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AR9 woofers

Guest dogmeninreno

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>Are the AR9 woofers the same as the AR3a's?

All of the AR 12-inch woofers -- from the AR-1 to the AR-9 -- having the truncated frame have essentially identical parameters. From the earliest to the latest versions of the woofer, all had the same-diameter voice coil, same overhang, same magnetic flux approximately, same cone mass and so forth. There were sublte differences in free-air compliance and resonance, but these differences had little audible effect. The earliest woofers with the greatest compliance possibly have the lowest "measured" harmonic distortion, but it's not likely an audible difference. By the same token, those older woofers have lower power-handling ability than the later ones.

By the same token, you would not want to use AR-1/AR-3 Alnico woofers in an AR-9, even though they would fit perfectly and would match electronically. They are probably too fragile.

The best bet for the AR-9 would be to get the ceramic-ferrite woofers of that same period, if possible, and re-surround them.

--Tom Tyson

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>The best bet for the AR-9 would be to get the ceramic-ferrite woofers of that same period, if possible, and re-surround them.<

Ken will let us know more about this sooner than later, I suspect.

The warm-up to his report is that I took two AR-9 drivers and sent them to Simply Speakers for re-surrounding. I sent two AR-9 drivers and two 10pi drivers and sent them to Tri-State Loudspeaker.

The idea was to resurround (only) four 9 drivers and recone one 10pi driver. The point to doing it this way was to be able to compare two, different, resurround jobs, AND to be able to compare a resurround job with a reconing job.

The report I got from Tri-State was that the 10pi drivers were dragging and so the voice coils had to be replaced. (I had no problem believing this.) The cone material was kept since it is different than (as far as I know) any other 12" driver's material (softer, more "fluffy"), and they were re-surrounded.

The 9 speakers: One was completely reconed at my request including replacing everything replaceable. The other speaker which was only to be resurrounded ended-up with a new spyder (sagging, floppy) and was resurrouned.

Ken has seen these drivers since they have been fixed and I have not, so I'm telling you only what I was told that I cannot confirm.

Tri-state charged me less than I would have expected, perhaps because I sent four, perhaps because I waited so long for them to be repaired (Tri-state was backed-up.)

The thing that nags me now is the report, here, that a little haggling with Alex at ABTech yielded a price of $90 for Tonegen replacement woofers.

I've been running replacements in my 9s for almost a year now and either I'm getting used to them or they are breaking-in or the crossovers or my amplifiers are changing. Plus, the report that the spyders were shot in the originals might account for the "tightness" the replacements have and THAT might be the sole reason I felt that they lacked the thunderous very very bottom of the originals. I'd been listening to floppy woofers. (that sounds like I've had old Bassett Hounds)


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I think mine are the Tonegen woofers. They have square magnets. I bought mine as demos from Sam Goody in Woodbridge NJ as demos in early 1984. AR had to replace ALL of the drivers immediately under warranty because some other customers poked their fingers in the cones while they were on display. The original woofers had round magnets. I have not seen any deterioration in any of the surrounds in nealy 20 years. Both the 12 inch and 8 inch drivers have butyl surrounds, not foam. And they can sound thunderous, even with a 60 wpc amplifier. That's the only word to describe them, thunderous. (Any idea where I can buy more Tonegen woofers? I'd like to try some DIY projects.)

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