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Restoring AR3as, AR5s and AR2axs


Merry2014
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I am refurbishing 3 pairs of AR speakers: 3as, 5s and 2axs. The potentiometers and drivers in them are in various states of usefulness. In terms of what is not working, I need 2 pots for the 5s, 3 tweeters, 1 for each pair and the woofers in the 2axs need re-foaming. I would like to use the good tweeter from the 2axs in either the 3as or the 5s. Is there any reason I should not do this? Similarly, I would like to use 2 of the good pots from the 2axs in the 5s. Are there any problems doing this?

This means I will need to source 2 new or replacement pots (for those taken from the 2axs) and 3 tweeters (a single unit for either the 3as or the 5s to work in combination with the good unit taken from the 2axs and a matching pair for the 2axs). I will also need 1 pair of woofer foams for the 2axs.

Any recommendations on what components I should use, where I can get them or any other thoughts will be much appreciated. I live in the UK.

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  • Merry2014 changed the title to Restoring AR3as, AR5s and AR2axs

Welcome Merry2014

11 hours ago, Merry2014 said:

Is there any reason I should not do this? Similarly, I would like to use 2 of the good pots from the 2axs in the 5s. Are there any problems doing this?

Yes there are reasons not to do this.

You are in the UK, which could make some recommendations impractical or certainly more expensive.  How correct do you want to be?  Is "ok" good enough or are you looking for the classic AR sound?

 

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Are these UK variations of the speakers, or the original American versions? Any photos?

The AR-3a was a statement product, and over 50 years later remains a viable high fidelity component that has also manged to appreciate in value; original-condition or properly-restored AR-3a speakers are worth a little bit of money in the classic hi-fi and enthusiast's market. Also, the AR-5 has a strong following and an enhanced value.

So, what's your goal? Are you interested in using any/all of these speakers in your own system, or do you intend to sell them? If it's the former, I'd put all of my effort into properly restoring the AR-3a, which would include cabinet refinishing if necessary, original or rebuilt drivers, new or replacement pots, and new crossover capacitors. The aim would be to stay as close to the original as you can, assuring both an accurate-as-possible sound, and a decent return on investment should you decide to sell them down the line. Doing it "as good as possible" is not inexpensive, but the end result would be more than worth it. 

 

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These were given to me by JKent and they are excellent, I also insert the photos of an original Heathkit AS-2A board (the AR2a kit by Acoustic Research) so you can see how they fit in their seats. Beware that you have to make a cut on the masonite to accommodate the "hinge" of the new Pot!

 

Original Pots (the holes and center distances are the same in AR3 / 3a / AR2a, etc. in all AR production)

1119683711_AR3al39.thumb.jpg.5627e631b3a29da77f2f10f024baca9e.jpg819810396_AR3al40.jpg.2873654669d2f0e93950fe6373a5cd9e.jpg

New CLS Pots (there is about 1 cm between the 2 installed pots, so no problem).

1202004077_AR3al42.thumb.jpg.74924a48497698e14ca27d463178775c.jpg1251643114_AR3al41.thumb.jpg.ee0688ea19d8c4985b04e29e7194800f.jpg

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On 10/5/2021 at 4:24 AM, Merry2014 said:

I am refurbishing 3 pairs of AR speakers: 3as, 5s and 2axs.

To me, this implies that disassembly has commenced.

16 hours ago, ar_pro said:

Are these UK variations of the speakers, or the original American versions? Any photos?

Please supply photos.  To see what we are working with, begin by at least posting images of the faces of all cabinets with grills off, so we can clearly see the drivers. 

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4 hours ago, Giorgio AR said:

Beware that you have to make a cut on the masonite to accommodate the "hinge" of the new Pot!

The "hinge" is the positioning tab. You need it to prevent the pot from turning. These replacement have a shorter threaded section than the originals so there is no room for a lock washer. Giorgio marked the new pots to show how the terminals correspond to the AP pots (B, 1,2).

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Hi all, thanks for your comments. I think I should clarify what I am actually doing. I am not undertaking a full restoration/refurbishment; rather I am having the 3 sets of speakers repaired and serviced. I am not undertaking this work myself; it is being done for me by professional speaker engineers. I cannot post any pictures because the speakers are with the engineers. They asked me to give them an indication of how much I wanted to spend on the replacement parts needed and that is why I came here, seeking your advice. Parts are hard to come by in the UK. Whilst parts are available from the USA, the price quickly escalates due to the postage and customs duties costs.

I need to discuss this with my engineers but I'm thinking I will buy 2 pairs of potentiometers from JKent for the AR5s and 2 pairs of HiVi Q1R tweeters for the AR3as and the AR2axs. I have read that some extra work is needed on the tweeters before using them (inductors and capacitor changes) but I don't really understand what this means. Hopefully, my engineers will but it would help me if somebody could spell out to me exactly what is needed.

My engineers are also going to replace any capacitors that need replacing and re-foam the AR2ax woofers for me.

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