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ra.ra

AR-18s speakers

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ra.ra    0
With all of the recent threads about 4 and 5-figure sales prices for speakers, mega-watt amplification, and misplaced fervor regarding highly collectible models, this simple project from the other side of the tracks is bound to lull some of you to sleep with its low-rent appeal. On another audio forum, I was recently engaged in conversation with a member who has several pairs of quasi-rare 8" two-way AR's (AR-15, AR-17 and AR-25), and that dialog sort of prompted this thread to share an experience with a more common model. Much like the urge to rescue the irresistible sad-eyed puppy from the local animal shelter, these speakers were begging for a good home, so they jumped into two shopping tote bags and came home with me on the subway.
 
Consider this another from the series: In Praise of Small Speakers. This is a pair of the AR-18s - - circa 1981, week 16 - - which came to me in reasonably good condition and with ample potential. Drivers were all very good - - no punched-in tweeter dust caps, and the woofers even had new foams and (non-original?) outer gaskets, which were a bit rough. The grille frames are perfect with all friction pegs intact, and the grille fabric is in G to VG condition. One cabinet is missing the small bottom filler panel and badge (anyone have a spare badge?). The 8" woofer p/n is 200037 (5.0 and 5.2 ohms DCR), the 1-1/4" tweeter is p/n 200038 (5.1 and 5.3 ohms DCR), and the entire crossover is just a simple 5uF cap in line with the tweeter. One minor point of interest was to note that the woofers are secured with machine screws and T-nuts while the tweeters use 1" wood screws.
 
Took 'em home, wired 'em up, all is functional, sound is very good....now what to do? After a week of consideration, I decided to disassemble everything and make revisions to the areas I found unsuitable: the cabinet finish and the wire terminals. These original spring terminals are cheap things but they actually work pretty well with bare wire or pin terminals. But because I tend to use small ring terminals on speaker wire, my decision was to forego the idea of new 5-way binding posts and instead re-create simple screw terminals like the original "Classics".
 
Just gotta admit it - - I really dislike the vinyl faux wood cladding on certain AR models, and this covering was already beginning to peel or bubble up in several areas and it just felt kinda nasty. Interesting to observe that this vinyl was put on as a single piece - - there is only one seam per cabinet, and you can locate it by closely inspecting the wood "grain" where it mismatches as it bends around the corners. Nonetheless, the vinyl had to go, and it simply peeled off "faster than a prom dress" (thx to John for my all-time favorite CSP quote). I also decided to remove and relocate the unnecessary and unsightly original model label from the front baffle board since it visually disrupted the otherwise simple and symmetrical layout. My intent was to create my own (budget based) silk purse from this sow's ear.  

 

 

vinyl on.jpg

fronts.jpg

rear terminal.jpg

label off.jpg

one cab naked.jpg

original x-o.jpg

vinyl off.jpg

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ra.ra    0

And the re-assembly......

About the crossovers: all original wire, but I just added some ring terminals and a little junction post, and filled cabinet slot holes with silicone. The caps measured slightly closer to 6uF than to 5uF, so I replaced them with dual 2.5uF mylar caps that I had on hand.
 
About the terminals: the "classics" have terminals spaced 1-1/4" apart, but I opted for 1-3/4" spacing in order to use the holes left behind from the earlier terminal's rivets. Otherwise, these are pretty much like the early AR's, with lock washer and hex nut, etc. These are #8-32 screws, but instead of 3/4" length, these are 1" long to adequately extend beyond the 1/4" painted mahogany slat used on backside, which is sealed and secured with silicone. On the inside I added a rubber washer to ensure a tight seal but also as a slight shim, and the only knurled nuts available locally were brass. When fastened tight, these nuts sit at just the right elevation, allowing the cabinets to sit completely flat when laying on their backs.
 
About the cabinets: the MDF cabinet panels had some small dings and very minor swelling, all of which was mostly made better with a simple hand block sander. Desiring a very minimal finish, I applied two very thinned coats of alcohol-based shellac and buffed it out to a near matte finish. On the backside, the original sales or service stickers were just too interesting to remove, and the AR-18s labels were attached using a hobby glue stick for adhesive. Rub-on numbers were used to identify the new terminals. 
   
About the grilles: still undecided what to do for long-term. The missing filler panel doesn't really bother me, but having another badge might eventually be nice. I have never liked the original deadly brown stretchy grille cloth. The grille frames fit great, but they place the grille fabric about 3/8" in front of the front cabinet edges instead of near flush like the classics. For short-term test run, I'm trying out some AR-7 grilles and as always, I think the off-white linen looks best.
 
Am now done with this project for the time being, and these speakers are indeed little giant killers - - no wonder they were so popular as recording studio monitors. Sometime soon I hope to do a little side-by-side comparison with AR-7's and AR-18B's.

woofer after.jpg

fronts after.jpg

parts.jpg

rear after.jpg

rear terminal after.jpg

new x-o.jpg

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genek    0

I would just make new linen grills and put on a classic AR badge. As for the finish, might be a good project to try "soft black" on.

I have a pair of empty AR-11 cabinets with damaged front edges in my closet. I'm thinking of retro-remodeling into AR-3a boxes, but that'll be a bigger project because I'll need to cut the damage away and grind the front faces flat before milling and attaching new face frames.

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michiganpat    0

for my 58S's, I just recovered the MDF grille frames in linen, look great.  in hindsight, I wish I would have run them on the router table at work with a 1/2 chamfer bit and put a bevel on it like the original ADD grilles.  on the 58S's, the posts are on the box, and the grille frame is 3/4" MDF with holes to receive the studs....I have a spare badge, if it's the same as the 58S,  but not a filler panel....

I've thought long and hard about pulling the vinyl off my ADD 18's and using real wood veneer....just never got around to it.  shouldn't take more than $30 worth of veneer for the pair....

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JKent    0

Fantastic! I bet your $10 speakers will hold their own against new speakers costing 10 or 20 times that!

I like Gene's suggestions (and you know I have some repro classic badges). On a side note, I'm new to using shellac. My brother-in-law just made me a very nice walnut base for my AR turntable project and his favorite finish is shellac, so that's what he used. I had to touch up some areas so bought and used some shellc for the first time ever. I may be doing some experimenting with it in the future.

Great project!

-Kent

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ar_pro    0

Excellent project, and a great foundation for some fun modifications!

I really like the appearance without the lower panel, and certainly without the "walnut" vinyl; a classic look with a full-linen grille and vintage badge are good suggestions, I think.

The "Robert's Sound" address now appears to house a storefront church, but maybe this is what became of that business: http://robertsound.blogspot.com/

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ra.ra    0
All of the excellent ideas and supportive comments are most appreciated. Because the speaker performance remains essentially original, I did not really consider this a "mod" project even though one primary intent has been to achieve a renewed visual aesthetic. I suspected that even this level of revision might not be everyone's cup of tea, but at least no one has yet become aghast and accused me of blasphemy or sacrilege. 
 
genek
Great minds think alike - - - I have been trying to find the right project to employ a homebrew version of the "soft black" finish, which of course looks fantastic with the light linen cloth. I thought about it here, and could always do so in the future, but in this case wanted to first try the blonde look. Also, these cabs utilize the really tight, fine-grained MDF which, depending on personal taste, lends itself to transparent finish applications. Re: black, see pic attached of AR-18s - - not my speakers, but they do look great.
 
MI-pat
It was your endless praise of these 1-1/4" tweeters that originally peaked my curiosity and stimulated my ongoing interest in the AR-6, 7, 4xa, the 18's, and many other subsequent models; and I clearly remember your 58s project with the light grille cloth and thought they looked simply great. And yes, I gave the idea of new wood veneer some consideration, too, but was trying to exercise discipline to keep this a "minimal" project. And about "pulling the vinyl": while I do not wish to advocate that everyone go immediately strip their original speaker cladding, I do have to say that yanking this nasty stuff off was possibly the single most satisfying step in many speaker restoration projects I've experienced. It feels really good and is instantly gratifying. Grip it and rip it, yahoo!       
 
JKent
Thanks much for the kind words and added encouragement. I have absolutely no none nil zip nada zilcho idea of what's available on the market these days in new speaker options, but these little AR-18s are indeed fantastic small bookshelf speakers and can still be found for very, very, reasonable sale prices.    
 
My introduction to shellac was during 7th grade shop class (the girls took Home Economics back then) while in public school in Indiana, and then I forgot about it for about 40 or 50 years, but you never forget the unique smell (I mostly like it!). A pal of mine who is a harpsichord maker uses it in his gorgeous work, but he mixes his own from dry flakes and solvent (denatured alcohol), while I simply use off-the-shelf Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac. It is available in clear and amber flavors, and I'd suggest to always thin liberally with more solvent. My mix here was about 1 part shellac to 4 parts alcohol and it was none too thin. Like everything, it requires some practice, but I'm just a weekend woodbutcher and even I can make it work. It tends to set up quickly, but if you make a mistake it can usually be rubbed out while still tacky or better yet after drying. It is an ancient substance, and it is derived from some type of tropical insect secretion. See Wiki page on this.
 
ar_pro
Hmmm... I had completely neglected to think to research Robert's Sound, but now I am curious about it. Am still unsure about grille choice, but like yourself, I rather like the black 'void' sans lower panel and may very well incorporate that as part of final solution. 

AR-18s black.jpg

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larrybody    0

You guys should know by now how I feel about this model. Why do I have so many? Did you know they came in two different sizes? All mine still have the vinyl, but i have thought about venere on at least one of them.  Some are original, some recapped, some with binding post added, even one with l pads.

yODO0B6.jpg 

I like the idea of the grill frame with the linen. Just loose the bottom filler piece. Theser 18S model are easy to find, maybe that's why they keep following me home.

RaRa  I will check my AR badge bag tonight and PM you if I find a extra.

 

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ligs    0

Some of you may already have read about the attached citations. Yet there are a lot of good things to be said about AR7/18 speakers, considering the simplicity of its crossovers(reminding me of Dynaco A25). Some people believe a simple crossover leads to better sound, provided that woofer and tweeter are carefully matched. 

 

I got interested in AR 18 because the favorable comparison of it to Yamaha NS10 as a studio monitor speaker.  The obvious thing to do is to refoam the woofers.

I had some success in refoam 2 AR 3a woofers and 2 Advent woofers without cutting away the dustcaps. But I also ruined the voice coil alignment with one AR 3a woofer.  Therefore before I start on refoaming AR 18 woofers could someone recommend a fail-safe method for doing the job? Any help is greatly appreciated. I would rather not cutting open the dustcap because AR 18 B woofer has a natural rolloff around the crossover at 2000 Hz. This I believe is what gives its unique sonic signature.

 

The following is an interesting read for anyone who is into the history of AR.

 

.http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?showtopic=4332


The AR18s was consistently rated as a "best buy" by the UK Hi-Fi press and formed the basis of many a classic system. These deceptively simple and compact speakers give a big, fast and detailed sound that belies their diminutive stature and modest cost. The exceptional performance of the AR18 and its relative insensitivity to room acoustics and placement made it a natural choice for sound engineers who couldn't live with the overly brash sound of the then industry standard Yamaha NS-10. The AR18 was famously used and recommended by such respected engineers as Hugh Padgham (Phil Collins, Police, David Bowie etc.) and can still be found today in facilities such as George Martin's Air Studios.

Compared to the NS10 or later NS10m, the AR18s scores in pretty much all respects. It is smoother, yet more detailed. It's bass is fuller and better extended. It's overall response is far flatter. Stereo imaging is better. Dynamics are excellent and at least the equal of the NS10. Compared to most modern budget studio monitors (think Tannoy Reveal, Spirit Absolute 2 etc.) the AR18s are faster, more natural and tighter in the bass. This is due to the use of good old-fashioned paper cones, extremely simple crossover and AR's Acoustic Suspension (or sealed box) design. Modern reflex (ported) designs may have more bass at first listen, but the bass rolls off steeply when it reaches its limit. I would never use a small ported speaker for critical monitoring as you just can't tell what's going on in the bass below a certain point.

As a Hi-Fi speaker the AR18 is best described as seriously funky. They're just one of those speakers that always gets your feet tapping. They may not match the very best in terms of detail or resolution, but they always sound big, fast and full-bodied yet well-balanced. Plus I've never found a room that they don't work in. Over the years I've had 4 pairs of AR18s and always loved them, either as Hi-Fi speakers or monitors in my studio setup. They are relatively unfussy about the amplifier driving them, but that said it's definitely a case of rubbish in, rubbish out."

 

Ken Kantor (previously with AR, NHT) also mentioned that AR sold a lot of AR 18 to studios ( along with NHT model One). "
 

 

 

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ra.ra    0

Hey Larry, I knew it was just a matter of time before you chimed in, and I was thinking about your impressive collection when I began this project. In fact, I dug up the thread where you described a recap and adding the binding posts, and I was considering ordering similar posts for these 18's before I decided to go 'old school' with the simple screw-nut terminals for reasons stated. Now you've got me curious to learn about your L-pad project. At one point, I did consider: should I add a two or three position attenuation switch? 

From the pic of your eight 18's, there's a few details I'd like to confirm. Upper left appears to have a different badge? Both in column 2 seem to include a one-piece plastic trim ring on the woofer? Despite your added binding posts, column 3 shows one each of the different terminal backsides: upper has square cut-out with masonite panel and terminal strip (like mine); while lower has circular cut-out with square plastic cup with cap attached to cup backside (see below).

Larry's cabinets in column 3 point out something else I am now curious about: cabinet panel thickness. For the 18s pair shown in my project, the wood cabinet dimensions are: 9-5/8"w x 16-1/2"h x 6-1/4"d (published dims for depth will be greater since the grille projects beyond the cabinet). These cabinets utilize 1/2" thick side panels, which is the same as my AR-7's. By comparison, it appears that all of my AR-4 variations and multiple AR-6 cabinets use 5/8" thick side panels. My stable also includes pairs of AR-18B and 28B models, and these cabinets use 3/4" thick panel stock of lesser quality material. It appears to me that Larry's column 3 cabinets might be thicker than 1/2", perhaps contributing to the different sizes as he has noted.  

Pic attached shows AR-18B crossover (28B is identical) showing circular cut-out and lesser quality particle board.   

18B x-o.jpg

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ra.ra    0
2 hours ago, ligs said:

The AR18s was consistently rated as a "best buy" by the UK Hi-Fi press and formed the basis of many a classic system.

Thanks for the interesting information, ligs. This statement reminds me that I've heard our Euro friends mention that this model is something of a cult classic in the UK.

2 hours ago, ligs said:

Some people believe a simple crossover leads to better sound, provided that woofer and tweeter are carefully matched. 

This statement is crucial to the success of a few of the lower end models (18 and 28, maybe) of the 'S' and 'B' series that have these ultra-simple crossovers when you examine the slight changes in driver part numbers as cabinet volume increases. This statement also reminds me of the way the crossover became far more simplified in the final iteration of the wonderful AR-6 model.

"Ken Kantor .... also mentioned that AR sold a lot of AR 18 to studios." High praise indeed from both seller (Kantor) and buyer (studios).

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ra.ra    0

Just a brief amendment here. The AR-18s cabinet drawing found in the Library includes some very detailed notes about materials and construction, and also confirms a number of production revisions which might account for the small differences discussed here. Also, it appears that the rear terminals that I have assembled are a facsimile of the those found on the Euro 18s, which is exactly the same as found in the variant AR-18LS, also a Euro model. 

 

 

AR-18s cab specs.jpg

AR-18s cab revisions.jpg

AR-18LS x-o.jpg

AR-18s euro terminals.jpg

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larrybody    0
On 9/9/2017 at 11:04 AM, ra.ra said:

From the pic of your eight 18's, there's a few details I'd like to confirm. Upper left appears to have a different badge? Both in column 2 seem to include a one-piece plastic trim ring on the woofer? Despite your added binding posts, column 3 shows one each of the different terminal backsides: upper has square cut-out with masonite panel and terminal strip (like mine); while lower has circular cut-out with square plastic cup with cap attached to cup backside

You are very observant my friend. That badge is indeed different. Approximately 1/16 in. smaller and without the silver border. I did not notice it before. Probably from some I purchased off the auction site. I had to count my 18S's, it turns out there are six pairs. Three your size 9 5/8 X 16 1/2 X 6 1/4 and three wider at 10 1/8 X 16 1/2 X 6 1/4. Grills are 8 1/2 and 9 in. wide. All have the same one piece plastic trim ring around the 2000037-0 woofers which have square magnet and poly dust caps. One odd thing is the three smaller cabinets all had the rectangular spring clips, but on the wider ones one has the same spring clips and two have the terminal cups with spring clips. Much the same at the 18B models. Parts Express has a binding post terminal cup that fits perfectly in the 2 in. hole. I think on one set not yet restored I will use some post saved from 2ax's. I remember reading that the wider cabinets may have been European models, but I am not so sure about that. I just think AR made changes later in production, probably moving toward the 18B model. As far cabinet wall thickness It appears to be the same on both examples. Maybe the material changed from MDF to a lesser particleboard, but I will need to investigate further.  

As far as adding a L-pad, it is basically just inserted into the tweeter circuit. Compared to the 200034-0 tweeter used in the 18 model, I think the 200038-0 in these sounds a bit brighter and has more presence. Also the 18 used a 6uf cap and the 18S has a 5 uf cap which changes to crossover. I have installed L-pads on some AR-25's and AR-18S's. Pretty much the same crossover except for the cap value. You can definitely tones down the tweeter a bit, but I kind of like them full blast.

IjG5Odx.jpg 

If you were to add a l-pad to models with terminal cups I would use the longer 1 in. shaft L-pad with some spacers and drill right thru the back. It amazes me how good these sound with such a simple crossover. The AR engineers knew how to choose the right woofer and tweeter to work together so seamlessly. Thank you Mr. Allison. I have A-B them with my AR4X's and the 4x winns on the low end, but the 18S shines on the highs. Playing them both together is more than the sum of two.

AmOMD1n.jpg

 

 

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ra.ra    0
On September 10, 2017 at 8:38 PM, larrybody said:

.....and three wider at 10 1/8 X 16 1/2 X 6 1/4

These are the dims shown on the 18s cabinet drawing.

On September 10, 2017 at 8:38 PM, larrybody said:

I just think AR made changes later in production, probably moving toward the 18B model.

Yeah, I think that is basically what we are discovering - - small production tweaks being made as situations evolve.

On September 10, 2017 at 8:38 PM, larrybody said:

Compared to the 200034-0 tweeter used in the 18 model, I think the 200038-0 in these sounds a bit brighter and has more presence.

I have kind of given up trying to understand the differences in these two tweeters - - for the longest time I merely assumed that it was simply cosmetic - - one (038) had black face paint while the other (034) included a protective screen cover. Otherwise, they appear virtually indistinguishable and the magnets are the same size (2-3/8" dia), even though the parts listings show different designations for the "metalwork asembly". In the pics attached, the 034 is on left; 038 on right.

On September 10, 2017 at 8:38 PM, larrybody said:

The AR engineers knew how to choose the right woofer and tweeter to work together so seamlessly.

Yup, I couldn't agree more - - - this was particularly evident in several of these small two-way models from the mid 70's to early 80's. 

038 parts.jpg

034 parts.jpg

034, 038 tweets front.jpg

034, 038 tweets rear.jpg

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ra.ra    0

Oops, one more item to mention.

I know people with faded aluminum house siding often had reasonable success re-painting the lapped "clapboards", but I don't know if it's ever been tried with vinyl house siding. Nonetheless, after thinking about the soft black that genek mentioned, I decided to conduct this silly imprecise experiment before I toss the cabinet vinyl. It is nearly impossible to successfully photograph black, but this pic does communicate some differences. I used four different black paints applied directly to the vinyl: the top two were thinned out brush applied eggshell and blackboard (ultra-matte) finishes; and the lower two were spray applied satin and gloss finishes. The spray finishes definitely allow the "grain" of the faux vinyl to read thru the paint in a more realistic fashion, but none of these finishes are quite right - - maybe a semi-gloss would be a better compromise for someone wanting to achieve a poor man's "ebonized" walnut finish.

black vinyl x4.jpg

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JKent    0
17 minutes ago, ra.ra said:

I know people with faded aluminum house siding often had reasonable success re-painting the lapped "clapboards", but I don't know if it's ever been tried with vinyl house siding.

Coincidentally, I had a conversation with my house painter about an hour ago and he said the new latex house paints will work over vinyl. I'm a bit skeptical but he's the pro. There's also a spray paint designed to be used on vinyl auto upholstery. That could work. My fallback for speaker cabinets is spray-on truck bed liner. Il like the Plastikote brand and have used it on Advent 400 radios, small Minimus 7-style speakers, some Cambridge Soundworks speakers with a Nextel finish that had turned gooey and even some big AR-94s that I pulled the socks off. I may use it on my AR-XA turntable's plinth.

-Kent

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larrybody    0

How about this idea. Sand the bare cabinets smooth. Use some kind of filler to fill any imperfections. Use about two or three coats of primer wet sanding between.  Take them to a auto body shop and have them sprayed with several coats  of gloss black lacquer. Piano finish with new lambswool grills.  That would be impressive. 

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JKent    0

Plastikote truck bed liner on:

  1. CSW Ensemble (new drivers)
  2. Advent 400
  3. AR-94Si
  4. CSW Ambiance
  5. Advent 400

14 09 10_5950.JPG

New faceplate.JPG

side x side (3).JPG

after (3).JPG

close-up.jpg

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Stimpy    0
10 minutes ago, JKent said:
  • CSW Ensemble (new drivers)
  • Advent 400
  • AR-94Si
  • CSW Ambiance
  • Advent 400

Those look awesome...!  Especially the AR-94Si's.  I love that redesigned sock-less look.  Well done.  :D

Plus, this whole thread is pushing me to start looking for AR-18's.  Once I finally finish the refurb on my AR-90's, that may be my next AR journey.

 

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ra.ra    0
5 hours ago, JKent said:

Coincidentally....conversation with my house painter.....he said the new latex house paints will work over vinyl.

That's pretty funny, but he's probably right, and I had my own coincidence regarding this earlier today. I was reading an article from Sunday's 9.10.17 NYT Style section about an Italian architect who renovated a small industrial compound in Milan, and one of the photo captions reads, "....the bedraggled brown vinyl wall covering in a room.....has been painted over in soft shades." 

And Kent, I have seen your cosmetic solutions with these projects before and again applaud the creativity. I think they all adhere pretty much to the early AR-KLH-Advent minimalist aesthetic without becoming austere and certainly not flashy.

I guess my central point here is that there is more than one way to possibly jazz up your bedraggled vinyl cabinets for very short money if they might require a facelift. Just because they are ugly doesn't mean you have to leave them curbside or at the transfer station (i.e. town dump) or thrift store. The drivers alone in some of these castaways are really excellent, but at the same time I am very reluctant to become the poster boy for the "paint your vinyl" movement. It all sort of reminds me of a story an old friend relayed to me once when he told me about observing some guy in front of his house painting his old Studebaker with a roller. Sometimes there are ideas that just don't feel right, ya know? :blink: 

3 hours ago, larrybody said:

How about this idea. Sand ... smooth .... fill any imperfections.....three coats of primer ...sprayed with several coats of gloss black lacquer....new lambswool grills.

In concept, this is pretty much what I've had in mind with my someday pursuit of the "soft black" look, and maybe similar to what genek has implied, and nearly identical to ar-pro's restoration project of his AR-91's (I hope I have CSP member and AR model correct here from memory). My first alternative to larry's suggestion here would be a purely subjective one - - I would never want a high gloss finish - - only satin for me. And while many of us enjoy the creative process of re-habbing a pair of long-neglected vintage speakers, pocketbook practicality always needs to be a central factor in my project equations. For this AR-18s project, with nearly all parts on-hand and an attractive initial purchase price (proceeds to a charitable organization), total subsequent investment tallies less that five bucks, which sort of sums up the principal point of this thread :), along with extolling the virtues of the AR-18s.

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genek    0

I would not try to paint vinyl, or use a latex paint. The spray they sell to remove striping from cars should make the vinyl peel right off. Then you can fill the mdf with any non water based filler or bondo, seal it with sanding sealer and then shoot the finish. If you want to use something water based, use something that dries hard, like car paint. Don't use house paint!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ra.ra    0
30 minutes ago, genek said:

I would not try to paint vinyl

Understood, and I mostly agree, but I am not trying to particularly advocate this vinyl painting process, just merely stating that it does remain a viable option under certain circumstances and with limited resources or expectations. In my case, the vinyl removal was so easy that it did not even require any heat or chemical assistance. Simply peel, grip and rip. Done and discard.

Reminder: this thread is mostly about a wonderful low-end speaker model procured with spare change and a sharp eye. With not that much effort, these have been transformed from an ugly duckling (my opinion) into a beloved keepsake (again, just my opinion). My central point, which may be falling on deaf ears here, is that not every restoration or reclamation project requires the agonizing pain of the perfect capacitor selection, close scrutiny of veneer patterns and miter joint tightness, or the hiring of an auto body shop to accomplish some very modest goals. With reference back to the very first line in this thread, this message is simply about the possibility of having a great deal of fun, spending very little cash, and reaping the satisfying rewards that come from experiencing the performance of a very well-engineered audio product.

Not everyone will ever be able to own stacked LST's or AR-9's, and I merely want to encourage the newbies and the lurking small budget wannabes to jump in and get involved with modest, affordable vintage audio. B)      

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genek    0

Last time I looked, you can buy enough remover to strip a pair of speakers for about $10. That's probably cheaper than the paint will be.

But if you're looking for something super cheap, head on down to your nearest fabric store, get some sheer black spandex and just wrap the whole box, stapling the fabric around the back. You won't even need a grill. About $5 a yard, which should be enough for a pair of speakers that size.

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ar_pro    0

Another good bang-for-the-buck technique would be to place the ugly ducklings on an actual bookshelf, surrounded by books - or records! - an old-school method that still elicits salivation when browsing the Hi-Fi sections of vintage Allied and Lafayette Radio catalogs. It was a great look 50 years ago, and IMHO still looks pretty fine. ^_^

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