AR 2 xi speakers

Hi everyone, I've just recieved a pair of AR2 xi speakers. They seemt to be in good conditions. I've never actually heard of these speakers. I was wondering if anyone has and if so are they known for a certian part to fail or require any special maintenance?
I know of the Acoustic Research 2 ... AR 2A ... AR 2X ... and AR 2AX models, but no "i" for improved designation. In any event, here is a good starting point .

You have acquired a piece of hifi history ... a classic speaker from one of the the companies that established home hifi. AR, along with KLH and later Advent, EPI, etc, invented the "New England/East Coast" speaker sound ... warm, musical, rich bass, and somewhat laid back. AR developed the acoustic suspension (sealed box) speaker .

Many of hifi's true giants ... Edgar Villchur, Henry Kloss, Roy Alison, Ken Kantor ... would be part of AR, at one point or another.

In terms of your AR's ... my guess is that the speakers require the surrounds to be replaced and possibly re-coned. The pots on the back of the speaker are probably "scratchy" and require cleaning ... though there is only so much that you can do as they are nickel plated.

The AB Tech company provides servicing on the AR speakers. Their contact details are:

Toll free: 1-800-225-9847
Local: 1-508-478-9800
Fax: 1-508-478-9816

I guess one of your questions may be are the AR-2's worth restoring. Tough to say. There is tons of debate as to which of the AR classic speakers were the best (go to the Vintage Forum at audio asylum and do a search). I use AR 302's in two of my systems (1995 updated version of the classic AR 5's) and quite frankly, love the sound. The AR 2's focused on musicality, warmth, and rich, multi-note bass unlike more modern speaker design, where the focus is more on "brutal" accuracy. You may wish to use the AR's as part of a vintage home system ... pick up something from the Marantz 22XX or Yamaha CR or Pioneer SX series ... pair all this with a decent CD player and just sit back and enjoy the music.

Hope this helps.

Regards, Rich
Great answer from Rich. You can get a lot more info where he says.

I bought a recone kit for my AR2ax woofers from Simply Speakers on eBay. I was going to do the job this weekend... maybe I can still get to it.

Once that's done, if I did a reasonable job I'll be able to tell what else needs attention. (The tweeter level pots are almost sure to need replacing.) You'll find one gent's description of his AR2ax project at the link Rich supplied.

These speakers like muscle IMHO--lots of solid-state grunt. I'm planning to drive mine with a HK930 receiver, but the 45 watts may be a tad low.

Depending on your room size and how loud you listen to your music ... you may be OK with the HK 930. I drive one pair of my AR 302's with a NAD C320BEE which is rated at 50 wpc and I rarely go past the 10 o'clock point on the volume control. The 302's are rated at 85db sensitivity at 8 ohms similar to the AR 2's and can handle from 35 to 250 wpc. The HK 930 was one of HK's great receivers ... super tuner section. If the HK is not powerful enough ... use the HK as a preamp and track down an ADCOM 545 to pair it with.

Regards, Rich
I've got a "newer" system at home right now. A pair of Athena Technology AS-F2's, a Pioneer VSX712 reciever, and a pioneer dvd player. I know my reciever could power them but would it really be worth taking everything apart and hooking these speakers up?
My hunch is, no. Do it if it sounds like fun to do, but as far as I know, Athena made some pretty nice-sounding speakers. The chances seem low to me that you'll prefer a pair of AR-2ax.
Given the components in the AS-F2's (two 8" woofers) and how well reviewed and regarded they seem to be ... I tend to agree with Tobias. Plus, the AR's will probably need some work to sound their best. If it is not too much trouble ... swap them in ... you never know.

Regards, Rich