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Edgar Villchurs discussion of AR's new HF drivers (the tweeter and midrange domes)


teknofossil
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Yes, when compared to drivers from other manufacturers they looked poorly made. But, that said they performed better than many if not most of their contemporaries. Objective performance wise that is... (I add this because there are many that find the whizzer cone goodness of single driver systems to be the subjective best)

 

-T

 

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4 hours ago, teknofossil said:

Yes, when compared to drivers from other manufacturers they looked poorly made. But, that said they performed better than many if not most of their contemporaries. Objective performance wise that is... (I add this because there are many that find the whizzer cone goodness of single driver systems to be the subjective best)

 

-T

 

Ha, ha!  This was so typical of Ed Villchur.  He could care less what the drivers looked like as long as they performed as designed!  Early ARs did not have removable grills, as we know, so it was not intended to the owner to go inside to look at anything.  In fact, during those early years, a warning was gently posted on the speaker that the speaker was a sealed unit, etc., and that repair would have to be made directly by AR or by an authorized service center, not the owner.

So while the drivers might seem to be ugly (actually, some were quite beautiful),

AR-3_Tweeter_NOS-T056_005.thumb.jpg.e5f598449acd1a64fb250e15fbc65e67.jpg

the performance was simply unsurpassed.  I know of no manufacturer who had loudspeakers that could measure as flat or uniform, both on- and off-axis, as the ARs of that period.  Believe me, I've looked for decades.  Nothing JBL made came even remotely close, but some of their drivers were very finely crafted transducers and very handsome.  However, only a precious-few manufacturers published anechoic response and distortion measurements of their products.  AR loved to do it.  The AR Archives probably have 50,000 response measurements scattered throughout the files of various speakers.

The 2-inch midrange tweeter and the 1-3/8-inch super tweeters shown in the disclosure article were the prototype drivers that EV had at his lab for testing, and even the magnets were painted black originally for some reason.  That very first prototype AR-3, with the single cast-aluminum plate to house both drivers, was used as a show piece in Chicago during the summer of 1958 -- even before the speaker was introduced at the New York High Fidelity Music Show.  AR quickly redesigned that plate and used separate mounting flanges for the drivers.  Love to know whatever happened to that prototype AR-3, but it's long-gone.  The first prototype AR-1W that was shown in the patent drawing (19" x 19" x 11") later ended up in the men's room at the AR plant in Cambridge.

Tom Tyson

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Esthetics behind the grilles was clearly of no concern back in the old days with the AR.

I recall trying to peek back there as a youngster with my Dad’s 2a’s. When the grill fought me I knew enough to leave it or end up in hot water!

Even when I finally got my own 2ax and those pots plagued me with trouble, I never tried to remove the grills…. I simply dumped them in favor of the Allison’s.

 

Bill

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