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ar-3a woofers in ar-11 cabinets?


Madar80
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Hi everyone, I was wondering if it is a good idea to replace the ar-11 woofers by ar-3a woofers inside the ar-11 cabinets? 

It seems to me that the ar-3a woofers are a little bit more powerful than the ar-11 ones, the bass are deeper, I noticed when handling them that they are also heavier. 

Thanks a lot. 

Arthur 

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What are the model numbers of the woofers?  You might want to supply photos of each.  If the woofers are late model AR3a version and the correct AR 11 version the only difference will be between your ears.  If the Woofers are  3 or early 3a you could be making a mistake.  Supply photos.

Adams

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Thanks Aadams, the ar-3a are an early version I think, because the mid-range and twitters are front-wired, and the woofers are originals. My ar-11 are the Teledyne version. Do you think it isn't worth trying? I will supply some photos. Thank you again! 

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Based on what you posted about the AR11, nothing good will come from a switch.  The early 3a had more than one woofer.   Without model numbers or photos all I can say is, If they look alike externally from 2 meters they are practically identical for what you are considering.  You would probably do better experimenting with room placement IMO and that is assuming everything is functioning properly. 

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The very early 3as may have had barely deeper bass but it could only be heard if the bass were actually on the recording which was almost never in the 1960s and still almost never for most music.  The difference you are hearing is room placement or a difference in the mid settings which are more variable on the 3a or perhaps a combination of both.  Also, AR11 tweeters don't noticeably degrade over time whereas 3a tweeters do which causes the 3a to have a lot more of that "laid back" sound people think they hear.  If you still have original tweeters, that could also contribute to the illusion of more bass in the 3a.

Adams

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2 hours ago, Aadams said:

If you still have original tweeters, that could also contribute to the illusion of more bass in the 3a.

This is an excellent point, and an important factor to consider when making these types of comparisons, particularly with 50-year-old drivers. The AR-3a has the three wire terminals on the rear so it is relatively easy to connect for "woofer only" use, but unfortunately the AR-11 does not provide this feature to facilitate a simple woofer vs. woofer standoff.

Madar, if you go to this site's homepage you can find easy access to the AR-3a restoration guide. Pages 23 and 24 of that document describe the evolution of AR's 12-inch woofers - - including some minor differences in performance - - and pages 27 and 28 have images of the various drivers employed in several speaker models. 

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