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  1. Woofer repair

    Nice job on the repair. Be sure to re-glue the repaired wires to the cone or else the vibration from normal use will cause them to break again.
  2. Could one use a MiniDSP programmed to match the frequency curve of the AR speaker? It seems the dynamic response would be different (i.e. impossible to match), but the general voicing character might be close enough to be believable.
  3. ADS 1290 - have drivers updated? Driving me insane!

    edit: removed double post
  4. ADS 1290 - have drivers updated? Driving me insane!

    I have also perceived occasional "harshness" from my ADS speakers. I attribute this more to the recording than the speaker. I have a pair of L1290/2 and L880/2 (which use the same tweeter) as well as a pair of L1590/2. All of these exhibit similar behavior. I've removed the drivers from the L1290 & L880 and tested them for consistency. I've also ran the same tests on my matching "spare" tweeters. All of them were fairly consistent. I've also experimented with various ferrofluid replacement with the same tweeters. I was able to make subtle changes to the driver's performance. I doubt that "I" would have been able to tell the difference if I wasn't able to A/B the changes as I was making them. Where I usually notice the harshness is with relatively modern alternative rock where distortion is (intentionally) incorporated as part of the music. One band that come to mind is Bleachers. This music sounds horrible on the ADS's. It is much easier to listen to on other speakers that I own. I can't really comment on the sonic performance for the Richard So rebuilds. I'm really curious if anyone has ever tested their drivers before and after sending them to Richard. I've asked this in the past but never got any replies. One thing that I have noticed about the rebuilds is that they sometimes come back looking like they have cataracts. I don't know if this is how they really look in person or is an anomaly from flash photography. That said, I don't recall ever reading about anyone being unhappy with a Richard So rebuild. I would expect that the failure mode for these tweeters would be from the ferrofluid degrading. My experience with ferrofluid (from non ADS speakers) is that it becomes more viscous and the driver starts to sound dull. I suppose that if it dried up completely, the driver would be underdamped and this could cause harshness. You could check the ferrofluid by removing the top plate from the tweeter. The downside to this is you would need to realign the voice coil when you put it back together. Also, you would likely leave witness marks in the paint by the mounting screws. I guess how you proceed depends on how much the "distortion" bugs you.
  5. AR 3a's in the house...outstanding pair.

    What is wrong with me? I'm looking at the pictures and contemplating how nice those shipping cartons are.
  6. ADS L520

    Swapping woofers would tell you what you need to know. The woofers may (or may not) be difficult to remove from the cabinets. As a first step, you could disconnect one wire from the woofer (between the woofer and crossover) and repeat the "receiver test" again connecting directly to the woofer. This will eliminate the crossover from the test and saves the work of removing the woofer. Another possibility for debugging is to swap crossovers. All of the "all uppercase" era ADS speakers (i.e. ADS versus aDs or a/d/s) that I own use spade connectors to connect to the drivers. I'm a bit surprised by your comment about the connections being soldered. However, you never really know what you will find inside of a vintage speaker. Soldering is pretty easy and a worthwhile skill to have. Please post some pictures of what you have. It will make it easier for people to provide advice. As I said in my first reply, I haven't worked on that particular model. I'm making some guesses about what you have based on experience with other ADS speakers.
  7. ADS L520

    An ADS document lists the woofer part number as 206-0326 for speaker serial numbers 0 to 10199. For serial numbers 10200 and up, the part number is 206-0323. This seems odd since one would expect the "higher" number to be used in the newer speakers. Have you done any debugging to verify that the woofer is the actual problem? For example, check with a multimeter or swap woofers between speakers.
  8. ADS L520

    Congratulations on your purchase! I learned something new about the wood patterned vinyl finish on the early L520s. ADS also used a simulated wood finish on the L470s, even into the metal grill era. It sounds like you scored on the records. Some kinds of vinyl are better than others. I'd be interested in hearing your impressions (and seeing more pictures) once you get settled in with the speakers.
  9. ADS L520

    Disclaimer: I don't have first hand experience with the L520's. I do have a lot of experience with many of the other speakers in the ADS line. In general, it is hard to go wrong with ADS speakers as long as the drivers are original and working. The L520's use a tweeter that is common with a large number of other (highly regarded) speakers in the ADS line. All you need to look for is that the tweeters make noise and the sticky coating is in reasonable condition. The tweeters can/will collect dust, pet hair, etc., but as long as it is not excessive it doesn't affect the sound quality. The woofers are unique to the L520's. In general, ADS woofers aren't problematic. I'm almost 100% sure that the L520's use rubber surrounds. Just make sure there aren't holes in the cones or tears in the surrounds and you'll be fine. Rough cabinets are only as big of deal as you want to make it. As long as they maintain an air seal with the woofer you should have a good experience. Are the cabinets wood or black? Wood should be walnut veneer, not vinyl. The crossovers may be have NPE capacitors in the high frequency circuits. Speakers higher in the ADS pecking order usually have film capacitors that very rarely ever go bad. The NPEs that ADS uses usually don't go bad, but it would be worth investigating if you buy them. I have a pair of the L570's. These are the natural evolution of the L520's. These are very nice speakers. While they aren't as amazing as the ADS high end speakers, they will give you a reasonable feel for what the ADS community is raving about. I think that it is a pretty safe bet to buy the speakers at that price (as long as the drivers are good). I would try to talk the seller down a bit, but I always try to talk the seller down, even if it starts off as a great deal. If you don't like the speakers, you could likely get your money back out of them by parting them out. I think the biggest risk you are taking is that you will love them and put more time and money than what they are worth into the restoration. There is also the risk of total addiction. The L520's could be thought of as a gateway drug. Post some pictures if you can, I (and likely others) will be able to provide better advice on the condition of the actual speakers and prospective pitfalls.
  10. The Quintessential AR Speaker

    I've had more near death experiences with audio equipment than with the Corvette. With the audio equipment, it is usually occurs when my wife finds out about the purchase.
  11. The Quintessential AR Speaker

    For me, in this context, "sonic character" is a (ineffective?) way of describing how the speaker is voiced. This is the characteristic sound quality that makes a given speaker brand sound like that brand. My assumption is that most of the AR speakers, especially of a given era, were voiced to be as similar as possible given the limitation of the speaker's design trade-offs. In some of the other brands that I'm more familiar with, the "sonic character" is dominated by the performance in the mid-range frequencies. For example, a cheaper model may give up 10 Hz of frequency response on the low end and a touch of high end clarity. Suppose one played a recording that didn't contain or emphasize that frequency content. If the speakers sounded essentially the same, they would meet the 90% criteria. Your suggestions are the kind of information that I was hoping to get. I've read about them in the past. However, the descriptions usually aren't expressed relative to the context of this thread. You gotta love the old Falcons. It is a worthy candidate for it's era. As far as the AR-4*'s are concerned... How would you describe the voicing (sonic character) versus the 3a? How much does the missing mid-range driver effect the magic of the overall sound character? I wasn't considering styling to be a factor. I'm more concerned about the way things sound. I usually listen with my eyes closed or with the room dark. That beast definitely belongs in the Mods and Tweaks section, The coolness of this car is that it came with the mods and tweaks from the factory. My vote is that it stays in the main forum I have a daily driver, 327/300 version of that Corvette. This is similar to what I was going for with the bargain speakers. 90% of the fun at 25% of the price.
  12. The Quintessential AR Speaker

    Thank you for all of the replies so far. They have all been both insightful and interesting. I agree. I had a hard time figuring out a reasonable way of asking the question. This topic could go off in so many different tangents. There are so many good posts to reply to that it is difficult to pick and choose what to comment on. I was thinking along the same lines. Picking the LST would be like saying the Ford GT is the quintessential Ford. The GT is an awesome car and showcases Ford's technological prowess. However, the Ford's quintessential title probably belongs to something like a F-150 or Taurus (or one of several other candidates). and Compelling arguments can be made for the AR-9. However, I'm wondering about if this falls into the same category as the LST and Ford GT? Is it "too good" to be considered typical? The trend for the discussion appears to be favoring the AR-3a. This is pretty much what I expected to hear. Aside from all of the excellent arguments above, the 3a also seems to get the lion's share of the attention in most forums when it comes to discussions about AR speakers. One could argue it's top status simply by majority rule. This is a great way to summarize the first part of my question. This addresses the second part of my question. Assuming that the AR-3a is the standard that one is try to meet, how close do these come to emulating the overall voicing? I struggled on a way to phrase the second question and fell a bit short. Another way of looking at this is... How one would get 90% of the representative sonic character for 25% of the price? (feel free to adjust the percentages as you see fit) Or... If one couldn't find (or didn't want to pay the top dollar) for 3a's, what would you buy?
  13. I’m interested in hearing people’s opinion on which model they consider to be the quintessential AR speaker and WHY. Another way of asking the question would be… If you wanted to demonstrate a pair of AR speakers for the purpose of conveying the characteristic “AR sound signature”, which model (and year) would you choose? It would be interesting to hear opinions from a couple of perspectives. The first perspective is if cost and rarity were not an object. Next (as you probably guessed), if cost and rarity are a significant consideration and you had to pick a budget speaker. For sake of argument, a budget oriented candidate could be purchased for less than $200-250 in fully working, 4/10 cosmetic condition. I wouldn’t consider the “once in lifetime” thrift store or estate sale find to be in this category. Another intriguing discussion could be related to the most representative speaker from each of the AR eras. For example, the early years versus Teledyne versus post-Teledyne. Many of the members of this forum are in the envious position to having large collections that span several decades and the full product line. They are in a unique position to identify trends and differences. I wouldn’t expect that any definitive answer will result from this topic. I do hope that this prompts some insightful and lively discussion. Thanks and Happy Holidays
  14. AR-2ax Project

    Google "gm328 transistor tester manual" and you will get something from the same family (I'm pretty sure). Many of these meters seem to have common roots, but are slightly different depending on where you buy it. This link http://www.avrtester.tode.cz/upload/ttester_en.pdf seems to be an up to date version. The version that I have sometimes does things that are a mystery to me, especially when it gets into calibration mode. Overall, it does a pretty reasonable job. It provides readings that are consistent with some of my more expensive equipment.
  15. 12 inch Woofer Surround fix

    I would recommend that you contact the seller and ask about the exact glue product that was used. You could also get the specifics about the source of the surrounds at the same time. Knowing what glue was used would be invaluable to how you proceed. Edit: I just reread one of your earlier posts and realize that it has been some time since you purchased the speakers and it might be a long shot to contact the seller for information. I agree with Roy that you would be lucky if the seller used a solvent based glue. These are the rubber cement type glues. They are relatively easily reversed with a variety of solvents. Small amounts of solvent applied with a cotton swab, working on a small area at a time, is usually how I attack this situation. If you are unlucky, the seller used a PVA or CA glue. I don't know of any solvent that will effectively dissolve/release the glue without damaging the cone. I agree with Roy that mechanical removal is usually the best way to proceed. In addition to the razor scraping method, I've had success with light sanding. It all depends on the condition of the old glue. Dried PVA glue is a thermoplastic. You might have luck with applying heat. I haven't had the need to use this method, but it is something to think about if all the other methods fail. I would not use either of these "solvents". Water won't be effective on (almost) all glues. Goo Gone is a citrus oil based solvent that will leave a residue on the cone. I wouldn't expect that any new glue would stick to the cone after it was contaminated with citrus oil. I recommend that you use a rubber/solvent based glue when you install the new surrounds. I have a "collection" of glues that were sold as "speaker surround" glues. I ran a series of tests on the glues which included things like hold strength, reversibility, soak-in, etc. My "go to" glue is a black rubber based glue that was the easiest to reverse. My thoughts are that I want to make it as easy as possible for the next guy that replaces that surrounds. This is probably because the "next guy" will likely be me . This is also helpful if you use one of the "no shim" methods and your results aren't acceptable. I cringe every time I hear someone recommend using a PVA glue for installing speaker surrounds. I understand the desirability of some of the characteristics associated with this glue (i.e. long open time, low fumes/toxicity, etc.). However, IMHO, the drawbacks outweigh the benefits.