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AR dual tweeters AR-2 & AR-2A


dynaco_dan
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Hi there;

Here is an example of the early AR dual tweeters used in the AR-2 and also the AR-2A speaker systems.

I received this very well packaged unit recently and it looks as good in my hand as it did in the auction, nice treat.

The cones themselves have a typical slight ripple from the insulation behind the cone but not awefully bad.

I have no reason to open up these babies to look inside.

They were originally mounted in a cast aluminum housing in the earliest AR-2 speaker systems.

This housing here is a moulded plastic, possibly ABS, later version which houses the two third party manufactured tweeters.

Either AR or the tweeter manufacturer wedged small pieces of fiberglas into the rear of the cone, between the cone and the steel frame to dampen resonances, presumably.

They were pie shaped wedges and one was knotched for the tweeter leads.

They were also wired in parallel just outside of the plastic case.

Heathkit also sold a kit version of the AR-2 and the speaker wedges even were done by the kit builder.

There is scrap pieces of fiberglas inside the back of the plastic housing and the holes where the wires leave the case are glued, every little detail is looked after.

Interestingly, when AR did the response printout for the tweeters they only used one tweeter, straight on axis.

It had a limit of just above 12k, gently tapering downward but if you read old past test reports there was a love of this speaker in the AR-2 system with certain instruments, deficiencies, warts and all.

So much for not having a 20k highend limit and it not being a problem.

Does smoothness of frequency response and low distortion more than offset frequency extremes?

I would appreciate hearing from anyone with more information or just comments on this tweeter system.

Also the complete AR-2 or AR-2A speaker systems.

The manufacturer was a Carbonneau (spel) of which I know nothing about.

How did AR choose this particular manufacturer and driver and arrive at the dual angled enclosure?

AR did not seem to have many lemons, that is for sure.

I envy TomT having the capability to listen to each individual speaker system from the smallest to the largest with no rush to shut them off and with any type music.

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Guest matty g

>Hi there;

>

>Here is an example of the early AR dual tweeters used in the

>AR-2 and also the AR-2A speaker system

Vern;

When these were used in the 2a system they were considered midranges, as the 2a had the new dome "super tweeter". As midranges they performed pretty well, considering that they were just ordinary radio speakers with treated edges and fiberglass pie pieces stuffed behind them. This design was "borrowed" by Fisher Radio Corp. for the XP series (I've got XP7's with a very similar setup) as well as Wharfdale and scores of others. I'm told the 2ax with the improved single mid driver is much more responsive in that register, but I grew up with the old style mid setup and the dome tweeter (2a) and always loved the midrange response from it, especially the vocals. They seemed very warm and smooth, never a hint of harsness.

Matt

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Hi Matt;

Do you still have the AR-2A's?

What type music did you use with them?

Less than 15 minutes after I saved the write-up here there was 25 viewers.

Must have caught a few eyes.

Interesting that the AR-2AX's mid driver was also the early AR-4's tweeter that Consumer Report's liked so much, way back in time.

AR picked several third party successful driver blends.

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Guest matty g

>Hi Matt;

>

>Do you still have the AR-2A's?

>

>What type music did you use with them?

>

>Less than 15 minutes after I saved the write-up here there was

>25 viewers.

>

>Must have caught a few eyes.

>

>Interesting that the AR-2AX's mid driver was also the early

>AR-4's tweeter that Consumer Report's liked so much, way back

>in time.

>

>AR picked several third party successful driver blends.

Hi Vern;

No, sadly I don't have that original pair of 2a's. A Sherwood SEL-400 amplifier went absolutely berserk one day and destroyed them both. The amplifier was destroyed shortly thereafter. They were my father's speakers which he bought about a week before I was born - he was VERY fond of them, as was I. After he passed away I inherited them and enjoyed them until that day my amp went nuts. I do have another set of AR2a's, and they are nice, but they don't have the AR mids or tweeters in them. Not the same.

We mostly listened to international music on them. FM radio in NY in the late sixties was really quite something. Much Indian tabla music, Greek music, my brothers Byrds albums, my Mamas & Pappas and Beatles (not to mention all those 45's - Dads poor Empire cartridge!). Dad mostly listened to classical on them later, but the pots were going an they sounded very dull. I fixed them up for him eventually, but I think he was listening to them for years without tweeters!

Take Care

Matt

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Interesting that you should post this now, Vern, as I just picked up a pair of original AR2 speakers. Maybe it's my old ears, but I don't find them lacking too much in the high end. The AR2a's that I have are certainly more extended, but there's something about the smooth, mellow sound of the AR2 that I find most enjoyable. Or maybe the fact that I'm a retired history teacher plays a part in my enjoyment of a 50 year old pair of speakers.

Thanks for the post and the pics.

Bob

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The AR2a added the orange "fried egg" tweeter to AR2. I've got a pair of both AR2a and AR2ax, both right now in need of repair. Sadly, I accidentally damaged one of the AR2a woofer voice coils by overloading it. It's the old cast frame type and I was suprised at how excellent it really is. Deep bass was astounding, definitely better than KLH 6. Unfortunately, the rest of the range was not so good IMO. There seems nothing special about these midrange drivers and the tweeter puts out very little sound even when the pot is bypassed. Are mine both defective? I don't think so there is no sign of any distortion out of them, just very weak output even with the caps replaced. However, by adding three 3/8" polys, one direct and padded down and two indirect, and a little judicious adjustment of the tone controls on my Pioneer SX950 receiver, they played beautifully, very satisfactory sound, very well balanced and very clear. Unfortunately I've run out of spare equalizers, I think I could do even better. Haven't done anything with the AR2axs yet. The woofers are the stamped frame type and need refoaming and I have to clean the pots and replace the caps. Maybe later this year if I find some time.

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Hi Joe;

Do you still have a pair that you own and use, even ocassionly?

I know you have a special place in your heart for the AR-3's.

Have you ever had the opportunity to hear the difference between the AR-3 and AR-3A tweeters?

If so, please comment.

Anyone for that matter, please.

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Hi Vern,

Yes, I now have a pair (I previously had just one....unfinished pine serial #230) that I just acquired and have been listening to on and off for a few days now. I also have the 2a's...and the 2ax's (both pre and post 1970), and two pair of 5's (one with the European style sleeker cabinet), and a pair of 3a's (also the European style cabinet), and a pair of 4's and 4x's, and of course the 3's. I love all of them, as they are each similar in their sonic signature, yet different as well. The things they have in common which have captured my ears since I bought my first pair of 4x's back in 1968 (still have 'em!) are great bass for such a small cabinet, and that smoooooth non-fatiguing New England sound.

I have a lot of other speakers as well, and I do listen to them on occasion, but I always seem to come home to AR. I'll try and post some pics of my listening room if I can get the camera from my lovely, extremely understanding and tolerant wife of 36 years.

Bob ..........(it's not Joe). It's a long story. :D

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No problem, Vern.......even I get confused sometimes as to what my name is. :D

In any case, I was given the name joelongwood by my school principal (I was a history teacher in the Longwood Junior High School) because I was so heavily involved in all the student activities (talent shows, dances, student government elections, etc). So he started calling me joe longwood. When I got an e-mail address, I figured I would use that.

But my real name is Bob................I think.

BTW.....this is one helluva nice place to hang out, and you're a major part of that Vern. Judging by your thoughtful, reasoned, and informative posts, you are a true gentleman.

Bob

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Hi Bob;

My name is really, Barbara. lol lol Just joking.

Thank you for the compliment.

Joe Nino-Hernes, a very nice man, records live settings and has a very high standard of what he will accept in recordings.

He has a special place for AR-3's.

There is a number of really nice members here from different countries that do write here.

I have been here for a little while and do try to add to the database of hifi knowledge.

You will see that there is some very technical writers here and this adds some meat to my potatoes. lol

It is a very good site to come and join in.

It is well maintained for language and respect.

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Hi again;

The AR 1 3/8" tweeter shared the same magnetic structure as the 10" AR alnico aluminum framed woofers.

The difference between an AR-3 and AR-2 1 3/8" tweeter was the AR-3 was 4 ohm and the AR-2 was 8 ohms.

Other than that, they were identical.

Of course subbing a 4 ohm tweeter into an AR-2 system would mean that the output would be higher by about 1 - 2 dB.

The reverse, subbing an 8 ohm tweeter into an AR-3 would cause a reduction of the highs by about 1 - 2 dB.

Maybe the AR-2's would sound a little better by subbing? MMMMMMM

With the AR-3T and AR-3ST accessory system's available, the same tweeter was available for use with other speaker system's as well.

I do not know how many of each were sold to determine their popularity.

There appeared to be a lot of work to manufacture these, as small as they were.

I have seen a few pairs of these available on the auction block the last few years.

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I still use my AR-2's on a regular basis. They are great speakers, and they reside in my studio. I also own AR-3a's as well. I still like the AR-3 better. The alnico super tweeter seems to have this magical quality to it. There is this spooky realistic quality to the high end that I feel is lacking in the later tweeter.

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>The AR 1 3/8" tweeter shared the same magnetic structure

>as the 10" AR alnico aluminum framed woofers.

>The difference between an AR-3 and AR-2 1 3/8" tweeter

>was the AR-3 was 4 ohm and the AR-2 was 8 ohms.

Vern,

I believe the same orange dome, alnico tweeter was used for both. The dcr is low, below 2 ohms. I just double checked an early pair of 2ax's in the "restore" pile against an AR-3...same tweeter, same impedance.

Roy

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Hi Roy;

Have you ever popped off a 1 3/8" dome to see what, if anything, was underneath it.

The 3/4" dome had a foam of some sort, I believe, to lessen resonances.

I've read that the foam pieces leak into the gap and cause noises.

Unfortunately, I've read that the deterioration of the foam caused problems with the tweeter in later use, possibly buzzing.

Also I've read where the pressure from the foam pushes the dome out out it's mounting triplexes.

Because of the age of the old 1 3/8" tweeters, I would think there may be fiberglass used for padding, which should mean, no deterioration.

Other than the fusing information I have not read any details about power handling of the 1 3/8" tweeters.

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Hi again;

To add to the photos of the dual and 1 3/8" tweeters, I never took these photos.

The first 2 are the dual tweeters removed from their housing, I do not have a shot of the housing separately.

Note the fiberglass in the rear of the drivers in photo 2.

The others are different views of the 1 3/8" tweeter, note the massive magnet structure.

I came back with some more tidbits.

The AR-1, AR-3, AR-3ST, AR-3T, and AR-5 all use the same FNM 8/10 slow blow fuse from sheet L-1631 in the AR library.

Kind of gives the 1 3/8" tweeter when used alone, or with the mid driver, a power handling of a substantial amount based on that information.

The AR-2, AR-2A, AR-2AX, AR-4, AR-4X and AR-6 use the 6/10 amp FNM slow blow fuse from page 2 - 8_77 fusing manual.

It follows that the dual tweeters can still handle a fair amount of power.

1964.txt

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>Have you ever popped off a 1 3/8" dome to see what, if

>anything, was underneath it.

Yes, Vern...see attached photo. I originally posted the photo in the "Under The Old Dome" thread (just type "under" in an AR subject only search). Tom Tyson posted some very interesting information on this tweeter in that thread.

>The 3/4" dome had a foam of some sort, I believe, to

>lessen resonances.

I have removed the domes from a number of the later, black 3/4" dome tweeters, and found crumbling deteriorated foam.

Roy

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/dc/user_files/1974.jpg

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....I have removed the domes from a number of the later, black 3/4" dome tweeters, and found crumbling deteriorated foam.

Roy

Yipes! Doesn't that mean there would be a deterioration in the tweeter's performance? Sounds scary to me considering the number of vintage 3/4 inch AR tweeters out there.

It's all about the music

Carl

Carl's Custom Loudspeakers

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Hi again;

I have downloaded the Crown EQ-2 Equalizer owners manual.

On page 3-13 there is a write-up which, in part;

Generally the experts will agree that the best response for a room is flat from 20hz - 8khz and then rolling off at 6 - 8 dB per octave downward.

Among other good reading there is a musical instrument chart as to what frequencies the various instruments operate in.

This may be decades old information but it should still be valid today.

Perhaps this is why a speakers highend could slope downward and still be quite acceptable to most listeners.

If speakers were flat from 20hz - 20khz would we find them coloured, too bright or just more transparent?

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It "blossomed" with no assistance from me, Vern :-). The fiberglass was very compressed under the dome. Those tweeters also have very delicate aluminum voice coil leads that enter directly through the dome. It easily breaks off at that point. It was not repairable.

>Yipes! Doesn't that mean there would be a deterioration in the

>tweeter's performance? Sounds scary to me considering the

>number of vintage 3/4 inch AR tweeters out there.

That was my reaction as well, Carl.

Between that and the possibility that the urethane foam/butyl rubber suspensions may be deteriorating after 35+ years, performance could very well be suffering these days.

Roy

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Hi again;

Here is a few more dual tweeter photos.

Photo 1 shows the four screws holding each driver into the plastic housing.

Photo 2 is the rear view of the housing, it is sealed from the enclosure so that there is no woofer back pressure to damage the open backed tweeters.

The leads are spliced in parallel and the holes where they come out of the housing are sealed with a rubber type glue.

Photo 3 and 4 is 2 set's of drivers I received destroyed by the seller, when he inserted bubblewrap between the cones and then fastened them face to face.

The bubblewrap split open each of the cones.

In this case the seller did his very best to protect them, rather than the haphaszard way I usually see.

Some slight rippling can be seen on the cone material which appears to be quite common.

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