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CluggDayton

AR-4xa tweeter dead or not??

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I took a chance on a pair of ar-4xa's that I kept seeing on craigslist that were pretty close to me. He had a couple pictures and said they were all original and he had no way to test them. The cabinets were in good enough shape. They just need a good ole refinish job and probably new grill cloth. I bought them for $75 and assumed they're would be an issue of some kind. I got them home and hooked them up and lo and behold they both had nice sound coming out. Upon a L to R balance check it was clear that one of the tweeters wasn't working. One speaker sounded great with awesome bass and just delightful highs from the tweeter. I was genuinely impressed. First time I've ever heard these. The other one had a perfectly functioning woofer but a seemingly dead tweeter. These are the front wired versions and you can tell that the one that doesn't work has been messed with at some point. The tape is off the wires and you can see in the pics the wires coming off the tweeter aren't lined up straight and you can see a couple screws were over tightened and twisted the material under it a bit. The cone is dented in a little but not ripped. One of the real fine wires on the cone is broke in a spot, it's hard to see in the pics but it's the top wire. I rigged up a piece of speaker wire and bridged the gap where the break was to see if I could get some sound. I tried it from the break to different spots further down and never got any sound. I then took bare speaker wire hooked up to an amp turned down low with the bass off and touched the speaker wire to the copper wires on the front of the tweeter. When I did I got sound coming from the woofer but nothing at all from the tweeter. Is this enough to declare that tweeter dead?? I also messed with the 3 way switch quite thoroughly while bridging that break to no avail.. The switch on the other speaker works fine without any static even. Is it possible that switch failed and prevents the tweeter from working?? Could the crossover cap be a culprit?? What's the best way to determine for certain if that tweeter is junk or not?? Any help and advice would be much appreciated. I intend on restoring these and keeping them. I'm starting with the tweeter and will likely replace the crossover caps and reseal everything and put the appropriate stuff on the woofer surrounds. I'm open to suggestions on that as well. I've never done cloth surrounds. It seems these original tweeters are a bit hard to find. If this one can't be repaired, are there any respectable new replacements or retrofits?? Thanks in advance for any help. I plan on keeping this thread going, complete with pictures, throughout the restoration. I always like to read a story from start to finish on here so I'll do the same.20200628_141853.jpg20200628_141803.jpg20200628_141754.jpg20200628_141640.jpg20200628_141616.jpg20200628_141534.jpg20200628_141510.jpg20200628_141452.jpg20200628_141418.jpg20200628_141942.jpg
 
 

 

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7 hours ago, CluggDayton said:

Is it possible that switch failed and prevents the tweeter from working?? Could the crossover cap be a culprit?? What's the best way to determine for certain if that tweeter is junk or not?? Any help and advice would be much appreciated. I intend on restoring these and keeping them. I'm starting with the tweeter and will likely replace the crossover caps and reseal everything and put the appropriate stuff on the woofer surrounds.

 

It isn't the switch or the cap. The broken tiny voice coil wire is a common point of failure with this tweeter. If the issue is just a broken lead, the enamel coating on the lead must be removed before you will be able to make a successful connection. It is not an easy repair, and it may be burned out anyway. Whatever the case may be, the tweeter is the culprit.

I can be of assistance with the woofer. Send me a PM.

Roy

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Welcome Clugg

Is it just me? I can't view any of your pics

Kent

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Ah. Nice speakers and well worth the price.

Many of us here are on AK as well but when it comes to "AR and its New England progeny" this is your best bet. RoyC is the go-to guy on all things AR and he cooked up the ONLY goo you should use on cloth surrounds. Robert (ra.ra.) has made it his mission to become the resident expert on all iterations of the AR-4. So you are sure to get good advice here, including whether or not to even bother resealing the woofer surrounds.

I'll be very interested to see ra.ra's comments. the 4xa was "walnut grained" which means vinyl (ugh) but you mentioned refinishing so I assume you've found these to be wood veneer (?). Some 4xa's had foam-surround woofers but yours are cloth. As I understand it, the xa sort of evolved throughout its run, with some changes being made. I think your tweeters are the same as the ones in the AR-6 (or was it 7?). You have a few options: Find a matching tweeter, Find 2 AR-4x tweets and convert the pair to 4x, use phenolic ring tweeters (not original but cheap and easy). Maybe others. It will be interesting to see what capacitor you have. If it's a big blue Sprague can it "may" be OK. Otherwise you'll want to replace it. 10uF I think.

Roy & Robert are also on AK but I hope you will continue to document your progress here on CSP.

Kent

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Here's some better pics of the break in the tinsel wire. I tried bridging the break again as it was hooked up with a small length of wire and never got any sound. I think it may be dead. Out of my league to repair at the least I believe.

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I believe the cabinets to be wood veneer.. I'm not a wood expert or anything but I've seen wood grained vinyl speakers before and these don't appear to be that. If they are it sure fooled me. Here's some better pics. That big scratch on the bottom looks like a real wood scratch to me. The corner there where there's a little separation looks like it's kinda splintered like wood at the top too.

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The woofer had the square magnet. The tweeter is dated the 49th week of 73. Here's the crossover. Look familiar to anyone? I wasn't expecting to see that silver cap in there. It's usually the blue sprague or wax cap right?

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