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Dutch soft white AR3a's


Alverman

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Hi there,

I'm new here and got, with the help of Carl, a working account!

Some while ago I purchased, here in the Netherlands where I live, a pair AR3a's. I'll post some pics later but first want to see if this post with pics, functions or not.

The kabinets are finished with a white 'rubbing varnish' (in Dutch it's 'slijplak') and according to my attached pricelist, this finish and 'rosewood', are 'available from Amersfoort, Holland only':

post-175343-0-31945600-1422312914_thumb.

Trying to date the speakers I havent booked any succes yet, but recarding the low numbers (001936 & 003837), I think they are build around 1969, but that's a guess!

post-175343-0-16885900-1422314484_thumb. post-175343-0-91790500-1422314465_thumb.

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Great first post, and welcome to CSP!

Not sure how to date your set, but those do look like pretty early serial numbers. In the U.S., my copy of the product brochure with orange ink (see attached) has a February 1971 date, and it looks almost identical to yours except, as you have already noted, without the soft white or rosewood cabinet options.

There was a rare finish available (for LST's ) which was called "soft black", but I have only seen it mentioned in one piece of AR literature. The "soft white" will be new to many of us, and we eagerly await your pics.

post-112624-0-75790100-1422316290_thumb.

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The paper cones are different. Both are without curles. One unit has a plain flat papercone while the foam surround is glued to a wooden ring (to heighten) that's again glued to the basket.

The other unit has no wooden ring and is directly glued to the basket but comes with some additional extra 'weight', made of black styrofoam (consists 2 layers with inbetween something that looks like a rope woven layer).

post-175343-0-16301400-1422634656_thumb. post-175343-0-85382500-1422634716_thumb. post-175343-0-45721000-1422637058_thumb.

Didn't checked both speakers production date yet, but the one with the styrofoam, shows 'FEB 28 1970':

post-175343-0-38004600-1422636771_thumb.

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Before this project I started with a pair of AR4x's with a one torn paper cone. I managed to glue the parts together with the same glue that I used for glueing foam surrounds:
post-175343-0-19683100-1422638331_thumb.

For a good clean of the pots I didn't use a Dremel, but just only this glass-fiber pen:

post-175343-0-93202900-1422638460_thumb.

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1970 is when the original alnico magnet, cloth surround AR-3a woofer was replaced with the ceramic magnet, foam surround woofer.

The woofer with the damping ring around the dust cap is the earliest version of the AR-3a foam surround woofer, and has a similar appearance to its cloth surround predecessor. The damping ring was deleted from this woofer cone after a short time, making this version quite rare today.

Roy

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1970 is when the original alnico magnet, cloth surround AR-3a woofer was replaced with the ceramic magnet, foam surround woofer.

The woofer with the damping ring around the dust cap is the earliest version of the AR-3a foam surround woofer, and has a similar appearance to its cloth surround predecessor. The damping ring was deleted from this woofer cone after a short time, making this version quite rare today.

Roy

Either late 1969 or 1970 was the date for the ferrite woofer. I think late '69.

The damping ring is actually the same foam ring (with splits to make it fit down in the cone-shaped area) that was used with the AR-3 and earliest AR-3a Alnico woofer, and it helped the woofer operate smoothly into the 800-1000 Hz range needed with the AR-3's crossover. Either woofer was flat within 1.5 dB from 38 - 1000 Hz on axis, quite impressive for a relatively large cone. The AR-3a never needed the damping ring, so as production went forward, the damping ring was discontinued.

--Tom Tyson

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Either late 1969 or 1970 was the date for the ferrite woofer. I think late '69.

The AR-3a never needed the damping ring, so as production went forward, the damping ring was discontinued.

--Tom Tyson

Perhaps not, Tom, but there were AR-3a's manufactured with this damping ring-equipped "transitional" ferrite magnet woofer. AR must have decided to drop the ring at some point in 1970. I have seen a number of them in 3a's from that year.

Roy

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Perhaps not, Tom, but there were AR-3a's manufactured with this damping ring-equipped "transitional" ferrite magnet woofer. AR must have decided to drop the ring at some point in 1970. I have seen a number of them in 3a's from that year.

Roy

The damping rings on the ferrite woofer are a mystery to me. The first brochure pictures of the new ferrite woofer in the AR-3a don't show the damping ring, so it might have been originally intended for the last production series of the AR-3, since the Alnico woofer was discontinued and no longer available at the end of AR-3 production. The damping ring had a specific function in the Alnico woofer in the AR-3 to dampen any break-up in the cone at the higher operating frequencies around 700-1000 Hz, and it worked exactly as intended, as the frequency response of that woofer was very flat and uniform all the way up to 1 kHz. So perhaps it was a continuation of that function in the new woofer. But why in the AR-3a?

I suspect that the damping rings were put on the early ferrite woofers, knowing that some would be used with the AR-3 as well as the new AR-3a; however, the 3awith it's lower crossoverdidn't really need the damping rings to begin with. I can't think of any other reason why the ferrite woofer would have the damping ring, as the new cone material was much more "lossy" than the Alnico AR-3 cone, which was more rigid. I don't know how many were built with the damping rings or for how long. Maybe that woofer coincided with the end of production for the AR-3 itself.

Tom

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Maybe there was more AR3a sales than expected... consequently there was not enough correct woofers for AR3a production and woofers produced for AR3 were used instead, if correct ones were not available.

If one has decided to buy something like hifi, car, etc. 3-6 weeks delay in delivery might mean that he or she may decide to accept other color, model or even brand... so sale may be lost if correct item is not in stock.

Best Regards

Kimmo

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<<Maybe that woofer coincided with the end of production for the AR-3 itself.>>

I've never seen an AR-3 with this woofer. Also, WT2 measurements show it to be much more like the typical AR-3a ferrite woofer than the alnico magnet woofer... so the AR-3 would not sound right with this one without a sgnificant crossover change. I have seen 8 or so of these woofers. Several were in pairs with similar serial numbers (in the mid 3x,xxx's) originally purchased together by the first owner, where one woofer was this one and the other was the non-damping ring version!

This woofer's cone has the similar thick cone and dimensions of its later iterations, as well as the grooved ferrite magnet typical of the ferrite woofer used into 1971, after which the magnet becomes completely smooth around its perimeter. Another notable feature is the absence of the masonite mounting ring for the foam surround. I believe this woofer is simply an early transitory version of the foam surround AR-3a woofer. It became apparent to AR that carrying over the damping ring was not necessary, and it was deleted early on as the woofer evolved.

It should also be noted that this was about the time the AR-3a woofer coil was changed from the original 1.88 mh #7 (found exclusively with the alnico magnet/cloth surround version, to date) to the 2.85 mh #9 coil (found exclusively with the ferrite magnet/foam surround version, to date).

Roy

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<<Maybe that woofer coincided with the end of production for the AR-3 itself.>>

I've never seen an AR-3 with this woofer. Also, WT2 measurements show it to be much more like the typical AR-3a ferrite woofer than the alnico magnet woofer... so the AR-3 would not sound right with this one without a sgnificant crossover change. I have seen 8 or so of these woofers. Several were in pairs with similar serial numbers (in the mid 3x,xxx's) originally purchased together by the first owner, where one woofer was this one and the other was the non-damping ring version!

This woofer's cone has the similar thick cone and dimensions of its later iterations, as well as the grooved ferrite magnet typical of the ferrite woofer used into 1971, after which the magnet becomes completely smooth around its perimeter. Another notable feature is the absence of the masonite mounting ring for the foam surround. I believe this woofer is simply an early transitory version of the foam surround AR-3a woofer. It became apparent to AR that carrying over the damping ring was not necessary, and it was deleted early on as the woofer evolved.

It should also be noted that this was about the time the AR-3a woofer coil was changed from the original 1.88 mh #7 (found exclusively with the alnico magnet/cloth surround version, to date) to the 2.85 mh #9 coil (found exclusively with the ferrite magnet/foam surround version, to date).

Roy

Why, then was the damping ring put on some of the ferrite woofers when, in fact, this new woofer had a very dampened, "lossy" cone and the AR-3a crossover was much lower than in the AR-3? In other words, the AR-3 did need the damped cone whereas the AR-3a did not need it. Also, why didn't AR have this damping ring there during the initial transition from the Alnico to ferrite woofer? The first 200003-0 woofers did not have damping rings at all, as it came some time later. The Alnico woofer was discontinued long before the end of production of the AR-3 in the spring of 1973, so the ferrite woofer had to be used as a substitute in the production versions of many of the last-production AR-3s. The crossover on these last models was considerably different from the first ones, too.

Consider, too, that Acoustic Research was building between 500 and 750 AR-3a speakers per month during the height of the manufacturing season, so there are many, many AR-3as that are well under the radar. Even at the end of production, AR was turning out 50-100 AR-3s per month, too. The fact that you haven't seen an AR-3 with the woofer means little since there were so many made over the years.

Tom

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Why, then was the damping ring put on some of the ferrite woofers when, in fact, this new woofer had a very dampened, "lossy" cone and the AR-3a crossover was much lower than in the AR-3? In other words, the AR-3 did need the damped cone whereas the AR-3a did not need it. Also, why didn't AR have this damping ring there during the initial transition from the Alnico to ferrite woofer? The first 200003-0 woofers did not have damping rings at all, as it came some time later. The Alnico woofer was discontinued long before the end of production of the AR-3 in the spring of 1973, so the ferrite woofer had to be used as a substitute in the production versions of many of the last-production AR-3s. The crossover on these last models was considerably different from the first ones, too.

Consider, too, that Acoustic Research was building between 500 and 750 AR-3a speakers per month during the height of the manufacturing season, so there are many, many AR-3as that are well under the radar. Even at the end of production, AR was turning out 50-100 AR-3s per month, too. The fact that you haven't seen an AR-3 with the woofer means little since there were so many made over the years.

Tom

Well all we can do is speculate. My opinion is based on working on hundreds of both models over the years...not to mention the variations I have seen to literally every other model.

<<Also, why didn't AR have this damping ring there during the initial transition from the Alnico to ferrite woofer? The first 200003-0 woofers did not have damping rings at all, as it came some time later.>>

Are you sure about this? It would not be the first time your files were not in agreement with what we are seeing in the trenches today. As I recall, you did not acknowledge the AR-3a woofer coil change until a conversation with Roy Allison. Since then there have been absolutely no exceptions found to this mid-stream AR modification, and its correlation with the replacement of the alnico magnet woofer with the ferrite magnet woofer.

Perhaps AR tried to compensate for the response issue brought about by the woofer change with the damping ring prior to deciding on the coil change?

I have seen (and continue to see) many AR-3 and AR-3a specimens. The fact remains that these woofers are only showing up in 3a's, and are much more like the 3a woofer than the AR-3 woofer. When I find one in an AR-3 you will be the first to know. :)

Roy

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Hi all

It locks like there is another pair of white ones ( 3a) for sale in Germany

regards from Sweden

Birger

http://www.ebay.de/itm/261757137811?_trksid=p2060778.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Welcome 'Birger'!

They are fully restored an look great. I wonder what the seller means by 'Ausgetauscht wurden die Mitteltöner, Hochtöner..'; 'austauschen' means replacing, so he says he repaced the high and mid speakers. Shame he didn't show a picture without the fronts.

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Hi again

Yes, replaced is correct. As I understand most all parts tweeters, midrange , crossover ...( from some AR vintage shop ?) are

replaced,, except the woofers .

As I already have a pair of LST, LST-2 and two pairs 4x , unfortunately there is no more space for the 3a´s ( even if I want to )

Even so it´s more than 875 ( 1400KM) miles one way to pick them up . Would be to expensive in the end.

Regards Birger

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I notice that the labels on those speakers from Germany do not list the Holland address. Instead of a factory applied "soft white" finish, could it be possible that they are a USA product that have been self-painted by a previous owner?

(For Birger: vintage AR is a small American business that specializes in providing parts and restoration services for these old speaker products.)

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I notice that the labels on those speakers from Germany do not list the Holland address. Instead of a factory applied "soft white" finish, could it be possible that they are a USA product that have been self-painted by a previous owner?

(For Birger: vintage AR is a small American business that specializes in providing parts and restoration services for these old speaker products.)

The Ebay-seller answered my question already, but I didn't get any pictures to look at. He wrote this: 'The speaker-cloth can not be removed, because then it will be destroyed. The woofer is still in it's original condition, the baffle is sealed. The bass is very good: high - and midrange speakers are new speakers by Acoustic Research. I had ordered these and all other parts installed, from "ar - vintage" (see homepage or ebay USA) from the State of New York and have them installed by a professional. If you buy the speakers, you will receive all invoices etc to go with them.'

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The Ebay-seller answered my question already, but I didn't get any pictures to look at. He wrote this: 'The speaker-cloth can not be removed, because then it will be destroyed. The woofer is still in it's original condition, the baffle is sealed. The bass is very good: high - and midrange speakers are new speakers by Acoustic Research. I had ordered these and all other parts installed, from "ar - vintage" (see homepage or ebay USA) from the State of New York and have them installed by a professional. If you buy the speakers, you will receive all invoices etc to go with them.'

I would be cautious. I do some work for Vintage AR, and there have been no "new" AR-3a drivers available for many years, and new "replacements" have some different characteristics compared to original drivers. Further, if drivers were replaced, the grills should be able to be removed for inspection. My advice is to avoid this transaction.

Vintage AR has no website. This is the link to the Ebay store.

http://stores.ebay.com/vintagearpartsandservice?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

There are also many listings in Ebay auctions.

Send me a PM if you would like to have Larry's email address.

Roy

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My advice is to avoid this transaction.

799 Euro = $914 USD and that's just the starting bid. Looks like the pots were replaced. Impossible to know exactly what's under the hood.

I agree with Roy.

-Kent

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