Jump to content

Second pair of ARs! - AR 4x


Robthomp
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi,

Ever since I finished the restoration of my AR 2ax's, with great help from the people on this forum ( thank you all!)  I've been wanting to get my next pair.  My chance came - a couple was selling a pair of AR-4x speakers on CL for what seemed to me like not that much money, considering they seemed to be in pretty good shape.  My main concern was that they still had the original drivers, all working.  Their original photos didn't show them with the grills off, in fact they didn't realize the grills came off and that people might be interested in seeing what's underneath.  When I emailed them to ask if they still had the original drivers, they said 'what's a driver?'.  I could tell they thought the speakers sounded bad, even though they didn't come right out and say it.   I speculated that  scratchy pots with dead spots were probably the culprit, and I know how to deal with that.  I met them and I told them what I know - I'm not really  a wiley person by nature.   It's not clear how much they cared. They were glad to sell them.

Wow, do they sound great.  I wiggled the pots when I got home and those tweeters burst alive.   The cabs aren't nearly in bad shape like my AR 2ax's - a little light restoration and they'll be fine.

I do have some questions.

1)   I learned how to refoam woofers (thank you Roy!)  but these have the cloth surrounds.   How do I evaluate the condition of the surround and determine if it needs any treatment? And if it does, what should i use?  I know people here have talked about some substance that Roy and others use.

2)   The previous owners put little round sticky feet on the cabs. I peeled them off and there's adhesive residue.  Not serious but as a first step I need to clean that off. What do you recommend? Mineral spirits?  Tuoluene?

3)  I think these speakers sound good in combination with my AR 2ax's.  Are there particular combinations of different AR speakers that people like? I'm guessing there are.

 

Rob

 

IMG_1311.jpg

IMG_1315.jpg

IMG_1317.jpg

IMG_1318.jpg

IMG_1320.jpg

IMG_1327.jpg

IMG_1328.jpg

IMG_1330.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice catch! The pots probably need cleaning. I use vinegar to get in all the crevices,
then a Dremel or some such if the corrosion is serious. Capacitors will quite likely
need replacement, too.

Yes, RoyC sells the sealer for the cloth surrounds. The seal on yours looks a little worn
out, so they could probably use a treatment.

I use GooGone or GoofOff, some variation of citrus-based cleaner for adhesive like on
your cabinets. Toluene would be a last resort as it would take wood finish off, too.

I've used various combinations of ARs. Right now my main listening station is two pair
of AR-3a.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is another great rescue and salvage story. Your speakers look great - - identical matching drivers, great cabinets, clean grilles and badges. Advice from dxho is excellent - - try milder cleaning solutions before moving into more toxic solvents, and caps and pots are probably the most necessary items to tend to.

About the woofer surrounds, if you end up applying anything, the only substance to use is Roy's goop, but you should be aware that the 4x woofer was not intended to be completely airtight (notice the semi-transparency of that dust cap?), so resealing is not necessarily required. It takes very little of the liquid butyl to coat a pair of 8" surrounds with a thin coating, and while I do tend to apply it on 4x woofers, it is mostly because I think a fresh, thin application tends to assist in maintaining the original suppleness of the cloth surround. 

My first pair of 4x's (s/n 383XXX, see attached), purchased new when I was a teenager in 1971, look nearly identical to your pair except that mine had squishy foam gaskets instead of rope caulk. Since yours appear to use rope caulk and a sort of "thick" particle board baffle panel, be careful when removing the woofers because sometimes chunks of this board become permanently dislodged due to the tenacity of this original sealing caulk.      

4x v1.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

nice find Rob, congrats. the 4x is the model that got me started. they are worth freshening up for sure, pots will need cleaning almost certainly.

the grilles look great.

as for combining I have tried the 4x with 2ax, 5s, couple different JBL models and other 4x and I think I like them best on their own! curious thing is I have done 4+ sets and they all sound slightly different. they all sound real nice but there is a difference in sound among them. I am working on a set of EPI 100W at the moment and am anxious to do the comparison thing with them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Very nice! Terrific they are from the original owners!

They look very similar to my 4x's as well. My serial numbers are 376790 & 376794, also purchased from the original owners son.

Mine are all original and sound terrific! I did apply a very thin coat of Roy's sealer to the surrounds, which made a noticeable improvement in the bass output. As ra. ra stated, they breath through the dust cap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Well, I finally got a chance to work on these AR-4x's (it's been a busy spring at work).   Restored pots, recapped, sealed woofer surrounds, and cleaned up the cabs.  They sounded great when I got them, they sound even better now, and the cabs look very nice.  I have them next to my AR-2ax's.  

I don't really listen to the two pairs together.  I find that I like to listen to the AR-2ax's when I want to listen to louder music and I'm not going to disturb the neighbors or my girlfriend if she's gone to bed.  When I need to have the volume lower the 4x's deliver a rich sound, at a lower power level.  The 4x's have less bass than the 2ax's of course, but they have a lot for their size.   i have learned they're famous for that. 

 

IMG_1681.jpg

IMG_1682.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a wonderful vintage setup you have Rob. Is that a SX-727 and 1218 I see. My favorite set of 4X's have serial numbers FX162193 and FX162411. They also came from the original owner and still have the warranty registration cards attached.  The woofers have a 1968 date stamp. Here is what they look like.

DZZmKz5.jpg

My other set have woofers that look like yours.  They really do sound very good for 8in  two ways. I have recently been comparing them with some EPI M100's which are also a very impressive 8 in two way.  Enjoy your system, I bet it sounds sweet. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, larrybody said:

What a wonderful vintage setup you have Rob. Is that a SX-727 and 1218 I see. My favorite set of 4X's have serial numbers FX162193 and FX162411. They also came from the original owner and still have the warranty registration cards attached.  The woofers have a 1968 date stamp. Here is what they look like.

IMG_0460_zpsi6yfisuk.jpg

My other set have woofers that look like yours.  They really do sound very good for 8in  two ways. I have recently been comparing them with some EPI M100's which are also a very impressive 8 in two way.  Enjoy your system, I bet it sounds sweet. 

The receiver is a Kenwood KR-5030 that I bought on CL and restored.   I can see why you thought the SX-727 - I just looked at some pictures and from a distance they look pretty similar.   The KR-5030 has 60 wpc but it feels like much more.  I like it enough that when I saw another on CL for cheap I bought it, so now I have two.  The TT is a Dual 1228 that I got at an estate sale, in great condition, for $35.

I don't think I've heard EPIs. Are those from the same era? I recently fixed up a pair KLH model 20s and I'm comparing those to the ARs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...