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Picked up a pair of AR3's - serial number question


redpackman
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I was able to get a pair of AR3's this past weekend, and I'm in the midst of restoring them. I've already worked on 2x, 2ax, 3a's, 4x and 4 ax, 5, 6 and 7's.  These will be a real challenge, I can see...aluminum wire and all. 

First things first: the serial numbers on the pair are 09040 and 09063. I'm assuming they are around 1960. Anyone have any information more specific than that?  I've only opened one cabinet thus far and have found no dates stamped inside. I believe I'm the first one in since manufacture. Cleaning the tone controls, new Erse poly-film caps (6 uf and 24 uf) etc. 

BTW, short of sending them out, what's the technique Roy suggested for dealing with "petrified" mids? I have sound, but not sure it's what it should be. Lots of highs, but then the crossover, as I understand it, for the AR3 began at 1000 hz.  Operating them through the crossover with less than 1 watt and less than full output through the mid control.

Input appreciated. 

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Hi and congrats on your 3's! 

Roy C. rebuilds the  mids. The original flexable sealer around the base of the dome hardens after all these years, greatly reducing the mids output. Roy told me what to do, thinking I could do it my self, and after removing the original hard sealer, I had no sound, which it did prior to my surgery. Off they went to Roy. When returned, what a huge difference! I strongly recommend you send them to Roy for rebuilding. 

Mine Are circa 1960' SN#'s 3653 & 4186 and have the oil can caps. I'm guessing yours are 1961 or so. What caps do yours have? If oil, leave them. They sound great!

please post some pics when you have a chance.

Glenn

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Thanks for the info GD70!! Mine did not have the oil caps, but the old wax ones. I've posted pictures of them elsewhere with a discussion about using my very basic cap tester showing theme drifting hugely in the 57(?) years since they were installed. I've put in Erse's top film caps to replace them (which my lowly meter indicated were right on, btw). 

The woofers look and sound good. I've got the tweeters (both "popped" on one side but they have continuity) at a nationally known speaker repair establishment for their attention. I'll probably send the mids in, though I have sound in both of them that seems to keep up with the woofers, but it's hard to tell when the cabinet isn't all sealed up and because of the crossover point with sounds between 1000 and 5000 hz they hardly have a "full sound."

I'm particularly apprehensive about dealing with the aluminum wiring to the mids and tweeters. I'm used to copper and soldering them no problem, but that stuff seems to be very spooky to deal with. Splice, crimp using some small aluminum tubing, aluminum solder (which seems to be nearly impossible to find, or it comes in $45 quantities)????  Not sure what direction to go. 

 

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When Roy rebuilds the mids, he puts in copper leads. 

The popping tweeter domes can be repaired with a little Aileen's tacky glue dabbed in a few small spots, then weigh the domes down to correct position while the glue dries. I use a piece of dense foam on top of the dome while weighing it down to avoid any dome damage. I've done this several times and the tweeters are fine. But, Roy and Chris can repair the tweeters as well using a proprietary foam like the original to hold the domes in correct position.

The 3's are valuable, and sound great, worth restoring them correctly.

Glenn

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You asked for some photos of the progress of the rebuild. The original crossover with the wax dual cap which had shifted WAY off it's specified ratings. Time to get rid of them. New Erse poly-film caps. A view of the underside of the connecting bloc for the mid and tweeter (not often seen from this angle). Some wood restoration, before and  after the oil rub. Boxes awaiting the drivers, and, of course the big alnico woofer that weighs about as much as a Thanksgiving turkey. 

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