Jump to content
The Classic Speaker Pages Discussion Forums
MoPhoX

Acoustic Research AR5 tweeters shot

Recommended Posts

Just got a pair of AR5s and refoamed the woofer (before playing) and it appears the tweeters are dead. I moved the pots repeatedly and only got the mids to work. 

As I understand, is it true that the tweeters sometimes expire after many years? 
Would it be easier to replace them or go inside the speaker to check other things?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure you'll get the as of late usual phony 'welcome aboard' or 'nice to have you here' or 'you've come to the right place, welcome friend' BS but, screw that as all I say is read on man, read on until you get a headache and your eyeballs are ready to pop, and time will simply pass. You may even feel that you've entered another world and you actually have as these are very old speakers and the dialog is of old things.

Everything you need or want to know is encapsulated with-in this site and you won't have to search any longer as you're here now and so you'll probably end up staying. Everything about AR speakers has been discussed here so many times over and over you are bound to be satisfied quickly.

Simply search through the older posts and the like and you will find your answer and so much more information that obviously you need to have to enjoy these speakers.

Oh, did I say welcome?  I mean it, but don't tell anyone I actually said it please.

P.S. before you make any moves do as I have suggested and read on, read on as it may be that your dilemma will not last for long.

FM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A sincere welcome, MoPhoX.

The level controls on AR speakers from the era of your AR-5 are notoriously iffy, and are frequently the reason why a driver appears to be "dead".

There are measures that can be taken to repair or replace the controls, as well as other parts of your speakers that may have aged-out by this point.

Please refer to the "Restoring The AR-3a" document, as it will also be applicable to your AR-5 speakers, and bring you up to speed on what might need to be addressed: http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/library/acoustic_research/original_models_1954-1974/original_models_schematicss/restoring_the_ar-3a/restoring_the_ar-3a_full_pd.pdf

Also, if you could take some closeup photos of your tweeters, experts here will be able to tell you if they see any actual physical damage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you disconnect the crossover to the tweeter, and measure across the tweeter terminals, you should get some nominal resistance, IIRC between 4-6 ohms.  if it reads open, the tweeters have a break in the tinsel leads or the voice coil is shot.  there is a member here IIRC who is able to redo these tweets (or is it the older orange dome 3/2ax tweet), otherwise your (well documented) options are to roll the dice on another used pair, or the hi-vi Q1R replacement.  if these are "daily driver" speakers, I'd probably look more towards the Q1R tweeter replacement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AR 5's are on my 'most wanted' list. I have a pair of 3a's and 6's. I am one of those who thinks the 1.5 inch midrange dome is incredible. I will never understand why someone would bypass the level controls for the midrange dome unless the driver is weak/worn out/defective. My midrange domes have very strong output. As a matter of fact, the L-pad level controls are not even turned halfway up for the midrange domes.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Phxjohn said:

I am one of those who thinks the 1.5 inch midrange dome is incredible. I will never understand why someone would bypass the level controls for the midrange....

Well said.... Ditto from me.

I could say pretty much the same thing about tweeter controls, but I also do realize that many people (self included) tend to set tweet pots at near maximum in order to squeeze the most out of their shy personalities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, ra.ra said:

Well said.... Ditto from me.

I could say pretty much the same thing about tweeter controls, but I also do realize that many people (self included) tend to set tweet pots at near maximum in order to squeeze the most out of their shy personalities.

Mine came from Vintage AR with the HiVi Q1R tweeters. We went back and forth....HiVi or originals. I would love to hear the original tweeters but then, if the output was too low, I would not be happy. I am happy to see that there is some success with rebuilding the original tweeters. I did a post on here with some curiosity questions about them. I have the Q1R's set to about midway. Mine are the only pair that I have heard in decades. So I cannot address the 'dull' opinions. Mine certainly are lacking in nothing. They are the best sounding speakers that I have ever owned.     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Phxjohn said:

the original tweeters but then, if the output was too low, I would not be happy

Yes, I should have clarified that my statement was about original tweeters which experience diminishing output. Once that option finally expires, many of us are grateful to the clever restorers (chris 1, etc.) and experienced researchers and technicians (RoyC, Carl, and many others) who provide us with suitable suggestions for maintaining the HF performance of these Classics. After a successful transplant, I suspect that the max setting for the tweeter control may not be so common. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't done much with tweaking the tweeters, but am considering the HiVi - how do they compare with the originals? Is the replacement voice-matched to the original? Has anyone done a/b comparison?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of the AR experts worked on coming up with the viable solution of using the HiVi Q1R tweeters. By adding the proper value inductor the guys were able to come very close to the sound of the original tweeters. The HiVi Q1R's have a stronger output and more extended (on the high end) response. I am very happy with mine. I would not settle for a dull sounding speaker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used two sets of HIVI Q1R tweeters on a set of AR2ax's and AR11's. No way to compare them to new AR tweets, because they just aren't around. Folks that have had their originals rebuilt report increased output, but I have not gone down that road yet. It is also said that the Q1R's have a narrower dispersion, but mine with the 0.05 inductors added sound very pleasing. There are discussions about reducing the uf of the capacitor by half and reversing the polarity of the leads, which has been covered several times right here. 

At less than $20.00 apiece I would try them and think about having the originals rebuilt. Marvin Gaye sums it up "Ain't nothing like the real thing baby" ceg1iMc.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've already said "welcome fellow New Jerseyan" on your KLH thread but will repeat it here: Welcome. 

As you may have surmised from the other posts, be SURE it's the tweets that are dead. Pots need to be cleaned (or replaced with L-pads) and the caps should probably be replaced. It it IS the tweets I think you have 2 choices:

  1. The Hi-Vi tweets with inductors. This is a very good solution and also economical. I use them in my 3a's.
  2. Contact CSP member Chris1This1 to have the originals rebuilt. Feedback here is he does an excellent job.

I would not look for used originals because these old tweeters are nearing the end of their useful lives. The rebuild option is essentially a new tweeter--new VC and suspension.

On 7/25/2017 at 10:03 PM, ar_pro said:

Also, if you could take some closeup photos of your tweeters, experts here will be able to tell you if they see any actual physical damage.

Kent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/31/2017 at 10:38 AM, JKent said:

The Hi-Vi tweets with inductors. This is a very good solution and also economical. I use them in my 3a's.

Hey there @JKent. I know I’m a little late to the discussion here… I’m a newb in lots of ways so please bear with me. I’ve got a pair of AR5s I’m restoring. I have replaced the L pads and the caps… I’ve got a dead tweeter. I’ve contacted Chris1This1 regarding my original rebuilt. But in the meantime, I’m very interested in these Hi-Vi replacements with inductors you mentioned.
as I said, I’m a newb… but do these come together? The tweets and the inductors?

Could you please provide a link to where I can get these?

If they’re not in a kit, or together, could you detail how to wire this up please? an idiots guide to Hi-Vi tweeters and inductors?

 

Thanks in advance for any feedback. I’ve read nothing but great things about these speakers and I’m really excited at the idea of getting them going. I think another user mentioned the Hi-Vis were only like $20 a piece? I doubt the rebuild is nearly as economical. So I’m thinking use the Hi-Vis until I can get back to original. I’m assuming / hoping no cabinet mods are required? I can go back to the OGs when they’re ready?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/31/2017 at 10:38 AM, JKent said:

The Hi-Vi tweets with inductors. This is a very good solution and also economical. I use them in my 3a's.

@JKent... I THINK I found them??

note - I bought my replacement Lpads, caps and replacement grille boards Vintage AR. great service, very helpful folks. :)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ACOUSTIC-RESEARCH-AR-2ax-AR-5-AR-LST-2-TWEETER-FRONT-WIRED/162688749396?hash=item25e1014f54:g:NgIAAOxyg6pRF~LX

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, RickB said:

Hi the Hi-Vi tweeter and coils are available from https://www.parts-express.com/hivi-q1r-1-1-8-textile-dome-tweeter--297-417

Thanks RickB! That price is a lot better than the Vintage AR price in the link I posted above.

Can you (or anyone) tell me how to accomplish this (see text from PartsExpress below). I mentioned I’m a newb, I’m not sure what exactly the terminology means? how exactly do I wire this?

 

“Note that they have recommended adding a .07mh 18 gauge inductor in parallel with the tweeter to more mimic the original AR3a sound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, cbolen said:

@JKent... I THINK I found them??

note - I bought my replacement Lpads, caps and replacement grille boards Vintage AR. great service, very helpful folks. :)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ACOUSTIC-RESEARCH-AR-2ax-AR-5-AR-LST-2-TWEETER-FRONT-WIRED/162688749396?hash=item25e1014f54:g:NgIAAOxyg6pRF~LX

 

Welcome to CSP

Yes--those are the ones, but let's slow down a bit. Here are some thoughts:

  1. Vintage AR is a reputable ebay seller. I purchased some things from him when I was getting started with this hobby. But bear in mind, it's a business and he needs to make a profit. The tweeter he sells for $69 can be easily put together or about $20 or so each. RickB sent a link to the tweeters, the coils are here: https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-005mh-18-awg-perfect-layer-inductor-crossover-coil--257-798
  2. You can find lots of info about the HiVi mod by googling hivi tweeter inductor site: classicspeakerpages.net
  3. I'm not 100% sure the HiVi mod will work as well in the AR-5 as it does in the AR-3a. The 5 is 8 Ohms, the 3a is 4 Ohms. You may have to use a different inductor. Member RoyC is really the expert on this so maybe ask him.
  4. Why would you go through the work and expense to install the HiVis as a temporary fix while waiting for Chris to rebuild the originals? Delayed gratification is a virtue 😉
  5. And speaking of RoyC, he's the "inventor" of the HiVi mod and has researched this extensively. But he also rebuilds tweeters. A lot of the stuff sold by Vintage AR is Roy's work. Why not PM him and ask if he would rebuild your originals? He recently rebuilt some AR-3a tweeters for me and they are excellent. They're shown in this write-up: http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?/topic/10638-another-ar-3a-restoration/

Let us know how you make out, and please post some pictures (resize to about 100Kb or so).

-Kent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS

Just re-read your original post. I'd suggest checking the tweeters alone, isolated from the crossover and pots before deciding they're dead.

Also, be sure to download the 3a restoration guide. Much of it is relevant to the 5 http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/library/acoustic_research/original_models_1954-1974/original_models_schematicss/restoring_the_ar-3a/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@JKent

Thanks for the feedback!!

1.      Thanks!

2.      I will do that, but I alrady posted under another thread hoping to get some feedback from RoyC on this.

3.      You are correct, I overlooked that. And I’m now back-pedaling a bit to figure an 8 ohm mod.

4.      Expense, plain and simple. The rebuilds aren’t cheap. It’s looking like I can do this mod to both speakers at less than 50% of a single rebuild. At the price I’ve been quoted at least.

5.      I tried PM’ing him, but for some reason I couldn’t locate his profile to initiate that. So I found some the thread mentioned above in #2 he was involved in. and I just barged right in. J hoping to get some feedback. I tagged you on that post as well.

 

Photos attached... They were taken the day I brought them home. Fresh form the basement we found them int. I’ve been told I have the “Euro” version. Darker grill clothe and a lip around the front edge all the way around. One cabinet is slightly water damaged. I have every intention of getting the cabs repaired and re-veneered… once I’m so blown away by the sound I buck up for that.

AR5 uncovered_resized.jpg

AR5 covered_resized.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey cb. I don't know what the little "at" sign does. Suspect it's a tweetie thing. But in that other thread you put @RoyC in a little blue box. Hover over the box and you'll see some info, including "Message". But it's summer and most people are busy with other things. I did email Roy so I'm sure he'll respond when he can and the best advice I can give is to WAIT until you hear from him. The 5s are very special speakers.

Yes. Those are the Euro versions. Very nice. But I don't know what's going on with the wiring on your mids and tweets. Looks like the right tweeter was originally front wired but the left one was converted from back-wired to front. Others here may have a better handle on that.

I'd suggest you carefully remove that tweeter on the left. You can de-solder from that oval piece below it. Be careful prying the tweeter loose from the goo sealant. You will probably find lugs on the back. In any case, try hooking up just the tweeter to a music source at low volume and see if it works.

At some point you could post photos of the cabinet damage. It may be a DIY repair. Member Glenn has done really amazing work fixing damaged veneer and may be able to guide you.

Hang in there.

Kent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few more random thoughts:

  • If you buy anything from Parts Express, get some of this foam gasketing tape. It works well and allows you to remove the drivers easily https://www.parts-express.com/parts-express-speaker-gasketing-tape-1-8-x-3-8-x-50-ft-roll--260-540
  • If you go the Hi-Vi route, they're $18.77 ea at PE. The 0.05mH inductor is $1.98.
  • Another good source is Madisound. They sell the tweeter for $18.80 and the inductor for 2.30 but they don't seem to sell the gasket tape. 
  • The HiVi mod is easy. Just glue the inductor to the back of the tweeter. You can add a spacer (something non-magnetic like wood or even cardboard). The 2 leads from the inductor go to the tweeter's terminals ("wired in parallel"). The tweeter in this photo has been modified for front-wiring. Small holes drilled so those red and black wires pass through the face plate (the holes must be sealed to make the installation air-tight).

Q1R1.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, here's the word from Roy: The HiVi tweeter is 6 ohms and should work fine. Roy only rebuilds the 4 ohm tweeters at this point, so if Chris can rebuild yours he's the only game in town.

So first check your tweeters out of circuit. If they are dead or very weak either go with Chris's rebuilds or the HiVis. If you do go with the HiVi tweeters you shouldn't toss the old ones. Either hold onto them for possible future rebuild or sell them on ebay (revealing their condition of course).

You'll get plenty of help here.

Kent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, JKent said:

I don't know what the little "at" sign does.

hey JKent - I assumed it worked like Facebook and would "tag" him.
anyway - thanks for all your input. I've been in touch with Chris1this1. I've read really good things here about him and his rebuilds. I'm trying to plan to get them in to him in mid-August.
with the prices as low as they are on the Hi-Vi tweeters you referenced above, I might just do that too. but in discussions with Chris, I think I'm going to stick with the front wired configuration... the Hi-Vi tweeters are all internally wired, correct? that might be a roadblock for me as far as my "doing that too". I don't want to mess with rew-riing it internally if I'm just going right back to the external.

thanks again for all the input. I will post updates to this thread as they come together. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, JKent said:

At some point you could post photos of the cabinet damage. It may be a DIY repair. Member Glenn has done really amazing work fixing damaged veneer and may be able to guide you.

here's the water damage. only 1 cabinet. I'm not sure I want to get into the wood-working aspect of it. I'm a little OCD. :) with no experience or tools, I'm almost certain I won't be pleased with the results of MY work. and I really really want to be pleased when these are done. ;) I've had a local restoration guy look at it... we're planning on re-veneering both cabinets. the look of today's walnut veneer vs. the veneer used on these are so drastically different, I need to do both. a good chunk of the cost of the job is just the sheet of walnut veneer. and we might have anough left to do another pair he tells me. I've got a pair of Sansui SP 8100s I wouldn't mind having veneered if there's enough. but those guys are pretty big.

there's a pretty big BUT to all this part of it... I have yet to work on these cabinets at all.  I've yet to hear any AR speakers first-hand.  I'm operating solely on thier reputation at this point. and I don't want to invest that time and labor in them until I know I'm going to want to keep them. :) and if I do keep them, the water damage is on one bottom rear corner... depending on how well they shine up, I might not do anything with them beyond what I can get out of the existing veneer.

I DO have new grille boards. and some pretty nice reproduction badges. and I have every intention of re-using the existing grille clothe. any suggestions how to best clean that grille clothe to not damage it? I actually thought about having them dry-cleaned. 

AR5 water damage.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...