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Found 19 results

  1. I've just finished restoring a pair of AR-3a's and I'm interested to know how people find they get the best sound from them. I've read a few comments here and there on the forum but couldn't find a specific thread on the subject. So, how do you find the AR-3a to sound its best? Against the wall or out in the room? Toed in or parallel? Tipped back slightly or level? I know some people say they should really be on their sides but that's not an option for me at the moment due to the space. I have mine on home made stands, tipped back about five degrees. I had been enjoying them toed in, a couple of feet out from the wall but since rebuilding the crossovers, I'm finding that I like them better parallel, back against the wall. It seems to open up the sound stage in every direction for a much more immersive listening experience. What works best for you? Ben
  2. >I also recall having read the same detailed information from Stereophile, and I assume its correctness against what appears to be a sort of revisionist article containing conflated timelines, unattributed premises and boot-strapped conclusions. >I've been wishing & hoping for Tom Tyson's definitive AR history for years...would a GoFundMe effort be in vain? —ar_pro Book: The History of Acoustic Research Any and all suggestions and ideas here would be greatly appreciated! Any thoughts about what you would like to see would be great as well. To do a complete history would be difficult, but a history of the "Classic Period," from 1954-1974 (or 1980 perhaps) in one part and the Teledyne/International Jensen/Recoton/Voxx period in another part or in a revised edition. The most important part of AR history is the first 25 years or so. Anyway, please reply with your thoughts and ideas, for example: The best title for such a book? The period covered with this book; part of all? The amount of detail to be included in this book? The size of this book, a small book with 150 pp or so, or comprehensive with perhaps 300 pp? The other questions you might have. There are also many people here on this website with detailed knowledge of specific aspects of AR history and technology. Therefore, give me ideas about how you would like to see such a book. —Tom Tyson 06Jun2017
  3. This wonderful Christmas poem was sent to me several years ago by a great AR friend (who reports here frequently): T'was the night before Christmas And all through the room, 3a's were playing, Their bass tight with no boom. As Nat sang "Chestnuts..." He sounded so near, Those dome drivers Were playing so clear. From high notes to low notes It sounded so good The melody came through Just as it should Now Santa loves music, And his gifts are so right, "AR speakers for all And to all, a good night!" Merry Christmas! --Tom Tyson
  4. I know of no other loudspeaker that is more beautiful than the AR-3, that is, in my opinion! I sent this pair to the San Francisco Museum for the Dolby-sponsored "History of Audio" display a few years ago. This pair of early 1960's lacquered-mahogany AR-3 speakers, C 78XX, shows the absolute beauty of the AR-3 cabinet, grill and logo placement. Notice that the logos are properly placed on these speakers and the gold thread in the ivory saran grill material (saran is a Dow Chemical PVDC material very similar to nylon) is evident in this early version. The gold thread was discontinued a few years later. These speakers demonstrate the natural look of lacquered-mahogany cabinets -- a satin luster -- and it is very rare to have a pair survive for over 55 years in this condition, but this pair was always pampered and well-kept in air-condition space and storage. This pair has never had the grills removed, but fortunately, this pair also has strong, clean midrange and treble output, a very desirable thing for an old AR-3! The level controls have oxidized, but occasional rotation back and forth cleans the contact surfaces sufficient to keep good output. Send pictures of your AR-3 installations and give a description of the sound! AR-3 lacquered-mahogany mounted in office bookshelf with AR-3a (oiled-walnut finish) below. Note the satin luster (not a high-gloss luster) of the lacquered-mahogany finish, sort of a piano-lacquer finish. Note, also, the position of the "3" logo, properly placed, though it should technically be one more vertical level to the right, a bit closer to the molding. Gold thread woven into the saran grill material. --Tom Tyson
  5. Frank, any room in your knitting class? I distinctly remember saying I wasn't going to buy anymore speakers this year ... Picked up a set of AR-3a's with lots of issues today. It was almost two years ago to the day that I was reintroduced to the AR family with the AR-5 Formica project which was supposed to take its final form this year but has been waylaid once again. This is the first pair of AR-3a's I've seen in the area in those two years -- I passed on them the first time, but hey, if there is anything that I learned from Frank it is that, life is short -- art is long. So, since I was in the neighborhood I thought I would drive by beautiful Lake Tahoe which has succumbed to California's aerial pollution... Hyatt Regency at Incline Village (center) with South Lake Tahoe obscured by smokey haze. AR-3a set in the 12,000 serial number range -- cabs with water marks but no major damage and random drivers. I can predict there will be a considerable passage of time before this project takes shape. Roger
  6. For many years—perhaps from the very beginning—AR had a difficult time selling their products in typical audio salon showrooms. In fact, from 1954 until around 1974, AR made no attempt to cultivate good dealer relationships. Nevertheless, and despite the lack of dealer success, AR outsold nearly every other speaker manufacturer worldwide for many years without a strong, formal dealer network. How was this possible? AR products traditionally had the highest ratings and best reviews, but a prospective speaker buyer would never know it to visit the typical, small hi-fi showroom where one usually encountered a negative vibe in a showroom when an AR speaker was being demonstrated. Many times, dealers would "doctor" the speaker, reverse the polarity, turn-down the level controls or place the speaker inappropriately or disadvantageously for good A-B demos with competing products. Some dealers felt that customers would enter a store, make a decision to buy an AR product and simply go out and order it from the Allied Radio or Lafayette catalogs. Was it due to.... 1. Low dealer profit margins? 2. Lack of dealer salesman "spiffs" paid by AR? 3. Lack of dealer promotionals? 4. Lack of dealer co-op advertising? 5. AR's lack of "hand-holding" and blasé attitude towards dealers? 6. AR's traditional laissez-faire method of doing business? 7. Other reasons? Give examples of experiences you've had in dealer showrooms where AR speakers were intentionally maligned, "bad-mouthed" or "doctored" in order for a dealer to steer an unsuspecting customer to another product. —Tom Tyson
  7. I ordered an Ohmite RHS15R Rheostat Wirewound 15 Ohm 25W Switch to repair my AR-2ax speaker...... I ended up being able to repair the original so didn't need to use the Ohmite RHS15R Rheostat. Asking $30- for it with 1st class mail included in the price. danwenzel@comcast.net
  8. In the review of the A-25, there are several mentions of AR products. I guess at the time of this review, AR was the standard against which everything was compared. http://www.stereophile.com/content/dynaco-25-loudspeaker#KOozMceFiJCv3uCu.97 Anyone know whatever happened to the "aperiodic" design? Today most speaker systems are ported, but there are a number of sealed bookshelf systems. Further, some of the best subs around are sealed boxes. I can't remember ever seeing a modern aperiodic system. Regards, Jerry
  9. I was recently walking down 19th St in NYC when I stumbled upon a pair of beautiful AR-3a's on the curb waiting for the garbage men. I couldn't believe it, so I got a cab and loaded them up and took them home. They're in pretty nice condition, and after plugging them in, almost fully working. Unfortunately, one of the speaker's woofers doesn't work. The foam surround looked good, as did the dust cap. There didn't appear to be any air leaks, but it didn't really make any noise except for a very, very faint bass response and a little rattling. I've been trying to diagnose the problem by following the restoration guide, but this is really foreign territory for me so it hasn't been fruitful. I did however, swap the woofer in from the other cab, and it worked perfectly -- so the problem is luckily just the woofer itself and nothing beyond that. To try to get to the bottom of it, I just removed the foam surround and cut open the dust cap to get a look at the leads and voice coil. I unfortunately don't really know what I'm looking at though, so any advice would be very helpful! (Pictures attached) I figure if I can't do this on my own I can always take it to a repair shop or just get a new woofer and still come out pretty far ahead. But it sure would be fun to get this one working. Thanks all.
  10. Looing to potentially sell a pair of AR-3a speakers that my father purchased and stored for the last 40ish years. What is the best way to vaule these speakers? Appreciate any information. Thank you.
  11. Hi All, I want to try dropping an A23 tweeter in for a poorly-performing A19 in an AR-3a. Assuming they are both 4ohms, is there any reason why this should not work conceptually, and if not, could someone talk me through how to make the transition from front-wired to rear-wired with as little alteration/damage to the cab as possible? Many thanks
  12. Just curious if anyone knows who this auction site user is operating out of High Point, NC? Perhaps TomT since some of his copyrighted material was used with credit. These are historically relevant AR-3a speakers. Details about Acoustic Research AR-3a Loudspeakers OW, SN 62616 & 62621, Exceptional, Mint Low usage & in long-term storage -- Highly Collectible 10 viewed per hour Seller information acoustic-research-inc (260 ) 100% Positive feedback Item #: 322130316533 "This pair of AR-3a loudspeakers was originally ordered by this seller directly through Acoustic Research and delivered to North Carolina on June 23, 1972 for use by a large church for a choir-room sound system. These were ordered in conjunction with an AR Amplifier and other equipment specifically for accurate, high-fidelity playback of choir music and voices. This system was installed with the speakers completely protected and mounted in special enclosures slightly above head level that were flush with the wall surface. "In 1976, I (seller) replaced these two AR-3a speakers for the church with a pair of Acoustic Research AR-11s with slightly greater power-handling capability, and the AR-3as were removed, boxed and placed in air-conditioned storage. In late 1994, Stereo Review magazine (Julian Hirsch) contacted AR to borrow a pair of mint-condition AR-3a speakers to compare with the upcoming review of the new AR-303 (the AR-303 was intended to be a modern-day replica of the original AR-3a). Thus, this pair of AR-3a was shipped to AR and completely checked top-to-bottom and then measured in the lab by Ken Kantor and AR Chief Engineer Bill Bush, and then the speakers were sent out to Julian Hirsch of Hirsch-Houck Labs to be compared with the AR-303. A complete test report was published in the June, 1995 issue of Stereo Review magazine. The differences in those two speakers is shown on a series of response graphs which will accompany the sale of these speakers. A copy of the test review and the frequency-response graphs and measurements will be made available to the purchaser of these speakers." "These AR-3a speakers are highly collectible and in exceptional, mint condition, both physically and electro-mechanically. There are no issues, and the all drivers work exactly as when new without having to move the level controls back and forth. The level controls and crossovers have never been touched. These speakers have been carefully tested and perform perfectly. No modifications have been made to these speakers and they are completely original. The beige-linen grills are nearly perfect without any sign of deterioration or "dust" lines or fading of any type, and the logos are in new condition. The oiled-walnut cabinets are in flawless condition without any scratches, nicks or marks. These speakers have been used very little during the first two years, and they were used in the Stereo Review test and then put into air-conditioned storage from 1994 until 2016. Roger
  13. Here's what they looked like when I got them: None of the regular pickers at the GWO had ever seen them, apparently. So they were sitting around ignored and available when I got there. I didn't recognize them either, but I was intrigued by the heavy weight, and then I started to get it as I looked at the woofer paper. I had seen that distinctive type paper before, on some AR-93s I restored for someone. Then the notion that I'd heard of Heathkit making a speaker with AR drivers bubbled up.... GWO got $10.00 and I got the speakers. Initial testing shows 5 of six drivers functional. One tweeter open. I plan to buy some modern tweets, since the vintage ones seem to be aging out on us. Probably the HiVi Q1Rs. Both midranges sound OK, but one was missing the grill and damping from the front. I've now replaced this stuff--see seperate thread here: http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?showtopic=8433&hl= The woofers match, and bear the part number 401-155 AR. That's the Heathkit part number. They both also have inventory tags from some outfit called "Speakers Unlimited," that bear a date in 1989. I figure that shop redid the surrounds at that time. It's time to do it again. Here's some views of the back of one: Cabs came stuffed with this grey stuff, all torn chunks under what you see here. Not fluffy. A sort of rock wool I guess. Will replace with fiberglass. The crossovers include the famous brick capacitor. I'll put in a poly type to replace the 6 uf, but I'm not sure at this point if the brick stays or goes.... Haven't tested or pulled the pots yet, so don't know if they can be fixed up or not. Fingers crossed. All in all, about as neat a project as I ever ran into, at least since I got the AR-93s out of the same GWO. (That project led to me learning to sew....) This will go sort of slow--basically, cash is tight, so I can't buy everything at once. Will appreciate hearing how everyone feels about keeping the brick capacitor at this point (and no, can't test it, my tester only goes up tp 20 uf.)
  14. Compelling AR "Hindsight" Questions: Instead of the 3-way AR-5 with its excellent, expensive midrange and tweeter, should AR have made a good 3-way bookshelf unit using the AR-3a 12-inch woofer and an AR-2ax-type midrange and dome tweeter—at the AR-5 price point—to better compete with (or outgun) the Large Advent? It would use the AR-3a-size cabinet, but it would not include the expensive midrange-dome driver or solid-wood grill molding. It would look like a slightly larger AR-2ax box. As we all know, the AR-5 was (except for deep bass) technically superior to the Advent, but it failed in the market place because of its lack of low-end "punch" and its relatively high price. The AR-3a was definitely (and technically) superior to the Advent in deep bass, but it cost nearly twice as much. Therefore, would a watered-down 3-way, using the heavy AR-3a woofer, been the answer? Another angle: perhaps a 2-way design with a redesigned, Advent-like 10-inch woofer and a new mid-tweeter, capable of a lower crossover? By the time of the AR-14, these things were seriously contemplated, but it was too far down the road to try to catch the Advent's sales advantage. The AR-14's bass fell squarely between the AR-3a and the AR-5. Another angle: should AR have designed the AR-5 with the AR-2ax's cone midrange and dome tweeter, but a more-potent, lower-resonance 10-inch woofer that would be equal to the Advent 10-inch woofer? This woofer would have the same low-resonance response of the Advent, but it would lack the extremely low distortion, potent output of the bigger AR-3a 12-inch woofer. Each of these designs might have cost less than the original AR-5, but looking back, hindsight is 20-20. Would any of these designs been the answer in 1968? Thoughts... comments? —Tom Tyson
  15. The title gives the goal of this project. Here are three midranges: A: B: C: A is my uninjured midrange, B is the patient, a working midrange that came to me naked, as you see. C is a non-functional midrange that tests open, and is the donor. The hope is to make B look and sound like A. The hard part here is getting the parts wanted off of C. They are glued down tight. Further, on the donor unit, the grill is inset from the outer flange. This is different from my OEM units, on which the whole face is flush, and is making things harder. I'm willing to be destructive with the donor unit if necessary, but I'd rather not in case it's fault is actually repairable.... My idea at this point is to unscrew the four screws on the face of the donor. I expect this will enable me to pry-off the outer flange, the grill, and the damping, as a unit. X-acto chisel expected to be of use. I will then be able to cut around the inside of the flange with a utiltiy knife, removing the grill and damping. Does this approach sound OK? Advice from anyone who's had these drivers apart very welcome.
  16. Good Day Friends. I am looking for AR3 cabinets in good to restore-able condition. I have all the drivers needed for the ar3a speakers but lacking cabinets. Please do let me know if you have it.
  17. I'm looking to recap a pair of AR-3a's I have. I understand that involves 50 uf and 150 uf caps as well as a smaller ones. Frankly, those larger sizes can really get expensive with the foil and other types of caps. Is it pure heresy to use an eletrolytic NPE cap in the crossover? I realize they don't have the longevity the other caps have, but when the cost is 10% or less of the other options and funds are tight, I'd like to know what the ramifications are? I understand that originally AR used NPE electrolytic caps in some of their speakers. Will it work...for awhile at least? Will the sound be improved over the originals that now inhabit the cabinet? I'm sure a pair of $50 or $150 caps would be marvelous, but at some point the budget just won't bear that. This is a NPE electrolytic I'm considering: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=027-364 Comments?
  18. I've just gone through one of my two pairs of AR-3a and am being reacquainted with what very pleasant speakers they are. But ... it is time to let go of some speakers and I'm going to cut down to just one pair of 3a's, selling my favorite pair (they've been displaced by a pair of AR-90s) and keeping the other, less perfect pair to have as a project. Before I list this pair for sale, I'd like to know (about) when they were made. The irony is that I sold them (to my great uncle) when they were brand new, but can't recall just when, although I'm guessing 1973. The serial numbers are 93511 and 94102. Thanks for any info or a pointer to a set of data that might answer my question. John
  19. After first being in denial, and then just being annoyed, I need to take action. My beloved 3as, which I received in pristine, unmolested condition in 2010, and for which I made the typical fixes, are now getting a little scratchy in the mids. Just one of them, really. It's the pots, methinks. I brushed away all the green residue with a Dremel back in 2010, and they looked quite clean, but something must have changed. Now, in loud passages, I hear scratchiness. It is not apparent in music for strings, but in solo piano music, or music for flute or French horn, I hear it plainly. It almost sounds like tape distortion, but I know it isn't. So, what think you all? Am I likely to find more green crud on the pots to clean off? Should I have used some sort of something on the pots when I cleaned them to improve contact and resist future corrision? Is it time to think about abandonning the original pots? I would prefer, for reasons I cannot justify, to keep them as original as possible. Lastly, is there any chance that it isn't the pot? Thanks in advance.
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