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 Post subject: Re: A big eye opening defect in Bose 901's!
PostPosted: Sep Mon 19, 2016 11:44 pm 
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Joined: Aug Sun 01, 2010 1:12 am
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Location: Minnesota
Maybe not, but I've heard series 2's and 4's side by side, through the 2's EQ, and the 4's sounded noticeably better. They were stacked on top of each other, the same distance from walls and corners. When the 4's were hooked to their correct EQ, they sounded even better.

I've no desire to own another set, prefer vintage JBL myself, which many people have a hate relationship with also, but I still do like the sound of 901's, correctly set up, with some power going through them.


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 Post subject: Re: A big eye opening defect in Bose 901's!
PostPosted: Sep Tue 20, 2016 12:02 am 
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I will go with, perhaps some of the issues are with improper set-up or positioning, or other external issues. I have seen 901's off their stands, positioned on shelves against the wall by uninformed casual users, so I realize environment is important with loudspeakers of any reasonable quality. Not that I own any or am seeking them. But I was impressed by Klipshhorns, and some feel they were a real disaster too.


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 Post subject: Re: A big eye opening defect in Bose 901's!
PostPosted: Sep Tue 20, 2016 2:32 am 
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Joined: Aug Sun 01, 2010 1:12 am
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Location: Minnesota
I used to sell Klipsch, back in the day. The Heresy's are the ones that everybody bashes. I've always kinda liked them. The Cornwalls are the Klipsch to have, in my opinion. Nothing wrong with K-horns but just a bit much for me. Even Cornwalls are huge. Any are great speakers for a vintage tube amp.

I really thought Klipsch did a good job of making their dealers feel important back then. Also they were great at customer satisfaction, whatever it took, although that was then and this is now. Some great PWK stories out there too. Paul was one of a kind.

A friend of mine has some Heresy's on top of some powered Paradigm subs. Sounds good. Really good.


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 Post subject: Re: A big eye opening defect in Bose 901's!
PostPosted: Sep Tue 20, 2016 10:03 pm 
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Heresys with good drivers and an improved crossover over original are pretty nice IMO. Super efficient an easy to drive with low powered tube amps too.

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T

Extra class ham on the radio and in real life, nyuk nyuk nyuk


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 Post subject: Re: A big eye opening defect in Bose 901's!
PostPosted: Sep Thu 22, 2016 1:41 am 
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Location: Black Hills, SD 57745
Mid-70's, my moneyed friends in the next town had a set of 901s, along with a big Marantz 4-channel receiver and Marantz speakers, Dual TT with CD-4 decoder, 4-channel 8-track recorder, the works, with a similar high buck setup in their fancy car.

I did enjoy the sound of the 901 driven by that high-dollar Marantz and strove to emulate it in my own basic-bucks homebrew stereo. Of course I did know about the equalizer and the 901's shortcomings without it as a crutch. So in my setup, it served only as a separate midrange enclosure with five 4" drivers attached to the bass cabinet. I also faced the drivers forward and added three tweeters to match the 12" and 15" woofers.

I was driving them with a pair of 90w SWTPC Tiger amps. I had an old Kenwood receiver for the inputs and a mixer while I saved to get the SWTPC matching preamp. The B.I.C. TT was hung on the wall to avoid the acoustic feedback from those big woofers so nearby. A lot gear joined and left over the years but I kept the speakers and SWTPC gear till I scored my current setup in the late 80's. I think I was able to achieve my aim of matching the great sound of my buddies setup for around $400 all in.
-Ed


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 Post subject: Re: A big eye opening defect in Bose 901's!
PostPosted: Sep Wed 28, 2016 5:05 am 
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Location: Lincoln City, OR
Greetings to the Forum:

I can't speak for the later Bose products, but the original 901's (series 1, I guess) are, IMHO, the best-sounding speaker ever made. A friend of mine owned some and he also bought some Acoustic Research speakers at the same time (late 1960's). We also shopped the various stereo stores and listened in their demo rooms.

The AR's and the others sounded good.... but no matter what you did, they were sound in a box... assuming I didn't trip over anything, I could walk right to the speaker blindfolded. The 901's were the only speakers I ever heard that I would not be able to locate blindfolded. The sound just seemed to have concert hall ambiance... more so than any other speaker I have ever heard. I listen to classical music almost exclusively and so I am used to a physically wide sound source.... but the Bose 901's were the best. According to the published specs at the time, they were not as flat or wide-ranged in frequency response as the AR's and others, but Bose never claimed they were.... they just claimed that they sounded good and they sure did. I could never afford them then, but I would love to find a pair now with their equalizer.... anyone have some they want to part with? :D

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: A big eye opening defect in Bose 901's!
PostPosted: Sep Wed 28, 2016 3:28 pm 
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Location: Sunnyvale CA
Jthorusen wrote:
The AR's and the others sounded good.... but no matter what you did, they were sound in a box... assuming I didn't trip over anything, I could walk right to the speaker blindfolded. The 901's were the only speakers I ever heard that I would not be able to locate blindfolded.


Comparing them with an AR1 or other vintage 60's speaker, yes, it could be a reasonable tradeoff. This is the era of people putting paper cone tweeters in the middle of 3-foot wide flexile panel, in a completely unreinforced square plywood box. But not in 2016.

Go find some speakers with Walsh drivers, and I think you will find the same sound field effects without the poor frequency and random phase response, and far higher build quality. Even the lowest-end Ohm Walsh (maybe the 100) easily surpasses the 901 in all respects. And those are far from the best overall.

There have been tremendous advances in speaker design since the late 60's, and most of them have been about the enclosure and the "box" effect.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: A big eye opening defect in Bose 901's!
PostPosted: Sep Thu 29, 2016 3:15 am 
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Greetings to Brett and the Forum:

My friend's other speakers were AR3a's as I recall. And the Bose 901's out-performed them, as well as a set of Ampex speakers that I had which had high-compliance woofers, and they out-performed others as well, including Klipsch (sp?).

Of course, we are talking purely subjective impressions here.... I don't believe for a second that a Mullard 5AR4 sounds better than some 1N4007's, but my objectivity breaks down when confronted by early memories.... I just like the 901's.

Anyway, since I have 1948 vintage ears, I think I will stick with what I know works..... i.e. 1960's 901's. .....If I can find some that I can afford......

Regards,

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KB6GM


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 Post subject: Re: A big eye opening defect in Bose 901's!
PostPosted: Nov Wed 02, 2016 10:02 am 
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Joined: Jan Tue 31, 2012 2:17 am
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Location: Hamilton, ON, CA
Soon as I saw this thread I knew it would be supercharged. I once had a pair of the series 4 which I spent many hours refoaming - all 18 of them. In the end, it was a disappointment. Yes, I had the correct equalizer, stands, but even with the power of an SX-1250 I can't say that they were really all that good although I will admit there is definitely a "cool" factor about them. In the end I moved on to Klipsch KG4 and Forte, both of which work well with either tube or solid state gear.


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 Post subject: Re: A big eye opening defect in Bose 901's!
PostPosted: Nov Wed 09, 2016 7:42 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 16615
Location: Warner Robins, GA
I would love to get a pair of 901s with the proper eq once I have enough space to set the speakers up properly just to see how they sound.


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 Post subject: Re: A big eye opening defect in Bose 901's!
PostPosted: Dec Tue 27, 2016 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Nov Fri 10, 2006 12:24 am
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Location: Thornhill, Ontario
A bit off topic, but this is quite recent... even though the subject unit (a Bose Acoustimass 7) is quite old.

I'll confess, I've never like Bose. It always seemed to hype overpriced stuff that didn't sound very good... way back I recall a friend praising his 901's to high heaven. I thought they sounded very poor. From the beginning Bose has tried to change the laws of physics... remember what "Star Trek's" chief engineer, Scottie, said... (look it up!) *

Anyway, a friend (not my 901 friend!) gave me a Bose Acoustimass 7 so-called "subwoofer" (passive - no amp). It was physically very well made: stereo (two separate speaker units in one solid MDF box), large PCB for the two separate "high order" X/O's, all good-looking components, so I thought I'd test it.
Here are the results, constant voltage drive, speakers paralleled for mono, SPL in relative dB from a SPL meter (average of two runs):
Frequency, SPL (close mic)
240, 0 (reference level)
200, -3
185, +1
160, -0.5
150, -3
120, +0.5
100, -5
90, -7.5
80, -7.5
70, -8.5
60, -8.5
50, -10.5
45, -16
40, -20

The above is not very good for even a medium sized full-range bookshelf speaker, let alone a "subwoofer" (not!) This speaker design seems to be a "sixth order ported box"... I had two Energy brand passive subs like this a long time ago, likely contemporary with the Accoustimass 7 (1990's), but they tested much better by at least 1/2 an octave.
I conclude that Bose and its users have suffered from "wishful thinking" from day one. In grudging fairness to Bose, the Accoustimass 7 was the LF part of a system that used tiny satellite speakers (which my friend never had.) As such, it might sound sort of OK.
Cheers,
Roger
PS. I sold the Accoustimass 7 to a fellow who was actually looking for one! I didn't have the heart to tell him how it measured... but nor did I have the heart to part it out for the bits!
Cheers,
Roger
* EDIT: sorry... that's "what Scottie will say". It's some 300 years in the future! :-)

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Roger Jones,
Thornhill, Ontario
Ontario Vintage Radio Assoc. http://www.ovra.ca


Last edited by engineer on Dec Wed 28, 2016 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A big eye opening defect in Bose 901's!
PostPosted: Dec Wed 28, 2016 2:07 am 
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Location: Warner Robins, GA
Suppose the system it came from had bass EQ to make the "sub" sound better.


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 Post subject: Re: A big eye opening defect in Bose 901's!
PostPosted: Jan Mon 02, 2017 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Jul Sun 09, 2006 3:11 am
Posts: 4758
Location: Aurora, CO
I always chuckle when I see CL ads for Bose 901s w/o equalizer- seller always says they sound good without it. If they even realize there should be an equalizer.


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 Post subject: Re: A big eye opening defect in Bose 901's!
PostPosted: Jan Tue 03, 2017 5:21 am 
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Joined: Aug Thu 27, 2009 7:47 am
Posts: 2647
Location: Seattle 98125
You can approximate an S1/S2 curve well enough using a standard graphic EQ, if you're willing to turn it up a bit more, and I'm sure some people do this. The bass/treble gain on the Bose EQ is a bit beyond the adjustment of most graphic EQs, but if you shift the curve downward by 6 dB (i.e. 1 kHz at -6 dB instead of 0 dB), you'll get the right shape. The S3+ curves are more complex, though.

Series I/II:
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Series III/IV:
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Series V/VI:
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 Post subject: Re: A big eye opening defect in Bose 901's!
PostPosted: Jan Tue 03, 2017 1:17 pm 
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Location: Warner Robins, GA
Makes me wonder why Bose didn't come out with an optional pair of bass and treble cabinets to match the 901s which would negate the need for the EQ?

That said it might have messed with the reflected sound though.

I suppose a dual cone or coaxial speaker would have messed with the reflected sound as well.


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 Post subject: Re: A big eye opening defect in Bose 901's!
PostPosted: Jan Wed 04, 2017 6:01 am 
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Joined: Aug Thu 27, 2009 7:47 am
Posts: 2647
Location: Seattle 98125
I suspect that's the reason. The main "feature" of these speakers was solid audio quality, big power handling, and a stereo effect no matter where you were listening from. Interesting and compelling, when a lot of systems were still mono and many more had a pretty narrow sweet spot!

Although DBX managed a "stereo effect no matter where you are in the room" with their active-equalized SHF-3 speakers using their "Soundfield Imaging Controller". These had a down-firing woofer, and 4 tweeters on on each face angled upward and away from the center of the speaker, along with some crossover and phase-shift circuitry.

Would be interested in how they compare, both are in the class of somewhat omni-stereo speakers in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: A big eye opening defect in Bose 901's!
PostPosted: Jan Sat 21, 2017 10:46 pm 
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Joined: Nov Fri 10, 2006 12:24 am
Posts: 1647
Location: Thornhill, Ontario
jkoebel wrote:
... The main "feature" of these speakers was solid audio quality, big power handling, and a stereo effect no matter where you were listening from...
Do you mean as in "that's not a bug, that's a feature"? Sorry, just being facetious... as befits most Bose threads!
Cheers,
Roger
PS. Good idea about using a standard EQ unit... but it won't fix the design bug.

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Thornhill, Ontario
Ontario Vintage Radio Assoc. http://www.ovra.ca


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