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About ra.ra

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  1. Not a great image, but this is from a 1974 brochure, and I think you can see the two different profiles. However, as I tried to find better images to describe this difference in shape, it seems that maybe some of the XB's were also originally fitted with two-bend arms. I wonder if this change in shape was possibly prompted by the intent to more easily grab the cueing control mechanism?
  2. None of my comments yet have been in defense of the actual AR-5. You will get no argument from me that it was a huge sales success - - indeed it was not - - but to use this benchmark as the only yardstick to measure a product's overall quality presents an extremely limited obituary. In fact, the first sentence of this belabored thread exalts the AR-5 based on performance, and many here will be in full agreement with this statement, myself included. After making the performance statement, to later come out with flop flop flop flop flop seems rather disingenuous after first calling it "a great-sounding speaker". Is this a symptom of bean counter myopia? Flop in sales? OK, you win, we all agree. Flop in performance? Nope, no way, Jose. I've certainly got no dog (AR-5's) in this race - - these thoughts are only a simple challenge to what I see as a flawed argument. To der, I think the same synopsis could hold up here regarding the LST-2. Excellent loudspeaker with very tepid sales. Nonetheless, I'd love to own a pair.
  3. Very nice write-up, Kent, and thx for the references, too. I probably need to re-read all of this (and more), but I had previously only been aware that the XA arm has the double bend (better-looking, IMO) while the XB has just the single bend.
  4. The circular discussions within this thread have been the source of mild bemusement (particularly now that a dozen speaker models have been mentioned), but my comments will pertain only to the original topic - - - AR-5: "watered down" AR-3a?.... or "beefed up" AR-2ax? The latest post from Tom was simply great on several points, and with respect to his thoughts on this phantom "AR-5", I'd have to agree that this notion does not make much sense. As much as I like the performance of the "ugly duckling" 3-1/2" CTS driver in my AR-4's and 2ax's, Tom's description of this driver as "middling" is accurate and appropriate when compared to the more sophisticated dome midrange drivers that AR was already using and continuing to develop. Why take your best woofer (12") and best tweeter (3/4" dome) and combine them with a midrange driver (despite the impedance differences) that does not match the others in level of quality? The price point argument for filling a marketing niche appears to be the ultimate objective, but this idea certainly does not sound like the makings of a sales success story. Re: pricing analysis, this $168 guesstimate seems to me to be equal parts folly and pipe dream. Along with the undervalued $10 upcharge to a 3a cabinet, not factored in are: x-o components for larger woofer, increased volume of stuffing, and the need for an all-new grille size once the solid wood moulding has been stripped from the 3a cabinet - - what happened to parts-bin engineering? Instead of a cost-up from the 2ax ($128), this calculation should be developed as a cost-down from the 3a ($250, 1971 retail), and even with the significant unit cost difference between mid drivers (1977 parts list - 3a 1-1/2" mid @$55 vs. 2ax 3-1/2" mid @ $14.50), one would be hard-pressed to deliver this AR-5 remake to market at much under $200 per speaker retail. From the CSP library, in a 1975 letter from AR Norwood to audio enthusiast Steve F, the first paragraph clearly spells out that the cost of a piece of merchandise is largely dictated by the price of the components used in it. This statement was in defense of the AR-3a then selling for $295 list - - dial it back a few years to 1971 and $250 list, and that's where the cost estimates for this phantom AR-5 should begin. This cost calculation should be a reductive assessment from the 3a rather than an additive process to the 2ax. So here we now have a fervent prognosticated pitch proclaiming the huge market success of the "AR-5" if only it had used the larger woofer and cabinet (sans face trim) from the TOTL AR-3a (and mid from 2ax). Curiously, from the same letter noted above, it appears that 42 years ago this same marketeer had been pitching the idea of a speaker model using a smaller woofer - - in this case, a 10" version of the AR-10pi. Not to spin this thread off into yet another direction, but am just wondering how many of those speakers would have sold amid the increasingly competitive market of the mid 70's? The point has been made here that big bad bass was the primary selling point for the larger "bookshelf" speakers of that era, so really?..... a proposal for a 10" woofer in a three-way with a complicated and expensive crossover?
  5. About the AR-1x, genek is certainly correct that it was often produced with a blank-off plate in the tweeter hole of an AR-3 or 3a cabinet, and SteveF is also correct that the tweeter from the AR-4 and AR-4x was each used in alternate versions of this rare speaker model. Second pic attached suggests to me that this model was first cobbled together to make use of AR-1 cabinets that had already begun to be prepped for the Altec driver before the stock ran out.
  6. Nice job with that re-furb project - - - you've got another beautiful pair of Classics. Good to see those older pots clean up so well, and good work with the new wiring, too. Like yourself, I also like to use wire nuts on the final woofer connection in order to facilitate easier future removal. Re: woofer, no doubt some of that dusty buildup might be micro fiberglass particles, but I always approach the removal of this type of accumulation with great care. Not unlike the crud that builds up on the pots after many years, I've always thought this dust was also caused by metallic properties over time due to the driver magnet, and with cobalt as one of the magnet metals in ALNICO, it is worth being cautious. After carefully sweeping away the dust, I typically wipe them down with white vinegar. I think I learned that on these pages, but someone else will know better about this. On the masonite rings, that failure of the original glue is fairly typical with these woofers, and I sort of hate to mention it, but this often occurs with the spider connection as well. Great project, thx for sharing.
  7. Yeah, I agree, that was fun to read. My favorite pics attached - - - apparently, there were separate manuals for the AS-2 and AS-2a, so just be sure you're wearing the right type of shirt when you work on your AS-2's.
  8. Hmmm........just wondering if you came across this old thread - - - same speaker model, blonde cabinets, identical grille cloth, northern Nevada.
  9. Roger, those drivers look just great - - I've never seen those dual tweeters with such perfect cones. And the cabinets with that Baltic birch plywood are very nice, too - - if you can clean up that painted front trim, you'll have a great pair of blondies. It's interesting to see the backside of the grille frame showing the holes from all those little brass brads. These are the speaker kits that were furnished with a homemade stethoscope (rubber tube) to test for air leaks when assembling. This recent thread featured one AS-2 speaker, upgraded to become AR-2x doppleganger. http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/todays-speaker-score-ar-2x.769838/
  10. Roger, your suspicions are most likely correct. This page from the AS-2a assembly manual should give you sufficient clues for disassembly. You really should see the manual from this weblink - - it's a beautiful little step-by-step set of instructions for assembling the entire kit, including detailed parts lists and great little illustrations. http://www.vintage-radio.info/heathkit
  11. Kudos to David for finding yet another fine pair of classics - - - those AR-5's are simply gorgeous and look like brand new. It is pleasantly surprising to see the consistently high quality of vintage hi-fi products you are dragging home from various locations in the far northwest. I'd agree with your suspicion that the flabby bass is most likely due to disintegrated foam surrounds, but I'm sure you'll get these babies up to snuff before too long. Set up with your pristine pine AR-2a's, this quad ensemble would be a real aural, and visual, treat to experience.
  12. Hey, that's a great looking amplifier, and I suspect a fairly rare beast. Very simple, spartan appearance, and it's very unusual to see a two-step loudness switch. More knowledgeable KLH fans may be able to date or comment on this product, but what's curious to me is that the rear labeling suggests a date prior to the use of zip codes in addresses (1963), at a time when tube amplifiers (HH Scott, e.g.) were still popular in home audio. Rear views attached.
  13. Welcome, TGood, and that's a heckuva first post to this forum. There is most definitely a very enthusiastic market for LST's, but they are such a rare and unusual speaker model that they do present very specific issues with regards to restoration, sale advertising, and certainly shipment (only in crates!). If you post more information - - i.e. serial numbers, history, and photos, - - you will get some great specific advice from the members here.
  14. Yes, thanks Kent, for the additional references. I've seen some of Steve Frosten's tables before, and I really like John's results with his mods as well as the excellent and amusing tutorials he provides. I was able to locate the CSP thread (it was about AR-MST's) where the previous image with the arm lift had been scavenged from the post attached here. In that thread, Tom Tyson posted a Euro brochure for the MST/1 (three tweeter version) which shows an AR-XA with an arm lift (see pic) - - most likely the Colton Varilift that Kimmo mentions - - sounds like it might have been a common option in European market. To the OP, am curious which type of sub-chassis is on your s/n 12000 table - - the one shown on top here in third image is from s/n 9000 or thereabouts, and still has the troublesome Delrin material for the platter bearing well.
  15. Re: cueing, I do not recall the specific details, but I think there is more to this story. Yours is not the only AR table to have included this handy device, but perhaps others can help with the history.