Jump to content



Recommended Posts

Looking at those pine AR3a's makes me want to share this short story. My middle son lives in Chicago and works downtown on Michigan Avenue. A few weeks ago he had a coworker and his wife over for dinner and he commented on the KLH model 23's I had given him. He said he had some old speakers stored in his garage that were his grandfathers. He didn't think they were KLH's though. My son told him his father is into old speakers and may be interested in them. A week or so later my son stopped by and sent me four phone pictures of them. They appeared to be really nice AR2a's and looked very much original. I didn't want to offend his coworker with a low offer, so I decided to offer $250.00 to start with. He accepted the offer.  Last weekend my son was down for a birthday party and brought me the speakers. They were way nicer than I ever could have imagined.




I don't think they had ever been touched. I haven't hooked the up yet but will soon. Now for the icing on the cake.

When my son stopped by to pick them up the guy said he also had his grandpa's old receiver and wanted to get rid of it. It was a old Scott which they both had never heard of and a quick google search came up with little. My son ask what he wanted for it and they agreed on $50.00. I knew nothing about it till he showed up with the speakers.

Turns out it is a Scott R77S and in like new shape. Made in the USA in the very early 70's. I can find nothing wrong with it. Not a scratch, light out, no noise or anything. This guy's grandfather must of taken excellent care of his gear.


I let my son know I was happy and gave him a nice finders fee.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a great story, and those 2a's look fantastic. It's so good to see a pair with that original grille cloth fully intact, and with the exception of a couple crumpled paper tags, the cabinets look unblemished as well. I assume those are walnut veneer, but being a bit on the light side with a slight tint of reddishness, they almost look like they could be cherry veneer. Good to hear they've found a proper home.

That particular era of solid state Scott electronics is very unfamiliar to me, but I would suspect that receiver is a very solid performer - - I think it was then TOTL at 2x80W, 8 ohms. It has a very simple, straightforward styling that seems to borrow some of the best features of Marantz (blue dial....or is it green?) and Harmon Kardon (stacked rows of round button switches). Does it show a company address from Maynard, MA or maybe Woburn, MA? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These appear to be finished on both long faces...?

Remember that these were designed to be horizontal because of the crossed mids. If you want to use them vertically, you'll probably want to replace the dual mids with a 2ax mid driver.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent point by genek about preferred horizontal orientation for best dispersion (besides, they look better that way, IMO). Not exactly sure why (since the AR-2 and 2a used that same dual driver), but apparently the 2 and the 2a cabinets had different approaches to the finish on the "bottom" long surface, as shown in attached literature. Not totally certain about this either, but I think the badges on these two models were glued and did not have the rotating screw attachment, which would have allowed for the badge to respond to multiple orientations. With a fixed badge position, AR was pretty much dictating the proper orientation if one wishes for the badges to read properly.  

AR-2 underside.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thats a good point on the horizontal orientation of these speakers. In fact if you look closely you can see the remnants of some felt pads on the long side. The badge is installed with a small screw on the back, so they can be rotated. Do not have the stick pin "a" badge. I ordered a set for my first set from Kent since they were missing all badges. These are definitely walnut veneer and I doubt they need much done to them. My first set are the rare Korina veneer and are labeled that way.




As far as the bonus Scott R77S receiver, the picture I posted it not entirely accurate. The display is green and it does have the Maynard MA Powdermill Road address on the back. One thing I noticed is that does not seem to have a protection circuit. The DC offset on both channels is below 7ma, which is extraordinary.  I have a Bluetooth adapter hooked up to the aux and streaming music to some restored AR 25's and I don't think I have heard them sound so good. Have yet to hook these AR2a speakers up.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, larrybody said:

The badge is installed with a small screw on the back, so they can be rotated.

Oops, I guess I was just trying to spin some 'alternative facts'. :lol:

Yes, I can definitely ID the walnut now, and I had forgotten you chased down that rare pair in Korina. Re: Scott electronics, am not sure when they departed Powdermill Rd. or the vintage of your receiver, but I'd probably have initial optimism about most anything that was produced while the company was in Maynard. Great thread - - - you really got some fine gear delivered from Chicago.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great score!

I have 2a's with the same grilles, finished all 4 sides but mine are lacquered mahogany. The badges are screwed on. Nice sounding speakers.


AR 2a.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hooked the AR2a's up to a little Lepai 2020A+amp today and got sound from all six drivers. Pots will definitely need cleaned for they had several drop outs. Ordered new caps from Madisound last week and they are already here.  Time to remove the grills. There were twenty small brass colored staples to be removed. Used a small jewelers flat blade screwdriver and 8 oz. hammer till I could grab them with needlenose pliers. Was careful to avoid snagging the grill cloth. Use some plastic pry bars, the kind  used in car stereo installation to loosen the grills. It seems there is a channel the grill fits into and it takes some finesse to get them out. I finally got the grill out with only one small crack in the masonite. Will be extra careful with the other.



And there were the drivers. First time in the daylight in over 50 years.




I have to go into work tomorrow, but Wednesday I will get the pots out and cleaned.  One more thought. I have some built in and freestanding bookcases, but nothing that these will fit into. I have to give some thought on how I am going to display them. Maybe I will just lay these across some other speakers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Thought I should finalize this thread and report on the AR2a's which have been completed for a week and have about 40 hours of listening time. The woofers were really sealed in and I had to take a razor knife and cut around them to gently pry them out. The backs of the magnets were covered with a fine dust which I determined to be fiberglass.


The crossovers looked just as they should with a 4uf and 6uf wax cap block. The 6uf section tested 7.6 and 7.75 respectively. The 4uf section read 5.1 and 5.89. The coil read 1.278mh and 1.318 each. I decided to replace the with new polypropylene caps which I chose the two most closely matching pairs from a group of eight each. The pots were in relatively good condition from what I had seen before. They were a slightly different design incorporating a different wiper with a small spring. I would guess these are from 1960-61 time frame. Here are photos both pairs with the left cleaned and the right uncleaned. I used a Dremel with a brass brush and coated  them with DeoxIT G5 to treat the metal.



New caps installed with new 16 gauge OFC copper wire. I left the original cap block in place. 


Fiberglass back in place. New caulking strips installed. These are the ones from Parts Express and are almost identical to what AR used originally. Notice the 6 in. leads soldered to the woofer and wire nutted to the original leads. This is something I got from KLH and doubt if AR ever did this. Also notice the painters tape with the tic marks to help me line up the screw holes when reinstalling the woofer.



Everything is going swimmingly. It's like I had done this before. Then the hickup.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

The next step is to apply some of Roy's goo to the cloth surrounds. I began brushing and gently wiping the surround and noticed the woofer moving around. I appears the masonite ring has come unglued and detached. How could I have missed this? Close inspection of the other woofer reveals the same condition. I do not want to remove the woofers and definitely do not want to remove the dust caps to align the voice coils. I decided to carefully scrape the old glue off and align the voice coil with a 30hz test tone. Of course I used Aleene's Tacky (the glue of the gods) Notice the 1/2 in nuts used to weigh down the ring, but that was not really needed as you can keep applying pressure as the glue sets. Also I like how you can take the midrange and tweeter out of circuit with the rear jumper.



The next step was to spruce up the cabinets a bit. They are really in very nice shape with just a few superficial scratches.First I used a razor blade scraper and goo gone to carefully remove the remnants of the felt pads. I then used Scotts Wood Wash (sold under the Liquid Gold brand) and you wouldn't believe the dirt I got out of the veneer. Wiped on and wiped off some Howard's Walnut Restore-a-Finish and was quite pleased with the results. Lukecat is making me a believer in this, although I am not ready to use it as a stain. Finished with some Howard's feed n wax. Roy's surround sealer stays sticky for a long time. Try not to touch it.


 I have no place to display these without pulling down my 5's or 3a's so they are temporarily on the fireplace hearth to evaluate them. I used the Scott R77S that they were probably accustomed to initially, but then switched to a SX-1250 and lastly to a Adcom GFA555II. They do sound really good. I still prefer my 5's and 3a's. Probably these were originally used with tubes and I do have Scott 299c ii can try. Unfortunately today is their last day, for I am going to Home Depot to get boxes and styrofoam to pack them away. I will probably let them go, because I have another pair in Korina finish that I will hold on to. I tried to restore them to keep as close to original as possible. 




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice job with that re-furb project - - - you've got another beautiful pair of Classics. Good to see those older pots clean up so well, and good work with the new wiring, too. Like yourself, I also like to use wire nuts on the final woofer connection in order to facilitate easier future removal.

Re: woofer, no doubt some of that dusty buildup might be micro fiberglass particles, but I always approach the removal of this type of accumulation with great care. Not unlike the crud that builds up on the pots after many years, I've always thought this dust was also caused by metallic properties over time due to the driver magnet, and with cobalt as one of the magnet metals in ALNICO, it is worth being cautious. After carefully sweeping away the dust, I typically wipe them down with white vinegar. I think I learned that on these pages, but someone else will know better about this.

On the masonite rings, that failure of the original glue is fairly typical with these woofers, and I sort of hate to mention it, but this often occurs with the spider connection as well. :( 

Great project, thx for sharing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not too many people around who can appreciate the beauty of these speakers these days. Very nice, indeed ...

I think Robert (ra.ra) has the best approach to the powder residue on the woofers. The glue failure on the spiders has come up before. May want to play them for awhile to see if this becomes an issue. If they pass to someone without your skill set it could become an issue.



Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...