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Ugly but great sound vs. Elegant and OK sound?

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27 replies to this topic

#1 of 28 OFFLINE   Russell Volz

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Posted February 18 2004 - 06:06 PM

I have a 12x12 room, play only DVDs, and seldom have the volume higher than mid-range. I really like the looks of the Bose Lifestyle 28. I know that sounds dumb, but the tuner, DVD, and projector will be sitting within view of a good portion of the house. I just know my wife's going to have a fit if I have a bunch of electronic boxes on her coffee table and then have ugly speakers all over the place and start running wires everywhere. This simple elegant system seems nice to me, but the bottom line is the sound any good and is the DVD any good? Thanks. Russell

#2 of 28 OFFLINE   David Judah

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Posted February 18 2004 - 07:49 PM

Yes, it will sound good. By reading alot of the bose bashing threads, one could get the impression that the lifestyle systems are junk. They aren't, if not seeing the speakers is the primary concern and you want a one box solution that's easy to hook up. It's just that you could do better, especially in the bass department, for less money. Alot of manufacturers make quality sub/sat systems that will outperform the bose cubes and bass module. For example, Kef makes one(don't remember the model # but you can check their site)which can be paired with a decent receiver and DVD player. It will still come in less than the $2500 bose wants for the lifestyle 28, provide you with speakers that don't dominate the room, and give you more connection flexibilty. I'm sure others will give you more examples, as well. DJ
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#3 of 28 OFFLINE   JohnSmith


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Posted February 18 2004 - 09:52 PM

I'm not going to say the Bose will sound great- it's pretty obvious you want people to agree with you. There is Bose bashing- and for a good reason. A Bose sat system will not fill your room to medium levels and sound good. Lots of parping from the midrange woofer. Purchase somelike like Kef Eggs all round. £700 for a 5.1 system. Proper 2 way speakers, better build (alumnium v cheap thin plastic on the Bose), higher quality drive units (Uni-Q polyprolene/metal dome v paper midrange), a true subwoofer (10" 240W v 2 x 6.5" mid-woofer) Or perhaps Monitor Audio Radius 90. £250/pair of speakers. 2 way speakers. Lovely finish- REAL WOOD veneer. Not plastic casing. There are some very nice all in one DVD/AV amp/Tuner units. The Linn Classic is one- £2000. Much better than any Bose tat. So for roughly the same price as the Bose, you'll have a system that is astromically better.

#4 of 28 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted February 19 2004 - 12:28 AM

David is right. While the Bose will get bashed for being Bose, it does produce good sound but at what price?

To be honest you CAN do better for your money and most likely you will come in under the cost of the Bose.
By doing this you are making a mistake of assuming what your wife will do. Take her out shopping and see how she feels about the various products. She just might suprise you. I'm sure there is some sort of compromise to be had here.

An example of a system to compete with the Bose:

Rocket ELT from AV123.com along with the Denon reciever they have for $1,299. The Kef's are nice too.
Add your favorite dvd player ~$200-$500
Add your wiring ~$100 or so.

Take the rest and go out to dinner and probably a vacation Posted Image

#5 of 28 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted February 19 2004 - 02:24 AM

I highly recomend you not buy Bose simply becasue they're small and WAF friendly...there's lots of other choices out there that offer similar looking packages that will likely cost less and sound better (honestly). Bose is a marketing company first and foremost and a damn good one at that!

So what do I recomend? Well you could go with something like the Rotel RSDX-02 receiver/DVD/CD player unit as seen here and mate that with a set of the Energy Take 5.2's as seen here. The Rotel lists at $1499 but you should be able to get it for about $1350 and the Take 5's are usually around $600 or less.

Take 5.2 review here and here

#6 of 28 OFFLINE   Ben LG

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Posted February 19 2004 - 02:49 AM

Russell, do a search on the forum for Bose and you will see that it is not very popular around here, for a good reason too.

A Energy Take 5.2 system would be perfect for the size of your room. Dont take my word for it, go listen to the Bose Lifestyle system and then compare it to the Energy Take 5.2's. Then compare the price/performance, compared to the Bose set I am sure you will not be disappointed with the Energy system. You can still pick up a decent set of components (dvd, receiver etc.) with the money you save AND buy a very nice AV rack to keep things tidy AND most likely you will still be under the $2500 mark. I myself prefer the sexy looks of the Take 5.2's, the very attractive price might have something to do with it. Posted Image

Posted Image

#7 of 28 OFFLINE   DaveF



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Posted February 19 2004 - 03:00 AM

Why not put the receiver and DVD in a closed cabinet so it's not visible to the rest of the house? Posted Image Then you can buy the best performing equipment and your wife will be spared its horrific visage. Posted Image

#8 of 28 OFFLINE   JohnnyN


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Posted February 19 2004 - 03:31 AM

wow... I can get a pair of Nautilus 805 for the cost of an entire lifestyle 28 system? or how about 4 SVS Subs...

hmmm... if size were not an issue...

bose lifestyle 28 = $2500
axiom audio epic 80 = $2413
swan 5.2 HT = $2559
rocket HT Package # 0 = $2449

interesting... granted these are speaker only packages, they're nice speakers... Posted Image when it comes to my music and movies, i don't like small.

#9 of 28 OFFLINE   chung_sotheby


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Posted February 19 2004 - 03:35 AM

I still think that the best combo of size, appearance and sound (with emphasis on Size and appearance, or WAFPosted Image ) are the Anthony Gallo micro system. I would not suggest the sub, though, instead I would suggest purchasing a seperate sub to use with the system. It sounds much better than you would think, coming from a single driver, and they are designed really well (pretty hefty considering their small size). Check them out here:
Gallo Mico

#10 of 28 OFFLINE   PatrickDT



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Posted February 19 2004 - 04:31 AM

Better to ask for forgiveness than permission, good buddy... Even aside from from the 60Hz gap between the 'module' and the 'cubes', and the poorly constructed paper cones, and the imageless, over emphasizing of the midrange with no true definition in the upper end, and no LFE below about 80, I woulnd never own a Bose product based on priciple alone, they are deceiving to the people who aren't like us, and don't know what to look for in a quality system, and they are a company founded on marketing hype, and nice cute wife-friendly looks. I don't think you would be sorely disappointed with the LS system, persay, if it comes to having no other options, but do yourself a favor, and don't let it come to that.

#11 of 28 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted February 19 2004 - 04:39 AM

There are a lot of home theaters in a box that will perform as well, look as good, and cost a fraction of the money. Look at Sony Dream Systems to begin with.
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#12 of 28 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted February 19 2004 - 04:52 AM

I'll take performance over appearance every time, but good looks definitely only add to the appeal. "Ugly is in the eye of the beholder." Posted Image
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#13 of 28 OFFLINE   ChrisHeflen


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Posted February 19 2004 - 06:00 AM

I second Andrew Pratt suggestion for the Rotel and the Energys. Go hear them, because you can and you should.

#14 of 28 OFFLINE   Stephen M

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Posted February 19 2004 - 10:12 AM

I agree with Chung regarding Gallo speakers. They are very small, come in a variety of colors and match up very well with the Gallo sub. Won't get the last half octave of bass but otherwise sound is very good in small to medium rooms. Speakers are so small that you get incredible imaging with the right program material. Regarding Bose being "good" speakers, there is a web site somewhere I saw a couple of months ago that did a great job of systematically debunking their speakers based on the quality and choice of materials used in the speakers and electronics of their speakers.

#15 of 28 OFFLINE   Ernest Yee

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Posted February 19 2004 - 10:29 AM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned in-walls yet. I mean, if we're playing w/ Bose money here, I'm sure you could find a set of in-walls that could fare pretty well. Although I'm not sure what you'd do about the components.

#16 of 28 OFFLINE   Russell Volz

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Posted February 19 2004 - 03:05 PM

Guys, Great responses! I'm amazed at such insightful and informative advise. My favorite response was from Patrick DT, "It's better to get forgiveness than permission!" LOL!! Ain't that the truth! Or Dave F's response, "Why not put the receiver and DVD in a closed cabinet so it's not visible to the rest of the house?" Duuhhhh! Some times I can be so dense! Part of my dilemma is that I live in Spokane Washington, the backwater hick town of the Northwest. In a population of 500,000 we have two, yes I said just "2" HT front projectors in the whole town! One store had the Sony H20 for $3,000 and the other store something for $4,000. And darn if I could tell the difference. As for sound, I'm completely out of my element. I "never" listen to music and the only tune I can carry is on a CD. So, thanks to you guys, I'm learning fast. I just got off the phone with a salesman from a "real" HT store in Seattle. He's a friend of a friend of a friend. And he tells me that that, "The new Cambridge Audio AV Receiver is better than anything that H/K makes." And the JM Lab Sip & Cub are awesome speakers. And the Samsung DVD-931 is great. How does this sound to you guys? I've heard "One Call" mentioned several times. Interestingly, they're owned by Huppins here in Spokane. Do these guys know what they're talking about? They're pushing Onkyo receivers. Thanks! Russell

#17 of 28 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted February 19 2004 - 03:21 PM

IMO your friend of a friend of a friend isn't really a friend at allPosted Image JM labs does make nice speakers but cambridge audio isn't where its at for receivers and samsung wouldn't be my first choice for a DVD player (with the possible exception of their new DVI player)

One call has a pretty good reputation but in all honestly don't follow the advice of a salesman..there job is to sell you something they carry which may or may not be what you need or even want.

#18 of 28 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted February 19 2004 - 03:31 PM

You go it bad? Your town has 100 times the population of carthage NY!. We have 0 HT or audio dealers. If you want a FP, you drive to Syracuse.Posted Image

Seriously, you'll just want a micro-5.1 system and a combo DVD/reciever.

Speaker Systems:
Infinity Entra .5
Infinity Modulus
Paradigm Cinema
Several Sony packages

Bose doesn't own the "micro speaker" market, they just want you to think so.

Then you just need a combo dvd/reciever. Off the top of my head NAD makes one that got good reviews, there are probably several more. And any of these systems could put a Bose system to shame for less than half the price. (except maybe a Modulus/NAD combo. But it would look sweet!).
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#19 of 28 OFFLINE   Chris Sherman

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Posted February 19 2004 - 03:51 PM

Bose is not as completely worthless as a lot of people make out , it is just way overpriced for what you get . They sell a lot of sound sytems based on excellent marketing/advertising. Julian Hirsch gave them good reviews. You've gotten a lot of great alternative suggestions here. My pick for a 12x12 room would be one of the Cambridge Soundworks Megatheaters. They range in price from $549.00-$1149. They all feature a combo receiver/dvd player powered sub and five satellite speakers. Corey Greenberg gave them an enthusiastic recommendation and I respect his opinion when it comes to good sound. Better quality and value than Bose.

#20 of 28 OFFLINE   Michael__M


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Posted February 19 2004 - 04:20 PM

Russell- The first stage in dealing with a problem is admitting it. You already did! "I am completely out of my element" when it comes to sound. Education is what you need. If you have found this forum you are obviouly just as anal and obsessive about these things as the rest of us are. I would suggest you take some time and go listen to as many systems as you have access to. Take your wife with you and make a day of it. If you can't hear the differences, maybe she will. Most A/V retailers are very used to people auditioning things at their stores. I think that you will find very soon that you actually DO have preferences in how you want things to sound. If you didn't care at all, you would be sitting in your room watching a movie with your new Bose system right now. And it wouldn't even bother you that it sounded like *&%@*.
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