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Everything posted by mister_roboto_hal

  1. Pull the drivers and using a volt meter measure the resistance. It should read between 4 and 8 ohms. If not you have an open circuit. Then check the physical lead wires on each post to see if the wire is burned/broken. Another simple test is to use a small battery like aa and then him a wire on each end and then touch the post. You will hear a brief little pop. Not enough to damage the driver. This is the old school method without a volt meter. Another simple test is to wire the speaker to the amp output and at VERY low volume see if the driver sounds. If so, then the problem is most likely on the network side. If you have a junk car speaker you can pull each driver and using a test wire see if the junk speaker plays. Hope this helps
  2. Before anybody razes me, I realize that I have not been on here in forever and a moon. Well, life happens: move, divorce, etc. Anyway, I have owned AR9's for 15 years and a a pair of AR90's about the same length. Just recently biamped my 9's with a Crown XLS2502 on the lower cabinet and my Sunfire receiver for the upper cabinet. It is wonderful. I will never part with my 9's. System: Vizio 70" 3D LCD, Teac V900X cassette deck, Carver TX-11 tuner, Marantz TT42 turntable, Sunfire Ultimate Receiver, Crown XLS2502, Teledyne AR9, Polk LSiM706C center, Axiom QS8 surrounds, MB Quart QL A50 Balcony rear surrounds, Sony DVP-CX995V 400 DVD changer, Technics SL-MC7 110 CD changer, Denon DMD-1300 Minidisc, Monster Power HTS 5000 MKII AC power distribution.
  3. Hello jevenup and welcome to one of the most comprehensive boards on New England vintage speakers. I am an AR9 guy - but there is this great article/thread on Classic Speaker Pages of a complete restoration of an AR-6. Look there and search this site looking for "AR-6". In all likelihood you will find all the information that you need. Now, finding replacement parts (particularly speakers), that is a different challenge. Oh, and be warned, this can can be a very addicting hobby/pursuit! Happy listening!
  4. AR surround, Absolutely!! They really do. You can watch the eyes glaze over when you start talking about dynamic headroom, damping factor, S/N, etc.! Mine just smiles and quietly listens and says that's great baby! I love her!! I mean I don't know what it would cost, but to have someone rebuild an AR9 cabinet with the same interior volume and a tapered upper register cabinet so no acoustic blanket would be necessary, maybe even time aligned. Wow, I really went off the rails! lol
  5. AR Aficionados, The largest on-wall has 2 6.5" drivers and 8 1.2" domes in a cabinet 4 inches deep. There is not much to refract - it aint that big folks. Wall candy, but would still love to hear them. Not a single distributor in the states. Britain and Asia Pacific. Chinese of course, but so are the common brands people love and have now, Polk, Klipsch, etc.
  6. The traditional towers are ported though. Small drivers and high efficiency (90db). Squeezing that vented enclosure for an F3 of 35hz with 7 inch drivers. In otherwords, the traditional stuff, to me looks boring. The sealed stuff I would love to hear. Its geared around home theater, low bass points, 60ish so subs would be required. It is also designed only to be wall mounted. The little surround looks interesting as well. I would love to hear them - the website provides nothing. All the subs are ported designs as well. One has to wonder though how much engineering moxy is behind it. Or will it be here today gone the next.
  7. Has anyone heard the new AR speakers? I have them on the web site, but it is really in infancy both as web layout and marketing
  8. I agree Steve, the hobbyist part is left to the consumer. I really think of B&O when talking about the consumer. The stuff has always taken a different path to appeal on aesthetics as much as audio. I love my 9's more than any other speaker I have owned and I have owned too many to count. The 9 is big, boxy and has low waf (wife acceptance factor). The sound it creates is something I have never tired of. And we pour our hard-earned dollars for enjoyment. All the other factors of business could be used for any business. In my opinion, it was the innovation that AR contributed to field of audio reproduction that has not been equalled by any other company.
  9. Wow, has it really been that long!? Alas, where does the time go? Divorced, moved, remarried...sounds about right. Anyway, my point is we all work for money. Some are fortunate enough to do that in an industry they find highly rewarding. As a business, at the apex of AR, it commanded a market share that has never been equalled. And the impact on the audio industry, much to the delight of a fortunate few, created designs that would stand the test of time.
  10. As a professional musician in both operatic and instrumental roles (I.e. singer and instrument), this conversation seems to me to be a little obtuse. Please enlighten one on any individual on this forum that works and toils in pure benevolence!? This role, this individual is few and far between and in most veins practices their craft in the ethereal trade. Simply put, the vast masses purchase, pursue, imbibe, etc., for enjoyment, pleasure and satisfaction. Music, art and any other form of entertainment is for the enjoyment of such. And to put the singular laser focus on the point, is entirely subjective.
  11. CSP community, I have a pair of AR90's for sale. They have been recapped and cosmetically are in good condition. There is some wear on the bottom of the bases from being slid around on carpet, etc. All woofers have been reconed and all of the caps have been replaced with Solen for the upper range and electrolytic caps for the bass section. I have recently acquired a pair of AR9's - so these must go. $600 dollars + shipping. I recommend Navis shipping as these guys will pick up, pack and ship these heavy items. They did an outstanding job on my "new" AR9's. Local pickup of course saves shipping. You can email me at lrmccloud@gmail.com for pictures, etc. Thanks
  12. Hi Aleksander, I am also a recent AR90 convert - would you be willing to me all that hi-res lit? Thanks is advance! lrmccloud@gmail.com
  13. JMZ - I will pay the $700 - but need to ship - I am guessing around 250 - any suggestions? Thanks
  14. JMZ - if I arranged shipping will you ship them? ie, if you can take them to local shipper and then I will pay to have them boxed and shipped... Thanks
  15. Thank you for the clarification....
  16. How much total including shipping to 76207?? Thanks
  17. Sorry Aster - Welcome to CSP! I totally forgot my manners :-)
  18. Hello Aster, First, remember you are dealing with speakers that are almost 40 years old. The first thing to find out is if the drivers are original. These speakers to retain their original sound would have had to be refoamed at least twice. Second, the crossover network, if original, is no longer even close to original design specifications. Only the solid copper inductors would still be close to spec. Any paper/wax or other such capacitors for the hipass filter, if original, is no longer functional. Second, the high pass pots/switches, if they have not been replaced are most assuredly corroded and shot. This is the attenuation network for the tweeter and was made with common controls of that time. I have not seen the schematics for this loudspeaker system, but in addition, if there are any of the old sand cast resistors of this time period, these are also prone to disintegrate . Third, the cabinet is acoustic suspension. The cabinet must be sealed. You woofer should have a tacky feel when pushing on it gently in the center around the dust cap if the "acoustic spring" is still intact. Finally, this board and all the enthusiasts here are enamored with what is affectionately called the "New England" sound. I have a pair of AR90's made during the Teledyne era. I had to spend money to reseal the cabinets, redo the crossover networks, and clean the attenuation switches for the passive network. And they are beyond a doubt, for me, the finest pair of speakers I have ever owned. I stress the "for me" part. These speakers can sound very good. But the sound is unique because of the dispersion and output characteristics the designers of these speakers engineered toward. But they do not age like fine wine and like all things concerning sound are subject to personal preference. You will have to spend some money to restore these speakers - assuming the drivers are original! If not, if they have been replaced with other drivers not of this period, then you are simply not hearing what AR designed and intended. Modern woofers for the most part are designed for vented or ported cabinets to achieve low end bass response, are generally higher in efficiency and require larger enclosure volumes. Modern tweeters for the most part have tighter dispersion patterns as opposed to the wide fields of classic AR. In addition, no modern drivers will be optimized with the existing network even if it was fully functional and up to spec. So, pull the drivers, take some pictures and post them here, and then let the expansive expertise available on this board help you in getting these speakers back to the original glory. That is of course based on the assumption you are ready and willing to invest the time, effort, and money to undertake such a project. If the drivers are original and they need the passive side reworked, you can always resell them here in the for sale section. As these are part of the original AR line during the Vilchur era, they are very much in high demand. I have been looking for AR9/AR90's for over 10 years. I was finally able to acquire a pair of AR90's this year. Without the help of the people here, I simply would not have been able to get these speakers sounding the way they do now. So, like you, I am also a noobie to restoring these old classics. I do have some electrical and acoustical knowledge and know how read a schematic - so I did the work myself - WITH the help of the people here. If you are lacking in these skills, you can remove the networks and send them to someone like Carl at Carls Loudspeakers where he can rework with modern caps and send them back to you. Carl is a member here. The point being, is the people on this board are great and will help you if you truly want to get these classics singing again. Also, check the library section and posts. There is a wealth of information on people who have been where you are before. I spent 2 months reading posts and advice from members before I restored my AR90's. Hope this helps and good luck!
  19. Good evening ar_pro Sent an email to Ron- they are already gone..... Thanks
  20. Thanks rrcrain, I did not expect any replys - I was simply adding my experiences to the forum so others could read the end result. this forum, in my opinion, is unique. The webmaster is strict and does not tolerate abuse, flame wars, etc. In addition, this board is dedicated to the enjoyment of music. AR has made its mark in acoustical and loudspeaker design. One would be hard pressed to find anyone to argue against this statement. I guess what "gets my blood flowing" is the founders, designers, etc., behind this company and several other companies of this time period - truly loved music. The desire was to produce something close to the live event. I mean, these guys/gals went from AR to form other companies with their own "zealot" following. These innovators did go to concerts and listen to live events and probably played instruments, etc. Music was the passion. Music is what it is all about! “Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music” Sergei Rachmaninov
  21. No problem winters860- glad I could help Some other points not mentioned in the post. I did not replace any of the sand cast resistors or air core inductors. I also did not bypass or remove the attenuation switches. I am confident that there is oxidation and what not, but chose to clean them and leave them in. If you have a more "dynamic" room you are probably going to need them. These speakers were designed for as close to flat response with wide imaging, etc. May not be your cup of tea! In addition, it would have been a far more complex effort to replace or design these switches out of the network. The people at AR loved music and pushed to produce an accurate loudspeaker that would deliver a complex soundstage and reproduce the recording exactly as the source. They also loved listening to music. Products like these come of passion - not the desire to be rich. Doing a singular something and doing it well... Good luck in your restore!
  22. OK everyone, Please understand that this was done entirely by ear and as such is completely subjective. I can only relay what I heard then and the end result. I did a/b the change before doing the other tower so I could get a point of reference. First of all, I want to add support and "my 2 cents" to my new friends here that I have come to exchange ideas with (Diamonds&Rust and Pete B in particular), that you should recap these old speakers. Chose whatever flavor floats your boat on caps, read all the reviews/comments on CSP, the net, etc., decide if you want to spend a couple hundred or a couple thousand and go for it. Bypass, don't bypass, whatever! Just recap them. Into the cabinets: I did not measure any of the caps. These speakers are 30 years old and felt it was not necessary-and listening results supported this assumption (more on that later). My speakers are only about 40 units apart in serial #'s. This is important for two reasons: 1) the crossovers were different in final assembly from the factory for the respective towers 2) that little disclaimer all consumer electronic companies make about "subject to change without notice" was very true in this case All the cap/resistor/inductor values were identical in each speaker. In the speaker with the lower serial # the resistors for the attenuation switches are mounted on a pcb board and mounted to the termination plate covering the switches and the resistors are very neatly arranged in an aligned row. In the higher serial # speaker, the pcb board is nonexistent and the resistors are soldered to the termination board on riveted connection tabs and are not neatly aligned. Therefore, AR exercised its right to "change without notice" and this drives home what I have read in other boards concerning vintage speakers. If you want to ensure you have a project that will yield close to similar results in your restoration - get speakers as close together in serial # of factory production as possible - otherwise you may be in for a few surprises. That board may have saved the company $5 in materials and labor - who knows - maybe more - it could have been because of defect ratio ( doubtful in my opinion). It is what it is. Caveat Emptor! I removed each cap one at a time soldering monster cable speaker wires (its what I had on hand) to the cut leads left by the caps and replaced/rewired the upper board first and then the lower board. Solen MPP caps were used for all values - uF for uF - one for one - except for the 350uf on the lower board. I paralleled a 250uf and 100uf electrolytic from PartsExpress for the bass cap. This was a monetary decision, period. No other reason. The cost of 2 caps in MPP would have exceeded what I spent on the entire recap project combined. In addition, these caps are very easy to replace in the future should I chose to do so. I completely upgraded the first tower, hot-glued all the caps to the internal floor of the cabinet, checked continuity and remounted the woofers. On to the the sound check, but first... Room environment: 20' x 30' modern home living room (built 2003) with 10' ceilings. Speakers are placed on the long wall approximately 1' from rear wall, 4'+ from adjacent walls. Placement is approximately 10' apart - towed in to the sweet spot 8' from each tower. Carpet on floors, no drapes on rear wall, 1" vinyl blinds on 3 86" windows on opposite wall of speakers. Large oversized chair, recliner (in the sweet spot! :-) ) and large fabric sofa. Listening test: There have been many comments about recapping and various claims on what was gained or lost. I can tell you that regardless of what you read - your personal experience will be just that; personal. There are too many variables, not the least of being personal preference, that will affect the in-room response and final result. The original unchanged tower - upper range was soft, muted, and veiled. Bass was extended but boomy in upper registers. Imaging was still good, however, the midrange was muddy, strings, horns and voices tended to be blurred. Recapped tower - bass extension even deeper (yes, bass improved). Upper range was crisper and better defined. The best analogy I can give is focusing a pair of optics on a projector. You are looking at the image but there seems to be "fuzz" around all the letters. You twist the focus bezel and voila', everything is crisp and legible. Acoustically, this is exactly what the recapped tower sounded like. Panning the output (left to right) and then even listening to one channel at a time (mono) confirmed this. In each case the recapped tower sounded sharper, crisper, with more instrumental and vocal detail than the unchanged tower. The recapped speaker did get "louder". I stress this because this is a common human anomaly when it comes to listening to speakers. The "louder" speaker will sound better - at first. Which is to say, it is human nature to chose the louder speaker regardless of the tonal character, imaging, balance, etc. That is why all the "pro's" will tell you to go, sit and listen to multiple soundtracks from multiple recordings of your own music for an extended listening session before you purchase a speaker. I did not like the "brighter" stage at first. After several hours of listening, many tracks and artists, and still a/b'ing the speakers, I realized what I was NOT hearing in the original tower. And I understand why AR put those switches in the speaker. My speakers are still set for 0db - ie, flat. Yet, if my listening room was more "live" and had lots of reflections, I would be using those switches. So again, please be aware of your listening environment. After recapping speaker 2, the end result was simply beautiful. Imaging was wider, tonal balance was restored, bass was tighter, deeper, and more controlled. What an amazing loudspeaker! Conclusion, comments, observations: So what did I learn? Well, the speakers sounded good before I did this - which is to say I was happy with the sound. Afterwards, I realized what the speaker was not producing. The network had simply fallen out of its design tolerance - which is to be expected after 30 years! The recap was worth the effort. I paid $400 dollars for the speakers and spent about $200 dollars on internal components/supplies and about 8 hours of sweat and tears. For $600 dollars these are the best speakers I have ever owned, period. This recap was done in situ - simply put - I did this WITHOUT removing the masonite boards. All the original inductors and resistors were left in place and no changes to the original design were performed (with the exception of the caps of course). I soldered high quality wire onto the cap stubs left after cutting out the old ones. So yes, I did add another 2-3 feet of internal wire to the cabinet. This was done primarily for convenience, skill level (or lack thereof - it was much simpler to solder wires on caps, etc outside of the enclosure - then twist and cap connections to existing internal wiring), and it allowed me to position all the caps on the floor of the speaker enclosure for future upgrades, tweeking and what not. I used the speaker foam tape from PartsExpress that Carl, one of the members had suggested to seal the woofers. It worked beautifully - Thanks Carl! In retrospect, if I was more skilled in wood tools, etc., I would have removed the boards and sent them to Carl @ Carls Custom Loudspeakers. I simply did not have enough confidence to remove the staples, glue, wire connections, etc. on the premise I would be able to reseal the boards and wire the complex crossover. This was done step to step to ensure each cap pair and lead went to the proper side of the network and pushed my limit and skill of crossover design/knowledge - even with a schematic. I checked and rechecked many times before sealing up the cabinets. In addition, cosmetically my speakers are very good with very little damage on their facades with intact grills, etc. The point here is simple. If you figuratively have more thumbs than fingers - I would take it to a professional. This took all of day in what would have taken a professional a hour or 2. Or get a friend to help you that has more experience. There is the self-satisfaction of having executed this project successfully. Conclusion - recap these wonderful dinosaurs - you will not be disappointed! If choose not to replace them, be aware that high volume - ie current may damage the very rare and almost irreplaceable drivers!! The admin may decide to move this post - as it may belong in the mod section - so if it does - sorry Admin, I am new and just put it in the AR forum! Thanks, Lonnie
  23. Hello everyone, I have been trading exchanges with some of the senior members concerning caps and what not - and briefly told Pete B about how I came to know of these wonderful transducers. He suggested I share my experience with the group as some colorful history surrounding a personal experience with these speakers. In that vein, I have penned the story below for your entertainment. I am a professional musician with over 2000 performances in my lifetime. Some snippets of "15 seconds of fame" include a television interview with Yo Yo Ma and performing at Carnegie Hall at the age of 10. My first operatic role was the part of Amahl in Gian Carlo Menotti's, Amahl and the Night Visitors, with the Corpus Christi Opera Company. I continued my classical vocal training throughout my youth and adult years performing 2 seasons with the Fort Worth Opera and 1 season with the Dallas Opera. I continue to perform to this day. My current occupation (i.e. day job :-) is in technical software sales (the starving artist does not fit me!). My youth experiences occurred from the ages of 9-14 in the mid-seventies to early eighties in the Texas Boys Choir. At that time, the Texas Boys Choir (TBC - http://www.texasboyschoir.org/), took 2 singing tours a year. The tours lasted 6-7 weeks and in my tenure as a performer covered 38 of the 50 states and 3 different countries. The Tour Choir consisted of 30 boys with 6 chaperones: an accompanist, choir director, manager, wardrobe, bus driver/handyman and a tutor. The boys were responsible for all aspects of the 2 hour show which consisted of: 1 hour of stand-up repertoire both secular and non-secular music, a 15 minute intermission filled by our pianist with a classic piano interlude/concerto, followed by 1 hour of choreography backed up with orchestral soundtrack. All of the music for the 2 hour show was memorized (no sheet music/songbooks/cheat sheets, etc.) and the choreography portion was without conductor. Schoolwork was done on the bus and mailed weekly back to our respective schools. In addition, the boys had responsibilities for all aspects of the show. We did everything. We were responsible for the stage equipment, wardrobe cases, set-up and break down and loading and unloading of the bus, and even room checks and hotel room assignments. It was a pivotal experience of my life and has had a positive impact on every facet of my career/life journey. So what has this got to do with AR? In 1978, the TBC acquired a brilliant director who was a concert organist and wonderful arranger: Jack Noble White (do a google search). Jack wanted to update all of our repertoire with new compositions and update our touring equipment. While I was not privy to all of the business decisions (being a child!), I do know what the final configuration was as my job on the Touring Choir was on the sound crew. The TBC contracted with Teledyne to supply 4 AR9's as part of our performance gear. There was a large custom anvil crate that housed the electronics ( a Teac 4 track open reel with newly arranged and fully orchestrated master studio tapes and 4 600 watt monoblock Crown amps along with a multi-band parametric EQ). Each AR9 had its own custom anvil crate to be transported on the bus to stage and back for the tour. During those years in the Tour Choir with the TBC, I packed, unpacked, and set-up those speakers hundreds of times. I was the lead boy on sound crew, so it was my responsibility to measure the stage, mark it off, setup the speakers, cable the electronics and perform a sound check. So why did the TBC "contract" with AR? Our speakers were unique in the fact that the speaker termination was a balanced connection along with a screw in fuse terminal. The finish and fit was the same as the consumer version; walnut veneer with the classic AR grills complete with logos powered by 2400 watts of Crown power! The balanced connection was done to make it easier for the boys to hook up - and of course - gave one single cable for each tower. One of the unique challenges with this sound reproduction configuration was finding adequate AC power in some of the smaller venues (high schools, civic centers, etc.) that we performed in across the country. Needless to say, I was "bitten" at an early age. I had never heard a more musical speaker and vowed that some day I would own a pair. Fast-forward 2.5+ decades and I have finally acquired a pair of AR90's. I realize that they do not have the 12's, but the upper cabinet is identical to those speakers that enamored me so many years ago (and they fit my space!). And I have spent over 10 years looking for them. Over the years I have found the AR's only to be blocked by the unwillingness of the sellers to ship them. I still had to drive 2 hours in each direction to acquire them and even then it was due to a fluke of insomnia in the wee hours of the morning on fleebay. They are worth every penny! The cosmetics are great complete with grills and veneer. All of the woofers were reconed in the last 2 years and the upper range all work. Of course, the caps are WAY off - hence my joining the forum and seeking the excellent advice and guidance within this group. Pete B asked some questions that I will take a moment to answer here. "How did they Sound?". They sounded like no other speaker I have ever heard then or now. I have been fortunate in my career and have been able to own, listen, play with speakers that cost orders of magnitude greater than these, and yes they were/are all great in their own right. However, this is an emotional/phsychological experience for me that far transcends the various nuances of accuracy, imaging, tonal balance, etc. The other question was, "Did they ever fail". Not once in 3 years, hundreds of performances and hundreds of thousands of miles, did the AR's ever sonically fail. This is not to say we did not have our casualties. By the end of my years in Tour Choir the AR's were looking worse for wear in the veneer and grill covers and various other cosmetic issues. Grills were "fixed" on the road with the usual methods of duct tape, etc, so they would conceal the drivers and have the appearance of these black monolithic towers on the back of the stage. One has to remember that it is was pre-adolescent boys moving, pushing, shoving, carrying, etc. these things for each and every performance. In retrospect, it is also relevant to note these were used for background orchestral scores and had to be balanced with 30 boys performing un-amped/un-miked in a live stage performance. In reality, we never pushed the speakers to bleeding decibel levels. In fact, we never blew a fuse! So you see, in the particular journey of this AR lover, it is not only about the music but a feeble - yet very satisfying attempt - to recapture a portion of my youth. Once my speakers are recapped and all drivers resealed in the cabinet, I will revel in the late night moment of breaking out the LP of Four Slices of America of which my picture as a boy performer/member is on the cover sleeve (and my voice on the recording) - and go back to a time when the only thing that mattered to me was music..... I hope you enjoyed the story and this reflection of the past... Thanks,
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