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AR-2ax Speaker "Tales of Woe"


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Hello most gracious and knowledgeable keepers of AR speakers.

For one GREAT evening the stars were aligned with my AR-2ax speakers but the next morning I found that my right speaker was no longer working. I was using the Adcom GFA-555 Power Amplifier with the Sansui AU-555a used as a preamplifier.

My local repair guy said the woofer was bad. He did not get a reading from the meter. I talked to him about the possibility of repairing the woofer, and along with that, if he would check the pots and caps and refurbish if needed. Two years later he said the woofer could not be repaired and that he found a pair of original woofers. His intent was to replace both of my woofers, good and bad, with the pair he found. Starting on the speaker in need of repair he found the first woofer of the pair did not work but the second one did and called me in for a sound check. I inquired into my request for him to check the pots and caps and refurbish if needed. He did not do this. He just replaced my woofer with one that he found. After listening to the “repaired” AR-2ax speakers with him we found the woofer he replaced was making a sandy non-clear sound. Rejected, he said that woofer also was not good and that we need to find another woofer. This time I volunteered to find the replacement. I took the chance on a AR-2 woofer and it will ship next week.

So here I stand – Could the internal crossovers/capacitors be the culprit here? Do I let him install the newly found woofer without checking the internal pots/caps? Are the AR-2 woofers (as I take them to be) the same as the AR-2ax? This is the only vintage repair shop/sales in my area and I want him to succeed. Hence my patience in this matter, and for my love of my once enjoyed AR-2ax speakers.

In the meantime, I have been studying, leaning towards the do it yourself.

Thank you,


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Have you had to pay this guy for all the rejected repair attempts he's made so far? If so, you've probably already spent more than it would have cost you to box that bad speaker up and ship it to Carl to get the job done right the first time.

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The hard part of getting to and removing that woofer are done. Do the internal work. Easy now. It needs to be done anyway no matter what your tech says. The thing is nearly or is 50 years old. You are going to seal these back up in a way that isn't easy to get back in so do it now.

Roy or Carl may have a replacement for you that you can count on. Otherwise 2ax parts seem to be plentiful on the auction site. The pots will be the hardest thing to find in kind and you may line up your repair guy on LPads or the more expensive ohmites. See other threads here.

Make sure when he is sealing things back up installing the new driver that it is done to be airtight with the correct seal.

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This is true. A total interior restoration was/is my intent. I am just a little lost at the moment on how to proceed. I have already purchased a AR-2 woofer as replacement for the AR-2ax. I was just wondering if something internal could be the cause of the 3 previous woofers not functioning before I have the fourth installed.

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Hi Glenz

Doing the crossover work is not difficult. I learned quickly with the help of folks here. Be sure to read the AR-3a restoration booklet in our Library. Much of the information there is applicable to the 2ax. 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

Where are you located? There may be a CSP member nearby who's willing to help.

Question: Are your 2ax's early ones with aluminum frame woofers and cloth surrounds? If so the AR-2 woofers will be good. If not, if you have the steel frame and foam surrounds, I don't think the 2 woofs will work.

Did your local guy really take 2 years or did it just SEEM that way?

It may be possible to have your bad woofers repaired but if they need new cones and voice coils they won't be like original. I can recommend Bill LeGall of Millersound but if you send him the woofers you should send both so they will end up a matched pair.

If your "new" woofers are not right, contact Roy and see if he has any for sale.

Good luck! The 2ax's are really nice speakers and worth the effort to restore IMHO.


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glenz - - David is correct to suggest that the pots and caps in these speakers are most likely due for some much-needed attention, and genek also raises some obvious suspicion about the local guy who sat on your speakers for two years and still did not provide the service that you requested from him. It is time to ditch him, roll up your sleeves, and dive in yourself.

As stated, the potentiometers and capacitors probably require some degree of renewal, but in this speaker model those components have no bearing on the woofer performance. Since you have purchased an AR-2 woofer, I have to assume that your AR-2ax woofers are also the early version with alnico magnet and cloth surrounds. This is important not only for making sure that two woofers in a "pair" of speakers are reasonably balanced, but also for ensuring a proper fit to the cut-out in the circular front panel of the cabinet.

It is always extremely helpful here to post pics of your particular project - - - this will normally ensure that you get the best feedback and advice. If you do decide to tackle this yourself and have never done it before, do not worry, there will be an abundance of patient and knowledgeable advisors walking you through the steps.

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Thanks to all for your insight. I did a hard AR study on this wonderful site about 2-1/2 years ago so you guys already seem like good friends as I reacquaint myself in my studies Yes. Believe it. Two plus years of waiting but if it was not for him I most likely would have never experienced the Ar2ax. He was the one I that I originally bought the speakers from and as stated above I really want to see him succeed with his business.

Kent - Thank you.

I want to note that my tech is a good guy. I just think he did not have the time to devote to the project.

Yes. I have the 6 screw hole cloth woofers and made sure the Ar2 was similar. Your information is calming as I just took an educated guess on the ar2's.

Thank you for that information. I was looking for my tech to do that very thing. Not just fix one but to do the same to both for the fear of not having a matched set. I really did not want to go down the road that he sent me on if it was at all possible. I will have to see if the old woofer it still available and confirm what the issue was. It may be possible to follow up on your lead.

ra ra - It is a pleasure. Yes genek was always very helpful in the past and I immediately took his drift to heart. Thank you for providing clarity to everything that I was concerned about.

I am not sure if links can be posted but if it takes here is the replacement woofer that is in transit. http://www.ebay.com/itm/261835497394 If I figure how to insert photos I will send of the 2ax.

David - Thank you! I am having a great time as I read through your project posts. Very helpful in my decision to take this Ar2ax restoration on.


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Glenz, you are in the right place. All of us have had non functional AR's in need of repair. There are a bunch of great guys with wonderful knowledge on this stuff. I am just a newbie myself and am having fun. There are some good processes that these guys have all figured out over the years that are the best way to go about things and cut to the chase. My 2ax's were the firs AR's I got and I was super impressed even though I could barely get the pots to work. One of my pots finally gave up the ghost fully so I am now tearing into them. My 3's might be complete (other than grilles) this weekend. depends how much I can lock myself away from the family on this holiday weekend!

I think we are all on your side and are looking forward to your reaction when you get these done and fire them up. Hopefully your tech is savvy to the particulars of the AR speaker. Not all are and sometimes think things are just interchangeable if original replacements are not available.

BTW, how are the grilles and cabinets? Are the badges there? If it is an early 2ax the badges are potentially different than later 2ax's and the guys here would probably like to know what you have. Also, on the inside of the cabinet should be a date stamp. See if you can see what it says.

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Looks like a nice woofer and a very fair price, with free shipping. That seller is near me but I was previously not aware of him. Looks like he mainly sells instruments and professional gear so you just hit it right.

Score for this round:

Glen: 1

Forces of Evil: 0

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Thank you, David. I will be sure to keep up with your progress. It is very informative. Best wishes on restoring those wonderful speakers of yours!

My grills are in need of new material and they are missing the badges. Personally I love the look of the speakers with out the grills but that may change depending on how this restoration plays out. Once I get the speakers back and jump into the project I will take note of the date marking. That is good to know.

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FYI here's a thread on a pair of early 2ax's like yours. I restored them in 2008 with a lot of help from CSP members. Really liked the 2ax but I sold them to make room for AR-3s.


I sell reproduction "a" badges and "AR INC" logos. See post #14 here: http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?showtopic=6002If interested send me a PM.

Here is a label for the back that you can print and paste on your speakers.*


*ooops. I was thinking of another thread where the member was missing the back labels on his 3a's. Anyway--here is the 2ax label if you need it.


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Kent - Thank you for checking that link. That's awesome news! You guys have all the good stuff out there. Fingers crossed...

And thank you for your links! I look forward to the knowledge to be gained and logos obtained.

Greg, a.k.a. Glen

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So it took 2 years for the AR virus to get to full potential?

That is exactly what happened to me to! :o

Pfiew, I'm not alone and I can safely tell my wife that there are more of us out there :lol:

I will follow you topic as it is great fun to read all these restoration topics!

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Yes! It is fun and it continues...

The AR-2 woofer arrived Thursday and I immediately ran (not walked) to my tech to test it out and install if “good.” He was very kind to do so the moment I walked through the doors. The good part is that it fired up quite well and I was in heaven as we listened to the AR-2ax fill his shop with that once lost sound. It was an emotional experience to say the least. The sad part is that my original woofer is no longer available but I do not wish to go further into that topic. Sticking to the happy thoughts, I did score a set of AR-6 speakers and my AR-2ax are back home.


AR-2ax Front with the AR2 woofer replacement on right.


AR-2ax Back.


AR-2ax Close-up of documents.

So now that I have the woofer issue solved I will attempt the open surgery on my own. I have been rounding up the necessities over the last few days and as I wait for the list to arrive I will take pause to say that I do not yet understand why I feel that I must complete this task on a set of tainted speakers... but it shall come to pass. It will be done.

“Greg’s” AR-2ax speaker list:

*Basic electronic repair equipment from the AR bible.

*Miscellaneous materials:

Cabinet stuffing 6 bags full

Speaker dope

Goop glue

*Carl’s Custom Loudspeakers for capacitors, rheostats, & grill cloth. Thanks, Carl!

*Kent for logos ;-) Thank you for ALL for your kind thoughts and help!


AR-2ax together with Ar-6

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I picked up a Radio Shack electronics "deluxe" tool kit before they closed their doors. It has a 30w soldering iron. I don’t really trust the solder in the kit so I have a pound of Kester 44 Rosin Core Solder 60/40 .031 in transit. There is some wire in the kit but I am going with Carl’s setup so I should not need it.

Note taken, but I have already entered the Halls of Madness in my quest for preamp.

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Words of wisdom: Stretch this event out as long as possible otherwise you may end up with way too many AR speakers and people will start questioning your sanity :)

Thank you very much as I resemble this notion!

Why didn't you tell me this.

(We won't tell him about the 2a's I am eyeing right now to get)

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David! If the AR-2a's look like these I can see how tempting it would be!


On that note, There is a a single AR-2 being offered by the same that I purchased the AR-6's from... They said that it could be used as a center channel?

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There is a a single AR-2 being offered by the same that I purchased the AR-6's from... They said that it could be used as a center channel?

Yup. If you have the room.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My first attempt at showing the skills you all have taught. Please note that I did not mare the plywood structure around the woofer. That was someone else’s doing. Notice the new woofer?

I just have 2 questions at this point.

1)Is the stuffing in the photo the horrid rock wool?

2)Should I keep the shroud material in the photo or find a replacement if needed.



















And sorry in advance for bringing this thread back to life :-)

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