Floor-standing Speakers

Boston Acoustics RS 326 Floor-Standing Speakers

ARTICLE INDEX

Setup

One of my speakers was damaged in shipping and arrived with its base plinth cracked. Each box has a piece of plywood strengthening the bottom of the box beneath the plinth, so the speaker must have been dropped pretty heavily in order to do this kind of damage. While I can't blame Boston Acoustics for the rough treatment during shipping, I would suggest that the speakers be shipped without the plinth attached. Four screws are used to attach the plinth to the speaker, so this is something that the purchaser could easily do themselves and it might help eliminate damage like I experienced. I was quickly sent out a replacement speaker which arrived intact.

Unboxing the speakers proved to be a little more eventful than usual. The RS 326s are shipped with a white cloth bag covering them. The cloth bag makes things extremely slippery and it is easy to drop the speaker. I highly recommend that you try to slide the bag off the speaker before attempting to pull it out of the box. While the cloth bag looks cool, something like thin foam would make for a more "secure" removal process. Beneath the cloth bag, a second layer of thick plastic wrap further protects the gloss surface of each speaker. This wrap peels off easily and seems to protect the gloss finish well. I did not notice a single scratch or blemish in the finish of either speaker. I recommend keeping the plastic wrap on until you have the speaker in its final position as it gives your hands a nice bit of extra grip on the speaker. Once you remove the plastic, you may want to use the supplied white cotton gloves to keep from glomming up the finish with your fingerprints. The RS 326s ship with rubber feet pre-installed, but since I was putting the speakers on carpet I decided to install the included carpet spikes instead. The rubber feet are easily unscrewed using a Hex-head (Allen key) driver, but oddly one is not included in the box. The carpet spikes can then be threaded in by hand and tightened with a wrench if desired.

I set up the RS 326s in my basement media room, connecting them to my Wyred 4 Sound multichannel amp (570 Watts@8 Ohm for the front speakers) via Kimber 4VS speaker cable in a bi-wired setup. The amp was connected via XLR connections to my Integra DHC-9.9 pre-amp and fed primarily by a NuForce Edition Oppo BDP-83SE universal player via either HDMI or 2-channel analog output. I started with the speakers about 8 feet apart from each other, with their rear baffles about 3 feet from the back wall and 4 feet to each side wall. As the instructions provided with the RS 326s provide no guidance at all in regards to speaker setup, I started with the speakers toed-in directly to my listening position. While on the topic of instructions, I was very disappointed in the brevity of the single page worth of information included with the speaker. There was no information on how to swap out the different types of speaker feet nor was there any information on speaker placement/setup. There was also no mention of how to set up the speaker in a bi-wired or bi-amped setup. Many novices may not know that you must remove the jumpers between the two pairs of binding posts before bi-amping or bi-wiring. While I understand that most people purchasing a $1999.98 pair of speakers will already have this knowledge, there are those who won't and it is easily rectified by improving the instructions.