Introduction: REVITALIZE YOUR OLD AUDIO SYSTEM

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Many longtime “audio lovers” have kept some of their old equipment for decades.... I am no exception. I had been hauling equipment, CDs, vinyl and tapes from one place to another during several moves. My longtime friend and I had recorded our “band” on a 4 track reel to reel and we still had several tapes. However, neither of us had a reel to reel player anymore so last year I bought a TASCAM 44 OB 4 track reel to reel machine. I really enjoy listening to those old tapes that sound like they were recorded yesterday. But now the “retro bug” bit me hard. Although I have a modern home theater system, I wanted to go back and use some equipment that I bought over 30 years ago for simple stereo listening.

Step 1: ​Re-foaming the Woofers Was Pretty Straight Forward.

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I actually had to use the 10" Infinity surround kit from Parts Express because it fit these cones better than the general-purpose kit. The 31-year-old Maestro cabinets were in bad shape. The pecan wood panels were worn and scratched, the old veneer was pretty scuffed up and the grills were faded and stained. I removed the pecan panels for refinishing, sanded them down and applied three coats of Minwax Sedona Red 222 and three coats of clear gloss poly for finish.

Step 2: I Decided to Leave the Original Veneer in Place and Apply the New Veneer to the Top of It. This Gave a Nice Clean Surface to Adhere to and the Result Is a Nice, Deep New Finish. I Trimmed the Edges With a Flush Trim Bit and a Router.

Picture of I Decided to Leave the Original Veneer in Place and Apply the New Veneer to the Top of It. This Gave a Nice Clean Surface to Adhere to and the Result Is a Nice, Deep New Finish. I Trimmed the Edges With a Flush Trim Bit and a Router.

I scraped off the remaining rotted foam from the front baffle and wiped off as much of the adhesive as I could using an adhesive remover. I chose to replace this using our 3/8" thick grill foam which was applied with High Strength 90 spray adhesive. I taped off the edges and grill guides before applying the glue, then stuck the whole sheet of foam to the baffle and trimmed it to size using a straight edge and razor blade. I replaced the grill cloth with our premium black cloth and used hot glue to apply it to the grill frames. This new black cloth gave a modern appearance to the vintage cabinets.

Step 3: The Crossovers Are the Original Design But Use Upgraded Components.

Picture of The Crossovers Are the Original Design But Use Upgraded Components.

I could have reused the original terminal cups, but decided to replace them with newer binding posts mounted to a small piece of wood from inside the cabinet.

Step 4: Needless to Say We Were Both Extremely Happy With the Beautiful Results!

Picture of Needless to Say We Were Both Extremely Happy With the Beautiful Results!

The frequency response was as good as the original. This is a case where they look like they sound great…and they really DO sound great! To complete my retro - modern system, I bought a TEAC cherry turntable at Parts Express (248-516) to play all of my vinyl. I expect to get another 30 years of listening pleasure from my revamped stereo system.

Step 5: THIS PROJECT'S PARTS LIST

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Comments

gm280 (author)2017-09-20

This is funny. I was just talking to my wife today about our old Acoustic Research AR3a speakers and how much I like them still. Very heavy, but extremely great sound still. Nice project you refurbished, and don't let them go.

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