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Restoring the AR-3a

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I think it's time we have a pinned topic for the "Restoring the AR-3a" document developed by six of our esteemed members - Roy Champagne, Ken Kantor, Minh Luong, John O’Hanlon, Bret Thiel, and Tom Tyson. The document is available here:

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/library...ring_the_ar-3a/

Per John's suggestion, I have put a counter on this page (available when I run statistics) so we can see how popular this document becomes.

If you have feedback on the document and how it has impacted your restoration project, please reply to this thread.

Mark

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I think of myself as "handy" and don't feel to afraid to open things up and get my hands dirty; but ONLY if I have good direction. I'm not so good on my own. If it weren't for this beautifully constructed manual, I would consider my AR3a's "broken". "Garbage", if you will. Just like the person who left them out on the curb to be junked.

Armed with this document, I was able to feel 100% confident in ever step of the restoration process. A rare feeling, as many of us can attest to.

I was able to get into the speaker cabinet, do some de-soldering (1st time doing that), get at the pots, clean them, and then put everything back together in its proper place, just as it had been designed. Again, without the fear of messing-up anything. I was able to eliminate the "buzz" that one of the woofers was producing, the pots are functioning again (HI pots are perfect, and MIDs are a little corroded). I think I am listening to these speakers just as they sounded back in '67.

Is that fair to say? Or is there major degradation to the internal wiring due to age? Either way, they sound terrific!

Many many thanks to everyone who spent the time putting this together.

-Mike

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I think it's time we have a pinned topic for the "Restoring the AR-3a" document developed by six of our esteemed members - Roy Champagne, Ken Kantor, Minh Luong, John O’Hanlon, Bret Thiel, and Tom Tyson. The document is available here:

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/library...ring_the_ar-3a/

Per John's suggestion, I have put a counter on this page (available when I run statistics) so we can see how popular this document becomes.

If you have feedback on the document and how it has impacted your restoration project, please reply to this thread.

Mark

Thanks to everyone, I can't believe I've not seen this before, I've printed it to always refer to. Now I'm thinking that maybe there's a similar

piece of greatness hiding some where on "How To Refurbish AR-LST's"

This AR-3a piece is truly a beneficial piece that everyone will benefit from with-out a doubt.

My sincerest praise and appreciation to all who have generously given their time.

Thank you.

Frank Marsi

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The Web is an undisciplined, lawless, wide-open territory where the only rule that consistently applies is the one the referee gives the two boxers as they touch gloves before the start of a match: "Protect yourself at all times."

Not much of real, tangible value comes from the vast majority of chatrooms, hobby sites, etc. A lot of uncorroborated opinion, hearsay, third-party feedback, but not very much that you can actually put your hands on and say, "Now, THAT'S worthwhile. I'll keep that forever."

This 3a restoration document is a great piece of work, and it stands in marked contrast to what most of the Web is, and instead stands for what the Web SHOULD be.

Thanks to all for your outstanding efforts.

Steve F.

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Excellent work!

This is of real practical value, and will be useful for many years to come - well done, guys.

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our esteemed members - Roy Champagne, Ken Kantor, Minh Luong, John O’Hanlon, Bret Thiel, and Tom Tyson

Thank you very much for all of your combined efforts, to make this site another standout, with this beautiful work of art manual.

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I privately mentioned to John O (communicating on a different subject) how impressed I am with the ARa "manual' but I realized I should say this on the public forum...GREAT JOB guys!!!

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The AR-3a restoration document is superb! My compliments to the dedicated members of this forum who made it happen. Although I just completed my own AR-3a restoration (searching this forum every which way to get every last tidbit of information!), it was such a pleasure reading the document to confirm that "I got it right!". Both future restorers, and those of us that have already "been around the block" will now have a wonderful reference manual at our fingertips whenever needed. Thank you gentlemen!

I'll be posting photos of my completed 3a's soon. They sound terrific, and I now have my AR-3a's back, after so foolishly parting with the pair I had 30 some-odd years ago. Now on to my Allison One restoration!

A special thank you to John O'Hanlon for his guidance via several emails. Thanks John!

Best Regards,

Rich W

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Great work, kudos.

I'm not restoring AR 3's but 10Pi's, nevertheless this PDF is a fantastic starting point, and the drivers history section is simply enthralling.

Thanks! :)

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Thanks for the great tutorial on this subject.

My AR-7s are sounding (and looking) good now.

BTW if you encounter some rattling type noise from your woofers, and the noise seems to change from time to time, AND opening up your dustcap and hoovering the insides doesnt help, it just might be caused by a small piece of metal down there somewhere, drawn down by the magnet.

I'm not just making this up either, i dug out one such piece today from my woofer after a careful and anxiety-filled session pondering what the heck was wrong with it. I really had lost hope and was stretching the foam up and down to its limits when i saw something down there... ..grabbed a pair of narrow scissors and voila, clean bass sounds again.

Might be a long shot but maybe someone finds this useful...

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I think it's time we have a pinned topic for the "Restoring the AR-3a" document developed by six of our esteemed members - Roy Champagne, Ken Kantor, Minh Luong, John O’Hanlon, Bret Thiel, and Tom Tyson. The document is available here:

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/library...ring_the_ar-3a/

Per John's suggestion, I have put a counter on this page (available when I run statistics) so we can see how popular this document becomes.

If you have feedback on the document and how it has impacted your restoration project, please reply to this thread.

Mark

Dear Mark, i'd really like to read the whole article, but when i open the page my screen remains empty; can you help me?

greetings from Holland, Fred .

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Dear Mark, i'd really like to read the whole article, but when i open the page my screen remains empty; can you help me?

greetings from Holland, Fred .

Problem solved!

What an fine piece of work !! Now i can identify the drivers in my 10pi's.

I will post pictures of these speakers soon.

Greetings from Holland.

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I think it's time we have a pinned topic for the "Restoring the AR-3a" document developed by six of our esteemed members - Roy Champagne, Ken Kantor, Minh Luong, John O'Hanlon, Bret Thiel, and Tom Tyson. The document is available here:

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/library...ring_the_ar-3a/

Per John's suggestion, I have put a counter on this page (available when I run statistics) so we can see how popular this document becomes.

If you have feedback on the document and how it has impacted your restoration project, please reply to this thread.

Mark

Excellent document, please do not remove even if page count is low.

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I have recently had reason the dig out the AS103a's (Heathkit's version of the AR-3a) that I built back in the 70's while in college. The foam surrounds for the woofers soon gave up when I started testing with them. That prompted a web search and I found this wonderful site with its instructions and pointers to repair kits and so forth so I will soon be embarking on that effort.

While looking over this document:

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/library...-3a_full_pd.pdf

I discovered that it uses incorrect (not properly embedded?) fonts in several places and, as a result, it appears unintelligible in those places.

For example, on page #1, the authors names should appear like this:

Roy Champagne, Ken Kantor, Minh Luong, John O’Hanlon (Ed.), Bret Thiel, and Tom Tyson

and they instead end up looking like this:

Roy Champagne, Ken Kantor, Minh Luong, John O’Hanlon (Ed.), Bret Thiel, and Tom Tyson

If that was the only place that this error appeared then I wouldn’t care much (though they might). Unfortunately it shows up quite a few other places (most often with text in brackets, [text]) and it is not so easy to guess the meaning in those cases. Since the PDF has been password protected against edits, it is impossible for me to go through and select the bad text and substitute in a more appropriate font.

I was hoping someone could arrange for a corrected copy of this document to be made available, or else arrange to send me an unprotected copy of the document and I'll fix it and return it to you (assuming a font substitution is all that's needed to clear up the confusion).

Thanks

P.S.

If anyone has use for the Heathkit manuals for these things, I think I still have them and could scan them in and make them available if that was desired.

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Some of the fonts used weren't embedded: ArialMT and TimesRomanPSMT.

I'm not seeing the same problem.

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Some of the fonts used weren't embedded: ArialMT and TimesRomanPSMT.

I'm not seeing the same problem.

Well that might be the problem then. I've got 680 fonts (681 now) on my WinXP system here and those two were not among them. I've found a copy of the ArialMT and have installed it but don't see a difference. I cannot find a copy of the TimesRomanPSMT to install. The document should have been generated with all fonts embedded, IMHO.

On another note, I have already received one request for the Heathkit AS-103 manual so I have scanned it in and attached it here for all. Enjoy!

Warren

Heathkit_Bookshelf_Speaker_System_Model_AS_103.pdf

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Well that might be the problem then. I've got 680 fonts (681 now) on my WinXP system here and those two were not among them. I've found a copy of the ArialMT and have installed it but don't see a difference. I cannot find a copy of the TimesRomanPSMT to install. The document should have been generated with all fonts embedded, IMHO.

On another note, I have already received one request for the Heathkit AS-103 manual so I have scanned it in and attached it here for all. Enjoy!

Warren

The XP font file is times.ttf (and timesbd.ttf, timesi.ttf, and timesbi.ttf). Arial didn't help because the line that was screwy on your system called for the Times font.

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I have recently had reason the dig out the AS103a's (Heathkit's version of the AR-3a) that I built back in the 70's while in college. The foam surrounds for the woofers soon gave up when I started testing with them. That prompted a web search and I found this wonderful site with its instructions and pointers to repair kits and so forth so I will soon be embarking on that effort.

While looking over this document:

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/library...-3a_full_pd.pdf

I discovered that it uses incorrect (not properly embedded?) fonts in several places and, as a result, it appears unintelligible in those places.

For example, on page #1, the authors names should appear like this:

Roy Champagne, Ken Kantor, Minh Luong, John O’Hanlon (Ed.), Bret Thiel, and Tom Tyson

and they instead end up looking like this:

Roy Champagne, Ken Kantor, Minh Luong, John O’Hanlon (Ed.), Bret Thiel, and Tom Tyson

If that was the only place that this error appeared then I wouldn’t care much (though they might). Unfortunately it shows up quite a few other places (most often with text in brackets, [text]) and it is not so easy to guess the meaning in those cases. Since the PDF has been password protected against edits, it is impossible for me to go through and select the bad text and substitute in a more appropriate font.

I was hoping someone could arrange for a corrected copy of this document to be made available, or else arrange to send me an unprotected copy of the document and I'll fix it and return it to you (assuming a font substitution is all that's needed to clear up the confusion).

Thanks

P.S.

If anyone has use for the Heathkit manuals for these things, I think I still have them and could scan them in and make them available if that was desired.

Warren -

I also have a pair of AS103a Heathkits and want to begin a restoration project. The information in the project document is really useful and has inspired me to start. I had the original AS103a manuals, but now that I want them they have gone missing. I seem to remember that Heathkit modified the crossover from the stock AR-3a in some way. It would be great to have a manual to compare with the schematics in the project guide. If you could scan and post that would be very much appreciated.

Thanks

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I've been using this guide religously for a long time. My AR 3a's sound fantastic and it's all because of the invaluable information contained within this well researched and written document.

That you to all responsible. This will do so much to save these wonderful speakers from being butchered when incomplete data is available.

Jim

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While looking over this document:

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/library...-3a_full_pd.pdf

I discovered that it uses incorrect (not properly embedded?) fonts in several places and, as a result, it appears unintelligible in those places.

For example, on page #1, the authors names should appear like this:

Roy Champagne, Ken Kantor, Minh Luong, John O’Hanlon (Ed.), Bret Thiel, and Tom Tyson

and they instead end up looking like this:

Roy Champagne, Ken Kantor, Minh Luong, John O’Hanlon (Ed.), Bret Thiel, and Tom Tyson

If that was the only place that this error appeared then I wouldn’t care much (though they might). Unfortunately it shows up quite a few other places (most often with text in brackets, [text]) and it is not so easy to guess the meaning in those cases. Since the PDF has been password protected against edits, it is impossible for me to go through and select the bad text and substitute in a more appropriate font.

Only two typefaces (not fonts) were used in composing this document: Times New Roman (body text, including the author's names in italics as discussed above) and Verdana (headings). Symbol typeface was used to set individual Greek letters. These are standard faces on PC machines using MSWord. MAC users will find similar typefaces Times Roman and Helvetica on their machines.

The document was composed in MSWord. The program "PDF CREATOR" (space between words) was used by the Administrator to convert and secure the PDF file. I have used this same program; to my knowledge, there is no "toggle" by which one can control an imbed function. If only one or two users have had difficulty in reading the PDF file, it is likely a local software issue.

Cheers,

John O'Hanlon

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A fantastic resource. Thanks to the authors, and to Mark.

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Thanks to all concerned for this great document. As a direct result of it I have refoamed my early AR11s,had their cabinets re-polished,refoamed my AR3a improved,had their cabinets re-veneered and found out they were wired incorrectly(AR3a improved crossover schematic) bought a pair of AR6 to re-foam and re- veneer and thoroughly enjoyed myself!

Thanks again.

Mike.

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I think it's time we have a pinned topic for the "Restoring the AR-3a" document developed by six of our esteemed members - Roy Champagne, Ken Kantor, Minh Luong, John O’Hanlon, Bret Thiel, and Tom Tyson. The document is available here:

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/library...ring_the_ar-3a/

Per John's suggestion, I have put a counter on this page (available when I run statistics) so we can see how popular this document becomes.

If you have feedback on the document and how it has impacted your restoration project, please reply to this thread.

Mark

Just want to let it be know how much I appreciate having the resoration guide It is exectionally well done

Hope to see more on AR 3' too: I am develloping a massive crush on these orange eyed beasts.They are quite different in many ways.

Prof' Dan Skye

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Hello!!! Is the first time I send a message to You. I have to thanks You for the marvellous AR3 AR3a Restoration PDF. Now I have to ask You a question:

I have a couple of AR3a of 70', I have a midrange broken so I have request two sobstitute to AB-TECH Services but I have also the two frames with clots very, very old and ruineds, so I have bought new clots (lambswool linen near Arezzo near Roma, my home) but I have read in Your file PDF to sobstitute the old frames with masonite. Now that is an economical metod or someting to respect the original sound of AR3a??? It is not better doing them with a sheet of plywood of the same tickness, more easy to sagomate and refine???

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Hello!!! Is the first time I send a message to You. I have to thanks You for the marvellous AR3 AR3a Restoration PDF. Now I have to ask You a question:

I have a couple of AR3a of 70', I have a midrange broken so I have request two sobstitute to AB-TECH Services but I have also the two frames with clots very, very old and ruineds, so I have bought new clots (lambswool linen near Arezzo near Roma, my home) but I have read in Your file PDF to sobstitute the old frames with masonite. Now that is an economical metod or someting to respect the original sound of AR3a??? It is not better doing them with a sheet of plywood of the same tickness, more easy to sagomate and refine???

Hello goldeneye57,

On behalf of myself and the rest of the AR-3a Restoration gang, welcome to the CSP forum.

To answer you're question, plywood or other materials could be used for the grille frame and not affect the sound. Plywood may be more prone to warping.

The original 3a grille frame was constructed of a masonite type of material. Whatever you use, make sure it is a full 1/4" in thickness, so your staples don't pop through the other side when you attach the grille cloth.

More importantly, be aware that the current AB Tech replacement drivers are not the same as the originals. You would be better off finding used original midrange units. Of the original 3a drivers, they have held up the best over the years.

Roy

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