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iJohnEye

Inherited two AR3s. Need advice.

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Hi all, 

I’m brand new here and am not that knowledgeable about classic speakers. My uncle died at the ripe old age of 91 and left me his stereo equipment which includes a set of AR3 speakers. I know he bought them new in the mid-60s. They’re all original and sound like they’re under water. Good bass and mid-range but no top end. I think the tweeters are blown. Also, the pots on the back don’t seem to affect sound at all. I’m trying to figure out what to do with these AR3s. I looked up a repair video on YouTube and it scared the hell out of me. Before I go chopping away at the grills and cabinets, I’d like some advice. Should I attempt to repair them or sell them as-is? If repair, then where’s the best place to go for instructions, parts, etc? 

I appreciate any two cents you chip in. 

John

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22 minutes ago, iJohnEye said:

. I looked up a repair video on YouTube and it scared the hell out of me

Welcome. I had to chuckle at this.  You can get plenty of help here.  Download and review the AR3 restoration guide.  If you are still intimidated after reading then it depends on whether you are inclined to keep or sell.  Don't touch anything unless you will be doing the work for yourself. unmolested  AR3s in good condition are valuable to collectors. Supply photos please for a better assessment.

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Agree with Aadams. After you read the restoratio guide, search for 3a threads. There are many with lots of pics and info for the replacement caps needed, instructions on cleaning the the pots, grill repair or replacements as well as cabinet restoration.

First, spin the pots back and forth, a lot! You may eventually find a spot where the drivers come back to life. The grills have plastic frames that sit in recessed channels on top and bottom. They need to be VERY CAREFULLY pulled out from the sides center area they will slide out of the channels. The plastic will be very brittle by now and can easily crack and break. Once removed you'll be able to inspect the drivers. The tweeters domes on the 3's tend to pop out of the voice coil channels, fairly common. The mids output is usually low because the white flexable sealer around the base of the domes has petrified, greatly diminishing their output. Member Roy C. has had success rebuilding them bringing them back to near new performance.

Post pics so we can see what you have for more informed advice.

Cheers, Glenn

 

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Thank you. I'll check out the restoration guide before making any regrettable decisions. I've attached pics so you can see what I'm working with.

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UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_5359.jpg

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Beauties!

As you may know, the 3 is very collectible and valuable. They've sold on ebay recently for $1,000-$4,000. So you need to decide whether to sell them or restore them. If you do decide to restore you'll get a lot of help here but be warned--the 3 is not the easiest speaker to restore. The old drivers (woofers, mids, tweeters) may need work and the mids and tweets are absurdly heavy with tiny little brittle leads. The woofers are excellent but certain Masonite parts may have become unglued. New capacitors are no problem. Pots can be replaced. The grille material, fortunately, is still available but it's a little tricky to work with and as mentioned the plastic frames can be brittle.

Not trying to discourage you. Just bear in mind these are like a vintage Ferrari so proceed carefully.

Kent

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If you have no experience, a pair of AR-3s is a bad place to start out.

Considering that they were essentially "free," if you don't intend to keep them your best bet is probably to sell them as-is.

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32 minutes ago, genek said:

If you have no experience, a pair of AR-3s is a bad place to start out.

Considering that they were essentially "free," if you don't intend to keep them your best bet is probably to sell them as-is.

I agree.

John, Where are you located?

Roy

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16 hours ago, JKent said:

Beauties!

As you may know, the 3 is very collectible and valuable. They've sold on ebay recently for $1,000-$4,000. So you need to decide whether to sell them or restore them. If you do decide to restore you'll get a lot of help here but be warned--the 3 is not the easiest speaker to restore. The old drivers (woofers, mids, tweeters) may need work and the mids and tweets are absurdly heavy with tiny little brittle leads. The woofers are excellent but certain Masonite parts may have become unglued. New capacitors are no problem. Pots can be replaced. The grille material, fortunately, is still available but it's a little tricky to work with and as mentioned the plastic frames can be brittle.

Not trying to discourage you. Just bear in mind these are like a vintage Ferrari so proceed carefully.

Kent

Thanks. I appreciate the warning. Not sure I want to start repairing a Ferrari my first time trying. 

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I'm way up north in Sussex County on the NY border but would be happy to lend a hand.

Kent

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On 5/29/2019 at 11:28 AM, JKent said:

I'm way up north in Sussex County on the NY border but would be happy to lend a hand.

Kent

I’ll keep that in mind. Thank you. 

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