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  1. This topic was spawned from the AR forum discussion of Dome Mids vs Cones. Let me say first of all that I prefer AR 12 inch speaker systems over others because they have the sound qualities I like already designed into them which in turn makes them easier to set up for my listening preferences. However there are at least four problems with owning 12 inch ARs : The parts supply is diminishing The price is climbing for complete functioning units as well as good DIY candidates Shipping, which is almost always required, risks damage to unblemished cabinet corners or drivers that is almost intolerable, regardless of refund, if one factors in the lost opportunity The paranoia from imagining having to rebuild by sound systems if I lost all of my ARs through some disastrous event, assuming I live through it. Because well designed speakers were not exclusive to AR, I have come to believe that the AR sound could be substantially duplicated with readily available high quality bookshelf speakers having certain characteristics and I have placed this thread in the BA section because from experience I know that BA produced many high quality two way speakers. I own a pair of A40s and CR65s that I purchased new which, within their limits, are good little speakers. There are hundreds of pairs of BA 2 ways for sale on the used market any time you choose to look. I believe what I want to do could be achieved relatively inexpensively with used BA bookshelf speakers but I don't know which ones would make the best candidates to meet my requirements, which are as follows: Objective: Create a system that will substantially duplicate the full range stereo sound of a Classic or ADD AR 12 inch speaker. Assumptions: Equalizer will be used Dual Subwoofers - one for each channel Mirrored pairs of two way bookshelf speakers positioned such that they produce a uniform soundfield covering at least a 90 degree angle per stereo channel. Mirrored triplets would be ok if it really can't be done with pairs. Sufficient, quality watts will be available. Question: Does anyone here have a well informed opinion about which Boston Acoustics two ways would be the best candidates for use in this project which, by the way, is real. Note: I know there are other good 2 way brands available but please limit this to Boston Acoustics because they are so numerous. Also, I have stated the problem as clearly as I know how given that I am not an engineer of any kind. Please feel free to elaborate, qualify or extend but please try to be constructive. This thread topic originated in a post I made in the BA forum. I have chosen to continue it in the mods and tweaks forum for the following reasons: 1. The original idea was a failure because of several issues which all stemmed from two main problems, a. Subwoofer performance vs Cost b. The difficulty of integrating the Subs with satellites yielding musicality equal to an AR12” 3 way speaker. 2. On a whim. I decided to salvage what was left and see what would happen if I used an AR58s as the bass module for each side. 3. IMO this topic is now about something other than AR or BA speakers alone. If you can imagine two AR3ts angled and sitting atop an AR3 then you can visualize a 12” LST2, which BTW never existed for sale. As I write this, I am listening to a similar configuration , only in this case I am using BA CR65s atop a AR58s pair. My original target with subs and satellites was to duplicate the 58s sound but, as I said, that was failure. What I am hearing now, and for the last five days, is easily equivalent to AR9s except in the very deepest base i.e. 32hz range. Edit: In retrospect, this last statement is early hyperbole from 2 years ago. This approach does produce AR9 level sound but is not easily reproducible until the April 7, 2018 post below. I don’t see why this can’t be done with any AR12” flat side woofer system and two amps that can each carry a four ohm load. I already had the amps and 1 equalizer. The additional total cost for used equipment was about $150 which purchased 4 BA CR65s and an equalizer. Taking the system to the LST level will require an amp that can carry a 2 ohm load and another pair of BA speakers. I have been listening and comparing this arrangement to 9s and 3as all week using high dynamic, full range classical recordings and demanding non-classical. It does take some dialing in but it really works. Fearing I would come off sounding like just another hi fi nut I almost did not post but this is so doable at a bargain price I decided to share. I have received advice and tips from a few members on this forum that lead me to this but I did not drop your names in case you prefer to remain unconnected with this mess. Aadams
  2. Pick these up at a yard sale yesterday...barn find for sure. Cabinets are in excellent condition. Binding posts are broke on one speaker (woofer side) wondering how to remove the crossover board without destroying it to replace the binding post.
  3. I've done a variety of maintenance on my AR3a over the past few years which has included replacing the grill frames and grill cloth. I did not want to re glue the frames back on so I decide to try self adhesive Velcro. This has not been effective. I'm looking for an alternate method that will also allow me to easily remove the grills if need be. I've been thinking of trying Blu-tack. Will that work? Does anyone have any other suggestions of comments? Thank you, der
  4. I know the optimum placement for Classic AR bookshelf models is flush in a sufficiently long wall or bookshelf where the wall acts as part of the baffle face but, my question for anyone who knows the answer is: What if the AR3a is turned toward the wall, off the floor, just inches away? Does that placement give the same optimum low bass performance as flush in the wall? Disregard the impact on mids and highs, that is not part of this question. Thanks for any help. Aadams
  5. I've just uploaded some AR speaker reviews from High Fidelity magazine to my server. You can access them here: https://archive.mgm51.com/library/AcousticResearch/
  6. I still have my original pair of AR3a that I purchased in 1969. I replaced the mids (with drivers directly from AR) maybe 22-25 years ago when one went bad. The woofers and tweeters are original. Although both tweeters have decent output I've often wondered if the sound could be improved by replacing these aging tweeters. HIVI makes a tweeter that a lot of people seem to like as a replacement and I'm tempted to buy a pair to try. Apparently they need an inductor as well to sound their best. Has anyone on this board had experience with them? Do you think this is a worthy pursuit? http://www.parts-express.com/hivi-q1r-1-1-8-textile-dome-tweeter--297-417 Thanks, der
  7. Picked up these AR3a's recently . The previous owner re-foamed them and used a larger than normal dust cover. I'd like verification these woofers are correct for these speakers. I didn't see any writing on the back of the magnet of this woofer. I could only pick it up so far as the wires tightened. I wanted to disturb them as little as possible. Acoustic Research AR3a Speakers 004.MOV
  8. I say casually looking since my speakers are playing very well, just that there are cosmetic issues from a previous reform attempt, and would like to eventually replace the woofers. Anyone have a pair or one for sale? Needing foam or not is no issue. I also have a nice AR9 style woofer I can trade for an AR3a woofer. Thanks!
  9. So my AR3a project is never gonna happen because I don't want to pay the high prices for a second one to make a pair. So I'm letting the one I have go. The original woofer has been refoamed. The highly coveted mid range driver is fully functioning. The original tweeter is gone, but the one in it works, as do the pots on the back and the crossovers. The original binding posts are intact and are not stripped or anything. The cabinet is solid, but there is moisture separation on both sides on the top of the speaker. There is no grill with this speaker. Bottom line: this is a fully functioning, restorable AR3a. I hope someone out there can pick up where I left off. Come get it today and I'll throw in a pair of original pots from an AR2a speaker. $200 or best reasonable offer.
  10. I came upon a pair of AR-3s, a single AR-2ax and a single AR-2a. Attached are photos of the unfinished pine cabinets of the AR-3s as identified via the label on the back of one of the pair, serial number 24257. The second does not have the model label. My question is regarding the drivers. It seems from what I can gather, that the 3 mainly had the Alnico woofer, but these have the later version installed. I had the skivers professionally replaced and the gentleman also inspected the spider, VC, and tested with o-scope. Same with the pair of cloth surround ten-inchers from the 2-models - resealed, and rebuilt one of the VCs. The mids look correct. The tweeters have three orange-ish "nodes" and I believe are the 3/4 inch model. From poking around on the interwebs, it seems to me that these should have the 1.25 inch tweeter which has four orange-ish "nodes." BTW, the AR-2 models that I have deploy the latter tweeter. Additionally, any input on the following would be helpful as well. The front "picture frame" bezel has been removed so that the front face is flush with the inner frame that would have supported or at least limited the grill's descent towards the drivers/baffle. I have mixed feelings about covering up the original, in this case, non-finish, but I have some rudimentary woodworking skills and would consider applying a walnut veneer with a solid walnut "picture frame" bezel to replace. Thoughts? And, in anticipation, does anyone know the depth of that bezel? I believe it is also rounded from what I could gather from photos. Thank you in advance. Dana
  11. I found these 3a's on C.L. in the Cape Cod and also under Boston search. Interesting wood grain. AD: Selling my AR3As! These were the state of the art back in the heyday of hi-fi. AR's advertising described them as "the best speakers we know how to build". Cabinets are beautiful- walnut, nearly furniture-perfect; one very small chip in the back corner of one cabinet. (shown) These speakers are approximately 40-odd years old, I'm sure the drivers etc could use a freshening up. All parts, grills, etc are readily available from Vintage AR or on eBay - where these still sell for over $1200/pair! If this listing caught your eye, you probably remember these like I do! Delivery may be available- additional.
  12. My plan is to talk about a number of controversial issues in this thread and as such, some folks might feel slighted. So my disclaimer is: I mean no disrespect to anyone. My opinions are strictly that ... my opinions! So now that I've repaired my TSW's (and they sound just fine), my amp is beginning to show it's age. I power the TSW's with an HH Scott integrated amp (150 wpc 8ohms) that I purchased new back in 1987 (29 years ago). Problem is the protection circuit comes on periodically for 2 seconds and then switches off returning power to the speakers. It's been doing this for about a year now, but seems to be happening more often these days. Given the age of the unit, I'm NOT going to devote any energy in tracking down the problem. (Looks like the protection circuit senses heat and then opens the primary side of the main power transformer. Heat, as we know, can be caused by a whole host of things.) So what to do?? Well, I've naturally been reading threads here about what other folks are doing. I see many people are fooling around with tube amps! That is NOT for me. I assembled an Eico ST 70 many, many, many years ago. I'm never going back to tubes. Heck, I've got heat problems now and those darn tube amps run hotter than hell! The heat in those things will eventually fry ... every component! Solid state amps, on the other hand, run cool compared to tube amps. Further, due to maintenance costs, plus the high cost of parts, there is just no way a tube amp will be an economical solution. I will admit that there is one "nice" feature in a good tube amp and that is, the good units have multiple taps on the output transformers so powering a 4 ohm load should be easy! Nevertheless, my AR4x's (all I could afford at that time) still sounded much, much better when I "upgraded" to an Eico solid state amp. So tubes are out and that means I still need a solution. In looking online at receivers, the vast, vast majority are home theater units packed with lots of little amps, none of which could begin to handle my AR TSW's or my AR-3a's. I found by qualifying my search by adding "stereo" I did locate a number of modern receivers with decent power output (100 wpc) at decent prices (under $200). However, in checking further, I didn't find any of these modest priced units that are rated for 4 ohm loads. When you begin to require 4 ohm capability, you can find units, but prices become astronomical! Then by accident I stumbled upon this Sherwood unit (see attached datasheet). This unit is rated at 100wpc into 4 ohms full frequency (this is NOT one of those little home theater amps rated at 1000 Hz). Further, it has 4 such amps!!! That's right not two (left and right channels), but 4 (L,R + L,R). So how does this help us drive those power hungry AR's? Well, you've got a full 100 wpc at 4 ohms from the first amp and that will satisfy most. For some of the really power hungry AR's you can now bi-amp using a single box!! That is, your woofers are powered using the A speaker outputs. The mids & tweeters are powered using the C speaker outputs. You have separate source, volume and tone controls for each of the two amps. Now for the really controversial part, with this unit you can safely bi-amp your AR-3a's using the original 3 terminals. So instead of using pots to adjust the "voice" of the AR's, you dial in the voice you want by simply varying the volume controls on the two independent amps. Further, you can vary the voice with the remote control to suit your desires on different sources or different music. Remember if you are playing old vinyl, you want to return to the 3a's original voice. At the same time, they are just too dull on modern digital playback devices.This is a really neat solution and the delivered price to me is $160. Splitting the load on these power hungry AR's (via bi-amping) makes all kinds of sense and means you can economically drive these power hungry units without having to mortgage the house. One final thought is with this scheme you gain some headroom, because you have a full 100 wpc for just the woofers and then another full 100 wpc (which you'll never, ever need) for the mids and tweeters. Regards, Jerry Sherwood-RX-5502-datasheet.pdf
  13. Hi! I am new to this forum and those great loudspeakers from AR. I have a pair of ar3a improved with one bad tweeter. I would like to replace the AR tweeters with new ones. The most common recommendation at this forum is the HIVI tweeter. Maybe I would like something more refined. I saw one thread where one member had used the SEAS Excel T25CF-001. Have somebody else used this tweeter? Is this a good choice? Does it need modifications? Thanks for answers! Jesper
  14. Let me introduce myself ... I am among the very few members on this forum who owns a working pair of BOTH AR3a's AND a pair of TSW 610's. Further, I'm the proud ORIGINAL owner of these systems. At one time I listen almost exclusively to the TSW's. My 3a's just sounded so muffled and lifeless, that I rarely even bothered with them. That changed about 8 years ago when I completely removed the corroded pots and passively bi-amped the 3a's using just the original three terminals. Since then, the situation reversed in that I now listen far, far more to the 3a's. Please remember that with the two amps, I can make the 3a's as "brilliant" and bright as I want. People don't want to talk about mods in this forum so I won't. Nevertheless, it is a credit to the AR engineers who developed these unique 3a drivers that they are still "singing" after all of these years. (Frankly, I'm still amazed that the 3a tweeters can compete with the titanium domes in the TSW system, but ... give them more voltage and ... they do!) Anyhow now for my tale of "blues". Turned the TSW's on the other day and the left speaker sounded dull and lifeless. Naturally, my first inclination is the source is bad, but by simply switching the inputs that notion was quickly debunked. My next thought was the equalizer integrated into my amp went bad. Again by simply switching the amps that idea proved incorrect. That left the left speaker and sure enough the mid-range driver died (open circuit and no response on the battery polarity test). Now this is frustrating! How is it that all of the drivers in the much, much older 3a's work fine and this mid range is totally dead? Anyhow, now I needed to find a 6.5 inch, 4 ohm, open back, and hopefully poly cone driver. Turns out there are many of them around. They are used in automotive and home theater systems, but ... which one? So within a matter of minutes I went from despair thinking I'd have to abandon the TSW's, to elation that there simply must be a solution out there .... somewhere?? To make a long story short, this morning I installed a new mid-driver that I purchased from Parts Express (with excellent service from Lisa). Here are the specifics on that driver: 6.5 inch so an exact fit - even the mounting holes lined up! 4 ohm poly cone, foam surround, cloth spider, open back Voice coil diameter - 1 inch Rated Frequency range 60 to 8,000 Hz Sensitivity - 92 dB @ 2.83V 1 meter on axis (in the attached pics, the original driver is on the left) By accident I stumbled upon this particular driver, but from the specs it looked like a decent fit. The X-over points in the 610's are at 700 Hz and 5,000 Hz, so I wanted a driver capable of producing sound in the range of 500Hz to 7,000Hz. Next, the 610 system sensitivity is rate at 90 dB so I wanted driver with a sensitivity exceeding 90 dB. In theory this driver should be a decent "fit", but as we all know, it rarely works out that way. Anyhow, as I said I installed the driver in the left speaker and spent two hours comparing it to the 610 with the original driver. I'm happy to report I can NOT hear any difference with one minor exception. The original driver appeared to have better dispersion when way off axis (and I mean way OFF). Now, I have a 7 stage equalizer and figured I'd either have to cut back or boost the mid frequencies to match the original driver. The speakers sound so similar that to get an exact match, I have absolutely no idea which way to go. (I don't own a high quality mic, so have no way to measure.) In any event, I can't HEAR any difference, so I'm NOT planning to modify the X-over. I would say that this positive outcome is direct result of the excellent design work done by the AR engineers. Their conservatively designed X-over is so robust it will tolerate minor differences in drivers. Just to complete the "fix", NOT knowing the new driver would match so well with the original, I purchased a pair of 6.5 inch drivers and installed both. That leaves me with a working original driver just in case I ever come across another original AR mid-driver. Now for a few disclaimers. When I say I can't "hear" any difference that is with: My old ears My room ... and it's set up for the munchkins NOT for audio My TSW 610's My amp My music Clearly, YMMV! To complete the story, I'll share a few random observations. To compare the original mid against the new mid I chose Big Band music! Reason for this is most Big Band music is MONO, and it's just full of mid frequencies. (Base heavy music just wouldn't help much when trying to compare the systems with different mid-drivers.) Next BB music often has a large number of different instruments playing simultaneously. What I was particularly listening for was a degradation in "definition". That is the ability to pick out the individual instruments as opposed to a "jumbled mess". Most people say definition is primarily due to a flat frequency response, but I believe distortion plays a significant role in this as well and maybe a more important role. In any event, I haven't listened to Dish's Big Band music in years and there is some really nice music there! It's the type of music that really showcases a high quality, low distortion system. Another observation is the sub-enclosure which houses the mid-driver in the TSW-610 is made of wood and it is cylindrical! Why in heaven's name go to the expense of building a wood cylindrical sub-enclosure? Now there is a real mystery. Then another unusual design feature is the mid-drivers are wired out of phase with the woofers in the 610's. Earlier I complained about the failed mid-driver, but in all honesty if I had to choose a driver to fail, it would be that one! Frankly, I have no idea what I'd do if the 12 inch woofer or the titanium dome tweeter failed. One final observation on a comparison between the 3a's and the 610's, these systems are similar in design, acoustic suspension three ways; yet, they don't sound the same! As I mentioned earlier, prior to bi-amping the 3a's sounded "dull" compared to the 610's ... and by a lot! That's no longer the case and at modest listening levels (around a watt or two), I now prefer the sound of the 3a's. When I'm in the mood for a more robust experience at higher volume levels, the 610's, in my opinion, really out perform the 3a's. It just seems that it’s so effortless for the 610's to fill the room with sound, while the 3a's on the other hand, appear to struggle. I don't know exactly why that is, but I have some suspicions. First off, the cabinets on the 610's are 30 percent bigger than the 3a's allowing the drivers to be spaced out rather than all jammed together. Next, I've often wondered whether the poly cone drivers just work better when they are pushed harder. In my limited experience, these poly cones just don't sound as good at low volume levels. Now, that is a personal observation and as always, YMMV. Hope you enjoyed my tale and observations ... Regards, Jerry
  15. I finished up recapping my 3a's this morning. I don't know why I didn't do this two years ago when I refurbished my pots. Actually, I didn't realize at the time that those 45 year plus caps could drift. (I had the big wax monstrosities) I did notice some harshness in the lower mid-range and some reduced treble. I put the treble off to my old ears. I simply hate dealing with the fiber fill but it has been worth it. Those old, original tweeters are back and apparently my ears have some life left in them. Played a favorite jazz vocal record that I had noticed some mid-range harshness and it now sounds sweet. It's likely that nothing more needs serviced on my 3as - at least in my lifetime. Just wanted to pass this on. der
  16. In a couple of weeks when I get back from a trip south I have some crossover work to do on my AR3a. I've been into them a couple of times over the 40 + years that I've owned them but I didn't rotate the woofers 180 degrees either time. I've seen this recommended several times on various sites. I assume the purpose is to counteract the results of gravity on the cone, voice coil and suspension. It's easy enough to do but is it necessary? Also my 3a's have cloth surrounds that appear to be in pretty good shape and the woofers appear to pass the press and spring back test but if it makes sense to reseal the surrounds I'd like to do so. Yes or no? Finally, I've heard it stated that the original Fiberglas fill should be replaced in these 40+ year old speakers because it draws moisture etc. I've never personally seen any evidence of that and feel that there's nothing wrong with the original outside of the fact that you need to wear gloves when dealing with it.
  17. These have been sold. delete this post????
  18. 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.
  19. Hi all, It's been a while since posting here. I've since moved on from my Ar6's to a pair of AR3a's. My Ar3a's are the European version I believe from 1974 (S/n 03464). My pair has had the tone controls disabled which is what the post is about. - First question: Is it worth reinstating the tone controls? I bought the pair from a respected speaker repairer who stated that he disabled the "troublesome pots" but believes this doesn't matter because "you can just make tone adjustments on your amp" and this is just as good. Is this correct? Currently I find I need to have my treble all the way up, mid range close to all the way up and bass a couple of notches above flat. - Secondly was the speaker repairers method for disabling the tone controls good? Please see frequency response curve and schematic of the change below. Can post detailed pics of the speakers if needed. Thanks all.
  20. I purchased my beloved AR3a speakers in 1970 and we've been together ever since. They had some work done on them professionally (replaced various drivers) in the 80s and early 90s, and for the last 18 years or so, other than successfully refoaming the woofers myself, all has been well. Until now. AND TO TOP IT OFF I am having issues with the performance of my 20 year old receiver (Nakamichi RE-10) as well. So I have several dilemmas. First, the tone controls on both speakers are pretty much shot. (I've had to move the dials around to find the "right" spot, now there is no "right" spot, and the range of motion on one of them is very limited.) They were the last things professionally replaced (1995?). I confess to knowing next to nothing about electronics, but I am something of a do-it yourselfer and after carefully reviewing the AR3a manual, I am prepared to take the plunge and replace the pots myself. (I strongly suspect that cleaning the present ones is not an option.) The manual recommends using an Ohmite RHS-15R. Allied Electronics website indicates these are no longer available and offers RHS-15RE as the substitute. So, 1) can someone confirm that this the correct item and 2) when the manual says to make a "thin aluminum cover" to protect the insulation, what exactly do I use and what do I do? I guess I need a little elaboration on this part. I hope I'm on the right track here. The other part of this issue is that my amp/receiver is at the end of its useful life. (It did very well and would occasionally clip out in the summer heat when the volume was too high.) I do not have home theatre & have no interest in it, so two channels with sufficient power for 4 ohms & limited bells and whistles is what I'm looking for (basically a tuner and inputs for cds, ipod, phono, etc.). I have read various discussion threads on this site and confess to confusion. If anyone can please suggest some options, I'd be most grateful. Thanks, Keith
  21. I am getting ready to move and have a pair of ar3a's that were built in 1975. One needs a new woofer, one needs a new tweeter, but they are pretty good. Make me a deal and they are yours. They need a good home. I am in Ontario, Californa area. aviator37@juno.com
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