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Glitch

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  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. AR1 Rear panel jumpering?

    Regarding the "crack"... Can you tell what kind of joint was used to construct the cabinet? If it was a butt joint, I could see the need to seal it if one wanted to restore the speaker performance. In this case, I would consider applying some sort of reversible sealant to the seam on the INSIDE of the cabinet. Possibly something as simple as a tape with a "not too aggressive" adhesive. If the joint is a rabbet joint, it may not be leaking. Regardless, filling the seam from the outside would seem to be a measure of last resort.
  6. When greed and idiocy take charge.....

    It looks like the seller is having a hard time putting a price on the speaker (i.e. starting bid, BIN). Am I reading the ad right? Is this for a single speaker?
  7. Unbelievable find, NOS

    Now that is something special. It is a shame that the seller isn't offering to ship them. I'm sure there are many people that would want to bid on them that aren't able to make the trip to pick them up locally.
  8. When greed and idiocy take charge.....

    Regarding the that AR9LS auction, I would not consider the final auction price being an indication of the speaker's value. IMHO, it is more a function of supply & demand. "Local pickup" auctions usually kill the opportunity for there to be a reasonable "demand". You need to have at least two serious bidders for an action to be successful from a sellers perspective. I've noticed a big difference in final pricing for shipped versus local pickup auctions. It seems like to only successful local pickup auctions (from a sellers perspective) are reasonably priced but-it-now auctions. Some of the unrealistically high prices can be attributed to "auction fever". This is what every seller hopes to achieve. The good things about this situation is usually both the buyer and seller are happy with the outcome. The seller gets a great price for his item, and the buyer has the satisfaction of winning. Sure, there are cases of "buyers remorse", but these are more the exception than the rule.
  9. AR3 sells for over $3000!

    GlennW: How can you tell that they are a Motorola piezo versus one of the many low cost piezos that were (and still are) made?
  10. What would you do?????

    audiofreak: L1590's set the bar pretty high when it comes to listening pleasure. One setup that could arguably "better" the L1590's is a pair of L1290's combined with a nice pair of subwoofers. This would give you the ADS voicing (that I assume you like) and addresses the disadvantage the L1290's have compared to the L1590's for the low frequencies. I paired my L1290's with a pair of Hsu Research ULS-15 MK2 subs. From a budget standpoint, a nice set of L1290's (shipped) would be about $1000-1200 and the ULS-15's would be $1500. I have listened to both combinations in the same room. The L1290/ULS15 combo has the edge on the lowest of the low notes. The upper bass is also a bit punchier. The L1590's have the edge with slightly clearer mids/highs that have a sharper attack. I'd be hard pressed to pick a clear winner between these two combinations. When I did my comparisons, the "better sound" was mostly a function of how the particular piece of music matched to the relative strengths and weaknesses of the speaker combos. Another candidate the comes to mind is the AR-9. There are also the AR-90 and other similar variations thereof. Maybe other can opine here. From the ADS line, I would expect the L980 to be a worth mentioning. I don't have first hand experience with this speaker, but from a driver specification standpoint, it should be pretty competitive. I don't think that anything "lower" in the ADS line would keep up. The L880's bass, while very nice, is a tad boomy and doesn't have the lower reach of the others. A L1090 & musical sub pairing might work, but nice pairs of L1090's are harder to find than L1290's. Speaking of hard to find, it seems like it may take some time to find clean, unabused examples of anything I mentioned above. I can think of other possible combinations, but exactly how they would sound would be too speculative on my part. DavidDru: I like your suggestion of the Aerial Acoustics. Which particular models were you thinking of? It seems like the 6T or 7T might be a similar enough to considered. However, I can't recall ever seeing these for sale used. They would have to be "used" to meet the budget constraints. Do you know the used market price for these? I've seen 10T's that are in the right price range, but they seem to be a different animal.
  11. AR-3a Improved, Are they worth repairing??

    Juan, For a resto-mod, I would try to selectively restore the crossover as an original AR3a improved. Based on the schematic in JKent’s post, L1, R1, & C1 make the low pass filter for the woofer. Using the stock values would be a safe start. This will give you the crossover frequency that the AR engineers felt was acceptable for the woofer. The rest of the circuit gets more complicated. I would leave the switch out of the circuit and hard wire the circuit equivalent to the switch position shown. C2+C3 & L3 set the high pass frequency for the midrange. The stock values for these will give you a reasonable match to the woofer low pass circuit. L2 and C4 set the low pass for the midrange. These may be OK for whatever midrange you end up using or might not work at all. You will need to check the driver spec sheet to know for sure. C5 & L4 set the high pass for the tweeter. As with the midrange, these values may or may not work with whatever tweeter you pick. I believe that this is what Roy has been trying to warn you about. The other resistors in the circuit may not be needed. What is more likely is different resistor values would be required to level match the various drivers. If you pick the right set of midrange and tweeters, the crossover design could be fairly straightforward. This is why I was suggesting that you use an existing DIY design as a start. These designs typically use very forgiving drivers that work with simple crossovers. You may not get the results of a more expensive setup, but it should be very listenable. The hard part (maybe very hard) is finding a design with drivers that fit the existing holes. Have you decided which direction that you want to take the project (i.e. restoration, resto-mod, or something in between)? Glitch
  12. AR-3a Improved, Are they worth repairing??

    Roy: Of course there "is much more to speaker design". Perhaps, my statement would have been better stated as the woofer/cabinet matching as the hardest part of "speaker building" instead of "speaker design". For many people, soldering together crossover components is much easier than building a suitable cabinet from scratch. Starting with a well-designed and matched woofer combination goes a long way. Combining this with a properly sealed cabinet and the right amount of fiberglass stuffing, and one would be pretty much guaranteed good bass response. The mid/highs are trickier. There are many ways to tackle this problem. There are many modern, solid 3-way DIY designs that could be used as a starting point. One could use the high/mid crossover design from DIY setup. The low/mid crossover design from the AR could be used as a starting point. This crossover frequency is designed for the woofers in question and has the added benefit to be at a low enough frequency where the crossover design is relatively forgiving. It would be fairly easy to pick mids/tweeters that are more efficient that the original/missing AR parts. The final speaker voicing for the mid/high could be dialed back using L-pads or adding resistors. JKent: You make a excellent point about verifying that the woofers are good. It would be prudent to take this step regardless of whether the goal is a full restoration or a resto-mod. Juan: If you decide to go the resto-mod route, be sure to buy a sealed back midrange. It might also be worth sending an email to the fine folks at Parts Express to see if they could make specific driver recommendations. It sounds like you have reasonable expectations about what you will end up if you pursue the project. I'm quite confident that whatever you do, you will end up with a set of speakers that sound much better than what you currently have. Anyone: Can you comment on the chances for success of sourcing used, 50 year old AR drivers? My experience with vintage parts is that it can be difficult to find two drivers that match. It is ever harder to find two drivers that match AND are close to the original performance specifications. From what I've read, some AR mids/tweeters are experiencing the ravages of time. How much consideration should be given to this when planning a restoration? As a side comment: I think that it is a great accomplishment to restore a pair of vintage speakers to their original aesthetics and performance. This is not an easy thing to do.
  13. AR-3a Improved, Are they worth repairing??

    Juan, A full restoration might very well be expensive, but unless you have your heart set on originality, you have other options. You already have the most expensive parts of a speaker with the woofers and cabinets. You also already have the most expensive part of the crossovers, the inductors. I don't know your budget, but there are many "modern" components that you could substitute for the missing pieces and have a nice set of speakers. It might be worth asking the same questions in a DIY speaker building forum before you take a saw to the cabinets. I've built several pairs of speakers based on old woofers and cabinets with Chinese made tweeters. You can get very good value for your money with careful shopping. For instance, digging around a "popular auction site" can yield you a set of dirt cheap foam surrounds from China. The only drawbacks are that the shipping time is long and the woofers aren't original (but more original than the woofers being in a trash can). Your could order the other parts you need from a discount speaker parts website. Stick with non-polar electrolytic capacitors and low cost, highly rated (based on customer feedback) drivers. You may be pleasantly surprised about how good a $15 tweeter can sound. For the cabinets, some wood filler and black paint can make most anything look presentable. Pick a grill cloth that is in line with your taste, install this neatly, and nobody will ever know about the other choices you made or how expertly you did the other work. The hardest part of the speaker design, properly matching the cabinet size to the woofer characteristics, is already done for you. Set the mid/woofer crossover value to something close to the original. Set the mid/tweeter crossover value to something close to whatever the driver manufacturers recommends. This project could be a lot of fun (if you like doing this kind of stuff). Glitch
  14. 1590 and PA-1 help

    I forgot to add a few more things... It would make sense that you would have no bass if the PA-1's were installed with the speaker switch in the full range position, The low frequencies from the amp would be routed to the woofer terminals that are disconnected in that switch position. The higher frequencies from the amp would be routed to the all of the drivers from the full-range terminals. Between the active crossovers in the amps and the passive crossovers in the speakers, no low frequency sound would make it to the woofers. I would get your setup working and let it run for a while before trying the resistor modifications. This way, in the unlikely event that something dies early on, you won't be wondering if it was something that you did while making the mods. Glitch
  15. 1590 and PA-1 help

    Mark, You can "test" your amps by hooking the outputs to a known working set of speakers. Hook up one speaker to the mid/tweeter output of the amp and the the other speaker to the low output (i.e. one amp, two speakers). You should get full range, mono sound out of this unconventional setup. You could also test your speakers with a known good amp. Set the switch to the bi-amp mode and hook the left channel to the lows and right channel to the mid/high input. In the bi-amp mode, the low inputs are connected directly to the woofers. The mid/tweeters are still protected by the crossovers from low frequencies. Regardless of this, I would keep the amplifier volumes low to reduce the risk of burning out a driver. The attached picture shows the location of the "second" piggyback resistor (upper right of photo). I would recommend that you configure the resistors to match the speakers if you are comfortable with soldering. This is a fairly easy modification to make since resistors are relatively tolerant of too much heat being applied. I've run all four combinations of matched and mismatched setups. None of them sound awful (but why have a suboptimal setup?). Glitch
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