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AR-18s speakers


ra.ra
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23 minutes ago, ar_pro said:

... place the ugly ducklings on an actual bookshelf, surrounded by books - or records!  It ... still looks pretty fine.

Very good point - - if the sound is the only thing that matters and the visuals don't at all, this solution works very well. Surround vinyl with more vinyl. And definitely, the dimension of the albums or coffee table books will help to conceal the ugly beasts. 

32 minutes ago, genek said:

...strip a pair of speakers for about $10.

...or strip them for no cost as I have tried to point out.

39 minutes ago, genek said:

....get some sheer black spandex and just wrap the whole box...

Uh-oh.... please, not those AR-93's and 94's again! Very well engineered speakers indeed, but well, shall we say, not among the most attractive products? Don't like the looks?....put a sock over it! This reminds me so much of Claes Oldenburg's idea for the 1976 bicentennial in Boston - his proposal was to place an enormous paper bag over the 52-story Prudential Tower, considered then (and now) by some to be an unavoidable eyesore on the cityscape. Not only did AR cut costs with the cheap cabinet construction and finish for the 93 and 94 models, but they failed to employ a qualified industrial designer to address the visual aesthetics that some potential owners (me, maybe?) desire in a product to be placed in their daily living environment.

The spare, bare, and pared-down nature of my 'new' 18s speakers, with vinyl-stripped cabs, exposed MDF, cheap fresh caps, and retro screw terminals, is admittedly not suitable for everyone and their personal predilections, as was predicted at the very onset of this thread. That is perfectly OK with me, while still respectful of the tastes of others - -  this project is just one set of thoughts about a rescue mission of one particular sad puppy with a huge, untapped personality that has found an appreciative and loving home. Mongrels only, no AKC pure breeds need apply. :mellow:   

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I didn't say it would be attractive, just cheap.

You were most fortunate that your vinyl peeled off easily. Most of the time, the stuff has to be either removed with stripper or sanded off, and if you go with sanding, by the time you're done you'll probably end up spending as much on sandpaper as on stripper. And if you paint over the vinyl, either the paint won't stick or the vinyl will start peeling after you paint it.

You don't really have to do much with MDF at all. Just sand them a bit and put some paste wax on it.

PBbrick1.JPG

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ra.ra,

    Very impressive restoration!  They look fantastic. Great idea leaving the natural MDF look then applying shellac finish.

    The rebuilding of the crossovers is very clean and professional looking.   Replacing the crappy Spring Clips with Terminal's for the connectors is a very nice idea and look great the way you put it all together. Even identifying each terminal with a number makes it look professional.

    Thanks for all the great pictures and your excellent description of the step-by-step restoration process. You certainly have a great writing technique.

    And again as always very impressed with your knowledge/history of AR speakers. Like how you always come up the the original AR blueprints, BOM's and engineering notes.

    Thanks for posting this.

     John 

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10 hours ago, genek said:

Most of the time, the stuff has to be either removed with stripper or sanded off....

Thx, this is good to know - - I guess I was fortunate with this pair, and I had anticipated that I would probably need at least a little heat application, but no. Perhaps I should temper my newfound enthusiasm for the potential of other vinyl clad transformation projects that have been getting some sneaky looks from me lately (Yoo-hoo, AR-XB turntable and AR-28B speakers).

10 hours ago, genek said:

You don't really have to do much with MDF at all.

Agreed, and thanks for that great image which shows off the natural honey color of better-quality MDF. And yep, paste wax is fun and easy to use  - - I have tended to use Butcher's wax, available in clear and amber (and now brown, by popular demand!), but I also like Johnson paste wax. I think it may have been CSP member Roger from Reno who once stripped the vinyl off of his AR-7's, but I cannot recall if he ever used his favorite beeswax as a finish in that project.

5 hours ago, xmas111 said:

The rebuilding of the crossovers is very clean and professional looking. 

Ever since seeing the quality of work in several of your projects, I've begun to pay much more attention to this. 

5 hours ago, xmas111 said:

You certainly have a great writing technique.

Well, I hope you noticed who I quoted in the first post of this thread, and I have to say that the humor and attention to detail displayed in your AR turntable tutorials has stayed with me to try to develop a similar "tone" for an online voice.

6 hours ago, xmas111 said:

.....come up the the original AR blueprints, BOM's and engineering notes.

It takes a little digging, but I've found that the AR Drawings section (provided by Ken Kantor, I think) in the CSP Library contains a trove of information which is very useful in trying to better understand the history of the many speaker models and their various iterations. The labeling of documents is somewhat inconsistent, and for me accessing these drawings works better with certain web browsers than with others, but it's pretty cool to evaluate the original production documents as a starting point in a restoration project or as a confirmation of authenticity for collectors....or both.  

butcher wax.jpg

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This is my current favorite for wax:

daddy-van-s-unscented-beeswax-furniture-

http://www.daddyvans.com/allabournafu.html

Mix of carnauba, beeswax and olive oil. No scent, or you can get it with orange or lavender. No VOCs, silicones, etc. Food safe (not that you're going to eat off your speakers, but it's good on cutting boards, which should never have any kind of spirits used on them).

 

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15 hours ago, ra.ra said:

Ever since seeing the quality of work in several of your projects, I've begun to pay much more attention to this. 

Thank you for the kind words.  And your work is first class.

15 hours ago, ra.ra said:

Well, I hope you noticed who I quoted in the first post of this thread, and I have to say that the humor and attention to detail displayed in your AR turntable tutorials has stayed with me to try to develop a similar "tone" for an online voice.

I did notice you quoting me, I'd forgotten about that line at first.   Keep writing in your style, it's very good and makes for easy understanding.  And thanks again for all the information you provide.

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Just wanted to include these images along with this thread - - these online pics show the AR-18LS, which I believe is Euro version identical to AR-18B, except for exterior cosmetics: cabinet styling, grille detail, rear terminals, etc. What I would expect to see is shown in first pic: square edge cabinet, vinyl wrapper, tweeter 034 with screen cover (shown next to little AR-8LS). Second pic shows a mild variation, with what appears to be the uncovered 038 tweeter and possibly a curious black stained pine cabinet? :blink:  

But I wanted to ask about the close-up tweeter pic that was part of this web link. It appears that the tiny tinsel wire leads are still connected to provide continuity, but clearly they have been dislodged from their original positions, as shown by the S-shape glue shadows. It is not at all uncommon to find these wires askew in an unintended position, but they are so fragile that they really should be affixed to the paper cone. Original documents show this adhesive named as Hapco 549-D - - - what would be a suitable type of glue to re-attach any loose wires on this type of tweeter?

18LS and 8LS.jpg

 

AR-18LS.jpg

18LS 4.jpg

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9 hours ago, ra.ra said:

Original documents show this adhesive named as Hapco 549-D - - - what would be a suitable type of glue to re-attach any loose wires on this type of tweeter?

I have used black electrical tape on AR2ax's and 5's. How about some Permatex Black Silicone Adhesive Sealant on these leads. I might work.

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On September 15, 2017 at 9:11 PM, larrybody said:

I have used black electrical tape...

Yeah, this seems to work fine for keeping these tinsel wires "protected" along the surface of the baffle board, but the tape wouldn't be practical on the cone surface. I may just try something that I have on hand that can be applied with precision - - maybe simple water-based white glue (Aleene's) that dries clear will be sufficient here.

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4 minutes ago, ra.ra said:

maybe simple water-based white glue (Aleene's) that dries clear will be sufficient here.

that would be my choice. Couldn't find any info on Hapco 549D

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  • 3 years later...

If you are looking to replace the foam surrounds yourself, Speakerworks  and others sell kits.  If not, there may be a local speaker repair shop in your area, or you could send them off to Millersound

Make sure you keep track of the positive & negative wire connections, and you replace the seal when you reinstall the woofers into the cabinet.

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