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How close should the main speakers be apart from one another?

Ideally speakers should placed approximately 6-12 feet apart. If you place speakers more than 12 feet apart, place them at an angle pointing in toward the room's listening area, so you will not lose the stereo effect. If placement is too close, the sound will not have a three-dimensional feeling.

Why don't you publish specifications for the Boston Acoustics Recepter Radio?

Specifications alone do not adequately describe the sound of an audio product. Since the Recepter Radio is a “closed” system (that is, its electronics and speaker cannot be changed or modified by the user), normal specifications like wattage will not provide any usable information, since the user can’t change it anyway.

The Recepter is designed as a complete radio receiving/playback SYSTEM. The best thing to do is to tune to your favorite stations and listen to the rich, full sound it delivers. Then try some distant stations, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how clearly the Recepter gets stations most other radios simply ignore. The final measure of an audio product is how it sounds and how easy it is to use.

Will placement affect the sound of Recepter Radio?

Yes. Placing the Recepter close to two large surfaces, such as on the kitchen counter near the wall behind it, will reinforce the bass end of the sound. We suggest you experiment with different placements to find the most pleasing tonal balance. A few inches one way or the other can make a big difference in the sound.

What size or brand of speaker wire and cabling do I need?

While we do not feel that one brand of speaker wire is superior to another, there are some things to consider depending on the specific application.

When choosing speaker wire, size is most important. Speaker wire size is measured in gauge using the AWG, or American Wire Gauge, system. A larger gauge will better conduct current, or power, from your electronics to the speaker. In general, a larger gauge (lower AWG number) will carry more current over a greater distance without loss. Common sizes from largest to smallest are 12, 16, and 18 gauges. It is always best to use a larger size when in doubt. Wire should always be budgeted into a system, as it is usually not included with the speakers.

When choosing cables to connect various A/V components, such as a pre-amp to an amplifier, the wire gauge is not as import as the shielding. Low-level signals such as video signals or line level audio signals are especially susceptible to interference. This can come from power cords or other devices such as florescent lighting. To avoid this interference, a shielded cable should be used.

Where should I locate my subwoofer to get the most output?

Subwoofer placement will depend greatly on the room dimensions, and layout. While there is no absolute rule, there are a couple tricks, which usually yield good results.

The best way to place a subwoofer involves the Law of Acoustic Reciprocity. Begin by placing the subwoofer on the floor at the primary listening position. Start walking slowly around the edge of the room while listening to material that has strong bass. Find a spot where the bass sounds loudest. Swap places with the subwoofer, placing the subwoofer at this location and returning to the primary listening position. This will yield similar results at the seating position.

If you are attempting to decide on placement prior to purchasing the subwoofer there are several locations that tend to work better than others. The room corners are always a good bet, as well as along the side walls at a distance from the corner of 1/5 or 1/3 the total length of the side walls.

What is the difference between VR-M and VR?

The major differences between the VR-M and VR can be found in driver and cabinet construction, and cabinet finish.

The VRM drivers uses cast aluminum baskets, compared to the stamped steel baskets used in VR. A cast basket will have less resonance than a stamped basket. Resonance, when severe, can cause coloration of the sound. Using cast baskets in the midrange and bass drivers lowers the possibility of this, ensuring as true a reproduction as possible. In addition, cast baskets are better at dissipating heat, thereby increasing the overall long-term power handling capabilities of the VR-M speakers.

The cabinet of the VR-M speakers is finished in real ash or cherry hardwood veneer, creating a furniture grade appearance. The VR, while still looking very attractive, uses a vinyl finish. In addition, VR-M cabinets are made of thicker panels with more extensive internal bracing. This reduces the amount of coloration attributable to the cabinet itself.

What type/size wire should I run inside my walls?

When installing speaker wire behind a wall or ceiling a UL/CL rated wire should always be used. This classification of wire adheres to national standards for in wall wiring, based on such criteria as fire, chemical, and abrasion resistance.

Speaker wire size is measured in gauge using the AWG, or American Wire Gauge, system. A larger gauge will better conduct current, or power, from your electronics to the speaker. In general, a larger gauge (lower AWG number) will carry more current over a greater distance without loss. Common sizes from largest to smallest are 12, 16, and 18 gauges. It is always best to use a larger size if in doubt. Wire should always be budgeted into a system, as it is usually not included with the speakers.

Can I use any of your in-wall or in-ceiling speakers outside?

For outdoor applications we recommend the use of our Voyager loudspeakers. They can be installed in any outdoor application.

Our DSi line of built-in products can be installed in moisture rich environments, providing they are installed in a location that prevents any standing water from developing around or on the speaker.

For application advice on the appropriate models to use for a specific application please contact our support department.

Can I use Boston in-wall or in-ceiling speakers in a marine application?

We do not recommend the use of any our built-in products in a marine environment. A marine environment is extremely harsh, and requires the use of specific materials to prevent mechanical deterioration and/or discoloration. Only products specifically designed for marine use should be used in marine applications.

Which Boston speakers should I use in my three-season room, porch, bathroom, steam room, or sauna?

Using built-in products in a three-season room, porch, or similar outdoor environment is possible, as the eves or overhang will prevent standing water from developing on or around the speaker. In these applications the DSi line of built-in products is best. These products are suitable for use in bathrooms as well.

A steam room or sauna is slightly different. While the heat and moisture will not cause any problems with the DSi product itself, the installation process for these speakers may jeopardize the integrity of the mounting surface. Over time the high heat and moisture may begin to cause problems with the surface material around the edge of the mounting hole. For this reason we recommend using the Voyager product for steam rooms and saunas, as they do not require cutting into the mounting surface.

Can't find what I'm looking for. What should I do now?

Please send your questions to support@bostona.com. Your e-mail is very important to us. E-mail is answered during normal business hours:
Monday through Friday 9am to 5:30pm EST

Can I use an active crossover instead of the supplied Boston crossovers?

Replacing the Boston passive network with an active crossover can be problematic. Each component in the supplied Boston crossover is factored into the total acoustic output of the system. When you remove it from the signal chain and directly couple the woofers and tweeters to an amplifier, you will be unable to exactly replicate the properties of a Boston system specific passive network.

Why?

The first point is that the typical active crossover does not allow nearly the flexibility of a passive design. The second point is that we often stagger or overlap the crossover points to achieve a flat response. The actual electrical crossover points for the woofer and tweeter however are generally asymmetric and different on all of the Boston components. Finding an active crossover that will allow you to adjust each of these points independently and tuning it correctly is going to be difficult but not impossible. Just as a note: designing a passive network takes our team of experienced engineers several months to complete.

You will get better performance from your system by paying more attention to the installation techniques and driver placement rather than pursuing the use of active crossovers. There is no substitute for proper speaker placement and solid installation.

What are the crossover frequency and slope of my Boston car speakers?

We do not publish this information, as it doesn't tell you anything useful about the crossover. Even if you know the crossover point and slope, you still do not know the type of network (Butterworth, L&R etc) as there are hundreds of ways to develop a crossover. We could build 10 different networks all with 18dB per octave slopes and each at 3000hz and have each one sound very different. And that's not even taking into account for the fact that often our low pass and high pass sections of the network are at different slopes and don't share the same crossover point.

Someone asking us for a crossover point and slope is like someone asking Honda "How do I build and V-Tech and what is the best color?” It's not that we don't want to answer these questions; it's simply a case of there not being a simple answer. If you using an electronic crossover the passive number will not translate to active values (active crossovers to do not have to account for impedance curves). Experimentation is going to lead you to the proper set up for your system.

What is the sensitivity of you car speakers?

There is no industry standard for measuring sensitivity. How much power you feed the speaker and how far away from the speaker the measuring device is are only part of the equation. Other factors severely effect the final measurement. What frequency or range of frequencies are being played? Some companies use 1kHz, some use whatever frequency gives the highest measurement for that speaker, some average a range of frequencies the speaker is designed for.

There is no standard.

Secondly, what is the speaker's environment? Is it measured in a car? Is it measured in a free field environment? Is the speaker in an enclosure? Is the speaker in an infinite baffle? Again, there is no standard, and again, all of these things dramatically effect the final measurement. It has been said in many magazines and I will repeat it here. "Sensitivity specs are not useful for comparing speakers from different manufacturers."

We do publish a Reference Efficiency spec for the Boston subs, and this is much more consistent spec among manufacturers. Any decent box building software will ask for this spec. Interestingly, this spec is measured at 1kHz. But the box building software will also ask for inductance 1kHz so it can accurately predict response down where the sub will play. I hope this answers your question.

When I turn my system up really loud the tweeters sometimes shut off. Why?

The Boston crossovers feature a poly switch that will temporally shut the tweeter off if the amplifier is clipping (saving the tweeters from failure). To reduce the possibility of this happening, adjust the amplifiers gains to prevent clipping or upgrade to a larger amplifier. Boosting the treble on the head unit or equalizer can also exasperate this problem. If you are not excited about upgrading the amplifier try moving the tweeters to a more efficient location.

Which Boston speakers will fit into my vehicle?

This is a difficult question to answer with 100% certainty, due to the fact that automotive manufacturers have been known to change speaker sizes in a vehicle model year without notice. Also, typically there is more than one audio system available for most vehicles, each possibly using different size speakers. Both of the above variables make it extremely complicated to find a reliable source for this information.

Our best advice is to visit your local Boston Acoustics car audio dealer. Their trained installers will be the best source for this information. Their trained professionals can take a look at your vehicle to determine which speaker size will be the best fit.

To find the local dealer simply click here.

Can't find what I'm looking for. What should I do now?

Please send your questions to support@bostona.com. Your e-mail is very important to us. E-mail is answered during normal business hours:
Monday through Friday 9am to 5:30pm EST