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Opinions on my new system


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#1 of 61 William_jones

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Posted July 23 2003 - 04:32 AM

Hello everyone I am new to the forum But I have been into home theater for a few years. I recently purchased a new home theater system (prior to joining the forum) and would like to hear some opinions and recommendations. here is a list of my hardware.

Speakers:
Bose 601's mains
Bose center channel
Cubes for surrounds from the AM-10 system
Sub is an old pardigm PDR-8 bought from a friend a few years ago.

Reciever:

harman Kardon 525

The speakers sound incredible with music but the sound while watching movies in 5.1 is somewhat dissapointing. probably caused by the reciever? I have learned while surfing through the forum that Bose isn't very highly regarded here and probably would have bought differently knowing what I know now.

Bill

#2 of 61 TommyWMedford

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Posted July 23 2003 - 04:37 AM

I'm not as experience in home theater as most people in this forum are, but I know this much: Your BOSE speakers are the weakpoint in your system. You've got a great receiver, though. If it isn't too late, I would take back the Bose speakers, and do a little more research before you buy more. Whatever you get, it's going to sound a lot more impressive than your Bose speakers, trust me.

#3 of 61 William_jones

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Posted July 23 2003 - 04:57 AM

Really! Those 601's are pretty sweet sounding speakers. I will agree that the cubes and the center channel sounded much better in the store when I demo'd them.

Bill

#4 of 61 ShaunLB

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Posted July 23 2003 - 05:05 AM

NO offense william, but take those Bose's back asap. Even if you have to take a restocking fee hit or something. Much better sound can be had for much less money (especially in home theater). I know we are sounding (and the following replys will also) sound harsh...but you'll thank us the instant you get another brand.

#5 of 61 Lew Crippen

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Posted July 23 2003 - 05:30 AM

I have not listened to the 601s in many years and never to the Bose center channel, so I don’t write with any particular authority. Nor do I know how much you paid for the system.

The cube surrounds won’t be able to put out enough volume in many rooms (I don’t know about your room size) and for sure they don’t handle mid-bass (above your sub crossover) through mid-range well enough to work well in many HT environments. The Bose Acoustimass system compensates in part for their bass and lower mid-range deficiencies by have the Acoutimass module handle much higher frequencies than do most subwoofers.

I would suggest that you head down to some dealer and listen to a couple of systems that are close in price to your system cost and decide if you think that switching will be a good idea. There are a lot of mass market dealers that sell Bose and other brands, so you should be able to make an informed choice.

If you are happy with your 601s then by all means stay with them but consider replacing your surrounds with something else.
¡Time is not my master!

#6 of 61 Angelo.M

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Posted July 23 2003 - 05:49 AM

Opinion:

See Lew's post above. Your receiver is not the weak point, and if you like the 601s then, by all means, keep them. I don't know enough about Bose's product line to suggest alternatives for your rear speakers, however.

Recommendation:

If you're keeping the 601's, then replace the cubes with another choice from Bose.

If not, I'd consider auditioning something else in the same price range. Without rehashing what you'll read about Bose here, suffice it to say that there are choices that may work much better for your situation at the same or lower price.

Knowing your price range would help in terms of recommendations.


#7 of 61 TommyWMedford

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Posted July 23 2003 - 06:17 AM

How much did you pay for your speakers? Maybe I could recommend another set of speakers for you to at least try out. Believe me, anything will sound better than Bose. Heck, I'd bet even my Infinity Entra 2 speakers sound better. Which remeinds me. The Entra 3 floorstanding speakers, which are pretty nice, are only $200 each at Ultimate Electronics. They're being discontinued, which is why they're being "given away" practically. I'm going to take back my Entra 2's for the 3', since I paid $170 each for them. For your center, you could go with the Infinity Entra 2 center, or the Infinity Alpha Center speaker, but I think that costs around $300. The Entra Center 2 can be found for only $120 at www.yoshisworld.com. It's a very good speaker in my opinion, and for that price, there's no way you can go wrong. But, like many on here will tell you, there are better speakers out there, many that are much better than Bose, that costs far less. Wharferdale also makes some really good speakers at a pretty good price, which can be found at www.bestbuy.com. They also carry Athena and Klipsch, which are great, as well.

#8 of 61 CurtisSC

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Posted July 23 2003 - 06:31 AM

William,

What was the cost of the speaker setup?
curtis
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#9 of 61 William_jones

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Posted July 23 2003 - 01:39 PM

Curtis,

I got a great deal on the speakers. I payed just under $1100 for the whole set-up after taxes.

I have read some older Bose posts here on the forum and I can see now why I am getting lectured as to them being the weak point in my system, however, you have to admit that Bose is a very highly regarded speaker in the audio industry (probably why stores display them with such pride). When my friends ask what kind of speakers I have in my HT set-up and I tell them Bose they are immediately impressed. I will admit that I auditioned very few other speakers prior to my purchase, but this was due partly because of all the great things I have heard and read about the Bose speaker systems. Convince me where I am wrong.

Greg

#10 of 61 ShaunLB

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Posted July 23 2003 - 02:16 PM

I'll point out a few items real quick that have been discussed in other posts.

1. The center channel uses 2" drivers (if I'm not mistaken). These are 2x too large for suitable tweeter use and about 1/2 the size of a reasonable midrange. Therefore the entire unit is comprised of poorly chosen drivers (like a car with square wheels, they may make the car roll...but it could roll sooo much better).

2. The "indirect" imaging or whatever the name is that so many Bose speakers (towers particuarly) use may create spaciousness, but at a cost of imaging and soundstage accuracy.

3. The price. Just ask for a few recommendations from the ppl here about what you could get for around $1100 and then try to go demo them...the results are startling.

However, I'm just trying to answer your questions. I'm not trying ridicule you, Bose can indeed sound decent in some situations compared to a few alternatives. They are certinally a step up from boom boxes and tv speakers. Its entirely possible you will be very very happy with your current setup, but I'd hate to know that in 3 months you decide you DO want a more realistic/accurate system and end up having to pay even more. The choice will really depend on you.

But please, at the very least exchange that center channel. I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say it is the least respected center channel currently in production. Get one with an actual tweeter and maybe even a midwoofer. Sorry for the long post, just my two cents.

#11 of 61 JerryCulp

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Posted July 23 2003 - 02:45 PM

I have two HT's in the house.
One is about 10 yrs old, Onkyo receiver (55w/channel ProLogic), Bose 501's (cubes and bass module) and Bose 301's (cubes and bass module), VCS-10 center channel (new this year).
The other is new, Onkyo HT-S760 (receiver and speakers as a kit).
Out of the box the Onkyo sounds better, but only because it has a subwoofer. The Bose speakers just kill the Onkyo speakers if the sub is left out the Onkyo system. The Bose rig cost ~1100 10 yrs ago, and the Onkyo 760 was 450 a couple of months ago.

I'm sure that if I swapped speakers, the Bose speakers would sound way better on the new receiver with the sub than the Onkyo setup does. But, you have to consider the cost, adjusted for inflation the Bose speakers would have to be 7 or 8 times more expensive, or more.

So I'm just trying to reinforce what everybody else is trying to tell you. If you like the way Bose sounds, that's great, but you could get something that sounds just as good for less money. Or you could get something that sounds way better for the same money.

#12 of 61 Jaime B

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Posted July 23 2003 - 04:38 PM

William:

Let me be gentle here and allow me to state (without offending) two factual answers to your two observations;

1- dealers proudly present the Bose line because they offer the dealer the highest mark-up (percentage wise ) in the speaker industry. In other words, they make a lot of $$ per sale. More than any other brands (% wise).

2- Bose marketing breaks all marketing efforts by any other speaker manufacturer ANYWHERE on this Planet, and is probably required study at the best Business Colleges in the Nation. Persistently highlighting their direct-reflecting technology with unnatural (yet they call it Natural Room Filling sound)) etched upper midrange harshness that generations have grown accustomed to. Psychoacoustics analysis have shown that many people like the enhanced (bloated) upper bass and etched upper midrange/lower treble spiked output with a depressed midrange output. Younger demographics love this harsh and bloated sound! Pinpoint imaging -BLAH, just spread this sound all over the place. I've been listening to Bose (at dealers, and at friend's homes, never at home -God forbid!) for over 25 years and they SUCK!

Nowadays many of my age peers (47) buy the tiny cubes for aesthetic purposes only in the family room, to appease their wives, while "upstairs" the real sound system resides for true Hi-Fidelity.

If you are of the x,y,or younger z generation, you probably like what you hear.

Good for you.

JaimeB

#13 of 61 Jeff_King

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Posted July 23 2003 - 05:13 PM

Well I am of the younger generation and will ignore the insinuation that I liked sloppy sound because of the dearth of my years. More to the point I bought my bose speakers before college and I thought they were great, and like you said when my friends, or girls that I brought back to my room, saw the speakers they too were impressed. Everyone has heard of them and they look cool.
I had a friend across the hall who had a pair of limited edition speakers that he bought from radio shack, with a Kevlar midrange, and they sounded better than my bose. I couldn't believe that! Eventually my cd player broke, 100 dollar sony, and I went to a real hi-fi shop (read not circuit city or best buy) to replace it. To get the point, I bought an Arcam, which impressed no-one b/c no-one had ever heard of it, but more importantly I listened to some speakers that I have never heard of and I could not believe how much better they sounded, and even how much better than the bose 901 they sounded.

There are much better speakers out there for the same money, i think in a blind A/B comparison you will prefer the sound of polk speakers you can pick up at circuit city, or alliteratively less mass marketed speakers still in the price range, like the Paradigm monitor series.
Bottom line is if you like what you have then keep them, but since you are spending money that you undoubtedly worked hard to make, you owe it to yourself to see what else is out there. People just think Bose is better because Bose spends millions to make them think, listen to what some companies that put their money into their speakers can do.

#14 of 61 CurtisSC

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Posted July 23 2003 - 05:27 PM

So is it William or Greg?? You signed one post "Greg"

If you decide to return your speakers for somethingelse, some of the internet direct brands will offer you excellent value alternatives for $1100.

curtis
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#15 of 61 Shane Morales

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Posted July 23 2003 - 07:20 PM

www.aperionaudio.com

No, not the receiver. It has a 4.78 of 5 rating at audioreview.com (only 9 reviews, tho). Good pro reviews, too. Definately not the receiver.

Sorry about the Bose, man. Too late to return?

No TV?
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#16 of 61 Steve Lucas

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Posted July 23 2003 - 07:37 PM

Let me chime in on this thread as an owner of both a Bose/JVC system (family room) and a Paradigm/Marantz system (dedicated HT).
I too bought my Bose AM-5 system when I was in college. I liked the sound then, and still do for what it's used for and the WAF factor. When I built the dedicated HT, I bought the Bose center channel and a pair if 161's for surrounds just to keep everything timbre matched in the family room. Since this is only a pro-logic system, it still works pretty well.
That being said, when I needed to equip the HT, I went with Paradigm Monitor 9's, CC-370, ADP 370's, PW-2200 sub and a Klipsch IW-250 rear center speaker. There is no doubt which system sounds better.
What I'm trying to say is that I think you guys a little hard on Bose. Are they great speakers? no. Are they grossly overpriced? no doubt. But, they don't sound like the cardboard boxes one would expect from all the bashing they get here. I would never recommend them due to the fact that you can get much better speakers at the same or lower prices, but if someone is dealing with the WAF and looks play a major role in what speakers they can use, then Bose isn't a bad compromise.
It may not be that the Bose is the worst part in someones system, but there is no doubt that you can get better without spending more.

My $.02

Steve
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#17 of 61 Angelo.M

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Posted July 24 2003 - 01:07 AM

William:

I think the bottom line here is that you admitted in your initial post that you are disappointed with the sound from your current system. If you can try another brand of speakers in your system, you ought to do so before your return window for the Bose speakers closes.


#18 of 61 William_jones

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Posted July 24 2003 - 09:06 AM

I think the bottom line here is that you admitted in your initial post that you are disappointed with the sound from your current system. If you can try another brand of speakers in your system, you ought to do so before your return window for the Bose speakers closes.


This is true and I assumed it was the reciever because it only puts out 70 watts per channel and I only paid about $500.00 for it as an open box item.

I will also agree that my surround speakers are weak because they are only cubes, but those 601's seem pretty nice and are a step up from the cubes. I think I will start by upgrading the cubes. Can anyone recommend good surrounds? I want to make sure I purchase speakers that will match well with the mains. Maybe while I am shopping around I'll do some comparisons with other speakers in the 601's price range to detrmine whether or not it would be worth my time to exchange them. I have already been using them for about 5 weeks.

BTW Curtis my middle name is gregory and my wife and friends call me greg. I signed on to the Forum using William because they ask for your first name on the user registration form. Force of habit, sorry.

Bill

#19 of 61 JerryCulp

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Posted July 24 2003 - 12:34 PM

What part of the sound is lacking, volume, mids, bass, etc...

I'm going to guess it's bass. My Bose setup lacks a good subwoofer, with only 55 watts the system is plenty loud. 80db at half volume from 14' from the front speakers using the receiver tones. You've got 20 more watts than me.

I looked up your sub and it's got an 8" woofer. I doubt, and others may correct me, that you are going to get truly satisfying theater type bass out of that sub. I think this borne out by your satisfaction with music, which doesn't have as much bass (typically) as the pumped up movie soundtracks.

Go to a place with a good return policy, buy a really good sub, and try it out. If it doesn't fix the problem, take it back. Or consider an internet retailer with a good return policy.

Also you should get a SPL meter and calibrate your speakers, if you think the surrounds are weak, it might be that you don't have them set at the correct volume.

Ah, I just noticed you said the cubes are the surrounds, is that cubes without a bass module? If so you aren't getting any bass out of them, and that would sound bad....

#20 of 61 Kevinkall

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Posted July 24 2003 - 01:32 PM

I find it more and more common that people rely on other peoples opinion when it comes to there Home Theater. Too many people are trying to impress there friends. If you like the way your setup sounds, don't worry about anyone else. It's nice to have a setup that gets compliments but not if it keeps you from what you want and can afford.