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What version do I have?


jomede

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Welcome jomede!

Those are the very rare and desireable AR-3a Limited.

Congrats on a fantastic find!

Check out this thread. It stats out discussing the Improveds but I "hijacked" it to discuss the Limiteds: 

 

 

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I just ordered the refoam kit from simply speakers to refoam the woofers. Every thing works...the potentiometers don't have any static in them. Cabinets are a 9.8 out of 10. As soon as I refoam them I will hook them up and see what they sound like. Did a quick sound test at super low volume to make sure everything was working. "The Find": I went to a thrift store sale and these where under a table with $30.00 on them. I have listened to AR speakers and even owned a pair of book shelfs a few years back so I knew they were a decent speaker. It wasn't until I did a Google search that I was floored by how saught after the 3a speakers are. Are these the ones produced that they only made 200 pair of? Am I right to assume they were made in the early 90's?

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Congratulations on such an unusual find.

As Aadams has cautioned, try to use care with how you store the removed drivers, especially the tweeter and midrange, so that the domes are not damaged.  Also be aware that their powerful magnets have the ability to easily pick up stray bits of iron and steel, such as nuts, bolts, screwdrivers, pliers, etc. that you wouldn't want to wind up inside the cabinet. 

Fixing/replacing the woofer posts will depend upon how they make electrical contact with the circuit board - it might be as simple as tapping them out from the inside, but that might be too much to hope for. Wait for a definitive answer from someone who has experience with this version of the AR-3a.

Whatever you do, don't break that circuit board! ^_^

 

 

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3 hours ago, JKent said:

RoyC, johnieo and Minh have experience with these 

I seem to recall the banana plugs are more or less integral with the circuit board. I never had to replace one. It won't be an easy repair.

Roy

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Some pictures here:

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?/topic/4926-questions-about-ar-3a-tweeters/

Minh Luong wrote; "More than 500 pairs of AR-3a Limited had been made around 1989. They were made with 3/4" MDF covered with walnut vinyl. Internal bracing was the same as the original AR-3a speakers from 1969. In addition, there are very small numbers of special order with real walnut and golden oak veneer with solid walnut and oak for the thick frames as shown in these pictures from Hong Kong and Japan markets."

Here's a magazine with a 3a Limited on the cover:

 

I have to wonder how these rare Asian market speakers got here. Maybe a US service man stationed in Japan brought them home. 

Jomede, where are you located?

Kent

 

Edited by JKent
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jomede,

If you are looking to sell them maybe leave them as-is. Removing the crossover board may be difficult and then replacing the broken speaker terminals is also fraught with danger.

Kent

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2 hours ago, jomede said:

Aadams ...I am not sure what to do with them. I am going to repair the foam surrounds first and then take a listen to them. What do you think they are worth as is?

These are my thoughts in no particular order. 

I would not refoam those woofers with Simply Speakers surrounds.

If I were going to sell them  I would reassemble them and do nothing. They are worth more to a collector unmolested unless you can make them exactly correct after repair, especially if the cabs are oak veneer in good condition.

Parts alone are worth about $400 if you are patient. 

Empty Cabinets are worth almost nothing unless you can sell locally.

If you always wanted a pair of 3as you will not do better than these. Nothing is wrong except the post. The woofers are easy to bring back to form and the caps and Lpads are almost certainly in working order.  There probably is a way to attach 18 or 16 awg wire to the broken post and wire on another connector. Worst case and absolute last resort is go through the back of the cabinet to attach wiring internally. 

He hasn't been on the CSP for a while but you could send a personal message to @Minh_T_Luong and maybe get a definitive answer on the terminal post removal.

Speakerworks in Tulsa, Looneytunes on ebay and Parts Express in Dayton, all have a reputation for better AR 12 inch surrounds than Simply Speakers and if you are not well experienced with replacing surrounds on big ARs the simply speakers solvent is the wrong adhesive to learn with. 

I am sure others here have additional ideas or suggestions.

Let us know what you decide.  Some here could be interested in if you part them out.

8 hours ago, JKent said:

I have to wonder how these rare Asian market speakers got here. Maybe a US service man stationed in Japan brought them home. 

My thought also. There is a huge military presence in Jacksonville/Mayport. Many retirees in that area.

 

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I will not part them out as they are rare and there probably aren't that many of these in the great condition these are. I would like to refoam them and give them a good listening to on my Marantz Amplifier. Is there anyone you guys trust to refoam them close to me? I don't want to ruin them by trying to refoam them myself. I am close to Jacksonville Florida.

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Jomede. What a great find. Those are some rare birds. I have no experience with this version of 3a’s. Tonegen drivers, printed circuit boards, vinyl oak covered cabinets. Many AR enthusiasts would love to have these. If they were mine I would value them at least thirty times more than what you have in them.  Go slow and gather as much information as you can.

 

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1 minute ago, lARrybody said:

Tonegen drivers, printed circuit boards, vinyl oak covered cabinets.

Maybe jomede can verify this but I believe those are the super rare real oak veneer cabs.

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2 minutes ago, JKent said:

Maybe jomede can verify this but I believe those are the super rare real oak veneer cabs.

They sure look like real veneer. I agree with  Aadams, send those surrounds back. They deserve better.  

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