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About bfastr

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  1. You may be right, all I remember were two toggle switches , looking at google images it seems maybe one was for Cr02 tapes and the other simply noise reduction, in or out. either way we thought this was the coolest setup ever. Until my friends dad got some JBL Century 100's...
  2. without getting into things, I have to agree. I miss those days, but then I suppose as we age thats a normal feeling. I do remember the day my dad brought home his first pair of AR4x speakers and we all marveled at how good they sounded for bookshelf speakers. Probably listened to something on his old Dual turntable or top loading Techniques cassette deck with the new Dolby C. all played thru an old Marantz receiver. man we had it made. !!! good times Bob F
  3. Frank, I must admit that when I first picked up the 2's they sat on the floor for a very short time, then I put them on a couple matching small waste cans, I just didnt like leaving them on the floor. And I want to say they seemed a little boomy on the hardwood so I elevated them. it seemed like a better idea to get them to where they are in line with my ears as I sit in my chair rather than play to my ankles. I am very happy with the current elevation. The stands under the 2ax's are same height as the AR stands for the 3's. The stands under the 4ax's ended up 16" to the bottoms. Only because the design of the stands looked best that high. Bob F
  4. bfastr

    Bi-wiring a pair of AR-2Ax

    Thorne, after looking at a Marantz schematic it seems to me you arent gaining anything by using the remote speaker output as a second amp to the speaker. the Marantz outputs share a common return at the connectors. and the hots, or outputs come from the same main amp. they are just run in parallel. so from what I can see you are effectively just moving the jumper from the back of the speaker to the Marantz remote speaker switch. but I could be wrong, maybe a Marantz engineer will chime in. I think your assumption that the output is shared is correct. So I don't see the advantage of breaking up the connections at the speaker ( in this case ) Bob
  5. bfastr

    Bi-wiring a pair of AR-2Ax

    I think it depends more on the amp or amps you are using to do this. are both outputs from the same physical amp? if so it may share a common "common". do you have a simple DVM? (volt/ohm meter) with the amp off check to see if there is continuity between the two outputs "common". if you do then only one common wire will be needed. If you are using two physically separate amps it will depend on the amp. if its two diff amps and the second common is hanging in space then as Frank says , that amp is doing nothing for you. maybe if they are the same brand amp they will play nice and allow you to stack the commons. or maybe the common is shared thru the ground wire of the amp, although this is a poor way to return to the amp, but at least you could then stack common wires. try pulling the woofer hot that is fed by the amp feeding the common. do you still hear the mids and highs? you may be able to stack the separate amp commons without a problem since the speakers are now isolated inside the cabinet , but I cant say that for sure.
  6. bfastr

    AR4x restoration (was a tale of misery)

    Larrybody, my frames were original, however, an interesting note is that one was made from hardwood and the other a thick masonite, my dad had four of these and it could be I took one from each set by accident. back in the day I didn't pay any attention to serial numbers, in fact I scraped off the AR paperwork and painted the backs flat black when I originally gutted them. I painted the fronts black too because I was into the no Grill look for a while. Thankfully I did save the grills, but I had recovered them with black speaker cloth. SO for this round I went with the linen from 123 Stitch. Here is a finished product sitting next to my AR2-ax with what I think are original grills. ( everything else was unmolested ). My wife thinks I should recover those with new cloth, but I cant bring myself to remove the original material since it isnt ripped or badly stained. I will probably make a second set of frames for those and cover them with new material and then save the originals as they are. the more I listen to all these speakers in unison the better they sound. Bob F
  7. I finished the restoration of my old AR4x speakers today. This was previously mentioned in the topic of My Misery. a basic re-cap is these were my Dad's speakers. in the early 70's he bought four AR4x speakers for a multi room setup. somewhere in the late 80's he moved on to Advents and I snagged a pair of the AR4x speakers. Way back when I did the unthinkable and gutted the speakers and put in some Scanspeak woofers and tweeters. I knew better than AR right? The modified speakers served me well as extra units that I didnt pay much attention to. At one time I augmented them with a giant 15" subwoofer that would shake my house. the wife hated that. crank it up!! well time passes and I started to get interested vintage speakers. So I happen across a pair of AR2-ax speakers in really fantastic shape locally on craigslist. So after doing a little work on those ( also outlined on here) I started to think it would be cool to turn back the clock on my non original, but in very nice condition AR4x's. So, after sourcing drivers and tweeters off ebay I decided to restore these to original. Well, I did one at a time and after replacing the whole crossover board in the back ( I had gutted that too..) I cleaned up the mounting flanges and epoxied the holes I had drilled for the other speakers and refitted the original drivers. The original 20uf caps both measured around 21uf, but I decided to use new caps anyway. I also bought a pair of the phenolic ring tweeters, even installed one when I messed with the first speaker, I ended up settling on that tweeter and went back to the Scanspeak woofer. and there they sat for a month, one still as I had "improved" it back in the 80's and the other with an original crossover but still non AR speakers. I tried the old AR tweeter, but it just sounded weak, so I used the PR tweeter. for a month. that brings us to today. I decided the heck with it, I am going ALL AR4x on them. So the only thing new is the Solen 20uf cap, but both speakers are back to original AR speakers. The sound.. VERY Pleased! the woofers seem to have a lower bottom end than the Scanspeaks did, at moderate volumes they sound fuller, The original tweeters sound balanced and much like the AR2-ax speakers I have, with both speakers properly configured and playing I find the overall balance perfect. Playing alongside the AR2-ax speakers they are fantastic. I also noticed the AR tweeter sounds brighter with the new caps versus when I tried using the original wax cap. But the balance once built as designed is very pleasant. I am really glad to now have two variations of AR speakers as designed. Its amazing how good the old AR4x speaker really was, I can see why they were so popular. It would have been cheaper to buy another set of all original AR4x speakers off ebay than what I probably spent on speakers, caps, wire and all the other stuff I bought and didnt use. But thats the fun of doing this sort of thing, plus these cabinets were my dads.. worth more than the sum of the parts to me. Bob F
  8. bfastr

    AR-2ax - pots vs l-pads

    Yes I did, I guess what I am saying is that the thought of having to re-open the speaker and address any pot problems doesn't scare me off, and truthfully, if they go another 50 years they sure wont be my problem!!
  9. bfastr

    AR-2ax - pots vs l-pads

    I am interested ! thanks. I rebuilt my original pots and decided to keep things original in spite of the obvious long term issues the pots will probably pose vs a new L pad.
  10. bfastr

    Hi, New With New To Me AR-2ax Pair

    Speaking of speakers. I spent the day listening to a re-issue of Pink Floyd (really Roger Waters) The Final Cut LP thru my various AR's and Adcom setup. Lacking the stereophile thesaurus I can only say that to me it seems that album has a wide dynamic range of quiet to hard hitting passages, maybe not the prettiest vocals to use for listening, but I have always liked Rogers angst and anger. The range of the album gave my re-furbed 2-ax's a work out. I am impressed with the ability of the old speakers to deliver the punch I like with 10" speakers. I also ran the pair of AR4x's in tandem to compare the one basically stock speaker (with the PR tweeter) and my old modified unit with the Scanspeak woofer and Vifa tweeter. I am really liking the AR4x woofer better now, and even as loud as the PR tweeter could be un-restrained, I like to be able to dial it down on the speaker. Suffice to say, I too am impressed with how speakers made in 1968 can still shine. I really think the original AR4x woofer is doing a better job of reaching lower than the modern Scanspeak in this enclosure. I have had systems with subs, even had a giant dual voice coil 15" monster I think was called the Sledgehammer in a giant sealed enclosure once. that was a beast. but as I re-learn to appreciate balanced music and systems I really like the sound of these AR2-ax speakers. These puppies can get loud and still sound remarkable. I am really enjoying my old school AR's regardless of what may be "better" in todays world. In the next week or so I hope to get after my other modified AR4x and return it to more or less original specs. I may try a 10uf cap on the tweeter in that one just to compare the two. In the end its just as Sarals says. its all about the fun
  11. bfastr

    My AR4 tale of misery

    Easter weekend update. First off, yes these are AR-4x. I lazily did not type in the x, and to be honest wasnt really familiar of all the variations of the 4's. but these were/are AR-4x speakers. having said that, maybe someone can shed light on when AR went from the wax cap to the metal can. because mine had the metal can capacitor, so maybe in fact that changes things? not sure. Either way, I sourced nice crossover/backplates with the wax cap ( still measures 20.5 uf) with original pots I was able to clean and use. I found original tweeters and paper woofers with the cloth surrounds. they looked a little thin, so I gave them a pass with a light coat of the Vintage AR surround sealer. what is in that? the smell is very familiar. I used to do something a long time ago with some chemical that smells the same but I cant place it! brought back memories. and like a dummy I took several close up sniffs to try and remember where. maybe all the sniffing is why I cant remember? I built up one speaker as original and left the other with my modified x-over and the Vifa Scanspeak tweeter and poly woofer with a nice rubber surround, a very nice to look at speaker that gets hidden behind a grill. My first impression was, I blew it, the original sounds muffled compared to the modified speaker. not bright at all. the Bass is good, maybe even better , but it was just dull. I had to bias the balance to about 70/30% to get even volume out of the two speakers. I should add that my hearing is obviously not the best given I am not 20 years old, my shoes are tho.. anyway, not really liking the original tweeter I ordered up a set of the phenolic ring tweeters from Vintage-AR. I swapped the tweeter in the "original" or stock AR-4x and wow. yes these can be bright tweeters, maybe even brighter/louder than the Vifa's I had in there. BUT, now that I have an original pot on the back I can dial back the highs to a level I like. Is it a "real" or true AR sound. I couldn't tell you, but playing the 4x's in conjunction with my 2-ax speakers that I just cleaned up and are original spec I can make the original 4x sound very AR-ish next to the 2-ax. the modified 4x of mine now seems to be the loud uncle in the room, the one that is over there saying "HEY LISTEN TO ME, I'm talking here" I cant describe what I hear like Sarals does, but I would say the modified version of the 4x is a bit too forward, it makes itself known compared the the other three AR speakers in the room. The midrange presence is giant, there is more of an overall range of sound out of the original AR speakers without seeming to be right in your face. And I think the music more pleasant to listen to out of the speakers with original woofers vs the poly cone. They served me well for the last 20 years as garage speakers.. they sat on a shelf and played background music while I worked on cars and bikes. but now that they have moved into a space just for enjoying music I think the original design has an easier sound to listen to, even with the Vintage-AR tweeter. I am going to rebuild the modified 4x back into a stock 4x with the original woofer and the Vintage AR tweeter and stock crossover. I have 10uf caps to try, but for now I am going to listen to them as they were made, with brighter tweeters for my old ears. I prefer to have more tweet than I need so long as I can dial it back on the speaker. I will save the original tweeters for now. I should add that my system is an old Adcom setup with a GTP-500II pre-amp and a GFA-535II on the 4's and a GFA-545II on the 2's. I have a GFP-555II but I am lazy and like the remote volume control on the 500. Bob F
  12. bfastr

    My AR4 tale of misery

    ra.ra , you are spot on, the baffle board is junk. I am sure it was a low cost item that AR never intended to be seen again, mine is a borderline disaster. I am planning to re-inforce it from the back with a tack strip of wood and fill the gaps with epoxy or putty. I am being very careful to try not to create more damage than is already there. It is a fine line as this particle board seems especially dry. whoever made it should have taken a lesson from the staple policy at AR and used more glue in the mix. I had the same trouble around the tweeter. IF these weren't original owner speakers ( my dad) and the walnut so nice I would never have even undertaken an attempt to return them to some semblance of originality. You mention holding the t-nuts in with epoxy, a great idea, but I will also add that these are a perfect reason NOT to use a power screwdriver to tighten the speaker screws, too much torque and the T-nuts will spin in their holes.
  13. bfastr

    My AR4 tale of misery

    LMAO.. you guys are funny. OK, so yes, I ordered the same tweeter from Vintage AR, didnt even think to look at parts express, but I am happy to support a forum member for a few bucks more. and I wasn't aware of the thread about mods to make it work or sound better, I will read that next. And if the Vintage AR version has the goop already on it, all the better. yes, the crossover I described was the one I made 20 years ago when I gutted the original AR4's. I was describing all the junk inside the cabinet in the picture. Thats all gone and an original AR crossover with the 0.5uh and 20uf wax cap is in its place. Although not having read the link above I am guessing I need to buy a different cap. no biggy. What is interesting is the crossover I bought has the wax cap, and I can tell my AR4's were the vintage with the metal can cap mounted in the ring. I am guessing its a moot point as the Wax cap will probably end up being bypassed with a new value even tho it is still in spec at 20.5 uf. And YES !! Everything you see in those pics was taken and done thru the tweeter hole.! Since I stupidly RTV'd the woofer in I needed to force it out from inside. So with lots of flashlights, a small plastic survival mirror and a lot of patience I was able to place my mini jacks and work it free. From there the rest of the surgery was thru the woofer hole. edit : so having read the link above it answers a question I was already having, that is a 20 uf cap seems like a high value to me. maybe it was good for the original AR tweeter, but I was already investigating a lower value to move the crossover a bit higher. thankfully its not a big deal ( to me) open up the cabinet and drop in a new cap. I still like the option of originality tho. and if I pick up another original tweeter I can always go back