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Hi all.

I have a pair of AR 2 speakers that are in great shape but don't sound amazing. They are from about 1966. I turn the Mid and High dials on the back of the speakers but it makes no difference. I love th look of them - I just wish I could get them to sound better (No highs). I imagine that they need some TLC but I don't what to invest a lot of $ into them.

Any ideas?

Sean

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37 minutes ago, sean kirk said:

...Any ideas?

Sean

Probably should sell them to someone with an appreciation for that era of AR speakers if you are hesitating about putting money into them. Are they 2a's or 2ax's? Photos are nice ... ;)

Roger

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3 hours ago, sean kirk said:

Any ideas?

Sounds like the pots are bad. There are instructions on these pages and AK about how to take them apart and clean them. Also check the AR-3a restoration guide.

-Kent

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AR-2's are very old loudspeakers and if they have not been fully maintained, it is not unusual at all for them to not sound "amazing".

My response will be quite different from Roger's - - my first inclination would be to not sell them if they are in great shape and you want them to become restored. Kent is most likely correct that the pots may need restoration (or replacement), and it is also quite possible that the capacitors might also require replacement (although some AR-2's have oil caps which should still be good). 

Exactly what constitutes "a lot of $" is solely up to you, but even if the original pots were replaced with new L-pads and you replaced all caps with new poly caps, I think you could purchase all parts for under $40 and be good for another several decades.   

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Just to build on ra.ra's comment, if you have oil caps all you need to do is repair the pots so the restoration could be virtually free. Tedious, but free. Read this manual: 

btw, if you have mid and high pots those are not AR-2 speakers--those were 2-way. Yours are either 2a or 2ax. How about a photo? If they are 2a the caps are most likely oil but if they are 2ax the caps may be wax blocks and you'll need to replace them. You may also have tweeter issues--either a popped dome or broken tinsel wires but I'm willng to wager your problem is simply cruddy pots.

-Kent

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14 minutes ago, JKent said:

btw, if you have mid and high pots

Good catch by Kent and Roger - - I missed that.

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Thank you all for the replies.

Attached are photos. They are AR2x speakers. I don't want to sell them as they are pristine and love the look.

Any help on the back is appreciated- se pics; (how to adjust, the kids and highs, the 1 2 and T connectors, etc). Ill look to clean and replace pots as you suggest.

 

IMG_4447.jpg

IMG_4448.jpg

IMG_4449.jpg

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18 minutes ago, sean kirk said:

They are AR2x speakers.

Well, no..... as Roger and Kent have guessed they might be - - - they are the AR-2ax speaker model, which are generally considered to be the penultimate of the "2" series. The primary differences between these models is that your speakers are three-way speakers (so are the AR-2a's), while the AR-2 and AR-2x are two-way speakers. First order of business is to (carefully) remove the grille cloth and frame, which BTW, looks fantastic. Based on your serial number, it is doubtful that it is held in place with Velcro, but is more probably attached with six dabs of hot glue - - you'll need to carefully break this bond to remove the grille.

Removing the grilles will reveal which version of the 2ax you have - - they all use the same midrange, but the two basic versions (early and late) used different tweeters and woofers (and inductor?), and all 2ax's used a 4uF and 6uF capacitor in the crossover.

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This is like a Christmas present waiting to be opened! Do they have the old red dome tweeters or the newer black domes? Are they front wired or back? Is the woofer the old aluminum frame/cloth surround (my fave) or the newer steel frame/foam surround (in which case you'll also need new foams). Can't wait to see 'em!

btw, here's a pic of a bad pot http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/library/acoustic_research/original_models_1954-1974/original_models_pictures/ar-2ax_pot.html

Judging by the square "AR INC" badge, I'm guessing yours are early and may have the cloth surround woofer. 

Be sure to look at that AR-3a booklet I linked. The 2ax was just one step down from the 3a and much of the info in that bois reevent to your speakers. How to adjust the pots? How to attach speaker wires? How to get the grille off? It's all in there.

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I don't know what tweeters i have because i have never removed the covers. I imagine I need a hook or something to remove and break glue seal.

Ill youtube to see if there is anything.

Thanks!

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Not YouTube--read the 3a restoration guide (page 4).

 

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The square AR badge was definitely the "old" 2ax. They also had a brass "a" in the opposite corner when new. Your "a's" are missing, apparently.

The red-embossed "2ax" badge was only on the newer (post-1970) 2ax with the foam woofer and the AR-5's 3/4" black tweeter. The s/n's for 'new' 2ax's was around 125,000, according to the High Fidelity magazine test report on the 'new' 2ax (Nov 1970, IIRC).

Both old and new 2ax's are excellent speakers, but I do prefer the newer ones slightly.

Steve F.

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On June 1, 2017 at 10:37 AM, JKent said:

Not YouTube--read the 3a restoration guide (page 4).

 

can you tell me again, where is page 4? i missed the pdf if you sent one. PS- will 15 watts per channel drove these Ar2s?

Im looking at a cool little MArantz receiver.

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AR literature always stated a minimum of 20 watts per channel for the 2ax. Having too little power can often be more of a potential danger to your loudspeakers than having an abundance of wattage. If you could find a 30 watt Marantz, you'd probably be just fine. 

AR-2 to 2x conversion.jpg

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