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TimmyTonga

AR-5 and 2ax

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I'm humoured -- I found the original post with that factory schematic diagram, it's yours ;)

 

Here is the graphic for the pdf impaired:

AR-5.factory.schematic.ver2.png

I think I can get away with calling that the version two schematic showing the coil changes -- there were some speakers with the leads crossed, so presumably reversed polarity, on the mids as well.

Roger

Edited by owlsplace
added detail

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Thanks, Roger...

I had a bad feeling that was the drawing you were referring to. I found it as I was looking for info on this issue. :rolleyes: For the record, I didn't draw it. I posted it because it has the proper nichrome resistor value (1.5 ohms) and looks like other "official" AR drawings I have seen. Sadly, I did not notice the inconsistency regarding the tweeter pot. Sigh...

Whatever the case may be regarding the drawing, I honestly have never seen an AR-5 out of the very many I have worked on with tweeter settings different than those in the photos I posted earlier in this thread. Anyone working on 5's should carefully examine, and measure if possible, the pot positions when properly installed in the crossover board indentations. Perhaps there is more to this issue...though I cannot imagine attenuating an AR-5 tweeter to that degree being considered "normal" in any listening room.

Roy

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2 hours ago, RoyC said:

Anyone working on 5's should carefully examine, and measure if possible, the pot positions when properly installed in the crossover board indentations. Perhaps there is more to this issue...though I cannot imagine attenuating an AR-5 tweeter to that degree being considered "normal" in any listening room.

Not a big issue at any rate but the next time I'm into them I'll make a note of what I come up with.

Roger

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so I happened to be in a position to do an a/b of these models.

sound isn't great but particularly at 2:45 is the best "switch" showing a clear difference.

a/b AR5 vs. AR2ax

Geoff

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12-8-16

A fun comparison even though it may not be completely fair to either speaker.

Meaning the 2’s being closer to the floor and the 5’s elevated.

The main point is the obvious excellent quality of AR-5’s dome midrange making the difference in clarity.

I hope your comparison can spark a trend where members do similar shoot-outs, and then the video posted.

Thanks for your efforts.

FM

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Hey Geoff,

That was a fun little video, but it's sorta hard for me to get any sort of audio fidelity from my little computer set-up. The one thing that struck me, and I think you mentioned this, was that the 5's sounded a bit less efficient, and this is often the paradox of imperfect A-B testing. Nonetheless, it's an informative and fine little test video, and your renovations are coming along well. Kudos to the off-camera sound engineer. Thx for sharing.

Sometimes I cringe when I see audio demos in rooms that are all hard surfaces with no absorptive materials, but your situation sounded pretty good with no obvious boom, echo, or harshness. Also, I never really thought about that Lou Reed recording being so suitable for a test demo, but with strings, horns, vocals and a deep bass line, it works really well.

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Great video. Thanks. 

I've done the same thing with my 3's and 3a's Find the 3a's to be "cleaner" if I may borrow Geoff's term, while the 3's are richer.  It's a main reason why I find stacking them so enjoyable. They really compliment each other quite well, and I don't have to find separate systems for each of them. From the sound of it, the 2AX's and 5's would yield a similar result. 

You might try them horizontally too. I found mine to sound better that way, and look better too. 

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5 hours ago, ra.ra said:

The one thing that struck me, and I think you mentioned this, was that the 5's sounded a bit less efficient, and this is often the paradox of imperfect A-B testing.

Very true...

Regardless of published specs, the AR-5 is easily the least efficient of all the AR models of the era. I know all the "marketing" reasons for the 5's relative lack of success have been discussed here before, but I'm certain the lower sensitivity compared to the 2ax didn't help matters in the showroom.

Roy

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ra.ra - I always listen on modest Sennheiser headphones connected to the computer. I have not had speakers attached for many years. I just pull on the headphones when there is a need.  I have always considered that Lou Reed track demonstration material. It is an excellent '70s recording.

Listening to the comparison, there is a significant contribution from the room (to my ears). It would be interesting to listen again when the room is fully furnished and decorated.  It would also be interesting to hear a pieced together video where the speakers playing were always on the top, or swapped over onto the a speaker stand of similar height. (The time taken to change over the speakers could easily be edited out of the video by pausing the music player, and pausing the video camera during the changeover).

About level matching - even though the volume on the amp may be set in the same position, that does not guarantee that the speakers are 'sucking' the same amount of power from the amp when the speaker set A / speaker set B switch is toggled.  The amount of power sucked from the amp will be determined by any difference in impedance of the two sets of speakers. I do not know the nominal impedances of the 5 or 2ax, but say the 5 was higher impedance, it will suck less power from the amp than the 2ax for a given rotation on the volume control. Only when there is certainty that the power delivered to both sets of speakers is the same, can we then judge how the sensitivity of each speaker set is affecting the perceived sound level. Level matching is not at all easy because the impedance of speakers varies with frequency.  

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Hi Folks,

Thanx for the input. As has been noted, an imperfect comparison but still revealing. A couple of side notes as well. There is clearly an echo at this time with no soft materials anywhere, but that will evolve soon. As mentioned, the renovations are well underway and will in fact be installing the floor within the next few weeks. I am doing all this myself and time and money are factors in progress, mainly at this point time! Also know that all pots on all speakers are maxed out to emphasize the mids and highs for the demo. Also all speakers have been gone through and either new surrounds or cloth treatment with Roy's special sauce and pots all cleaned and lubed and tested for compliance. I generally use Solens caps on my refurbs and I could check my notes but a safe bet they all have Solens if caps tested out of spec.

I will do another comparison soon with the 5s on bottom of stack horizontally. I will also close up the spread a little so as to be a bit closer and also increase volume a smidge.

Geoff

 

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I look forward to your continued comparisons. And listening to some Lou Reed today. Thanks. 

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4 hours ago, stupidhead said:

Hi Folks,

Thanx for the input. As has been noted, an imperfect comparison but still revealing. A couple of side notes as well. There is clearly an echo at this time with no soft materials anywhere, but that will evolve soon. As mentioned, the renovations are well underway and will in fact be installing the floor within the next few weeks. I am doing all this myself and time and money are factors in progress, mainly at this point time! Also know that all pots on all speakers are maxed out to emphasize the mids and highs for the demo. Also all speakers have been gone through and either new surrounds or cloth treatment with Roy's special sauce and pots all cleaned and lubed and tested for compliance. I generally use Solens caps on my refurbs and I could check my notes but a safe bet they all have Solens if caps tested out of spec.

I will do another comparison soon with the 5s on bottom of stack horizontally. I will also close up the spread a little so as to be a bit closer and also increase volume a smidge.

Geoff

 

 

Hi Geoff,

I just re-read your post  and see you have the pots maxed out. Are they your preferred settings? if not, what are they?

Roy

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Yes, all pots are maxed out to emphasize the mids and highs for this demo. I generally will almost max out the high and generally about 60-70% on the mids. My hope is after the furniture is in place I will be able to back off both a little. In all cases none of the drivers are shrill and maybe for the next demo I can set them all at half point for a different comparison.

As far as listening/viewing the YouTube video demo I have a smart TV and am able to view YouTube on it, consequently having the ability to listen to system hooked up to TV.

Do you not have a way to play music on your system through a laptop or smart phone. aux output to aux on stereo.

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2 hours ago, stupidhead said:

Do you not have a way to play music on your system through a laptop or smart phone. aux output to aux on stereo.

Yes...and I can hear some very general differences in your comparison, but the sound is still going through speakers or headphones which impart their character on anything played through them. Fun to do, but hardly any way to evaluate sound.

Roy

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 Exactamundo, Roy and I certainly agree.

I also would like to add that any audio file or video would suffer by what quality CPU speakers the viewer is using.

If a person is using laptop speakers it will be very poor quality. If a person is using tiny little garbage out board CPU speakers it will be bad.

I have fairly good sound using Altec CPU outboard speakers that have a five inch subwoofer and double  3" mid/high that sound half way decent.

I wanted to upload some short sound/system samples but, it will depend on the speakers on which they're heard.

So, that idea may be useless and not give the listeners a good idea of the sound quality.

Can't expect everyone to run out and buy decent speakers, then again, some folks do have decent CPU speakers.

What to do, what to do?
FM

 

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My father's quote on AR-5's in 1976 that were playing softly in my room as he walked by, "sounds like angels singing!"

After the room is furnished and you walk around the listening area I'm sure you will notice a bigger difference between these two models -- especially at lower levels. Probably need to turn the mids down and increase the volume on the 5's though as RoyC suggests.

I never thought 60w was enough for the AR-5. I thought they sounded great with a period SAE amp putting out about twice that -- with the large Adcom, not so much.

Roger

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There is also the problem of 'Triple reverberation'. The original recording will capture the ambience of the recording venue. Recording it again in Geoff's room will rerproduce the original ambience, and also capture the ambience of his room. Then when a listener plays back Geoff's recording on speakers they listen in their own ambient environment.  Although listening to Geoff's comparison on headphones will add the coloration or characteristics of the particular headphones used, it will not add a third layer of room ambience.:)

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12 hours ago, RoyC said:

Yes...and I can hear some very general differences in your comparison, but the sound is still going through speakers or headphones which impart their character on anything played through them. Fun to do, but hardly any way to evaluate sound.

Roy

I don't think anyone in this community would use such a demo for more than as you say "general differences", but it is fun to do! This was a quick barely staged comparison in response to this thread and the lucky coincidence of me having examples available to make the comparison. It also gave me an opportunity to employ Diane in this activity and get her feet wet for future such demonstrations. Not sure if anyone noticed Genghis' cameo in the beginning.

Roy, there is probably not many people around more qualified than you in regards to the differences (and similarities) between these speakers, so I am glad you have chimed in here. It is also my hope that possibly some day in the future we can gather here in NH with other enthusiasts and actually have an afternoon/day of speaker comparisons in person as opposed to just the anonymous discussions and banter on forums like this.

I will learn from this little experiment and try to refine the demo so it is hopefully more revealing than my first attempt has been, but never intended to be more than fun and a general comparison. In regards to the efficiency aspect of these two models, it seems to me that with some experimenting on my end the video demo will be able to show this a bit more than my first attempt. Also, the acoustics are obviously less than ideal. In the intro there is a good deal of boomy echo to the audio and it is lessened greatly when I am by the amp briefly where the open space aspect is minimized.

Thanks to all who have chimed in and apologies to TimmyTonga for redirecting this thread sort of.

Geoff

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Geoff, none of my comments were meant as a criticism of your comparison, but to inform readers of the limitations. I would think that goes for all those who commented about the comparison. It was certainly fun to listen to, and I look forward to any future installment.

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Just read this thread yesterday evening. Thanksgiving we has 22 people over and I was task with clearing out the front room of some of the speakers and freeing up space. Strangely enough I settled upon the same combination as Geoff. AR2ax's on the bottom and 5's on top. I have been listening to this combination for several weeks now.

IMG_0617_zpsfmpdubik.jpg

I mainly listen to Jazz and some classic Rock. I decided to use my recapped SX-1010 along with a Classic Technics SL-1700 and a Onyko  C-7030 CD player for the source components. I agree that the 2ax's are slightly more efficient, but the 5's mid range is way more pleasing. What has really impressed me is the sound quality when both are played simultaneously. They both are voiced similarly.

IMG_0618_zpsvjuknlah.jpg

As you can see the 5's are the Euro models with the early woofers. The woofer shown actually was acquired from Tom Tyson. The 2ax's are 1970 models with the larger basket woofers re-foamed with Boston type foams. They both were recapped with Dayton Capacitors, most of them the precision models.  

IMG_0620_zpsqdcxaq5d.jpg 

I will soon try moving the 2ax's to the top position and listening in that configuration.  Alas my beloved AR 3a's and 4x's have been moved to the corner for now, but will be back in the spotlight position shortly.

IMG_0624_zps6ap3lliw.jpg

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Hey Larry, so when you came up with your solution to thin the herd in the family room for the get together, did your significant other give you the "really, that's it" look?

B)

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1 hour ago, Jeff_C said:

Geoff, none of my comments were meant as a criticism of your comparison, but to inform readers of the limitations. I would think that goes for all those who commented about the comparison. It was certainly fun to listen to, and I look forward to any future installment.

Hi Jeff et al,

No offense taken, from yours or any of the feedback. Long ago I recognized that communicating in forums like this on the web can easily be misinterpreted. The spirit intended often can be lost in the translation as it were.

Larrybody, nice setup, but of course I would think so! LOL

I will endeavor to put together a better thought out video comparison of the models in question.

 

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2 hours ago, DavidDru said:

Hey Larry, so when you came up with your solution to thin the herd in the family room for the get together, did your significant other give you the "really, that's it" look?

B)

A few years ago I lost my mini man cave when it became a second spare guest bedroom. I was given the front living room (which nobody uses) 12 ft. X 20 ft. with a 9 ft. ceiling. The family room 18 ft X 36 ft. make a much better listening environment, but contains only a 60 in. TV with a soundbar. Since I don't drink, smoke, womanize or gamble she accepts my one bad habit. After 33 years she does consider me handy to have around sometimes. 

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On 12/10/2016 at 0:05 PM, DavidDru said:

Hey Larry, so when you came up with your solution to thin the herd in the family room for the get together, did your significant other give you the "really, that's it" look?

B)

I was scanning through the pictures and I saw the "AR-5" written on that woofer, and I thought it looked very familiar!  Then I saw the comments!  That woofer is one of the early (but not earliest) woofers, and it was used as a test woofer.  I think this version of the AR-5 woofers was probably the best overall.  It performed very well, and it's great to see it back where it belongs now!  --Tom Tyson

AR-5_10-inch_Woofer_1969_ARHPG.jpg

Early AR-5 woofer (AR 1969 file photo).

AR-5_10-inch_Woofer_180-degree_1968.jpg

AR-5 woofer, measured with speaker buried in the ground facing 180 degrees solid angle.  This measurement (made outdoors to 300 Hz and spliced with anechoic chamber response above that) demonstrates the flat and smooth response of this excellent 10-inch woofer.  Each vertical division is 0.5 dB, so the woofer is basically +/- 1 dB from around 55 Hz to 600 Hz or so, probably not surpassed by any woofer in this respect.

AR-5_prototype_testing(02).jpg

AR-5 prototype measured outdoors, buried flush with the ground looking into a 2-Pi solid angle anechoic space.  This gives, by far, the most accurate representation of what a woofer is actually doing when facing a 180-degree solid angle (such as when mounted flush in a bookshelf).  Note that the earliest AR-5s had the midrange and tweeter in vertical alignment, but this was changed early in production to the staggered arrangement as used with the AR-3 and AR-3a in order to facilitate manufacturing and to perform better when mounted vertically on a shelf.    

--Tom Tyson 

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On 10-12-2016 at 4:46 PM, larrybody said:

Just read this thread yesterday evening. Thanksgiving we has 22 people over and I was task with clearing out the front room of some of the speakers and freeing up space. Strangely enough I settled upon the same combination as Geoff. AR2ax's on the bottom and 5's on top. I have been listening to this combination for several weeks now.

IMG_0617_zpsfmpdubik.jpg

I mainly listen to Jazz and some classic Rock. I decided to use my recapped SX-1010 along with a Classic Technics SL-1700 and a Onyko  C-7030 CD player for the source components. I agree that the 2ax's are slightly more efficient, but the 5's mid range is way more pleasing. What has really impressed me is the sound quality when both are played simultaneously. They both are voiced similarly.

IMG_0618_zpsvjuknlah.jpg

As you can see the 5's are the Euro models with the early woofers. The woofer shown actually was acquired from Tom Tyson. The 2ax's are 1970 models with the larger basket woofers re-foamed with Boston type foams. They both were recapped with Dayton Capacitors, most of them the precision models.  

IMG_0620_zpsqdcxaq5d.jpg 

I will soon try moving the 2ax's to the top position and listening in that configuration.  Alas my beloved AR 3a's and 4x's have been moved to the corner for now, but will be back in the spotlight position shortly.

IMG_0624_zps6ap3lliw.jpg

Wauw, nice collection of AR's and Amps!

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