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Anyone else have AR-48S speakers or have history?


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I'm starting this post to see if any interest can be generated regarding the AR-48S speaker. I have purchased a set on a bit of an impulsive act while cruising E-bay one night. These speakers were languishing to the last minutes of the auction, and there was something about the "looks" of these that caught my attention...the vertical array of the drivers had symmetry, and they looked solid.

Anyway, one click of the button and they were mine. $37 Cdn , what the heck, live a little and take a chance.

Well, unfortunately, more drivers didn't work than did work. On the positive side the cabinets are in great shape (usual little scratches and such), and are indeed very well built and solid and heavy for the size. 3/4" panel construction and the mids have their own sub-enclosure.

Both tweeters (PN 200024-1)are dead...open circuit with the multimeter. I unscrewed one of the dome/voice coils and had a look. Nothing really wrong jumped out at me. I've never really dissected drivers before, but my work background is tooling and machinery and I have a basic understanding of electrical principles. I looked for obvious disconnects of the leads from the terminal to the coil. There was no evidence of the ferrofluid though.

One of the midranges had been refoamed. Looks not quite right because the foam has an overlap joint in it...I've read here though that there is no proper fitting replacement surround for these, so I guess someone did the best they could. This one actually did make sound when I tested the speaker, and it is a teledyne with the same PN as the other. The other mid looks like the original, because it still has the yellowish rubbery (latex?) surround which looks in great shape still. It didn't work, BUT, I found one of the leads off of the terminal when I popped the mid out. Reconnected the lead and it works now. (4" - PN 200041-0 with square magnet).

Woofers look like they have been refoamed, not a bad looking job, and they worked when tested. I can't tell how well they work yet, but nothing really bad came out of them. (10" - PN 200040-0 square magnet).

I'm currently searching the web for tweeters and mids. I've left want ads here and in other forums. Nothing on ebay at the moment.

Anyone out there also have a pair of these ? Any history or cool information anyone has on these would be nice see. The odd post I have come across seems to indicate that these are a nice sounding speaker. The tweeter ssems to be a weak link though. The same tweeter is used in the AR-28S, and the AR-14 and AR-16 from what I can tell in the manuals.

Looking forward to hearing from a few folks. I can post pictures if anyone asks.



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¡§...I've read here though that there is no proper fitting replacement surround for these¡K¡¨

It is not true. The right size foam surrounds do exist though it is hard to find. I have a set on hand and no longer need them. They cost me $16.50 USD for the pair with small bottle of glue plus shipping. Email me if you are interested. I would suggest clean up both midrange drivers and re do the surrounds for both to get them back to match working order. The hardest part to do refoam job is to clean up the sticky rotted foam and the messy glue properly and neatly. To clean up a lousy refoam job will make it twice as hard and double the time needed¡K

I had used and seen enough lousy professional refoam jobs over the years. Cutting the wrong size with overlap joint is one of the problems. Other Pros just never bother to clean up the old sticky residue at all and just slap a thick layer of glue to place a new foam surround on the paper cone! It is not uncommon to see AR-3a woofers with overlap joint foam surround jobs done to them. They were done by cut down the 12¡¨ generic foam surrounds to fit the 11¡¨ AR paper cone. Even though the generic 11¡¨ foam surrounds had been made available in the U.S. for more than 20 years by couple of main distributors. They are not commonly available in the local speaker parts stores! However the right type of 11¡¨ foam surrounds which fit the AR-3a woofer perfectly was originally made in Japan with the AR-3 cloth surround mold, the half roll is wider and the foam surround material is softer. Due to the limited production run to supplied to Hong Kong and Taiwan markets, they cost $15-$20 USD a piece back in the late ¡¦80. I paid for 20 pieces and brought back to the States to refoam my AR woofers and sold few to closed friends. I had check with every single foam surround suppliers in the States and they all think I am dreaming. This is so typical of the Egomaniac mentality people who think if they had never heard of it. It must not exist anywhere else! Anyhow this right type of 11¡¨ foam surrounds had been imported to the U.S. market and sold by different venders after 2001 for a regular price of $18.50 a pair with glue.

Minh Luong


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Thanks for the response Minh. Just to clarify for other readers, you say there are proper surrounds for the 200041-0 4" AR midrange drivers ? I assume these are foam surrounds though? What is so unique about these 4" drivers that other people say there are no surrounds available ?

I will certainly contact you about your spare set, but for other readers, do you know of a source(s) for these? or what the specs are to search for the proper surround? It should be noted though, that the original surround was some type of rubber or latex material. Are there exact OEM replacements available? ie the rubber ones? This would be the only way to get original sound out of the mids. The foam replacements must change the driver response to some degree.

I would prefer ultimately, to find another original mid from a 48s that was still in good condition, to match the one that I have. This may require a small miracle to obtain one.

Do you know whether this mid was used in other models of AR speakers ?

Ken C.

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Hi, Ken

The surround kit was sold so you just have to look around to obtain a pair to restore your AR-48S midranges. All I want to bring to your attention was the right size does exist. See photo. Unfortunately I don¡¦t remember where I bought them from. The price was written on the box and it definitely sound expensive considering the 8¡¨ and 10¡¨ kits are about the same price! Why people said the 4¡¨ surrounds are not available? Ask the person who said it and I am sure you will not get any answer! This is the kind of Experts I try to stay away!

The original AR-48S midrange 200041-0 was made in the U.S. The surround was rubber compound in dark charcoal gray. As times pass the dark gray slowly fading out and turn milky yellow and the rubber became hard. The surround eventually cracked rather than crumbled like the regular foam surround. I don¡¦t know of any other AR speakers used this midrange.

AR did order OEM tweeters and midranges made for AR-48S and other models along the lines. I did order a few long times ago and the looks alone were different than the original. So good luck on questioning AR whether if the OEM units were exact match to the one built in the U.S¡K You can call AB Tech Services and see if they still have any left over? Make sure you order in pair and not just one unit.

Minh Luong


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  • 1 year later...

I have a pair of AR-48s here where the midranges have completely disentigrated rubber surrounds. Does anyone know why they chose rubber and what type was used? It might have had longer life than the typical foam edge, but whatever type they chose did not hold up like the rubber Dyna A-25 edge.

More on the AR-48S: http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/dc/dcbo...ing_type=search

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  • 4 years later...

I was able to get the correct foam surrounds for the mids from newfoam.com

It took me a few orders of trial and error to find the right surrounds,

but eventually, I got a close enough match to do a decent job.


I should note that before I finally did the re-foam on the mids myself (with a newly purchased set of mids)

I had sent my original pair of AR-48s mids to be *professionally* re-foamed by newfoam.com


They used the correct diameter foam, BUT

they attached to the front instead of the back (like the original)


they ued way too much glue IMHO


they used GROSSLY oversized dustcaps


the dustcaps were glued on off-center


I just could not feel confident that this driver would perform anything like the original

The whole countour of the face was different, and it just looked like they added way to much mass somehow.



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I should note that to do a *clean* job on these mids

you need to spend some *quality time* with an exacto knife,

or some other precise intrument that you can carefully control

to scrape off all the old rubber surround *without* damaging the cone

To acheive a result that closely matched the original,

I opted to attach the new surround to the back of cone (as you can see in the pic)

and this required me to scrape off the old rubber from the *back* of the cone.

I should note that I really like the sound of my restored AR-48s

and I think they do sound the way they should.

I chould also note that the AR-48s

was the first real speaker I ever owned.

(just dated myself :) )

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