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AR3 update with Infinity TSS 750 as the mid/high range Satellite


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I initially posted this subject on PETechTalk but here is probably a much better place for posting AR related discussions.

In the past I had many AR models including 4x,2ax, 3a, 11, 18, 9 and M-1. Recently I began scouting local thrift shops and found 4x, and 3. The pair of recently acquired AR3 have extra thick tops and sides and fitted with heavy duty coasters. With great difficulty I removed the glued-on grilles. The woofers are in great shape and sounded free of rattles and noises.

Below is my original post on PE Tech Talk. Pictures too!



Just recently I acquired a pair of vintage AR3’s (serial numbers around 6000 made in the 1960’s). I did not have much hope for them except for their historical value. The original cast aluminum frame woofers with Alnico magnet seem to be in good shape and by-design it should operate up to 1000 Hz. I just happen to have a pair of Infinity TSS 750 lying around. Hometheater magazine tested TSS 750 and found it nice and smooth but rolled off around 150 Hz because it was meant to be used with a subwoofer. Paralleling electrically AR3 woofer with TSS 750 turned out to produce a very nice smooth sound. I don’t have a pair functioning AR3’s for comparison but the crude measurements using Radio Shack sound meter and Stereophile test CD suggest AR3 and TSS 750 are a good match. I can drive this combo to very robust volume without overheating myYamaha RX V-659 receiver.

In the accompanying chart, the yellow trace is from Hometheater test report for Infinity TSS 750. Peak at 5k Hz in all my measurements is an artifact with Radioshack sound meter.


I am not handy enough to do the reburbishing job but I am open to other ideas to use the woofers of AR 3 in-situ and separate panels for the mid/high range.

Anyone has experience along this line? I do have some reasonably good mid and high drivers(such as BG Neo8PDR as well as Neo3 PDR, Boston Acoustics A 150 mids, Infinity CMMD mids and high ranges) but I am handicapped by my modelling skill:)

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Welcome! AR 3s in a thrift shop. That's like the Holy Grail! You will find a LOT of discussion on this forum about the AR3 and AR3a.

First thing: Don't screw them up! AR3s in excellent condition sell for over a grand. You mention the grille was hard to remove. It is also brittle plastic. Did you break them? Even if you did it may be possible to salvage them.

The top panel was apparently added to make a table of sorts and the casters are add-ons too.

But to answer your question: Yes. The 3 was designed so you could use just the woofer section alone. Remove the jumper wire between "T" and "2" on the back and connect the amp to 1 & 2.

Be sure to read the outstanding AR3a restoration manual (the 3a is a minor upgrade to the 3. They are virtually identical): http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/library/acoustic_research/original_models_1954-1974/original_models_schematicss/restoring_the_ar-3a/restoring_the_ar-3a_full_pd.pdf

Good luck.


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Thanks, Kent,

The grille frame is made of plywood. A few places along the frame were de-laminated but I glued them back with Aileen's tacky glue, not perfect but ok.

Now the sound of AR3/Infinity TSS combo. I am quite happy with the sound, authoritative, big, smooth and warm. The crude measurement suggests that this combo has a smooth rolling off from the mid to high just like a classical New England speaker should sound like:)

While I was not able to place them within 3 ft from the back wall , the bass is satisfactory. I think the drums sound pretty real with them. After listening to so many monitor size speakers with 6 inch woofers, this is an eye opener.


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Hi George

You may want to PM RoyC. He formulated a very good coating to reseal the cloth surrounds. Most (all?) other products dry somewhat and make the surround too stiff.


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