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AR-4x Speaker replacement

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First let me say that I am new to this forum...so pelase be pateient with me. I recently purchased a pair of old 1966 AR-4x speakers and just spent the last month refinishing the walnut cabinets to beautiful, near perfect "showroom" condition. However, the speakers inside were not usable or even restorable - rusty, ripped or decomposing....just a mess. Sometime this fall I want to replace the old original speakers with better ones using the cabinets (of course). Can anyone recommend a good replacement set of tweeters and woofers for this cabinet using the original wiring and circuitry?

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Anthony, if I were you I'd replace the speakers with originals, not something that wasn't designed for those cabinets or crossover. In some cases you can refurbish a speaker even if all that's left is the frame. Check on Ebay, here in this forum and with Layne speaker repair (listed in the links section). You may find replacements from a set someone has parted out or you may find replacements through Layne. Check their website or give them a call.

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I agree with the above comments and would also vote for a stock restoration. I have a set of 4x's in my collection and they are very smooth and musical. The AR-4x sold for between 51.00 and 57.00 dollars in that era depending on choice of finish. It was a very good seller and used parts should be relatively easy to find on the net.

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As bad as these orignal speakers are, and they are bad (cones are gone, as are the surrounds...just a mess), the original tweeters are surely going to be extremely difficult to find as I've never seen anyone with the 2" replacement originals anywhere. Anyone think the tweeters can be repaired? The original crossovers were made by Industrial Cond. Corp in Chicago so I don't really want to change anything there. Not sure how the level controls are although I cleaned them out as best I could. Layne Audio does carry replacements but I'm just not sure if I would rather use original replacements are the newer "aftermarket" design recommended. Any suggestions? Layne also has a standard (or universal) 8" woofer ($55) they say should fit "almost all models" - would that do for the 4x models?

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>As bad as these orignal speakers are, and they are bad

>(cones are gone, as are the surrounds...just a mess), the

>original tweeters are surely going to be extremely difficult

>to find as I've never seen anyone with the 2" replacement

>originals anywhere. Anyone think the tweeters can be

>repaired? The original crossovers were made by Industrial

>Cond. Corp in Chicago so I don't really want to change

>anything there. Not sure how the level controls are although

>I cleaned them out as best I could. Layne Audio does carry

>replacements but I'm just not sure if I would rather use

>original replacements are the newer "aftermarket" design

>recommended. Any suggestions? Layne also has a standard (or

>universal) 8" woofer ($55) they say should fit "almost all

>models" - would that do for the 4x models?

There is no question that the AR-4x was a superb speaker when it was introduced in 1965. It had very complimentary reviews, as did the AR-4 before it. But in May, 1966, Consumer's Union reported on "Low-Cost Loudspeakers," and the comments they made about the AR-4x were, "...And the best of the lot, the AR-4x, handled these upper ranges as well as -- and perhaps even a shade better than -- any other speaker, no matter how big or expensive, ever put through its paces in our laboratory." It received a "check rating," of course, and "Best-Buy" status as well. Remembering that CU has no ax to grind and makes no commercial consideration for any manufacturer, they pretty much "tell it like it is." Many people would argue with CU ratings, but in truth every manufacturer lusts after a high rating from CU's unbiased testers. I don't think any other loudspeaker ever tested by them has ever received a rating like the AR-4x. Naturally, because of these stellar ratings and the remarkably low cost for such outstanding value, the AR-4x was one of the best-selling loudspeakers in the history of audio.

The chance of restoring the original performance of the AR-4x (let alone improving it) by using different drivers and components is a long shot. By far the best idea is to restore the speaker to its original performance with original-type components, as others have said in this thread. You might search around to find some other AR-4x's from which to cannibalize parts since your cabinets are good.

And incidentally, the woofers in the original AR-4x's did not have urethane-foam surrounds (unless they were replaced somewhere along the way with later-model AR-4xa woofers or such), but were cloth surrounds treated with butyl-rubber compound. This was an excellent woofer. The tweeter was a special 2-1/2-inch cone driver AR made to replace the 3-1/2-inch tweeter used in the earlier AR-4 and also as the midrange in the AR-2ax.

Good luck on your project.

--Tom Tyson

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I just looked at the original 4x speakers I removed and carefully cleaned them off. AFter giving them a good look, I think they can surely be totally reconed and put back in later.

Does anyone have suggestions on a good speaker repair shop - the internet has a long listing and all claim great results. I checked with one shop in Sacramento (that came highly recommended) but they wouldn't repair tweeter, just the woofer for a good price. I think I can replace the 8" woofer with something at Layne Audio if needed, but keeping the original tweeters are something I'm concerned about right now.

Yes, the woofers DID have the cloth surrounds - no foam.

Thanks. Anthony V

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