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nosubs    0

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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nosubs    0

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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Steve F    0

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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nosubs    0

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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bdejonge    0

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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Pete B    0
On 7/20/2016 at 4:08 PM, Steve F said:

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

Snip ....

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.

Steve F.

Mind if I ask Steve, what speaker was at the top of the list that you were associated with?

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Steve F    0

I'd say the VR40 was no. 4.

IMO, the top speaker I conceived, championed and voiced was the BA VR-M90, a dual 6 1/2-inch 3-way floorstander. It had an amazing 3 1/2-inch midrange and the unmatched BA aluminum VR tweeter. I always liked the AR ADD/Vertical voicing and the BA project engineer on the 90 was a far-field power response guy a la Roy Allison, so the voicing was similar to the AR11 and 91. Great speaker. We never did a color spec sheet on it, but here is a scale line drawing of the VR-M80 and 90. I can probably dig up more info if you're interested.

Nos. 2 and 3 were Atlantic Technology speakers. The IWTS-30LCR was unquestionably the best in-wall speaker I've ever heard, by a country mile. I pretty much copied the VR-M90's mid for the 30LCR and we used two, so PH was unlimited and distortion was nil. It received THX's highest cert, Ultra 2. FR was ruler flat from 55-20. The tweet/mid module rotated 90 degrees, so you could maintain a correct vertical MTM whether the speaker itself was H or V.

The AT-1 with its remarkable H-PAS bass alignment rounds out my top 3. If H-PAS had been invented and introduced in 1975 instead of 2010, it would have revolutionized the entire industry. The AT-1 with dual 5 1/4-in woofers went legitimately to 29 Hz. No BS. They flapped your pant legs. Its low-rez 1 1/8-in silk dome was about the smoothest tweeter I've ever heard and it could cross over at 2kHz and not break a sweat. Stereophile put the AT-1 on their Recommended Components list--category B, up to $20,000/pr--for 3 years running. The AT-1's were $2500/pr in a very expensive cabinet finish. We could have stripped down the cab and the extras and come in at $1500 for the same performance. But in 2010, from a small company with very little visibility, the industry yawned. (PS--the 'e' dropped off of "cliche" when I converted the AT-1 lit from pdf to jpg. Who knows.)

I've attached some pics. They were great speakers, all.

IWTS-30-LCR-ad-final-page-001.jpg

VR-M80, 90-page-001.jpg

AT-1 PIS 11-10-page-004.jpg

AT-1 PIS 11-10-page-003.jpg

AT-1 PIS 11-10-page-002.jpg

AT-1 PIS 11-10-page-001.jpg

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