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These speakers were given to me by a friend of mine at church who had them in the back of his truck destined for Goodwill. The cabinets were fairly rough and the grille fabric had been replaced but everything else was original. I had never restored a set of speakers before but thanks to the encouragement of Roy, Glenn, Kent and others on this site, I have spent the last 6 weeks restoring them and am very happy with how they turned out. Here are a few of the details: Year: 1963-4 Make: Acoustic Research Model: AR-3 Serial #s: C21604 & C21611 Restoration summary: - Original dual 24uF and 6uF paper capacitor replaced with new Solen 24uF 400V and Dayton Audio 6.2uF 250V Precision Audio Capacitors from Parts Express - Original 16 Ohm / 25 Watt wire-wound potentiometers were corroded beyond repair and were replaced with modern reproduction wire-wound potentiometers of the same size and specifications from captainfantastic07 on eBay. - Cabinets sanded and hand-rubbed with Watco Danish Oil (Dark Walnut) and finished with four coats of Minwax satin polyurethane. - Woofer perimeter and bolt holes resealed with speaker sealing caulk from Parts Express - Original plastic speaker grill frames replaced with more durable 1/4" Masonite for easier installation and removal. - Masonite speaker grille frames spray painted flat black before wrapping with fabric to prevent frame being seen through fabric. - Reproduction speaker grille saran material from Q-Components in Canada. - 3M automotive trim adhesive tape followed by ¼” heavy duty staples to prevent slipping of material or fraying of fabric edges - Reproduction “AR Inc” and "3" pin from jKent Attached are a few pictures so you can see before and after and some of the steps along the way. I plan on enjoying them for a while and then will probably try selling them locally before putting on eBay to avoid the hassle and potential damage associated with shipping. Thank you to Roy, Glenn and Kent for all of your input and for the wealth of information everyone else has contributed to this site! If you have any questions or comments, please let me know! Thanks, Steve
I purchased my beloved AR3a speakers in 1970 and we've been together ever since. They had some work done on them professionally (replaced various drivers) in the 80s and early 90s, and for the last 18 years or so, other than successfully refoaming the woofers myself, all has been well. Until now. AND TO TOP IT OFF I am having issues with the performance of my 20 year old receiver (Nakamichi RE-10) as well. So I have several dilemmas. First, the tone controls on both speakers are pretty much shot. (I've had to move the dials around to find the "right" spot, now there is no "right" spot, and the range of motion on one of them is very limited.) They were the last things professionally replaced (1995?). I confess to knowing next to nothing about electronics, but I am something of a do-it yourselfer and after carefully reviewing the AR3a manual, I am prepared to take the plunge and replace the pots myself. (I strongly suspect that cleaning the present ones is not an option.) The manual recommends using an Ohmite RHS-15R. Allied Electronics website indicates these are no longer available and offers RHS-15RE as the substitute. So, 1) can someone confirm that this the correct item and 2) when the manual says to make a "thin aluminum cover" to protect the insulation, what exactly do I use and what do I do? I guess I need a little elaboration on this part. I hope I'm on the right track here. The other part of this issue is that my amp/receiver is at the end of its useful life. (It did very well and would occasionally clip out in the summer heat when the volume was too high.) I do not have home theatre & have no interest in it, so two channels with sufficient power for 4 ohms & limited bells and whistles is what I'm looking for (basically a tuner and inputs for cds, ipod, phono, etc.). I have read various discussion threads on this site and confess to confusion. If anyone can please suggest some options, I'd be most grateful. Thanks, Keith
Rebuilding some old AR-4x speakers and found a wad of caulking/putty wrapped around the wire bails that hold the Aetna-Pollak pots together. It looks like the same black caulking that was used to seat the speakers to the box. Does anybody know what this is for? Are there vibration/rattling issues with these speakers? I have not seen this caulking on the bails of my other AR speakers but they are not the same model. Should I put caulking on the bails when I'm reassembling these speakers?
I have a beautiful pair of AR 2a that look like they just came out of their original boxes. They are all original, as far as I know. There are 2 problems with each speaker which I'd like to fix so that the speakers become (nearly) perfect: 1) Tweeter output is very soft, which I assume is due to dirty pots, and 2) There are a few tiny, 1/4" tears in the delicate midrange cones which I'd like to repair even though the tears are not audible. Inside, I expected to see the common, black & white Aetna-Pollak pots, but these are very different: they're much larger in diameter, they appear to be all-metal, they're perfectly quiet and rotate with a feel as smooth as silk, making me wonder if they're dirty at all. They're labled "Violet B150 AT4011", and appear to be original, although I've never seen this different type of pot before. Rotating them does not alter tweeter output level at all, making me think they're dirty, but they sure feel smooth and not dirty or corroded. They are not as easily removed as the A-P pots, in fact, it is not obvious at all how to remove them as they are firmly seated even with the rear, outside nut removed. They seem to be glued in place, though no glue is obvious. The midrange pots work fine and are perfectly quiet. Are these pots likely to be the culprit given that they are different from the A-Ps and appear to be of much higher quality? If so, what's the best way to remove them? Then, I'd like to use some kind of flexible coating on the midrange paper to seal the little tears from the outside. Would the red Permatex gasket compound work? Getting to the inside, behind the cones, is a bit of a problem due to both a) very short midrange wires and lots of fiberglass stuffing inside the midranges so patching the cones from the rear is not too likely. Your comments & suggestions are appreciated.