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AR-17 Restoration


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I pick-up a pair of ADD series AR-17’s from eBay a couple of months ago.  The cabinets were in fair shape, but the foam grilles were gone and the original woofers also were gone - replaced with MTX woofers.   


Crossover: Replaced capacitors with new Dayton Audio capacitors.  

Woofers: Replaced the MTX woofers with AR 200045 woofers that I had on hand.  Visually they are nearly identical to the original 200001 woofers.  Additionally, the measured resistance of both the 200045 woofers and my AR-15’s 200001 woofers is 4.7 ohms +/- 0.1 ohm, so there is a fair chance that they also have very similar voice coils. 

Cabinet: The cabinets had no deep gouges or large chips, but the finish was dry with some water stains.  Also, there were a few small chips in the wood veneer which exposed a little of the underlying particle board along the front edge and rear corners.  I touched the chipped areas up with a MINWAX dark walnut stain marker.  I then treated the cabinets with WATCO rejuvenating oil lightly wet sanding scratched/blemished areas. 

Grilles: I had foamspeakergrilles.com make grilles to complement the AR foam grilles of my other ADD series AR speakers - 11’s, 14’s and 15’s.  The finished grilles are not a perfect match (the foam is more porous & the black is a little too glossy), however, they fit nicely with a good beveled edge and the recesses on the inside face for the drivers are spot on.

I compared the sound of the refurbished 17’s to a pair of AR-28b’s, which are essentially updated 17’s in cheaper cabinets.  The only thing 28b's lack is the 17’s 2-position High Level switch and the accompanying resistor in the crossover.  With the 17’s High Level switch set to 0dB, it was difficult to tell the difference between the 2 models.

Photos Below - 2 before, 1 during restoration and 3 after restoration:



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Congrats....AR-17's are a little bit on the rare side, and I've never seen a pair. What is the uF value of the cap in the 17, and how do you like the performance of that woofer? Which models used the 045 woofer? 

Those look really great - - - nice work!

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The capacitor value in the 17's is 6uF, which is the same as the capacitor found in the 28b's.

The woofer was actually intended for the LMR of the 9Ls/9Lsi & 98Ls/98Lsi.   I had picked them up very cheaply when someone was selling the carcasses of a pair of 98Ls' (I got 2 trashed cabinets, the (2) 8" lower midranges, (1) 12" woofer and 2 crossovers for $150.  As far as the 200045's performance goes, they mimicked the performance of the 200050, 8" woofer of the 28b very well.  Also, I put one of the 200001 woofers from my AR-15's in one of the 17's cabinets and the 200045 woofer in the other and compared them with a mono source.   Again, the differences were small.  I did feel that the 200001 may have achieved a little deeper base response, but my wife said that she couldn't hear any difference.

Below is a picture of the 28b next to the 17.  The 28b is a little taller, but the 17 is deeper, so they have about the same internal volume.




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Thanks for the reply and the pics. The 17 is such a beautiful speaker: great proportions, real wood veneer. I do get confused about the various differences with these 8-inch AR drivers, but all of the ones I've used have been intended for small two-way speaker models.

I have a pair of AR-28b that use the 050 woofer and 034 tweeter, but my crossovers use a 5uF (50V Unicon) cap instead of the 6uF you mention. I found 5uF caps in the AR-18s and AR-18b as well.

28b x-o.jpg

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My bad!  You are correct.  I just opened up one of my 28b's and checked. The capacitor in my 28b's is a 5uF.  They are buried in glue and I thought the 5 was a 6.  By the way, the capacitors in the 17's were the black and red ones everyone seems to dislike.  Surprisingly, after I cut them out and measured them, I found that they were not far off spec.  One was nearly right on at 6.15uF and the other one measured 7.2uF.

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38 minutes ago, ra.ra said:

I do get confused about the various differences with these 8-inch AR drivers, but all of the ones I've used have been intended for small two-way speaker models.

I agree with you that the reasoning behind the various 8-inch AR woofer models is confusing.  The 200001, 200037 & 200050 are all 8-inch woofers used in 2-way systems with nearly the same specs.  If you look at the AR spec test drawing for the 200037, you will find that the test was performed with the woofer in an AR-17 cabinet.  My guess is that the 300037 & 200050 were slightly modified/improved models of the original 200001.  

The 200045 was never used in a 2-way system, but since it was all that I had available and its specs appeared to be similar to the 200001, I thought why not try it out.  If I ever come across a pair of 200001 woofers, I may change them out, but for right now, I am happy with how these turned out.

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Brings back memories. I had a pair of these in 2013. http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?/topic/7904-ar-17/&tab=comments#comment-97823

Mine had some JBL-style foam grilles so I used those. I have, however used http://www.foamspeakergrilles.com for my Cizeks.

Congrats on these very nice, somewhat rare speakers. I gave mine to a friend back in 2013. Coincidentally, I just visited him last week in his home down in Charleston and the speakers are still in his living room.



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