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AR-6 with JVB attenuator and new crossover cap -- great!


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I have a pair of walnut veneer AR-6's, with new foam surrounds on the woofers. I was getting tired of the scratchy Aetna controls, so decided to do two upgrades at the same time -- replace the crossover caps, and try out a pair of JVB attenuators. For the caps, I went with Jantzen "Cross" caps that, as far as I can tell, permit a much cleaner high frequency response.

As for the JVB attenuators -- these are discrete-resistor controls built on a multi-position rotary switch, so no more little copper nibs pressing on a resistive wire element. The benefits are repeatable settings, a great variety of different levels of treble, and (I hope) a longer life than the Aetnas.

These changes have greatly improved the sound of the speakers, and I imagine that the sound I have now is close to what they must have sounded like new. Of course, what counts is what they sound like now, and they sound fine. I've violated scientific methodology by making two changes at the same time, but I didn't want to reopen the speakers twice. So all I can say is that both changes together improve the sound significantly. Oh, I also tossed the old foam speaker seal rings and used Parts Express special speaker sealing caulk, which seems to offer a better seal than the light foam ones, or at least that's my impression.

I originally bought the JVB attenuators for use in my AR-5s, but they're in storage now and so I had to upgrade the AR-6s. I'm glad I did. I can recommend the JVBs as a replacement for the Aetna controls.

For AR completists -- each AR-6 (which I bought as single speakers) had different Aetna controls. One had a relatively cheap set of internals, and one was much, much higher quality inside, with a sort of heavy metal slug and better attachment for the "nib" control.

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