anyone ever tried this? Regards, Jerry
  3. The Quintessential AR Speaker

    As an original owner of a set of 3a's (and I still listen to this set frequently), I also agree with Steve's arguments. My only "twist" on this is that AR had a far, far more successful model in terms of units sold and that would be the 4x and it's various versions. I believe it was Tom who stated that in terms of units sold the 4x (and it's versions) far, far surpassed any other model. In fact, I have a hypothesis here: the AR-4x just might be the single most successful (in terms of units sold) speaker system of all time. Regards, Jerry
  4. I find my Marantz does a very good job at all sound levels when I have the Dyn EQ turned ON. With it turned OFF the sound becomes extremely thin at low levels. The other thing to try is Sam's suggestion on placement. That is, try listening at low levels WITHOUT those stands. Put the speakers right on the floor with possibly a carpet square if you have hard wood floors. Regards, Jerry
  5. AR3, AR-3a match with Mcintosh MC240?

    Kamol, if you want to push your 3's and 3a's to get the best sound possible out of them. I would encourage you to bi-amp. Look, no matter what single amp you power your AR's with, you cannot over come the response curve shown below with both pots set to max. With two amps (SS brute for the woofers and possibly your MC240 for the mids tweeters) you can simply push the mids/tweeters a little harder to flatten out the frequency response. Unfortunately, you cannot bi-amp with just the factory provided three terminals, like I do. Your amps both have output transformers, so you really need to bring out a 4th connection for the woofer return line. This does NOT have to be an expensive proposition. In the pic below, you can see an example of an additional terminal that I use on my 610's. It's just a wire threaded through a hole, caulked both inside and out. I solder the speaker wire to this wire and then cover both with a wire nut. (This is exactly the same method I use in the very corrosive environment in my boat and have never experienced a failure.) Regards, Jerry
  6. Acoustic Research AR3a Woofers Correct?

    Larry, those woofers are the exact same woofers as in my AR TSW-610's. They have a polypropylene cone vs paper. My experience is, these units do not go as low in frequency as the paper cone woofers in my AR-3a's. On the other hand, when you want SPL (i.e. crank it up) these woofers can handle power with ease. Not at all sure why that is, but these woofers can really handle power effortlessly. When you apply serious power, you don't get the impression thesee woofers are under any strain. My 3a's do give that impression and part of that might just be .... age! Regards, Jerry
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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?