Restoring vintage speakers.
The thread about fixing factory crossovers has prompted me to tell you about how I restored some 1970-vintage speakers. I think there is a lesson here.
I inherited a pair of AR5 speakers. The 10" woofers didn't have any of their foam surrounds left... all rotted away. The inductors in the crossovers were fine quality and good wire gauge, and I tested them with an inductance meter to find their values. The capacitors had their values marked, but they were lousy... basically junk by today's standards.
I kept the boxes and the inductors... that's all. I replaced the 10" woofers with Dayton 295-315, the midranges with Dayton 285-010 domes, and the tweeters with Dayton silk-dome 275-070. These are the same drivers as used in the Lyra 3-way, and these drivers basically fit right into the AR5 box.
I did not use the Lyra crossover because I wanted to use the inductors from the AR5s. The AR5 crossover was completely different than the Lyra crossover. So I put the AR5 crossover values into X-Over 3 Pro along with the specs for the Dayton drivers. It looked pretty good, but I tweaked it some and added an additional inductor and capacitor to get a flatter-looking response.
I threw away the AR5 fiberglass stuffing and just put cheap Wal-Mart Dacron pillow-stuffing into the boxes. Then I fired them up.
Oh my gosh. These are wonderful speakers. Right now they are my favorite of about a dozen speakers I have built or modified.
Don't throw those old speakers out. At least use the boxes. And, if the speaker design was reasonably good to start with, start with a copy of the original crossover and go from there. Restoring 1970-1980 vintage speakers with Dayton drivers and updated capacitors can make a very good speaker. The completed box saves a lot of time and money. The inductors don't go bad, so if they are high quality, using them also saves a hunk of change. The capacitors most likely need replaced. You can use the same capacitor values as factory, but since you are using different drivers, it does not hurt to play with crossover-design software to see what capacitors would go best with the Dayton drivers and the salvaged inductors.
I was hoping to restore the original AR5 sound. Instead I got remarkable speakers that sound better than I ever remember that the AR5s sounded. I am extremely pleased with this salvage job.
Re: Restoring vintage speakers.
thats cool. iam doing the same thing with a set of cerwin vega at-10, not really vintage but they will do for my first home speaker re-fab.
i will be re-coneing the woofers my self(first time), replacing the mids, and upgrading the parts to the xo's with much better parts though they seem very well built.
i will also be stripping the finish off the cabinets and re-finishing them with black vynal.(their brown now)
my goal is to still have the crankability but have them sound better than they ever did.
iam polish, whats your excuse?
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