Bose Acoustic Wave Cannon System

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dan Loader, Nov 9, 2003.

  1. [​IMG]

    By Scott Berk:

    It is the subwoofer to end all subwoofers with an attitude to match. The Bose Acoustic Wave Cannon is aptly named - the imposing 12 foot black tube, which houses a 12 inch loudspeaker, was once impounded by Isreali customs officials believing it to be a weapon. Indeed, in the male-dominated world of audiophiles and acoustic engineering, it would appear that the Bose Wave Cannon has taken the already ridiculous concept of "speaker envy" to its ridiculous extreme.

    The Bose Wave Cannon came into being as a result of new cinema audio technology which allowed the reproduction of deep bass in film soundtracks with a minimum of low-frequency noise. As Dr. Willam Short, co-inventor of the Wave Cannon, puts it, "Low-frequency noise is especially undesirable because it is very disturbing, rather than simply annoying." Once low- frequency sound could be successfully incorporated into a sondtrack, a speaker was needed that could play it, and still fit in the theater. The Cannon is precision engineered to minimize both air turbulence in the tube and flexing of the tube's walls, and can provide high energy, very low end (20 to 60 Hz) sound smoothly and efficiently. At 12 feet, the Cannon is far smaller than its traditionally designed counterparts. It is capable of delivering an acoustic punch equivalent in energy to that produced by a 250 square foot horn-loaded loudspeaker. One can almost hear the echoes of "it's the quality, not the size..."

    A discussion of the Acoustic Waveguide Principal, pioneered by Drs. Amar Bose and William Short, would be merely academic. What is significant is that this ominous black tube can easily fit into a room. It can be mounted on the floor, or hung from the ceiling, and, most importantly, it can produce up to 100 decibels of gut-wrenching bass. The implications are obvious. Dancers at clubs and raves wouldn't even know what hit them. Movie-goers will experience "explosions, spaceships, and similar effects [which] can literally shake the room," as Dr. Short describes.

    Interestingly, the Bose Cinema Sound System is only installed overseas (Australia, China, Japan, etc.) or in several remote locations in the U.S. (Bay City, Michigan and Chillicothe, Ohio, for example.) Why are there none installed in major cities? Perhaps people fear structural damage. Even more curiously, an operational Bose Acoustic Wave Cannon hangs from the ceiling of Toscanini's, a small ice cream store in the student center of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Why is it there? Nobody really knows for sure. Maybe it is an ongoing psychoacoustic experiment being conducted by Amar Bose, an MIT Professor Emeritus. Perhaps Mr. Toscanini mixes his incredibly smooth ice cream sonically. The possibilities are limitless, but I'd sure hate to be there if there was a power surge ...


    I recently went to my local Theme Park (Thorpe Park) and saw 3 of these monsters mounted to the ceiling of a ride (Nemesis Inferno). The bass wasn't something you hear, it's the kind of feeling that hurts your lungs. They had a very eerie Drum n' Bass style track running through it every time the trains were sent off around the track. You could feel it from 200+yds away, quite an experience.

    As a hardened bass amplification enthusiast I equired as to how they work - apparently there's a 12" bass driver halfway down the tube, computer controlled with a 600watt amplifier.

    I wouldn't mind one of these in my rig. Anyone seen/used these before?
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    If you see a Bose, the opposite direction.
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I play from time to time in a club where they have this.
    The thing is about 6 foot long.
    I once tried to plug direct into it, it sounded like crap.
  4. 12foot long, actually :p

    It probably sounded crap because it's frequency response is 20hz-125hz, not enough for the average bass guitar.
  5. No highs...

    All lows...

    ...must be a Bose!
  6. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    My 12" $60 JBL car audio sub makes 112db or more all the way down to 30hz, which is as low I expect to need.
  7. at a local cinema in belgium they use them.

    about 6 or 8 per cinema. (600 - 800 seats)

    there's no cinema in europe with better sound.

    but these things are not designed for instrument amplification and shouldn't be used for that.
  8. Total hype; they suck. Bose has a great marketing department to make up for their product's lack of performance. Most standard 2x15 or 2x18 subs are WAY more efficient and don't introduce the hideous and fully audible phase error of the cannon. I've heard them many times and when A/B'ed against "real" subwoofers, they're pathetic.
  9. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Bose is a marketing company who just happen to make speakers!

    They will have you believe the cannon shape whill throw bass frequencies but that's hogwash. Even a cheap folded horn will do a better job than a cylinder.

    The only reason to make a round enclosure is to minimise standing waves, something easily controlled in other ways, and almost irrelevent in a dedicated sub enclosure.
  10. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    We discontinued this product, This was made for cinema and church applications, We do not and have never made professional products for instrument or live sound, They have always been geared towards the DJ or full range recorded music which our products do a great job.

    Geez the way you guy's are talking you might have thought Bose has TV commercials on all the time or a spot during half time show at the superbowl!

    I guess the pissing contest begins, It seems like a lot of these pissing threads have been coming out lately and it's getting pretty old around here.

    Keep em coming I heard all the jokes and ranking before. Especially here at TB
  11. Funkster, do you work for Amar? I met him on a visit to Henry Kloss' Framingham location in the early '70s. I took a side trip to "The Mountain". Extremely interesting guy. I kinda miss my rack of Bose 1801 amps from those old days. I wasn't a big fan of all those little CTS drivers though.

    Sorry - I digress. Cheers!
  12. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    That's ok Oddio I get into a few of these threads a year and the same people have the same ol stuff to say.
    Yes I know Amar personaly, I been working at the Mountain for 21 years. He is a extremely interesting guy and a awesome human being never mind being one smart mofo.
    Oooooooo the 1801 was a killer amp, I still have two that work awesome, We now use Carver stuff and have since bought them out :( I miss the great amps we made right here on the campus though.

    I don't agree with some of the avenues Bose travel's down, but for the most part we make a good product.
  13. Please explain why you think having a negative observation of a product made by your employer constitutes a "pissing contest."
  14. I certainly agree. The 1801s were GREAT amps. I had four of them for my home stereo, a long time ago. They're gone now, but I still have the literature around somewhere. Damn, where did I put that.
  15. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Only because the last few times Bose was discussed it turned into a trash session on me.
    Bose is a good Co. that makes great products and they also make some bad products.
    I'm sorry I take offense but with, Ah you no what nevermind it's just not worth it. Better off staying out here and keeping my mouth shut.
  16. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
  17. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Darn, that link didn't work. Please click "products for musicians".

    I'm referring to the personal amplification system.
  18. When? I assummed that you were referrring to me with the pissing comment since that is the default whine of most of the people with whom I disagree. I can't recall ever giving you grief, and if I have done so in the past, it was not a personal thing. I have had very BAD experiences with Bose professional products, both in use and in customer support. What I referred to as hype was the article in the inital post, which is mostly marketing buzzwords mixed in with just enough specs to look legitimate.

    I also apologize for that wierd fragment at the end of the last post. I deleted it before I posted it, but somehow it showed back up.
  19. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Hi Craig I did demo this system two weeks ago and yes a smokin band is out touring with it right now.
    Bose actullay hired all these guy's and they put together a original Blues/Roots type band.
    Only one player made from Bose into the band. Kinda ironic considering I know of over a 100 musicains that work here but I think they wanted a couple of heavy hitters promoting there new stuff.
    I will find out who they are and get back to you

    well this is one of the products I have a few doubts about. Great Idea and good concept but I don't think they thought about or ironed out all the if's and but's before they went to market.
    The whole concept is taking the soundman outa the loop and putting your sound back in the hands of the band. Sounds good!? But I think it's under powered for larger rooms and will still leed to volume wars, all your sound is comming from the back of you (No Monitors) that's something to get used to also.
    It really sounded great for the type of band they were but in but a heavier rock text I think there will be some problems.
    I believe the system would be awesome for a wedding type GB band or Blues or Jazz which is what I think they are targeting anyway, bands that really don't play that loud and will play small to medium rooms. A band that makes money also helps to pay for it. You better make sure that band is going to be together for a long time. lol

    It sounded great in the demo room with all the musicians except for the bassplayer I was really dissapointed at the lack of projection or clarity for the bass. Besides running the kick drum through the same module, you needed a stack of 6 bass modules $$ and I still couldn't hear the bassplayer that well, The kickdrum stepped all over the bass freq's.
    If they would take a little feedback from some musicians out in the trenches I think they could have done some mods to make it better and come out with something that is truley state of the art. Mainly from the bassplayers point, All the other players sounded fantastic, Horns,Drums,guitar,Key's all sounded great with beautiful clarity.
    This is Bose's first jump into the Pro live sound world and it wasn't a bad leap I just think it needs some work.
    If ya get a chance check it out
  20. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA

    No offense takin PBG,it wasn't directed at you or nobody for that fact., You are the Tooobe man and always respect and read and used your post for advise. I'm talking the kids who jump on the all high's and no lows must be bose bandwagon ;)

    I know Bose has it's share of crappy products but they also make some great products as well.