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VR30 "2-and-a-half-way"?


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I just bought a pair of mint condition VR30s while impatiently waiting for a pair of VR40s to turn up somewhere.  I've got a few questions for the experts in here:

1. I've not had a pair of speakers with this kind of hybrid 3-way, and I'm wondering what the crossover is actually doing.  The old product brochure for the Lynnfield VR series calls it a "two-and-one-half-way" system with "unique low-frequency driver configuration."  I understand the concept, with mids and bass going to the upper driver and low-end bass support via the lower driver (which is visibly a different driver than the upper).  But I'm wondering how the two drivers responses actually overlap?  Is it just down to the two different driver designs?  Sounds tricky.  Or is it just marketing trickery and a 3-way after all?

Any insight from the Boston designers on the forum?

2. I've seen serial numbers on these in the 012000-range that are Lynnfield, MA labelled.  Then somewhere in the 013000-range (mine) they are Peabody, MA labelled.  Both "Made in USA."  When did the production on these move to Peabody?  (just curious about their age).

3. I'm shopping for a decent stereo receiver or integrated amp to drive them with, having only my oldish Onkyo TX-SR501 AVR free at the moment.  I'm fairly brand-loyal to Onkyo and Integra, but does anyone have a recommendation for specific models or minimum power to drive these well?  (...and potentially the VR40...one day.)

Thanks for the help - glad I found this site.  Good info and good experiences shared in here.


- Brian



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I was the new product development manager for the VR Series when I was at BA from 1992-2003. I supervised the engineering and did all the voicing on the speakers.

I do not remember the two 7" drivers being much different, if at all. The "woofer-only" lower driver may have had a larger dustcap just to distinguish it visually. The dustcap would only affect the upper-end of that driver's response around 1.5-2kHz or so, which wouldn't make any difference in that driver, since it was rolled off around 800Hz.

Both woofers handle the bass and the system is a conventional dual-woofer ported system. It's just that the lower woofer is rolled off with a choke above 800Hz, so you don't have the two 7" drivers interfering with each other in the midrange. "2 1/2-way" means two woofers, only one of them going up into the midrange, and then a tweeter. It was not a BA-exclusive design. Several AR TSW's in the 80's, like the TSW410, were 2 1/2-ways. Currently, the Paradigm Prestige 75-85-95 are 2 1/2-ways. Pretty well-known design approach.

BA moved from Lynnfield to Peabody in 1996. The VRs came out in late 1994 and were discontinued in 1997 or 8.

Great speakers, all of them. The 40 is truly great, but the 30 was quite excellent as well. 40-50 solid watts/ch is enough in a normal-sized room as long as you don't want heavy-metal at ear-splitting levels. They're closer to 4 ohms, regardless of what the specs may say.

Steve F.

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You're a scholar and a gentleman.  Makes perfect sense now.

I have probably read most of your posts here by now (at least the BA forum).  Admittedly, with irrational jealousy (as another product manager).  Reading through your experiences working between and within R&D, Sales and Marketing, you were/are what I would recognize as a true product manager for a company whose products I have enjoyed a great deal for the past 22 years.  You've had a role in the development of most every BA product I own, with a few exceptions I suppose.  Maybe it's all older stuff by now - but cared for, and most of them are used daily:

VR30 (new to me)

VR-M60 (my personal favorites).  Music (and pretty much any music) is just life-changing heard through these.

I have a VRC center that seems to match really well with the VR-Ms for HT as well.

VR500 - pair of these (most overachieving sub I know of at 100W!).

Micro90x - paired with a CR400 sub.

CR55, 65, and 75 - pair of each and a CRC (after your time, but I prefer them to the 1st gen). CRC not a great center though.

DigitalTheater 6000 system (provided me with perfectly acceptable HT through a 7 year stint in Europe, using a step-down converter).

MicroMedia System (my original GW2K package - I'd love to hear the development story behind this one).

Recepter Radio (1st gen) - after your time, and perhaps a "me too" product by the time of release, but what a product it is.

So, your years of fine work has kept my ears happy for decades.  Thank you sir!

- Brian


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Thank you for the kind words. Except for those 2nd-gen CRs (which were in development when I was still there although not completed), I was involved with all the others.

The Recepter was a really great radio. We had big arguments over that one, for many reasons. I voiced it, but at the last minute, the President came in and added 2 dB to the EQ below 100Hz. Now it's a little bass-heavy, in my opinion. Nonetheless, I have three of them scattered around the house.

The very first production run will lose 20-30 seconds per month on the clock and after 6 months, the clock will be a few minutes slow. Annoying. It was because there was an inefficient circuit design that pulled a hair too much voltage from the timing circuit in order to power some other part of the radio. Starved for voltage, the clock runs just a tad slow. It was corrected on the second run. That's "inside info" you'll never hear anywhere else, that's for sure!

The Micro90x sub-sat family was the best-selling (from a $ standpoint) family of products in the company's history. I was incredibly proud of those, although the President never wanted to do them and never really enjoyed their success.

I really liked the VR-M series. I own 50's and 60's. The VR-M90 remains one of my all-time favorite floorstanding speakers ever. We were going to do a "VR-M100" at $4000/pr--would've been killer!--but 2-ch stereo was dying as HT was taking over, so we never did it.

Steve F.

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  • 3 years later...


I came across this thread with a web search and I have some questions on the VR30 crossovers. I have a pair of the Boston Acoustics Lynnfield VR30 speakers built in late 1994. The treble on one of the speakers is a bit weak and I feel like a rebuild is on order. The tweeter itself is fine but the 27 year old capacitors are probably in need of replacement.

I opened up the cabinets and the crossovers are nothing like I am used to. The components are not on a circuit board but rather are just hot glued to a board at the back of the cabinet. I am contemplating replacing the crossover with a kit from Parts Express. They do not have any 2-1/2 way kits however. Other than completely disassembling the crossovers and replacing the capacitors are there any drop-in crossover kits that will work with these speakers? Other than the weak treble in one side they sound great!

thanks in advance.


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