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MikeF

Letter suffix combos on AR's

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What do the suffixes indicate on AR's? So many of them I don't know what I'm reading about without photos and detailed descriptions.

What can you tell me about: sx, a, ax, si, and on and on. Is there a key of some kind that I can use to decipher these designations?

I know some are for older models like my AR-94sx's I bought in about 1980.

If you've never heard 94sx's driven by a 1975 Pioneer SX-1010, you have missed something real special!

I'm trying to find another pair of 94sx's or a more current AR model that will most closely match them. Knowing how to read the model designations sure would make the research easier.

By the way, if anyone has 94sx's they will part with, I would like to hear about them.

MikeF

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In the classic models, not much of anything, except that you're looking at a different model. There is no particular correlation in time or tech between the letters and any specific change. For example, the model sequence for the 4's is 4, 4x, 4xa, while the 2's is 2, 2a, 2ax, with a 2x that was made at the same time as the 2ax and didn't replace anything.

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In the classic models, not much of anything, except that you're looking at a different model. There is no particular correlation in time or tech between the letters and any specific change. For example, the model sequence for the 4's is 4, 4x, 4xa, while the 2's is 2, 2a, 2ax, with a 2x that was made at the same time as the 2ax and didn't replace anything.

Long-time readers of this site will remember that I've gone through this in detail before, several years ago.

The letter suffixes DID stand for something (for US models, anyway), right on through until 1974, when they broke form with the 4xa.

'x' denoted a change to or involving a cone mid or HF driver

'a' denoted a change to or involving a dome driver

AR-2 to 2a--added a dome tweeter

AR-2 to 2x--changed the dual 5" cones to a single 3 1/2" cone

AR-2a to 2ax--changed the dual 5" cones to a single 3 1/2" cone

AR-3 to 3a--changed the domes

AR-4 to 4x--changed to 3 1/2" cone to a 2 1/2" cone

AR-1 to 1x--changed the 8" cone to a 2 1/2" cone

Very consistent and repeatable from 1954-1970.

In 1970, they deviated a little with the new 2ax, which was such a complete change from the old 2ax that AR just said the heck with it and left the model number alone (and also the 'old' 2x to the 'new' 2x, 3 1/2" to 2 1/2" cone--what were they going to call it--the AR-2xx?).

The first outright deviation was 1974's 4x to 4xa. When that model was first announced, my Dad and I though it was going to be an 8" 2-way with a dome tweeter, since they added the 'a.' But they merely changed the 2 1/2" cone to the 1 1/4" cone.

From that point on, all bets were off.

But from 1954 to 1970, consistently and repeatedly, 'x' was a change involving a cone, 'a' was a change involving a dome.

Steve F.

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Steve, is there a table of these that we can put in the library? As you are probably aware, some CSP forum content didn't survive the site's move to its current home.

Philosophically, based on your description I would say that that first "little" deviation in 1970 was where the system started to fall apart.

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Steve, is there a table of these that we can put in the library? As you are probably aware, some CSP forum content didn't survive the site's move to its current home.

Philosophically, based on your description I would say that that first "little" deviation in 1970 was where the system started to fall apart.

Gene--I don't have it in table (Excel) form; I have it only in my memory.

As I've opined previously, my feeling is that the 2ax--being the bread-and-butter middle of the line since 1964--had acquired substantial 'marketplace equity' by 1970, such that AR didn't want to mess with the model number (sort of like Honda's mid-sized car is always the "Accord," even as engines and body shapes change). Plus, I think that they probably just felt--subconsciously--that the 10" 3-way with the cone-dome mid-tweet was the "2ax."

As I've stated here many times before, as great as AR's Classic-era engineering was, AR's marketing towards the end of the Classic era really began to fall apart in the face of increased competition from newcomers like Advent and EPI, and in their non-response to a dramatically-changing marketplace, as the main customer base for speakers went from middle-aged suburban professionals in the late '50's-mid '60's to college kids in the late 60's-mid '70's.

By then, AR had much bigger problems than 'x's' and 'a's.'

Steve F.

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Steve:

As you noted, the alpha charaters after the number mean a great deal, and well beyond the classics of 1970 era. Long ago you posted on the AR-18 series; I saved your notes, because I was restoring some. --abbreviated here:

AR-18 great speaker, basically AR-7 in a new box

AR-18s changed cabinet to bull nose design

AR-18b, moved tweeter to center

AR-18bx, switched to cheap woofer

AR-18bxi, switched to cheap woofer and cheap tweeter

There were other changes in crossover frequency and circuitry as well. I don't know how these alpha designations apply to the later series, such as 9 and 94, etc., but they are extremely important when replacing parts in the 18.

A good long-term project for someone would be to list in spreadsheet format the drivers for all the iterations of AR speakers! That would require a lot of coffee :blink:

Cheers, John

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AR-18s changed cabinet to bull nose design

AR-18b, moved tweeter to center

Minor correction!:

AR-18s, moved tweeter to centre (and introduced S-shaped leadouts for "added protection during peak power surges")

AR-18b, changed cabinet to bull nose design

Robert_S

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Tracking every design change in every model would probably be an exercise in futility, but if someone wants to assemble a key to generic meanings of different letter prefixes, we can get that into the library.

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Thanks for helping out the 'newbie', guys. I had time tonight to get into the AR Library -- what a load of info! Didn't see the 94sx in the model history -- after looking at the 94 series schematics, it seems that the 94sx is something of a stepchild of the 94 and 94s with only slight mods in capacitance, wire lenght, gasket changes. I found a decent tnt DIY article on rebuild of the AR94. I'll find more detailed schematics of crossover board and a local pro for rehabbing the drivers and go for it. Right now all I have is a new solder iron and 3 years vocational high school electronics. Should be fun. Thanks for the info and history lesson on AR.

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