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    AR3a Vintage Speakers

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    Larry D

    Number of posts : 47
    Thanked by peers : 0
    Registration date : 2009-02-03

    AR3a Vintage Speakers

    Post  Larry D on April 12th 2010, 6:15 am

    I read somewhere recently that later on this summer or fall they are going to run an article on restoring the classic AR3a speakers. This is because of their ongoing (and especially recent) popularity. They've always been popular among a relative few who knew of their legendary performance, however, as word got out on the internet they've achieved a cult like following... which is a shame because it drives the price up... supply and demand. I read they are extremely popular in one of the Asian electronic giant countries... I think it is Korea, but I can't remember now. I just read that last week.

    So.... this means they are very hard to find and the prices have skyrocketed. There's always a chance that someone may find a pair in a second hand store or a yard sale, and you read the lucky stories.

    I've been looking for quite a while for an affordable pair of used AR3a's that are not totally trashed. These were expensive speakers in the 70's and were sold (you would think) to people who could afford them with a little class and would take care of them. I found a pair for $200 that needed a lot of work. Several people advised me not to buy them and not knowing the value of rebuilt AR3a's I took their advice and didn't. But then I met a man who rebuilds and resells them and he said I should have bought them because if I rebuild them I can easily sell them for $1,000... because that's what they are selling for nowadays.

    Sometime ago I found a really nice Fisher tube tuner for a really good price. Normally, these tube tuners are grabbed up real fast. However, this one was for sale for a long time. I had seen it several months before at this store but nobody had bought it. The reason was this was an antique radio store and the tube tuner was not a featured item, but just listed in a list of "other stuff for sale". Since it had been there for several months I thought it was probably junk. But piece by piece I was checking stuff off of my list of components I needed -- I was putting interesting, good stereos in all our rooms and suddenly I needed a tuner for one of the bedrooms. I called the guy and found out it was, in fact, in great shape, totally refurbished and in working order, practically "like new". I bought it. Now it is in our crafts roomk instead of the bedroom because it doesn't have a remote.

    I'd just about given up on AR3a's but I did come across a pair at a pretty good price. This time I called and asked about them and found out the cabinets are in excellent shape, the woofers only need new surrounds, the controls will have to be cleaned or replaced and I'm going to replace the tweeters, I think. I send a schematic by email to the Ninja to get his recommendations for improving the crossover.

    Anyway, because of the popularity of the AR3a speakers... plus the promised upcoming DIY rebuild article (or articles) I thought I'd start a thread here in case anyone else wants to try to find a pair and do the rebuild. There is a lot of informatin about the AR3's and AR3a's on the internet. Plus, there are places to buy parts and people who will offer their advice... or do it for you.

    UPS said mine should arrive tomorrow. I've had really good service and good luck with UPS, as well as, FEDEX and USPS. We're seniors and order a lot of stuff mailorder. We've always got our boxes in good shape, plus the drivers here are really nice and helpful. I hope I don't get any dented corners. That's the only thing I don't know how to refinish.

    Anyway, if anyone has AR3a's or wants to try to find a pair and get involved, I'd love to hear from you. Please no detractors. This is going to be positive thing. There is no reason to fault find, complain or nit pick about these vintage speakers unless you want to offer some positive advice on how to fix a specific problem and bring the speaker performance up to today's standards.
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    skeeter99

    Number of posts : 89
    Age : 37
    Location : Portland, OR
    Thanked by peers : 6
    Registration date : 2010-02-28

    Re: AR3a Vintage Speakers

    Post  skeeter99 on April 12th 2010, 7:51 am

    Wow that's quite a story behind your find Smile That will be a fun project! I recently got into "vintage" a little bit myself when I picked up two sets of Boston A-150's which I love. There is a lot of info on Vintage speakers, and I'm sure these Advents are no exception, on AudioKarma.org, but I'm sure you already know that.

    I look forward to following your build, seeing what you do with the crossovers, and how they turn out.

    Oh, and be sure to post lots of pics of the process bounce

    Scott

    Larry D

    Number of posts : 47
    Thanked by peers : 0
    Registration date : 2009-02-03

    Re: AR3a Vintage Speakers

    Post  Larry D on April 14th 2010, 4:22 am

    Thank you! They arrived yesterday in the original boxes. No damage. UPS did a good job for me again. I really don't know when I'll be able to work on them. I need to make room for a work table. Sam's Club had a great metal work table that I mentioned on AV123. I don't know if anyone bought one or not. I didn't buy one myself because we hardly ever drive the 45 miles into town unless it is to go to the doctor. Plus, I'm kind of busy now. My wife is home from her knee replacement. She's doing well, walking around without her walker, but she still has pain. Now I'm driving her into the nursing home three times a week for physical therapy... but that's only a 6 mile each way drive. The weather has been beautiful this week. I'm trying to get some things planted. Cleaned out the raised bed and emptied all the big self-watering containers. I need to go to WalMart and buy 10 or so big bags of potting soil. I'm having someone come by this morning and paint the barn door and dig six holes for me to plant roses that are soaking.

    I forgot how big and heavy the AR3a's are but I got them inside from the porch. We bought my wife a recumbant exercise bike from Sears (on sale for $199). I had to have a couple of guys carry the box in from the van. I've got all the parts set out and ready to put together.

    Good luck on your own quest for vintage speakers. Consider upgrading the crossover with Sean at Skiing Nina or buy upgraded parts from Madisound. Parts Express has everything else you'll need.

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    Re: AR3a Vintage Speakers

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