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AR-2ax refurbishing and use question


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Hello. First time post. I did some searching but have some specific questions.

First I'd like to say I am a music fan but certainly not an experienced audiophile. I enjoy music and thus appreciate nice audio. I am also not wealthy so I'm limited to what is at hand.

I stumbled upon a pair of Klipsch Heresy speakers in a Goodwill for 39$. They were, as best I can tell, manufactured in 1980. The woofers have K22e marked on them if that helps. They are in decent condition but someone did a repair with blue painters tape where the dust caps meed the cone material. I connected them to my Yamaha CR-840 and they sound pretty good to my ear. I'm getting a little static somewhere but after deoxit treatment to the Yamaha its better. I'd have to go over it again to see if I can clean it better. Overall the Klipsch sound good but it got me thinking. 

My dad had given me a pair of AR-2ax speakers a long time ago that I used on the B channel for their woofers at the time. If I remember correctly even back then the pots where corroded but at the time I didn't even know what pots where and just used them for their bass. They have been sitting for a long time and would certain need some love. One woofer has a puncture to the cone material. It's intact in the sense that there is not a "missing" piece and could be glued back. I'm guessing there's other things to check too. A nice guy over at audiokarma has been helping and suggested recapping, cleaning/replacing the pots, refoaming/re-coning if necessary in order to do it right.

My question is which pair should I keep? To show my inexperience I hadn't noticed the Heresy speakers lacking bass response until someone on a forum pointed it out. I guess these were center channel speakers for the big corner guys. I listen to folk/rock, nothing really heavy at all, but also post rock/ambient type music which does delve into the lower frequencies at times. I personally enjoy clear/clean/realistic vocals (if that makes sense) and generally lean towards brighter speakers but don't want a tin room sound. Sorry if my descriptions are off. 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. If I am to repair the ARs, what caps should I buy? Also suggestions regarding the woofers and pots would be greatly appreciated. I do have help from a generous guy over at audiokarma so I'm not completely in the dark at this point. I know how to solder somewhat and am not really scared of working on the AR pair. Thanks for your time.

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OK so I got the damaged woofer unseated. There's s wire mesh covering the frame where I need to get to the hole to attempt a repair. Any tips on this mesh stuff?

Also, I see the paper some have mentioned that is right behind the woofer. I can see the pots without removing any stuffing or the paper. Should I attempt to get the pots out without taking the stuffing out? Thanks again for any advice.

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what a shame about that woofer....makes me cringe a little. :( the other woofer has some apparent points of close inspection interest at 9:00 and 4:00. :ph34r:

welcome evol. you have an example of one of the early iterations of the 2ax, cloth surrounds and orange tweeter. a very worthy candidate for rehab, but you didn't show the cabinets. they appear to be the typical oiled walnut from the front edge view you have shown. their condition and the ultimate disposition (sell/keep for personal consumption) often dictate how "far" I will go with a given set. your version is my personal favorite iteration and that would also influence my decision. the 2ax is in my opinion the one to keep but I am partial to AR. all versions are wonderful as they are not huge and do everything well. the Heresy is a well respected model and would be worthy of keeping as well though.

yeah the stuffing is a bother, but a necessary one, at least for in the area of work. you should reveal a 4uf and 6uf capacitor and the pots. the 10" baffle now open with the woofer out is big enough to work the crossover without extracting the whole thing.

a lot of threads for most of your challenges already exist, most recently this http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?/topic/8676-4x-woofers-need-advice-on-repairing-cone-and-surround/ which speaks to the cone(s) issue. of course posting pics and asking along the way is fun and will help you on this adventure.


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53odnk.jpgThis is 9 o'clock on the intact woofer. 9 is pointing down towards screw. Image rotated for some reason.


This is 4oclock. Look to 2 o'clock. Rotation of the image again. Sorry not sure why it rotates.

Yes I think I'm at least interesting in hearing these AR speakers fully functional. The other option would be a subwoofer paired with the klipsch.

 I know I have to get to the back of that puncture but there is this mesh in the way. I'm going to desolder the woofer wires and look at it closer. The mesh looks to be glued down. A member over at audiokarma.org suggested the coffee filter fix with the craft glue. It'll be interesting to see if the pots are fully corroded.2v3hqmp.jpg

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good, thanx for the close ups! I suspected they may have been an extension of the cross hatch.

as for the screen, it is easily peeled away after you get a foot hold of a corner. glue back in place when back side work is done.

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I would defiantly restore the AR2ax speakers. 1. They belonged to your dad. 2. With everything working properly they do sound sweet. I am no AR expert, but I have restored three pairs of these which I still have. As far as the pots, they probably look like these.


 And should look like these after cleaning


I use a #2 pencil eraser to start and a brass wire brush on a Dremel tool, then some DeoxIT gold.

As far as the crossover caps Parts Express sells quality Dayton film caps at a moderate price. There are several other suppliers such as Madisound and Erse which are good sources.  I carefully remove the originals from the wax box and replace with Dayton 1% or 5% caps. I used two 3uf caps wired in parallel, because they did not have a 6uf. The existing wax box is installed to make the job look original. It dose not really matter because no one will see it, I am just that way.



I have used latex house caulk and plaster of Paris to fill box. I am going to try Gulf Wax as AR did next.  Good luck on your project.

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Repair to the woofer complete. The wire mesh gave before the glue did but I got the hole fixed hopefully. 


So whateveif uF caps I remove need to be replaced with the same uF rating right? If pull out a 4uF and a 6uF that means a 4 and 6 need to go back in? I'm confused when you say you used two 3uf caps in parallel. You did this on an Ar2ax? 

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Nice work, slow-and-steady careful progress, and that is a good-looking patch on that valuable woofer cone. You are getting good advice, and you should easily be able to find simple caps with 4uF and 6uF values to avoid paralleling. 

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Yes thanks again for all yalls advice. I'll be looking for the capacitors now. I have both woofers out and de-soltered. I'm going to take the shrouds and stuffing out tomorrow and give a go at the pots. 


 Is it odd that this stuffing is actually giving me more anxiety than anything else? It's just packed sorta strangely. I worry I won't get it back in correctly.  

Also, this sealant around the woofers... Do I scrape it all out or just apply more as needed? It is still mildly pliable somehow. 


p.s. : the reason I haven't included a cabinet photo yet is because I'm, well, embarrassed. They are damaged and I must take responsibility for it as my dad is particularly...compulsive...about stuff like this. Young and dumb I guess. Now all the years later and I really just want them to sound original but am not worried about the cabinet. What I am worried about is an airtight enclosure. Is there a step I can take to seal the box from the inside and/or test the cabinet for airtightness (that's not a word is it?)


I suppose I must include a photo of the cabinet. I will upload tomorrow as it's getting late. Thanks again all.


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Sorry to be a pain in the butt, but, I've come across a few people claiming there are certain capacitors that essentially didn't go bad. I believe oil filled. My serial numbers were in the 53k range so I don't know when they date to, but is there a way to tell or test this idea? If I can leave them alone I certainly will but if they need to be changed then I'll go that route obviously.

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Have you a wax block with the 6mfd and 4mfd as Larry has pictured? If so these are the standard caps and likely need replacing. Oil filled often do not need replacing but you likely don't have them. A pic of your crossover will verify but I am pretty confident that yours are not oil filled! I would load up a pic but having some pc issues at the moment.  I have a very early set SN 01035 and it has the wax block. Actually here it tis.


On the airtight thing a visual inspection will generally reveal any breeches in the cabinet. After you isolate the individual drivers and verify they are functional often they can stay in place and the assumption of factory seal intact is usually made. When woofer re-installation is made a mortite kind of product is used as the gasket and sealing of the cloth surround with Roy's special sauce will finish the sealing job. A manual depressing of the cone at that point will verify seal if the cone responds slowly back to static.

Curious about the cabs now....what did you do? Crayons?



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Just a couple of suggestions when you remove the Potentiometers. Make a drawing of the wires and terminals before desoldering. They are labeled 1,2,3 on each Aetna Pollak Potentiometer. Take some pictures. Make a pen mark where the wire bales line up to the board because you will want to put them back in the same position. There is a small tab that usually make a indentation into the board. I also label each with a T and W on the ceramic portion to identify them since they are identical. 

When you remove the fiberglass make a mental note on the positioning because you will want to put it back the same way.  As far as sealing the cabinets you will notice from my crossover picture I re-sealed around the crossover mounting board with silicone. Around the woofer the mortite sealer that Geoff mentioned is what to use. I use this caulk from Parts Express. It looks like the original.




I too am interested in seeing the cabinets. There is a member here that knows how to work miracles with damaged cabs. 

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Well to my eye it would certainly be a miracle. I can't tell exactly what happened but it looks like water (from a glass I assume) got onto one part. There is some warping going on. I need to charge my phone to get a good picture of it. My concern was that it caused some sort of air leak. I was hoping that maybe an internal sealing was possible.

I might should put a CRINGE warning here. Proceed with caution. Please be gentle with me!






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I have no experience with MDF repair after water damage. Looking at it when I was taking the pictures gave me a thought of applying some sort of adhesive and weighting down the warped part but I gather from your response I need to cut out the damaged part and fill with epoxy. That may be a bit over my head but my dad does that kind of thing a lot. In fact I dare say he enjoys it. Do you just replace a section of the veneer and sand everything down?

  From the pictures can anyone tell if this is likely an air leak situation?

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I got the insulation off of the pots and caps. It does contain the 4uf and 6uf caps. I'll need to order those now that I know what exactly to get. Is there any point to vacuuming the inside of the cabinets? The insulation was quite dusty and left particles everywhere. I know this stuff is itchy. Are there any precautions I should be taking beyond wearing gloves and a mask?

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likely external damage only, inspect from inside for any breech but likely OK. If this kind of work is up your Dad's alley, you may want to extract the tweets and mids to lessen likelihood of damage during cab work. Where is Glenn? He would certainly be able to lend some insights on this. Can't be certain but it appears as the surface may have some cracking from moisture/drying. May be a candidate for that whole surface to be redone. For someone familiar with this work, shouldn't be too big of a deal!

I would have rather seen crayon! LOL

You are stepping into territory where cost to fix will start adding up, but we all have ARs where cost (time and materials) exceeds value. Value schmalue, at the end of the day you will have wonderful speakers.

I use a vacuum during rehab often, just be careful so as to not bust anything!

Many options for caps before you ask, I have grown quite fond of Solens from Madisound for specimens I use for myself. Tear open the pots before ordering anything so you can have a complete shopping list, shipping on small orders can be frustrating and not cost effective.

You will need some surround sealer also. There is much discussion about what to use and many a driver has been permanently affected by incorrect "sealant" use.

Shaping up to be a great project!

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Hi Evo,

Bummer about that cab, but repairable. You'll need to cut away some of the veneer about a 1/2 inch past the damaged MDF areas. Then remove all the loose MDF until you get to the more stable MDF. The goal is to remove enough so it's level again. Next I use a very thin viscosity epoxy called ZPoxy, which will be absorbed by the MDF making it solid again. After the epoxy cures, carefully sand, and file so the surface is smooth and level. Now the best way to repair this is to splice in new veneer to patch the exposed areas. The best results will be with older veneer harvested from old speaker cabs. The natural oxidation will blend better when being refinished. This takes time to do, finding pieces with a grain match as close as possible to the original. Here's some links of speakers I've repaired. Easier than re-posting them all. Hopefully you'll find some helpful info.





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Well as long as the cabinets are air tight I'm really not concerned with asthetics. I know that may be borderline blasphemy but I honestly have to do this as cost effective as possible and I will honestly be happy with a great sound. I think once repaired I can tackle the mdf at a later date. With two little ones I just have less free time than I used to haha.  

I got thepots out and am about to open them up. The caps leaked something but I havent opened that box yet. I did remove them from the cabinets. 

As far as woofer sealant goes I'm following a very detailed thread for pot cleaning over at audiokarma.org. He uses some sort of automotive call that looks similar to the stuff on there. I'll try to find the brand name. 

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I have an AR2ax pair which I restored about a year ago.
The cabinets looked like hell but I didn't go crazy.
Just got them to look really decent with Howard's "retore-a-finish".
Cleaned the pots but left the caps.
Used the detail pot cleaning info at audiokarma and it worked out just fine.

Recently, swapped them into the system.
They sound fanatstic.
I think the AR2ax is very close to the AR3 & AR3a.

As far as the woofer seal try this:

It works perfectly and is cheap.

Down the road, I'll probably replace the caps.
But for now, just enjoying the music.



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