Refurbishing old speakers
I am new to the forum, but by mistake had coposed a reply to a different forum by mistake so since I have already put the work in thought it might as well be my first post here. Here goes:
I am a real fan of vintage speakers and find it to be a good idea to refurbish them. The cabinet work can be excellent if looked after . My second pair of speakers ( The first pair was a disaster fobbed off by the dealer when I bought the amp) was the AR 5 which I used for 38 years before the surrounds gave out and unfortunately the cabinets suffered water damage while in storage which swelled the grain resulting in the mitre joint separating at the base. Many years before this I had picked up a pair of AR speakers that had been dumped out with the drivers completely gone and I used this as the basis to experiment with a pair of 8 inch TPX drivers coupled with a Seas Tweeter. The fun here was building the crossover unit by ear with lots of trial and error. Often intuition and gut feeling plays a part and it is possible to create or mimic any sound that you prefer.
As long as the drivers are capable you can replicate an identical sound no matter what the technology of the speaker drivers used. The trick is in how they are balanced in the crossover unit.
The TPX units were sold to me by a friend who had intended them to be used in a transmission line of his own design but they were not suitable for that purpose but he had kept the second pair for himself. That was back in the early 90s. At that time I had used a third order Bessel which he thought was very good but when I married they went into the loft for 11 years. After that time I brought them down and decided to completely redo the crossover with a second order Likwitz Riley which initially sounded awful but continued the fine tuning until I was happy with them. The result is that my friend decided to use his pair of TPXs build his own pair with the idea of giving away his transmission lines. He went big in the cabinet department so I decided to utilise some AR 11 cabinets that were also dumped out but initially there wasn't much difference in the sound to justify the bigger cabinet until it was tweaked again and the port size reduced (the midrange hole is utilised as a port).
Over the Xmas holiday we got together in a large hall to really blast away. My design criteria had always been the ability to go loud but maintain HiFi integrity. It was interesting that both His and mine sounded remarkably similar but he has since continued to develop and tweak them even to the extent of changing some components in his valve amp, also of his own design.
I have just joined and am happy to be part of the forum.
Having built more speakers and automotive subwoofers than I'd care to remember I found your post quite interesting.
You wouldn't by any chance have any pictures or diagrams of what your final design was for the AR's do you?
Also, it sounds like you're describing a simple woofer/tweeter two way speaker set up. Nothing wrong with that at all, don't get me wrong. I am curious which tweeters you used and what were the roll off points on your crossover? I would guess that you had to go with a fairly steep drop off due to the two driver design but not so steep that there would be a huge hole in the sound where the midrange or midbass would otherwise be.
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