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A Great-Looking AR Receiver


ar_pro
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I hit the big antique radio show in Kutztown, PA this morning, and spotted the best-looking AR receiver I've seen in 25 years.
These things are usually beat in a dozen different ways; at the very least the front panel shows some sort of wear, but not this one!
The seller wanted $475, and had cleaned & restored the receiver into ready-to-play condition.
If I had any use for it at all, I would've grabbed it at the price, but it deserved a better fate than to wind up as a "shelf queen" display piece, as the radio collectors call them.
Great big photos attached:

ar01.JPG

ar02.JPG

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Yep, that one's a real beauty! Considering the prices these receivers sometimes bring, that's by no means an unfair asking price. Of course, a wood case would make this even mo' better, and it would be interesting to know exactly what 'restored' actually means. I'd really like to attend the Kutztown show some day. Thx for the report.

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Heading out in about 20 minutes to head to Kutztown!  We should have "CSP" T-shirts so we can recognize our fellow nuts. I mean enthusiasts.

I guess timing is everything. I have an AR  receiver on my bench right now. Spent more than that and it has a significant scratch on the face plate.

Anyway, won't get there until about 11 AM and I'll bet the AR will be gone by then. But there will be other things to tempt me! Better leave my wallet at home! (not) :D

-Kent

AR Receiver.jpg

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An interesting day. My 1st time at Kutztown--it's about 2+ hours away. Spent a few hours there with Tim of Bristol Electronics. As Tim said, there were "oceans of old wood-cabinet radios." Found a KLH Model Eight. Nice radio, dicey speaker. The price was "OK". Bought several vacuum tubes, some Switchcraft jacks and a pair of KLH Nineteen speakers. Was looking for a tube tester but nothing tempted me.

Prices are all over the map. Many seemed high but apparently they're negotiable. It was nice to go once. Not too many speakers. Saw some AR-2a's and some Dynacos, neither of which were bargains. There was a pair of Bose 901s out on the lawn without the EQ but I didn't ask the price. The focus is really on old radios and there's not a lot of "our" era hi-fi. Saw a very interesting Phase Linear setup with solid wood side panels that Frank may have liked. Maybe I'll go again in a couple of years,

Kutztown.jpg

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Sorry I didn't take pics. The guy was playing music through a nice restored Eico tube preamp and a reworked PL 400 amp (love those meters!) and some Rogers 6 speakers. Sounded great! Next to that he had a stack of 3 PL components: an noise reduction unit, preamp and power amp. All had what appeared to be solid oak (?) side panels. No meters on the amp and I think it was lower power but physically larger than the 400. Even had the owner's manuals from all 3. The noise reduction unit was missing one rack handle but otherwise pretty pristine. Guess I shoulda inquired.

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I was there Friday and picked up a rough pair of AR-4xs with bad tweeters. The fellow knew my name here from my AR-1 post, but I didn't find out if he knew it from here or AK. Oh, the two 4xs were $20. I already cleaned the pots (first time) and they're now perfect.

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I saw the Phase Linear equipment with the wooden panels on Thursday, Kent; the seller had a pair of AR-3a speakers at the time, so I guess they sold.

We originally started visiting this show on Saturday, when it was still possible to snag the odd piece of audio equipment.
I can recall buying a Crown IC-150 preamplifier for ten dollars.
Over time, it became more important to arrive on Friday, and now the sweet spot seems to be Thursday, by noon.
There's a $15 buyer's premium on Thursday, but you can never tell what you'll find.

A few years back, I just missed a nice pair of AR-90 systems that had sold for $75.
I asked the buyer what he'd paid, and offered him $150 on the spot, and he accepted.
He doubled his investment in 30 seconds, and never had to lift a speaker!

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2 hours ago, DKinYORKpa said:

I was there Friday and picked up a rough pair of AR-4xs with bad tweeters. The fellow knew my name here from my AR-1 post, but I didn't find out if he knew it from here or AK. Oh, the two 4xs were $20. I already cleaned the pots (first time) and they're now perfect.

That was me and my son and it was a pleasure to meet and chat with you at the show. I also sold a pair of KLH Model Nineteens for $25 so I think I we met JKent also! I wish I had known. Maybe we should start wearing tags with our CSP ID's.

All of the AR products we saw at the show were pre-1975. The AR Receiver was a great piece and the seller let it go for sub $400. The AR-3a / Phase Linear combo provided music in our building most of Thursday. I believe the 3a's sold on Friday. A pair of restored 2ax's showed up again (they had been there in the spring show). There was an orphan AR-2a in lacquered mahogany with a warranty card for $75 that came in from Salem, MA. Surprisingly there were no TA's, XA's, or XB's. There was a great pair of 3's that my son brought along but they never made it to the table. One had a warranty card, early serial # (20xxx), the other had a plus 30000 serial # with an AR guarantee. Both units were in oiled walnut cabinets and were most likely a mono to stereo pair. I had hoped to be able to display them for a while but they sold immediately (before we got them out of the car!).

I was happy to find some literature that had been kept by a professor. Neatly arranged in a notebook were, among other articles and sales literature, a reprint of 'New High-Frequency Speaker' by Ed Villchur reprinted from Audio Oct 1958, and original copies of AR-2, AR-2a, and 'High Fidelity at Grand Central' sales pamphlets.

Here's a video frame of the Phase Linear combo that was driving the 3a's (the 3a's were replaced with B&W's). I thought Frank might like this.

 

 

 

Phase stack.jpg

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JeffS, thanks for the thought and consideration, I appreciate that.

If the price was good, I may have bought one piece. That pre-amp in the middle group of the three is a decent pre-amp, the PL-2000 Series II. Coupled to that PL400 next to it make a sounding duo for a AR-3a speaker system with a nice TT and cartridge. It's almost like describing a favorite dinner meal.

Truthfully, I think my equipment buying days have reached an apex. Now, it'll be just accessories, MC cartridges, tweaks, more vinyl (actually more vinyl is past the point of being quite ridiculous) but, still I'm expecting 3 new disks coming in the mail. 

Must be some sort of throw-back tendency, obviously making up for all the stuff I couldn't afford over 40+ years ago.

 FM

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Hi JeffS

Yes, I bought the KLH Nineteens as you were loading them into the van. I didn't realize (I'm a bit brain dead) you were the same fellow with the nice PL setup. I wrote earlier we should have CSP T-shirts or something ;)

And I'm glad to see the photo of that PL system although it proves my memory is faulty: The amp is smaller than the 400. Oh well. And I remember seeing those nice B&W speakers but I thought your setup with the PL400 and Eico pre had a pair of Rogers 6 speakers. Maybe that was another table? It's all a bit overwhelming.

I was kind of tempted by the amp but I have too many components as it is......

Next time we GOTTA have CSP IDs!

-Kent

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1 hour ago, ar_pro said:

Wow!!! It shows up on the auction site so fast.. ($400->899.00)

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Linear scale on various serial and model R, W  AR receiver...

 

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14 hours ago, JKent said:

Hi JeffS

Yes, I bought the KLH Nineteens as you were loading them into the van. I didn't realize (I'm a bit brain dead) you were the same fellow with the nice PL setup. I wrote earlier we should have CSP T-shirts or something ;)

And I'm glad to see the photo of that PL system although it proves my memory is faulty: The amp is smaller than the 400. Oh well. And I remember seeing those nice B&W speakers but I thought your setup with the PL400 and Eico pre had a pair of Rogers 6 speakers. Maybe that was another table? It's all a bit overwhelming.

I was kind of tempted by the amp but I have too many components as it is......

Next time we GOTTA have CSP IDs!

-Kent

Kent,

The Phase Linear setup wasn't mine. I shot video and grabbed a frame that I thought Frank might enjoy. That Phase / AR setup was providing music to our half of the building without breaking a sweat.

You did miss my compromised KLH Eight receiver with KLH driver in a homemade cabinet that I sold for $80. Great for parts / repair. I impulsively purchased it at the spring show but it needed more attention than I was willing to give it so we parted ways. No doubt that in your hands it would have come back to life!

 


 

 

KLH Eight front.jpg

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6 minutes ago, JeffS said:

You did miss my compromised KLH Eight receiver with KLH driver in a homemade cabinet that I sold for $80. Great for parts / repair.

Dang!

Would have been a good parts donor. Some things (like face plates) are just unobtainium. I'm afraid that box is beyond repair but all the other goodies, from the knobs on back, will be useful to someone.

My tech friend Tim is convinced I'm trying to own every Model Eight ever produced. He may be right. I have restored about 110 of them so far and there are half a dozen on the shelf awaiting restoration. They all go to Tim for alignment and other professional work beyond my ability, and he keeps 2 or 3 donor chassis for parts.

Of course I don't keep them all. I have a couple of keepers but the rest get sold to people who will play them and love them. I often lose money on them but it's a really fun hobby.

-Kent

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