Bose Innovations truth, Myth, & Lies

Discussion in 'The Steam Vent' started by Loxxa, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. Loxxa Junior Audioholic

    Loxxa
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    I was curious of the truths & myths of the "direct reflecting" innovations in some of Bose speakers, especially the 901's and general discussion on some users opinions/experiences with Bose.

    I personally own a pair of series IV Bose 901's, and I'd like to know more about them and the reasons they are regarded as one of Bose greatest "innovations in sound". I really know little in the realm of facts about Bose.

    I was told once that the creator & founder of Bose stole many of his ideas from audio research students during his career as a teacher and that is how Bose became famous. Truth or rumor, I have no idea...
  2. Yamahaluver Audioholic General

    Yamahaluver
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    I have personally attended lectures of Dr. Amar Gobinda Bose, the man is brilliant, he never stole ideas from his students, rather his students formed a part of his company and still do, his ideas are mathematically plausible, but then as a math professor, I can almost make anything plausible with math, however, sound is not about math, sound is simple principle, design the best driver, design a nice clean sounding amp, and you got good sound, BOSE sadly isn't good sound, using ordinary drivers, BOSE sound soon wears on you after the initial euphoria, I should know, Professor Bose is from India, since I am Indian and having attended his lectures I too bought into the Bose concept and my first speakers were 901-Series IV, from the day I bought them, mated to my excellent Marantz receiver, they sounded bad, my suspect was the tacky EQ which was necessary with the BOSE 901s, I found the bass fake, heavy bass passages would overwhelm the speakers easily, the top end sounded woody, although the mids were ok and the imaging WOW wore off after the initial amazement, they began to sound fake, in short, romance was over, the speakers got traded in for JBL Studio Monitors in matter of months, my love for sound came back.
  3. highfihoney Audioholic Samurai

    highfihoney
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    I agree that dr bose is brilliant but not for his designs,his true brilliance stands out with the way he has saturated the market with his products & saturated the media with decieving ad's boasting new technology in sound reproduction.

    I wont continue to bash bose in this thread because you own the most expensive speaker they make but i will say that if you ever get the chance to recoupe 70% of the money you spent buying then dump them like a hot potato & buy better speakers that dont rely on room reflection.
  4. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    The concepts are great, however the sound is generally more geared toward the masses who think that low bitrate MP3 is good enough.

    Reflections within the room happen regardless of the speaker adding drivers to fire towards other walls...and the realtiy is you want LESS reflections, not MORE. More tends to make the music sound as though it is coming from everywhere, but if you run a response curve of the resulting sound, you will also find that the sound is no longer even - room interactions will create response issues.

    I've read his response to the many critics of his designs and practices and he openly stated that he designs "What the consumer wants because that is what sells". What that unfortunately doesn't take into account though is that their average consumer has no idea what good sound really is.

    The problem isn't Bose, it is the consumer.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2007
  5. markw Audioholic Overlord

    markw
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    The most important issue is what do YOU think of them?

    You go first, and my opinion just might surprise you. Then again, maybe not.
  6. Joe Schmoe Audioholic Ninja

    Joe Schmoe
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    The problem with the Bose direct/reflecting speakers is not the design but the implementation. The same concept executed with high quality drivers (including actual tweeters instead of "full-range" cones.) might well sound excellent. In fact, Shahinian Obelisks do sound excellent and use a similar principle.
  7. Resident Loser Senior Audioholic

    Resident Loser
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    I have...

    ...owned my 901 Series lls (the last of the acoustic suspension models) for over thirty years...modified my listening room to provide the balanced and proper reflecting surfaces for them and equalized them with an SAE 2700B half-octave EQ...With deep, quick, well-defined bass, they work for me and I haven't looked back...

    I fact I recently replaced the right channel 4.7 mfd output cap in their Active Equalizer...with good program material they sound terrific...

    jimHJJ(...so troll away...)
  8. Sheep Audioholic Warlord

    Sheep
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    Bose: A for effort, but F for execution.

    SheepStar
  9. stratman Audioholic Ninja

    stratman
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    Give credit where it's due: Bose Corporation is a model of efficient marketing, packaging, advertising, brand recognition and so on, an excellent case study on how to run a profitable business. Now, factor in ethics and the model changes. People have been conditioned to believe that the BOSE name is synonymous with ultra high end equipment, just look at their commercials, it's obvious that the owners have been renumerated and they don't speak like true (dare I say it?) audiophiles, notice the catch phrases, who speaks like that? Clever scripting, marketing and ad campaigns go along ways to influence people. By the way, I have never owned nor plan to purchase any Bose products unless they become worthy of Audioholics. Besides, the price points offered by Bose are unrealistic for the quality offered, that being said, it would be foolish not to consider the advertisers here at Audioholics that provide real performance at realistic prices, ie HSU et. al. Happy shopping.
  10. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    Hey, that is interesting tidbit:D
  11. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    And, they are into other areas, spinoffs from their audio ideas.
    I have seen, on film, their magnetic car shock absorbers demonstrated. Looks most impressive.
  12. Loxxa Junior Audioholic

    Loxxa
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    I've always understood that MINIMIZING sound reflection (soundproofing etc.) impoved sound, that's why I never understood the "dirct reflecting". To me the 901's sounded better backwards :rolleyes:

    The good thing is that I never paid for the 901's as they were given to me by my dad.

    I always thought of bose as "good" but not "amazing". After the novelty of Paper cone speakers wears thin, especially in 2007, you'd think Bose might try to actually engineer speakers that compete within the market price. I FINALLY started to hate Bose after seeing the Bose i-pod dock in a showroom. To me, it sounded like **** and I couldn't understand how a company could gain such worldwide recognition with useless products like wave radios and ipod-stations.

    Ignorance is bliss, I don't blame the consumer I blame the companies who have created the standards in audio electronics it just keeps going backwards, especially now with the popularity of mp3 players.

    Who knows maybe Bose will create an mp3 player that uses 1.5 mm paper cone speakers that run through a series of tiny tubes "defeating the purpose of headphones®"?
  13. stratman Audioholic Ninja

    stratman
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    I blame the consumer more than the corporation, it's up to the consumer to be informed. Remember we as a community are tiny, most people don't give a second thought to A/V, so if someone can "think" for them they're fine with it.
  14. markw Audioholic Overlord

    markw
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    OK, my turn.

    Aside from two weeks in a condo in '87 that 901's, my most favorable experience with the 901's in the early 70's. They had them in a "special" room that was laid out just for them. They were perfectly placed, the chairs opposite them and all other furnishings were minimal. They also made damn sure they had enough power (1801 amps) to feed these power hungry monsters.

    They played symphonic music at levels I would expect about 12 -15 rows back in a concert hall.

    The result? They sounded pretty dang good! But consider... how much directionality do you really hear in a symphony hall? virtually none! There's very little spacial clues. The 901's conveyed this ambiguous spaciousness quite well.

    After much begging and pleading I had them (reluctantly) drop on a Simon and Garfunkle record and my opinion dropped instantly. Now, even with a modest home stereo you get some directionality in their songs but here they were just one big amorphous blur across the front soundstage. There was a dullness to their songs where there should have been brightness. Bass, surprisingly, wasn't bad but, then again, I never was a bass-head. Not my cuppa tea.

    So, in closing, I'll say that for certain music and if they are set up properly in a room that works for them they can be great but, on the whole, for my tastes they lack.

    I think their 301's are the only speaker they market that comes close to justifying itself in the market and, even then, they are somewhat overpriced.

    I have no use for their "Acoustamass" series and find their marketing strategy reprehensible. Effective and profitable, but reprehensible.
  15. Loxxa Junior Audioholic

    Loxxa
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    I was having a look at the 901's today, They are actually series II and not series IV, I still can't help but say they are good speakers and definately better than anything else by Bose.... I would like to sell them and replace them with Mackie's or B&W's, but I don't think my dad would approve. I don't know how much 901's go for on ebay, but I imagine around $400?

    We'll see how it goes...
  16. Yamahaluver Audioholic General

    Yamahaluver
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    Whats appalling is that while Yamahas was using beryllium in the late 70s, Bose till today uses treated paper cones, and gets away by charging good amount of money for them as well.
  17. angstadt530 Audioholic

    angstadt530
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    I agree with what markw said. The 901's sound good with certain types of music, and they need to be set up very specifically. My father has a really old pair of 901's (Series II, I believe) that are set up correctly in a room that is well suited for them, and with the genre of music he typically listens to, they sound great. He told me that back when he bought them, Bose (and the 901's especially) had a much better reputation among audiophiles.

    I suggest keeping your 901's and using them as a "Zone 2" speaker in an open living room or something. I used to have a pair of 301 V's; they produced good bass and I liked the soundstage, but the highs just weren't there. They weren't bad by any means, but I agree that there are better speakers out there in the same price. I would have done the second zone thing as well, but I don't really have anywhere for them--besides, I actually made profit when I sold them!
  18. no. 5 Audioholic Field Marshall

    no. 5
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    Right on Garcia and Strat, Bose has decided to create a death spiral of audio quality within themselves: if the consumer wants a smiley face EQ job, and tiny cubes, then that's what they will get; then when they want smaller cubes and a bigger smile on the EQ they will get that too, and so on, and so on. until the consumer (hopefully) realizes how bad it really sounds.

    I will give Bose credit for thinking (if somewhat grotesquely) outside the box, and doing things differently then everyone else, but as Sheep said: A for effort, but F for execution.
  19. MDS Audioholic Spartan

    MDS
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    It is definitely true that Bose marketing has created an image in the mind of consumers that Bose is 'high end' and that is why they are costly.

    I was at Best Buy with my brother in law and some guy struck up a conversation with him and asked him he could take off the Bose proprietary speaker connections on the speakers he was considering. My brother in law found me elsewhere in the store and asked me to help the guy.

    I don't like to automatically bash any product but the first thing I asked the guy was 'why are you considering the Bose speakers'? His response: 'Uh, because they sound good'. If he actually knew anything about them or had heard them, he wouldn't have to ask me or anyone else whether he could cut off the proprietary connectors to use them with a 'normal' receiver.

    For the uninformed, marketing trumps actual knowledge every time.
    MDS,
  20. Yamahaluver Audioholic General

    Yamahaluver
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    I have been asked that question many a times, they would come down and ask me why not BOSE, thats truly high end, Yamaha and others are mid-fi at the best ;)

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