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AR 2ax Restored in Alaska


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Hi Everyone,

I've just discovered this forum. Must have overlooked it when I originally found the main website. Would have been nice to be here during the project.

With Carl's expertise and help, I undertook restoration of a pair of 2ax that I picked up on Craig's List for $200. They were already in pretty good shape cosmetically and played fine despite the typical static in the pots. It was a rare find living up here in Alaska. Shipping is always expensive, but speakers make it ridiculus given the weight. So it was great to find them locally.

Carl supplied new pots and caps. I picked up the recommended surround kit on eBay. Home depot for oil finish materials. Another $225 for all these materials. So, for $425, I have a pair of top performing and cosmetically intact pair of vintage speakers.

I had gone through Paradigms, Salks, and LSA-1's in search of speakers that didn't hurt my ears. I have some hearing loss and some sound sensitivity in the upper mids, so tuning a system that wouldn't be irritating has been a challenge. The AR's are doing the trick - best yet anyway! Powered by a DAC Magic plus, Cary SLP-05 tube preamp (a current model) and Conrad-Johnson Premier 11A 70wpc tube power amp (circa 1995). And some say the 2ax doesn't image well - ha!

I bought original Advents used in ~1976 for $75 and had them as my only speakers until about two years ago (sold 'em for $75 :lol: ). Back in the day (~1972) I had a pair of AR two ways. Not sure of the model number anymore. I grew up on the North Shore of Boston, so the Kloss type speakers were a natural for me. I had an Advent 201 cassette deck and walked into Advent in Cambridge (~1972). They fixed it on the spot for me. Didn't get to meet Henry Kloss though!

Glad to be here now.

Here's a shot of one of the 2ax' on my homemade stand - very heavy with 1.5" red oak base and sand filled pillars.


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Thanks for the welcome Carl. And thanks again for your help with the restoration!

ar_pro - I am pleased with how the finish came out. The grills are original too! I had made stands for Paradigm Studio 40s I had a while back. I removed a 2" (2x4) I had at the top of the pillars that the top plate was mounted on to get this height. Tweeters are at ear height at the LP. I thinking about trying them maybe a foot off the floor and slightly tilted back and see how that sounds.

Hi SHOKDU! I'm in West Anchorage - for everyone else, that's about 30 minutes away. Small world!

More info........

I have a single ended, 12 watt amp on order from Dennis Had. He's the former founder and president of Cary who designed most, if not all, of their tube pieces. It's going to be a beauty. It will run the new KT150 tubes, one per channel. He is confident that it will power the AR's ok. He has had a 3a and others in the past, so is familiar. I'm skeptical that it will be enough power with these at about 87db sensitivity, though 8 ohms helps. I'll be thrilled if it does. If not, I may venture into high efficency, full range driver, speaker land!


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Congratulations on a beautiful set of speakers! I hope you enjoy them with your new amp. They look beautiful. Just curious, why did you give up the Advents, they're pretty nice too.

And greetings from your old neighborhood, Beverly MA :-)

Thanks alkermes. I gave up the advents after I gave up the Pioneer Elite receiver that was powering them. I was starting to get the audio bug and was startin' anew :lol: . After a few changes in the system, I realized that they were pretty dark/veiled. They may have needed some work, but I wasn't focused in that direction at the time. I still think the AR's are significantly better speakers. The Advents had the same low end umph, but not the mid/hi presence.

We were closer than you know in Mass. I spent most of my childhood in Rockport. My father was a prominet painter there. Google my last name - pstrisik without the 'p'. You'll see a bunch of his stuff.


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I still think the AR's are significantly better speakers. The Advents had the same low end umph, but not the mid/hi presence.

I completely agree. I restored some OLAs expecting to be impressed but my main speakers at the time were AR-2ax's and there was NO comparison. I sold the Advents. Unfortunately I later sold the 2ax's to make room for 3a's but I'm not 100% convinced it was a huge step up.

Nice job on the 2ax's!

As an aside, the C-J is probably a great match for those speakers. I'm skeptical about a 12 wpc amp being enough but I suppose it depends on the music and the room. I was happy for years with AR-4x's driven by a 17 wpc Dynaco ST-35 (but I was never into head-bangin' music :D).


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Thanks for confirmation on the Advents, Kent. It sounds like, even with a bit of work, the Advents wouldn't have competed.

I'm not into head banging music either. It will be a good experiment. One of the things I would like to acheive is better dynamics at lower volumes - less then 80db at 10 ft. The 12 watter may be able to accomplish that.

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Having adequate headroom in an amp is always a plus. Not sure you'll have that with what you've described.

Agreed. It is an experiment. I'm also going by Dennis Had's assurance that it will be enough for the AR's. His design reputation is stellar with Cary products, so I'm willing to give it a shot. If I get great sound but not enough volume, I may continue the experiment with finding or building high efficiency speakers.

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Congrats of the 2ax's! You did a beautiful job restoring them.!

The stands are excellent too.

I just finished restoring a set a month or so ago. Love 'em!

I'm using a Heathkit AA-15 amp I rebuilt a couple of years ago to drive them. 50 watts a channel. They sound fantastic.

I have them in my office at work and only get to listen to on Saturdays.... :mellow:

Hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine.


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