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AR3 Crossover Restoration and Findings


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Hi all!  I just completed my rework of a pair of AR-3 speakers and thought I would share my findings.  The AR-3a Restoration Guide was used as my primary resource.  The drivers are all original and I used L-pads and new electrolytic capacitors (I'm Dutch) sourced from Parts Express. I'm finding the speakers seem to lack the sound stage that I was expecting.  Seems to be very bassy and lack of highs.  Just doesn't seem to be that crisp, clear sound I was expecting.  I  recently restored a pair of AR-5 and the sound is far improved over the AR-3, which I was not expecting. The receiver being used for testing is a Scott 380R.  It should be noted that one of the mids in the AR-3's doesn't have the same output as the other, so I'm attributing that to the age and may be in need of repair.  Before I start digging into the units, I'm curious if the cheaper capacitors could be the issue?  I'm confident I have the wiring correct, but I'd appreciate a look over from the professionals on this site.  I'm simply looking for feedback as to what could be the reason for the lack of performance, but certainly understand it may be difficult based on the info provided.  Let me know if I can provide additional details.  As always, I greatly appreciate the responses!


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2 hours ago, zelgy1 said:

I  recently restored a pair of AR-5 and the sound is far improved over the AR-3, which I was not expecting.

If everything is working properly the AR3 and AR5 should sound similar but the better sound will be a subjective choice. On many recordings the AR5 will have an edge in low mid range clarity. 

I agree with DavidR. Recent discussions on AR3 restorations have included the need for tweeter and mid range refurbishment.   If your AR5 has an original tweeter it too needs rebuilding to perform correctly, assuming it has not already been done or you could install the HiVi mod.


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I agree with Tom.

I copied and pasted my response from another thread, the same applies to your 3's.

Regarding their performance, I can almost guarantee they are no where near new performance, and what they are capable of, even after a recap.

The mids are the big problem, which is very common. The flexable sealer around the base of the domes is now close to 55-60 years old, and most likely rock hard. This keeps the dome from moving, greatly diminishing their sound output. They can possibly be restored by Roy C., but you'll need to remove them from the cabinets and ship them to the U.S. The tweeters usually fare better, but often the dome has started to pop out from the VC gap, again pretty common. They can also be repaired here by Chris, who replaces the little foam dots, and reseals the dome at the base.

I don't intend to scare you, but just give you the facts about these old speakers. I have 2 pairs of the 3's, one 1965, and also from 1960.

The 1965's have been restored and sound fabulous. The 1960's were restored, but the mids will need Roy to restore them.

These are special, and if you are serious about restoring and keeping them, then I suggest restoring them properly, they are worth it!

Good luck!


Look through the thread "Stopped for toilet paper, found some AR3's" thread. These are mine, and have lots of pics of the restoration and should be helpful for you to see what's involved.

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