Umm, I'm surprised.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by AaronNWilson, Jul 24, 2001.

  1. AaronNWilson

    AaronNWilson Second Unit

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    I was in a restaurant tonite which had a great sound system and was playing some great tunes. I noticed that the bass response was particulary smooth and refined. It was killing me, so I just had to get up and see what the name of these speakers were. To my surprise they were Bose 901s [​IMG].
    Are they using some kind of trick or something to make these things sound good? To be truthful the bass sounded smoother than the bass of my Klipsch RF 3s.
    Aaron
     
  2. SamRoza

    SamRoza Stunt Coordinator

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    DO they use tricks to get their sound? Kinda, ya.
    Dr. Amar Bose has spent a lot of money researching acoustics(ok, ok, not since the 60's, but at one time, he was a real scientist).
    The 901's are externally EQ'd by a little black box. That box is not adjustable AFAIk, and it processes the music somehow and it sounds good. The 901's use somewhere from 9-12 drivers, 3" or 4", all full-range.
    So, yes, the sound is processed, and you are tricked, and for not changing the design in 20 years, it's rather impressive. Unfortunately, it's commercial crap at its best.
    Sam
     
  3. Mike LS

    Mike LS Supporting Actor

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    Is there anybody around here that's not ashamed to say that a Bose speaker might sound OK from time to time with certain media?
    It's really amazing that anytime a person (newbie or other) uses the word Bose in a post, they're immediately "tricked" or "fooled" into thinking that the speakers sound good.
    Now I may be naive, but if a speaker sounds good, it sounds good. There's no trickery about it.
    Before I get flamed and banned from the Forum, let me say that I'm not a Bose fan. I used to own some of their speakers (and still own a set of bookshelf Bose) but I don't use any in my HT and never plan to. And that't mostly because their too friggin' expensive to consider when there are other makes that sound the same or better for much less $$.
    It just amazes me that a large group of people that claim to know so much about a certain subject can be so venomously opposed to a product just because of it's brandname.
    Granted, I know that Bose speakers are built using cheap materials. I've taken some of them apart before and was amazed at the thin paper used for the cones etc., but I have to admit that the models I did own sounded really good for stereo music. They weren't all around great sounding speakers......get them into an HT application and they started to show their true colors, but we all know that there are some speakers out there that are better suited for certain applications than others......I think most Bose speakers fall into that category.
    Anyhow, just venting a little at that. My opinion is that Aaron was actually hearing good sound out of those 901's....processed sound or not (too, why does it make it trickery if the sound was processed?).
    Stranger things have happened than Bose speakers having a good sound.
     
  4. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    I'm not surprised with that statement. Why? Because I was surprised by Bose, twice!.
    Once when I was listening to the 901 a couple years back (2-channel music) at my friend's place (he bought the 901 from a bankuptcy sale for approx US$ 300) and the other one when I was in my friend's Acura 3.2TL (?).
    I actually listened without prejudice and you know what? They actually sounded good!
    My guess is the 901 should be adjusted/positioned carefully because listening to the same CD on my old 901 (no longer with me), they sound like [email protected]
    With their car audio, if I have the cash, I would get the Bose option for my car. The reason being is that I don't have to spend a day or two without my car and any hassles of getting a third-party sound equipment and besides, they sound good anyways.
    The 601 and lower, of course, especially the Acoustimass, are totally different stories altogether.
     
  5. SamRoza

    SamRoza Stunt Coordinator

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    When sound is processed, you are tricked, period. THe processor is there to hide inherent flaws in your source material, and the equipment you're hearing it on. Based on certain processors, it can literally trick your brain, just like with a phantom center setup, or phantom surround.
    Try listening to a set of 901's without the processor and see what you get.
    This really isn't a bias based on brandname, I used to work for Bose. While I never liked any of their systems(acoustimass, lifestyle, etc), they had several bookshelfs and free-standing speakers that sounded DECENT. Not excellent, not impressive, but decent--too expensive, but decent sounding.
    Sam
     
  6. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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  7. Frank Frandsen

    Frank Frandsen Stunt Coordinator

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    Dave,I don't know what Acura 3.2tl Bose system they have up in Canada but here is the states they are terrible. I know because my wife had a 3.2 with the Bose for 2 years and now a MDX with the Bose and they both pale in comparison to the standard Pioneer system in my 10 year old Lexus. I am not saying all Bose is bad. I think the reason I object to them is that they put their name on anything, good or bad. Some of the Bose systems in the upper end cars are actual quite good.
    What really irks me about Bose is that every Joe six pack thinks they are the final word in audio. Slick Marketing can make you rich!
     
  8. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Several interesting issues here...
    * I'm not an expert on this, but AFAIK, the Bose 901 design had some very specific reason(s) for using multiple drivers in that configuration. I used to think that it was something just slapped together, but apparently it isn't. Also, (again AFAIK), that speaker is supposed to be pretty sensitive to placement.
    * I remember a post a while ago, on I think this forum, by a speaker builder/DIY kind of a person analysing Bose speaker construction. His opinion was that they used paper cones because paper was the only material that would work for their situation. He went into lots of F-something and Q-something that I didn't understand at all, but the gist of his post was this - Bose speakers are built according to a different set of criteria than most others. The requirements from those speakers aren't all about producing sound, there are specific design constraints imposed on the engineers about speaker cabinet size, etc. (this is more relevant for the little cube speaker systems). Now, one may argue that the requirements should be only about sound, and not compromised by aesthetics, but that's a separate argument - the fact remains that working within the constraints of the requirements, Bose engineers have actually made some good decisions, including the choice of paper as the material for the cones. The point he was trying to make is this - all engineers create designs to meet certaion criteria, and Bose speakers are no worse designed than any others, they're just designed to meet different criteria. I thought that was an interesting distinction to make.
    * Equalizers. It's interesting how "audiophiles" will use different interconnects to open up a bass-challenged system or tame shrill treble, but will shy away from, or worse, sneer at, any form of 'equalization'. While graphic equalizers have been abused in the past, their function isn't very different from what is gained by swapping interconnects. I think this mentality is slowly changing, with the greater acceptance of parametric equalizers for bass equalization, and room/speaker correction systems.
     
  9. Mike LS

    Mike LS Supporting Actor

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    quote: Well, in that case, all audio is a "trick" [/quote]
    That's kind of my point. All audio is "processed". Whether it be at the source, through the receiver or an external EQ. Basically every sound that comes through your system (or any other) is processed in one way or another.
    This being the case, you could say that any speaker sounding good is just a trick of the mind. So if that's true, everyone here should be bashing every speaker maker out there.
    Whether the 901's in question had the "processor box" inline is really irrelevant. The question here is whether the speakers made the signal, processed or not, sound good and pleasing to the listener. And according to Aaron, they did.
    Good sounding Bose......what next!?! A good $79 DVD player? God forbid! Then the "average" consumer might discover DVD.
    [Edited last by Mike LS on July 24, 2001 at 10:47 AM]
     
  10. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    Frank, I don't know what kind of Bose my friend is using, all I know is that the Bose is factory installed and it's pleasing to my ears. Maybe our taste is different, or maybe it is really a different model. However, I have to agree with you that Bose sticks their name on anything.
    Maybe soon enough we'll see Bose comb and Bose vacuum cleaner!
    Also, to whomever thinks that EQ is bad, well... you just can't listen to any recording then. EVERY recording for any purpose is being eq-ed at one point or another.
    My view is simple, it may be Bose, it maybe the white-van speakers, it may be Martin Logan. If you like it, so what?
     
  11. AaronNWilson

    AaronNWilson Second Unit

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    Whenever I think of being tricked I don't necessarily think of equalization doing the tricking. Some of you may have read the Dunlavy article in WideScreen Review a few issues back where he discussed accurate speakers versus inaccurate speakers. He described certain inaccurate speakers as being pizazz speakers because of the adjustments which are made to the speaker drivers to accentuate certain frequencies. I can't remember what frequencies he mentioned, but I do remember him mentioning up to 4 separate ranges which are quite often boosted to make the speakers sound impressive to somewhat inexperienced listeners.
    He went on to say that although these pizazz speakers may sound initially good, after a while you will get fed up with the inaccurate sound. To me this seems to match perfectly to bose 901 because it seems as though they have tailored those speakers towards stereo use. It seems somewhat obvious that an inaccurate speaker won't sound great for a wide variety of applications, which is why some of you may have mentioned why the 901's sucked for a hometheater application.
    However worthy of note was the 901's bass which did sound particulary smooth.
    Aaron
     
  12. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  13. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    It's been my opinion that, from a consumer level, home speakers should make anything sound good. People don't buy these systems to find the flaws in million-dollar recordings (well, some do [​IMG] )but to hear the song just pumping away in the living room. If you want accuracy, get some good studio monitors and a reference amp. I've always felt that the presentation of the music or movie should sound as good as possible, possibly needing some EQ tweaks or whatever. The accuracy issue should not have left the mastering studio, i.e. that's the place where superflat speakers and amplifiers are needed to work out all the audio bugs and make sure that the music or movie sounds good on just about everything people can play it on.
    I also feel that if you've got speakers you like, don't let others put you down. You're the one that's living with them!
    That's my deranged rant of the day!
    ------------------
     
  14. John B. Holbrook

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    As an owner of a black 2000 Acura 3.2 TL, I can attest to the fact that the Bose audio system in this vehicle isn't crap. It sounds great. Personal tastes may vary (it's a bit bass heavy, but I like that) but it's a great system.
    ...and no, I don't have Bose at home...I have Klipsch. [​IMG]
    Best,
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    John Holbrook
    MY DVD Collection
     
  15. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    I don't know... it's been my experience, that upgrading has somewhat removed the middle ground. Before, everything seemed to be on a relatively flat line. Now, there are more peeks and valleys. If I come home with a very well done CD or DVD, boy does it sound good - incredible, in fact. But, if I come home with one that hasn't been mixed very well or was EQ'd poorly, it can sound terrible. So, I find myself being either really impressed or really disppointed, depending on the material I bring home. Not a lot of in between... Now that's not because of the system it is on account of it. Simply because it is more revealing.
    Most of us have the SPR DTS, U-571, Titan AE etc etc etc, but for every one of these quality done discs, there are 20 others released that sound "less impressive" (OK, like [email protected], I was trying to be diplomatic).
    Am I making any sense....?
    Herb.
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    System - Lexicon MC-1, Bryston 9B ST & 4B ST, Pioneer Elite DVD DV-05, Martin Logan (Ascents, Aerius i's, Scripts & Cinema), M&K 75 sub, Richard Grays 1200S, Sharp XV-Z1 projector & Da-Lite Cosmo screen.
     
  16. Mickey Brown

    Mickey Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    If it sounds good to you, then it sounds good, PERIOD.
    Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
    I actually remember hearing some 901's a few years back, and they had a good, enveloping sound. It's really quite funny to me how audiophiles will say 'you should get a sense of a 3d soundstage, blah, blah' with a set of speakers. Well, Bose puts drivers all over their speakers, trying to reflect the sound off walls, etc to make the sound seem as though it's everywhere. That sounds 3d to me.....
    I had Bose speakers, but I thought my Paradigm 40's sounded better so I dumped my Bose. EQ'd or not, the Bose 901's sounded pretty good to me when I demoed them. Nobody can tell me they didn't sound pretty good.
     
  17. Jeff Leeds

    Jeff Leeds Stunt Coordinator

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    I should point out that most "bose" stereos in cars are Bose speakers and the head units are made by clarion, hitachi, and others. My 1997 Infiniti Q45 has a bose system, the head unit is a Clarion, it uses a Clarion disk changer as well. The head unit has lots of power and the system sounds excellent. Let's all remember back to the days of Delco and other crap like that we had in our stock radios not just a few years ago.
    I've heard the Mark Levinson (sp) in the new Lexus and it does sound awesome, but it costs like 5 grand extra! In any case that settles that.
    In the case of Bose 901, I have a pair. I got them very cheap (I bought a pair in 1979 when some of you guys were in nursery school I'm sure) and they finally died. Bose bought them back due to a factory defect in the 1978-82 drivers. Would I have bought these if I had to spend $1,600. No @#$@ way. But I'll tell you this, for home theater they are unreal, awesome. For stereo music, well I'll eventually replace them with some B&W when my ship comes in. but for the $450 bucks they cost, ain't nothing better at that price point. Another point with the 901's is you have to position them just right and tune them with your receiver just right. Also, you need lots of power as these speakers as they always did eat it up. I've got a Sherwood Newscastle 945 that has 5 separate 100watt amps at .05 THD and the 901 can eat every drop.
    So there you go...I'm not going to get sucked into the Bose bashing, friends don't let friends buy bose etc. discussion. Bottom line is 901 ain't that bad, for the money I do direct friends to NHT, Paradigm etc., but for me they are paid for and that's a great feature in home theater equipment and in motor cars!
    ------------------
    Jeff Leeds
    [email protected]
     
  18. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    Hmmm, no wonder Acura 3.2TL sound system sounds good. If it is really Clarion, they are one of a few companies that uses MOSFET amp in their head units. Some other car-stereo manufacturers that uses MOSFET are Pioneer and Yamaha.
     
  19. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    Aside from the lack middle to lower frequencies in their AM systems, I think most of the arguements against BOSE are due to price vs quality.
    I agree that some BOSE speakers sound fine, but when you realize that you could have gotten more, or better quality for less, thats when you have to do a little thinking.
    ------------------
    [​IMG] "Charlie don't surf."
     
  20. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    I had a pair of Bose 401s that I got a "great deal" on from my friendly Sony Store Rep. 600 bucks for a demo pair. I ate it up like any 19 year old would. For 3 years I sung the 401s praises and all the boys loved them. Then my friend went and bought a pair of Mission bookshelves (model 702 or something) for about 400 bean.
    I heard detail in the music I never heard before.
    And from then on, I realize that price Vs. quality is the name of the game and took the lesson and learnt from it. The 901s I cannot comment on but I did hear them once at a store and wasn't blown away. This was still when I thought Bose was #1. Now, other than the Nuance scam going on here in Canada, I think they are a complete waste of money.
     

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