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Found 9 results

  1. Hi As suggested I am reposting my original inquiry..Where I have already received encouraging feedback. .... have inherited a pair of AR-4x that have been in the family for years and I am interested in rebuilding. I am a total speaker neophyte. They sound a bit flat, that is, not much sparkle or depth and when the volume is turned way up on my 110 Watt/channel receiver they do distort. Is it a given that I must change the tweeter and woofer? Attaching photos. Both speakers woofer and tweeter seems to be in the same condition. Thanks for any advice. ... I am now including bits of the replies the original thread received. ... member: ra.ra. snip ...your speakers look totally original and possibly have never been opened or received any sort of maintenance in the past. This might very well explain the "flat" sound you describe, which might indicate that the capacitors require replacement or the tweeter controls (known as potentiometers, or "pots") require cleaning or replacement. You are basically not hearing the tweeters. As long as you can confirm that all drivers (both tweeters, both woofers) are operational, there is no need to replace them. Most likely, the bulk of the restoration work is inside the cabinet, and there are many, many threads here about the AR-4x. /snip Thanks for that ra.ra. Yes I would agree they have never been opened.. member: owlsplace snip ... You have removed the grills successfully so you are of to a good start. This speaker model is iconic and yours appear to be in great shape. /snip Prying with two small screw drivers. Though I did indent just a bit the edges of the box in some places. At first start I did not realize the staples showing on top of the fabric went through the framing into the speaker wood. member:stupidhead snip ... as others have said unlikely you will need any new drivers. Plenty of guidance here to restore these to new condition. Intrigued by the pattern of what I assume to be mold on the cone of the woofer. What do the grilles look like? /snip The other cone also has the same "mold". I am inserting a photo of the panels and close up of the woofer
  2. 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
  3. I was browsing the 2016 LIS (loudspeaker industry sourcebook) that came in today's mail reading an article on ferrofluid written by insiders. Discussion went to the use of ferrofluid for coil centering ... "All the way back in the early 1970's, AR discovered that the spider could be removed and ferrofluid used for centering in single-point suspension designs (e.g., the the AR-4x cone tweeter). I've never had one of these apart but wasn't under the impression that the 4x tweeter used ferrofluid... anyone? Reference photo: Roger
  4. This orphan came in today so I recapped it and sealed the massive air leaks around the substitute tweeter. Sounds great paired with the Elwyn 4x although it is a lot brighter/forward in the midrange which is easily adjusted with the pot. Hmmm, guess I'll have to stack it with the orphan AR-338 and see how it does. Serial number 45K in unfinished pine and OSB baffle and back. The back had swelled quite a bit from moisture but the seams are pretty much intact. The cab may actually cleanup fairly well with some effort. Looks like the tweeter may be from KLH. The only marking is M-12 with a late 60s date on the back -- square magnet backwired with red and black leads. The front baffle was hacked to get it in the case. I dumped the rock wool and put in some poly fiber. The pot was probably worth the price since it is one of the best I've seen. I didn't expect that from a cabinet with water damage stuffed with rock wool. There goes that theory. The pot did have a bead of mortite along the retaining clip. Haven't seen that before. Crossover was 20MFD cap with #5 coil. Left the wax cap in the case and added Madisound surplus 10s. Woofer basket was corroded fairly heavily. Tape rather than screens on the magnet. The cloth surround was cemented to the back of the cone. Smokin' on "Love over Gold" and "Brother in Arms" although I'm hesitant to crank it since it is over-fused. It was loud enough to make the hair stand up on my arms on one cut though Hey, the turkey likes it ... Roger
  5. Here is some progress on the previously rumoured "silk-purse" AR-4x's. These were sailboat speakers and ready for the dumpster -- cabs delaminating, etc. I decided to put some of my sailboat experience to work after a friend gave me some black walnut and do a small tribute to the New England craftsmen of old. Serial numbers are 41K+ and crossovers were the early two cap type. You need lot's of free time to do this kind of work, especially with a limited tool set. Sanding is no where near complete but I was testing finishes this morning and got carried away. Roger
  6. These heavily water damaged AR-4x's cleared the auction site this morning for over $170. Serial number unknown. Can anyone explain that to me. The seller thought the woofers were not original but I think we covered this recently. They appear to be dated 1968 which I always remember as the year of the "Tet offensive" -- the fulcrum point of the Vietnam War. Back to the topic, here are some photos. Roger
  7. I have a pair of AR speakers that I bought from a previous owner sometime in the early or mid 1970s and used happily as my main stereo speakers for decades. For the last several years they have been out of service, replaced by a pair of JBL L80T's that I bought more than 15 years ago. About a year ago, I hooked up the ARs for the first time in quite a while and discovered that the tweeter on one of them had blown (or so I thought). I ordered an original replacement from Vintage-AR, but I didn't have a pressing need to use the speakers, so I didn't get around to installing it. Then, a few weeks ago, my wife and I began the process of converting one of the bedrooms into a family room (she calls it my "man cave") and moved the JBLs there from the living room, along with the 65-inch Panasonic plasma TV, the Yamaha A/V receiver, surround speakers, etc. It's turned out very nicely. So now that the ARs are needed in the living room, I finally got around to installing the replacement tweeter from Vintage-AR a few days ago (more than a full year after receiving it!). To my dismay, it didn't work. I assume (but have not tested) that it is good, and that my problem is elsewhere in the cabinet. I went online to research the problem, and quickly found this wonderful site. From my reading here, I'm guessing that the problem is most likely the pot. As I read about the AR-4s here, I decided to try to determine the vintage of my pair from the serial numbers, and looking at the backs (they both still have both of their original labels), I was suprised to discover that one (the one with the "blown tweeter") is a 4, and the other is a 4x! All this time, I had had no idea they weren't completely identical! And I wonder how the person I bought them from happened to have this odd couple? Here are the details: AR-4, s/n F 19401. AR-4x, s/n FX 85379. So now I am considering what to do, and wanted this board's expert opinions on my options. I am not a purist about historical accuracy, and would rather have a sonically identical pair than retain the integrity of the AR-4. My inclination is to refurblish both with new pots, crossovers, and modern replacement tweeters, and possibly install new surrounds on the woofers. This will leave me with two working (I hope!) original 3.5-inch AR-4 tweeters that I can sell. I may also see about dry cleaning the grill covers, as a member here has done. The casework is in good, if not glorious, condition, and in their installed location is barely visible, so I probably won't bother refinishing the exteriors unless I suddenly have a lot of unexpected time on my hands. (Yeah, right!) What do you all think?
  8. Rebuilding some old AR-4x speakers and found a wad of caulking/putty wrapped around the wire bails that hold the Aetna-Pollak pots together. It looks like the same black caulking that was used to seat the speakers to the box. Does anybody know what this is for? Are there vibration/rattling issues with these speakers? I have not seen this caulking on the bails of my other AR speakers but they are not the same model. Should I put caulking on the bails when I'm reassembling these speakers?
  9. I bought a pair of AR-4x speakers that had a newer tweeter in one cabinet, and corroded pots on both, so I decided to rework the pair. I utilized new phenolic ring tweeters - 8 Ohm (http://www.parts-exp...tnumber=270-252), new solen 20uF 400V polypropylene capacitors (http://www.parts-exp...tnumber=027-582) and new L-Pad attenuators - 15W Mono 3/8" Shaft 8 Ohm (http://www.parts-exp...tnumber=260-248) in place of the corroded pots. While the high end is now very well defined, I'm missing the bass that made the speaker sound so full and smooth before I started working on it - overall the sound is very thin. Did the pots contain some sort of resistor that I'm not taking into account with the new L-Pads? Am I missing something, or should I fix the pots and use them instead? As an aside, thanks to all the contributors to this site who make this learning experience so much fun, this will not be the only time I open up 40 year+ old speakers, next up are some KLH 17's! Phil
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