ra.ra

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About ra.ra

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  1. Very nice work, congrats. Re: badges, the AR-2ax employed two different badges: one is square (maybe 1-1/8"?) with black printed lettering (AR Inc), and the other is rectangular with incised burgundy lettering (AR-2ax) as shown. While this notion is probably not perfectly consistent, I tend to think the early (cloth) 2ax's used the square badge, while the later (foam) 2ax's used the rectangular badge.
  2. Later version of AR-2x shown here; also the grille badge.
  3. Since the paper labels show AR-2, we should know the specific baffleboard cut-outs for the drivers. Trying to look closely thru the grille cloth at the upper driver(s), it appears that there is a center-aligned light spot, suggesting that the original AR-2 dual tweeters have been replaced with the 2ax mid driver, which was an "improved" option offered by AR (see attached). The bottom (google) pic shows the same speaker (with slightly different version of woofer) - - the early version of the AR-2x, with the infill panel that was used to convert from an AR-2. This small driver (with fiberglass and wire mesh) was also the tweeter in the AR-4. Later versions of the AR-2x used a 4-bolt foam woofer and the tweeter used in the AR-4x. The early AR-2x is basically and AR-4 with the 10" cloth woofer, while the later AR-2x is essentially an AR-4x with the 10" foam woofer.
  4. If you can find the Adcom GFS-300 (see pic), that'd be nice - - it looks just like the lower wattage GFS-3, but has a 200w limit and multi-binding posts. Also, the Rotel RSS-900 looks to be a fine unit - - up to six pairs, 200 watt limit, rocker switches on front, multi-banana jacks on rear. correction: I just looked at GFS-3/6 manual, and those models also have a 200 watt limit.
  5. I do this sort of thing all the time using an Adcom GFS-6 speaker selector, which includes a protection switch for simultaneous use of multiple speakers. The only info I have for Niles products is the SS-4/6 selector, but its rated power handling is limited to 100 watts, so I presume you're considering a different model. Both of these mentioned models have speaker wire connections that are a little bit awkward, but perhaps you can find a model that has convenient banana jacks.
  6. Was just listening tonight to the first Dead show I ever attended - - Oakland, June '74. Great work on those cabinets - - you'll turn those into a pair of beauties in no time.
  7. Even with the nasty glue residue, these look better already IMO, probably b/c now the potential for refinishing has been revealed, and I'd agree, the veneer looks to be in good condition. Those little nail holes on the top should be able to be patched pretty well, but the bigger challenge will be trying to conceal the multiple holes left over from the caster screws. Far more adept woodworking voices will chime in, but I think my next step in cleaning these up would rely on thin, sharp, blade-like tools: straight edge razor blade, cabinet or paint scraper, chisel, etc., to remove as much hardened gunk as possible, trying to get down to clean wood. Most likely, this might also require a further step of chemical softening with scotch-brite pad and/or some work with hand or power-sanding with mild grit paper. I'm fairly certain that the veneer on the early 3's is robust enough to withstand a full surface power sanding, but of course, proceed with caution and a light touch.
  8. Fantastic collection, thx for sharing.
  9. Odd cabinet "upgrades" indeed, but thx for the very good pics. Seems to be no plywood panel on bottoms - - despite the casters, have you inspected the original veneer condition/species on this surface?
  10. (Note: apologies for disjointed dialog - - - quote and editing functions were giving me fits tonight.) 5 hours ago, JKent said: Seems the paper cones have become brittle with the extreme heat. Agreed, when Shaun mentioned puffing dust, I suspected maybe a digit or two punched right through the paper cone that had been attic-baking for twenty years. And melting metal.....huh? 5 hours ago, JKent said: John, of M-Sound, suggested that for those who wanted a "wet look" speaker cone Yes, I remember seeing this, too, in M-Sound's instruction sheets, but the comment seemed to be based only regarding the woofer's "looks" with no mention of the effect, if any, on "performance". Still, if there was a method for reinforcing the brittle cone with a light coating of something that did not have an obvious detriment to performance, this idea might be a successful approach to giving an extended life to the original woofers. And, I'd agree that Aileene's (the white glue, but not the clear) seems to have characteristics very much like M-Sound's easy-to-use adhesive, whether or not it might be the preferred coating substance. That would be my initial concern as well, but since these particular woofers are rather rare, I think the primary objective would be to try to salvage the original driver, even if there becomes a slight deviation from original performance specs, which, of course, we'll never be able to measure and compare since these woofers are now all 50 years past "new". Until we know the extent of the cone damage, this is all speculation anyway, or mere food for thought, and if indeed the damage situation is not able to be salvaged, the far more plentiful AR-4x woofer would probably serve adequately in a pinch as a replacement, but this move would severely diminish the collectible value of the OP's AR-4's. The damaged woofer I posted previously, which met the mean end of a screwdriver in a dark alley, has been patched to the best of my skills and is performing exceedingly well, even with the obvious scar as shown.
  11. Hey Shaun, I sort of cringed when I read your Sunday 9:29PM post regarding the damage to the woofer when conducting the three-finger push test. Your pics are posting here just fine - - can you show us the damage incurred?......and maybe we can then steer you towards the next steps to take. Hang in there, work slowly, and ask questions. The modest little AR-4 is a very fine small loudspeaker and has become highly sought after within certain circles. Even a small speaker restoration project has many steps involved, but it can be very satisfying to restore life back into these long-neglected audio boxes. Sometimes my own resto projects stretch out for many months as I conduct research, ask for assistance, evaluate options, search for parts, and try to find time and conditions to conduct the disassembly and reconstruction. Take your time, enjoy the process, and it will be worth it.
  12. From a 2008 thread on this site: The criss-cross on the woofer cone was done for improved damping (not stiffness). It was a soft compound that was poured on the cone with the effect of absorbing energy traveling across the cone at higher frequencies. This was similar to the damping rings used in some other woofers. AR (and KLH followed with some of their speakers) used this criss-cross method on several woofers, including the AR-2a woofer. --Tom Tyson
  13. Likewise, larrybody, I think my 4x's have identical woofer descriptions as yours, but I believe that all 4x woofs (except the oddball two-cap version of the 4x that employed the AR-4 woofer) originally had the same performance specs. The hash marks seem to show up often on AR-4 woofers, as well as some 10" cloth surround woofers from the "2" series, and I believe it was a method to add a bit of mass to the cone, using the same butyl dope that was used to seal the surrounds. Perhaps someone else has a more accurate historical rationale? On the AR-4, sometimes it was applied in a floral pattern, sometimes a tic-tac-toe grid, and sometimes a combo of both.
  14. Pic below shows similar woofer with cone puncture and 40 years of dust accumulation. Cone repair was simple and effective per suggestion from Bill LeGall - - - paper coffee filter patch applied with thin application of non-diluted Elmer's white glue on backside of cone. Thanks, Geoff - - re: decent photos, even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.
  15. Really nice color on those cabinets, and I agree that a few blemishes always add character. Interesting to see that your pair has the foam woofer with the wide basket flange that fits the earlier 6-bolt cabinet. Great work!