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Vintage speaker purchase

Discussion in 'classic' started by istari_knight, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. istari_knight

    istari_knight pfm Member

    Currently building a vintage system, I currently have an Ariston RD80 into a Technics SU-V8 connected to some Acoustic Research AR2ax.

    I'm very happy with the source & amp but I think the speakers can be improved upon, the AR's sound ploddy & boxy. I'm looking a B&W DM4 / KEF 104ab / LNB Paralab 20 II .... Any opinions on this lot ?

    Room is 10x10 so nothing too massive, budget is £200 firm.

    Any input greatly appreciated.
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Are the foam surrounds of the AR bass cones perhaps in need of replacement? They shouldn't sound boxy or plodding IMO. I'd start by refoaming them and replacing any caps on the crossover. I really like vintage AR speakers.

  3. istari_knight

    istari_knight pfm Member

    Hi Tony, Yes I have replaced the surrounds with the correct replacement from a nice chap called Larry at Vintage-AR also replaced the xover caps with russian kbg PIO types...Oh and I also installed brand new rheostats which was a pain in the backside!

    They do sound "nice" but just seem to be missing the x-factor.
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    No disrespect intended to the rest of the system, but have your tried them on the end of anything else? Vintage ARs have a nice warm and bouncy sound with good pitch and timing IMO. Stick them on a nice 10-12" or so stand close to a back wall and they should sing given a good source and amp.


    PS I know nothing at all about the Technics, but I did own an RD80 for a few years back in the 80s.
  5. Aural

    Aural Once hornucopia.Now lying flat.

    Try Leak Sandwiches, ideally the original 2 unit ones. Cheap enough and good enough.
  6. istari_knight

    istari_knight pfm Member

    Non taken, It's a fair point & one that I also considered. I have tried them on the end of a mates Rega system & it also sounded poor which would indicate there is a problem with the speakers because as you say they should sound warm & bouncy, at the moment they just sound warm in the extreme almost mushy... Certainly not bouncy!

    The evidence is pointing towards those PIO xover caps isnt it ?
  7. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Either that or the compliance of the replacement bass driver foam was incorrect and has altered the driver specs in some way. I've no experience of refoamed speakers beyond hearing a pair of AR18s that Rob had done (which sounded truly excellent IMO), but I do notice that a lot of people end up selling speakers shortly after a refoam which implies it may not always be 100% successful.

    Do the AR2AX have driver level controls or switches? If so it would be worth checking these are functioning correctly too as I know they are a common point of failure with the 3a.

  8. istari_knight

    istari_knight pfm Member

    I have no reference of what they should sound like as both surrounds were shot when I received them.

    Thanks for the ideas I'll have a play & see what changing the caps back the lytics does & report back.
  9. istari_knight

    istari_knight pfm Member

    Okay, swapped them back to the original bipolar lytics one at a time. First the 6uf and no difference to my ears then the 4uf... Its a bit like going from mono to stereo on an fm tuner if you know what I mean ?

    Very happy with the result !
  10. ter

    ter pfm Member

    The first speakers I ever owned back in 1968 In one word.......absolutely vile for faithful reproduction.! With 13" bass cone and 3 " tweeter!
    As for real bass, forget it. The opening storm sequence start of of Verdi's Otello with the organ,,, I finally heard a organ was there ,on the same version of the opera when I changed speakers.
    Funny I gave the speakers later to a friend...they are still going 43 years later and fulfill the uncritical needs of that person.
  11. ter

    ter pfm Member

    In such speakers, I love 'that big V8 throttle responding effect' when acoustic suspension principled speakers get going, handling complex material. Luckily I have several identical pairs of another brand of acoustic suspension speaker ...thankfully, with highly flexible neoprene rubber surrounds.

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