nosubs

T-1030 vs. VR 40

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Are there any enthusiasts who have heard both these highly reputed models? Recently both were available on eBay for $500. The VR 40s needed re-foaming, the T-1030s had already been done. I understand the newer speakers had better cabinet bracing; but they are bass reflex. I love the sound of my acoustic T-830s. Newer driver designs on the VRs also. I was wondering how it all balances out; although the T-1030s have already sold, so it's academic.

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Well, it is NOT academic any longer. The T-1030's are relisted and the VR 40's have been converted to auction. I'd really like to hear some input. Steve? Gerry? Anyone?

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When I arrived at BA (1992) the 1030 was the top of the current line and development of the VRs started in 1993. They were introduced in the fall of 1994.

No one had any complaints with the actual sound and performance of the 1030, but it was a blocky, ugly speaker, with no visual style or grace whatsoever. The trend at the time was to go slightly smaller, be really sleek and stylish and maintain an absolutely unimpeachable acoustic performance.

Gerry was the lead engineer on the 1030 and was responsible for its voicing. By the time we did the VR series, another engineer had joined the staff (Dave Fokos) and he did the VR and CR lines. Gerry turned his attention to the best-selling Subsat 6 and Sub Sat 7 sub/satellite systems, along with their companion center channel speakers, the CS6 and CS7. If I remember correctly, Gerry also did BA’s first THX-approved speakers, the 555 LCRs, 575 surround and 595 subwoofer. And all of BA’s truly excellent in-wall speakers

 

Anyway, the VR40 ended up being a truly great speaker. I’ve been in this business for many decades and been associated with some truly great speakers, and the VR40 is near the very top of that list. Sleek, trim, great-looking, it was a dual 7” woofer 3-way system with a 5 ¼” mid and BA’s superb aluminum VR tweeter with AMD. The real walnut veneer cab was quite nice as well. That speaker was ruler flat on-axis from around 40-45Hz-20kHz, with good dispersion. It had a 1”-thick baffle and by-pass caps in the x-over. Bi-ampable. Carpet spikes. Quite sophisticated. Very musical and not harsh at all, in spite of the clichéd reputation that metal domes have.

I liked them so much that I got a pair for my dad to replace some older ARs that he had.

I am very surprised to hear that the pair you are looking at had their surrounds “re-foamed.” The VR woofers had butyl rubber surrounds, not foam. They would never need to be replaced, unless they were mechanically torn or suffered some other misfortune. They were not susceptible to ‘foam rot,’ since they were not foam. Same with the midrange.

Comparing the T1030 directly to the VR40, I would characterize the 1030 as being slightly “gutsier” and the 40 as being slightly more “refined.” Both terrific speakers, just a slightly different approach.

Steve F.

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Thanks, Steve. Reassuring to know you are still there for us with great first hand testimony. The 1030s have been re-foamed. The VR 40s need to have the rubber surrounds replaced on the lower woofers. Pictures show almost the exact same damage on R & L of matched units and some damage to the screens, so it was probably a storage issue. Now I have to decide....

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I know this is an old topic but if anyone is interested I have a pair of VR40's I'm looking to sell along with a VR12 Center and Mirage BPS150i Sub.  If anyone interested please let me know.

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