Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


Recent Profile Visitors

14,131 profile views

tysontom's Achievements


Newbie (1/14)

  • First Post Rare
  • Collaborator Rare
  • Posting Machine Rare
  • Conversation Starter Rare
  • Week One Done Rare

Recent Badges



  1. Roy, it feels reassuring to begin as a "newbie" again; I notice that you are a class higher as an "apprentice." Congratulations on your ranking! Your AR-3s are yet another interesting variation in the AR production scheme. Production AR-3s went up to at least serial number C70228, but serial numbers may have been changed when the company moved to Norwood, perhaps in line with the hand-written serial numbers. When AR moved from Cambridge to Norwood in 1973, some of the old-style parts went there, but soon production was changed quite a bit. As you know, AR began to run out of original AR-3 2-inch midrange drivers in late 1973 or early 1974, so AR-3s were supplied with the modified 3a midrange and instructions for updating the crossover in order to "pad" down the output of the newer midrange to match the old unit in output. Never a dull moment in the AR hobby! By the way, do you have any pictures of those AR-3a cabinets in lacquered mahogany or lacquered walnut? Those cabinets are not common. I don't think I have any pictures of AR-3as (or AR-5s or AR-2axs) in those finishes, but they were available for several years. Tom
  2. That is an excellent point! There were different moldings used for the AR-3, one thicker (deeper) than the other but always a molding: but with the AR-3a, the molding was standardized in size (depth) but made from different types of solid-stock wood, be it mahogany, walnut, birch (for unfinished cabinets), teak or cherry (or Korina in very eary cabinets). This does not show that at all, you are right. The European cabinets (and moldings) were different, of course, and this is another reason it would be great to see other images, especially of the front and back of the cabinet.
  3. Do you have some other images of the speakers, such as from the front and possibly a 3/4 view? The molding should be a clue, too. If you take a damp cloth and whipe down part of the sanded surface, what color do you get? Is it reddish or brown in tint? The walnut veneer used for these speakers was sometimes wavy and figured and sometimes very straight, depending on whether it was half-round slicing, quarter sliced, etc. —Tom Tyson
  4. The grain does resemble mahogany, but AR-3as in lacquered mahagony are rare, even though the finish was available from 1967 until 1973 (move to Norwood). Nearly all AR-3as were done in oiled walnut, lacquered walnut, cherry, oiled teak or unfinished birch. There were many thousands of AR-3s and AR-2as done in mahogany, but few AR-3as. It's likely oiled-walnut veneer. AR-3 in lacquered mahogany. All of the AR "black" cabinets, such as the AR-6s and AR-LSTs used in The Royal Danish Opera House, were black-lacquer finish over walnut. I wonder if anyone here has a pair of mahogany AR-3as or even pictures of the 3a in mahogany. —Tom
  5. The original AR "cloth" surround was made of treated-linen material, heat-pressed in a mold for the "half-round" curvature. The initial treatment kept the material pliable but helped it retain its shape. After attachment to the woofer cone and frame, the surround was then treated with a butyl-rubber sustance, originally not water-soluable. Later butyl-rubber materials, such as LORD Aqualast BL-100 treatment, work equally well on urethane-foam as well as linen materials. The BL-100 cures to a clear color, but lamp black (carbon dust) was usually mixed to make the material black. BL-100 is relatively expensive and doesn't have a long shelf life, so getting a quantity of it might be diffucult. Aqualast® BL-100 butyl elastomer emulsion is an anionic emulsion of butyl rubber which offers broad latitude in formulating waterborne coatings. It is used as a modifier to enhance the flexibility and adhesion properties of many anionic emulsions. Aqualast BL-100 emulsion can also be used as a coating for a variety of woven and non-woven fabrics to enhance barrier properties, improve fabric strength and handling properties. Typical commercial/industrial applications include: awnings, tents, carpet backing, protective clothing and upholstery. Typical medical applications include: bed sheets, operating room apparel, hospital gowns and incontinence pads. Tom Tyson (ARHPG files)
  6. Ha, ha! This was so typical of Ed Villchur. He could care less what the drivers looked like as long as they performed as designed! Early ARs did not have removable grills, as we know, so it was not intended to the owner to go inside to look at anything. In fact, during those early years, a warning was gently posted on the speaker that the speaker was a sealed unit, etc., and that repair would have to be made directly by AR or by an authorized service center, not the owner. So while the drivers might seem to be ugly (actually, some were quite beautiful), the performance was simply unsurpassed. I know of no manufacturer who had loudspeakers that could measure as flat or uniform, both on- and off-axis, as the ARs of that period. Believe me, I've looked for decades. Nothing JBL made came even remotely close, but some of their drivers were very finely crafted transducers and very handsome. However, only a precious-few manufacturers published anechoic response and distortion measurements of their products. AR loved to do it. The AR Archives probably have 50,000 response measurements scattered throughout the files of various speakers. The 2-inch midrange tweeter and the 1-3/8-inch super tweeters shown in the disclosure article were the prototype drivers that EV had at his lab for testing, and even the magnets were painted black originally for some reason. That very first prototype AR-3, with the single cast-aluminum plate to house both drivers, was used as a show piece in Chicago during the summer of 1958 -- even before the speaker was introduced at the New York High Fidelity Music Show. AR quickly redesigned that plate and used separate mounting flanges for the drivers. Love to know whatever happened to that prototype AR-3, but it's long-gone. The first prototype AR-1W that was shown in the patent drawing (19" x 19" x 11") later ended up in the men's room at the AR plant in Cambridge. Tom Tyson
  7. tysontom

    ADS L1590

    The ADS L1590/2 Loudspeaker Great that you found this thread! It’s amazing to me that there have been so many views on this topic alone—now over 100,000! There are very few topics of any kind that have had more viewers. I really enjoyed my ADS L1590/2s, and I had them for many years before finally selling them a few years ago. I miss them, but I simply did not have a place for them in recent years. They were in Rosewood and were beautiful in appearance and spectacular in performance, particularly with good electronics. Midrange and treble clarity and smoothness probably not surpassed by anything I know of during this period of time—perhaps even to this day. 1590s shown in later life. I made dollies to move them. Prior to the 1590s, I had a pair of AR9s, stacked AR-LSTs and a pair of Allison: Ones (not all at once, of course). I had been driving these speakers with various Crown, Adcom and McIntosh amplifiers, and by the time of the 1590s, I had a MC2500 power amp which was capable of prodigious output power into the 1590s. On several occasions—usually while entertaining friends—the McIntosh “Power Guard” would activate on large peak power to prevent clipping or damaging drivers. That is very loud, but my listening room was large (25' x 18') and well-damped. The 1590s (the AR9s and LSTs even more so) could handle large amounts of output power effortlessly and without audible strain, so the Power Guard was a welcome design. Once, while playing a sustained below-20 Hz organ passage (Mendelssohn Organ Works, Peter Hurford, Argo CD 414-420-2) at near-live levels, the 15-amp 120V circuit tripped, which truly startled me! When the house circuit breaker trips, you know you've got one foot into the abyss. After that, I wired a dedicated 20-amp circuit for my electronics, and this never occurred again. The 1590s were (and are) excellent, capable and beautifully designed speakers. There has been some comment about the L980 (a great bookshelf speaker) being seemingly more potent than the 1590, but that’s simply nonsense. The 1590 has a lower system resonance and uses two 10-inch, long-excursion woofers capable of moving much more air than a single 12-inch woofer, all at lower distortion. The motor structure of the L1590s 10-inch woofer. It's built much like a 12-inch heavy-duty woofer, but uses a 10-inch cone with long-excursion capability. Air-moving capability of a single 15-inch woofer. Showing one (of two) 10-inch woofer effortlessly pumping air at 20 Hz. It’s really that simple. Of this genre of tower loudspeakers, only the AR9 technically has more power in the deep bass, but not very audibly so. I felt that the two were very close! —Tom Tyson [20May2021]
  8. 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
  9. Do you AR recognize this AR-6 and anything different about it? --Tom Tyson
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. Will 200044 mid ranges work in the ar 9  I just got a pair and that’s what’s in them they also have been re coned with original magnets but cloth surrounds on lower mids  sound great but was wondering the difference between 200028 midrange. Thanks Ken 

  13. The pictures are not clear, but I'm pretty confident that the cabinets are walnut. C 4747 were built mid-1960, I think.
  14. 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
  15. 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
  • Create New...