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ar 3a weight


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what in the world makes a ar 3a so heavy. they are about the same size as my large advents but way heavier.

by the way the advents are going in the 3a boxes in the garage for storage as the 3a,s are replacing them. they are fully restored and look brand new, beautiful restoration and if the paper on back had the warranty card you would say they are new.

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Remember, the Advent is a 2-way speaker with a 10-ish" woofer. (Henry/Andy never actually specified the size; they always played that one intentionally coy. Any specific sizes given for the OLA woofer are strictly the interpretations of magazines and owners, who just have to label it as something.)

The 3a is a 3-way speaker, and the 3a's 1 1/2" dome midrange has a magnet almost as large and heavy as the 3a's 12" woofer. It took a lot of BL to push that little dome! So for comparative weight's sake, you could look at the 3a as being like an OLA if the OLA had two woofers and a tweeter. There's the vast majority of your weight difference.

The very slight added weight of the 3a's modest bracing would be offset by the OLA's very slightly larger cabinet (thus more weight from the additional cabinet material) compared to the 3a.

Steve F.

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Both the Advent and the AR-3a are nearly identical in size (the Advent is actually marginally larger than the AR-3a in all dimensions), and both speakers have 12-inch woofers and are constructed of ¾-inch plywood or MDF-type panel construction; however, this is where the similarity ends.

As Steve points out, the AR-3a is a heavy-duty 3-way speaker and the Advent is a 2-way system. Yet there are many other things that constitute the weight differences:

· The AR-3a woofer is much heavier-built than the Advent, and it weighs in at 12.8 lbs vs. 5.3 lbs for the Advent.

· The AR-3a Midrange driver is also quite heavy, weighing 4.5 lbs itself along with the tweeter at 1.8 lbs vs. the Advent weighing 2 lbs.

· The AR-3a has a large LCR crossover with three capacitors (largest being a heavy 150 mfd capacitor) and three air-core heavy coils and two level controls, etc. vs. the Advent's smaller LCR crossover using two smaller iron-core coils and two smaller 16 mfd capacitors and level switches.

· The AR-3a has significantly more internal wiring than the Advent.

· The AR-3a uses large machine screws (eight for the woofer alone) for each of the three drivers vs. a total of four small wood screws in the Advent.

· The AR-3a uses nine internal braces to deaden the interior space of the cabinet vs one or two (at most) in the Advent (some had no braces).

All considered, the AR-3a weighs around 55 lbs and the Advent weighs around 35-39 lbs., depending upon the version. Despite all this heavy construction and double the price, the AR-3a was not twice as good as the Advent. It was better, but only in certain respects overall: lower distortion, wider dispersion, flatter acoustic-power response and greater power-handling ability. These differences, however, were very slight and on any day, either speaker could be made to sound better than the other.

--Tom Tyson

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I will admit to not having much familiarity with the weight of a 150 mfd capacitor, but there is no doubt that a nearly 12.8 lb. woofer is indeed a heavy beast. Still, what I find quite interesting is that an AR-3a (at ±53 lbs) weighs in at 14 lbs more than the next heavy rectangular classic, the AR-5 (at ±39 lbs) while having cabinet dimensions only one inch larger in width and height. Granted, the AR-5 has the 10" woofer, but if I'm not mistaken, it too has a rather robust set of crossover components including three coils.

I must confess my earlier naive assumption about this weight differential between the 5 and the 3a. Until I saw (on these pages) the pic of TT's cutaway AR-3a - - - and now again confirmed by his comments in his previous post - - - I had always (incorrectly) assumed that the 3a cabinet must have had side (and rear?) panels that exceeded 3/4" in thickness which were concealed by, and the reason for, the 3a's thicker front frame.

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