Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Bose L1 Compact VS. K8


bhodaway10

Recommended Posts

My sax player and I went looking for a way for him to amplify himself and to run vocals through it (mostly talking). Unfortunately, we were only running an ipod through the ones we tested.

 

We first looked at the Roland AC90. I've heard good things about it being great for acoustic piano and from what I heard, it was really clean. It sounded very nice compared to the Roland KC series that I loathe. :) The bass response was obviously lacking seeing that there was only 2 8's and 2 tweeters. Like most combo amps, a mixer was not needed because it had tons of inputs/outputs/etc. List price was $799.

 

Then we went to GC and looked at the Bose L1 Compact. The base unit of the L1 compact seemed lighter than the Roland but reading the internet specs, they're very similar. The packaging of the unit was very nice and I liked how you didn't need to use a typical tripod stand. With all of the extensions, it was just over 6 feet tall. However, if you wanted, you could just use the top "speaker portion" and put the enclosure on a table.

 

http://www.crunchgear.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/l1_compact_keyboardist-11.jpg

 

One of the most surprising things about the device was that when we stood to the side of the unit about 12 feet away, we were still able to hear the music pretty clear. A mixer isn't needed with this unless you're running more than two channels.

 

We then tried the QSC K8 speaker. For such a small speaker, the output was pretty substantial. The bass response wasn't as strong as the L1. Also, standing to the side, it didn't has much of an array of sound as the L1.

 

Unfortunately, the GC we went to did not have the K10 or K12 to compare. Those probably have more bottom end than the Bose and might sound even better.

 

Price wise, the QSC seem to win - $799 for the K12 and even less for the K10 and K8.

 

Size wise, the Bose wins because the size is less than the QSC series and you wouldn't need to bring a separate PA stand.

 

They both have a mini mixer in the back - super convenient.

 

Sound wise....it's incomplete. I would have taken the Bose over the K8 that day but hearing the K10 and K12 might make a big sonic difference. But the size of the K10/K12 is much more.

 

In the end, I think Bose hit a home run with this system. It's sleek, light weight, and it's also great sounding. Too bad it's $$ and it's not stereo!

 

 

 

 

www.brianho.net

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/brianho

www.youtube.com/brianhojazz

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 43
  • Created
  • Last Reply
You could get two Bose, and run stereo - I'm sure somebody has tried that, even though it is $$$$. It is too bad that, given that the Bose drivers alternate facing left and right in the L1 enclosure, that they didn't at least offer the option to run in stereo within one L1.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could get two Bose, and run stereo - I'm sure somebody has tried that, even though it is $$$$. It is too bad that, given that the Bose drivers alternate facing left and right in the L1 enclosure, that they didn't at least offer the option to run in stereo within one L1.

 

Line arrays were never designed to run stereo out of one pole. The design philosophy is to ensure that all members of the audience can hear the same thing, whether that's using two lines in stereo or a single mono line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I reported early on listening to a local jazz vocalist (a very good vocalist!) singing through the Bose system (not the Bose Compact but the one that runs about $1700--I think the L1). There was some compression to her voice, but frankly the thing was great...this was a very large restaurant and it didn't matter where I walked, I could hear her voice crisply; no where was it too loud or overly penetrating. For jazz, it was great. The backing trio was separately amped. The keyboard player had a larger Roland KC amp and the bass player (upright), I think, was on a high end GK compact amp. Bass rounded OK through the room--it seems so easy to amp bass--but the keys were not good--loud and harsh near stage, quick drop off everywhere else. Drums, of course, were unamped.

 

I suppose that like all the equipment discussed here, it's a matter of what kind of music you perform, the volume you perform at, and the kind of venue (not to mention price and portability issues). I wouldn't knock the Bose as an option at all--based on what I heard from the vocalist, I would much prefer to have heard the rest of the band with similar "presence" in the room: audible everywhere, not too loud, reasonably good fidelity (if a bit compressed). I might add--these players were great. Keyboardist, a young guy, is just stellar.

 

Since I do similar gigs (albeit w/less skill), for now, the Bose Compact is in my short shopping list to replace my 2 Gallien Krueger MK200s. Also on the list, based on what I've read: 2 QSC K10s, the Roland SA300 (like the AC90 mentioned above but with a sub), and, pending reviews by early adapters, the BagAmp system, which may put out more volume than the Bose. The Bose would become a possibility for me, though, only if I get a different keyboard w/a mono patch.

 

Sorry to hijack--someone will certailny bring this back!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There were some on-going discussions on Harmony-Central about the Bose Line-Array system. I agree with VLH about "what music you perform, the volume you perform at, and the kind of venue" price and portability issues as the determining factors when considering their system.

 

Some time ago, I listened to a solo guitarist/vocalist that one L1 and the bass cabinet in a "medium size" club. When there were 40 to 60 people in the room, it sounded great! Clear, clean vocals and a crisp acoustic guitar sound. However, when the club started to fill up, the noise of the crowd and the number of people in the room just absorbed the sound. I walked to the other end of the club to listen and could hardly hear him when the size of the crowd more than doubled.

 

The traditional directional speaker cabinets have to point somewhere and can blast out the people that are in front and close up to the speaker cabinets, while leaving areas of a club where the people can hardly hear the music at all.

 

So, there's no canned approach or a do-it-all system out there than can handle every application. I'd say the Bose system is designed for the context VLH described. If you are going to play a large room with a big crowd, you would also need a very large bank account to buy enough Bose speakers and bass cabinets to do an adequate job. That's the biggest beef about Bose, $$$ bang for the buck it is not.

 

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never used them. A gal who used to post in the guitar forum a lot was a beta tester for them and she swears by them. There was a discussion by some audio pros on another board, guys that I know and trust, who basically hated them and said that they were unusable except in the most specific circumstances. From my quick look at the system, they claim to be able to defy physics. That usually doesn't work. So before I ran out and bought them, I'd make sure that I could return them if they did not work for me.

 

Generally speaking, I've never liked the sound of Bose, though I had a pair of 802s that worked for my coffee house gigs. But with acoustic guitar and voice, I wasn't asking too much of them, either.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I reported early on listening to a local jazz vocalist (a very good vocalist!) singing through the Bose system (not the Bose Compact but the one that runs about $1700--I think the L1). There was some compression to her voice, but frankly the thing was great...this was a very large restaurant and it didn't matter where I walked, I could hear her voice crisply; no where was it too loud or overly penetrating. For jazz, it was great.

 

I, like VLH, play jazz. All of the tunes we ran into the Bose were not rock and roll music but our original recordings and similar jazz tunes. I do think that for a large rock band, this setup wouldn't work. However, it's integrated system is unparalleled.

 

What I like about modern gear is that has gotten lighter and more portable while the tone has gotten fatter. The new QSC's are a great example.

 

it's a matter of what kind of music you perform, the volume you perform at, and the kind of venue (not to mention price and portability

 

Great quote...

 

 

www.brianho.net

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/brianho

www.youtube.com/brianhojazz

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Roland SA 300 has served me quite well. It's not perfect (has an audialbe hiss and the stereo effect lacks)

But it is supper portable, more than enough volume for everything I do. I'm glad I bought it and will always keep it, but I hope to eventually get some good power speakers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a Fishman Soloamp I use for acoustic guitar and vocals. I have been very pleased with the amp.very clean sound and a few dollars cheaper than the Bose system. I got it on sale at MF for around $800.00 back in early December. It was really made for solo acoustic guitar and vocals and I use it now for vocals while playing my keyboard but I can see it working for other senarios as well. I just didnt like the keyboard sound through this amp. It has 2 EQ channels and 200 watts with various other i/os. After a little break in, the sound has really opened up. I have used it gigging with others and it has held up finevery light. I can carry my guitar, mic stand, backpack and this amp in its carry bag in one easy trip. I think the amp and bag is about 35 lbs.
Roland RD 700G, AccuGroove Tri-112-L's, QSC PLX 1804, Traynor K4, Fishman SoloAmp, Taylor 510.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a Fishman Soloamp I use for acoustic guitar and vocals. I have been very pleased with the amp.very clean sound and a few dollars cheaper than the Bose system.

 

Loueasy, sometime could you try plugging one channel into the Fishman and another into your standard keyboard amp? I think the l/r channel on most keyboards tends to carry the low end more...my thinking is that one channel into the Fishman (or Bose Compact or BagAmp) and one into a separate amp might give the close range stere sound plus the travel of an array.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fishman was a bass player in a band in Boston with me years ago. He'd say, "yeah, I've got this pickup design I'm still working on." :) Little did I know it would become the standard for years.

 

OK... Bose makes the most controversial, outside the box stuff. People either love it and are happy with it, or hate it and rant about it. I'm neither.

 

It totally depends on the product and the application of it. Their L1 pole sounded fantastic for my old Roland FP5 and for some mono instruments, and terrible for the stereo 700SX or GX, creating brittle highs in the higher resolution stereo piano sample.

 

They don't release their specs which irks people. An engineer friend did a spec test on the Wave System which confirms what I was hearing. Those Wave systems do "defy physics" by producing lows and mids you usually only hear in large wood cabinets. But they produce virtually no highs, so you imagine you hear the highs. Realistic mids have advantages for a piano sound, as those with Accugrooves know.

 

I'm happy with my custom setup of Bose Wave Systems, paired with a signal boost and additional EQ. So I'm in some discussion with Bose about a possible piano sample oriented keyboard amp design. (We'll see if/where that goes.) Of course, for guitar players, it's of no interest, but stereo piano samples can benefit from the system, although a purpose for which it was never intended.

 

Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the L1/L2 poles, unless you're running mono. If you're doing stereo, I'd recommend the K12's or Accugrooves, and the EVA 360's next.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

by SK:

 

They don't release their specs which irks people. An engineer friend did a spec test on the Wave System which confirms what I was hearing. Those Wave systems do "defy physics" by producing lows and mids you usually only hear in large wood cabinets. But they produce virtually no highs, so you imagine you hear the highs. Realistic mids have advantages for a piano sound, as those with Accugrooves know.

 

You only "imagine" you hear the highs! That's pretty funny, actually. I've always thought of Bose as "Mid range speakers", so your information all makes sense. Maybe my imagination isn't as good as others because I never heard any highs. :D Bose are fine for vocals and acoustic guitars because those are mid range frequencies, as luck would have it. As the old saying goes "there are no highs, there are no lows, hmm.....it must be BOSE".

 

My only complaint is they are too expensive for what the do. I'd take EAW cabinets over anything Bose builds in a heartbeat.

 

Mike T.

 

 

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I own two 802's (Series II along with the 802-C System Controller) and from the Bose website re the 802s Series III the frequency range is stated as 55 to 16k ± 3 db. That's pretty flat for a loudspeaker.

 

http://pro.bose.com/pdf/pro/tech_data/panaray_802/td_panaray_802.pdf

 

I don't own stock in the company; I've just used their 802s for 15 years privately and almost 20 years or so in the military. I have never found them lacking in lows or highs. I worked with a bass player who used two 802s for his upright bass in a big band and he loved them.

 

On the other hand, every time I hear a band or DJ using a powered speaker the sound is always painfully bright.

 

I've used my 802s on rare occasions as home stereo speakers and never felt they were lacking when all kinds of recorded music when through them.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dave, the spec check was done on the Wave system. I'm sure the 802's have plenty of highs - I know the L1 poles have a ton of highs.

 

Lacking highs on the Wave System - for piano - is a good thing. My internal speakers provide just enough highs, and it sounds like a piano - period.

 

Extreme highs in most powered speakers and keyboard amps is why piano sample's usually sound bad through them. Pianos... are usually a mesh of mid and low frequencies, with not many highs.

 

Mike T., you're right, they are overpriced. I got two off Ebay for much less than the price of a new one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took the no highs, no lows, it must be Bose as a smear against all Bose products.

 

It's not extreme highs per se that make a piano sound bad through a system, it's the deviation from 'flat' that colors everything bright, dull ... or just plain bad; stating the frequency range without stating the deviation from 0db is worthless (as I know you'll agree).

 

(The highest note on a piano is only 4186 hz ... and I'm guessing the overtones in that region are very quiet.)

 

 

 

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah Dave, the No highs, no lows, is a smear about Bose. Bose has been building over priced equipment as long as I can remember. Ever price a Wave Radio? Get real. However, if you use some Bose speakers for what they are best suited for, they work fine. I know a guitarist that has a pair of 802's too, he plays guitar and vocals through them and they sound great. He's had them for about 20 years. He said the only drawback of them is they are were expensive and they are require a lot of watts of power. However, they are rock solid.

 

Personally, I don't care for small speakers in small cabinets. I still use traditional cabinets, 15" woofer with a HF horn in a fair size wooden cabinet. I would prefer to use a 3 way speaker system, but I really can't afford the set of EAW cabinets that ITGITC owns. HF horns can be annoying to people up front. A soft dome tweeter is better in smaller rooms because they are better for near field applications, e.g. small or medium size clubs, which is primarily where I gig, when I do play somewhere.

 

Don't take offense to my little smear, its all in fun. Bose builds good quality gear, but they're not for me.

 

 

Cheers,

 

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

However, they are rock solid.

 

In the military we would play bowling for Bose when the guys in charge were not looking. We'd sling the 802s on a hardwood floor and save the carrying distance to the stage. Oh the good ol' days.

 

I still get a kick from the design of the exterior of the 802s. It's redundant to buy flight cases for them. I've dropped my own 802s on occasion and never worried about any damage. They are indestructible though, as you mentioned, they do require a powerful amp.

 

Everything's a trade off. If you use the Altec Lansing Voice of The Theater you can drive it to painful levels using a very small amp. The Voice of The Theater just won't fit in my car though.

 

 

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

by Dave Horne:

 

The Voice of The Theater just won't fit in my car though

 

That IS very annoying, isn't it? A band I played in back in the seventies had a set of those cabinets. OK for the time period, but HUGE.

 

I never tried your version of bowling, but it sounds like FUN!

 

 

Cheers,

 

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill, they were over-sized monstrosities. But back in those days, they were better than the other speaker cabinets available.

 

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Voice of the Hernia" - I remember those horrible cabinets.

 

I was in a rock band back then that had 4 of them. At least we had roadies. I remember one time trying to reposition one, until I realized there was no way to even grab hold of it.

 

Sorry bhodaway... I'm sure Voice Of The Theater wasn't on your mind when you started the thread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Voice of the theater pic :

 

http://www.highdecibel.com/hdimages/Jam%20Room.jpg

 

Wow....just wow....

 

I wasn't planning to use the bose L1 as a keyboard amp - this is for my sax player's PA and I was thinking we could run vocals through it (we don't sing but we do talk frequently to the audience.)

 

I'm all for sound/performance over looks but I do think that the look and convenience of the bose systems are very nice.

www.brianho.net

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/brianho

www.youtube.com/brianhojazz

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill, they were over-sized monstrosities. But back in those days, they were better than the other speaker cabinets available.

 

 

Mike T.

 

'more popular' would be a better statement. There were plenty of better cabinets. Altec had amazing market penetration.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill, they were over-sized monstrosities. But back in those days, they were better than the other speaker cabinets available.

 

 

Mike T.

 

'more popular' would be a better statement. There were plenty of better cabinets. Altec had amazing market penetration.

 

Klipsch Industrial LaScalas come immediately to mind. Clean, powerful, balanced, tight bass response, and yeah, they could run at ear-blistering volumes on a tiny amp too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...