I am a student at the University of Delaware, and as such certain oppurtunities come along that allow me to try new things. For example, the new line of amps by Bose. The father of a UD student happens to be a salesperson for these things, and did a presentation last Friday. Lucky ol' me got to sit in as the bassist for the ensemble that demonstrated these babies. The system works like this. A base, about the shape of a cymbal vault and sized somewhat larger, holds a pre-power setup and input/output section, as well as holding the mid-high frequency tower, consisting of two sets of 12 vertically aligned 5" drivers, one stacked on top of the other. 2 subwoofers, which had (I believe) 2 6.5" woofers, provided the bass. The preamp section has 4 channels. 2 of these channels (1 and 2) have a gain control and accept either XLR or 1/4" ins (in the same jack). The EQ? in a wired remote, which can be placed on a music stand or other elevated device. 3 band fixed frequency (the guy said 120 hz, 1.5 kHz, and 12 kHz, but he didn't sound like he was sure so don't take my word for it), with a level control for each channel and an overall master volume. So, for instance, if you are running bass and backup vocals through one of these sytems, you have a three band EQ and level control for each channel. Vocals too soft? Turn 'em up to match your bass signal. Channels 1 and 2 also have an XLR out to run to a house PA when playing in a large club. Channels 3 and 4 have a 1/4" in. I didn't mess with these so I can't say much about 'em. Other ins and outs exist in the base as well. The coolest thing about the preamp? Presets. Presets for all different types of microphones, guitars, basses (an upright preset, three active bass presets, one for a vintage jazz and one for a vintage p) etc., optimize the eq pre-curve for the best possible sound with the controls set flat. Finding a good eq for a room is almost as simple as finding the right preset. Doubler? Run your upright through Channel 1 with the upright preset and your electric through channel two using another preset and you've got a separate EQ and level control for each bass. Cool, huh? So how do these things sound? Well, let me say this: they are the highest of the hi-fi. The sound you hear is more like what you would hear on a CD than anything else. The sound is painstakingly flat, if not a little scooped in the mids to compensate for how the human ear naturally perceives sound. The amazing thing about these amps is that they sound virtually the same no matter where one is standing in the room. The mid-high frequency tower is designed to disperse sound at a 180 degree angle from where it is oriented, rather than projecting the sound prominently forward. I was situated in the back center of the stage, the drummer to my left, the pianist to my right, and the two instrumentalists were in front of me. The mix I heard was like nothing I have ever heard, not even through a personal in ear monitor system. I could hear everything. EVERYTHING! And it was all CRYSTAL CLEAR! Now the cons. These things need to be set up right to work. the ensemble I played in (flute/vocals, piano, electric bass, drums) played two songs. Piano went through one 2 subwoofer system, on the left side of the stage against the back wall, winds and vocals through a 1 sub system, in the center against the back wall, and bass through the other 2 sub system, toward the right side of the stage against the back wall. As we went on, it took some time to adjust the levels to get everything blended just right. My drummer complained of not being able to hear me, even though my system was placed no more than 10 feet behind him! Now before you bash these things, the acoustics of my college recital hall aren't bad. They suck. Terribly. The music department ran of funding for the hall and it ended up being finished smaller that it was designed to be, so it's dead spot central in there. Overall, these thing are definitely worth taking a look at. An amp that can function not only as a personal monitor, but an overall stage monitor AND small/medium sized PA is in my book, one hell of a great new technology. -Scott P.S. Bose did not pay me to write this. I just really think these things are cool.