I'd like to put a little perspective on Bose and contrast it here and there with items that get not only a pass, but a fair amount of praise bordering on religious fanaticism. I intend to borrow a bit from an oft cited web site (http://www.intellexual.net/bose.html) where the author, presumably from ignorance, has made a number of assumptions and statements that are false. I'm not going to touch on all of them, just some. My opinion is that if you want to slam Bose then bolster your argument with facts and not errors. General Marketing Statements Despite the fact that younger people will buy a Bose product, their marketing is targeted to a distinctly different and older age group as evidenced by say the Bose ads done by Paul Harvey. A few facts about older people. As a poplulation they are suffering from upper frequency hearing losses as well as decreased sensitivity. Keep that firmly in your mind as you rail against the FR curves. Their musical and movie tastes are distinctly different. Believe it or not, LOTR and Star Wars and pod races with special effects aren't the end all to movies. While for some it is, others enjoy a good movie without all that. The tenet that sound accuracy and quality has a different priority. An enhancement is wanted over what an RPTV but that's all it is. Further it needs to blend in better with the decor. A sacrifice if necessary is made to that end. Older people may well value the time they spend together with a higher priority and it's just not worth it to be pig-headed about some matters. It's not a question of 'yes dear', its a question of 'yes dear I love you'. OK, let's move on and dissect some of the statements made in that link. THE CUBES: There is no question that the drivers are inexpensive and that the prices are jacked up disproportionately IMO. So are a lot of things. How's about $1/bottle water with fancy names that comes from the city of Miami's drinking supply? How's about shampoos, nail polish, your golf clubs that you think are adding 35 yards to your drive? Are cables that cost $6 in parts and sold for $100 overpriced? What about conventional zip cord wrapped in techflex sold for that same price (can anyone say Cobalt?)? Own any of them? Keep in mind that for some people small is the object. And anything even slightly bigger is not going to work. There's a trend for flat wall speakers, speakers that look exactly like art or mirrors. A consideration in all these cases is going to be compromises in FR, distortion, etc. Maybe Gallos are better? Myself I haven't seen the FR curves but I'm pretty willing to bet that they're interesting. BTW, none of you believe that a round design eliminates distortions due to the enclosure now do you? Say you don't buy into that little marketing lie and obfuscation. Quote: my own observations lead me to believe that they are nothing more than dyed Manila hemp. This is an idiot speaking. His little marketing spiel is designed to create an image in your mind that paper should never be used as a material. Are there resonance that occur higher up with paper? Sure. You'll also find them with kevlar, carbon fiber, and other materials. All materials at one time or another have been used both successfully or unsuccessfully in applications. Quote: In a cube speaker the size of the Acoustimass, a dome tweeter would perform much better than a cone tweeter. However, Bose disregards this fact because making paper cone tweeters is a much cheaper manufacturing process. Probably correct or perhaps it also had to do with an intentional design consideration by Bose. I'm not privy to what their reasons were but it might have had something to do with intentionally creating some beaming. Quote: The thin plastic enclosures that Bose uses is very light and resonant, and fails miserably at all of the aforementioned goals. Yes, and plastic enclosures have been used by some manufacturers and gotten a pass from the audiophile press. Again this is due in part to size constraints and quite possibly the accepting of resonances as an intentional goal for sound modification and alteration. Quote: In addition, the cube enclosures also fail at magnetically sealing the drivers so that it not only gives off EMI (electromagnetic interference), but also receives it with little resistance. I have no idea what he's talking about. Do you? Suddenly wood is better at shielding? THE SUBWOOFER: Quote: Bose doesn't even claim that its "Bass Module" is in fact a subwoofer because they can't! So why does the author of this paper keep dragging it in? Again, not everyone is enamored by stomach churning subs. All they want is an enhancement over what they've got. Quote: Smaller subwoofers move faster and thus have tighter bass response for improved clarity and accuracy, but larger subwoofers can reproduce lower frequencies and at louder volumes. Sometimes and it all depends. Get more drivers in with a smaller xmax and you can do tricks down low also. I'd expect a smaller driver reproducing 40 Hz to move faster than a larger driver reproducing 20 Hz, wouldn't you? Something about the width of the signal maybe? In all this is a gross generalization and completely negates the truth that response and performance is a system dependent thing where enclosures/drivers/crossovers need to be designed together. Quote: Bose takes these drivers and uses them as a subwoofer unit! No stupid, they don't. They're a bass module and don't make them more than they are. Why bother stating what they are and then condemn them something they're not. Quote: Organic foam surrounds are known for drying out, rotting, and falling apart within 10-15 years of its manufacturing regardless of usage. Today foam is reserved soley as a cheap substitute used only in low-end speakers where price range is most critical. More idiocy. I've written before on foam surrounds in speakers and the causes of rot. It all depends on the composition and other factors. Look it up if you want more information by doing a search. Quote: I own a pair of $50 Boston Acoustics CR4 bookshelf speakers... I wouldn't brag about it. Quote: However, Bose uses raw untreated paper that does not possess near the quality of treated paper. I doubt it and I'd want to see some proof here. Quote: ...use marble, methacrylate polymer, solid oak, or solid cast aluminum. I could bust a Bose cabinet in half over my head, but I would not have that same level of confidence in busting a nOrh cabinet over my head. Responses in order are so?, oh that's a plastic too, expensive and not as acoustically inert as MDF nor as dimensionally stable, and aluminum doesn't vibrate? I can point to audiophile speakers, floor standers, with ceramic or diamond tweeters, expensive too, and they weigh well under 100 lbs. Maybe they've got some inherent resonances too, huh? Some have looked at the above and said something like look at that dip in the FR occuring a bit over 100 Hz. Try summing the two curves, it'll look a lot better. Quote: Notice the high end roll-off at sub-20kHz frequencies at the far right and the extreme colorization from 1 kHz to 20kHz with huge emphasis on 5 - 7kHz. It's not a sub so don't make it more than it is. Extreme coloration...hmmmm. Well it's fairly flat in the 1-4 kHz range where it's important to get things right and it's definitley raggy up top. Put that in perspective with upper frequency losses as we get older. While ugly, it might not mean that much. Quote: Another thing to consider is that the only relevant information on the graph is the measurement between -3dB to +3dB because 3 decibels is the slightest detectable change from zero to the human ear. In terms of overall SPL well yes. However, that's a gross generalization. In the area of 2-5 kHz, in young people of good hearing, the minimum SPL able to be detected is about 0.1-0.2 dB. That's for sine waves. With music, it's a bit worse. As you move out on either end of the audible spectra it changes and just noticeable differences become on the order of several dB greater before they become noticeable. I'd like to think better results could've been achieved if only because they could be. However it may well be a moot point with older individuals. While on this topic of frequency response, take a look at some of your own speakers. I'll bet they're signficantly better. However, how is that frequency response in the room you put them in? Anyone have situations where the rooms are just plain weird? Has your signficant other laid down the law and said something like no, they stay here when you know that moving them out and away from the walls would do a better job? What about putting them on hard reflective surfaces? Did the signficant other say that sub has only one place and it's resulted in large room interactions? What say you? Quote: If and when you look at this document, you will soon realize that absolutely no where are there any specifications for the system's actual performance I agree. That sucks. Bought any Audiquest cables...what about Monster...what about Transparent...Straightwires anyone...? Any specs there? BTW, how do you like the following response I got from Stellavox, an allegedly high end company when I inquired about what the output impedence of their amp was? 1- PW1 impedance: we do not publish this data Quote: To reiterate the above, the Acoustimass's bass module responds to 46 Hz to 202 Hz at ±2.3 dB, while the satellites respond to 280 Hz to 13.3 KHz at ±10.5 dB. This is, by the way, the only speaker that I have ever seen tested with a ±10.5 db allowance. Still, this leaves a frequency gap between the satellites and bass module of about 80 Hz! Go figure. The idiot posts the FR curves and doesn't know how to add things up. What a putz. Quote: That is 80 hertz of sound that is completely erased within the system's internal crossovers! Am I the only one here who is glad this person doesn't design speakers? Further inaccuracies follow. Quote: Do the math folks, this Bose system only produces 13,176 of the 19,980 Hertz in the audible sound spectrum. That's only ~66% of the actual recording being played back to you! That'd be fine if musical content was distributed evenly across the audible spectrum. It isn't though. A very rough approximation is that it's an inverse relationship and the amount of musical energy is proportional to 1/f. If you've lost signficant hearing above 15 kHz and you don't care about the thundering 20 Hz sound effects, then so? Better approximations would be determined by applying a weighting factor. Well is that the way we do math? Is it any wonder SAT math scores don't move much? I'm going to give a bit of rest as to the other errors and assumptions in that web reference. Much of it is irrelevent. That they are skilled in marketing and product placement is undeniable. Other companies would do well to study what they do successfully and apply it to some of their own products. I don't know about you, but bad english grammer and spelling errors turn me off to a website. That the salespeople who sell their products are uninformed is true. So are the jerks in the high end places that've been selling esoteric stuff for a number of years. They have a target market and study it. BTW, how many of us have been sucked into marketing? Think you haven't? McDonalds makes a good hamburger? You a Pepsi drinker and believe that the Pepsi challenge was an accurately done test? Kids suck you in to buying them Nike's, Abercrombie & Fitch, and so forth? You believe that your hair sucks up vitamins? If nothing else, get a year or two's subscription to Consumer Reports and pay attention to how marketing works and be a little more than a bit skeptical of any company's claims. Yes it's true that the Bose speakers have a significant amount of distortion and depending upon the model can have localization problems. I personally don't think that's the right way to do things. However, ask yourself a few questions. Why do people and the press give a pass and extol the virtues of turntables that color the sound, SET amps that introduce their own FR abberations because of their high ouput impedance and relatively unregulated power supplies, 5-figure DACs that lack reconstruction filters and have more distortion than signal (Audio Note), tubes that resonate with distortion and microphics? There's a bunch of stuff out there. How's about horns that resonances? Cerwin Vega gets a pass? There's a real good reason that reviewers of speakers read the promotional material and make sure they know what they're listening to. If they didn't and gave high marks to an inexpensive speaker but low marks to a StereoPhile A list speaker then the world would end. For many the WAF is far stronger than is thought. I'd like to see some in-depth testing of speakers that meet the Bose criteria of small, small, small. My brother in law bought a bose system. He hasn't set it up properly and when I get a chance, I'll spend some time with him and make it work better than he has it now. I'm not going to tell him how he could've bought something better as I rather like him. I also respect him. He did a tour of duty in Vietnam while in the Navy. He's now in the Air Force reserves and was in the first Gulf War and recently came back from Iraq and Kuwait where he served his country again. I'll cut him more than enough slack. If we listen to a movie it's to spend some time together and that time is more valuable than any deficiencies his system may have. So in summation, I don't think too much about that web link. Making stupid, ill-informed and technically inept comments is a great social experiment, ain't it?