AR-2ax. On the Prowl. Typical Issues???

This discussion has me on the prowl for a pair of AR-2ax Speakers. 

Anyone have advice, what typically needs doing? What questions to ask? 

thanks, Elliott





I think you probably already know. Woofer surround, I don't recall if they were foam or cloth. Change caps in crossovers. Not very efficient but a darn good sounding speaker. To my knowledge, no problems with either midrange or tweeters, Just be sure to check and see if they are matched because they had a couple design variations. Good luck!

Legendary speakers that will become collector's pieces, if they are not already.

Good luck in finding a well looked after pair.




I remember going with my dad 1965 to buy AR 2ax, Fisher 500c, Dual 1019...I think by todays standards they are not very good speakers, but I do still have a pair for fun...I think it will be much easier to bring them to a shop for refurb rather than find a pair in great least I have not had good luck with vintage gear advertised as refurbished...

Yeah, my uncle gave me a pair. They were mushy and completely rolled off in the highs. If that’s what you’re after, go for it. My Pioneer HPM-100s made them sound like crap in comparison. Just my experience FWIW.  I still have my HPM-100s if you’re interested in classic speakers BTW. 

main system and office system are done (shown on this site).


these will go for my garage system, some sound, lots of memories when working down there. existing b&w move to the shop, the bostons in the shop become spare.

expensive, but shows what a nice pair with original parts looks like


seems the woofers had cloth surrounds, and attempts to keep the fiberglass stuffing out of the back of the cone


were they L-Pads or Potentiometers? (originals seem to be ceramic wirewound )

As I learned here, L-Pads show the same impedance to the crossovers, Pots change what the crossover 'sees'.

I am going to state: adjusting them, like I adjust my horn's L-Pads, made a huge difference to how they sounded in their unknown designated spaces. Modern speakers ought to have precise adjustability built in IMO.

A great speaker, 2nd only to the 3a. An amplifier, such as an original Ampzilla ( going back in time, and although later than the ARs ) would be fabulous, assuming the speakers are rebuilt.....ime, woofer surround, crossover, rear attenuation controls. This is my take, also fmi.....

Don't bother with them,I got a pair in a package deal..mushy is the perfect term IMO...way better off with modern speakers

I've learned a few things:

early woofers were cloth surrounds

later woofers were foam surrounds

woofers had pieces of screen on the rear spider cutouts to keep debris away from the back of the cone

mid driver has some diffusing stuffing in front of the driver, behind a grille, looks weird

tweeters coil wires were on the face of the front mounting board (rather than tabs inside). tape over the wires, looks weird

the two level controls were wire wound rheostats, corrosion a common problem.

front fabric wrapped panel was both glued and stapled on, not easily removed.

factory veneer: depending on which era:

unfinished pine, unfinished walnut, oiled walnut, birch, mahogany, cherry

thinking more about it, not looking for a project, just the memories and decent sound when working in the garage.

I found a pair in unfinished pine in upstate NY, my friend could pick up for me, I visit him later in the spring when the snow melt gets the waterfalls flowing.


Found a pair with new linen cloth, decent walnut boxes. I replaced the capacitors, re-stuffed with polyfil, put photos here


One Tweeter was burnt out,

1 level control looked great but would not pass juice

1 new capacitor from Parts Express wouldn’t pass any juice.


New Tweeters, New Level Controls, Parts Express rushed me a free capacitor: done, they sound really good, the level controls beneficial to be sure. Wharfedales and Subwoofer in the pile of ’extra stuff’ downstairs.

My sound pressure meter came in handy measuring the output of the old tweeter against the new one, compared to the midrange. Old working tweeter was weak.

The Original Midranges have 1/2" thick fiberglass layer in front of them. The original paper cones behind that show no cracks, nothing, sound terrific,

So, $744. total. I would not have spent that much up front, but I’m glad I did,

$240. very nice walnut enclosures, excellent new linen faces, re-coned woofers, still terrific midranges, surprise blown tweeter, bad level control

-50. credit from seller

$20. Parts Express 6 new Capacitors

$260. ups pack and ship from Illinois to NJ

$260. two new tweeters and 4 new level controls, this seller


$14. polyfil from Walmart


Sounds like a fun project, thanks for the trip down memory lane. The first time I heard the same was in 1971. Before then I had only heard Sansui and Pioneer. That day I realized how much better sound could get.

They also were my first darn good sounding speaker. got em with wedding money. I got married age 19 while in College.

After they were stolen, I used to look for them in Garage Sales around here, for years.

I’m very happy to have them active in my office!



My sound pressure meter came in handy measuring the output of the old tweeter against the new one, compared to the midrange. Old working tweeter was weak.



That's the kind of attention to detail that can make or break the whole project.

Good work.



when I first viewed your earlier post, I thought that image was of a larger model AR, I thought the AR-2ax were smaller, until I took them out of the box, definitely larger than I remembered.

Wonderful that they fit in/on a bookshelf, only 11-1/2" deep, sealed, no vents. Real wood is always my preference.

Original idea was just to get a working pair, nostalgia, use them down in the garage, maybe work on them someday. Now, forced to fix them, they sound better than anything I own that fits in my office.

Beat my Wharfedale's/B&W/Paradigm/Boston/Energy, and took the sub out of the office as these 10" woofers make plenty bass.

I need to update my system photos, I’ve made a few changes since posting them here.




you were right, these were matched, woofers had been renewed (cone and foam) (not older cloth type).

mids and tweeters type matched, but one tweeter was dead.

I replaced the caps as you advised, ended up changing to new level controls as long as I was going for new tweeters. surprisingly, those midrange paper cones are solid and sound terrific.

inefficient, yes, my small Luxman 10 wpc tube amp is just enough, they would definitely need more in a larger space.

I played them with a Fisher 200T SS receiver in the late 70's, lots more volume, I am surprised to find it is only 20wpc






I’ve got two 500cs, one all cleaned up to sell, very nice shape, dead quiet. Other a hard looking thing I took in as part of a trade. I also had an 800c, but traded that to Bill for his Mitsubishi Vertical Turntable LT-5V in my office which now plays into these AR-2ax.

The combo of new level controls, new tweeters, re-worked woofers (might as well consider new), new caps sounds better than you may think. Existing mids are crazy good.

Tweeter and Mid level controls adjusted to/in the space with the help of the sound meter is a large part of the success.