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Yawner

AR-3a windfall woofer problem

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I was recently walking down 19th St in NYC when I stumbled upon a pair of beautiful AR-3a's on the curb waiting for the garbage men. 

I couldn't believe it, so I got a cab and loaded them up and took them home. They're in pretty nice condition, and after plugging them in, almost fully working. 

Unfortunately, one of the speaker's woofers doesn't work. The foam surround looked good, as did the dust cap. There didn't appear to be any air leaks, but it didn't really make any noise except for a very, very faint bass response and a little rattling. I've been trying to diagnose the problem by following the restoration guide, but this is really foreign territory for me so it hasn't been fruitful. I did however, swap the woofer in from the other cab, and it worked perfectly -- so the problem is luckily just the woofer itself and nothing beyond that.

To try to get to the bottom of it, I just removed the foam surround and cut open the dust cap to get a look at the leads and voice coil. I unfortunately don't really know what I'm looking at though, so any advice would be very helpful! (Pictures attached)

I figure if I can't do this on my own I can always take it to a repair shop or just get a new woofer and still come out pretty far ahead. But it sure would be fun to get this one working.

Thanks all.

IMG_5130.JPG

ar3a.jpg

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The technical term for that condition is "blown". Quickest solution, likely the cheapest, and
probably truest to the original sound is to buy a similar used driver.

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Nice catch - congratulations!

Do you have any photos to share?

Follow eBay for awhile, and figure about $100 for a working woofer; you can use the images in the Restoration Guide to identify the proper vintage driver.

 

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7 hours ago, Yawner said:

I was recently walking down 19th St in NYC when I stumbled upon a pair of beautiful AR-3a's on the curb waiting for the garbage men. 

Welcome Yawner!

Of course your very first post here has made us all green with envy so you may get the cold shoulder at the CSP cocktail parties ;)

All kidding aside--incredible good luck, both the find and finding your way to the forum! I'll echo what's been said: Photos please and just use the restoration guide to determine exactly which woofer you need, then watch ebay (or, given your lucky streak, there may be a member here with one to sell).

-Kent

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looks like the voice coil is broken......I wonder if there is a replacement voicecoil available that one can replace on the original cone without going to a full recone....

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15 hours ago, Yawner said:

I was recently walking down 19th St in NYC when I stumbled upon a pair of beautiful AR-3a's on the curb waiting for the garbage men. 

I couldn't believe it, so I got a cab and loaded them up and took them home. They're in pretty nice condition, and after plugging them in, almost fully working. 

Unfortunately, one of the speaker's woofers doesn't work. The foam surround looked good, as did the dust cap. There didn't appear to be any air leaks, but it didn't really make any noise except for a very, very faint bass response and a little rattling. I've been trying to diagnose the problem by following the restoration guide, but this is really foreign territory for me so it hasn't been fruitful. I did however, swap the woofer in from the other cab, and it worked perfectly -- so the problem is luckily just the woofer itself and nothing beyond that.

To try to get to the bottom of it, I just removed the foam surround and cut open the dust cap to get a look at the leads and voice coil. I unfortunately don't really know what I'm looking at though, so any advice would be very helpful! (Pictures attached)

I figure if I can't do this on my own I can always take it to a repair shop or just get a new woofer and still come out pretty far ahead. But it sure would be fun to get this one working.

Thanks all.

 

 

This is not an uncommon problem. The voice coil is shot. There are parts available as a kit from Simply Speakers http://www.simplyspeakers.com/acoustic-research-speaker-recone-kits.html to completely rebuild the woofer, but the aftermarket cone is not nearly the equal of the original. The optimal goal is to replace the voice coil and retain the original cone, but it makes the job much more difficult. I have done quite a few of these repairs. Send me a PM if you would like more information in that regard.

Roy

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Yawner,

Don't know how long you've been lurking but in case you don't already know, Roy's your man. He's an author of the AR-3a restoration guide and if anyone can fix that woofer he can.

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Wow, thank you all for your responses! I'll upload some pictures once I get them back together.

I've been looking at the re-cone kit on SImply Speakers but have been hesitant because I did read the cones are not as good.

I will shoot Roy a PM. Thanks again!

 

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