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AR-3s on eBay190683591203


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Buyer Beware!

This pair of AR-3s is listed as "new-old-stock," "new-in-box," ultra rare, holy grail, etc. The level of exaggeration in this description is high, and potential buyers should take heed. These are definitely not "new-in-box." Why?

For starters:

1. The warranty cards from both speakers are missing;

2. The original asphalt-impregnated packing tape was not shown;

3. There is no paper documentation, such as the original papers that were furnished with the speaker—no mention or photos of that documentation;

4. The special wrapping paper that encompasses each speaker when packed is completely missing from both speakers, and this was not shown in any of the photos and;

5. No AR-3 weighs anywhere near 90 lbs each.

This is a fairly typical exaggeration of the descriptions we frequently see on eBay. These speakers do appear to be in exceptionally good condition, and are valuable, but the seller appears to be over-exuberant in his description as though they were never, ever opened from the box. That is extremely doubtful. Most likely someone put them back in the box and stored them, and this seller bought them at an estate sale or something. I'm not trying to throw water on this deal by any means, but I know and recognize when an AR-3 is "new-in-the-box," and this pair is not.

--Tom Tyson

The eBay item number: 190683591203

eBay description:


"I am very sorry that i had to open the boxes,no one would imagine what was inside if i did not, the factory tape was still on each box with all correct packaging in place.These weigh 90 pounds each and are of course the Shelby of speakers to say the least. The "AR-3' is Famous as we all know, this set has a very cool story,my father owned a radio repair and sound shop on Jefferson in Detroit from the 30s to the 70s,he sold a lot of stuff and fixed a lot of stuff for the Motown guys, he knew all the techs,anyway in the 70s he was doing work for them on an amp and the man named Andre a producer said he had these speakers at home and if my dad would trade, anyway here they are, they have lived since then in my dads basement well kept and VERY dry.these have indeed never been used NEVER. The one in the Smithsonian is not as good a either of these.i will not take any parts off to check anything so please don't ask,i will pay for the return of both of these if they are not as listed."

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I saw that auction too. I didn't know about all the details Tom Tyson mentioned and even to my untrained eye they looked at the least very slightly used or at the least had been previously opened.

They are a very fine example of AR-3 speakers but not truly "NOS"

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Hi Tom & Tom

I just visited that auction as well.

My opinion is that they were previously out of their cartons, very likely when AR was still a viable company and would honour their warantee card, which is missing on


That raises an eyebrow that they, " are just out of the taped box", as in very first time since they were made.

The wrapping paper that AR used was a waxed one sided brown paper which was paper taped on the speaker front over top of an added cardboard piece that

covered the front of the cabinet to add more driver protection.

I still have all of my original AR-3A cartons and packing material.

To say that AR over packed their products, would be correct, thank heaven for us.

I posted or will be posting an ad of AR where a man is seen pushing a speaker carton over off of a stack of speakers to show how well packaged they were.

That is a slight exaggeration, but not by much, as I have seen what happens when 2 - AR-2's landed on their back and an AR-5 as well.

If they landed completely on their front from a reasonable height they may well survive.

The woofers in this auction may be of the later foam surround version.

I would also caution potential bidders to consider that, they sure appear to me at least, to be used and may require some service, ex. pots, etc..

The shipping price to me in Vancouver would be almost $600.00.


I forgot that he also knocked Tom Tyson's donated AR-3 as well, a low blow.

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Hi Vern,

You're one of the smart ones who kept all the boxes and packing materials. I did the same thing, and I always told people to do the hold on to them; yet only a few actually complied with that. I got a call a few years ago from a friend of mine, for whom I'd acquired two AR-2axs, 2 AR-6s, and AR Receiver and Turntable through my "AR connection" back in the 1960s. Anyway, I always told everyone to hold on to the boxes in case they needed to return the equipment for service. This lady -- now very wealthy -- remembered that, and she realized one afternoon that the yard man had removed some of the AR boxes from the attic and had actually taken them to the dump. After blowing him out, she jumped in her big Range Rover and literally drove out to the city dump and retrieved the boxes! They were slightly wet, but she brought them back and actually gave them to me. I had made quite an impression on her, but I'm glad she took it seriously and went and retrieved them!

--Tom Tyson

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I kept the boxes for my 1975 2ax's right up to the point when AR as we knew it went our of business. After that there didn't seem to be much point. Since I'm not ever planning on selling them, much less trying to pass them off as NOS, it seems a moot point,

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Hi there

When I get around to it I will post photos of the original AR amp, AR-3A and AR tuner cartons.

The AR speakers in that auction do not show the top or bottom cardboard pad which is about 2" thick at least.

I will use my lower pixel camera next time.

As a side note, goto Vinyl Nirvana to see how some sellers ship, improperly of course, AR Turntables.

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That auction still is not over but there are 50 bids and they are up over $4K :o

Caveat emptor indeed. "There's a sucker born every minute"


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