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Follow up ar-5


duvel
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Hello, 

I'm new here. I found this site already very helpful. 

I would like your opinion on a new purchase I made a couple of days ago (AR-5). I bought them at the thrift shop . 

They are in reasonably good condition. There are some scratches on the wood, Some work has been done by the previous owner; the potentiometers on the back have been bridged and the foam of the woofer has been replaced. 

They sound good, but I have some doubts about the originality and quality of the components. Based on the pictures, what is your opinion? And what kind of wood do you think it is? 

Looking forward to your reaction, 

Tijs

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They are Euro style AR 5s.  The mid and tweeter look original.  The woofer definitely looks AR but one earlier than what I personally have seen in this cabinet style.  There are others here who have deeper knowledge than I, who may reply.  Assuming the mid and tweet are working normally Lpads are a far better solution than unbridged potentiometers IMO unless you are using an equalizer to reduce the unbearable brightness of the untamed mid.

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Hi duvel, and welcome to the forum. To my eye, those speakers look entirely original and in fantastic condition, so I'd be curious to know what makes you suspicious about their authenticity, and why you describe their condition as only "reasonably good". I'd agree with Aadams that you'd be better off having functioning tone controls - - either L-pads or restored pots. The woofer w/flat dust cap looks good to me, although it certainly could be a transplant from a 2ax speaker. I'd suspect it may have the square ferrite magnet, and all of this could be easily confirmed simply by removing four screws and inspecting the woofer backside - - at same time, inspect the crossover components.

The Euro style cabinet with thin profile face frame is also correct, and I think it is typical to see back-wired mid and tweet in the Euro AR-5. As far as wood species, it's hard to tell from just one pic, but I'd guess those are either teak or English walnut, which often looks very different from American walnut. 

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Hi, thanks for your quick reactions. I thought the mid and tweet possibly aren't authentical because they looked too new to me to match their supposed age and yes, they work normally. I used the term 'reasonably good' because they seem to lack in the low (bass) when I compare them to my AR-6. Could it be the caps? 

I'm thinking the wood is teak. Do you have any tips on how to treat the wood to reduce the scratching on it?

 

 

 

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All things being equal AR5 will have better bass than the AR6 plus it has the sonic characteristics of a 3a.  If you are certain that the 6 has more bass than the 5 I would check the woofer seal since the woofer is almost certain to have been removed for refoam.  While looking inside if you discover your caps are Compulytics my advice  would be to not worry about caps unless you truly have reason to believe they are defective.

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That's a beautiful speaker, such great-looking veneer.

If the scratches aren't too deep, maybe just going over the cabinets with some superfine 3M synthetic steel wool, and then a light furniture oil would do the trick.

Otherwise, a light sanding & finishing might completely eliminate the scratches; but the other side of that coin is that you'd be altering the gorgeous color that took 4 decades to acquire.

 

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  • 4 months later...

You should continue to post in your original thread rather than starting a new one. http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?/topic/9339-opinion-needed-on-ar-5/

Your European AR-5's appear to be very near the end-of-production versions. Other than by-passed pots, they appear to be in very nice condition. The capacitors are not the best AR used, and often need to be replaced.

It would be appreciated if you would share a photo of the back of your woofers and confirm the numbers written on the crossover inductors.

Roy

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I'm sorry for opening a new thread, I'm new at the forum thing.

Thanks for the info about the capitators. I was afraid they weren't original. I'm going to replace them.

The number at the back of the woofer is not readable but here's a picture of it. Maybe the other woofer is better, but I didn't open it yet. I'm at work now but I will check the numbers on the inductors later.

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That certainly looks to be an original woofer, but maybe you can include a clear photo of the red/white sticker with the part number - - these often have date codes as well. It appears that the inductor in the upper left is a #11 coil, which would be consistent with the U.S. version.

 

 

AR-5 x-o Euro.jpg

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The woofers appear to be consistent with the time frame of the back-wired mids and tweeters, so they are probably original. Your 5's are very late production versions of this model.

The crossover work looks OK from what I can see. What I can't see are all the L-pad connections.

Roy

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2 hours ago, duvel said:

is it a good or bad thing that they or late production ? I take pictures of the connections later.

Not necessarily "bad", but the majority of AR-5's had woofers with alnico magnets with somewhat different response characteristics, which are generally regarded as preferable.

Roy

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19 hours ago, RoyC said:

Not necessarily "bad", but the majority of AR-5's had woofers with alnico magnets with somewhat different response characteristics, which are generally regarded as preferable.

Roy

Roy, I thought you liked the later ceramic magnets better saying in a previous post IIRC that they were closer to the original AR-5 woofer then the the 2ax alnico woofers.

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Looks like 1976 on the woofer. Nice speakers and the first Euro models I've seen with the light grill cloth.

Roger

Edited by owlsplace
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On 5/31/2017 at 6:41 PM, owlsplace said:

Roy, I thought you liked the later ceramic magnets better saying in a previous post IIRC that they were closer to the original AR-5 woofer then the the 2ax alnico woofers.

Roger

Hi Roger,

I've speculated sensitivity may be similar, but more recent feedback from other owners generally favors the alnico woofer for smoother midrange response. Complicating matters are two different woofer-to-mid crossovers.

Roy

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  • 3 months later...
1 hour ago, Phxjohn said:

The speakers may appear to have no bass because the unbridled midrange is overpowering the woofer.

"no bass", "unbridled midrange"? Absolutely no truth to either statement. How much do you actually know about the AR-5?

Roy

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The guy was complaining that his speakers appeared to have no bass and also commented that the midrange was hot wired. I know a lot. I read everything that you post. And the other man on here whose name I cannot recall at the moment. I have a pair of 3a's that I bought from Larry and I have pair of 6's.  

Quote

 

ap 

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I think Steve is the other man that I pay much attention to. I will never understand why some people will hot wire the midrange. It has very strong output. It is possible that I have never heard the 5's. I would imagine they sound a lot like the 3a's. But missing the lowest very lowest bass. I am going to buy a pair soon. I just hope that the pair that I buy has tweeters with decent output. I never subscribed to the 'cardboard tube' test. I want audible output. I want the 5's rather than the 2ax's for the much superior dome midrange. It will be easier to pair the 5's with an amp or receiver than the 3a's.  I bought my NAD preamp and power amp before I bought my AR 3a's as I knew that it would be pointless to buy the 3a's without an amp capable of driving speakers where the DCR drops so low. So my comments about the 5's in this thread were directly related to the fact that the OP stated that the level controls were bypassed. And I still cannot get over the price difference between the 3a's and 5's. I do not think the 3a's are overpriced, I think the 5's are a steal. I understand it though. Sometimes you want the best and not the second best and are willing to pay the premium.  

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3 hours ago, Phxjohn said:

The guy was complaining that his speakers appeared to have no bass and also commented that the midrange was hot wired. I know a lot. I read everything that you post. And the other man on here whose name I cannot recall at the moment. I have a pair of 3a's that I bought from Larry and I have pair of 6's.  

ap 

Oh..sorry,  I agree with you about by-passing the pots. It was not clear if you were responding to a post in the thread or making a general statement about the 5. The OP subsequently showed a photo showing the work he did to restore the controls and replace the caps, but didn't say anything about the resulting sound.

The AR-3a and the AR-3 have a collector's premium attached to them. They are great speakers (when properly restored), but their high prices have as much, or more, to do with historical significance and perception as performance.

Roy

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