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I recently came into two 1962 AR-2as, and neither worked from the usual potentiometer problems. I opened one up two weeks or so ago and resoldered the two leads connecting to each pot's wiper to connection #1, and once put back together it sounded great just listening in mono for about 5 days. Now, a couple of weeks later, I feel the very top end is really rolled off, and I'm a little perplexed as to what to do first since I've read the caps inside shouldn't be replaced, but I'm wondering if them potentially failing could cause this to happen. I'd love to not have to open this one back up but will if I have to, of course. I have no way to measure response but I'm pretty certain the overall sound has changed and become slightly more warm over two weeks, without the top end snap they had when I first worked on them. Where should I start?
(And, yes - I'll get the LPs off the edge before they warp, that was temporary.)
I used to have the original AR - AR1 I presume - predecessor of AR3 and 3A. Flat as a pancake in terms of music quality - 70 years of improvements make this inevitable. Get something built in the last 20 years! You wouldn't expect a 1960s microphone or (wire?) recorder to stand comparison with modern kit, so just keep it as museum piece if you have room space.
john, are you aware of this link as an information resource? I believe a few guys who worked for AR are contributors.
"The piano ain't got no wrong notes." Thelonious Monk
I remember my AR2ax as being woefully lacking treble. The sound was muffled. I bought the speaker new and was disappointed.
Check my comment below. Did you turn the level controls all the way up which was actually the flat setting?
I remember playing around with the controls to try to get more treble without success. This experience led me to speakers that have no crossover and are time aligned.
curious, what speaker has no crossover and is time aligned?
Reference 3A Grand Veenas have a capacitor between the bass speakers and the midrange to prevent bass frequencies from interfering with the midrange and another between the midrange and the treble for the same purpose. The midrange and treble are set back for time alignment. The Reference 3A diCapos also. Mine are the older model where the Murata Supertweeter is slightly set back from the tweeter.
Dunlavys were also time aligned.
To me a crossover is designed to change the response of a speaker and not to merely diminish that response.
That's a crossover, a minimal one but a crossover. And the speaker may be time aligned; it's not obvious. However I recall hearing a version of it many years ago and liking it very much.
The face of the speaker is sloped back from the floor to the top.
We define crossovers differently.
Could the potentiometer positions have changed in the meantime? that's a wild guess on my part but possible.
Also it's a good idea to set the potentiometers for the mid and treble at full on. The mid point, usually thought of as flat was set below the woofer level to ameliorate what AR thought was poor treble on recordings. Besides you will only be affecting response above 2 kHz. That's where the dual 5" 'mid ranges' rolled in. Today that's often the crossover point for a 1" dome tweeter. And, of course, the mid ranges on the AR-2a were the tweeters on the AR-2. The dome driver is more a super tweeter.
I actually bypassed them, but without taking the old pots completely out, so the controls are essentially useless now.
I'm honestly thinking after pondering this all day that the difference came when I reinstalled the grille cloth - the sound was nice and balanced on top without it but I suspect maybe the top end is on the weak side and the cloth is just muffling it enough to bother me? I don't know, I'm hesitant to pull the front back off just to see but it's about the only thing I can figure out might've caused the difference.
If I recall correctly(it was about 50 years ago) you have to rip the grill cloth off. I changed my AR-2a to AR2-ax speakers with a $10 kit from AR and I kind of recall tearing off the old grills and nailing(?) on the new grill cloth which was part of the kit.
I had a pair of 2ax's new back in the 70's. Getting off the grills without destroying them was difficult but possible. I used a wide metal spatula to gently pry the grill frames off. Yes, they were nailed to the fronts of the cabinets.
You can probably find the "new" midrange unit with which they replaced the two mid-tweeters. I recall Henry Kloss had a low opinion of those drivers.
I had a pair of AR2ax that I got rid of because the potentiometers were driving me nuts and I didn't have the skills to do surgery.
I also had a pair of KLH6 which sounded great with a PAS preamp into a Rotel ss poweramp and a Marantz CD63se. The PAS still had tone controls and by goosing them a bit I could get a magnificent sound out of the Chess Chuck Berry collection on CD!
It's never too late to turn back the clock.
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