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I've listened to the AR2ax speakers with old caps and now with new caps

67.234.160.19

Posted on August 6, 2010 at 11:06:29
Muzikmike
Reviewer

Posts: 12561
Location: SoCentral PA
Joined: December 19, 2007
and the pots by-passed, they sounded wonderful before the change and still sound wonderful, BUT before and after I've heard a "hootiness" in certain music. I don't hear anything that indicates that the drivers aren't hooked up (that I tore the wires loose when stuffing them), and it is rather unusual for me to hear that discrepancy.

Male vocals, especially, seem to have that hooty or boxy sound.

I read a bit about placement and some AR owners spoke of the same sort of anomaly until they found the right placing for the speakers. I'm stuck between a wall and a pellet stove.

The room is the second and larger room in my basement, the listening room is on one side of the basement, the "office" is on the other, separated by doubled sheets of dry wall. The "office" is about 40' long X 16' wide.

The speakers are about 20" from the back (long) wall. The left is about 8' from a wall that's on that side of the room (the furnace room); the right speaker sits pretty much out in the open, a pellet stove about 2' away.

!!! I think I just heard the reason!

I turned to look (the speakers are behind me as I sit at the computer) at the right speaker and heard a sax note all but beam at me from between the speaker and the pellet stove!

I'm going to pull the speakers out further, past the stove and see if that's the reason.

It may not be any problem at all other than that, I have to admit I don't sit in the couch in front of the speakers very often; it may sound perfect if sitting there (the coffee table in front is ONE of my work benches).

Anyway, wanted to brain-storm about placement; if you have any ideas, I'd be thankful for your help. If I haven't been clear enough with how the room is set up, let me know.
******************************

Music. Window or mirror?

 

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Positioning?, posted on August 6, 2010 at 12:17:25
M3 lover
Audiophile

Posts: 4008
Location: So. California
Joined: May 29, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
July 4, 2007
Mike, no mention of how much your ARs are elevated and what kind of stands. Could the "hooty or boxy sound" be caused by floor coupling? Is the 20" wall dimension to the back of the cabinet or the front baffle? I would look for at least 36" from the wall to the back of the cabinet. With the AR bass, you should not need room reinforcement.

Also, is it too obvious to ask if they are vertical rather than horizontal?

"You canít know what the ďbestĒ is unless you have heard everything, and keep in mind that given individual tastes, there really isnít any such thing." HP

 

Ooops!, posted on August 6, 2010 at 13:02:05
Muzikmike
Reviewer

Posts: 12561
Location: SoCentral PA
Joined: December 19, 2007
Elevated, 10" steel stands. I'll pull them even further out than I was going to! 20" from the wall to the back of the speaker wasn't going to do it! I have them sitting on the stands vertically, the way I should not be when I begin examining which Bourbons are left in my liquor cabinet.

That 36" must be awfully close to optimum. I didn't want to pull them out that far into the room, pulled them out about 32" and it seems the boxiness is "almost" all gone. I'll pull them out the other 4"!

Some very interesting differences! Brushes on drums...very, very good. Listening to a piano/bass/drum trio , Adrian Aaies on piano; Pandora radio. Very good Jazz...I think I'll look for his CDs (this is exactly why I wanted cyberadio).

Drum sounds good as does the piano. I think I'll put something with full-range sound on and have a listen.

Thank you!
******************************

Music. Window or mirror?

 

Get a pair of AR3..., posted on August 7, 2010 at 10:49:44
Scott Woebcke
Audiophile

Posts: 1051
Joined: October 27, 1999
Then you'll be thrilled with the bass but they need 100 watts or more.

 

RE: Get a pair of AR3..., posted on August 7, 2010 at 20:03:31
dbphd
Audiophile

Posts: 509
Location: Montecito, CA
Joined: September 6, 2006
For more than a decade my AR3a speakers were driven by a Marantz Model 18 receiver rated IIRC at 40 watts per channel. The Model 18 is a heavy monster so maybe it can deliver the needed current. In any case, that combination sounded fine. I still have the AR turntable with its Shure V-15 II cartridge, the Model 18, and the AR3a speakers. I haven't fired them up in several decades. I hope to find a place to set them up again, but all the units probably should be refurbished before I do that.

db

 

Then and now, posted on August 7, 2010 at 23:18:33
M3 lover
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  Since:
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Back in the '60s, it was common to see dealers advertise "systems" that included AR-3s and Dyna Stereo 70s (35 wpc, at best). At that time I had AR-4s driven by a Stereo 70. From then to now I could not understand why anyone would recommend a 35 watt amp with those speakers.

Fast forward to current times; a friend found a nice pare of AR-3as and had them restored. To audition the restoration he connected them into his main system with Halo JC-1 monoblocs rated at 800 watts into 4 ohms. He stated he could not believe how well the speakers performed, unlike anything he'd ever heard from them in the past.

This is not to argue that your Marantz did not work. Only to suggest that you might be surprised with the hidden potential in your ARs when driven by more clean power.

"You canít know what the ďbestĒ is unless you have heard everything, and keep in mind that given individual tastes, there really isnít any such thing." HP

 

RE: I've listened to the AR2ax speakers with old caps and now with new caps, posted on August 8, 2010 at 00:23:03
Michael Samra
Dealer

Posts: 31833
Location: saginaw michigan
Joined: January 30, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
June 24, 2005
On the 4uf and 6uf caps used in the crossover,did you use an oil cap for the 6uf by chance? It sounds as tho your bass is satisfying and parts of the mids are also so I would use an oil cap for the 6uf that goes to the tweeter.The basically brings the speaker into the room. Paper in oil would be best but even a mundorf would be good there.Also,if you just rebuilt the speakers,you need to give the speakers 100 hours or more to break in the caps. Remember,there is no DC on the dielectric of the caps to assist with breakin.

Honest amplification is better than excessive 2nd order distortion anytime.

 

Doy! Forgot about break in time., posted on August 8, 2010 at 05:40:15
Muzikmike
Reviewer

Posts: 12561
Location: SoCentral PA
Joined: December 19, 2007
A friend was over yesterday and said, "They really have that vintage sound, a bit muddy but I like it, it suits the music you play (Jazz)."

I was thinking, "Muddy? They sound pretty good, not like a 3000-5000 full range speaker or the 1700 dollar Fritz, Carbon 7 speakers, I had sitting there before the ARs were there (I want those speakers...I loved how they sounded with the AVA Insight) but not "muddy."

All I need is money! I could have fun being a billionaire...I promise that it wouldn't change me a bit. I'd settle for multi-millions, but I think I deserve being filthy rich.

All of the stuff I read said caps weren't overly important, just so they were high voltage and the correct values. I bought the Dayton audio grade from Parts Unlimited. I'd have spent the bucks if the consensus had been different, though.

All of the drivers seemed to be fine, surprisingly so; so all I did was by-pass the pots, put new stuffing into them (had to approximate there, my wife threw the old stuffing away before I could weigh it), and the caps. I checked the seals of the woofers, pushed them in and they slowly returned.


******************************

Music. Window or mirror?

 

RE: Doy! Forgot about break in time., posted on August 8, 2010 at 06:19:55
henrybasstardo
Audiophile

Posts: 1652
Joined: June 25, 2003
Samra is right on.

Break in baby. Three weeks from now you will be telling us how sweet they are.

Nothing wrong with the dayton caps you used, they will break in though.

When I recapped my Altec model 14's I was initially so disgusted with their sound. Now I don't hear many speakers that compete.





 

RE: I've listened to the AR2ax speakers with old caps and now with new caps, posted on August 8, 2010 at 06:37:05
dls123
Audiophile

Posts: 1088
Location: Beautiful B.C.
Joined: April 15, 2003
Hi
I have used the Daytons in several restorations and just used 1% Daytons in turning a pair of Klipsch Cornwalls into CornScalas. They are fine caps and a steal for the price. Like everyone said, let them run in for 50+ hours and you will find they will sound better. Also, there is a guy on ebay who sells replacement tweeters for the AR3a that are wonderful. I had them in mine. They are better than the originals (yeah, blasphemy, I know). He may have worked out a replacement for yours. Of course you probably have sunk enough effort and $$ into them. They are nice, and they are what they are. Very good speakers for the money and time invested.

cheers,
Don

 

Braking in caps externally...., posted on August 8, 2010 at 09:52:09
Coner
Industry Professional

Posts: 1428
Location: USA
Joined: November 17, 2001
I've posted in TWEAKS on what is the best way to do this,
so anyone with any idea's, chime in...thanks!.

Coner

 

RE: Then and now, posted on August 9, 2010 at 04:09:45
elflow
Audiophile

Posts: 273
Location: Indiana
Joined: November 1, 2005
Absolutley, I also think that about 100 wpc is the minimum needed for AR 3 and 3a's to reveal their true potential.

 

RE: Then and now, posted on August 9, 2010 at 18:33:47
dbphd
Audiophile

Posts: 509
Location: Montecito, CA
Joined: September 6, 2006
I had a Stereo 70 around for awhile, and I can assure you it wasn't the equal of either the Marantz 18 or the MC 60. Watt ratings obviously just aren't all the same. The watts from the 18 and MC 60 seemed much bigger. This was a time when horsepower was wildly exaggerated, and maybe watts were too. I remember comparing the specs of a Pioneer receiver to those of the Marantz 18. Whereas the 18 spec was RMS wideband, both channels driven simultaneously, with very low distortion, the Pioneer's watts were some sort of music watts defined much less stringently. IIRC the MC 60 required .5 v input for 60 watts, the Stereo 70 1.5 v. Obviously very different gains.

But I might try my ARa speakers with an amp I have that's rated at 250 watts into 4 ohms, although I really want to use them with the 18, the system from my post doc days.

db

 

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