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wsill

Some Mods to the AR-9

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Hello everyone,

I wanted to report on two mods I have made to my new to me AR9's ( I have had them 2 weeks now).

1) I added 1/2 closed cell foam around the upper midrange.

I definitely hear a difference; with the foam there is more spaciousness and sounds now not coming directly from the speaker cabinets.

I have less inclination now to set the upper midrange switch to -3db. The foam I inserted was from Home Depot used for insulating air conditioner wings.

I'm not sure that this material the best to use but it works.

It's reversible smooth of corrugated. See picture.

2) I removed the "chromed" edges around the woofer grills. I think the speakers just look better now.

I am also experimenting with tip toes. Tighter bass  and midrange with tip toes. Though can't move and you loose some of that "fat" bass.

Has anyone else here made mods as I have and what's your experience with these and others.

The AR9's are just fantastic speakers.

Bill

 

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Congratulations on your new AR-9 speakers, Bill - very nice!

Years ago, my son and I had a lot of fun restoring and modifying the AR-9 when a pair could be had for less than $200, and there seemed to be an unending supply.

As has been mentioned, absent foam inserts for the dome drivers was not uncommon, and it was debated as to how useful they and the Acoustic Blanket actually were.

My favorite looking/sounding restored AR-9 systems were without the Blanket, foam inserts, "chrome" trim, and the vinyl stickers under the three level control switches. Spiked feet and  new metal binding posts (very nice ones are available from Parts Express) are also beneficial mods. There's been a lot written on restoring the AR-9, especially regarding crossover repair, cabinet refinishing, and wiring options. The very best I've heard were the stripped AR-9 systems in a vertical bi-amp orientation using a pair of Adcom GFA-555II power amplifiers, driven by an Adcom passive preamp, with active EQ for the woofer section using an Audio Control low frequency equalizer. The result was ridiculously good, with excellent imaging & detail, and clean & tight bass response.

Here's a link to a couple of old AR-9 posts, but there are many more on this site by several past/present AR-9 owners:

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?/topic/1280-nude-ar-9-pics/

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?/topic/1433-new-ar-9-project/

 

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First and foremost, a big Congratulations Bill...!  I'm so glad that your speaker search landed in the past, with the AR-9's.  Some of the best ever.  Enjoy, and keep us updated on how they work out.

Also, ar_pro, I absolutely love those Naked-9's!  Absolutely gorgeous.  If I ever find a pair, I'm definitely going to do the same thing.  I wish my 90's had a veneered front, and I'd strip them down.  

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4 hours ago, Stimpy said:

  I wish my 90's had a veneered front, and I'd strip them down.  

I've always wondered why AR did that with the AR-90, which is a great-looking speaker on its own, and would've been even better with a fully-veneered front & sides!

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20 hours ago, wsill said:

I am also experimenting with tip toes. Tighter bass  and midrange with tip toes. Though can't move and you loose some of that "fat" bass.

I've always wondered about the need for these spikes.   My AR9's stand on a carpet with thick foam base on a concrete floor.   With my installation, I wonder how these spikes could possibly help because they aren't "coupled" to a wooden floor as they would if in the living room.   Right?  (That's one of the few advantages to having one's system banished to the basement.)

Also, regarding the foam around the tweeter, I installed some aftermarket felt from vintage-ar:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ACOUSTIC-RESEARCH-SPEAKER-AR-9-AR90-AR91-AR92-AR11-AR-10PI-TWEETER-RINGS/192715894526?hash=item2cdec32efe:g:vnEAAOxyhodRzaLC:sc:USPSFirstClass!07869!US!-1

Did it make a difference?  Perhaps, but if so it was subtle.

I never tried installing anything around the UMR.   As I noted in another post, I'm extremely happy with my AR9's right now and hesitant to fool with them any further.

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