AR-3a : How am I lookin?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by drfous, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. drfous

    drfous AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I just picked these up at the thrift shop. I haven't hooked them up yet.

    Besides caps and cleaning the pots is there anything else I should look to correct on these?

    Do the mids match the tweeter/woofer? I saw the "restoring-the-AR 3a" pdf which lists different drivers by year of production. These seem to be newer, but I know nothing other than what the pictures tell me.

    Any advice would be appreciated!

    TIA
     

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    superdog likes this.
  2. stereoguy70

    stereoguy70 Active Member

    Messages:
    133
    You found the holy grail of east coast speakers at a thrift shop?? :bowdown::bowdown::bowdown::bowdown:
     
  3. drfous

    drfous AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Salvation Army eBay store. So not as great as it sounds.

    lol
     
  4. GD70

    GD70 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,903
    Location:
    Northern Westchester Co, NY
    Those look great and original! Nothing like finding 3 or 3a's in a thrift! I recently finished a set I found in a GW for 50 bux!
    Before you do anything, hook them up and see what's working. If no output from the mids and tweeters, twist the pot knobs a lot. You may find a sweet spot bringing them back to life. That's a good thing! Now you need to open them up and clean and inspect their condition. Also recap as you stated. AR cloth surrounds rarely need resealing. Have you tried gently pushing the woofer cones in and seeing how quickly they return? It should take 1-2 seconds. If so, your seal is good.
    Post pics as you progress.
    Glenn
     
  5. Drugolf

    Drugolf AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,335
    Location:
    Boise
    Congrats! They look good. Grilles?
    Wonder what that stereo service shop did if anything to them?
     
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  6. GD70

    GD70 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,903
    Location:
    Northern Westchester Co, NY
    I wondered the same thing. Once opened up, we may find out.
     
  7. drfous

    drfous AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Hooked it up to an amp - 6 working drivers. Some very dirty/corroded pots. They sounded very muted and muffled in comparison to the Klipsch Chorus. Hopefully caps and pot work will bring them back up to life.

    Glenn - The woofers rebounded as you described. 1-2 secs. So I'm guessing the suspension is okay.

    Grills are intact with badges.
    Cabinets are very nice. 1 not too bad scratch and a bottom rear corner ding.
     
  8. GD70

    GD70 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,903
    Location:
    Northern Westchester Co, NY
    That's great news! Onto the next step. Recap and pot cleaning & inspection.
    Do a search on pot cleaning, there's tons of threads with pics of what to look for, which are salvageable, which are ready for the trash can. One thought, someone ground down the rivet head holding the disk and simply flipped it over and used a small screw and nut to reattach the disk.
     
  9. drfous

    drfous AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    The pots were scratchy enough to make me think there might be enough left to salvage.

    I knew these would be a project and that's half the fun for me.
     
    GD70 likes this.
  10. craggd

    craggd AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    318
    Location:
    NorCal
    Nice find! It was a pair of estate sale AR-3's that rekindled my dormant hifi passions. They are great speakers and well worth the work to get them back to their glory. Just be careful they tend to multiple once you start enjoying them
     
  11. drfous

    drfous AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I'm really enjoying the AR-6's I picked up. They sound terrific. I thought I was a JBL west coast guy, but now I'm not sure. Maybe I'm bi-coastal.
     
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  12. craggd

    craggd AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    318
    Location:
    NorCal
    Nothing wrong with enjoying some variety! AR's for solid state and JBL/Klipsch for your tubes!
     
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  13. markkb

    markkb Member

    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Mountain View, CA
    You did good! I love my AR3a's. I redid the cabinets and they turned out real nice. Of course there's lots of info/tips out there. My one tip when working on them, tape a plastic cover over the unprotected tweeter to protect that dome. I used the little round container from electrical tape. Enjoy!
     
  14. Drugolf

    Drugolf AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,335
    Location:
    Boise
    Well, seems like most in Scottsdale are from the east coast....(I grew up in Scottsdale see)

    New caps should really liven up the drivers and maybe even playing them for a while will. But, they are old and likely will not put out what they once did so may remain a little subdued in comparison to others with more modern tweeters.
     
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  15. stereoguy70

    stereoguy70 Active Member

    Messages:
    133
    Deleted post
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  16. GD70

    GD70 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,903
    Location:
    Northern Westchester Co, NY
    The 3a tweeters are known to not age as well as the 3 tweeters. There's a guy on CSP that has had success rebuilding 3a tweeters. You might want to look into that.
    Glenn
     
  17. drfous

    drfous AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Thanks for all the input.
     
  18. drfous

    drfous AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I got a little braver today and put the spurs to the amp. I pushed the power up to 1-2 watts. Really improved the sound. Everything seemed to open up.

    The difference in SPL between the ARs and Klipsch is kind of humorous.
     
  19. GD70

    GD70 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,903
    Location:
    Northern Westchester Co, NY
    They like lots of power. Hook them up to one of the Sansuis! You'll see.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
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  20. drfous

    drfous AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Yep, I've been running them for short times on the 9090. 8 ohm receiver and 4 ohm speakers.
     

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