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Bose 901 Series II

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Brown, Sep 16, 2002.

  1. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, let me start out by saying I’m in no way some kind of Bose fan or anything like that, so please no anti-Bose rants, because you’d just be preaching to the choir.
    I passed by a garage sale, and decided to stop by. Off to the side, covered in dust and spider webs were a pair of Bose 901 series 2 speakers. The person hosting the garage sale saw me looking at them and said he would sell them to me for $5. I was thinking about it when he changed his mind and said I could just go ahead and take them for free. After hearing a set of Bose AM-15 speakers (that cost $1500+ [​IMG] ) I promised myself I would never buy Bose speakers… looks like I was able to keep that promise, but now I have a pair of these speakers anyway. Putting aside my dislike of Bose, I decided to give them a shot. One thing I noticed is that they were made in 1976, which appealed to my interest in collecting vintage speakers (have a pair of JBL L150’s, and many more in my collection already). Taking off the covers I noticed a total of 9 speakers in each cabinet. When I tried them, I noticed that they seemed to excel in midrange but lack in the low’s and high’s; And they seemed to handle lots of power fairly well.
    So my question is what do you think I should do with them? And what would they be good for? Upon researching them on the internet, I found that they come with an equalizer that I did not get at the garage sale… and that without the equalizer, they would not sound good. Is it possible to use some other kind of equalizer to perform a similar function? I’m not sure how long Bose has been producing bad speakers, and I know that most companies (JBL for example) produced totally different kinds of speakers now than they did in the 70’s… so I’m just not really sure what I’ve got here. Any help would be great.
     
  2. Jason Wilcox

    Jason Wilcox Supporting Actor

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    sell em!! i'm pretty sure they go for a lot on ebay.
     
  3. Darrel McBane

    Darrel McBane Second Unit

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    I saw an article some time back about a HT theater using just the 901s. I guess it sounded fantastic. They do like a lot of power. Something like 100wpc as a starting point.
    If you think about it? Using the 901 stands it would place each speaker at the same height. Add a couple of SVS subs to take care of low end. You could have a great HT. You just need to find two more pair from garage sales!? [​IMG]
     
  4. Steven Hen

    Steven Hen Stunt Coordinator

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    I have 901 series I. I'm not sure about their age but must be late 60's or early 70's. They must be used with the active eq or they will sound like crap. I use them in my warehouse at work (100' x 40') and they actually sound pretty good, especially for 30 year old speakers! You could always look for a bose eq and set them up in your garage or something. I would pay $5 for old 901's in a hearbeat!
     
  5. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I saw a Bose infomercial the other day and they say their 901 series is Legendary.
    They compare their new waveguide sound system to the 901 series because that's what they want it to live up to. (Bose says they don't use specs, but go by sound and research)
    What's funny is they use subliminal advertising because the clocks on the "wave radio" was set at a time of 9:01 and other "hidden" messages had double meanings as well. All very amusing to see how many fallacies they used to sell their products it's no wonder they're doing so well. [​IMG]
    One example was they were playing a tiny childs Piano and said this is what conventional speakers sound like. Then they played a Grand Piano and said this is the sound of Bose.
    (I suggest selling them, the ppl that will buy them probably don't know they need an EQ) [​IMG]
    Have you tried them at least? How's the condition of the surrounds and cones etc..
     
  6. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    The 18 (9 in each speaker) 4" woofers are all in perfect condition, with all the surrounds still intact (they are made of cloth, not foam, and are coated with a sticky oily substance, I guess to protect the cloth or give it some more stiffness?). the fabric from the covers is coming off, and the wood cabinets have some discoloration, but i'm sure I could restore these speakers to mint condition with little effort if I find a use for them.

    About the equalizer, is there any substitute? I have a spare EQ somewhere in the garage I could use to mimic whatever it was that the Bose EQ did (soften the midrange perhaps?). Also, i'm thinking of maybe using them as surrounds in the living room which currently only has a pro-logic receiver, and the limited freq range of pro-logic surrounds seems like it would fit these speakers quite nicely.
     
  7. Steven Hen

    Steven Hen Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris,

    about the eq, It's been awhile since I've played with the bose eq but I believe the eq will boost the bass and treble. I know without the eq the 901 sound like an am radio. You may have some luck with a graphic or parametric eq but according to bose "the 901 Active Eq is a dedicated device, specifically designed for the 901 speakers. You MUST use it when playing yor 901 speakers. Do not attempt to replace the 901 eq with any graphic or parametric eq. Although these devices may be used in conjunction with a 901 eq, they cannot duplicate its function." For what ever it's worth! I do know there is a big difference in the 901 with the bose eq as oppossed to without. I would forget about home theater with the 901 and use them only for music.
     
  8. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    Ebay is sounding better and better. I could sell them and just not mention the EQ and when/if the buyer complains I could just say "EQ? what EQ?"
    ...but i'm way too honest for that [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. Michael Roderiques

    Michael Roderiques Stunt Coordinator

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    901's OK so a long time ago I had a bunch of these.

    It was 8 of them, 4 for each side. Had 2 old 135Lb Yamaha M2 power amps (240W P/Ch) running them. Needless to say it was loud.

    DO these have what looks like three binding posts?
     
  10. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    The equalizer for the Bose 901s, boosts the bass and treble, to account for the fact that there are no true tweeters or woofers in the 901s. You can reproduce this with most equalizers. You just need a disk to produce sounds at the right frequencies and an SPL meter.

    No big deal.
     
  11. Stephen Houdek

    Stephen Houdek Second Unit

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    Chris.......can't resist......That would be Choir!
     
  12. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    hrmmm... I wasn't sure, so I did a google search on "quire" and it seemed to bring up enough matches so I thought it was the correct spelling. Maybe a dual spelling? Thanks.
     
  13. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Chris,
    As you have noted the surrounds on the 901 drivers are
    cloth that is shelacked for stifness. The cone of each
    driver is made of a treated hemp paper is blue in color
    and bears the name Bose on the dust cap.
    The cabinentry is real wood and can be refinished. You
    are missing the active EQ but that should not cause much
    of a degradation in the "value" of these vintage units.
    I personaly would clean the cabinents up revarnish if need
    be. Re cover the grills and clean all the drivers and check
    all the internal wiring and I would put these on Ebay.
    The "Legendary" 901's bring some decent dollars to the
    Bose-Ohs and Vintage speaker guys (Though even back then
    most audiophoiles went with Acoustic Research,JBL,Altec etc)
    You got them for free and this is a chance to turn a decent
    pure profit and buy some other needed equip for your HT..
    I wish I could come across 901's for Free every day because
    I would make enough cash on ebay to buy some high quality
    stuff! [​IMG]
     

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