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Doesn't it strike you as bizarre that we try to sell speakers using nothing but pictures and words? How do you convey sound in a picture? How do you capture a sonic quality, an aural manifestation, using 26 letters of the alphabet and a hodge-podge of pixels? Sort of like trying to sell the Mona Lisa by describing the scent of the paint, or the texture of the canvass. It doesn't make sense. But, as inadequate as words and pictures are, they're the only tools we wield to perform the task; like Sisyphus, we trudge and strain to reach the apex knowing we are doomed to failure.
But trudge like soldiers through the mud of defeat we must. I introduce to you these two Boston Acoustics A100 Series II speakers. Perhaps to you they appear unassuming, unadorned, even bland. I mean, looking at one of these speakers placed smack dab in front of you, the 10" woofer, like a Cyclopian eye in the middle of the cabinet, almost seems to be dwarfed by the vast expanse of black space. Except for the pimple of a tweeter directly above the eye, one might as well be looking at a black hole in the empty sky. Couldn't they have added more stuff? There's plenty of room there for another woofer. Heck, a mid-range and dual ports, too! How about a horn? And let's cover the woofers with those cool metal grills, and wrap the whole shebang with grey carpet. And pretty soon, you have a mess, a soup into which the cook tossed the spice rack, a victim to the more-is-better fallacy. In short, a kabuki speaker.
The sound engineers at Boston Acoustics obviously weren't looking to delight the eye when designing these speakers. I can imagine those engineers right now looking at each other after the final prototype was finished, saying "Well, that's the best damn speaker we've ever come up with, but them boys over at fabrication are gonna be hooting over this one!" Hooting they might have, but build it they did. They built it because it was their best. They said it themselves: It was their first "no compromise" speaker. Sound was paramount--the only consideration.
Did they achieve perfection? Of course not. Perfection is the London Symphony Orchestra set up in your living room with Paul McCartney leading them through "Live and Let Die", and Steve Perry and the rest of Journey off to the side awaiting their turn to play the tunes from their Frontiers album. But it was the most honest sound reproduction they could come up with. Honest as in true. Honest as in pure. All euphemisms for neutral. That's what critics of these speakers say: "They're bland." And that, to me, is one of their strengths. I want honesty in my music reproduction. I don't want "colorful" speakers, with "boomy" lows or "bright" highs. I want freaking Paul McCartney. If I want more of this or less of that, I start yanking levers on the graphic equalizer; I don't start switching speakers to get the "sound" I want.
I say that truthfulness is one of these speakers strengths because there's also another one. I call that quality "placement forgiveness." What's that, you ask? That, my dear hapless fellow if you're in the same boat as I am, is having a wife who thinks that rearranging the furniture in the living room is a monthly check-off item. Yep, you've stepped out for a few minutes to pick up a nudge widget over at Home Depot, and return home only to find out that IT'S NOT YOUR FREAKING HOUSE! No matter where she puts the darned speakers ("Don't you think that speaker on top of the refrigerator makes the room breathe easier, dear?") they still sound good. They're not too picky about where they stand. You don't have to aim them like a howitzer to achieve good sound distribution. That's where that big wide face of the speaker steps in: it's function is to broaden the sound delivery.
I'm babbling on too much.
I don't want to take up anymore of your time with more words that can't achieve their desired goal, i.e., describing the sound these speakers produce. That is only something your ears, and musical tastes, can discern. No words of mine will compel you to fork over good money for something you haven't heard. Perhaps only a listening can convince you. But there's one thing you definitely have to ask yourself: Can I get something better for the same price that he's asking for those Boston Acoustics? If you can answer yes to that question, then you've just wasted five minutes of your life. Sorry, but I can't give them back to you. If, however, you're not sure that you can find better for the price, then I'm more than happy to have you over for a hear-listen. Just an email or a call and we can set it up. Then, those five minutes will not have been wasted.
Both badges present. The grill fabrics have some small ‘pulls’ in the cloth cover, not noticeable from more than a foot away and impossible to photograph. Foam woofer surrounds have recently been replaced (and I can prove it, too)--no worries for another twenty years. And you can tell that these speakers have been together as a pair since the day they shipped out of Peabody, Massachusetts; the serial numbers read 97753 and 97755, truly brothers in sound delivery.
If you're thinking of building a vintage audio system, you have to give these speakers serious consideration. Even in a modern HT environment, these speakers will sparkle and delight as fronts or rears or overheads or underfoots--anywhere you wish to place them. Just not on top of the refrigerator.
* Frequency Response: 39-20,000 Hz
* Impedance: 8 Ohms nominal
* Sensitivity 1 watt (2.83V) @ 1m: 90 dB
* 10-inch woofer
* 1-inch ferrofluid cooled tweeter
* Crossover Frequency: 2000 Hz
* Rated 100W RMS
* Recommended Amplifier Power: 15-75 watts per channel
* Size (inches): 32.5H x 16W x 8.4D
* Cabinet: (walnut-) woodgrain vinyl
* Grilles: Black cloth over plastic frame
* Weight: 44 pounds (20 kg) each
Local pick-up only.