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Removing Grill Cloth

Guest Freond

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After considerable research on how to remove the grill cloth of an AR-3a, all I've been able to discover is, "It's difficult," and that apparently the cloth is attached to a frame which is attached (with velcro?) to the front of the baffle. Is that correct? How does one remove it without damaging cloth or frame?

I have a nice pair of 3a's but one seems to sometimes have weak or distorted base, and I want to check out the condition of the woofer. It was supposedly re-coned before I bought them on eBay a couple of years ago, but I'm not sure of its current condition.

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Hi there;

Your grille cloths, if original from AR, are very likely hot glued on.

You can destroy the frames and cloths attempting to remove them.

Also damage to the cabinet frames is very likely with removal of the frames.

Both the cloths and frames are no longer available.

There is numerous write-ups regarding this subject here.

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I don't know if the grill cloths are original, but they are in very nice condition. I'm pretty sure that these speakers have been worked on, so I presume they've been removed once before. I've searched this website but can't find any details on removal; it there are any, can someone point me in the right direction. What's the procedure for removing them? What tools are required? Where and how does the frame attach? I don't want to just start tugging on things when I don't really know what I'm doing.

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The 3a's had different ways of attaching the grills depending on the year.

Yes, you are right, it is difficult and must be done extremely carefully or you will dent the wooden lip on the front or, worse, snap the grill frames to pieces.

You have to work the putty knife around the edge of the grill without prying hard against the front trim of the speakers. I've not accomplished this without putting a mark on the cabinets put once, even patience (which you need in abundance) is no substitute for being certain that you are *not* prying against the cabinet.

Some cardboard, something sturdy to pry against atop the cardboard, and a really flexible tool of some sort are probably your best bet.

Your grills are probably glued to the baffle. You have to slowly work some flexible thing underneath the grill frame and "poke-at" the glue until it eventually gives-up. You need to work all around the speaker and not try to "go in from one end" else you run a higher risk of snapping the frame (very easily done). And, of course, you need to be working under the frame and not poke your drivers.

It's frustrating, it's time-consuming, and it's "dangerous," but it isn't impossible. Don't get impatient. The glue will eventually let-go.

If yours are velcroed on, it's still scarey because the frame still isn't up to a lot of force and it's entirely possible to break the frame by applying too much force to one end. The frames are really flimsy.

Hope that helps.


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That's a lot of help--thanks!

If it's glued on, where is the glue attached? Along the outer edges of the frame, or near the openings, or all over? Do I have to go through the cloth in front of the drivers' openings to get at the glue, or can I just work from the edges?

Once the cover is off, how are people reattaching the frames these days, to allow for easy future maintenance?

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Sometimes the grille can be loosened by the use of an aggressive threaded screw (such as a wallboard screw) in the grille badge screw hole. Screw it in far enough to grab as much of the frame as possible without screwing it into the cabinet. Use pliers to gently tug on the screw. The badge hole can be repaired later from the rear, if necessary, with heavy duty wood filler.

Be very careful, it is easy to snap the fiberboard frame. Once you can get under it, proceed as Bret described above. I use a thin buck store awl, bent to hook under the frame.

After removing the grille, it is easy to remove the old hot glue. I usually use velcro to re-attach the grille frame.

Attached are some photos of the glue placement, and the "badge hole" method described above.





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