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REVIEW: Boston Acoustics VR-M50 Speakers Review by Don H. at Audio Asylum

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Having been the proud owner of a pair of Boston Acoustics CR-8's for two years I was alittle reluctant to upgrade but being in lue of my tax return prompted me to at least go out a see what was available. I had already upgrated every component in my system until all that was left of my first system was a pair of Audioquest Slate speaker cables, a Boston Acoustics PV-600 Sub, and the CR-8's. I had seen a big improvement with all my other upgrades (NAD intergrated amp, MSB Link DAC) and knowing that speakers have the biggest impact on the sound of a system I set out to find the perfect pair of speakers for my system.

The first step was to do alot of research on the web, mostly on this site, audioreview, and ecoustics. I was looking for a speaker the trew up a good soundstage that was as netrual as possable within my budget of $800. From my research I had narrowed my choices down to B&W 602, Paradigm Studio 20, and the VR-M50. Next I went out and auditioned all of the above mentioned speakers and any other speakers the dealers I was vistiing had in my price range.

So I set out. One dealer sold B&W and Boston and another sold B&W and Paradigm so I was not able to directly compare the Paradigm and Boston but I used the B&W as a reference to compare to. First I compaired the B&W and Paradigm. The B&W had a very meaty mid-range and seem to image very well (as well as I could tell in the dealers showroom) but it came up a little short compaired to the Paradigm Sudio 20's, but just by a hair. The Paradigms seemed to have a little better highs, albeit a little bright but I liked their high end extention alittle more. I also thought that the Paradigms midrange was a bit more neutral than the 602s which leaned more to the warm side. For the type of music I listen to (Classic Rock, Alternitive) the Paradigms were better. For classical I would give the nod to the B&Ws for their warm midrange and imaging.

Next up was the B&W 602 and the Boston VR-M60. I listened to the 602 for a few minutes just to reaffirm my first conclusion and also to give me a benchmark for comparision. Then I listened to the VR-M50s. By the way for comparison I used the song "Hey You" from Pink Floyd's "The Wall". About a minute into the song I knew these speakers were for me. I could hear Dave Gilmore's pick strike the strings on his acoustic guitar in the intro and a few bars into the song Nick Masons Cymbal ride came through with chilling accuracy. Cymbal crashs had the proper "Sssssss" sound,not the"SHhhhhh" sound that the B&Ws had and to a certain extent the Paradigms had. But when the guitar solo started and the rhythm guitar started to play the familar cords of "Another Brick in the Wall Part II" I plopped down my check card. These speakers filled the room better than any sub $1000 speaker I had ever heard without one hint of brightness. The midrange was very clear and clean ( a bit cleaner than the Paradigms). It passed the knuckel rapp test with flying colors and the binding posts seemed to be fairly heavy. I walked out of the store a happy man.

I have had the VR-M50s for a month and love them more every day. One tip with these speakers is that they need to be toed in a fair amount (I think this has to do with th AMD on the tweeter). I had always thought that the CR-8 was the only speaker Boston made that could compete in it's price range, boy was I wrong! Go out and give them a listen, they may suprise you.


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Topic - REVIEW: Boston Acoustics VR-M50 Speakers Review by Don H. at Audio Asylum - Don H. 14:56:37 02/13/01 ( 2)