AR 2A or AR 2AX. Which to buy & why.

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by bandg69, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. bandg69

    bandg69 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have a chance to buy a pair of 2A or 2AX and don't know much about either. Both sets are in very nice original condition and all drivers working. I understand the 2A have cloth surrounds. Don't know about the AX. Both are within a few $$$ of each other. don't really need more speakers(how many times have you heard that) but have never owned ARs and think that I should. What would you go with and why. Thanks for any and all help.
     
  2. ra.ra

    ra.ra Super Member

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    Both models are excellent speakers. The AR-2A grew out of the original AR-2, and added a third driver, which is basically a super-tweeter. The rap on both of these models seems to be the angled dual cone tweeter, which is a good driver(s) but fails to receive particularly high acclaim from most users. The 2A model, with the added dome (super) tweeter, tends to cover for any deficiencies from the dual driver with regards to high frequencies. The AR-2A is intended to be used in a horizontal orientation for best dispersion. The cloth woofers are extraordinary, and the 2A was often supplied with a very cool grille cloth.

    The mid driver (with mesh cover) in the 2ax is a definite performance improvement, and allows the speaker to be placed in horizontal or vertical orientation. It was released in two basic versions: early one had cloth woofer and 1-1/2" dome tweeter, while the later one had a foam woofer and 3/4" dome tweeter.

    Yep, you should own a pair of AR's. Read up some more on these two models and then go inspect them in person. Either way, you will not make a bad choice.
     
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  3. centsless

    centsless Well-Known Member

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    The 2a has the same tweeter as the AR3 and is not a super tweeter. The angled dual driver is the midrange on the 2a.
    I had both and preferred the 2a myself and nice to have that alnico woofer with it! Good luck.
     
  4. bandg69

    bandg69 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Well thanks for the responses. The 2A are about 45 minutes closer to me so that might just be the deciding factor.
    I also like the idea of cloth surrounds. I will post back with the news(or pictures) when I go check them out.
     
  5. india42

    india42 Active Member

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    I wasn't going to respond because I've never heard the 2A, but I do have the 2AX and mine have cloth woofers and they do sound very nice. I don't think you could go wrong with either set depending on the price.
    Paul
     
  6. ra.ra

    ra.ra Super Member

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    Correcting misstatements is an acceptable part of a healthy dialog, but instead of simply refuting a statement, perhaps you can explain to us what a super-tweeter is? You seem to object to the terminology used in the original AR literature, which I would argue is an accurate description since the AR-2 already had the dual tweeter(s) and the added dome driver of the 2a simply extended the high end.

    Second pic attached shows linear evolution from AR-2 to AR-2a to AR-2ax (early version). Unless it's known otherwise, it is quite possible that the for-sale 2ax pair could be similar to this older version. I think the OP should evaluate both pairs before deciding - - without photos or a detailed description, how else will you know?

    AR-2 brochure.jpg

    AR-2:2A:2ax.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
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  7. tonyk

    tonyk AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I was always under the impression the 2ax was the most desirable of that series due to it's dome mid. I could be wrong though.
     
  8. mars_volta

    mars_volta Super Member

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    Early cloth version of the AR2ax.
     
  9. ra.ra

    ra.ra Super Member

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    I think this is an accurate and largely accepted statement, and exactly the point I was trying to make to the OP - - if the most "improved" version of this series is available for purchase at a similar price, it is worth taking a look at. Other issues of condition - - cabinets, grilles, badges - - should also be considered, of course.

    However, the 2ax mid we are discussing (with padding and metal mesh) is actually a cone driver, as shown in original literature and deconstructed pics. It is the tweeter that is a dome driver.

    2ax mid.jpg

    AR-2x:2ax.jpg
     
  10. tonyk

    tonyk AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'm not sure why I thought the 2ax had a dome, what can I say, it's been a few years since my pair passed thru here.
     
  11. ra.ra

    ra.ra Super Member

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    Because it's kinda hard to see underneath that wad of batting and cage enclosure. :)
     
  12. bandg69

    bandg69 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Well it seems my choice is narrowed down to the AX. Spoke with the seller of the 2A last night and told him we would meet Friday(don't work Friday) but if someone came with cash to let them fly.
    Someone came this morning with cash. So on Friday we will see what happens with the others.
    All this information has been very helpful and much appreciated.
     
  13. centsless

    centsless Well-Known Member

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    Correction noted....:) Funny....when I was refinishing the 2A and the AX several years ago, the members of CSP never called that tweeter a super tweeter and the 2A midrange a tweeter. It is clearly stated there in that literature though so I apologize. To me, a super tweeter is a driver that does very high frequencies over a tweeter in the cabinet. My HPM-150's and 100's has a super tweeter as well as a tweeter. I just never heard the AR3 tweeter called a super-tweeter is all and have been heavily involved around those for awhile....odd.

    Both speakers are excellent so no disappointments either way.
     
  14. Apolek

    Apolek AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Never heard 2a's, but I really like my 2ax's. Refoaming the woofers was a piece of cake. Shaking the house with "Painkiller" on them now :rockon: Bass is very impressive for a 10" woofer.
     
  15. ra.ra

    ra.ra Super Member

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    That CSP forum is definitely my #1 place to go for discussions about AR's, but I suppose the driver titles become somewhat arbitrary when the same driver is used in different speaker products, or a series of speaker models evolves over time. I suspect that dome driver in the AR-3 was never referred to as a "super tweeter" since the model 3 was always a three-way loudspeaker: i.e., woofer-mid-tweeter. The AR-2, however, was a two-way speaker (woofer-tweeter), so when they added the dome driver for the 2a, what is the proper name for this driver if you've already got a dual cone tweeter.......hmmmm, how about "super tweeter"? Yes, it is all a bit confusing.

    To the OP: let us know when you have more info on the 2ax offering.
     
  16. centsless

    centsless Well-Known Member

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    Cool.... I am Lakecat over there...:)
     
  17. don philipe

    don philipe AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have the 2ax's that I restored a few years ago and I was wondering if anybody has ever removed the padding from the midrange driver to see what it would sound like.I wonder if it would improve the whole soundstage,or not.
    I know it's there for a reason but has anyone tried that? Maybe I'll try it today and report back.
     
  18. ra.ra

    ra.ra Super Member

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    Don, I've been curious about that, too. As you probably already know, this 2ax midrange driver was also used as the tweeter in the earlier AR-4, and in both cases, was wired to a 6uF cap. The pic attached shows an early and rare application of this driver - - - this was possibly during the transition from the AR-4 to the AR-4x (around 1965) - - - and probably produced a bit more on-axis HF output with the center of the fiberglass damping removed.

    tweeter damping.jpg
     
  19. don philipe

    don philipe AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I did not know it was used as a tweeter in the ar4.Actually i never heard the 4's.I will try the experiment with the midrange today,didn't have time yesterday.
     
  20. don philipe

    don philipe AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    So, this morning I removed the padding from the midrange drivers to check the difference. Not a huge change but a bit more pressence overall.A tad brighter on the high end which I kind of like do to my old ears.I'm going to leave it this way for a while and see if I really like the change.I played some jazz "Ron Carter" and it was more engaging,then some Judy Collins and that seemed better as well.Like I say I'll try it for a few days and see if it floats my boat.It would be nice if others tried this and shared opinions.
     

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