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Heavy damage - is it restorable? (AR 18)


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Found only one 18 speaker by the railway while walking home - wasn't expecting tossed AR speaker lying on the ground and looking in the sky, so I took it home. 

After a nice warm welcome, I examined speaker, took a few pictures, and then I realized what kind of heavy damage does speaker have. 

So I ask you guys with a lot of experience in these kind of situations, should I try to restore it by myself, ask someone for help ($$) or should I just take drivers out and toss cabinet :(


Merry Christmas and a happy New Year from Croatia :)






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This one is beyond the pale.  The cabinet condition is the show-stopper here.  There are ways to get those gaps closed on the cabinets, but considering the value of the speakers, I concure with Roger: part it out.


- Rich W

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Since you do not have a complete pair and the cabinet is.... shall we say.... a little roughed up, it's difficult to get too enthusiastic about a full restoration effort. Nonetheless, I am very pleased to see that you've been successful with preliminary clean-up, have attested that both drivers are functioning, and have not automatically gravitated toward selling the working parts.

It will take a bit of persuasion to get that cabinet looking decent, largely because particle board does not behave well after having been exposed to moist or wet conditions. Still, after cleaning the open miter joints and applying new adhesive and some serious clamping force, it may all come back together to become a presentable and airtight cabinet box.

The rust on the woofer basket will clean up after applying a bit of elbow grease. Naval jelly can be used to loosen up some of the rust, but I suspect that some moderate grit sandpaper or emory cloth will take care of most of the corrosion. Try to stay away from using steel wool or else you may find many of the little wool strands attached to the woofer magnet, which can be a very unpleasant nuisance. Also, it wouldn't be surprising to find some rust on the backside as well, and if so, perhaps you could clean that up a bit as well. The white-ish build-up is mostly removable with a simple rag or paper cloth and household white vinegar. 

Looks like you have found the original AR-18 model with the offset tweeter (sort of an updated AR-7) - - a very fine little speaker. Pic attached of some AR-7 woofers shows what you are shooting for with regards to cleaning the basket frames. Good luck and happy holiday. 


woofers clean.jpg

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Ra.ra thank you for reply, I've managed to get rid of the rust, now it's shining! :)

First cleaned all with cloth and kitchen vinegar, than sandpapered the whole basket with 3 grit size types, and applied some WD-40 with cloth for final touch. 

I won't throw cabinet away, it will be a good polygon for practice.






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Great job cleaning up that woofer - - - that looks even better than what I thought you might achieve! Also, good to see that you left the part number sticker on the basket. One thought ....... if you applied WD40 to bare metal in order to help prevent further corrosion, just be sure to wipe it off in the area where the new foam surround will be glued to the metal before you begin the re-foam process.

In third (close-up) photo from previous post, are those metal filings attached to magnet?

Naysayers aside, given your skills and perseverance, I still think you can squeeze that damaged cabinet back into useful condition. I like to see these kind of "rescue" threads, particularly when the enthusiasm far exceeds the monetary expense invested. 

silk purse.jpg

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Great job on the woofer. How's the tweeter?

Even I would probably pass on that cab. I would however, harvest the veneer if is real walnut, and save it for future restorations and repairs when damaged corner veneer is needing replacement.


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Metal filings aren't attached to magnet, but they where all around the basket through sanding process (macro pic is from one of the screw holes). Since they were really small, I get rid of them with few wet cloth moves. Thanks for the WD40 tip ra.ra! 

David - yes, patience is my good old friend :) 

Glenn - tweeter is doing just fine, on one of my AR-25 I had a replacement tweeter from AR-18s (the one with S shaped lead, 200038-0), and now i finnaly have all the original parts on AR25 - or at least for now when cabinet is under construction :)  Veneer is not real walnut, it's not ar-3a after all ;)

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