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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Quality binding posts

    I think that you will find that some people would want the speakers updated, others would want them in an original state as possible. In general, I would think that "everyone" would want the speakers working well enough to make a reasonable judgement on how well they are working. My personal preference is for the speakers to be as unmolested as possible. When I "restore" a speaker that I may someday sell, I try to keep the speaker as original as possible. If I need to repair anything, I attempt to do it in such a manner that the repair is reversible. I will also save any replaced parts and offer them to the buyer. This way they have the original parts if they are inclined to reinstall them. The original parts could also be helpful if one was trying to do a better (more correct) restoration than what I did. I have bags of old caps and samples of grill cloth that will likely never be needed, but if/when they are needed, they will be invaluable. Also, I've found that lots of before and after pictures are helpful to both me and the buyer.
  8. AR 4xa

    The speakers look so much better than when you started. Nice job! Please include a close-up of one of the corners when you post the final pictures. I'm curious on seeing how well the MDF and veneer sections compliment each other.
  9. AR 4xa

    ra.ra: My sketches were inspired by a pair of L400's. You make a valid point about the woodworking precision needed to make it look right. I believe that one would get the precision from a router and chamfer bit. This setup would index from the cabinet edges and a precision of a few thousands of an inch are possible. The wood pieces should be made to be slightly "proud" of the surface then sanded flush. genek: The cross-grain corners that you suggested may look very nice. However, they would be prone to cracking with seasonal wood movements. Your suggestion of "soft black" is good since it is a relatively forgiving finish to apply. Another possibility is to apply veneer to the chamfered edge like on some of ADS's larger speakers. The problem with this idea is getting a good match of the veneers. A contrasting veneer could be used, but I'm not sure how good it would look. One could also just build new cabinets to the original specifications. In the long run, this may be easier than any of the other "woodworking solutions". This is always an option if any of the other attempts are tried and the results aren't satisfactory.
  10. AR 4xa

    I'd like to think that the rounding of the corners and painting was done to fix another issue instead of being done for purely cosmetic reasons. For example, the speakers may have taken a fall and the corners were badly dented and gouged. In this case, rounding over seems like a reasonable (or at least quick and easy) way of salvaging a speaker. If one wanted to restore square corners, they could chamfer the corners, then glue on wooden blocks. Corner blocks could also be added to the inside to improve the structure of the cabinets. It is hard to tell from the pictures if the existing veneer is in good condition (i.e. deep scratches, gouges, watermarks, paint deep in the wood pores, etc.). Are you trying to save it? Personally, I think that I would leave the rounded corners, apply a piano black finish, and recover the grills with whatever fabric makes my wife happy.
  11. Unbelievable find, NOS

    DavidR: Just curious, why would you think this? I hope that whoever won the speakers is aware of this thread and posts some un-boxing pictures. It would be interesting to know how well these speakers held up to being in long term storage. I wonder how high the auction would have gone with good pictures. It is hard to tell. Even with good pictures, one doesn't necessarily know the exact condition of an item. For example, I've purchased speakers with cracks in the cabinets and crazing in the finish that wasn't evident from the pictures. I don't think that the pictures were purposefully deceptive. Many issues are just hard to photograph.
  12. Unbelievable find, NOS

    I emailed the eBay seller about the auction and speakers. The seller said that he is selling them for a family friend who "was" a collector. I assume the word "was" implies an unfortunate set of circumstances. I was wondering if the "new" seller was a "flipper", but this doesn't appear to be the case. The seller's written description of the speakers was very positive. The depiction was of a set of speakers from a time capsule. Of course it is hard to know if he is aware of the pitfalls that could occur with something this old. I requested more pictures of the actual speakers and explained why they were needed. The seller said that he would add some more pictures, but I haven't seen anything yet. IMHO, this doesn't in itself raise a red flag. The eBay seller may not have convenient access to the speakers (i.e. selling for a friend). There seems to be enough positive written description of the speakers available to make a case for the eBay money back guarantee if they turn out to be anything less than spectacular. That said, I agree with many others here that more pictures would reduce the risks to the buyer. Additional pictures may also motivate more bidders to throw their hat in the ring. Regarding the merits of NOS versus used... With NOS one would be getting a pair of speakers without the inevitable dents, dings, and scratches in the finish. The grill cloths should be pristine. One is also guaranteed to have original drivers, crossover components, the correct amount of stuffing, etc. With used speakers, one may be buying amateurish repairs, modifications, or hacks done by a previous owner. That can be be very expensive (in both time and money) to resolve. Even if they NOS speakers need foam and caps, that is a small price to pay for perfection. It is probably a good thing that I'm not within driving range of picking up the speakers locally. Otherwise, I'd be bidding on another pair of speakers that I don't need.
  13. I've been working on restoring a pair of speakers. Upon taking them apart, I found this... And on the other side, this is what I have... The good news is that I found out why the speaker was buzzing. The other woofer was much better and still had the stock terminals. I've cobbled together a temporary solution. I'll use some Locktite on the nut for now, but can apply some solder between the nut and bolt if I want the connection to be permanent. I'd like to restore the first speaker to something closer to the stock connector. I've already spent hours searching the web for a suitable replacement. I haven't found anything that is even close. Does anyone know a source for this type of riveted tinsel wire terminals?
  14. Unbelievable find, NOS

    I'm glad to see that the seller finally wised up and offered to ship the speakers. I'm surprised that this wasn't done for the original auction since it would be so easy to slap a shipping label on the boxes and have the shipping company pick them up. Shipping opens up a much larger pool of bidders. It looks like it will be a healthy auction this time around. Currently 5 "nibblers" (2 that look serious) moved the bid up to a respectable $2K. The real question is how many serious "snipers" are waiting in the background. We should get a pretty good idea of the true market price of these if the auction runs to conclusion. It seems like someone still could get a great deal on these if they showed up at the sellers house with a stack of cash.
  15. AR1 Rear panel jumpering?

    To determine the joint type you could insert a thin wire or Exacto blade into the crack and see how deep it is. If it stops after half of the thickness of the back panel (3/8") then the joint is most likely a blind rabbet. If it goes in the full thickness of the back panel (3/4") then it is a butt joint. I've had success with using a syringe with a fine needle (as small as 30 ga.) to inject glue into the joint and clamp for this kind of repair. Once clamped, any excess glue can be wiped off while it it still wet. The risk of this is if the glue doesn't hold then it makes it even more difficult to repair. I understand your reluctance to open up the cabinets. Personally, I would prefer to purchase the speakers "as is" and make the repairs to my own specifications or desires. Thanks for posting the pictures and story of this speaker. It is cool to know that things like that are still out there.