Boston VS336

Thursday, 22 October 2009 |

In the early days of his home theatre experience, this reviewer had owned and enjoyed one of Boston Acoustics’ monster speakers, the Lynnfield VR10. And a stunningly good speaker that hefty four-way driver of Herculean proportions turned out to be.

Boston’s flagship speaker is the VS 336, a generously proportioned and attractive three-way design employing no fewer than five drivers. Recommended for use with amplifiers as powerful as 400wpc, the 8-Ohm VS 336 has a sensitivity of 87dB. A good 100-watt high-current integrated amplifier would make a great partner for them; fewer watts would be okay but the high power rating of the VS 336 suggests more is better.

Three 165mm bass drivers, a 114mm midrange and an unusual 25mm ‘dimpled’ tweeter adorn the mirror-finish black piano gloss front baffle, while  the five-way binding posts on the rear panel of each curved enclosure are heavy-duty items. Each heavily braced cabinet is constructed using layers  of different wood material, reducing the chance of cabinet resonance. To further enhance sound quality and increase the stability of the slender VS 336s, a spiked outrigger bar is connected to the rear, which broadens the footprint and couples the speaker to the floor.

Powered by Bryston electronics, the VS 336s proved to be worth more than the sum of their well-constructed parts. The title track from Antonio Forcione’s Touch Wood album is chock full of plucked acoustic guitar, and the VS 336s gave a pacy rendition with nimble bass and nice soundstaging.
Complex musical passages were unravelled by the 336s — it was easy to follow individual musicians when concentrating, but this didn’t detract from a nicely integrated and cohesive sound when listening to the band.

‘Inertia Creeps’ and ‘Dissolved Girl’ from Massive Attack’s Mezzanine CD were excellent via the VS 336s, a nicely extended yet articulate bass underpinning an involving and detailed yet suitably moody sound. It was excellent stuff, and I had the feeling I was listening to speakers worth more  than the asking price of the big Bostons.

The VS 336s were most impressive, and they would be quite capable in a big-ticket hi-fi with their superior music making and pacy sound, let alone their striking appearance. (GARY PEARCE)