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AR3a Tweeters


der
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I still have my original pair of AR3a that I purchased in 1969.  I replaced the mids (with drivers directly from AR) maybe 22-25 years ago when one went bad. The woofers and tweeters are original.  Although both tweeters have decent output I've often wondered if the sound could be improved by replacing these aging tweeters.  HIVI makes a tweeter that a lot of people seem to like as a replacement and I'm tempted to buy a pair to try.  Apparently they need an inductor as well to sound their best.  Has anyone on this board had experience with them?  Do you think this is a worthy pursuit?  http://www.parts-express.com/hivi-q1r-1-1-8-textile-dome-tweeter--297-417

Thanks,

der

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Der,

When I restored my 3a's last year, I had one tweeter that was open and instead of buying multiple tweeters off of ebay in the hopes of finding a good one, I replaced it with a HiVi Q1R.

The inductor ships with the tweeter and I added it to the crossover but I initially thought that, in comparison to the other speaker, there may have been a very narrow peak in the response curve. With further investigation here at CSP I found a recommendation (from either JKent or RoyC) to add another 6 microfarad cap in the tweeter circuit to bring the capacitance down to 3 microfarads. That seemed to smooth things out.

As far as installation goes, this tweeter is almost a drop in fit.

First, the holes in the flange do not line up to the holes on the front board. What you have to do is remove the flange between the screw mounting hole and the edge, making the hole into a slot (the flange is plastic so this isn't difficult). Pick washers to accommodate the size of the slot.

Second, the flange will flex when you screw it down. I used mortite underneath it and this seems to work ok, but it would probably be better to have six screws in this flange. Maybe others here have come up with a better solution.

To my almost 60 year old ears, this tweeter and the AR tweeter are very close (but I have no way of knowing how much my AR tweeter has changed over the years, though it still has strong output and sounds very smooth).

 

IMG_1544 HiVi.jpg

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Thanks very much for your reply JeffS. My mids and tweeters are front wired unlike yours. That shouldn't be hard to overcome though. My tweeters both have output but over the course of nearly 50 years I can't decide whether or not their sound has degraded enough to require replacement.  After all, I've been listening to these speakers almost exclusively for all that time and I'm pushing 70 pretty hard and am aware I have some hearing loss. 

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der, I have friends that uses HiVi tweeters on their 3a , and it's an excellent choice . But they have broken or burnt tweeters: why replace a working tweeter? I have four AR 3 , considerably older than 3a , but despite the age the four tweeters are vivid and sparkling . And I hope replacing it will be a problem for the next century. Cheers, Adriano

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26 minutes ago, Sonnar said:

der, I have friends that uses HiVi tweeters on their 3a , and it's an excellent choice . But they have broken or burnt tweeters: why replace a working tweeter? I have four AR 3 , considerably older than 3a , but despite the age the four tweeters are vivid and sparkling . And I hope replacing it will be a problem for the next century. Cheers, Adriano

A very valid point Sonnar. Yes, they both work with decent output. The question is, has their sound degraded?  Or, has my hearing?  Maybe a bit of both?

der

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In my experience , if used correctly , without clipping signal by a low power ss amp, an AR 3a tweeter last a very long time without degrading its performance. Unfortunately our ears suffers by significant degradation with age . I 'm 56 years old and I 'm not able to hear high frequencies like the ring of the door bell while I 'm playing music, while my daughters ( 19 and 21 ) heard it very easily.  

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These HiVi tweeters are cheap enough to experiment with.  Other than soldering, it's just a matter of screwing out the old and carefully screwing in the new. I re-used the sealant that was on the original tweeter. Just snug it up and don't use excessive force.

As far as the sound goes, the HiVi is extremely close. I'm not the best guy to ask because I adjust to the situation and tend to make the best of it. In other words, deep dish pizza is different to me than thin crust. Not better or worse.

The HiVi will give you the opportunity to test out new tweeters at a modest cost with no additional changes to the speaker and the ability to get the AR3a tweeters back to their original state within a 1/2 hour.

 

classic%20speaker%20pages?sort=3&page=1IMG_0155_zpstevwbrgo.jpgIMG_0157_zpskh9fpghv.jpgclassic%20speaker%20pages?sort=3&page=1

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Once you make the crossover mods, the primary difference between the HiVi and a good functioning original AR-3a tweeter is that the HiVi is a tad bit "beamy" by comparison and the soundstage will be narrower. If you spend most of your listening time in one place and don't get up and walk around the room a lot, you'll probably never notice it.

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13 hours ago, genek said:

Once you make the crossover mods, the primary difference between the HiVi and a good functioning original AR-3a tweeter is that the HiVi is a tad bit "beamy" by comparison and the soundstage will be narrower. If you spend most of your listening time in one place and don't get up and walk around the room a lot, you'll probably never notice it.

Yes, I've been thinking of experimenting with a pair of these inexpensive drivers. I appreciate your response genek.  Beamy might be an issue with my speaker set-up since I have them flush to the wall and not toed in at all.  I do have a preferred listening position however. Perhaps I'll try a pair after the snow flies and have less to do.

der 

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  • 4 weeks later...

FWIW, PE has the HiVi tweets on sale for $15.50 ea (or 13.60 if you buy a dozen ;)http://www.parts-express.com/hivi-q1r-1-1-8-textile-dome-tweeter--297-417

Don't forget the 0.05μH inductors, and you may want to try this crossover mod suggested by Roy:

Quote

You can easily reduce the capacitance to 3uf in your 3a's without pulling the woofer by putting a 6uf cap in line *at the tweeter*. This will put it in series with the 6uf cap in the cabinet, reducing the total to 3uf. At that point you should be able to turn the tweeter controls to almost full on instead of 3/4...The result will be greater output at the desired higher frequencies...and less output at lower frequencies.

 

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I just ordered everything from Parts Express. I'll give them a try even though I do have some output from my original tweeters.  I can always go back (or have the originals refurbished if the gentleman advertising voice coil replacement and general refurbishing proves to be worthy.)

der

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Received my tweeters, a couple of .05mH chokes and 2 - 5.6 uF caps. Not sure which side the cap is used inline (+ or -) or if it matters. Still have to pick a up some more duct seal.  If I don't like the result I'll put the originals back in. They do still have output but I'm sure it's nowhere what it was 50 years ago.

der

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13 minutes ago, owlsplace said:

Photos would be nice ;)

OK, I can take some photos of the parts later.  I'll also take some photos when I have time to do the actually work.  My units wire to the front so I'll have to make some mods like stan461 did.

der

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I would think the cap should be on the positive terminal of the tweeter. I agree with what everybody here has said about the HiVi-Q1R tweeters. I have used one set so far, but have not done Carl's mod. Parts Express does not seem to have a 6uf capacitor except for the $45.00 AudioCap.  Here are some alternatives I have used.

IMG_0597_zpszgrqbfea.jpg

I use two Dayton's 3uf wired in parallel to make up a 6uf cap.  Here are some other 6uf caps I have used. Top are Erse PulseX caps, left are Clarity PX caps with the insulated leads, and right are the Carli  caps, both from Madisound. Of course on the bottom are the 3uf Dayton precision caps. I finally tried the Carli caps in some AR 7 and 18B speakers and they just sound good. I was apprehensive to use a $1.80 10% capacitor,  but after reading the praise from JKent and Owlsplace I am now a believer.

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of my HiVi tweeter installation, but here is what I did.

IMG_0598_zpshoyzlapn.jpg 

I took a small empty thread spool and cut it in half. I then glued the half spool to the back of the HiVi and the .05Mh coil on top. This lifts the coil off the magnet housing and maybe eliminates any kind  electromagnetic interference.  Just a thought.

I have used the duck seal on some woofers, but now days I like the foam gasket tape. I have also found this product at Parts Express and it is very easy to use and looks original to what AR might have used.

IMG_0599_zps10x4insq.jpg

Good luck on the tweeter replacement and I am looking forward to your impressions of the HIVi's. 

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5.6 is close enough. oops--I stand corrected. See Roy's comment below. 

The 6(ish)uF cap should go on the black wire. I checked with Roy and here's what he wrote:

Quote

the black wire . . . is the crossover's series capacitor side of the circuit.

Larrybody's 1/2 spool as a spacer/insulator is a good idea. Or just use a little block of wood or something else inert. I also agree with him on the PE foam tape and the sealant strips.

-Kent

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Actually, 5.6uf may not be close enough in this case. This cap will be in series with another 6uf cap, which would result in less than 3uf....too low. Get the 6.2uf (10%) from PE if that is where you are shopping.

The tweeter cap is on the black wire side of the crossover, so that is where to put the new series cap. Then connect it to the + side of the tweeter when reversing polarity. The yellow crossover wire would then be connected to the - side of the new tweeter.

The above arrangement is only for those who are trying to preserve the original crossover, otherwise a single tweeter cap is preferable...see below.

When using the HiVi tweeter, I've encouraged experimentation with smaller tweeter cap values and polarity in the past. There  has been some experimentation going on among some HiVi tweeter/3a advocates who prefer it with a single 4.5uf to 5uf cap (replacing the original 6uf crossover cap), with no reversal of polarity, and a typical 8 ohm L-pad level control (no added parallel resistor) for the tweeter. Not reversing the polarity and the smaller cap value seems to smooth out the peak mentioned by JeffS earlier in this thread, while preserving upper midrange output. Btw, adding a series 20uf cap in series with the original cap instead of another 6uf cap, as discussed above, and not reversing the polarity, would be a way to get into this ballpark if anyone is curious. There are differences some people may find preferable.

Roy

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Thanks Roy. I want to preserve the original crossover so I'll go with the 6.2uf cap. I recapped the original crossover a couple of years ago and I might end up going back to the original tweeters if I find I don't care for the HiVi.

der

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Still waiting on the 6.2 uf caps. It's been 4 days since I ordered them and I live an hour and a half from Parts Express.  Pony Express would be a lot faster. Maybe cheaper too. $6.98 shipping for 90 miles. 

 

der

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I finally got my capacitors and getting ready to move forward.  I'm a little unsure of the proper configuration of the choke and cap and the connection to the existing crossover.  This is how I'm deducing it should go based on what I've read.  Please advise. 

 

HiVi.jpg

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