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AR98LS-LSi Kit of Parts


AR55
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For the past 10+ years I’ve had a pair of AR98LS cabinets & a pair of AR98LSi cabinets stored in my garage.  Recently, garage space has become a premium & I either needed to do something with them or get rid of them.  The 98LSi cabinets were in horrible shape.  They were free & I had only gotten them for their crossovers.  The 98LS cabinets were scratched-up but were definitely candidates for restoration.  In addition, they came with a nice pair of grilles.   

Over the years I have acquired a stock of replacement drivers for my existing 9LSi’s, 98LSi’s & 98LS’, so I had the drivers that I needed:  Tonegen 210003-2A woofers & 2100450B LMR’s along with AR 200048 Dual Domes. 

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AR98LSi Crossover & Drivers from Storage

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AR98LSi Crossover, 200048 Dual Domes, 2100450B LMR & 210003-2A woofers

I had originally planned to upgrade the 98LS crossover and keep the 98LSi crossover as a spare, but I had forgotten that this 98LS has the newer version of the 98LS crossover with the capacitors buried in glue under a circuit board.  I applaud Briodo and his 9LSi crossover work, but I wasn’t about to try to replace this 98LS crossover’s capacitors, let alone try to remove a capacitor from the circuit and add resistors to upgrade it to a 98LSi.  Instead, I decided to just use the 98LSi crossovers with their original capacitors in the 98LS cabinets.

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               AR98LSi Crossover                                                               AR98LS Crossover (Later Version)

Removing the crossovers was a chore.  In one of the cabinets the crossover was held in place with twenty-six staples and a 1½” wide ring of glue.  I didn’t even try to pull the wires out of the 8” LMR sub-enclosure.  Those wires were locked in place with a 2” diameter glob of glue.  I just cut the wires & spliced them with the wires from the 98LSi crossover.  I used a foam seal & screwed the crossover in place.  Someone down the line will have a much easier time removing it.

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AR98LS LMR Wires Glued in Place

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AR98LSi Crossover Installed in AR98LS Cabinet - Screwed in Place with Spliced LMR Wires                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

As I noted earlier, the 98LS cabinets were pretty scratched up & one cabinet had a slightly damaged top rear corner.  I repaired the damaged corner with a ½” x ½” piece of veneer/particle board cutout of one of the 98LSi cabinets.  I then sanded each cabinet to remove the existing finish & most of the scratches.  I followed that with 3 coats of natural Watco Danish Oil.  Wet sanding the first coat.  The AR-101 finish calls for medium or even dark Watco Danish Oil, but I prefer the look of a natural Watco Danish Oil finish.  I feel that it gives the speaker a little more character.

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Restored AR98LS-LSi

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Restored AR98LS-LSi – Corner Repair

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Restored AR98LS-LSi

How do the speaker’s sound?  They may not have the subwoofer level bass response of my 9LSi speakers, but otherwise they give them a run for their money.  The 98LS-LSi is too big & heavy to be called a bookshelf speaker, but I have always felt that it was AR’s best non-tower speaker.  Not counting my labor, I have probably spent less than $650 on these speakers.  It is doubtful that you can find anything in the market today for $650 that can compete with them.

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Your work looks spectacular, and the crossover is so familiar to those dealing with the LSi family after AR went to the printed circuit board design.  Good news: so much cleaner design.  Bad news: pain in the butte to recap when required!

With the right amplifier, those speakers are amazing!!  Listen to Eagles Hell Freezes Over version of Hotel California and tell me these speakers can't fill the room!  

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