Floor-standing Speakers

Boston Acoustics RS 326 Floor-Standing Speakers

ARTICLE INDEX

Design

The RS 326 is a very sleek-looking tower. The speaker is rather tall at 44 1/16 inches but merely 7 13/16 inches wide, making the speaker appear very trim when viewed from the front. Boston Acoustics has attached a plinth to the base to increase stability, which raises overall width to a still svelte 10 ½ inches. The plinth comes with rubber-coated screw-in feet pre-attached from the factory, but these are easily replaced with the included carpet spikes if needed. Even with the 12 5/16 inch depth, it should still be relatively easy to place this speaker in most rooms of medium to large size and may even work in smaller rooms. The cabinet is constructed of 3/4 inch MDF, with internal bracing to increase overall rigidity. Knocking my knuckles against various points of the cabinets resulted in a pretty deadened thunk, though certain parts of the cabinet seemed to reverberate a bit more than others. The front baffle is a unique design called "Super Linear Plane" (SLP) which is designed to reduce acoustic diffraction. Moving around to the back of the speaker one finds an oval-shaped port and two sets of five-way binding posts which allow for bi-amping or bi-wiring if desired.

The smooth look of the SLP baffle is further enhanced by the use of invisible mounting hardware for all of the drivers. Per Boston Acoustics' technical director, the drivers are mounted to the front baffle using standard hardware and then a "trim ring" is applied over the attachment point. These trim rings use pins to push into mounting holes, similar to the design of many speaker grilles. The speaker grilles are constructed of a plastic frame with cloth stretched across. Magnetic attachment points make the grilles an absolute breeze to remove. Finishing the whole cabinet off is a very nice high-gloss black lacquer finish. Boston Acoustics has developed a polyester-based lacquer that is designed to offer increased scratch resistance, though I didn't have the heart to run a key across the beautiful finish to test out this claim. The lacquer itself is applied in a multi-step process consisting of spraying, sanding, and then buffing. This three-step processed is performed multiple times, with each consecutive application yielding a finer appearance, with the finished product displaying great dept of gloss. 

Overall, the RS 326 presents itself very well, and should earn solid marks from your interior designer (or spouse) with its clean, modern look. However, I do feel compelled to mention that gloss black may not be the best choice for those of you with darkened theater room setups as the high gloss finish could create a lot of reflection from your video display.

Moving on to the drivers, the RS 326 sports a true 3-way design. The 1-inch Extended Wide Bandwidth (EWB) tweeter looks like a standard silk/fabric dome tweeter until you get to the center, where there is a little dimple. This dimple is also known as central diaphragm termination and was designed to stabilize linear motion and lower distortion while improving dispersion, power handling, and clarity. The EWB tweeter operates up 26kHz and is crossed-over to the midrange driver at 3700Hz. The 3 ½ inch Fiber Ceramic Copolymer Material (FCCM) midrange reaches down to about 600Hz, where it is crossed-over to the dual 6 ½ inch FCCM woofers. These woofers use Boston Acoustics' Deep Channel® Design, which allows for increased excursion without sacrificing the strength of the magnetic field.