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AR-2ax - pots vs l-pads


Michael T
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I recently restored a pair of AR-2axs and found my pots to be in questionable condition. So rather than take the chance of putting it all together and having them not work and to save money over buying new pots I purchased and installed l-pads. I've been using the speakers for a couple of months and they sound great.
 
A couple days ago I had to repair one of my woofers so I decided since I had it out and I still had the pots I would try installing them just to see how they worked. The pots work fine. But what really surprised me was the difference they made. There is better control of the driver levels and I was able to dial in an overall sound that I couldn't get with the l-pads. 
 
I will definitely be changing the other speaker over tomorrow. 
 
Just wanted to share my personal experience in case anyone is interested.
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1 hour ago, bfastr said:

I rebuilt my original pots and decided to keep things original in spite of the obvious long term issues the pots will probably pose vs

Did you use dialectic grease on the pots? It will help extend the life somewhat.

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Yes I did, I guess what I am saying is that the thought of having to re-open the speaker and address any pot problems doesn't scare me off,  and truthfully, if they go another 50 years they sure wont be my problem!! 

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  • 1 year later...

Hi there guys, very new to this post, I have just brought a pair of these AR2ax speakers, haven't received them yet, or heard them yet,, last owner says proberbly worth doing the L/pads, in these speakers given the age, looked all over the place for replacement L/ pads, 8 ohms, 100w, is this right values, but after reading some of the comments on here, with what the new L/pads sound like as apposed to the original ones , I think this has made up my mind,  for me, i think I will give cleaning up the old pots a go, with vinegar & salt I think it was,?? Any helpful hints would greatly help.

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I still have pots in some speakers but I finally caved and installed Lpads in a pair.  Lpads are the way to go IMO. They give finer control and will not return to haunt you as pots almost always do.    Download the AR3a restoration guide for an explanation of the correct pots and resistors.   

What the OP said at the top about better control is correct.

Also copy a this into a google search

resistors lpads site:classicspeakerpages.net

Adams

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4 hours ago, Ecofan14 said:

looked all over the place for replacement L/ pads, 8 ohms, 100w, is this right values,

Welcome Ecofan

No, this is the L-pad to use https://www.parts-express.com/speaker-l-pad-attenuator-15w-mono-3-8-shaft-8-ohm--260-248

If your pots aren't too bad you could try the cleaning process and apply dielectric grease but they will eventually go bad again.  L-pads should give decades of worry-free service. Just be sure to wire them properly--the numbers on the L-pad are not the same as those on the pot.

-Kent

pot_and_l_pad 2.jpg

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Hi again there guys, thanks for your fast response;s,, at first I think I will be like everybody else, but looking at how the things corrodes again,, I think I will renew them just so I don't have to do them again, but I did send a email to parts express & ask them if their L/ pads would suit my AR2ax pots replacement;s, & to my surprise they said he would not recommend this, & gave me a thread over to AR vintage, to recommend there pots,( very honest) I thought, so good on them,

I have seen on other thread's that using L/pads, instead of the proper pots, changes the sound, & not for the better, never heard AR,s in the fresh, so nothing to compare to,? Only on utube, & as we all know can't go by that much??,so to do both speaker boxes, it's roughly going to cost me about $200.00 NZ,,from AR vintage, just for pots & freight, plus I might look at sticking new surroundings on the woofers, I will see when they get here, Hmmmm,? Just hope they are worth spending this sort of money on, I listen to a pair of 12"Goodman's speakers at the moment, full range drivers, & they do sound Devine, also had a pair of full range 12"Tannoys, sold the Tannoys, yes they did sound good, but not as nice as the Goodman's, if you ever get a chance to hear a pair of Goodman's 12" 22 MK2, axiom's they do have a better midrange than Tannoys do, 

Hey Adams, how are your L/pads holding out, do you reckon they changed the sound at all,?? Cheers guys look forward to hearing from you.

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2 hours ago, Ecofan14 said:

ask them if their L/ pads would suit my AR2ax pots replacement;s, & to my surprise they said he would not recommend this, & gave me a thread over to AR vintage, to recommend there pots,( very honest) I thought, so good on them,

Ecofan

$132 US seems high to me but I can tell you for sure Parts express has the correct L--pads.  Either of the two pictured below are exactly what is used.  Your concern about changing the sound is correct but with AR classics the solution is to install a 10w 25ohm resistor on the pot leads as shown in the restoration guide.  A Classic AR with Lpads and resistors can be dialed in to sound identical to an AR with working pots.   All this info is in the restoration guide.

Look at this thread 

image.png.bdd5fc1b0fa660b300ede8bf44bc7ce1.png

 

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6 hours ago, Ecofan14 said:

I did send a email to parts express & ask them if their L/ pads would suit my AR2ax pots replacement;s, & to my surprise they said he would not recommend this, & gave me a thread over to AR vintage, to recommend there pots,( very honest) I thought, so good on them,

Nothing against Vintage-AR but you should know this: The "AR speaker level controls" he sells for $14.95 are the SAME ones sold by Parts Express for $5.55. Vintage-AR does include some printed instructions but you can get that information here.

Just to add to Aadams's comment: only use the resistor on the mid control, not the tweeter.

Now I'm looking at the US Postal Service site to estimate shipping to New Zealand. A one pound package can be sent for $51 USD via Priority Mail International or $26 USD via 1st Class package. The Priority is insured for up to $50, or more for additional cost. I don't know if the 1st class can be insured.

If you want to make up a shopping list it may be more economical to have a CSP member here in the US buy the stuff and mail it to you. Just a thought.

Kent

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1 hour ago, JKent said:

Nothing against Vintage-AR but you should know this: The "AR speaker level controls" he sells for $14.95 are the SAME ones sold by Parts Express for $5.55. Vintage-AR does include some printed instructions but you can get that information here.

Just to add to Aadams's comment: only use the resistor on the mid control, not the tweeter.

Now I'm looking at the US Postal Service site to estimate shipping to New Zealand. A one pound package can be sent for $51 USD via Priority Mail International or $26 USD via 1st Class package. The Priority is insured for up to $50, or more for additional cost. I don't know if the 1st class can be insured.

If you want to make up a shopping list it may be more economical to have a CSP member here in the US buy the stuff and mail it to you. Just a thought.

Kent

Wow.

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Hey thanks for your replys guys, very very helpful, & a great help,,the AR2ax,, speakers I brought on-line arrived yesterday, hooked up to my amp, & had a quick listen to them, one sounded all good all drivers working on that one, Ahh, but the other one,, different story,, woofer all good,, midrange all gd,, but nothing from the tweeter,, I am hoping that the L/pad for that tweeter is producing a dead short to the tweeter,, & not a cooked tweeter,, haven't pulled the woofers out yet to check the capacitor's,, to see if the capacitor's have been changed out at all, but to my delight when they turned up & I took the covers off, factory Velcro covers, ,so that was easy, thank heaven's,, but the woofers have been , refoamed so that saves me one expense,, don't know weather to bother having a go cleaning up the old L/pads,, or just getting the L/pads from parts express along with those 2 resistors,, , what do you guys think, since you have more experience than me with these, thanks ken.

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