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Things that effect Vintage AR Speaker value.


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#1 Tom H.

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 10:23 PM

Iíve been watching eBay vintage AR speaker auctions lately. Of course selling prices are all over the place. Iíve seen pretty nice AR-3 and AR-2 series languish with no bids at $150 a pair, Iíve recently seen a really nice original set of early AR-4Xís sell for nearly $600.

What things drive the value of these old speakers?

Consecutive/very close serial numbers?
Certain driver combinations?
Are certain models more rare/hard to find?
Really nice original untouched vs. a nice pair thatís had a high-quality restoration?

Iím sure cabinet condition makes the biggest difference.
Iím sure shipping costs are one of the biggest considerations when bidding. I know this first hand. I just bought a pair of project/restorable AR-2AX's of eBay. I'm sure I paid too much but wanted another project to work on. Other than some repairable (I Hope) scratches they look to be in pretty nice shape. I'm sure they need the usual work on woofer foam, caps and pots.

What are the other things that really affect these vintage ARs value?

#2 dynaco_dan

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:49 AM

Iíve been watching eBay vintage AR speaker auctions lately. Of course selling prices are all over the place. Iíve seen pretty nice AR-3 and AR-2 series languish with no bids at $150 a pair, Iíve recently seen a really nice original set of early AR-4Xís sell for nearly $600.

What things drive the value of these old speakers?

Consecutive/very close serial numbers?
Certain driver combinations?
Are certain models more rare/hard to find?
Really nice original untouched vs. a nice pair thatís had a high-quality restoration?

Iím sure cabinet condition makes the biggest difference.
Iím sure shipping costs are one of the biggest considerations when bidding. I know this first hand. I just bought a pair of project/restorable AR-2AX's of eBay. I'm sure I paid too much but wanted another project to work on. Other than some repairable (I Hope) scratches they look to be in pretty nice shape. I'm sure they need the usual work on woofer foam, caps and pots.

What are the other things that really affect these vintage ARs value?



Hi there

Sometimes there is no rhyme nor reason for pricing of classic speakers or any stereo equipment.

The words, "classic, vintage, re-furbished and collectable", are used way too often, which makes the item appear

to be much more desired than they really are.

I was a past rescuer of speakers from ebuy and locally, it can be rather addictive.

I watched a lot of ebuy auctions, even some I was not bidding on.

There was at least 5 pairs of Dynaco A-25's listed one day in various physical condition.

I did not bid but one pair went for, well under $100.00, one pair for $450.00+/- within a few hours of each other.

I did not follow up to see if either auction was completed or fell through.

The shipping and packing charges were probably similar for both auctions.

I believe that some sellers pad the S&H charges just to make more money.

Sometimes there is a bidding frenzy and sometimes there is zero bids.

I won a foam version of an AR-3A woofer, I was the only bidder, for 99 cents, there was a $33.00 S&H charge though. OUCH!

That was when you could still get a package for cheap, delivered by USPS economy, that went the way of the DODO bird, of course.

I was able to obtain a minty pair of Dynaco A-10's here in Canada.

No customs, no paperwork, no customs clearance surcharge ($40.00), excellent seller packaging and a lifetime of careful ownership was evident.

There is a very small mark, not hole or chip, which I will use droplets of water and a soldering iron to raise that portion of veneer.

Not very many bids at all during that auction, being as how the item was here in Canada.

If they were listed for sale within the USA, the auction would have likely gone with many more bidders and about $100.00 higher income for the seller.

KLH Twelves and AR-LST's, for just two speakers, add about $150 - $250.00+/- US in shipping charges within the USA.

KLH Twelves and the AR-LST's are excellent speakers, the AR-LST's always command much higher prices.

Packaging these speakers to elimimnate damage can be a horrendous job, to say the least.

The KLH Twelves are definitely not bookshelf speakers, they are often sold without their control boxes.

I shudder when a seller says that he tested the individual drivers without the control box I cringe.

He also implies that the contour control boxes can be readily found, yeh sure!

If you go to, VinylNirvana.com, you will see what poor seller packaging does to AR turntables only, makes you want to cry.

I received a pair of AR-2 speakers from the USA and I posted the story and some photos here back then.

It was amazing to see how much damage a very large reputable shipping company can do and still get paid for delivery.

They were a total write off, sadly, but the seller came through with another pair at his own expense totally.

I won a walnut veneered pair of AR-4X's and the seller cut up a sheet of rigid polyfoam insulation and made a carton

out of it and used duct tape to attach each piece.

I would not have thought of that material but I'm still smiling at his creativity and excellent workmanship.

I asked a kind CSP member here if he would bid on a US only auction just for AR-2 drivers.

He opened up the the carton and basicly he said, it appeared that the drivers were just thrown into the box.

Again total write-off.

Some sellers brag that their speakers have sequential serial numbers, yeh, 10, 100 or 1,000 numbers apart, maybe.

Mis-matched drivers, ex. early and late AR-2AX's and Dynaco A-25's with Scan and Seas drivers.

Dynaco had a system of using a pre-fix, ex. 19- for the Dynaco A-25 speaker system, not identifying the various,

Scan drivers, Seas drivers, left or right of cabinet center tweeters, vent above tweeter or below woofer, different switches and resistors (recent topic)

and even slight wood grill cloth frame and hardboard sheet with cutouts.

Sellers that tell you about the terrific speaker technology and company history and how well they sound.

Trouble is, listed way down in the description is about drivers being substituted with no namers but still sounding really fine.

Sometimes serial numbers are very important though, such as, an un-announced driver or crossover change, ex AR-2AX.

The AR-LST's were sold both with interior and exterior mounted crossovers, not that necessarily affects the sound quality.

Adjustment of capacitor values and added bypass resistor, once again it may not affect the sound quality.

Differences between several versions of AR-3's, mid range driver and crossover changes (as written up in the library by Tom Tyson, thank you Tom).

Little information is available for early Dynaco A-25 speaker history as well as all of the Dynaco products.

No bluprints, memos or inter-office letters, yet

There seems to be possibly 3 or 4 different versions or variations, possibly more.

The most recent just brought up recently here.

There is probably more original AR drawings, brochures and inter-office memos posted in our library than any other brand.

A lot of speakers are stripped down today and the drivers and crossovers sold individually.

I received enough poorly packaged individual drivers as well.

It is truly amazing how badly some sellers package their wares.

There is also some very good packagers.

My guess is you would have a 10% absolute nasty experience problems and 25 - 50% or more bad or poor packagers.

These figures are not carved in stone.

Modifications or restorations, ex. where the seller has removed the fiberglass insulation from a pair of AR-LST's and

replaced it with cleaner and less itchy fiberfill.

Replaced all the tweeters with Radio Shack tweeters and tells you how great they are now.

Or plunked Radio Shack woofers in, nice and boomy now, better than new.

Or just latexed or diluted silicone painted the surround and now it sounds much better.

Those $600.00 AR-4X's were about $150.00 retail a pair when new.

They are real nice sounding, great value, in minty condition, for about the old retail price, without the foamed woofers of course.

I guess people get caught up in the desire to buy something that they wanted for a long time and lose control bidding.

After a divorce will do that.

I attended a local auction here many years ago, I was going to bid on a file cabinet, unfortunately, it was item number 150 on the auction bid list.

Early on there was a bidding frenzy for a used car roof rack, it sold for more than a new one.

I believe that the word is, shill, when a person falsely bids to drive the prices up higher, whether in person or on auction.

Not allowed, but who knows.

Everyone wants a matched speaker system, some differences may not be noticeable and others would bug us just knowing that they're different

even if we can't hear the difference.

Just a thought for today.


I am rambling, I like rambling.

Ramble Ramble Ramble LOL
VERN

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#3 Tom H.

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 02:45 AM

Great post Dan.

I always get a kick out of an e-bay auction where the woofer foams are non existant and the seller describes the wonderful sound of the speakers! I just cringe hoping that he didn't play them loud ruining the woofers.

I'm just starting to see what collectors are seeing as desireable. You can tell the experienced sellers from the casual sellers from their description.

#4 dynaco_dan

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 04:42 AM

Great post Dan.

I always get a kick out of an e-bay auction where the woofer foams are non existant and the seller describes the wonderful sound of the speakers! I just cringe hoping that he didn't play them loud ruining the woofers.

I'm just starting to see what collectors are seeing as desireable. You can tell the experienced sellers from the casual sellers from their description.



Hi again

I forgot about the missing foams.

Or the lone tweeter and how well it is built with a real heavy magnet.

Did I mention that the tweeter does not work but you can probably fix it.

Or the tweeter that has it's dome crushed but still sounds great.

Often sellers write from an old manufacturers brochure or from a website, like a love story.

A great writeup will bring in more dollars, that is for sure.

A superb write-up from a 35 year old manufacturers brochure and a sellers compliment as to how great it sounds and

as you scroll down the screen there is no surrounds on the woofers, Heh.
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#5 DON

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 03:45 PM

Hi again

I forgot about the missing foams.

Or the lone tweeter and how well it is built with a real heavy magnet.

Did I mention that the tweeter does not work but you can probably fix it.

Or the tweeter that has it's dome crushed but still sounds great.

Often sellers write from an old manufacturers brochure or from a website, like a love story.

A great writeup will bring in more dollars, that is for sure.

A superb write-up from a 35 year old manufacturers brochure and a sellers compliment as to how great it sounds and

as you scroll down the screen there is no surrounds on the woofers, Heh.







Last week I bought a pair of Advents off e-bay. The seller said he had tested both speakers and they sounded good. The woofers had had the foam completely removed almost clean enough to start refoaming right away. The crossover of one speaker was laying under the filling in the bottom of the cabinet yet he had tested both. Before I bought the speakers I sent him a message telling him to wrap the speakers in several layers of bubble wrap and cover all sides and the corners. He substituted black plastic bags for the bubblewrap and ne corner of one speaker was crushed in about 3/4". The tweeter dust cover was also mashed in. Most sellers I've bought from are very good when it comes to damaged items or electronics that work but need cleaning and offer a partial refund.
A pair of AR3as just recently sold for over $900 and from the photos it looked as if they would need refoaming at least and there were cracks in the cones.




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