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Bose L1 and B1

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Monte, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    Well, count me as a converted Bose hater. I know all the stuff about not publishing specs, no highs, no lows, must be Bose, etc., so I was a hard guy to convince.

    My friend Mark, a Bose rep, has been trying to convince me to try this for a loooong time, and I made lots of excuses. While in OKC, he volunteered to set it up in Maker's, and it blew my trio away.

    So after much soul searching, I'm now the owner of a Bose double bass package, although I mostly will only use the one sub (which is the system I tried).

    My bass sounds SOOOO GOOOD through this. I plug my Schertler direct in on preset 60 (which is made for a bass w/ a Fishman) and cut some mids, and it sounds very warm and natural. I can get ungodly loud with it, especially with 2 subs. I was really surprised at how loud I could get before feedback with my AKG C3000 as well.

    I'm probably infamously known for being a total snob when it comes to sounds that vary too far from the ideal (which is no amplification at all, and I really can't believe that I found something that will mainly function as my PA for the corparate type gigs that isn't a tonal compromise.

    My only worry is that this might get me out of my laziness of no amp life in the bigger clubs, where I usually just take my preamp and go into the house. The Bose is a lot like having your own monitor and having total control over the sound.

  2. bassist14


    Oct 17, 2005
  3. Eggman


    Dec 3, 2004
    Denver, Colorado
    Monte - welcome to the club. I started using the Bose stuff shortly after it came out. Our band loves it. And so do our audiences. I play BG and EUB through mine. Recently bought the A1 amp and two more B1s to help higher volume low end balance. Works great. Be prepared for a ton of Bose bashing - as there are a bunch of non-believers here.:bag:
  4. I used to run a bunch of Bose 802's in sound hire, and they were my speaker of choice for BG if there were any available when I had a gig. A stack of 3 had full, tight lows and wonderful clarity.
    I'm looking forward to trying the new system but haven't seen one in this part of the world yet.
    My experience with Bose is that the critics either didn't set them up properly or were expecting them to perform way beyond what they were designed for. Like Monte, I'd prefer to see a system that works better 'on paper', but at the end of the day I agree with Joe Meek: "If it sounds good, it is good."
  5. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    The Bose PAS does sound and work really good. It's very transparent.

    It's just expensive. But then, if you have a good instrument you need a good amp to be heard and convey what you're expressing. It is a great system if you can afford it.

    I do wish they would publish specs.
  6. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I use this system regularly. There is a lot to like about it, most of all its transparency. With the AMT mic, it's just fantastic. It virtually disappears.

    There are a couple things that I don't like about it; the preset buttons and indicators are small and hard to see for a guy with "old fart" eyes like mine, and the remote control cable is a bit fudgy for the same reason. This is very minor and could be remedied if I could remember to bring along my damn reading glasses.

    The other problem is the assortment of odd shapes that you have to pack to transport it; basically, the equivalent of two small beer coolers, one very large pizza with all the toppings, and two very heavy pool cues in their cases.:meh: This isn't an issue with me, since the venue where I play owns the system, and they set it up and take it down, so I never have to move it. Not sure if I'd want to schlep the Bose and the bass into a variety of clubs, though. New York bassists would just laugh at the very thought of it.

    I was going to buy one, and then decided to get the slightly more sensible iAMP 800 Combo, which sounds fantastic and suits my needs better. But I really enjoy playing through the Bose. People's opinions seem to be really polarized; they either love it or hate it.
  7. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Oh that is a good description! Too funny.

    In their ads, Bose touts the fact that you can do away with your PA, monitors, cables, snakes, et al. But I assume that everybody in the band has to use one (or more) of these, or these stated advantages go away I guess.

    How 'bout if you don't regularly use a PA and monitors ... One of the key remaining advantages seems to be what I gather is an incredibly accurate dispersion of your sound to all points in the room.

    Does anyone know from actually walking around say a medium sized room during a performance if in fact it does sounds great in the back row, in the front row, on-axis, off-axis, at the bar, and all the other places in the room?

    Like many folks, I always wonder what I sound like and what the whole group sounds like out in the room, since I know that stage sound and what the audience hears can in some cases vary pretty widely, even when no PA is in use. Of course I want the audience to hear what I hear - or said another way I want to hear what the audience is hearing.

    But it seems like you'd need a wireless type setup to find out for real, or have someone who has a DB technique at least roughly similar to yours play your rig while you walk around the room - neither of which I've ever been able to try.

    I know what the ads say (I think), but I was hoping for another bass player's take on the dispersion abilities of this system, or the "room sound vs. stage sound" thing. Is it really that different from a conventional bass amp & speaker cab when you are out in the audience?
  8. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas

    WHat I did when testing it at the club was hook a cd player up and walk around. It is amazingly even throughout the room.

    I know Bose touts 1 for each player, but for jazz in a small to medium sized venue I think it might be overkill. I went with piano, vocals, and me all in one with one sub in a noisy club and it went swimmingly.

  9. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Okay Monte, thanks. Shoulda thought of that one myself. Especially with a CD like Superbass, with Ray Brown, John Clayton, and Christian McBride, eh? That would be a pretty good test IMO.

    The technology of the drivers in that pole or tower is interesting to say the least.

    I think what intrigues me the most as I said is the unique dispersion characteristics of this system.

    I've seen one in my neck of the woods, but the only thing running through it at the time was the vocalist. Sounded very clear and transparent as you and Marcus indicated, but to me it was not what I would call "unlike anything else." Granted, that was only one sample, and it was not a DB.

    Please share more info as you use it more and as you see fit, and thanks again.
  10. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    Well, got a chance to check it out last night with a last minute guitar trio gig at Maker's Cigar Lounge. The instrumentation was for most of the night guitar, bass, and drums, and the rest flugelhorn instead of drums.

    I ran the Bose w/ one sub, with my bass with a Schertler Dyn B direct, and an SM57 for a talking mic/ flugelhorn mic.

    The sound was really nice. Definitely not to brag on my playing (only the sound), but the drummer/ flugel player commented that it was the best bass sound he had ever encountered on the bandstand. I'm not going to drop names, but he has played with some really big names.

    I was thrilled with the sound, and the staff at Maker's all were really happy with how good the band sounded. What really blew them away and helped show me what it sounded like in the room was when I unplugged the break muzak from the house and put it through the Bose. Better bass projection, and no DEAD spots anywhere. I have no idea how it is done, but the volume is the same from the bandstand to about 50 feet out.

    This has to be the first piece of equipment that I've been instantly happy with and confident in, with no futzing to make it sound right. On the bass, all you do is plug it in, put in the eq preset for bass, set the trim to where it blinks from green to red, do the same for the Level on the remote control.

    Then it is a matter of turning on the master volume and making any minor adjustments to the High, Mid, and Low. Literally takes about 1 minute.

    Disclaimer: I don't know how it works for other pickups, but there is a thread on the Bose forum about Ron Carter using it with a Realist in a large theater. For you Realist owners, they are coming up with some presets specifically for that pickup that you will be able to download.

    I'll keep you posted on it as I have some different types of gigs to test it on now. I have an outdoor gig coming up, as well as a large hotel convention room.

    As Marcus pointed out, it ain't exactly portable for someone getting around by public transport, but then again, those NYC venues are smaller sq. footage wise!! However, I can still get everything in one trip, which is important since there is no parking next to any of the places in Bricktown, OKC's entertainment district.

    Here is what I do: I put the Bose system on a small dolly that converts to a 4 wheel cart. Since the two bags that hold the speaker tower are awkward, I put them both in a long bag I have made to hold speaker stands. I have room inside for a folding music stand and mic cords, etc. I push the bass on a wheel and pull the 4 wheel cart, and no problem. I also bungee down the stuff on the cart so it doesn't fall.

  11. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Would this be something to buy for personal use, or only for the use of a group?

    In other words, if a bassist were still looking for the amplification "solution," would this be something to consider for him/herself?

  12. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I've been amazed at the good press these speakers have been getting, as Bose has never made a decent sounding speaker as far as I can tell- just a lot of junk using cheap drivers. They run ads touting their use of newly discovered acoustic principles- which is a load of hooey- so I figured if these sounded good, it had to be because of some very simple principles.

    The secret of the Bose system, AFAIK, is simply that it uses a tall, narrow array, which gives you very good horizontal dispersion. It's wide enough dispersion that you can do away with the monitors. You can stand in front of it because your ears aren't right in the line of fire, so to speak.

    I found a few web sites where people had been cloning their own Bose-oid systems, using vertical arrays of small, cheap speakers, and getting very similar results, but at a fraction of the cost. Parts Express had a deal on some unlabeled, decent 4" drivers for 95 cents each, which resulted in a lot of experimenting, like this:



    Here's a Bose-like speaker using better drivers:


    There's nothing patentable about a line array- they've been in use for decades (remember the speaker columns from back in the 60s? Shure Vocal Masters?) so I expect to see some similar cabs from other companies soon.
  13. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    This is not to disparage Bose in any way, but you could make a cylindrical radiator from a bunch of inexpensive cone drivers. Once in a while, small drivers go on sale at Parts Express, or you may know a better source. If they are $5 each, you could build a system with 16 drivers for about $100. Then just add it to your existing amp with a passive crossover. Or, you could add it to your PA in the same way.

    If nothing else, it would be a good way to experiment with the concept, and it would be a configuration where you could leave the tower at home when working really small rooms.

    But there are two pieces to the dispersion puzzle. One is whether the dispersion is spherical or cylindrical. What Bose touts is cylindrical dispersion.

    But the other issue is simply whether your existing speaker has good dispersion or bad, because if you have bad dispersion, you could correct the problem by just adding a high performance cone midrange in a little box with a passive x-over. This is something I might try this summer.

    Of course what Bose offers is much more than any of these DIY ideas. But the DIY ideas might let you recycle parts of your existing system that are already bought and paid for.
  14. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
  15. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    I think it is designed to do either.

    It works as an amp. But if you have an entire group share one or more of these, then the added bonus is it replaces your PA and your monitors.
  16. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I dunno, the Beacon line array system does not seem to have been designed with the musician in mind.

    I'm going to try to test one of these Bose systems out. But I won't be able to transport my double bass to a shop, so it'll have to be on slab.
  17. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Yep - Bose needs more competition, but I don't see anybody jumping on the bandwagon.

    If you can afford it, I think you'll really like the Bose.

    Record yourself, and take a CD to play through it.
    Then you can walk around and see how it sounds.

    One other thing. I wasn't that impressed with the Bose subs. But you can try plugging in another brand and see what you think.
  18. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I just read at MusiciansFriend that they will give a full refund within 45 days. Is that true? If that's the case, I'll just buy the thing and return it to them if it doesn't exceed expectations. Since I honestly have no way of trying one of these out with my DB, that may be the best option. Any opinions?
  19. bassame


    Mar 25, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    Go ahead, and report the results to us.
  20. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    You'll have to pay shipping, but MF is great about taking things back should they not meet your expectations. Same with Guitar Center for 30 days.

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