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Hi, New With New To Me AR-2ax Pair

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   Thank you for your welcome gentlemen !

So yes, filleted surrounds have a thicker, tapered inner edge, and help damp the cone's edge resonance. A good thing with these later AR foam 10 inch woofers, I think.


      If I can ask, would it be safe to use my main email address as a contact addy here? Just wondering  as this is not a HTTPS site



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16 hours ago, JKent said:

A belated welcome Sara and Jessi! Nice to have some women here--I thought we were all a bunch of (old) guys ;)

Sara--you have received a lot of quality information from Tom. The only thing I would add is this: If the cabinets have no obvious damage you may be able to clean them up with some Howard Restor-a-Finish. It comes in different colors (Walnut, Neutral, Mahogany, others). Some of us like to use the Mahogany because it makes the wood tone warmer looking. You can then use either wax or Watco Oil over the R-a-F. If you do decide to lightly sand instead as Tom suggested be VERY careful along the edges. Veneer is thin. Also, I would clean the cabinets thoroughly before sanding Spray Nine (similar to 409 or Fantastick) works well or you can clean the surfaces with solvent such as lacquer thinner.

I think when you are finished you will be very happy. IMHO the 2ax is superior to the Advent OLA. I had some OLAs, did a complete crossover rebuild but when finished they could not hold a candle to the 2ax's. I now have a pair of AR-3a's but I miss the 2ax's (and the KLH Fives).

Jessi--maybe Frank has been around for a long time but I assure you that most of us who have been re-foaming AR speakers know exactly what the "Boston" or "filled fillet" surrounds are!


Filleted surround for 10-inch Allison woofer (Tyson).

And welcome to Bob F too (even if you are just another guy :lol:). Like your father, I had AR-4x's back in the '70s but I still have mine. They were my first restoration project and my introduction to this forum. Regarding your AR-2ax's grilles, check out the AR-3a restoration booklet. The "lambswool" color linen from 123 Stitch referenced in that guide is also appropriate for the 2ax.



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On 2/15/2018 at 3:36 PM, sarals said:

Hello, Tom!  It's nice to meet you.  Thank you for the information.  You had some VERY encouraging things to say about the speakers.  One was a surprise, that in your opinion they will sound better than the AR-5's, you like the midrange driver better for near field listening.  I am positively anxious to hear them after reading that! :)

I don't have the serial numbers.  I could read one from the seller's photos, and the other was a bit of a guess - AX158489 and the guess was AX158(672)?  They may be close in pairing, I hope they are.

I have one concern vis a vis the grill cloth.  I hope the seller didn't damage the frame when she "pried off" the grill!  It looks to be a bit bent in the photos, I do hope it isn't broken.

I will report the arrival as soon as it happens.  I suspect it's about a week off.

@bfastr, yes!  I'll send you an email.  And thank you!

I should try to clarify the comment about (the AR-2ax) "they will sound better than the AR-5.'  I didn't mean to imply that the AR-2ax would sound better than the 5, only that it seems to "image" better than the AR-5 and the AR-3a because of the latter speakers'  wide-dispersion midrange dome drivers.  The term "image" is very nebulous, but we all know what is implied.  On the other hand, the dispersion is so good on the (AR-5 and AR-3a) dome midrange drivers that both the AR-3a and the AR-5 can sound a bit diffuse if one listens too close to the speakers themselves.  One must get back in the reverberant field a few feet from the 5 and 3a to appreciate this attribute.  The AR-2ax's 3.5-inch cone midrange driver has poorer off-axis dispersion than the AR-5, and by its very nature is more "directional."  Good "imaging," actually not necessarily a good thing itself, requires a fairly directional driver to prevent reflections and interaction from other drivers.  Thus, the AR-2ax, by default, images a bit better than the AR-5, but is less "spacious" in its sound.  In terms of accuracy or in terms of "spaciousness," or "3-dimensional" sound, the AR-5 and AR-3a have a definite advantage over the AR-2ax.  Also, the AR-5 has a lower midrange/woofer crossover so that the woofer is cut off sooner, also a slight advantage over the AR-2ax. 



From the two reverberant-chamber integrated-power ("acoustic power") curves above, you can see the slight advantage in the lower midrange for the AR-5 and AR-3a over the AR-2ax, but the differences are small.  There is a bit more smoothness and extension in the AR-5 and AR-3a in the lower midrange region.  Also, this particular test was done with phono cartridges, one was the M91E for the 2ax and a V-15 Type II for the 5/3a, and some differences would exist there as well, though very slight.  AR found that the phono cartridges themselves were not quite as linear as the speakers!

Nevertheless, the AR-2ax has nearly all of the other attributes of the AR-5: same bass response and same wide-dispersion treble response.  The balance of output from the AR-2ax is very natural, too, and even though the tweeter's output is down a bit in relation to the other drivers, the overall balance is excellent.  In my opinion, the AR-2ax is much smoother and more natural-sounding than the large Advent "The Advent Loudspeaker," but it gives up about a third of an octave in deep bass to the Advent.  The same applies to the Small Advent of that original generation.  The Small Advent is nearly equal to the large version in bass, but both speakers suffer a bit in terms of midrange and treble accuracy. 

Overall, therefore, the AR-2ax is still an exceptional loudspeaker, and one rarely gets tired of its natural and accurate sonic character!

--Tom Tyson 

Edited by tysontom
Add descriptive response curves to validate comments

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Thank you, Tom!

Calling up my aural memory from fifty years ago, I recall two things about The Larger Advent, and what sold me on them (other than their price).  I first heard them in a stereo store in Syracuse, NY (was it Tech HiFi?).  The demonstration pitted them against AR3a's, the source material was rock (Joni Mitchell).  One, the Advents, to me, just came forward, Joni's vocals and her guitar were present in a way that the 3a's just didn't (seem to) do.  Two, the bass (which the 3a's were legendary for, even then) seemed equal.  So, I decided on the the Advents, and I bought a pair about a year later.

Yes, there was a lot wrong with the demonstration, and the glaring point is that I listened exclusively to rock in those days (other than "Also sprach Zarathustra").  The Advents were complimentary to rock music, because they had that forward midrange and they could play loud (and survive!).  The 3a's were not positioned well in the demo, as I recall they were sort of buried in a pile of other speakers, where the Advents were front and center (clearly being hawked by the store).

I became aware after owning the Advents for a time that they had an upper midrange "roughness" that almost bothered me.  They just didn't "sparkle" in the upper registers of acoustic guitar and women's voices.  Also, the highs sounded a bit "splashy", brittle.  They were superior to the AR4x's I had in that regard, but not by a huge amount.  The last summer I owned them, my brother and I combined our sets (he also owned a pair) into a very impressive system for the time.  They were stacked tweeter to tweeter, driven by a Crown DC300A (not the cleanest thing on the planet back then, but it was powerful), which was driven by a Dynaco PAT4.  The source was an AR-XA with a Shure M93E (I wish I knew what happened to that turntable!).  That system could rock!  Prodigious bass, decent dispersion (I didn't "grock" imaging back then), and my could it get loud.

These days, listening to the Smaller Advents that I own (they were given to me by a friend when he upgraded his home theater system), I hear all of the qualities that I recall from the Larger Advents.  They have very tight, very smooth bass, with decent extension (percussion is downright impressive).  They do image well, and they're very stable in that regard.  The sonic presentation is very natural top to bottom, but there IS that upper mid roughness and the tweeters do not do well with overtones or decay.  They sound quite glassy.  But, I like them!

I think I mentioned that I have been listening to demos of the various classic speakers and electronics on YouTube.  YouTube is a representation at best (compression, recorder used, etc, etc, etc), but it did bring out that I HAD NEVER REALLY HEARD AR SPEAKERS.  I have been impressed, mesmerized, and wowed by what I have heard (through my Beyer cans and good pair of Sony earbuds).  In particular, I was struck by one of the member's here demonstration of his AR-2ax pair vs his AR-5 pair (driven by a beautiful Marantz 2270).  I could hear only a slight difference between the two models (the biggest being the very apparent difference in efficiency).  I was impressed by both sets of speakers.

I resolved that I wanted (can you say "needed" ;) ) a pair (or more) of vintage AR's.

As far as being a woman on this forum, well, you guys can't have all the fun! :)

Thank you for the welcome, all of you!

(Okay on the filleted Allison surrounds, thank you for that).

Oh - the speakers are scheduled for delivery this coming Saturday.  I'm only a little anxious?

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Owning both Original Large Advents and AR 2ax's gives me two different ways to enjoy and appreciate the subtle qualities within the musical instruments; each design reveals/enhances/removes different aspects of the music. The Advents have such deep and fast bass, the AR 2ax's possess an amazingly clear midrange. All speakers are imperfect, of course. Do I listen to one pair more than the other? Sure, but I'm not gonna tell anyone which ones!  :laughing:

     Often dropping into CSP forums this last year, I've found myself concurring with ~almost~ everyone's impressions of what they hear, most recently Sara's and Tom's; not really surprising since we love music and have a history of honestly evaluating what we hear. Can I suggest that my past has seen me servicing and selling audio for a bit of time, some of it even pretty competent stuff? One of only a few women back in the '80's/'90's, as you can imagine.
   My East Coast classic speakers now bring me all the pleasure my older ears wish for, so much so that I've decided to sell on my Maggies and some other high end gear. Downsizing time. Even my lovely second set of Original Large Advents will be going too, very hopefully to a good home. It's amazing how much stuff this addiction can generate. Got a feeling I may be adding one more pair of speakers though, just for fun because I was given this set of AR 5 cabinets that only need some midranges ...

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