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About Robthomp

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  1. Found it! Took me more than 2 seconds though.
  2. Thanks. I know what you mean about shipping charges, they can be significant (sometimes more than the item itself!). These speakers are on Craigslist so I just have to drive 45 minutes to get them.
  3. Hi, Is $70 a reasonable price for a pair of Model 20's supposedly in good condition? I'm putting together a vintage system for a friend who just bought a condo and has over 1000 vinyl records she hasn't listened to in years. I thought I would charge her whatever I'm paying for the components, and then my time and effort - shopping, tuning up, recapping if necessary, etc- will be my gift. But if I overpay then I wouldn't be doing her a favor. I got a Kenwood KR-5030 which is in great condition and I thought I would pair this with the Model 20's. Does that sound like it would be a good match? The 5030 supports 4-16 ohm impedance and has 60 wpc of power. I know the Model 20's are 4 ohm. Thanks, Rob
  4. Hi, Ever since I finished the restoration of my AR 2ax's, with great help from the people on this forum ( thank you all!) I've been wanting to get my next pair. My chance came - a couple was selling a pair of AR-4x speakers on CL for what seemed to me like not that much money, considering they seemed to be in pretty good shape. My main concern was that they still had the original drivers, all working. Their original photos didn't show them with the grills off, in fact they didn't realize the grills came off and that people might be interested in seeing what's underneath. When I emailed them to ask if they still had the original drivers, they said 'what's a driver?'. I could tell they thought the speakers sounded bad, even though they didn't come right out and say it. I speculated that scratchy pots with dead spots were probably the culprit, and I know how to deal with that. I met them and I told them what I know - I'm not really a wiley person by nature. It's not clear how much they cared. They were glad to sell them. Wow, do they sound great. I wiggled the pots when I got home and those tweeters burst alive. The cabs aren't nearly in bad shape like my AR 2ax's - a little light restoration and they'll be fine. I do have some questions. 1) I learned how to refoam woofers (thank you Roy!) but these have the cloth surrounds. How do I evaluate the condition of the surround and determine if it needs any treatment? And if it does, what should i use? I know people here have talked about some substance that Roy and others use. 2) The previous owners put little round sticky feet on the cabs. I peeled them off and there's adhesive residue. Not serious but as a first step I need to clean that off. What do you recommend? Mineral spirits? Tuoluene? 3) I think these speakers sound good in combination with my AR 2ax's. Are there particular combinations of different AR speakers that people like? I'm guessing there are. Rob
  5. I read that Owsleys Wall of Sound had so many channels that there was one channel for each string on Phil Lesh's bass.
  6. When my brother bought his stereo in 1970 he paired a Pioneer SX 990 (28 W/ch) with the AR-2ax's, and that was a really nice system. Rob
  7. I remember the badges from these speakers. They were the rectangular ones, I'm pretty sure they were on there when my brother gave me the speakers around 1990. So I must have lost them, they could be up in my attic somewhere. Here is a picture of one of the speakers a month or so ago before I started the work. The metal plate you see isn't the whole badge, it's just the base plate that was screwed into the baffle that the badge was glued onto.
  8. Kent, for the grill cloth I just followed the recommendation in the AR-3a restoration guide - it's the Wichelt 18 count Lambswool color linen from It looks pretty much identical to the original grillcloth to my eye.
  9. Yes, hooked.
  10. Well, I finished the rehab of my AR-2ax's! That was quite a project. Thank you again to everyone for all your help. I 1) restored cabinets 2) re-foamed woofers (thank you Roy!) 3) cleaned pots (lot of work) 4) replaced caps 5) sent tweeters to Chris for restoration (made an huge difference, probably doubled the output) 6) replaced grill cloth The speakers sound wonderful. It's been a long time since I've had speakers of that quality in my home. They reproduce sound with astonishing accuracy and clarity at all frequency ranges (that I can hear anyway - my hearing is not what is used to be - probably too many rock concerts when I was in high school and college). The bass is amazing. Playing a jazz CD, it sounds like the bass player is live 5 feet away from me. But I don't have to tell you all this - that's why you're here. I can't wait to get my hands on another pair of ARs. I'm on the prowl. I walked into a GW a week or two ago and nabbed a really nice pair of Wharfedale's for $20, and I nabbed a nice Dual turntable at a yard sale for $35 a few days ago, so I know all that stuff is out there, just waiting for some TLC. Wait, one last detail - does anyone know where I can get AR-2ax badges, either original or replicas? I think I've seen that mentioned here somewhere. Rob
  11. I sent the other tweeter to Chris to have it rebuilt. Now they are balanced.
  12. Rocker Woodworking sells these synthetic abrasive pads which are supposedly better than steel wool. They come in different colors and the colors are indexed to the different grades of steel wool. They supposedly don't leave fibers behind and they're reusable. I haven't tried them yet but I plan to for my next finishing project.
  13. Thanks Kent. The marks tell the speakers' story.
  14. Hey all, Well, I finished refinishing the cabinets. That was quite a bit of work – and a great adventure, I learned quite a lot. Now I want to learn more about vintage furniture restoration. Thank you to EVERYONE for all the great advice. I 11) Glued and clamped the separated seams 22) Used JB Weld Quikwood + Mixol #22 to patch dings and dents 33) Steamed with an iron and scraped with a blade 44) Sanded, first with orbital 220 grit then by hand with 320. 55) Stained one coat with Old Masters American Walnut 66) 4 coats of Watco Danish Oil, natural. 77) Painted the baffles with an oil based flat black. Patching the dings with the epoxy was much harder than I thought it would be. I would say there’s definitely a learning curve with that stuff. I don’t think I did a professional looking job, but hey, it was my first time. I couldn’t get all the deep scratches and stains out. The steaming and scraping was amazing in terms of how much it got out, without taking the veneer off. Thank you Lakecat for the detailed instructions on how to do that. The sanding further helped but at some point I had to stop because I really didn’t want to sand through the veneer. Let’s just say that the deeper scratches and stains give the speakers their unique character. I did some research into various brands of stains, learned a little about pigments vs dyes, and sampled a few colors on some test pieces of walnuts. I chose the Old Masters American Walnut because on the test piece the color seemed to match the original color very closely, and it has a slight hint of red in it, which looked nice. On the cabinets themselves it came out a little darker than I expected and perhaps wanted, and the grain doesn’t quite pop. However as Genek pointed out, maybe with that many scratches and stains you want something with a little more coverage. I’ve also included a pic of one of the refoamed woofers. The replacement surround didn’t have as large an outside diameter as the original, so there was a band of aluminum exposed. I painted that with the flat black, which looks better I think. I got a little more information from my brother. He didn't buy the speakers in Hong Kong after all. He bought all the other components of his system there, and he knew he wanted the ARs, but they weren't available at the moment. So he waited until he got stateside, 1970, and he took his little brother (me ) with him to a stereo store in downtown San Jose. He was an electronics technician in the Navy and he knew audio. He said ARs were known to have the flattest response of any speaker available. He also said that even when new, the pots felt scratchy and bad. Rob
  15. Hi Jeff, I'm soon to complete my first AR restoration job on my brother's 2ax s from 1970 and I have the same question. My brother's system consisted of a Pioneer amp (solid state), Dual turntable, Teac reel to reel tape deck, and the speakers. I don't remember the model numbers but I could ask him. I currently have a Phillips 384 amp from around 1975 that my father in law gave me a long time ago. It's been up in my attic with the 2ax's for some time. It's 40 W per channel. I'm just getting back into audio after a break of many decades so I'm not sure what my listening habits will be. I'm also curious about tube amps.