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Everything posted by tysontom

  1. Roy, it is one of the early versions. But what about that transformer? It almost looks a little like a "special" AR-6. Well, you were the only one at this point to mention anything about it, but it was one of several AR-6s specially built by AR in Holland for the old Royal Opera House in Copenhagen. I think when they were building the new $500 million opera house or before, they took out all of the old stuff, but I'm not sure of the actual history. Klause was on hand to get many of the older ARs when they were removed several years back. Through a little woofer "horse trading" with Klause, I got one black AR-6 a few years ago, but I never looked inside of it until recently, and that's when I noticed the transformer. That is a line-matching (likely 70-volt) transformer, and I guess all of these AR-6s and the many AR-LSTs also had those transformers due to the big distances between speakers and power source. The original woofer was replaced with a newer ferrite version, which I re-foamed, but the tweeter and crossover are still original. In most installations such as this, the transformer is usually attached to the back of a speaker, but in this case it was integral with the crossover internally. AR installed the transformers, painted the oiled-walnut (probably before oiling) cabinet in flat black and sprayed the grill with black paint as well. Hope everyone is staying safe! --Tom Tyson
  2. Do you AR recognize this AR-6 and anything different about it? --Tom Tyson
  3. I've done just that with many drawings, but you may not realize the scope of the number of drawings that would have to be done this way. I've used my Canon 5D-MkIII to take pictures of several drawings with great results -- and this camera is very precise with high resolution -- but it is very cumbersome and time-consuming to mount a drawing on the wall or tape each drawing to a drafting table with the camera on a tripod above (which is the way I've done it most of the time). A large-format scanner is much faster will give much better results because there is little lens distortion or light variation, but even that is a real problem.
  4. dna, thanks for your inquiry. I am working on the book project, but it goes slowly considering many other responsibilities, so there is still a way to go on it. I was a bit premature in "presenting" the project so early; I should have waited a bit later, but I'll get there. The Administrator posted this "separate" topic before I was ready, so this is where we are at this point. As for printing, I prefer to have it printed by a publisher, but we'll have to wait to see how that works. One has to have an agent to get a publisher. As for the "AR Archives." There are around 15 5-drawer, legal-size, filing cabinets full of data, many millions of pieces of paper, I suspect, and this doesn't include everything that was originally in these files. There are also thousands of large blue-line drawings and prints that can not be easily scanned unless a large-page scanner is used. In addition, someone from International Jensen actually, unknowingly, "deep-sixed" hundreds of old files, I was told by Victor Campos, before the filing cabinets were sent out to Benicia, California in the early 1990s, several years before I acquired them. So, many early files are now gone. Even with that, I have not actually read every single item in every file in every cabinet, even after several years. It is nearly overwhelming. There is one important thing, however, and that is that I have preserved these files (they were going to be distributed elsewhere or discarded) and went to great expense to acquire them -- legally -- through Recoton at the time to prevent them from being lost, distributed elsewhere or destroyed, and I had them shipped back to me on the east coast. To answer your question, "would it be possible to post all of the appropriate archives in the AR Library here," I would love to, but the answer is a simple "no." There are several reasons: (1) the files would overwhelm any storage method, even if compressed; (2) there are many "personal," non-public files and memos heavily mixed in with general-information files; (3) I don't have the resources of a half-dozen workers organizing and scanning the zillions of files and (4) many files are still somewhat sensitive and involve financial information or personnel information, and should not be shared, even though they date back many years. In addition, there are many "workbooks" on the design of various products, and these include hundreds of anechoic-chamber measurements, arcane calculations and mathematics, physics and so forth that only a few people would understand. This is part of the method of designing a loudspeaker, and it is tedious, dull and difficult to follow in some circumstances unless you are a speaker engineer. Nevertheless, if I see things that will be pertinent to general information that is not in the Library, I will scan them and send on to the Library. The Library, as a part of this website, is really quite complete and comprehensive, and most of the information needed for hobbyist work can be found in those files. Stuff is added all the time, and will continue to be added over time, and when I do see things in the Archives that are pertinent, I will send that information forward. Thanks, --Tom
  5. The pictures are not clear, but I'm pretty confident that the cabinets are walnut. C 4747 were built mid-1960, I think.
  6. Extrapolating the dates of other LSTs; e.g., LST No. 00367 was built in August, 1972 and No. 00609 was built in December 1972, and AR was building around 60 per month during this period, on average. Therefore, I think 00775, an early style LST, was built in Cambridge around February 1973, just before AR moved from Cambridge to Norwood. The L-1672 is the tag publication number, I believe, but not the build number. --Tom Tyson
  7. Greetings, Adriano! I love your pictures of your family's AR-2s. They were almost perfectly placed on the shelf, and the sound would definitely have been very clean and smooth! An early picture of Ann-Margret Olsson adjacent to her left-channel AR-2ax speakers, somewhere out in Hollywood in the late 1970s. Ann-Margret and her husband Roger Smith were music-lovers, and Ann-Margret was an accomplished singer and dancer, not to mention expert in high-fidelity sound reproduction! This extraordinary actress could ride a motorcycle well, too! --Tom Tyson
  8. Thanks for that update. I've been to that house and actually stayed over a weekend as a guest of the Villchur family some time ago. It is a great house up on a hill! Price came down a little, but it still did well! Beautiful land!
  9. Please try this link. The first one apparently developed an issue. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/edgar-villchur-the-american-inventor?utm_medium=email&utm_source=lifecycle&fbclid=IwAR0dCjwtc216lHjol9gNnTE2PN0ow4Epa6whX3gQDfqjdKq_1-LQIZn-q2o#/
  10. Hello Friend of Acoustic Research: A documentary filmmaker from New York -- living in the same town as and acquainted with Edgar Villchur -- is making a documentary film on the life of Edgar Villchur. This film producer is Cambiz Khosravi, a well-known documentary producer, and he is well on the way with his project, "Edgar Villchur: The American Inventor." I've helped him quite a bit, and I think the documentary production will be very nice and a great tribute to Edgar Villchur and Acoustic Research. Mr. Khosravi does need any help he can get to cover the cost of the "production stage" of the film, and PBS -- the likely presenter -- will cover the remaining costs. Therefore, Khosravi has set up a funding site: "https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcambiz.khosravi%2Fposts%2F10217946219041185&width=500" If you can help in any way, it would be fantastic! --Tom Tyson
  11. It is rare for the original AR-2 cloth surrounds go bad in most cases, and it is best not to replace with urethane-foam, as this was not original. Foam surround may possibly change the free-air resonance slightly as well. Test the woofer first for air leaks, and if the woofer isn't bad, don't modify it. Leave it alone, but be sure that the cabinet does not have air leaks (use a stethoscope and 30Hz to listen for air leaks). This speaker also has the WWII-surplus, mil-spec (Army-Navy) oil-filled capacitors and the high-quality A-B level control. Therefore, it is rare for the crossover to ever give trouble, and it's probably good for 100+ years of unchanged, reliable service. This old AR-2 was very early (what was the serial number?), and it is unusual with some excellent pedigree! The 2 was an exceptionally fine old speaker (designed by Edgar Villchur and partially executed by Henry Kloss before he departed AR in February 1957). The first AR-2 went out the door in March, 1957, and the little speaker was, at that time, literally unsurpassed in sonic accuracy by any other loudspeaker at any cost except for the mightier AR-1, quite an accomplishment. These are rare, perhaps as famous as the AR-2s that belonged to Richard Nixon in the White House (you may not like his politics, but at least he knew good sound), JFK, Buddy Holly, Miles Davis, Nelson Rockefeller or even Ann Margret Olsen! It had been rumored for many years that that Rockefeller -- a notorious philanderer -- died of a massive heart attack (rip) while listening with his AR-3s to the thunderous final movement of Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony No. 3, while in the arms of one of his lovers at his west 54th street town house (not his main residence). We will never know for sure, but Nelson loved his AR speakers (he had various pairs) as much as his extra-marital girlfriends. Nelson could afford anything, but he always chose AR speakers and beautiful women. As a side note, one of Nixon's AR-2a speakers developed a problem and had to be repaired. Because of the nature of this customer, a secret-service agent accompanied the speaker back to Cambridge and witnessed the repair before returning to Washington. By the way, the Ponderosa Pine cabinets on the utility cabinet were never finished, but rather left in unfinished condition. So, if you want them to be original, don't mess with the woofer unless is is bad and don't apply finish to the cabinet unless it is an opaque finish. After all, these were work horses. --Tom Tyson
  12. Bin, I think you have 100% authentic AR-3 loudspeakers, no question there. What I do see, however, is that someone has tampered with the labels on the back and altered the serial numbers. I know that those serial numbers are not authentic, mainly because of the supporting evidence we've reported. You've raised yet another question, why weren't these speakers signed-off? I've never seen a pair that got through final inspection without a signature; it was required of the quality-control employees to sign-off on everything that went through the plant, from the anechoic testing of each individual driver down to the final production-line inspection and testing. In the end, however, I suspect that the sellers had two AR-3s that were early models with authentic drivers in good condition. The original, true serial numbers might have been many units apart, for example, one might have been C 04690 and the other might have been C 07201, for example, but still the same driver configuration and style, and the sellers probably thought that they would not bring as much money if left that way. Also, the original labels on the back might have been damaged or worn off, etc., and the sellers simply put on "new" labels. There are some original AR speaker labels floating around that belonged to AR that had not been put on the back panel of the AR speakers itself. I know, because I have one or two that I got from Roy Allison years ago. The grills and original grill panels were obviously damaged or broken, along with the missing original brass logos, etc. So, therefore, the sellers decided that they could get more money for the speakers if they could make them look like "mint-condition," consecutive-number AR-3s and demand a higher price for them. This in no way detracts from the speakers and their original drivers! It is simply a reflection on the sellers who refurbished them. --Tom Tyson
  13. Why does it even matter?
  14. Clearly the serial numbers are incorrect (and the date-stamp font is also incorrect along with the absence of the "C" in the serial number) for some reason, but I don't know why this would be unless the original serial numbers were pretty far apart and the seller felt that this might detract from their value, which it really won't. Consecutive serial numbers in AR speakers really don't mean anything, and it's fairly rare and usually "coincidental" that two have consecutive numbers. Serial numbers far apart do have significance with regard to components, crossovers, etc., but these two appear to have been built pretty close together. Send some pictures of the two speakers with their grills off, side-by-side. Also, pictures of the other crossover, if possible. These AR-3s are definitely early versions, likely dating to 1960-61. If you look at any of the drivers (the midrange or tweeter, particularly but sometimes on the woofer), you can usually find a date stamped on the back plate of the magnet circuit. Try to locate a stamped date. The presence of the oil-filled, mil-spec surplus crossover capacitors (the best kind, actually) clearly proves that these speakers date back to the earliest versions. Someone appears to have changed the level controls, however, as they don't look original to the AR-3. Woofer details are also present that show the orange surround color (before AR added lamp-black to the treatment), the damping ring around the outside of the woofer cone just inside the surround, and that sort of thing. The woofer has the Gen 2 cone annular rings and foam damping rings, which came about a year or so after the introduction of the AR-3, probably late 1960 or early 1961. The terminal strip is early, too, as mentioned before. I'm thinking that the original serial numbers for these speakers would be something in the C 04500 to C 07500 range or so. If both speakers work properly, then you're in fine shape with only the fraudulent "sequential" serial numbers and the wrong grill cloth material and relatively crude "3" pins. It doesn't appear that any drivers have been changed from the pictures you show, but I haven't seen both speakers. Look on the woofer magnet back plate to see if you can find a date stamp. --Tom Tyson
  15. I agree with Gerry 100%. Bi-amping is somewhat of a solution to which there is no problem. Years ago, with under-powered amplifiers, audiophiles often resorted to bi-amping speakers to get higher output levels with lower distortion. However, with the ADS L1590-2 -- as with most modern loudspeaker systems -- the passive crossover is an integral part of the design of the loudspeaker, and to bypass the crossover can be problematic. In fact, ADS spent about two years researching improvements in the design of their tower speakers (the 1090, 1290 and 1590 in the Series II version) to make them even better, and most of the improvements came in the crossover itself with driver enhancements. Therefore, removing or bypassing the crossover altogether can lead to serious spectral-balance issues, when using an outboard active crossover, which could result in some frequencies favoring others along with a serious issue with the shape and slope of the acoustic-power response into a room. Many times, audiophiles feel that they know better than the designers, and they can improve on the original design, but this is usually a false premise. In other words, the engineers at ADS knew very much what they were doing when they designed and improved these speakers; why screw with their professional work? Place the speakers in an acoustically "proper" listening room, large enough to appreciate the bandwidth of the speakers and a room properly damped with furniture and floor treatment. Again, use an appropriately powerful and stable power amplifier. If the crossover is left in place, however, separating the woofer section from the treble section does not accomplish much of anything, and to get the proper balance is sometimes difficult. There is always the issue of getting the two section out of phase along with the relative balance of the output. With an adequately powered amplifier; i.e., an amplifier with 200-300+ watts output, the sound of the 1590 should be fine without the need to bi-amp. I drove my ADS L1590-2s with several different high-powered amplifiers over time, but mostly I used a Threshold 500-watt amp or McIntosh MC2500, and there were times when the Mac "Limit" lights flashed on peaks, meaning that peaks were greater than 1kW into each channel. I did have a good friend with a pair of L1290s, and he chose to biamp his setup with the crossover in place. He struggled to get the sound properly balanced, and ultimately he returned it to a single-amp operation. With my ADS L1590-2 system, I never once detected any weakness, distortion or lack of clarity from these speakers, a hallmark of the excellent design of the ADS speakers. I did mount them back within about a foot of the front short wall and away from the room corners in my large, well-damped listening room of about 15' x 23' or so. I was always amazed at how clean and effortless these speakers sounded, with clear, balanced output and low-distortion deep bass. --Tom Tyson
  16. The serial number stamp doesn't look authentic, and it lacks the "C" as mentioned earlier.
  17. Add to the mix that the grills and the "3" pin are not original.
  18. The serial numbers for this pair of AR-3s are inconsistent with the physical appearance of the speakers themselves, for some reason. SNs 43896 and 43897 would have been manufactured in the 1964-1965 time-frame, yet these speakers look like 1959-1960 models with their early front terminal strip and the treated-cloth surrounds without the later-added lamp-black treatment for the woofers. How are the cabinets different? With consecutive serial numbers, it would indicate that the speakers were built virtually at the same time. Consecutive numbers aren't particularly rare, but AR speaker were never intentionally shipped out from AR as a "pair" with consecutive numbers. The most unusual thing is the lack of the standard oval-shaped, flush terminal strip rather than the earliest version mounted above the baffle. The serial numbers strangely do not have the "C" in front of the serial numbers. This is unusual, and it's hard to determine what's going on. The drivers are also earlier, but in seemingly excellent, unmolested condition from the one image. More pictures would be very helpful. --Tom Tyson
  19. Norman, Welcome to this forum! That is an interesting story about your experience at the AR Music Room on the west balcony in GCT. I had forgotten that the room was air-conditioned, but now that you mention it, I do recall that it felt very comfortable up in the room. I spent quite a lot of time up there in 1966 and again in 1968, two trips I made to the New York High Fidelity Music Show. Those were fun memories that I had there, too, along with attending the hifi show. At the time, my girlfriend lived in Manhattan, so we all had a great time! I got to know Walt Berry quite well during that time and his assistant Barbara. During those years, AR had over 100,000 people a year visit the room, but no sales were ever allowed to be made. In 1994, AR made a return visit to GCT, but this time renting the east balcony. By now, the old AR building was long-gone, but AR rented the east balcony to celebrate "AR's 40th Birthday Party," a celebration and trip down AR memory lane that included most of the "who's who" in high-fidelity audio history at the time. --Tom Tyson
  20. The tweeters are also wired in a series/parallel fashion, so there are some slight variations between even properly working tweeters. If one tweeter is defective, it will affect the output of the others as well.
  21. Notice, too, that the very first AR-10 Pi speakers (the prototypes, that is) were called "AR-Pi-One," and they had slider switches for the environmental control rather than the later toggle switches. By the time of production, the name was changed to AR-10Pi; and in the ad shown in this message string, the AR-10Pi is actually shown with the slider switches, so perhaps serial number 0001 had sliders instead of toggle switches. One of the important contributors to the AR-10 was C. Victor Campos of AR (he recently died, sadly). Victor and I used to talk for hours about AR and KLH, and Victor had actually worked at AR during two different periods, once in the early 1960s and then in the mid-1970s about the time of the new Advanced Development Division speakers (AR-10, AR-11, AR-12, 14, AR-MST, etc.). He worked on the cabinet design of the AR-10 Pi, and during its development, AR technicians were having some difficulty making the access doors, which tended to bind, close properly. Victor was somewhat impatient, and he insisted that the engineers stop screwing around and just install ball-bearing pivots for the door hinges! Of course, this would have cost a fortune and was immediately nixed by management, so the engineers got to work and fixed the existing bearing surface for the solid-walnut door, and it worked fine forever more. Victor was also very interested in the 1978 AR9 "D", an experimental 4-way "powered" AR9 speaker that was sadly never actually put into production! What good did come of the AR9D: the birth of NAD electronics! --Tom Tyson
  22. This is a great tribute to a very knowledgeable AR man! I couldn’t agree more, and I have been dealing with Acoustic Research products nearly all my life, and I would run something by Roy before deciding on it when it comes to the vintage Acoustic Research products! Roy has had such broad experience because he has seen and worked on so many Acoustic Research speakers! Roy is also a fine gentleman, very gracious and thoughtful – and very nice, too! What a huge asset to this forum of AR devotees! --Tom Tyson
  23. The AR-10π with the black face is a very early version (looks like serial No. 0051) of the original model. The first production models of both the AR-10 and AR-11 -- the first models of the "Advanced Development Division" line -- had the face painted black. Subsequently, veneer was used on the front panel of the upscale AR-10.
  24. Great message! Thanks for this further clarification. One note: after the initial 200003 woofer, AR did change the compliance slightly to prevent the often-occurring back-plate voice-coil incursions. This early 1969-1970 ferrite woofer (Roy and I can't determine precisely when the new ferrite woofer appeared in the AR-3a) was extremely compliant and prone to striking the bottom plate of the magnetic structure under very hard low-frequency input power. This took an excursion of a little over an inch, peak-to-peak. Sometime after AR moved to Norwood (1973), AR did revise this woofer to (1) eliminate the butyl-rubber coating on the surround, (2) change the dust cap and (3) slightly stiffen the spider to control excursion beyond the .5-inch linear travel. Perhaps this corresponds to the drawing changes. I did notice that the AR-11 woofer, for example, was slightly stiffer at extremes than the AR-3a ferrite woofer. This did not materially affect the driver resonance or harmonic distortion, but it limited the excursion a bit more at extremes than the first edition in an effort to prevent flattening the voice coils under duress since the woofer did not have an extended back plate ("bumped"). AR also went to the aluminum bobbin for this woofer in the mid-1970s, and most of the later ones were aluminum rather than the earlier DuPont Nomex-treated-paper formers, even though the latter probably dissipated heat better into the magnet structure. --Tom Tyson --Tom
  25. I didn't mean to repeat the details of my first message!
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