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Guest Tranhook

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Guest Tranhook

Hi All,

Could someone please give me some info on AR-5's. I currently have a pair of AR2-ax and they look almost identical and dimension are the same.



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The AR-2ax and the AR-5 are both rated as 8 ohm systems.

The AR-5 used an 8 ohm version of the AR-3a mid. The '5 and later versions of the AR-2ax shared the same 8 ohm version of the '3a tweeter. The '5 used a 10 inch woofer very similar to the '2ax. The crossover of the '5 however is configured exactly the same way as the more sophisticated '3a crossover, with different component values.

I used to think the woofers were the same in the (later version) '2ax and '5 as they appear physically identical, but they are listed as a different part number in this website's AR parts list. There appears, to me, to be some slight differences in cone construction and inductance measurements.

The AR-5 is a sleeper. In my opinion, it blows away the 2ax in all respects and has a smoother lower midrange response than the AR-3a. It came along some years after the AR-2ax and AR-3a had been in production and was the first AR model, I believe, to sport foam surround woofers from the start.

Roy C

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  • 2 weeks later...

The AR-5 was one of the later “classic” series original AR speakers. It filled in the spot between the top-of-the-line AR-3a and the half-as-expensive AR-2ax.

The 3a had a list price of $250.00 ea. in oiled walnut; the 2ax was $128 ea. in oiled walnut; the 5 was $175 ea.

From a chronological standpoint, the original 2ax was introduced in 1964, with its older-style cloth surround 10” woofer, the 3 ½” midrange and an 8-ohm version of the “fried egg” 1 3/8” dome tweeter from the AR-3. Crossovers were 2000 and 7500Hz, price was $128 ea.

At the end of 1967, the 3a superseded the 3 (although the 3 continued to be available). The 3a introduced the new 1½” dome midrange and ¾” dome tweeter, replacing the larger dome units of the AR-3.

The AR-5 followed in 1968/69. It used 8-ohm versions of the 3a’s 1½” and ¾” dome drivers and a brand new 10” woofer with a foam surround—the industry’s first. The 5 received excellent reviews from all the major magazines and was hailed as a superb speaker, with just slightly less deep bass than the 3a. In fact, many critics of the 3a were considerably “kinder” to the 5, saying that its less heavy bass actually contributed to a more pleasing overall tonal balance, without the tendency towards “thickness” that the 3a sometimes exhibited.

Note that at the time of the 5’s introduction, the 2ax was still the “old” 2ax. In 1970, AR introduced the “new” 2ax that used the 8-ohm ¾” tweeter from the 5, and its new foam-surround 10” woofer. The 3½” midrange stayed the same as in older 2ax’s, but the crossovers were lowered from 2000 and 7500Hz to 1400 and 5000Hz respectively. In spite of the extensive improvements and upgrades, the 2ax’s price also remained unchanged at $128 ea.

The AR-5 never enjoyed anywhere near the sales success of many other AR speakers, in spite of its acoustic excellence. The second to the top of the line often struggles from a sales standpoint in virtually any market or industry. In AR’s case, the second-banana syndrome was repeated with the LST/2 and AR-90, neither one of which was the sales and publicity champ that the LST and 9 were.

Steve F.

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