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My 3a restorations (was: New AR 2ax Restoration)

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Hey, just wondering if anyone has tried Classic-AR's AR-3 controls kit (easy pot replacement), and what they think of the ease of installation/quality of installed product? I'm thinking of installing them in the AR-3's I'm keeping. I really hate cleaning pots and would prefer to just replace what I've got and kick the pots to my parts drawer...

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Hey, just wondering if anyone has tried Classic-AR's AR-3 controls kit (easy pot replacement), and what they think of the ease of installation/quality of installed product? I'm thinking of installing them in the AR-3's I'm keeping. I really hate cleaning pots and would prefer to just replace what I've got and kick the pots to my parts drawer...

If you mean Vintage-AR;

http://cgi.ebay.com/ACOUSTIC-RESEARCH-AR-3...=item2c5307794f

what he sells are L-pads. Same ones sold by Parts Express for a lot less $ (but without the installation instructions):

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.c...tnumber=260-248

See pp 14-15 or "Restoring the AR-3a"

Another option would be Ohmite pots:

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Boar...9&hl=ohmite

Kent

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[*]Is the Watco "dark walnut" color closest to the AR oiled walnut finish? (it looks like it is.)

Hello npt3:

Most woods bleach lighter with age (UV exposure); walnut and cherry darken with UV exposure, so its original color would have been ligher than you see today. If you choose to bleach (not usually needed) do it uniformly. Then try the Sal Martino method: apply Danish oil, wipe, wait 24 hrs, then wet polish with 240 grit ("wet-or-dry" paper)/Danish oil, dry 24 hrs, then wet polish with 350 grit/Danish oil. Dry a day, then wax with something quality like Liberon Black Bison paste wax. I begin with light or medium walnut Watco, as the finsh darkens a bit after multiple coats.

Cheers,

John

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The pair of 2ax's I bought new in 1975 came with a significantly darker and less reddish tone in their walnut veneer than the 1961-62 AR TT turntable I already had at the time, and 35 years later this color difference is still evident. The late-60's 3a's I acquired a couple of years ago have a color somewhere in between.

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The pair of 2ax's I bought new in 1975 came with a significantly darker and less reddish tone in their walnut veneer than the 1961-62 AR TT turntable I already had at the time, and 35 years later this color difference is still evident. The late-60's 3a's I acquired a couple of years ago have a color somewhere in between.

That's interesting; I found the same kind of reddish tint to my 3a's - they look more mahogany than walnut. I'd surmise it's due to sunlight/oxidation over the years. It's more striking when you compare the color of the original to a refinished (light sanding, Watco medium walnut) cabinet. The latter looks more like it should. "Patina" be damned! :-D

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That's interesting; I found the same kind of reddish tint to my 3a's - they look more mahogany than walnut. I'd surmise it's due to sunlight/oxidation over the years. It's more striking when you compare the color of the original to a refinished (light sanding, Watco medium walnut) cabinet. The latter looks more like it should. "Patina" be damned! :-D

The re-oiling of Pair #1 is coming along great, though it has been a learning experience, too. I've tried the wet-oiling technique with pretty good results, and I'm now letting the final Watco coat "sit" for a couple of days before I apply the Satin Wax.

I'm going to tackle Pair #2 in due course, but this pair was exceptionally well-cared for, save for a dark ring on top of one which I think I've done a good job of bleaching out. However, I had to hand sand that top with 600 grit to apply the wood bleach, so it will need to be re-oiled with Watco. Ergo, I will need to re-oil the entire cabinet to match.

Given that these cabinets do NOT need a lot of/any sanding, what do you guys think is the best way to re-oil this pair? Light sand with 600 grit paper, then wet oiling? Steel wool first, then re-oiling? Can I use a de-waxer instead of sanding? Or, can I just apply a fresh coat of Watco over the original? Also, how do folks treat the front (i.e., the bevel) edges? On the first pair, I found this to be the trickiest thing to deal with?

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That's interesting; I found the same kind of reddish tint to my 3a's - they look more mahogany than walnut. I'd surmise it's due to sunlight/oxidation over the years.

I suspect it's a combination of variations in available materials and different suppliers over a period of years. The quality of American walnut took a sharp nosedive in the 70's.

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Just finished refoaming the other two woofers and am moving on to cleaning the pots in my "spare" pair.

I now want to check the caps to look for any drift, and found a modestly priced capacitance meter.

A really dumb question from a newbie, though: do I have to unsolder the leads to check the capacitance??

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just one

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I've Sprague caps in my 3a's. So, how much drift is "acceptable" (i.e., that won't adversely impact things sonically)?

Those large can-type Sprague caps held up very well. I would use the +/-10% spec printed on the cap as a guide.

Roy

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Those large can-type Sprague caps held up very well. I would use the +/-10% spec printed on the cap as a guide.

Roy

Yay! That's where they measured out, Roy.

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I finally finished restoring my 3as a little while ago. The pair that was cosmetically in better shape (which I really like and am going to keep), I just gave an application of Restor-A-Finish with an 0000 steel (very, very lightly). They could probably use a sanding and Watco oiling, but I'm saving that for when I get really bored.

For all four speakers, I decided to paint the driver mounting boards and the outer-face of the grilles with a flat black latex enamel (Valspar 43777) and carefully replace the aged electrical tape over the driver leads. It looks a whole lot nicer now. The grilles came out GREAT with the new linen! I am really happy with the way they came out, and how they all sound.

I've attached some pictures of pair #2. I'd like to offer these for sale through the group first, if anyone's interested ($250). Local pickup in MA would be preferred, since I'm dreading the idea of shipping them.

That said, if I had to ship them, is there a standard box size (and, where could I get them?) that will fit the 3as that folks have used here? I don't mind packing them carefully but I really do NOT want to be making boxes.

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post-102477-0-71430100-1314566049_thumb.

post-102477-0-85418400-1314566057_thumb.

post-102477-0-18459100-1314566070_thumb.

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I finally finished restoring my 3as a little while ago. The pair that was cosmetically in better shape (which I really like and am going to keep), I just gave an application of Restor-A-Finish with an 0000 steel (very, very lightly). They could probably use a sanding and Watco oiling, but I'm saving that for when I get really bored.

For all four speakers, I decided to paint the driver mounting boards and the outer-face of the grilles with a flat black latex enamel (Valspar 43777) and carefully replace the aged electrical tape over the driver leads. It looks a whole lot nicer now. The grilles came out GREAT with the new linen! I am really happy with the way they came out, and how they all sound.

I've attached some pictures of pair #2. I'd like to offer these for sale through the group first, if anyone's interested ($250). Local pickup in MA would be preferred, since I'm dreading the idea of shipping them.

That said, if I had to ship them, is there a standard box size (and, where could I get them?) that will fit the 3as that folks have used here? I don't mind packing them carefully but I really do NOT want to be making boxes.

Hi npt3,

Sent you a PM.

Roy

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