Were My Speakers Damaged ?

My "friend" was kind enough to start my system with the volume way up. At least 20 db too much. I don't see any physical damage to my AR2ax's, but they seem to sound a bit thin. Lacking in the midrange. The pots work fine. Am I just imagining a problem? Other than looking at the speaker capacitors for leakage, etc., what else can I check? TIA
Your drivers could be damaged.Over driving them could do it.You could try to hear the midrange by sticking your ear to it.But even if it is putting out sound,the drivers could have froze in the extreme out or in position.According to the picture,they're in the upper right.If that driver has no output at all,then its most likely blown.They pop up for sale on Ebay every now and then.Another possibility is the pots making a bad connection.Turning the pot knob while listening may make noise and cut in and out sound wise.Here is a link on them.There is most likely lots of info on the net.They were popular.LINK>>[http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~postr/bapix/AR_2ax.htm]
I guess another thing is what they sounded like before.If they were in storage for a while,it may be hard to remember exactly how they sounded.I don't want to say they are froze in place without knowing for sure.Any friends familiar with them may be able to tell.I wish I could give you better advice.
This is interesting because of a few things. A 20dB difference may not be that much if it was say in the range of 50>70 or 60>80. A lot depends on the amp, as some may clip much sooner than others, even in the mid to upper 80's which could cause some damage. Also, the AR's may be old enough to have previously unnoticed surround damage, but that too depends on their vintage & if any repair work had been done. Same thing applies to the crossovers (age wise). Those original pots were pretty crappy & could also be a problem, as they developed "dead spots" because they usually stayed in the same position for years.

OK, things to check. With everything turned off & no ambient noise, gently press the woofer cones in to see if you can hear any scraping noise. Play something you are familiar with & use a piece of cardboard big enough to cover up the other drivers while you listen to one at a time. Does it sound like it should? Not a scientific test but it should give you enough info to get started on making some decisions. Change the spkrs. from left to right (unless you have a mono switch) to see if you can tell any differences.

You could also play the speakers on a different system to test them.
The easiest way to check the woofers and midranges is to gently touch them while they are playing to see if they move in and out. The woofers should be obvious just by looking at them while the speakers are playing.
AR speakers are very robust, however, while they are playing very softly put your ear up against the grill cloth next to each driver and listen for anything untoward....no sound coming from them, or garbled sound coming from them
An overheated voice coil can cause the thin varnish on the wire coil to bubble and fill the gap between the coil and the magnet and bind. Woofers can be checked by carefully pushing the cone in and out, taking care to push evenly on both sides of the dust cap while feeling/listening for a scraping sound or a rough place in the cone movement. A woofer with restricted movement can sound thin.

Unfortunately I have experienced the same event. I keep my source equipment and preamp in a closet out of view. I like to do my listening in very dark conditions and I inadvertently turned up the volume when I thought I was turning it down. I often turn the volume down before I start playing a disc. The music came on extremely loud and I quickly turned down. The sound since this occurred has been whispy or zingy. My dealer changed tweeter but that did not fix the problem. We suspect that I have damaged some transistors in the crossover and they need to be replaced. This has not happened yet.

I too thought that the difference in sound was in my head but it has been confirmed by others. There was no sign of physical damage. You need to contact your dealer
Friends do not treat friend's equipment like this... time to find a new friend!

Also,a lot of drivers that get a damaged midrange or woofer but still put out sound will have a megaphone type of sound from that driver. Compare the sound from your midrange to another similar speaker(if possible) to get somewhat of an idea.I'm guessing they are working since you say the pots are okay.Link>>[http://www.aphenos.net/misc/electronics/speakers/ar2ax/ar2ax.htm]