AR-3a : How am I lookin?

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

  1. Porkloin

    Porkloin Oscar Heil Groupie Subscriber

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    If I bought a pair of AR-3's and liked the sound enough to work at making them NOT look like the DQ-10's ugly little brother assembled with a blow torch and hot glue shot from a fire extinguisher, would that incur the wrath of the AR fan club? Is there some sort of nostalgia associated with that look? Would I be ruining the mood?
     
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  2. drfous

    drfous AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks for pissing in this general direction. Feel free to start your own thread.
     
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  3. ra.ra

    ra.ra Super Member

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    Well said, drfous. If you continue to listen and respond to the helpful and knowledgeable members who have personal experience with AR's, you're most likely going to really enjoy these speakers.
     
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  4. GD70

    GD70 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  5. drfous

    drfous AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  6. GD70

    GD70 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Carefully scrape it with an Xacto blade, only the paint spot itself. Should lift off easily.

    The 3's were fun, and didn't need as much work as my first pair!
     
  7. drfous

    drfous AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Will do on the paint.

    What flavor of Watco do these take?
    Would 6's be the same?
     
  8. GD70

    GD70 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I use Watcos natural color. I only add walnut, or dark walnut to lighter areas if needed to even out the color.
    6's meaning AR6's? If walnut finish then yes.
     
  9. drfous

    drfous AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks. I'll pick some up.

    I went further down the AR rat hole tonight. Picked up an XA turntable.

    Must stop.
     
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  10. GD70

    GD70 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Oh that's very difficult to do. o_O
     
  11. Teej

    Teej Active Member

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    I have only a vague understanding of what's going on here, but I'm jealous of what a fun and gratifying project this seems to be. I wish I were more mechanically inclined.

    More process pics! :lurk:
     
  12. centsless

    centsless Well-Known Member

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    If you liked the sound.....how would you change it? And umm...there is a nice looking grill with a pretty brass 3 on it for the front so you will not need to hang a curtain in front of it....lol. You got a great speaker so not sure why you are looking.
     
  13. Porkloin

    Porkloin Oscar Heil Groupie Subscriber

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    My crude probe was a bit of curiosity as to whether the value of the beloved AR-3 would be diminished if I were to modernize it by reworking the tweeter and midrange face plates and getting the tinsel leads back behind the baffle where they belong. Probably replace the baffle, if not rebuild the enclosure. The end result would be the same overall look with a bit of modernizing.
    As tempting as the project would be, I went Googling for AR-3 stuff for sale. Such a project would be more expensive I'm betting than the end result would be worth. I should probably find and listen to a pair to answer my own questions.
     
  14. ra.ra

    ra.ra Super Member

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    If you like the sound of the 3a and are simply looking to get rid of the exposed front wires and achieve a more modern look, you should be looking to find a different speaker model - - - try finding the AR-3a Improved model which employs rear-wired drivers and a contemporary "Euro-styling" cabinet profile.

    AR-3a Improved 2.jpg AR-3a Improved badge.jpg
     
  15. Apolek

    Apolek AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Isn't the 303a essentially a modernized, cleaned up version of the old 3? Not sure, really don't know. (Always liked the look of the 303a)
    ar303a.jpg
     
  16. centsless

    centsless Well-Known Member

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    I see...well...the mids in the 3's are the size of a soup can and all metal....and leads to voice coil are on top. Plus...all of it is aluminum so drilling the face plate and moving wires will probably be a big fail as they are very fragile. The AR3a's in the later stages of production had the drivers wired in behind. The serial numbers start above 90K on and end of production was in the 100k range. The 3's are just too valuable stock to mess with them.
     
  17. ra.ra

    ra.ra Super Member

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    Yeah, it is often said that the 303, which was created about 20 years later, represents the penultimate culmination of this vaunted lineage which began with the AR-3. Another highly acclaimed and often overlooked "bookshelf" speaker from this family is the AR-11 from the late 70's.
     
  18. centsless

    centsless Well-Known Member

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    It was a remake of the 3a. Ken Kantor was behind the design. I own a black pair and love them for their brute force. They easily can handle up to 250 watts and the bass can crush your chest. I had them up to 150 watts on a 1980 in an average sized room...and thought all hell was breaking loose...lol.
     
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  19. RxDx

    RxDx Speaker collector Subscriber

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    Ideally, compare the 3 to any later 12" AR system. The 3 is in collector territory now,
    cost-wise. There are equivalent ARs for appreciably less.
     
  20. drfous

    drfous AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I am hoping to get the recap finished this weekend.

    A question about the woofer voice coil leads. How delicate are they?

    Whoever opened up the speaker last time was obviously concerned about them or lazy. They snipped off the original +/- wires at the connector. Rather than desoldering the wrapped bit of wire and reconnecting, they just sort of spot welded/soldered the wires on with no attempt to "mechanically" connect the wire. The connection seemed to be fine, but I was kind of surprised they didn't try to wrap the wire around the connector somehow.

    Thx again for all the advice!
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017

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