Jump to content

AR-9Ls & AR-9Lsi new grille fabric Installation


AR55
 Share

Recommended Posts

For anyone who is interested, I have attached a write up on how I removed & replaced the fabric on AR-9Ls & AR-9Lsi grilles.  About 10 years ago, when I restored a pair of AR-98Ls speakers, I replaced the torn & stained grille cloth with fabric that I got from Vintage AR (eBay store).  It was a little tedious, but not too difficult.  I also bought enough matching cloth to recover my AR-9Lsi’s grilles, but knowing it would not be as easy, I put if off for another day.  Just recently, I picked up a pair of bargain priced 9Ls grilles with torn/stained fabric & decided to go ahead and recover them instead.  If it didn’t work out, I would still have my original 9Lsi grilles.  Recovering the 9Ls grilles was definitely a lot more challenging, particularly having to severely stretch the fabric at the corners, but the finished project turned out OK with only a little wave in the fabric at one corner.   The fabric that Vintage AR sells is a little pricey @ $47/speaker, but the color is good and it is very elastic, which is a must, if you want to stretch in over the corners without tearing the fabric.  Vintage AR also provides their own instructions for replacing the fabric, but they are geared more toward the AR-9 & AR-90, for which they also sell fabric.  Photos of completed grille below:

1345838004_AR-9LsiwithNewGrille.thumb.jpg.ebda2062d5d69c22a74c451851e5c477.jpg272865872_AR-9LsiNewGrilleCorner.thumb.JPG.f5818d8beb7e80ad5177aa87d1178aa9.JPG

AR-9Lsi new grille fabric Installation.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent write up on a topic that I view as one of the most challenging parts of speaker refurbishment.  The AR9LS & LSi grill screens are the deepest I have seen from AR and present a formidable challenge to get a smooth, professional finish.  Thanks for taking time to document the steps with clear photos.

I need to do both my 9LSi and AR98LS, simply have never attempted due to experience with other grills that came out marginal despite being 1/4 the depth.  There is hope!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Briodo if you decide to replace the fabric, definitely start with the 98Ls.  I don't think I would have ever tried to replace the fabric on the 9Lsi, if I hadn't had success with the 98Ls.  Note that one package of cloth from Vintage AR will cover both 98Ls grilles.

I actually purchased the black fabric from Parts Express.  The weave is a little closer to the coarseness of the original AR fabric, but it is not quite as elastic as the Vintage AR fabric.  I was going to replace the grille fabric on a pair of 48b's for my daughter, and she wanted the cloth to be black.  It never happened.  Before I started the work, I landed the pair of 98Ls' that I restored and gave her my original 98Ls' that she really wanted all along.   She gave the 48b's and the black fabric to her father-in-law, but to date he has not tried to replace the fabric on the grilles.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, AR55 said:

I actually purchased the black fabric from Parts Express. 

PE sells 2 versions: Their house brand, which is OK and the Mellotone which costs more but lARrybody told me it's much nicer. I have only used the cheaper stuff myself but if I were doing really good speakers I'd spring for the Mellotone.

Very nice write-up AR55. I would suggest this as an alternative to Goop (which can be kind of messy): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00178MNFO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1  I used Fabri-Tac and 1/4" staples on the nice frames Larry made for my AR-11 project.

Kent

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't remember what version of the fabric that I purchased from Parts Express, but it was cheaper than the Vintage AR fabric, so it may have been their house brand.

I have never tried Fabri-Tac, and I agree Goop is a little messy, but it has great holding strength.

I was OK with stapling into the face of the frame, but I would recommend against stapling into the frame flanges.  You have to use a fairly high setting on the staple gun to get the 1/4" staples to penetrate the 3/16" thick plastic frame.  The flanges cantilever off the main frame, and I felt that there was too great of risk that stapling could crack the flange, or worse break a piece off.  Also, if you use staples, they would interfere with reattaching the trim.  Not critical, but I wanted the grill to look as original as possible.   It's been 10 years and the fabric is still fully attached on the 98Ls'.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used the Parts Express grey fabric and AR55's earlier 98ls project as a template.  The only thing I would add is the original AR fabric was far stretchier than the PE stuff.  The stretchier the better because the corners on these grills are not easy to get right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Part of the reason I went with the Vintage AR fabric was that it is actually slightly more elastic than the original AR fabric.  Even with that the last corner ended up with some wrinkles on the top (see photo below).  My wife thinks I too much of a perfectionist, pointing out that you can't see it unless you are nearly standing next to the speaker.

I also rethought about only relying on glue to hold fabric in the corners.  I still didn't want to risk a staple, but I wanted to add a little insurance.  Using an existing pin hole in the plastic frame, I drove a small (5/8" x 18 gauge) nail into each corner.  The corners have a stiffening rib, so there was little danger of cracking the plastic flange. 

1445084476_AR-9LsiNewGrilleCornerWrinkle.thumb.JPG.919227c6c8c9f531a0b8bf81db978ce6.JPG

1962025912_AR-9LsiNewGrillewithCornerNail.thumb.JPG.6ea631e5e173a402d3730561cad3c433.JPG

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

I have discovered that over time the fabric that I purchased from Vintage AR slightly relaxes.  In one case, it led to some minor wrinkling of the fabric along the top of the spare set of grilles that I recovered a couple of years ago. 

A few months back, I decided to recover my original AR-9LSi's grilles.  I felt that the best way to reduce the possibility of wrinkles was to pull the fabric even tighter.   To minimize the potential for the fabric to tear at the corners, I slightly rounded the plastic frame (see 1st photo below).  So far, it looks like it worked.  The fabric didn't tear and there are no wrinkles.  I had to hold the fabric very tight for about 15 minutes to get the glue to setup enough for the clips to hold the fabric in place.  The sides didn't seem to take-up as well as the top, so I clipped the excess fabric to the frame rail (see 2nd photo below), as I released the fabric.  My right hand was still sore 2 days later. 

 

459917691_AR-9LsGrilleRoundedCorner.jpg.9358293a7ed975068e7d6fced9f53027.jpg image.png.4bb1b8c309ca5b243353d9b481ecd0ba.png

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...