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Newbie restoring AR2ax speakers


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Dear AR audiophiles,

New member here. My wife of 29 years has a pair of decrepit 2ax’s she’s owned since before we met. Over the years she’s waffled about keeping vs unloading them. For our 30th anniversary I’d like to give her these speakers restored. I plan on using the resources on this site—and elsewhere—for the process. I understand basic electronics and have some facility with a soldering iron.

What I’d like to hear from you who’ve restored these are the pitfalls you wished you had known about before beginning; pitfalls that nearly derailed your restoration projects. Also, any links to “must know” resources would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.


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Welcome to CSP.

Your best resource available for this is the members of this forum.

Post some photos so we can see what constitutes "decrepit." Shoot all sides, and if the labels are still on the backs, closeups of those. A description of how they sound would also help. 

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Ditto Gene's comment. This is THE place for AR. Be sure th download the AR-3a restoration guide. Much of that is applicable to the 2ax. 

Try to resize your pics to about 100mb or so. Get a shot with the grilles off if you can.


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  • 3 months later...

Dear fellow audiophiles,

Attached are some pictures of the speakers. You can see they’re in rough shape. The potentiometers turn freely, the wires bridging terminals T and 2 are intact.

At low volume both woofers work—no high volume test because of their condition—tweeter X works, can’t tell if midrange X works. Neither Y tweeter nor midrange works.E59E5BF5-3613-480E-8126-5F94A83AD1F4.thumb.jpeg.53b92fe7f41141cf7b53350a5a90c049.jpeg

Thanks for looking. I’m just getting started.














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Well don’t keep the OP in the dark. 
Looks like the woofers were replaced with no-name subs, probably because of foam rot. They should look like this:


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1 hour ago, genek said:

No-name tweeters, too.

oooo I was so focused on the woofers I missed those.


This could be a big project, and not cheap. But it could also be very rewarding. The 2ax is a really nice speaker. So here's what you'll need:

  • The cabinets need work as you can see but they look basically sound. Do you have the skills to refurbish them?
  • The grilles aren't great and I think I see a hole. The "perfect" fabric is no longer available but you can probably find some suitable linen.
  • Grille badges are missing. There are reproductions but they aren't perfect.
  • The woofers have to go. They need refoaming but they are not original. Ebay often has originals.
  • One mid is good. Let's hope the silent one is too. Could be a crossover or pot issue.
  • The tweeters are wrong. Maybe you could keep them, since there's not that much that you'll hear in the high frequencies. Used originals will have issues. There are other options if you decide to go down that path.
  • Capacitors have to be replaced. No biggie.
  • The pots should probably be replaced. You could try cleaning them but they usually go bad again. You can use inexpensive L-pads or more expensive potentiometers.

So. You in for a big project? You'll get plenty of advice here and IMHO the results could be well worth it.


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Not to discourage anyone but.

About $150 for used woofers.

About the the same for tweeters and another $50. plus for X-over and pots,  etc.

Then, refinishing, leaving one too consider waiting till a more complete pair are available.

Only if one was hopeful and inclined to do all the work and such, only then would it be possible to enjoy these.

Or, this may end up only as fodder for forum members to comment about.

Yet, the thought remains, has this forum ever turned down a possible restoration on these pages?  I think not.


P.S. Has it ever stopped me from stockpiling woofers and tweeters? No, of course not and is due to my affection of AR's sound-quality for so many years, 52 years to be exact but, that's just me.  However, AR-2ax's were very popular and decent pairs are still out there for possible purchase. So, have at it but consider some costs involved from the start either way-you decide.

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I think the question is whether the OP wants a full-on restoration or just to get them looking and sounding halfway decent. They have aftermarket drivers that have aged out, so someone was probably listening to them not sounding original for a long time.

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