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Another Fine Pair


DavidDru
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Something about unfinished pine cabinet models for me lately.  On the relative heels of those real nice AR2's I came into this very nice set of unfinished 5's today.  Everything is intact and functioning.  Pots are rough but found spots to get all drivers working.  Great grilles and badges.  Stickers on the back are like new.  Must have been in a console or up on a shelf all these years.

Serial numbers are 28834 and 28840.

Sound is okay.  Bass is oddly lean.  Do seem to soak up the power.  Hard to judge at this early juncture.

 

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My lounge there is MCM!

Got them off of Offer Up.  First time I have seen something of note on there.  First time seller used it too.  He gets items from a local thrifts big clearing warehouse so he probably paid $10 for them.  I did okay as well.

No grilles off yet.  Brought them in last night and now I'm on a plane heading out.

Gotta think the foam surrounds need replacement and may be why I didn't get much base in the 2 songs I played.

I really hope I can remove them without damage.  Might try a little heat.  Anyone hazard to guess if these might have staples or just glue?

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4 hours ago, DavidDru said:

Gotta think the foam surrounds need replacement and may be why I didn't get much base in the 2 songs I played.

I really hope I can remove them without damage.  Might try a little heat.  Anyone hazard to guess if these might have staples or just glue?

They look great, David!

I've never seen staples in AR-5 grills...mostly hot glue, with very late versions having velcro. You can often loosen the grill by carefully tugging on a sheet rock screw in the hole used for the badge. (which can easily be repaired if necessary.)

AR increased two inductor values in the 5's crossover in the early 70's. Based on the serial numbers, I believe your specimens have the later crossover with the larger coils. It will be interesting to see them when you get to that point.

In my experience, the sensitivity of the AR-5 is on the low side compared to its brethren.

Roy

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On 5/9/2017 at 5:56 AM, DavidDru said:

... Gotta think the foam surrounds need replacement and may be why I didn't get much base in the 2 songs I played.

I really hope I can remove them without damage.  Might try a little heat.  Anyone hazard to guess if these might have staples or just glue?

Just glue ... nice find ... David ;)

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Kudos to David for finding yet another fine pair of classics - - - those AR-5's are simply gorgeous and look like brand new. It is pleasantly surprising to see the consistently high quality of vintage hi-fi products you are dragging home from various locations in the far northwest. I'd agree with your suspicion that the flabby bass is most likely due to disintegrated foam surrounds, but I'm sure you'll get these babies up to snuff before too long. Set up with your pristine pine AR-2a's, this quad ensemble would be a real aural, and visual, treat to experience.

 

 

   

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Hey Roger, thought you would find interest in these.

I really got kinda lucky ra.ra.  There are a few dings in the cabinets, but nothing that cant be addressed if wanted.  I will be putting these aside for a bit until I can get the proper time to work on them correctly.  Really want to salvage the grilles.  Same with those 2a's I found.

 

What's funny is matching them up to stands that look good with the unfinished pine.  I am going to have to figure it out. 

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Nice find, they look great.  I have not looked at the AR speaker market for several years but am curious about the unfinished pine models; are they generally worth more than the walnut models.  Like I have said, not been looking at the market in years, but have never seen unfinished pine models for sale.  They must be rare.  I have a working set of old 3A's and was curious as to what they were worth.  They were stained walnut by someone else and the grills are a little frayed at the corner but they work fine.

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The pines can be rare as less were produced.  At this point it seems they were either refinished with paint or stain long ago (as that was the intent to allow owners and decorators to match the room or cabinetry), or were put into something like a cabinet or console and are now coming out looking like new.  You would have to look at historical sales numbers to determine increased value, but it does seem like good condition versions are being picked up by collectors at a bit of a premium.  Advanced settings on ebay search where you can select "sold" listings give you an decent barometer.

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On 5/12/2017 at 11:06 AM, DavidDru said:

Hey Roger, thought you would find interest in these.

I really got kinda lucky ra.ra.  There are a few dings in the cabinets, but nothing that cant be addressed if wanted.  I will be putting these aside for a bit until I can get the proper time to work on them correctly.  Really want to salvage the grilles.  Same with those 2a's I found.

 

What's funny is matching them up to stands that look good with the unfinished pine.  I am going to have to figure it out. 

make some out of clear pine to mimic the original 4 leg AR stands, put a couple coats of satin poly on them?

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  • 3 weeks later...
On May 15, 2017 at 3:03 PM, michiganpat said:

make some out of clear pine to mimic the original 4 leg AR stands, put a couple coats of satin poly on them?

I was thinking the same thing!

Another great find David!

Look forward to seeing them opened up once you get started on them.

Cheers, Glenn

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm in!

Took a littel time this afternoon to break into one of these.  Got past the grilles and inside to see what we had here.

Grilles came of fine.  Worked a pick under one end in a couple spots and it started coming up.  The glue was brittle and didn't hold too strongly.  There is an internal frame that was stapled to the inside lip of the cabinet that the grille sits on and is glued to.

Yes the woofer surround was deteriorated off.  Just emailed Rick Cobb.  Only 4 screws on the woofer and it had the cheapy white foam for a seal.  A few blobs of the old mortite too.  As you can see in the photos the back magnet etc has the white powder crap on it.  And masking tape around the edges.  On the tape is stamped September 25, 1972.

Plenty of the insulation under the cloth.  It weighed at 1lb 4.4 oz.

Big good looking Sprague Compulytic caps - 24 (blue)and  72uF (purple) plus the other Industrial Condenser 4uF.  Everything looks like it is brand new in there of course, similar to the cabs.  Almost don't want to mess with it. ;)

I guess the pots are next so stay tuned.  Testing the caps as well.

 

 

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4 hours ago, DavidDru said:

Roy, what do you see there with the 3 coils?

Hi David,

They are the second iteration of coils. The date codes on the Sprague caps confirm a late 1972 manufacture date. The 4uf Industrial Condenser tweeter cap often measures as well as the Spragues in AR-5's.

Do a careful re-foam job and get the controls working smoothly, and you will have a very fine pair of 5's. They appear to be beauties.

Roy

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Thanks Roy.

Yes, I think I will leave the caps alone unless I get them all put together and they end up sounding flat or dull.

I got into one of the pots this evening and they are different than the others in other AR pots I have dealt with.  Little plastic posts hold the wiper on the shaft, and not very securely.  Overall though there is no pitting, just a little of the white corrosion that I think Deoxit would even be good enough to take care of.  If so I could leave them in and not have to do any unsoldering etc.  Will try that first and check the reading with my DMM.

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13 hours ago, DavidDru said:

Thanks Roy.

Yes, I think I will leave the caps alone unless I get them all put together and they end up sounding flat or dull.

I got into one of the pots this evening and they are different than the others in other AR pots I have dealt with.  Little plastic posts hold the wiper on the shaft, and not very securely.  Overall though there is no pitting, just a little of the white corrosion that I think Deoxit would even be good enough to take care of.  If so I could leave them in and not have to do any unsoldering etc.  Will try that first and check the reading with my DMM.

 

 

If they are flat or dull sounding, it would much more likely be caused by tired tweeters. It can't hurt to replace the cap, but these tweeters are almost always the culprit.

You have the later (and better) pots with metal shafts. I would still go over the contact areas (except the resistor coil) with fine sandpaper or dremel brush, then follow up with Deoxit for final cleaning.

Roy

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  • 3 weeks later...

Got everything put back together.  They work great including the pots that only needed a littel cleaning believe it or not.  They must have been in a very good environment all this time to have so little corrosion.

On these woofers, how much of a delay should I be getting on the push test?  They are popping right back out.  Sound seems good but maybe I am missing more if these are supposed to be the usual acoustic suspension slow return.

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12 hours ago, DavidDru said:

Got everything put back together.  They work great including the pots that only needed a littel cleaning believe it or not.  They must have been in a very good environment all this time to have so little corrosion.

 

Hi David,

Huge differences between an air conditioned room on the main floor for example, compared to a basement listening room.

I lived with both for a decade and a half each. 

Upstairs, things like pots and switches stay clean for the longest time. Speaker surrounds last much longer but are eventually doomed no matter where they are.

I'm a late comer to your "5" acquisition. What a great find!

I had a new pair of 2ax just shortly before the Five was introduced.

Back then, I was not in a position to make any changes but I WAS thinking if both were available when I got my pair I probably would have opted for the 5.

I could not help but notice that modified Phase Linear 400 in the background. Could you provide  some information  on the restoration, if you know.

 

Bill

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23 hours ago, DavidDru said:

Got everything put back together.  They work great including the pots that only needed a littel cleaning believe it or not.  They must have been in a very good environment all this time to have so little corrosion.

On these woofers, how much of a delay should I be getting on the push test?  They are popping right back out.  Sound seems good but maybe I am missing more if these are supposed to be the usual acoustic suspension slow return.

it's always nice when you find a decent batch of pots, congrats.

Did you reuse the foams on the woofers? I have not been comfortable using them when I have had a choice, especially with a good size basket with only four fasteners. The original pics you posted seem to reveal an inordinate amount of duct seal randomly around drivers and baffle. QC from factory? Air leak test fixes? The "push test" should be as you think, slow response.

I really like these 5s, any thoughts on the unfinished pine?

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I did not use that white foam ring that they had.  Seemed to be flattened down.  Yes, there was splotches of the old mortite type putty here and there around the edges of the drivers too so maybe they were not having ultimate success getting a good seal with that thin piece of foam I found.  Also around each of the screws, which I can understand with that foam stuff being potential leak spots.  I tried some foam weather stripping stuff I found at home depot that looked similar to the foam driver sealant stuff you get from parts express.  Maybe it isn't as dense and isn't doing the trick.  Maybe I will take one of the woofers back off and replace that foam I used with the putty stuff to see if there is a difference.

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Bill,  The PL 400 you see is my White Oak Phase Linear 400.  It ain't your fathers PL!  The White Oak up grade/mods take the best few pieces of the old PL and swaps in all new everything else and the result is an outstanding amp that is right up there with today's best.  Plus it still has the great looks of the original PL with the meters etc.

I purchased it from a guy that did the mods and here is his build thread:

WOPL 400

 

And oh yeah, all those issues with PL's going nuclear reactive?  All taken care of.

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David,

Thanks for that.

I think I came across that mod. A few years back, while re visiting some of Bob Carvers Evolutionary history.

After getting a reputation for having those amps implode, he sharpened his engineering pencils and came up with some near bulletproof designs (magnetic field "brand") and the Sunfire. (I'm sure you are aware of them.

I had a new, original stock 400 coupled with the matching 2000 preamp.

Despite the reputation, I got 11 years of heavy, high volume nearly abusive service out of it.

Based on that, I stuck with Bob all this time from 1977 until present with the Sunfire multichannel amp.

In Between there were the Carver 1.ot's from 88 until 2001.

Those were sold off on EBay in perfect operating condition as is the current Sunfire, which remains in the system.

Bill

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