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Can a new receiver & sub/bass module get along w/Bose Lifestyle cube speakers?


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#1 of 14 dbinbama

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Posted January 08 2011 - 04:09 AM

Hello, I just discovered this site and forum (and think it's great!).

I hope I'm not duplicating what someone else has already covered, but I'm trying to take what has been a

complete, stand-alone Bose Lifestyle 5 system (with five cube speakers) and create a home theater system

while still using the five cubes that are part of it.  We'd like to use the existing cubes because they are

ceiling mounted, work well in the room they are in and are white, matching colors in the room.


I understand from other posts I've read that simply connecting a new receiver straight to the cubes is NOT

a good idea, and that the Acoustimass module plays a big role in crossover configuration (not to mention the

fact that the cubes all connect into the Acoustimass module and aren't intended to go straight to a receiver,

anyway).


We have a new Yamaha HTR-5063 receiver, waiting to be taken out of the box.  Is there a bass/sub that would

be compatible with our existing cubes and that would work with our Yamaha?  That would be ideal, but I

am not sure how feasible this will be.


I know there are some complete speaker systems available we could connect to our Yamaha, but the big

question is whether any of them include similarly sized satellites we could hang from the ceiling like our Bose

cubes, as well as hopefully matching the room's white colors.  I'm not sure how easy that would be, either.


We're not married to staying with Bose, but are just limited in what we can spend.  If we could come up

with a suitable bass module, we'd be out a lot less money than if buying a full speaker system.


Any "here's-what-you-should-do" advice would be appreciated.


Thanks!


David







#2 of 14 gene c

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Posted January 08 2011 - 04:45 AM

There are two issues here, impendance and frequency response. And I don't know of any other brand that makes a replacement for the Bose bass moduals since they are quite different than a normal sub woofer.


Most of these little Bose speakers are 4 or even 2 ohms, neither of which your receiver is designed to handle. If they are 6-8 ohms then they should work fine. If so then set the crossover in the receiver to 200 (usually the highesr setting) and hope for the best. Running lower frequencies through a speaker than it can handle might damage them.


They also have a restricted frequency response of usually around 280-13,000hz. Most real sub woofers only go as high as 150 so you would have a gapping hole between 150-280hz which is pretty large. Even the complete Bose system is missing 200-280hz, one of the reasons we don't recommend them.


What I would do is sell the Bose system on craigslist (most people think they are the "bee's knee's" so you should be able to get a good price for it) and buy a matching sub/satillite system from Polk, Infinity, etc. that fits your needs and budget.


And don't feel bad about selling the Bose system to some other un-suspecting audio new-commer. It's going to take years and years to un-ravel what the Bose marketing dept has been able to accomplish. BTW, I'm not a total Bose-basher. That little Bose Wave thingy is real impressive. My uncle has one. Expensive, but it sounds real good.


But the most important thing is the impendance. If the ohm rating of the Bose speakers is 4 ohms or lower it will send your receiver into "protect mode" and the receiver will shut off.

"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#3 of 14 dbinbama

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Posted January 10 2011 - 07:11 AM


Thanks, Gene.  Sounds as if you know your stuff.

I am going to start searching for a whole new speaker system...





#4 of 14 CB750

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Posted January 11 2011 - 04:04 AM

David,


Gene is correct but even if you don't understand his technical explanation.  The major drawback to the Bose Lifestyle (HTib) is the fact that the receiver cannot be used with other speakers and the speakers cannot be used with other receivers.  If you look at the Lifestyle receiver and bass module you will see that it has special Bose cables and connections that prevent the bass module and cube speakers from being connected to your Yamaha or any other receiver.   This is the way that Bose warns you not to mess with the Lifestyle system, and if you were to contact them they would tell you that you cannot use the Cubes with another receiver.


I am also not a total Bose brasher.  However,  I know that Bose does use special equalizers and electronics in many of their products.  I have a set of Bose 901's from the 1970's that comes with an external equalizer.  Without that equalizer the speakers have no bass or high frequencies.   They also use similar types of electronics in both the Lifestyle and Accustimass systems which limits the use of those systems.



#5 of 14 dbinbama

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Posted January 11 2011 - 05:20 AM

Hello, Bill,


Thanks for your advice.  The more I've read and researched, the more obvious it has become to me that Bose really designs their stuff (at least the Lifestyle I have) to work as one integrated system, and that trying to use different components is destined to fail.


It looks to me as if Bose does sell one speaker system with a bass module you can connect to different receivers; I wonder if that particular system would work with the existing Bose cubes I already have hanging from the ceiling...?  I'm not sure if they sell the module by itself.


I guess my next big issue is to figure out how much money it's going to take to come up with a set of speakers and powered sub, and to try to figure out systems that sound good.  We're not audio perfectionists by any stretch, but I don't want something that's going to have obvious deficiencies in sound, either.


If y'all have any advice on systems I might want to consider, I'm all ears.  It would be great if I can come up with white satellites I can hang from the ceiling.  Definite Technology's ProCinema systems look pretty impressive (though a bit higher in price than I was planning to spend).  I'm very much trying to get my feet wet, so to speak, in picking a system that will be good for TV and stereo.

Thanks!





#6 of 14 Robert_J

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Posted January 11 2011 - 10:11 AM



Originally Posted by dbinbama 

Hello, Bill,


We're not audio perfectionists by any stretch, but I don't want something that's going to have obvious deficiencies in sound, either.

No offense because you didn't know better, but anything you get will be better than Bose.  What is your budget?



#7 of 14 gene c

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Posted January 11 2011 - 10:38 AM

The Definitive Pro Cinema series are a good option to the Bose. Another option would be the HSU Research Ventriloquist-Performance/1, Here's a link to a little more information. These are a specialized speaker system in that they route the mid-bass frequencies from the satillites to the center channel but I'm not sure how effective that might be with ceiling mounted speakers. The Perfomance 2 has a better sub woofer.


Other brands to consider would be Klipsch (HD-Theater/1000), Energy (Take-Classic/5.1), Polk (RM-510). I like to use Pricegrabber.com and Amazon to see what's available in different price ranges.


"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#8 of 14 CB750

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Posted January 12 2011 - 05:38 AM

David,


I am sure that when you purchased your new Yamaha receiver you didn't know it could not be used with your Bose lifestyle speakers as most speaker systems are compatible with other manufactures receivers. I also suspect that you were happy with the way your Bose system sounded and were not in the market for a new speaker system.  However, if you want my opinion I would not invest any further money into any Bose Cube system in an effort to connect what you have to your new receiver.  I can offer you many reasons:


    [*] Bose makes three versions of the cubes, a single cube, reflecting cubes (two cubes stacked on each other) which are found on the  Acoustimass  sssssssspeakers which can be connected to non Bose receivers,  They also make Jewel cubes, and reflecting cubes which are used in various lifestyle systems.   Since each is designed to be used with a specific bass module and or Bose receiver you would not know for sure if your Lifestyle cubes are compatible with Acoustimass cubes.  Keep in mind all of those special Bose connection cables. [*] You Yamaha receiver has room correction software which will auto calibrate your speakers to your room.   It has been reported that the various room correction software on receivers will not recognize a Bose Acoustimass system.   This is a major draw back as most of these systems do a pretty good job of automatically setting up your speakers. [*] One you take the time to listen to other speakers (Gene has some listed) you will find that you can easily find a system that will sound better to your ears at a lower price than what you currently have.

I would suggest that you audition a new 5.1 speaker system.  Since your Lifestyle system works you might try to sell it on e-bay, as many are in search of those Bose systems.  You can use what you might get to help offset the cost of your new speakers.    If you are looking for Satellite type systems I think you can find a 5.1 systems which will sound as good as your Bose starting at $400 and up.  Naturally as you go up in price quality will improve so you have to let your budget and your ears be your judge.



#9 of 14 dbinbama

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Posted April 17 2011 - 01:59 PM

Bill and Gene, Thanks so much to both of you for your advice. Yep, I definitely think I need to take your advice and drop the Bose system completely. Sounds like I should either keep it as a spare system for an office or maybe put it on E-bay. I have been looking at several systems, but so far, Definitive Technologies' ProCinema series is catching my eye the most. I'm still looking in to whether I can hand their speakers from the ceiling, which is how I have my Bose cubes now. If you have any further thoughts, I'm all ears. Again, thanks for the help. Sorry it has taken me to long to get back around to this, but I've been very busy with work and have also been trying to let the money fund build up some, too. Thanks! David

#10 of 14 CB750

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Posted April 18 2011 - 05:13 AM

David,


Speaker selection is a very individual decision as we all perceive and process sound differently, which means our ears will have favorites among many selections.


I liked the Definitive Technologies ProCinema line, and found a definite improvement is sound quality  as I moved from the 600 to 800 to the 1000 series.  You didn't state your budget but if you like the 1000 series you might take a look at B&W's M-1's, as they were what I selected and they were in the same price range and are similar in size.   While the B&W's come with mounting hardware for both table top and wall mounting I would advise you to check out this website for proper speaker placement.   http://www.dolby.com...uide/index.html 


For a satellite system you are going to want to place your speakers so that they are at ear level when you are seated in your prime listening position.   I experimented with my speakers heights as they were sitting on built in bookshelves and I found that was my best position was ear level  about 7' apart.   With the center speaker being under the TV as opposed to over the screen.   

I know that one of the selling points of the Bose system are the small cubes and that many of those who buy them mount them high and close to the ceiling to hide them away.   I have personally found that with satellites like  B&W's  performance especially your front stage will suffer with a ceiling height speaker placement.   I am sure that others will tell you the same thing with their satellite systems.



#11 of 14 dbinbama

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Posted April 18 2011 - 06:23 AM

Bill,


Thanks for pointing out the issue of better acoustics at ear level.  I'm sure you're right.  The layout of our great room, though, is such that hanging speakers from the ceiling (as we have our Bose cubes now) meets aesthetic requirements nicely, but--as you note--may lead to a sacrifice of sound quality.  I'm afraid the logistics of having speakers at ear level wouldn't work well.  That's why I'm trying to make sure that whatever we go with will allow suspension of satellites from mounts in the ceiling.  I would hope that the mounts will let me swivel the speakers vertically so that they can point down toward the listener, in order to improve audio quality.

As for budget, we're trying to go the low route at this point.  DT's ProCinema 600 system--which I see advertised for around $799 at most places--is what I've been thinking may be best. I'm wondering, though, what the benefits are of going up in price, as with the ProCinema 800 or even the if the extra cost of going with the ProCinema 1000.  Is the different in sound quality that noticeable, or are there other benefits I need to consider?


The space we're trying to fill is roughly 20 feet by 15 feet, so I don't see us needing a really powerful system.  And, unlike most folks, we are not heavy TV/home theater watchers.  So, I'm not convinced that springing the extra money for, say, the ProCinema 1000 would make that much difference to us.

I don't consider myself a high end audiophile (shoot, we've been using the Bose for years and thought it sounds okay), but I'm seeing so many people say that other systems will sound better than what we've had, that I feel like we should go ahead and make the plunge with something like one of DT's systems.

For the cost of the DT 600, is there any other system out there you think would be a better buy?

Thanks again for your input; as always, any thoughts/suggestions are appreciated...


David



#12 of 14 CB750

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Posted April 19 2011 - 06:25 AM

David,


I did my actual listening hunt of many 5.1 speaker systems two years ago so you have to trust my memory and realize they were my and my wife's ears that did the listening.   After years of having a collection of 6 large stereo speakers in  a 22' x 14' family room we wanted to downsize our speaker foot print as well as move up to surround.   I hoped to achieve our goals with a $700 to $800 budget.  So you can see our room size, goals, and budget were about the same.

I was initially attracted to the DT 600 and the 800 as I had read many favorable professional reviews.  When we actually listened to them we felt the 800's clearly out performed the 600's.  The major differences were the 800's had a stronger bass and mid range they just seemed more powerful especially for music listening.   I found less difference between the 800's and 1000's.  Don't get me wrong the 600's were not bad speakers but to our ears we noticed more difference between the DT 600 and 800 than we did between other speakers in the 600's price range like Energy take 5, Marige nano's. 

Don't take this the wrong way but these listening trips told us that we were not going to be totally satisfied with the 5.1 satellite systems in that price range.  While we liked some more than others they all seemed to suffer from the same weakness of a smaller sub which tended to be weak in deep and mid range bass, and the satellites due to their smaller size could not fill in the missing mid range.   We moved up our budget to the$1,200 price range and found many systems that performed more to our liking with the B&W's being our final choice.

If your budget is in the $700 range then I would listen to as many of the systems as you can in that range and compare them to the DT 600's.  If you like the 600's then the 800's would be an improvement if you can make up the price difference.  It seems that lots of folks like Polk and Klipsch speakers.   As far as a good value on a budget Energy was selling their take 5 system on Amazon for $400 when I listened to what I think was the same system they were selling for around $700 retail.   If your budget can go up to $1,000 SVS is an Internet seller that offers a nice 5.1 system with a great sub.   But the satellites and sub may be a bit larger than what you are looking for.



#13 of 14 Richlow fitt

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Posted December 14 2012 - 12:53 PM

David, I actually have the same problem. I was looking to replace my Bose receiver. I have called Bose and was given another option. Of course this is if you were happy with your Bose system. They will arrange for you to send your existing system back to them, speakers, receiver and sub woofer. Then they will allow you to purchase any other Bose system new at 1/2 price. This is an inviting option. Rich

#14 of 14 dperque

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Posted January 29 2013 - 05:01 AM

Rich (and others)- What did you end up doing? My father-in-law is having a similar issue. Bose Lifestyle 50 system installed when the house was built - now finds himself with no digital inputs (trying to connect blu-ray, appletv, etc.) and a sudden loss of surround sound due to a new Cisco cable box install (Time Warner). So he's not happy, I've been pushing him to just upgrade the whole system from scratch, but he likes his WHITE cube speakers and wants to use what's already in place. I think upgrading from Bose is an option for him (though not a cheap one), but is there any chance he can keep his speakers or does Bose make any systems now in white? I'm going to try to trouble shoot what changed when his cable box changed, but looking at all those walmart analog RCA cables is depressing. He really needs to step it up, even it it is to another Bose system. Thanks! David




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