New Boston VR series, why no more *powered towers*?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Holger, Dec 20, 2003.

  1. Holger

    Holger Stunt Coordinator

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    hi everyone,

    i just had a look on boston acoustics' website and found the new vr series. i liked the old vr series a lot, especially the *vr965* and *vr975* with their build-in active subwoofer. my personal experience with such speakers is, they give you a whole lot more freedom for adjusting the bass.

    ever since i heard the first time such speakers i prefer them a lot over *regular* passiv only speakers and the idea, not necessary must have a dedicated subwoofer channel (lfe, .1) since basically they allready delivers two of them. (assuming the speakers have a dedicated lfe input which was the case with the vr965 and vr975)

    in my opinion the new vr speakers are a HUGE step backwards although i had no chance to hear them yet.

    i also find it disappointing, the new vr center channel is so small. i always gave boston acoustics big credit to manufacture some serious full range center speakers like the vr12 or the vr 920.

    what are your thoughts?


    regards, holger
     
  2. Chuck Schilling

    Chuck Schilling Stunt Coordinator

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    Holger, I'm just wondering how it is you feel you can criticize a speaker you admit you haven't even heard yet? Not to point fingers, but to me that's just silly. I'm not defending these speakers, as I've not heard them either - I just don't think it's a great idea to trash gear you've not heard just because you don't like the concept behind it.
     
  3. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    I'll try to shed a bit of light on this since I own and owned the speakers you are talking about. A year ago I bought the vr965's. (I love Bostons by the way [​IMG]) I was a bit nervous because they were powered and I always believed that a separate sub was the way to go and that it was too much stuff to put in one enclosure. All that rattling and shaking couldn't be good for the speaker I thought. I couldn't deny the fact though that they sounded waaaaaay better the the unpowered vr950's. so I bought them and they sounded great instantly. I had a separate sub and didn't sent the lfe channel to them and used the powered woofer to increase the bass and low midrange for Music. I set the speakers to large for all applications because they could easily handle it and I thought it sounded much better then a small setting. My only complaint was that they were ugly as all sin!!! I know, not a big deal but they really were big and stuck out like a sore thumb. We always wanted a "wood" finish and new that Boston would be making a replacement for these in a year (when my trade up time was about to end) so we figured we would wait and check them out.
    finally the new vr's came out and they looked wonderful. Almost as nice as their top of the line vrm90's. I went to audition the vr3's and my jaw dropped. What I thought was "good" bass with my 965's was actually just muddy, inflated and boomy. The vr'3 were sooo tight and even sounding. The midrange was more clear now and the speakers, although not powered, were more "in your face". The sensitivity on these new ones are 93db while the older ones are 89db. A huge difference. Boston finally got away from their hardly no midrange and small bass drivers. The vr3's have a 1" aluminum tweeter, a 4 1/2" mid and 2 7" bass drivers. Unlike the 965 that had the (relatively) same tweeter, a 3 1/2" mid and an 8" powered woofer. I think a lot of info got lost between the mid and the bass with the 965 looking back at them now. Of course the vr3's will not go as deep but they do not need to. I set them for large for music and small for movies and could not be happier with the sound. I think if people go out and give these speakers a try they will be very pleasantly suprised. The vr2 and vr1 both are excellent as well, I just preferred the low end of the 3's better. I do agree with you to a point about the center channel it did look a little lacking at first however I heard it and it does sound very nice and clean. No it will not go super low but it is more than adequate and certainly a step up from the vr910. It is not as good as the 920 but it is also 200$ less. It is right between the vr910 and 920 but the same msrp as the older 910. Certainly not a step backwards. It has the same tweeter as the new vr's a 4 1/2 inch mid and two 43/4 inch bass drivers. The vr910 only had a tweeter a 41/2 inch bass and a 41/2 inch passive radiator. No mid. I do hope that they make another canter in the vr series that competes with the 920 though.
    I hope this helped a little. My advice is to go listen to them. Then listen to other speakers at the same price point. I think you will be pleasantly suprised at what the Bostons do. If you don't like them than at least you gave them chance [​IMG]. They are certainly not a step back though. More like a huge step in the right direction. By the way....I don't work for Boston, I am just a huge fan [​IMG].
     
  4. Holger

    Holger Stunt Coordinator

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    chuck,

    i'm sorry if i didn't made my point clear enough. it surely wasn't my intention to *trash* any gear or a company. don't get me wrong: i like the boston sound, i always did. heck, i even sold them for years, during my time as a certified boston dealer. what i was trying to say is, that in my opinion a (part)powered speaker gives you a lot more flexibilty and a few more options (most important the not need of having a dedicated sub). of course with a truly full range passiv only speaker you can try to reproduce the .1 lfe signal as well, but it's most likely to fail because of:

    1. you need LOTS of amplification power from your receiver and

    2. IMO will the bassmanagement fail in over 90% of the surround items available.

    as for the center channel: i feel, that there is absolutely no comparison to a speaker which is capable of deep bass response. it just gives you an unbelievable sense of realism. so thats why i prefer very huge center channels.
    this is one major reason, why i love my def-tech clr3000 so much. with ist build-in 10" sub its capable of an unbelievable performance, nothing what i have heard to date could match it so far.

    i certainly will give the new bostons a long and very critical listen, as soon as i have a chanche to do so.
    once again, please take my apologies, if you didn't get me right.

    evan,

    very interesting review. i do agree with you, the vr910 center was never a real match for the vr powers. however, i can't say the bostons sounded weak in the midrange or muddy in the bass. well, i surely appreciate your statement and looking forward to listen to the new vr's.
     

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