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AR -1, 1W, front moulding trim ?


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A question for Tom. Were there variations in the trim piece around the grill. I've only seen the single bevel type ? I'm asking because, after viewing your AR-1 ser. #0006, I see it has a double angle beveled front trim.

Oh, and congradulations on finding such an amazing piece of AR history. Did you restore this speaker? I think this keeps early collectors searching, 0004,0005, 0007 & 0008 could be out there!


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You are observant. There were variations in the cabinet molding on early AR-1s, and the thickness of the molding as this series developed into the AR-3 and later the AR-3a. The first versions had a flat area and then the bevel; later ones did not have that variation. I believe the change occurred in the mid-1955 timeframe, and the molding became a one-dimension bevel. I have several AR-1s and AR-1Ws with the flat and beveled molding.


Fig.1 AR-1 SN 0006 Cabinet Molding


Fig.2 AR-1 SN 0074 Cabinet Molding (bow in top of cabinet due to lens distortion -- camera not held parallel)

Finding AR-1 #0006 was pure chance. An item appeared on eBay entitled, "AK-1 with hand-written serial number." At first I didn't realize what it was, and then as I read on, I realized that the owner thought it read "AK-1" whereas it was actually "AR-1." It was at an asking price of $50 and no reserve. Once I realized exactly what it was, I asked no more questions and bid $50 with a reserve of $5000, just in case. Nobody else seem to realize what it was, and I was able to win the bid for $50. I FedEx'd an AR-1 carton and outer carton with FedEx return label to the seller, to be sure, and got it here safely. This AR-1 was one of maybe eight or ten that were hand-made in the fall of 1954 for the New York Audio Fair, and for dealer demo units. It found its way out to Palm Springs, California -- I have no earthly idea how it got out there -- but it eventually ended up in a thrift shop. Maybe it was an early west-coast demonstrator, I don't know. AR-1 SN 0074, shown above, belonged to Edward Tatnall Canby of *Audio* magazine, given to him by Ed Villchur for review. It's review is shown in one of the early magazines. It still works flawlessly, although it was treated as a coffee table for many years by Canby, and it has numerous scratches and marks. He actually called me a few years ago (shortly before he passed away), and I sent him a box for that one as well. He was discarding a lot of things given to him over the years while at *Audio* magazine. Both of these AR-1s will one day head to a museum.


Fig.3 "AK-1" (AR-1) Hand-Written Label (the "R" looks like a "K" at first glance)

--Tom Tyson

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Very interesting, AK indeed...you must have been thrilled and a bit stunned at $50. for a speaker which is almost a prototype it's so early, pure gold for an AR historian. The hand written model number and serial no. is a fabulous detail. I assume the address change from MT. Auburn street to Thorndyke street happened in mid 1955? I myself have not seen an AR speaker with the Auburn st. label as your #0006 has.

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