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AR-4x: 3rd Time's a charm?


JKent
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These AR-4x's were the first speakers I bought, back in 1970. And they were the first I restored, when I joined CSP in 2006. John O'Hanlon walked me through it: New Zen capacitors and new L-pads. I used some "vintage" grille cloth but it wasn't right (see 1st picture).

A couple of years later RoyC inspired me to do a mod: New drivers and crossovers from Avid 100s. A simple mod: They are drop-in replacements (see 2nd photo). Woofer is beefy, with a rubber surround. Tweeter is the then-ubiquitous phenolic ring tweeter. Avid used a film cap (10uF I think) and a 3-way switch that fit the AR's pot hole perfectly. The AR-4x cabinets are way better looking than the crappy vinyl-covered boxes the Avids were in. At that time I replaced the "vintage" cloth with Weichelt linen from 123 Stitch.

I recently scored a pair of empty AR-4x cabinets and, because of the sentimental value attached to my originals, I transferred the Avid guts to the "new" cabinets and put my original AR drivers back in the original cabinets. 

Because the Weichelt 18 count Irish linen is no longer available I used 28 count Irish linen from CharlesCraft. It's quite inexpensive and because it's lighter weight than the fabric from 123 Stitch I believe it is very acoustically transparent. Added some nice repro badges from ebay seller audiotagsiowa.

I rebuilt the 4x crossovers using the Zen caps I had saved (sadly, those are no longer available). Original #5 inductor and the heavy duty replacement pots I imported from China (shameless commerce dept: I have these for sale in the FS section). New xo in picture 3. The 4x woofer's cloth surrounds were given a light coat of Roy's goo. Some have suggested that may not be necessary because the 4x is not totally sealed, due to the porous dust cap.

The 4x and the "AR-vid" speakers are near-twins. The real ARs got the 18 count linen grilles and my reproduction brass logos. The AR-4x/Avid 100 mash-up I'm calling "ARvid400x". Even made my own paper labels for the backs 😃

They sound similar but not the same. The Avids sound very very good to my ears (and Roy's).  If it hadn't been for the sentimental value of my ol' 4x's I would have stuck with the Avid transplants.

 

finishedoutside4x2.jpg

Avid_vs_AR_rear.jpg

My AR4x resto_1.jpg

My AR4x resto_14.jpg

My AR4x resto_11.jpg

ARvid 400x.jpg

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Bravo Kent! You have successfully restored your original pair of AR4x over fifty years now ... and you have an additional pair of cabinets that enhances the Avid components, you could also stack them, maybe horizontally and tell us the final result (I think great).
I really like the rear label identifying the model, components and modifications, all of which allows the eventual restoration of another pair of AR4x.

Giorgio.

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Thanks Giorgio and Jessi

I have considered stacking. Just don't seem to have the room to do that.

Maybe I need to clarify regarding the cloth. The first 4x resto used "vintage" cloth that was not right. The 1st photo may look OK but the color and texture were not at all authentic. When I did the 4x/Avid mod I changed the grille to the 18 count lambswool by Weichelt. Very authentic but no longer available so when I restored the modded speakers back to AR-4x I kept the 18 count linen on those. Then, when I put the Avid drivers/xo into the "new" 4x cabinets I needed grille cloth. So the "ARvid" speakers got 28 count linen by CharlesCraft. The 5th photo above and the closeups below show 18 count (AR) on the left, 28 count (Avid)on the right.

The CharlesCraft stuff is pretty nice. I used it on the Rompicollo speakers shown in this thread: https://community.classicspeakerpages.net/topic/10396-are-these-ar-speakers/#comment-122190 and the AR-7s shown in this thread https://community.classicspeakerpages.net/topic/5172-ar-7-advice/#comment-77561 

 

AR 18ct.jpg

AR 28ct.jpg

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