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>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
I will start this off by saying although I've dug through many threads about restoring, recapping, refoaming, repotting these speakers I am pretty much a total newbie to actually doing the things. The other day I came across some pretty decent looking AR-5s on the local marketplace. Took em home, took off the grills, and the foam is gone. Alright, I can handle that. Pulled the woofers. One measures 6 ohm, which is fine I think, and the other, open. Not great! So I dig out the rockwool and look at the crossovers: One appears to be fine, the other looks like where the resistor wire (?) is on the little board has basically burnt to a crisp including a bit of the surrounding insulation. I didn't remember to make not of which speaker came out of which cabinet but am I right to guess that the blown woofer probably came out of the cabinet with the fried resistor? My questions are: 1. What might have happened here and what kind of damage may this have caused to the blown woofer, if in fact it came out of the same cabinet? Or are these things unrelated? 2. What might it cost to get this blown woofer fixed? I'm looking around and guessing I won't be able to find the right drop in part any time soon. I'm not far from Millersound, I'm guessing that is the best place to go for a repair. Thoughts? Next move is going to be clean up the pots (or bypass) to see if the mids and tweets are functional. Then caps after that. Thanks for any help
I have managed to secure a pair of AR-5's. They were one owner speakers. On initial inspection, they seem to be quite good. The cabinets are very nice, as is the grill cloth. The woofers and mids work, I'm not sure about the tweeters. I need to do the battery check on them. The controls are iffy, no surprise there. The woofer surrounds are completely shot, also no surprise. One has holes in it, the other is solid but very fragile. I'll hook that speaker up and give it an extended listen before I start restoration on it. I ordered and received a refoam kit from Vintage AR. I hooked the "good woofer" AR5 up to my "classic good system" and have listened to it for about an hour with it on the right and one of my AR2ax's on the left. My impressions are what @stupidhead's were in his comparison video. First, the difference in efficiency is huge. Not small! Second, it doesn't sound significantly different from the 2ax. It is leaner and a little cleaner through the mids, the highs I'm not sure, because I'm not convinced the tweeter is working. The woofer sounds exactly like the 2ax. However, there is punchiness through the upper bass that 2ax tends to slur. It's that midrange! Overall, the sound of it is very, very similar to the 2ax. The tonal balance is just about identical. The controls are super dirty, and fooling with them causes distortion and cutouts. I know that midrange is fragile, so I'm not going to mess around any more until I restore the speakers. The other speaker has a bad woofer. I removed it because the surround had holes in it, and I didn't want to do anything other than ensure it worked. The surround easily pealed off, which was good. But, not so good was that the voice coil former has separated from the spider most of the way around. I'm going to have to figure out how to fix that. Both speakers seem to be much newer than my 2ax's. There was a styrofoam gasket behind the woofers in both, and each cabinet had a small serial number/ID tag on the back. There was no obvious sign that they'd previously been repaired, although there was a really sticky substance on the surrounds of the woofers. I don't know if they came that way or they'd been treated later. The grill cloths had been previously removed, and it was done well. Based on that, I tend to think they've been molested some how. I'm going to get started this weekend on the restoration. I've got to get the woofers refoamed. Hopefully I only need to re-glue one voice coil former! I have to figure out how to do that. While they're open, the controls need cleaning and the caps will be replaced (unless they already have been, I don't know yet). The tweeters may have to be sent out for repair, that's undetermined yet. I will keep you all appraised!
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