Bose 901 Frequency Response

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Alan Pummill, Apr 25, 2003.

  1. Alan Pummill

    Alan Pummill Screenwriter

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    I thought you would all enjoy this reply to my question of Bose 901's frequency response that I e-mailed to Bose several days ago.

    Way back in 1971 when I first heard these speakers, rhey blew me away!! I have not heard them for years, and was just interested to find out the answer to my question!!

    ENJOY...

    Dear Alan,

    Thank you for your inquiry. Bose (R) Corporation does not publish frequency responses, simply because they are not accurate and usually will mislead the customer.

    Frequency responses are usually measured with testing equipment set up in an anechoic chamber. An anechoic chamber is an isolated room designed so that sound will not reflect off any surfaces. Giving out such frequency response results is terrific- for those people who live in anechoic chambers! Most of us listen to our systems in rooms with very reflective surfaces, such as plaster, brick, glass, and dry wall, so the frequency response that a manufacturer may supply is no longer accurate. Just as no two rooms have the same dimensions, nor are they decorated exactly the same or have the same construction, no two rooms will sound the same when using the exact same
    speakers and amplifier.

    For example, if you were to place any speaker in a room with no carpeting and wooden furniture, you would hear something completely different than if they were placed in a room with shag carpeting and plush furniture. Perhaps
    this can be equated by imagining a single lighted candle placed in a room with completely black floors, walls and ceiling. Obviously, the same candle when placed in a room with white surroundings will appear to be emitting
    much more light than when placed in the first room with black surroundings, as the light will reflect a great deal more off the white surfaces. Sound reflects off surfaces, much like light does. The surroundings make the speakers sound different in the same manner, because they actually are able to reproduce different frequencies via sound reflection and speaker placement.

    We hope you do not take the fact that we do not publish speaker frequency responses personally. We do not publish our speakers specifications to anybody, whether it be before or after they have purchased a speaker system
    of ours. We simply invite our customers to listen to our speakers using the most accurate testing equipment possible- their ears.

    If we can be of additional assistance in the future, please contact us toll free at (800) 999-2673 extension EM1, or email us from our Bose website at:

    http://www.bose.com/contact_us/
     
  2. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

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    Alan,

    this is the same canned response Bose sends to everyone who inquires about the frequency range of their speakers. I believe there were some people who measured (independently) their speakers and published their findings on the net. If you look around, you may be able to find the info you're looking for, although it doesn't come from the horse's mouth.
     
  3. Cam S

    Cam S Screenwriter

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    I think they have an automated e-mail system that sends that exact same reply to any e-mail with the words "frequency" or "response" in it, as I have seen this exact same reply many times.
     
  4. Jeff Braddock

    Jeff Braddock Second Unit

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    I got the same or at least a very similar response when I emailed them about the freq. response of one or two of their systems. After I continued to hound them, they actually told me, "If speaker specifications are that important to you when it comes to determining the systems you purchase, then I'm afraid Bose may not be the speaker company for you." I could not believe it! Bose actually discouraged me from buying their product! (not that it would have mattered.)
     
  5. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    That is such a load!

    A good friend of mine bought 2 pairs of 901s when we were living in the UK and had army base privilidges. He got them for a great price.
    He did not have the 'equalizer' they recommend hooked up since his amp had too much power.
    They were without a doubt the worse sounding speakers I have ever heard. They were all midrange without treble or thumping base(He had some metal on)
    I knew how much he paid for them and so I tried to say something nice. That was about 10 years ago
     
  6. Alan Pummill

    Alan Pummill Screenwriter

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    And to think these were my "dream" speakers for years!!

    As My HT Pics link below shows, I have since been educated!!

    No Highs, No Lows...Must Be Bose!!
     
  7. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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    LOL!

    When I was stationed in Germany , '76-'79, I shopped endlessly in the A/V store on base. They had great equipment back then. Thorens turntables, JBL 100's, ESS speakers w/ the electrostatic ribbons, Marantz receivers, TEAC reel to reels. I came out of all that with a frickin' Pioneer SX-1050 which is now being sold on ebay as 'vintage'...a pretty average receiver as I look back, but at 120wpc and it looked really cool with the real wood enclosure and silver face, and Bose 901's fer cryin' out loud! I did make out with a nice Dual turntable (which I still have!) and a great TEAC reel to reel but have always kicked myself in the ass over the receiver and speaker selection. Doh! I never did like those speakers.
     
  8. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

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  9. ChristopherBer

    ChristopherBer Stunt Coordinator

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  10. Doug Z

    Doug Z Stunt Coordinator

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    I remember gazing in all the catalogs at the 901's back in the early 80's before I knew what a good speaker sounded like. I do remember and it is forever stuck in my head that bose rated the 901's at "10 watts min and no max input power" I first heard them in a demo room where they had "top gun" playing and when the planes took off I couldn't believe how loud those suckers got. It was loud but not detailed, just plain loud.
     
  11. Jerry Klawiter

    Jerry Klawiter Screenwriter

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  12. JamesCB

    JamesCB Second Unit

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  13. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    They must use the equalizer.
    This equalizer is active, It's not a night & day difference
    but more like 1000 x nights & days.


    There's one problem with this statement, you can only eq within the freq the speakers can play and simple logic (when one studies hoffman's iron laws and T/S) would simply indicate this speaker isn't capable of full frequency flat response no matter how much power is applied or eq used.

    The transistor radio might even be more accurate though I doubt it would be as loud (but could be every bit as annoying).[​IMG]
     
  14. BenK

    BenK Stunt Coordinator

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    What I find interesting is I've seen Consumer Reports rating Bose speakers with a high accuracy rating. Ranked higher in accuracy than speakers such as B&W, Klipsch or Infinity. Their explanation of testing is "We measured the accuracy with which a speaker reproduced test signals containing the range of frequencies appropriate to each type of speaker; 100 is the best possible score." How can this be?
     
  15. ChristopherBer

    ChristopherBer Stunt Coordinator

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    James CB , Bose allows that because that is their pro audio speakers. They have specs for all their pro audio speakers. Go visit the Bose Pro audio website. They also have the frequency response for the Bose Acoustimass system there.
     
  16. Jerry Klawiter

    Jerry Klawiter Screenwriter

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    Robert,
    My point was, those 901's are not like any other speaker
    even if compared to other bose lines such as the 301's.
    The 901's MUST use that equalizer.
    That EQ puts some sort of boost across the board prior to amplification.
    So it's nothing like a standard EQ.
    They sound like *hit without it.
    They have no output and sound just like a radio.
    When I had the pair, I tried this and could not believe
    what I was hearing, it was real bad.
     
  17. JeremyFr

    JeremyFr Supporting Actor

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    I would never trust anything consumer reports publish's, they have no set testing methods for anything and with them its more like our results are based on how much money a certain company was willing to pay us to rate there product well. I would honestly sayt that even though I truely hate Bose and strongly believe they need to swith there slogan to "better sound through marketing". At any rate I've heard the 901's and I enjoyed them for what they were but do think there are much better speakers out there that you could spend the same money on.
     
  18. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    The problem is Jerry that the 901s are limited by the natural roll off of the 4.5 inch drivers used, no amount of eq would fix this and the multiple comb effects of those drivers would also limit the capabilities of whatever eq was used as well.

    I agree most speakers are not capable of flat full frequency response but then again most don't make a bold statement of stating compare our speaker vs everyone else's either. Once someone makes this claim, the pandora's box of comparisons is opened up and now it makes these speakers fair game for all concerned (the sad fact is that it won't hold it's own vs most speakers half their price except in dbs). Most speakers in this price range will usually go up to 20 khz and usually down to 40 hz with maybe a plus or minus 3 db (esp if the room is treated without an eq) from other more reputable companies but with eq it's almost guaranteed.
     
  19. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    I got into it with a 901 loyalist on another forum.. Right
    now he's looking to buy a set of original AR9's [​IMG]

    The 901's DO need lots of power. They will take 1000 Watts
    without breaking a sweat and they will produce reasonable
    low frequency output. They need to be carefuly placed and
    when they are they sound decent. They are certainly very
    spacious by nature. The 901's *need* the active crossover
    to correct the deficiencies of the small drivers. The XO
    sucks loads of juice and adds lots of boost therefore needs
    loads of amplifier power. Does it make the 901's flat? Not
    even close.. But it makes them more flat than without it..

    If you want spacious sound there are so many better avenues
    to consider, for example Planar's and Ribbons or even more
    traditional Bi-Polar Towers like Definitive Technology.

    The 901's are simply "amusing' if you don't like pinpoint
    accuracy and at least they were from a time where Bose
    didn't rape the consumer.

    That being said.. an original pair of AR9's would walk all
    over them and are hellatiously more flat... And have real
    low frequency output (dual acoustic suspension 12's per
    cabinent..)....
     
  20. Alan Pummill

    Alan Pummill Screenwriter

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    Like I said before, these were my dream speakers for years. I have not heard 901's for about 18 years, but I remember really loving the volume and spacial sound that my best friend's (in the city where I use to live) 901's could produce. And he was just pushing them with a cheap receiver.

    I can remember going to a pig roast about 28 years ago in another state, and our friends had (2) 901's in back of their house playing loudly. The were being push with some high wattage!!. We were way out behind the house playing volley ball in a field, and it sounded like we were at a live out door concert. ( Of course the beer and smoke may have affected my senses!!)

    Anyway, I don't think I would trade what I have now for the 901's, and I know that they would not sound good in a HT system. I have really enjoyed all the feedback from you all!!
     

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