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Boston Acoustics VSi S8W2

In-wall subwoofer with BA SA-1 amplifier

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Our take on the Boston Acoustics VSi S8W2

by Marshall Chase
Boston Acoustics

The Boston Acoustics VSi S8W2 is proof that clean, hard bass doesn't have to come from a free-standing speaker. This commanding sub mounts right in your wall, so it won't take up any coveted floor space. Dual 8" drivers deliver great lows that seem to come from all around the room.

Built brawny but out of sight
This subwoofer is all about serious sonic performance. Its cast aluminum baskets and massive baffle help the 8-inch drivers put out formidable bass with minimal distortion. Boston's Deep Channel® design allows the speaker cone maximum movement without bottoming out. And with a seamless bezel and paintable grille, the 'S8W2 practically disappears into your room— you'll forget it's there until your system's powered up.

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Custom-matched amplifier for smooth bass
This subwoofer is packaged here with Boston's SA-1 amplifier. You'll get 140 watts of continuous power, giving you clean high-impact bass. The amp's standard chassis width allows it to fit in easily with your other components. Or you can hide it away in a cabinet to reduce clutter. This rugged amplifier can even power two of these Boston in-wall subs for bigger, stronger lows.

Free installation guides from Crutchfield
When you buy in-wall or in-ceiling speakers from Crutchfield, you'll also receive copies of our in-depth speaker and wire installation guides, free of charge:

Click the links above to view these guides; you'll need the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader (free download).

Highlights:

    VSi S8W2 in-wall subwoofer:
    • two 8" woofers
    • die-cast woofer baskets and massive front baffle fight distortion
    • frequency response 33-160 Hz (±3dB)
    • for new construction use Boston's in-wall bracket
    • paintable bezel and rustproof aluminum grille
    • cutout: 11"W x 19-7/16"H
    • mounting depth: 3-3/4"
    • warranty: 5 years
    SA-1 amplifier:
    • 140 watts (mono) RMS into 8 ohms at <1.0% THD (210 watts into 4 ohms when driving two subwoofers)
    • continuously variable 40-160 Hz low-pass crossover
    • line-level inputs for left and right channel
    • unfiltered LFE (Low Frequency Effects) input for connection to a home theater receiver's subwoofer output
    • adjustable phase control
    • signal-sensing auto on/off mode
    • detachable AC power cord
    • 19"W x 3-7/10"H x 13-3/16"D
    • warranty: 1 year
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Features and Specs
    Enclosure Type In-wall
    Video Shielded No
    Tweeter ---
    Midrange Size ---
    Woofer Size 8
    Woofer Composition Copolymer
    Woofer Surround Rubber
    Power Range (Watts) ---
    Sensitivity ---
    Impedance (Ohms) ---
    Frequency Response 33-160HzHz
    Connector Type Spring Posts
    Bi-Amp Inputs No
    Parts Warranty 5 Years
    Labor Warranty 5 Years
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • This in-wall subwoofer package contains two individually packed items: the Boston Acoustics VSi S8W2 in-wall subwoofer and the SA1 subwoofer amplifier:
    • The VSi S8W2 box contains:
    • In-wall subwoofer
    • White metal grille
    • Plastic paint mask (speaker)
    • Wax paper paint shield (grille)
    • Cardboard template
    • Instruction booklet (English/ Spanish/ French/ German)
    • Product registration card
    • Disposal note
    • The SA1 box contains:
    • SA1 Subwoofer amplifier
    • 5.75' AC power cord
    • Product manual
    • Warranty information

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Subwoofer
    Amplifier
    Dimensions

    Subwoofer

    Woofers: The VSi S8W2 in-wall subwoofer uses dual 8" DCD (Deep Channel Design) copolymer woofers with die-cast aluminum baskets. The subs are mounted to a cast aluminum baffle for rigidity and low resonance. The DCD woofers use a deeply grooved pole plate that enables the voice coil to travel farther for greater output without bottoming.

    Amplifier: The VSi S8W2 sub is designed to work with the Boston Acoustics SA1 sub amplifier (included in this package). One SA1 amp can run up to two VSi S8W2 subs.

    Inputs: Spring loaded posts will accept banana plugs (single or dual) or bare wire up to 12 gauge.

    Paintable: Both the frame and grille can be painted to match the wall. A plastic paint mask is included to protect the drivers.

    Optional Bracket: The NCBTL8 new-construction bracket (item number 065NCBTL8, sold separately) can be used to simplify installation in new construction.

    Magnetic Grille: The grille is magnetically mounted for easy installation.

    Installation: After a 19-7/16" x 11" cutout is made the speaker is installed into the opening and held in place with the integral plastic bracket. The required depth to install the speaker is 3-3/4" from the mounting surface (this includes the thickness of the drywall). Behind the mounting surface there must be a 1-1/2" clearance on both sides of the speaker (along the long sides). The mounting wall material must be at least 1/2" thick for the integral mounting bracket to work.

    Amplifier

    Overview: The SA1 amplifier is designed to be used with the Boston Acoustics line of installed subwoofers. One SA1 amplifier can power up to two of the same model subwoofer.

    Variable Crossover: The amplifier has a built-in variable crossover that makes it easy to achieve a seamless blend with the main speakers, while the 24dB/octave low-pass filter prevents the subwoofer from being easily localized by the ear, increasing placement flexibility. The crossover point may be adjusted from 40-160 Hz.

    Front Panel Controls:

    • Phase Switch: switches the polarity of the two speaker outputs; the correct setting is that which yields the fullest bass
    • Low-pass Knob: adjust the low-pass crossover point from 40-160 Hz
    • Volume Knob: adjust the volume level up or down until the bass level of your subwoofer matches the bass level of your speakers

    Rear Panel Controls:

    • EQ Mode Switch: select Wall or Floor, depending where your subwoofer is located
    • 12-volt Trigger Switch: choose one of the following settings:
      • On: amp is on whenever the front panel switch is in the On position
      • 12V: amp is in standby mode whenever the front panel switch is in the On position; the SA1 turns on when a 12-volt power supply triggers it
        • Note: Be sure to use a power supply that is rated 9 to 14 volts DC @ 1.5mA max, 1/8" diameter female plug with tip positive.
      • Music: amp is in standby mode whenever the front panel switch is in the On position; the SA1 turns on when an audio input signal triggers it

    Rear Panel Connections:

    • Line In: left and right RCA audio jacks; use this configuration if you wish to set the subwoofer crossover point using the SA1's low-pass control knob on the front panel or are using separate components, such as stereo preamplifier
    • LFE/Xover Bypass: single RCA audio jack; in this configuration, the SA1's internal low-pass filter and front panel low-pass control knob will be bypassed
    • Speaker A/Speaker B: gold-plated binding posts; the binding posts are not 5-way because a plastic collar prevents their use with spade lugs

    Dimensions

    Subwoofer:

    • Width: 12.375"
    • Height: 20.8125"
    • Depth: 3.75"

    Amplifier:

    • Width: 19"
    • Height: 3.705"
    • Depth: 13.188"
     
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    For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Boston Acoustics VSi S8W2, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_700VSIS8W2/Boston-Acoustics-VSi-S8W2.html ).