Conversion of Bose Acoustimass speakers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by PaulSch, Sep 9, 2002.

  1. PaulSch

    PaulSch Auditioning

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    First,thank you for any advice/help you can provide me on my problem! All you purists and naysayers who would ask why I would want to do this, for now lets just say for the heck of it.

    For those of you not old enough to remember,the Bose Acoustimass SE-5 is about 12+ years old. It works well for a non-audiophile like me in my home theatre. It is designed to take the left and right front outputs from a receiver and split out the bass/sub bass and send the mid and higher frequencies back to the small speakers (arrays as Bose calls them). I also have a separate center and rear set of speakers.
    This has worked reasonably well in the past for ProLogic but obviously this configuration will not work for Dolby Digital. I want to upgrade my receiver and I want to convert this system. It would seem that if I used the correct resistors/filters on the Bose small speakers that they could be attached directly to the left and right speaker outputs of the new receiver. (I still need to get an new DD receiver probably a Sony STR-DA4ES.) What would happen then if I send the subwoofer of a 5.1 output to the acoustimass unit? Would I send the signal to both the left and right channels of the acoustimass unit? Or dies the subbass have to be a poweredf unit on most 5.1/7.1 systems? Keep in mind this is an old unit that only has left and right inputs. Would I need to make any internal mods in the acoustimass unit? (No problem for me if I do as long as I have some advice on what to do.)
    I wired for side speakers 12 years ago when I built this family room assuming some day it might be useful.CouldI use this bose system for the side surrounds? I LIKE the smallness of the Bose front speakers and I don't have the space or the interest in putting in large front or side speakers. I would need to attach the side speakers to the wall with brackets or something anyway. I qwould appreciate suggestions as to which way to go on what type and brands of moderate priced replacements for the frond and the side if I cannot convert the Bose small speakers. Also sugggestions on a subbass unit. Thanks, Paul
     
  2. Johnny Mac

    Johnny Mac Stunt Coordinator

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    The acoustimass unit should work as is for dolby digital. On a dolby digital reciever, just wire the bose unit as normal with the front left and right speakers passing through the bass module. Set the front speakers to large and select turn off the subwoofer. On most recievers, this is something like Subwoofer=No.

    Then, wire your center and surrounds directly to the reciever and set them all to small. All of the bass below the recievers internal crossover point will be directed to the mains, or the bass module in your case.

    The only real problem I see is the gap between what the cubes will handle and the crossover point (usualy 80-120hz).
    With bose cubes, I think this gap will be quite large. Are you also using bose cubes for the rears?
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Ok Paul, let’s say for the heck of it.

     
  4. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Building on what Lew said, let me suggest a complete system that would blow your current bose setup away, step you up into Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, Pro Logic II, and a 7.1 speaker setup, all for less than you probably paid for your bose setup.

    Receiver - Pioneer VSX-D811S ($320 shipped, yahoo shopping)

    Mains - JBL N28s ($130, free shipping, J&R)

    Center/Surrounds/Back Surrounds - JBL NSP1 Package ($250, free shipping, J&R)

    Subwoofer - JBL PB-10 ($200, free shipping, J&R)

    Total: $880 including shipping

    The NSP1 Package consists of 4 JBL N24 2-way 4" bookshelf speakers. They are small (about the size of 2 of your Jewewl speakers), and are wall mountable. It also includes a N Center. It's made to be a 5.1 setup, but i would recomend using all 4 N24s as your susrrounds and back surrounds, and use the N28s as your mains. The N28s are 20" tall, 12" wide, and 9" deep. They would look great on stands or shelfs.

    If you want to stick with a 5.1 speaker setup, you could always just go with the NSP1 package, the PB10 sub, and the D811S receiver, for around $750 total. This would give you a great 5.1 setup, be small and wall mountable similar to your Bose setup, and give you room to grow into 6.1 or 7.1 if you would like. You could move up to 6.1 by simply adding another N Center (around $90). You could move into 7.1 by adding another pair of N24s (around $85), or by something else in the N series and using your 4 N24s as your surrounds and back surrounds. The N series offers the N26 (around $90), the N28 (around $130), the N38 (around $210), and the ND310 (around $370). The N38 and ND310 are both floor standing models. The N24 and N26 are both wall mountable. All of the N2X series are stand or shelf mountable.

    I know this may be more info than you were looking for, but i thought i would share regardless. You can probably get enough out of your bose stuff on ebay to cover the NSP1 package, and possibly enough to cover the NSP1 and N28s, or even the NSP1 and a sub. Either way, i think upgrading is the way to go if you have the funds.
     
  5. PaulSch

    PaulSch Auditioning

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    Thanks guys for the replys and advice!
    I think the picture in the crystal ball is beginning to get just a little less hazy. I will need a little time to research the speakers that you suggested and digest your advice. I had not thought of selling the older system on eBay-thanks. I still might try the small Bose speakers as the side speakers for now. The suggestion to use the existing speakers on the new receiver and set the speaker output by using the "internal crossover" in the receiver is a new concept for me. Obviously the improvements in the receiver design are something I will have to learn about. The rear speakers are Bose bookshelf units. I have a center channel speaker that is a Pioneer CS-C400(? quality).

    I can see the merit in replacing the front system and maybe a new powered subbass. I think for now I may try to get by with the existing rear speakers and try the Small Bose "arrays" on the sides. Do you think that a matched set by brand is optimal? What about the amount and quality of sound sent from the decoder to the front system vs. the sides and rear- Are the front speakers "more important" than the others? Any other thoughts? I will try to look further into the various speaker options but the field seems so crowded as to be a daunting task. Once again thank for the help.

    Paul
     
  6. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    I think that Johnny Mac's post is right on, in terms of referring to the intial post.

    The only thing I want to say is that an ES receiver might be a little excessive using these bose speakers. I would reccomend saving the couple hundred of bucks.

    -rob
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  8. Johnny Mac

    Johnny Mac Stunt Coordinator

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    Assuming you're using Bose 201's or 301's as rears, you should be just fine for the time being with your current speaker setup. I'm sure they can handle bass down around the crossover point with no trouble.

    In your price range, also be sure to check out recievers from Yamaha, Denon, and Onkyo. I'm sure there are others but these are the ones I like. If you're dead set on getting a Sony, the ES models are definitely the way to go.

    Good Luck and let us know what you get.
     
  9. PaulSch

    PaulSch Auditioning

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    For better or worse I have made a decision about both a receiver and what to do about the speakers. I have just ordered from J&R a Sony STR-DA4ES receiver($665) and The following JBL Speakers: S36II($299) for the front set; PB10 Sub bass($199); and S CenterII($179) . I will try the current front Bose Arrays as the side surrounds with the output set to small and limit the output to above (?) 200hz. The rear surrounds will remain for the time being as the Bose bookshelf units (these are 101's I think). I guess I will not have a use for the current front Bose Acoustimass bass box for now. Any further thoughts? Thanks.

    Paul
     
  10. PaulSch

    PaulSch Auditioning

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    My next challenge is to find a set of wall brackets for the S36II's. I saw them at Best Buy and the salesman showed me the threaded brass inserts for mounting a set of brackets. He told me he had a set at home and had been able to get a set from JBL. I haven't found any on their website or anywhere else including J&R as yet. I have emailed JBL about this, so we'll see what reply I get. If any of you know a source for these please let me know. Thanks,

    Paul
     
  11. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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