Newbie: When to refurbish AR 4x speakers

amplifiers, receivers and loudspeakers
billsea
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Newbie: When to refurbish AR 4x speakers

Post by billsea » 20 Dec 2018 12:29

Hi this is my 1st post. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a pair of AR 4x bookshelf speakers for $50 at a pawn shop. They look very, well, old, and a bit shabby so they had sat a while. I was, however amazed, by how huge, and loud, and undistorted these sound! I have finally gotten my turntable up and running and then to find these... Anyway, there appears to be, caulking, or foam around the cones. The grills have obviously been removed at some point. Is refurbishing the gear obligatory or does one wait til problems crop up? I fear ruining my aged but mighty sounding find out of negligence and/or ignorance. Any guidance or referral to existing guides, etc are appreciated.

Tinkaroo
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Re: Newbie: When to refurbish AR 4x speakers

Post by Tinkaroo » 20 Dec 2018 14:15

Welcome to VE! =D>

It would help if you could provide some photos as an aid to evaluating the condition.

Here is one restoration from a long time member, but there are tons on other sites and they are well worth restoring.

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 85&t=71870

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Re: Newbie: When to refurbish AR 4x speakers

Post by jdjohn » 20 Dec 2018 17:34

Hi Bill, and I'll add my welcome!

I'm on the tail-end of restoring a pair of AR-2ax myself, so can relate to working on old AR speakers right now. I found that www.classicspeakerpages.net is a good resource, and here is an example of an AR-4x restore from there: http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.B ... 4x-refurb/

I have found that AR sometimes made changes within the same model with different production runs, so don't be surprised if yours look different than other pairs you see on the internet. I don't know if that happened with the AR-4x or not. Differences can be in the woofer surrounds (cloth vs foam), and tweeters. One thing for sure to consider is replacing the single crossover capacitor from the aluminum electrolytic to a poly-film type. Also, those potentiometers are known to corrode, so consider by-passing the level adjuster (but leave it in series), or replacing them altogether. There is a large network of AR enthusiasts, so replacement parts (including grills) are available...at a cost :D But since you got a good deal on them, it makes sense to invest more and get them up-to-par.

Also, getting some stands for them will help even more with the sound, isolating them from the floor, and getting them pointed more towards ear level.

billsea
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Re: Newbie: When to refurbish AR 4x speakers

Post by billsea » 20 Dec 2018 23:48

Thank you and excuse the incoherent grammar. Little sleep deprivation there. From the attachments can you guys tell if they are original? What material? Am I correct to suspect the putty-like surround is not original? The highs from each speaker seem equal so is it possible the tweeter damage is not detrimental?
What I am really sick about is the woofer cone damage. I am ashamed to admit I did this myself a little while ago! Is a patch a viable option or am I in the market for a replacement? I suppose I definitely should not use the speaker, right?
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phivates
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Re: Newbie: When to refurbish AR 4x speakers

Post by phivates » 21 Dec 2018 00:19

Good news: they are original; fabric surrounds not the foam that came later. Bad: the slashed cones. You will need to find replacements from someone who is tired of having this good stuff sitting around unused. Thousands of us started out with these overachievers.

Spinner45
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Re: Newbie: When to refurbish AR 4x speakers

Post by Spinner45 » 21 Dec 2018 00:36

Get the speakers and crossovers repaired, until then, don't even use them.
It's the only way.

billsea
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Re: Newbie: When to refurbish AR 4x speakers

Post by billsea » 21 Dec 2018 01:50

Thank you all for your help. I will replace the potentiometers because I like the high boost. Overachievers is a good way to describe these. I have a little homework to do. All in all I still feel lucky to have found them.

billsea
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Re: Newbie: When to refurbish AR 4x speakers

Post by billsea » 21 Dec 2018 05:58

Any tips on repairing the woofer cone? If the surround is cloth does that mean the cone is too? Would a patch with some Elmer's glue do the trick?

phivates
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Re: Newbie: When to refurbish AR 4x speakers

Post by phivates » 21 Dec 2018 16:44

You can patch the cones, or you can pay shipping for a used pair in usable condition from me. About $15-20 last time I used Fedex to ship 8" drivers which unfortunately are too big for the usps bargain boxes.

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Re: Newbie: When to refurbish AR 4x speakers

Post by Spinner45 » 21 Dec 2018 18:24

billsea wrote:
21 Dec 2018 05:58
Any tips on repairing the woofer cone? If the surround is cloth does that mean the cone is too? Would a patch with some Elmer's glue do the trick?
It'll need a complete new re-coning by a professional.
That is the procedure always followed.
The system needs to be absolutely air-tight, the woofer needs to be ultra low resonance.
Patching isn't an option.

billsea
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Re: Newbie: When to refurbish AR 4x speakers

Post by billsea » 21 Dec 2018 21:16

Ok phivates, here are the pics you requested.
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phivates
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Re: Newbie: When to refurbish AR 4x speakers

Post by phivates » 21 Dec 2018 23:20

That's the real deal, alnico magnet and all.

jdjohn
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Re: Newbie: When to refurbish AR 4x speakers

Post by jdjohn » 22 Dec 2018 06:53

I think replacement woofers are in order...or at least one. Try a toothbrush and alcohol for cleaning-up around the tweeter.

billsea
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Re: Newbie: When to refurbish AR 4x speakers

Post by billsea » 24 Dec 2018 03:47

Well, I'd play Taps through my patched speaker but it would sound terrible. A reconing is in order...It just split al the way on the other side. Phivates, I would gladly take you up on your offer.

jdjohn
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Re: Newbie: When to refurbish AR 4x speakers

Post by jdjohn » 24 Dec 2018 04:30

billsea wrote:
24 Dec 2018 03:47
Well, I'd play Taps through my patched speaker but it would sound terrible. A reconing is in order...It just split al the way on the other side. Phivates, I would gladly take you up on your offer.
Good call =D>

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