I finally got my birthday present in yesterday, a pair of BA A40 series II. Small 2-way with a .75 inch soft dome and a 6.5 mid acoustic suspension design. With the exception of 2 corners that were banged up, these are in great shape. As a little background the original A40 (81-85 approx.) is the speaker that put the fledgeling Boston Acoustics (founded by a pair of Henry Kloss disciples, so no great suprise that they sound and look similar to baby Advents) on the map. The series II was produced from the mid to late 80's and sold for about 150 a pair, a steal even then.
My big complaint with the A series (I have owned a pair of A100's and A40' back in the day) has always been the build quality. The surrounds never lasted long, the cabinets were average and they use spring clips. Again, we are talking about a very inexpensive speaker though so that is to be expected.
Anyway, I hooked them up to my 2ch rig (Adcom passive pre, Carver m1.5t amp, AMC cd8b cd player) . Set them on a pair of 18 inch stands (borrowed from the RT7's) about 10 feet from the listening position, roughly 6 feet apart and toe in slightly.
I ran through my list of demo tunes, Chris Rea, Dave Matthews, various telarc recordings, Elvis etc etc.....
The sound is exactly what I've always remembered about the A series....Silky smooth. Bass, obviously these aren't thumpers but they are very tight, well defined. The stereo image is great. Soundstage is very three dimensional. If you couldn't see these speakers, you would be suprised at how small they really are. They probably aren't the LAST word in detail but they are so smooth from top to bottom. In comparison to the RT7's, which can get a little harsh at high volumes, the Boston is very smooth and warm.
A very impressive speaker but not completely flawless. Listening to Chris Rea and Dave Matthews (my first two tracks) the voices seemed didn't seem quite right. Whereas with the Polks, vocals are very open and airy, with the A40's, they were more, for lack of a better term, laid back and chesty. Not unpleasant but not what I am used to listening to. Just theory and I will try these on different gear, but I think it may be more pronounced due to the laid back nature of the Adcom preamp. Pure speculation on my part though. Also, as I said before, they aren't the last word in detail but that's a tradeoff you make for the seamless, silky sound of these.
In conclusion, while these wouldn't make me ditch my RT7's, these are a very good, very fun speaker to listen to. A great speaker to listen to some Miles Davis (Kind of Blue is tailor made for this speaker) and unwind to. All in all, if you can find a pair in decent shape (that's the hard part) I would say, snag 'em.