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arken

Ar3 midrange

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Well as luck would have it I sent my midranges to Larry at Vintage AR only to find out the voice coil is pinched in both of them and can not be repaired. He has only saw this one other time. So I'm in the market for a couple of midranges should anyone know someone who has a set they want to sell. These speakers were made in 1964 so I guess this should not surprise me but it sure was disappointing. I think he said he could convert another mid to work in there but I'm holding out for the originals. The cabinets were near perfect so I guess I have to take the good with the bad. I think father time has really gotten to these speakers. I've had both woofers done and the tweeters both have sound so hopefully this is it.  Ken 

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Hi...and I also got bad news on two AR3 mids...toast. With the competition to get these very rare mids, and prices they are getting online, you may want to look for alternatives...unless a kind soul here might have a pair...but I highly doubt it.

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My problem is that even if you pay the money and get a used set there'd no guarantee they are any good? I have seen them before(ebay) but prices have really gone up in the last few years. I would hate to pay2-3 hundred only to find out there no good! Apparently there is a ar3a midrange that can be made to fit? I really don't want to do that but.........

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Spare parts prices are insane at present.  It doesn't seem to have topped out either.  Even woofers and mids, still needing a refoam, are bringing high dollar.  Or at least sellers are asking top dollar. 

Parts are scarce too.  I'm looking for a single AR92 woofer, and can't find one.  And when you find something that might work, everyone expects to receive eBay asking prices.  And as Arken stated, "no guarantee if they're any good"?  A big risk, with potentially no reward.

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5 hours ago, arken said:

My problem is that even if you pay the money and get a used set there'd no guarantee they are any good? I have seen them before(ebay) but prices have really gone up in the last few years. I would hate to pay2-3 hundred only to find out there no good! Apparently there is a ar3a midrange that can be made to fit? I really don't want to do that but.........

More like over $500 for a pair. You can use the 3a mid but have to add a .04mh coil to get the AR3 match according to Roy's instructions.

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On 7/26/2018 at 8:33 PM, lakecat said:

More like over $500 for a pair. You can use the 3a mid but have to add a .04mh coil to get the AR3 match according to Roy's instructions.

More specifically...the addition of a .4 mh parallel coil to the 3a type midrange, and the addition of a 6uf to the 24uf mid capacitor to make 30uf will make an AR-3 the same as the last version of the model. See the Library section regarding AR-3 schematics. http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/library/acoustic_research/original_models_1954-1974/original_models_schematicss/thoughts_on_ar-3_schematics/thoughts_on_ar-3_schematics.pdf   It is the last one on page 2.

Roy

Edited by RoyC
corrected inductor value

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23 hours ago, RoyC said:

...the addition of a .04 mh parallel coil to the 3a type midrange, and the addition of a 6uf to the 24uf mid capacitor to make 30uf will make an AR-3

 

.04 would be small even for a tweeter, that should be .4 mH right?

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49 minutes ago, Pete B said:

.04 would be small even for a tweeter, that should be .4 mH right?

Yikes...thanks, Pete. It is .4mh. I will correct it in the original post, so there is no confusion down the line.

Roy

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Has anyone heard the ar3a mid in the ar3 with the modifications? How does it sound? At the prices I'm getting for Ar3a midranges I'm thinking I could just use the mids in a second pair of 11's I got for a good price. Only paid 300 for the speakers and it would cost more than that for two ar3a mids on fleabay. I just hate bastardizing my 11's . Not a thing wrong with them, I just like the 11a's more.

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Well another way maybe using the AR 3a mid replacement from simply speakers(https://www.simplyspeakers.com/acoustic-research-replacement-midrange-12100103.html). Yes you may have to modify the cabinet but they may sound fantastic. If you want to restore your AR 3s then putting only original mids at great cost are the answer, but to at least bring them up to a good(maybe not original sound) this may work for you.

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23 hours ago, arken said:

Has anyone heard the ar3a mid in the ar3 with the modifications?

When I got my AR-3s one mid and one tweet were shot. I ended up converting them to AR-3a's using some AR-11 mids, Hi-V- tweets and built-from-scratch AR-3a crossovers. Of course that destroys any "collectible" value but I'm keeping these and they sound wonderful.

btw, I was able to sell the working mid & tweet for pretty big bucks and even the dead ones, clearly labeled as such fetched a good price on ebay.

-Kent

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I will be using the 3a mid in a pair of 3's I am refinishing. I ordered the coils and have the Dayton caps. I doubt if I will hear much or if any difference in sound...but we shall see. My 3 mids were not repairable...damn it....

Plus...I will be able to compare...as I have a pair of 3's to refinish next and have good mids that Roy did for me.

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I have been looking for a few weeks and have not even seen a set for sale. I am going to give it till the end of the year or so to find a set. If not I will go another route. I would even consider buying another set using the mids and parting out the rest. With the cost of parts for ar3 I think I could re-coop a good bit of the cost but it's a crap shoot as to weather or not the mids are good or even repairable. Is there a chance the tweeters could be unrepairable as well? If I would have known all this I might have invested in a set of ARLST instead. At least I would have been able to get parts for them!!!!!!

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7 hours ago, arken said:

I have been looking for a few weeks and have not even seen a set for sale. I am going to give it till the end of the year or so to find a set. If not I will go another route. I would even consider buying another set using the mids and parting out the rest. With the cost of parts for ar3 I think I could re-coop a good bit of the cost but it's a crap shoot as to weather or not the mids are good or even repairable. Is there a chance the tweeters could be unrepairable as well? If I would have known all this I might have invested in a set of ARLST instead. At least I would have been able to get parts for them!!!!!!

arken,

The AR-3 tweeter held up better than the first two versions of the AR-3 mid. It is also much more available, having been used in the popular AR-2ax (first version),  so your tweeters shouldn't be a problem. On the other hand, finding decent non-3a type AR-3 mids anytime soon will be very difficult. You are likely in for a very long, and ultimately costly, wait.

If I were you I would go with a pair of AR-3a or later mids and use AR's .4mh coil/30uf cap modified crossover as mentioned above. I have not done any careful listening comparisons with the earlier versions of the AR-3, but I have made this repair a number of times for other people and it sounds quite good...certainly much better than any AR-3 with a typically degraded/non-restored earlier mid. Bear in mind, use of the  later AR dome mid simply converts your speakers to a later version of the 3. They would still be considered "AR-3". If by some miracle, you were to find a couple of worthy earlier mids down the line, it would not be difficult to convert your speakers back to original. I have a hunch, however, you would not find it necessary to do so.

The LST is not without issues (four typically degraded tweeters in each cabinet). They often start at $2500+/- a pair, and shipping them is an absolute nightmare. The last two restored pairs sold by "Vintage AR"  went for $4000/pr. It is probably best to stick with your AR-3 project for now. :)

Roy

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