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Steve F

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  1. AR was founded in 1954, not 1952. The few places that say "1952" (I think Wikipedia, an old Cambridge Sound catalog, maybe a few others) are in error. 1954 is the correct date. This is how things get distorted over time. Inexact "facts" are stated and repeated until the real facts are obscured forever.
  2. Hi Steve, with being in and watching much more TV thinking about a surround setup incorporation the T1000 Series IIs that I have enjoyed for 30 years. Researching front channel speakers from Boston Acoustics from that era (a bit after that I realize) that would be a good match. I would appreciate your thoughts.



  3. To the best of my knowledge, there was no such thing from Boston Acoustics as a "CR8c." Definitely not while I was there, and I was there for the transition of the CRx series to the CRx5 series. Are you sure you're not looking at the serial number label and perhaps the 'c' is part of the s/n string? If "CR8c" is an actual model number, my suspicion would be that it's a knock-off made somewhere else. As I said, not from when I was at BA and I was there for the entire life of the CR8. Oh, BTW, to answer TWB's question above--the CR6 had the small Tonegen hard dome tweeter. The next-gen entry-level CR's--the "x5's" had a BA-built 3/4" Kortec dome. Much better tweeter. Steve F.
  4. It is not quite accurate to simply say that the 3a Improved used the same 3a drivers, a Euro-styled cabinet and switches instead of pots and that was it for differences between it and the original 3a. The 'slightly changed crossover' was supposed to deliver a flatter power response than the U.S. 3a. I have a 3a Improved ad that says that and I will endeavor to dig it out. In any event, the differences weren't that great and the U.S. arm of AR decided against marketing it here, since the ADD's (11's and 10π's) were due at pretty much the same time. One of my "Steve F Letters to AR" in the library covers this and AR's response to me. Steve F.
  5. Answering the "what is a fair price" question is always difficult. If you really wanted something, it was difficult to find and you found it in good shape, then whatever it was is worth almost any price, right? If I remember, the VR40's were $1400/pair and the VR12 was $400. So that's $1800 new "list." BA wasn't really discounted very much and generally was not available at the time via mail-order for cheaper pricing. So as a regular retail customer buying these speakers new through an authorized BA dealer, you could expect to pay the full $1800. $600 strikes me as a reasonable price, especially if they are in good shape, no major cabinet scratches or torn grille cloth. They are really nice speakers. BTW, the VR12 was the industry's very first 3-way center channel speaker with a vertically-aligned mid and tweeter. I was proud of that one. Steve F.
  6. Those are good receivers. I suspect you'll be fine. Will you be using a subwoofer? One thing to remember (and people forget this all the time) is if you are using a sub in a home theater system, it is the sub that is handling the demanding low-frequency information. You'll probably be high-passing the VR40's and VR12 at 80Hz or so, and in that region, your receiver will not be asked to put out the high current that a full-range signal (20-20k) would demand. We never had any issues with VR40's + VR12 in a good system with good equipment. As to how the 40's compare to the Aperions, I've never heard them, so I can't comment. The 40 + 12 combo is quite excellent, however. Steve F.
  7. I was at BA when the VR towers were done. In fact, I was in charge of the project. The VR40's impedance in the heart of the midrange was around 2.7 ohms. Two 8-ohm woofers paralleled (4 ohms) crossing over to a 4-ohm midrange unit. Add in a little resistance for the crossover and the Ω sweep was around 2.7 at 500Hz. Good luck to your average AV cheapo receiver. Not a chance in a million above the most modest of volumes. We called it "8 ohms." Everyone did that kind of thing. But with a good amp, the VR40 was one heck of a terrific speaker. For smoothness and uncolored musical accuracy, I'd put it up against anything three times its price. The crossovers were 400 and 3300Hz.
  8. This is a much better article, far more relevant, IIDSSM. https://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/most-influential-speakers
  9. I subscribe to Stereophile and have for decades. Although the $25,000 speaker and $30,000 amp reviews are indeed irrelevant, they do, in fact, review 'normal-priced' equipment every month. As a matter of fact, normal-priced reviews outnumber the esoteric stuff. In this issue, they review a $500 pair of JBL floorstanders. Can't get more down-to-earth than that. The thing I like about the magazine is that their instrumented printed measurements and graphs of speakers under review are quite good. They show a FR in a 30˚ window of on-tweeter axis (a very useful, relevant measurement), they show port contribution, they show room response, step response, all kinds of very solid info. Editorial like Dudley's is inane, but like any magazine or paper or on-line pub, you, as the reader, are free to simply pick and choose what you want to read and what you find interesting. Dudley gets so much wrong about acoustic suspension that it's not even worth my time to list it all and rebut it. But the instrumented tests of normal-priced loudspeakers are great and it's the only audio mag I subscribe to.
  10. "Lots of people tell me they got rid of their vintage gear and bought a little Bose system that "sounds just as good." Then I invite them to listen to their favorite music through my AR=91s and they're left speechless ?" We had a friend and his wife over from out of state. She's a classical concert pianist and teacher. My friend and I were listening to jazz trio recording in my 1st floor "music room." The French doors were closed, but you could still hear in the rest of the house. My wife and his wife were in the kitchen, talking. All of a sudden, the door bursts open. It's my friend's wife. "Where is that piano? Who's playing? What......?" AR9's, powered by 400 distortion-free Parasound 2250 watts per side. Me, smiling. JKent is about, oh, 100% correct. People just don't know how absolutely stunning truly great audio is. Stunning. Jaw-dropping.
  11. "I know that in 1969 speakers were not always sold as matched pairs, and that stereophonic sound was not widespread yet. So often people just bought one for their current mono system, and bought a second one later when they upgraded to stereo." This is incorrect. Stereo was introduced in 1958 and was an immediate success. Part of the reason that AR had such market dominance in the mid-60's (over a 30% market share in 1965) is that with AR speakers, a listener could easily fit two compact speakers into a living room and enjoy deeper, better bass than from a single older-design bass-reflex speaker. By 1969, there were virtually no mono systems at all. Everything was 2-channel/2-speaker stereo.
  12. What did Mark Twain say? "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." We're certainly glad that's the case here! This is quite the august group, without question. The amount of collective technical, historical and anecdotal knowledge about AR is extraordinary, in my view. And quite unlike most other social platforms, even when there is the rare disagreement, they're generally handled in a most agreeable fashion, with no bridges being permanently burned. I've been here for 17 years and have enjoyed every minute. If I live another 17 years, I plan on continuing to visit every day.
  13. When I was at Atlantic Technology for around 10 years starting in 2003, we used Bravox cone drivers in our TOTL 6200 and 8200 speakers, both of which were THX-certified (during the days when THX cert really meant something, in terms of stringent FR, THD, max SPL, etc. requirements). They were great drivers, really uniform and refined. We used 12", 10, 8, 6 1/2 and 5 1/4. BTW, the TSW-410 got a great review from High Fidelity magazine in 1989, I believe. I'm sure I have that edition in my stash. I'll dig it out and post it. Steve F.
  14. DavidR, that's actually good to know. If I ever decide to replace or retire my 9's, I will contact you. I'm in Foxboro (as in "Home of the World Champion New England Patriots"). You may kid around about "haul away free of charge," but they would be. I wouldn't want money for them. They've given me so much enjoyment for so long that just the knowledge that they're going to a good home, so to speak, would be more than enough. It ain't happenin' too soon, however, so I wouldn't be holding my breath if I were you. Steve F.
  15. Aadams' tale of Villchur's humor is interesting. When I worked at Boston Acoustics, I wrote all the owner's manuals, training guides, magazine ads, etc for my products. One of them was the Recepter radio, a really good AM/FM mono table-top radio that sold for $159.00 (around 2001 or 2, if I recall). When we did the manuals, before we sent them out to print, we'd pass the draft around to people to see if they made sense. I put a "hook" in the Recepter's draft, to see if people were really reading it. For the FM antenna, I wrote something like, "Orient the antenna to the position that delivers the best reception, which is guaranteed by Murphy's Law to be the worst-looking location, like draped over the front of the kitchen counter." Well, BA's president came to my office holding the draft of the manual. I thought I was done for, in big trouble for joking around. "I love this!" he said. So it stayed in the final manual, packed with every product. It even made it into the next product's manual, which was done after I'd left the company. People love humor, if it's done intelligently and tastefully. People are people.
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