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AR-2ax Find and Restoration (and date??)


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A few days ago I was walking the dog and came across an estate sale that was giving away everything for free. I didn't see anything interesting but I asked if they happened to have any old stereo equipment. They did! They ended up giving me a pair of AR-2ax's (along with a Pioneer PL-518 turntable and a Kenwood TK-66 receiver). Quite a find! 

As usual, the hi and mids were not working. Today I opened them up and cleaned the pots. Thankfully, all the drivers work and sound great.

I think I am going to go ahead and do a full restoration on these: new caps, new pots, seal the surrounds with the good stuff from Roy, new grill cloth, and refinish the cabinets. 

Question for all of you: I took some pictures of the stamps on the drivers and it looks like they say 1958. Is that possible? I didn't think 2ax's were made until later. ??




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2 hours ago, genek said:

First generation 2ax was 1964. Earlier models may have used the same drivers. Hard to imagine drivers sitting in factory parts storage that long, though. Any sign that driver's may have been replaced?

The grilles were still glued on with the original glue and everything indicates these are original. Were the red dome tweeters even made in 1958? It could be the stamps are wrong, but it's odd that it appears on both the mids and tweeters. Couldn't read the woofer stamps.

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Yeah, that seems improbable, doesn't it? The serial numbers are 77623 and 78028. The '58 stamps are on the 77623. I haven't opened the other one up yet but I'm going to predict different date stamps on that one.

I do believe they were assembled at the same time though, as both crossover/control boards were originally installed upside down. Unfortunately, the original owner used them in the upside-down position so the tops are really scratched up.

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  • 1 month later...

Update to these AR-2ax's. They have been completely restored: new caps, pots cleaned, woofer surrounds sealed. A Dremel with a wire brush works great for cleaning the pots. It took some serious sanding but the tops of the cabinets that were trashed turned out pretty nice. I know that some will consider it blasphemy, but I stained them with an ebony stain to give them a dark walnut look (the reddish walnut wasn't going to work with the room these are going in). The original grills had permanent stains so I dyed them black and made a second set with some vintage looking fabric from Amazon. I guess I can switch them depending on my mood.  Comparing them to some '68 3a's it surprising how different they are. The 2-ax's seem to have more pronounced mids while the 3a's are boosted in the upper mids. The 3a's seem more balanced overall and generally win out over the 2ax's for me. There are some songs where I prefer the 2-ax's so it depends on the material to some extent. Both are great sounding speakers.






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