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Are these AR crossover pots or not??


trask

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I'm wondering if someone who's more familiar with AR crossover pots/rheostats can look at the attached photos and confirm/deny that these are pots that might have been pulled from an AR-3 or AR-3a speaker (as I've been told). I bought them at the auction place, more to have and look at than anything else -- I've got pristine AR-5's but I thought it would be interesting to learn about AR pots in case I ever need to restore a second pair (which I'll have when I find another orphaned AR-6).

The one pot looks right from the outside -- is has the metal bail, and it says Aetna-Pollock, though I see nothing that indicates the impedance or the wattage rating. Inside it seems to look different from other AR pot photos I've seen. Instead of a circular metal disc and contact that is "sprung" and is pushed up against the coils in assembly, this one has a plastic shaft and a small spring that pushes the contact point against the coils.

The second pot I cannot open because it's not held together by a bail, but by the fact that the metal casing tabs come up and are bent over the sides of the ceramic. Peering inside I see the same shaft/spring/metal contact arrangement as is the one that I can open.

What does anyone think? Have I got something I could hope to use in the future, or are these just a set of Aetna-Pollock pots that were not used in early AR speakers?

I appreciate all informed opinions! ;)

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The one with the bail is exactly the same as the 4 pots in my pair of AR3As. My 3As have the original-style (cloth surround) woofers and Sep 1968 date stamps on the mids/tweets.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest John Faulkner

I am beginning a restore on my old AR3's that I purchased used in about 1969. In the one I have opened the pots are just like your 2nd example - no wire bail, just the three tabs. Actually remarkable corrosion-free considering 34 years in damp Washington. Will clean up and put back, Trying to decide wether to go 3 or 3a - I have enough drivers to go 3a but will need some new crossover caps. Actually I may end up with enough parts for a pair each of 3 and 3a - will pick up 3a cabinets next month, complete with crossovers but no drivers, but I have 4 woofers - 3 need refoamed, 1 old old cloth-roll hopefully not, also 2 3a tweeters with slightly deformed domes but still work, at least 1 3 tweeter, 1 original 3 mid + some sort of 3 replacement mid - factory? I don't remember when/where I got it - haven't gotten it out yet but I seem to remember it had a much smaller magnet. 2 3a mids, + waiting arrival of 2 original front-wired ar-11 mids. Cabinets - pair of 3 and pair of 3a, all in need of refinshing - may just polyurethane stain or even try piano black or something. Any suggestions?

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Cabinets - pair of 3 and pair of 3a, all in need of refinshing - may just polyurethane stain or even try piano black or something. Any suggestions?

If you have any thought of eventually selling them, anything other than an original-appearing refinish will lessen their value. If you plan on instructing your heirs to use them to play the music at your funeral, the possibilities are unlimited. However, be warned that once any finish containing polyurethane is applied, your chances of ever stripping it off to try something new will drop to zero, as well as getting a good match on any repairs you may ever have to make.

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Hi John and welcome

I would strongly urge you to first download and study the excellent AR3a Restoration booklet at the top of the AR section:

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/library...ring_the_ar-3a/

I would NOT recommend polyurethane. If the cabinets are not too bad, you might try Howard's Restor-a-Finish. You apply it with 0000 steel wool and it does what it claims. You can follow that with Watco Danish Oil, or if you want a slight sheen, Minwax Antique Oil. Some people like Tung Oil, but most AR enthusiasts find that too glossy. I'm assuming your cabs are oiled walnut, originally. AR did have a variety of original finishes, some of which, like the mahogany, were lacquered. That of course would produce a glossy finish.

If the cabinets need patching there are a number of members here who can give good advice. If the veneers are totally shot, maybe the piano black would be nice, IF you can get a perfect glass-like finish. A botched refinish will hurt the value of your speakers.

Good luck with these projects!

Kent

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Guest John Faulkner

Actually, my old speakers had the plain pine finish, I believe, that was stained by the original owner with a walnut stain, so there is not a great concern about preserving the original finish. I am not at all concerned about resale value - its all about sound anyway. I am thinking maybe my daughter and fiance will use them in their new/old house in Portland OR so I can here them at times, they are just enough larger than my Thiel CS2s that they don't really fit in my livingroom - wife acceptance factor and all. Matt likes the sound of his iPal which I find reminiscent of the old New England Sound, and he listens to everything from opera to rock so they should work well for them.

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Actually, my old speakers had the plain pine finish, I believe, that was stained by the original owner with a walnut stain, so there is not a great concern about preserving the original finish. I am not at all concerned about resale value - its all about sound anyway. I am thinking maybe my daughter and fiance will use them in their new/old house in Portland OR so I can here them at times, they are just enough larger than my Thiel CS2s that they don't really fit in my livingroom - wife acceptance factor and all. Matt likes the sound of his iPal which I find reminiscent of the old New England Sound, and he listens to everything from opera to rock so they should work well for them.

What's funny is that the plain pine box, because so few of them were originally sold, is now often worth more than the veneered boxes and many people are sanding them down to bare wood and waxing them to restore the unfinished look. :)

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