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Is there any love for the Bose L1 Compact?


montunoman

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You cant help notice that these are heavily advertised here on Keyboard Corner but they dont seem to have any fans. The few comments I hear about them (at least here) are negative. Personally, I own two Compacts and I really like them. I use them as mains/monitors for my OMB gigs and get lots of positive feedback from my clients/audience. I never had the general public take such notice of my speakers before. It could just that the Bose name is so well know among civilians and the unique look. I dont play in a rock band now, but I think they would work fine as stage monitors for a average rock/pop/cover type band playing typical bar and ballroom events. Perhaps a bit pricy for that application though...

 

So has anyone here played their keyboards through a pair of Compacts?

 

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I never see any ads on KC. :D

 

Having said that, I have a negative opinion about Bose the company due to their questionable nonexistent devotion to things like specs, and their relentless marketing to consumers.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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I have a negative opinion about Bose the company due to their questionable nonexistent devotion to things like specs, and their relentless marketing to consumers.

 

They also seem to have poor customer service. Our church has a Bose PA line array system and we've had some problems with one side acting up--bit of distortion at times.

 

I guess it was 3 months ago when the worship leader called the local Bose store who gave him a tech support number for service. He was unable to reach anyone there, and just got a recording. That went on for a few weeks, then he called the Bose store again who gave him another number...

 

Long story short, I don't think anyone has shown up yet to repair the speaker.

 

:rolleyes:

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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How many watts does it put out? Isn't Bose famous for being vague about that?

 

No, they've never been vague about watts - they've been vague about important stuff like SPL, frequency range, etc... :idea:

 

The original Bose 901's were listed as having an "unlimited" power handling capacity, as in they supposedly could take an infinite amount of input power. Of course, without max SPL output and sensitivity data, one would never know when the diminishing returns kicked in... :freak:

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Unlimited power back then was maybe 350 watts a side (a Phase Linear 700) so that claim was pretty safe.

 

It doesn't bother me that Bose doesn't provide specs for their stuff, because Bose products really aren't about specs. It's the sound. If you like it - good.

 

You'll never catch a sound man saying anything good about Bose, but L1's do get props from musicians doing quiet gigs because of their sound dispersal characteristics. If my praise band work wasn't voluntary I'd get a couple for that.

 

But my club gigs - no way.

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I bet they sound great! Can you carry both in one trip without difficulty?

 

Yes, that's the great thing about them and why I bought them. Yeah, for the money I could've gotten something much louder but as a solo act,I don't want to be lugging those big speakers and poles around.

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I never see any ads on KC. :D

 

Having said that, I have a negative opinion about Bose the company due to their questionable nonexistent devotion to things like specs, and their relentless marketing to consumers.

 

Yeah it so wierd to see the L1 advertised here on KB Corner AND News Week Magazine.

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Unlimited power back then was maybe 350 watts a side (a Phase Linear 700) so that claim was pretty safe.

 

Actually, in the mid-80's, when I was first getting interested in stereo equipment, Bose was still claiming unlimited power handling capacity, and Carver was putting out amplifiers that could deal 1800 watts per side.

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How many watts does it put out? Isn't Bose famous for being vague about that?
Watts are a meaningless spec for a powered speaker. SPL is what normally matters, but the way the normal L1's radiate (nearly cylindrically rather than spherically), the system would seem louder at a distance than the SPL level would seem to indicate (dacaying inversely more than than inverse square).

 

Still, I wish they published the SPL.

 

Regarding customer service: I bought a pair of 802's back in the early 80's. 3 or 4 years later one developed a crackling sound when it was cold. Took it to the pro shop where I bought it and it took them quite a while to figure out that it was temp-related, and just needed a wirewrap re-wrapped on one speaker terminal. No charge. One data point, but at least, a good one.

 

Unfortunately, there really aren't many pro shops any more.

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I personally can't stand the way Bose advertises. It seems so demeaning to the end user... kinda like the Apple dimwits who think that just because they're paying 50% more that the end result is 50% better...

 

At the same time, I own a Bose PAS and played a gig once where the sound quality totally knocked my socks off. It was just an acoustic guitar running though a reverb unit and then into the Bose. I'd never heard anything like it before that point. I've used it in other settings where it doesn't stand up to what Bose says it is supposed to do. Like not being so good for a loud onstage acoustic sound. It tends to feedback before getting loud enough.

 

Stephen

 

 

 

 

.

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Unlimited power back then was maybe 350 watts a side (a Phase Linear 700) so that claim was pretty safe.

 

Actually, in the mid-80's, when I was first getting interested in stereo equipment, Bose was still claiming unlimited power handling capacity, and Carver was putting out amplifiers that could deal 1800 watts per side.

 

My first keyboard rig was a Phase Linear 400 Series II and two Bose 800s. I popped fuses every night and sold the Bose at my first opportunity.

9 Moog things, 3 Roland things, 2 Hammond things and a computer with stuff on it

 

 

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... I'd never heard anything like it before that point. I've used it in other settings where it doesn't stand up to what Bose says it is supposed to do..

 

Interested in hearing more if you're still subscribed to this thread.

 

The L1 Compact is £899 here in the UK - about the price of two EV ZXA1s (which are each double the price of the Mackie Thumps discussed on another thread).

 

I like the look of the Bose system for the folk work I've on.

 

Would this also be suitable to set up at home as your music system? I'm not clear if it's mono or stereo for the mp3 inputs - I had assumed mono when I saw the original L1 series(and too expensive for me then).

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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You need two compacts to play in stereo. They would be great for a home system.

 

Not really. The line array aspect would turn the average living room into a reflection hell. You'd have so many nulls and dropouts in frequency response it'd be a miserable listening experience.

 

Griffinator--any experience with Bill Fitzmaurice's DYI systems? He's designed arrays for home listening or gigging. Haven't heard one, but the guy seems knowledgeable. (See his sla home theater/pa mains and tlah models.) His point of view would seem to contradict yours.

 

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The purpose for dipole and/or array-style systems is to expand the "sweet spot" of the listening area by spreading the sound in multiple directions. This is fine for gigging applications - in fact, it's ideal for stereo PA, because it increases the likelihood that all audience members will be able to hear both channels relatively equally.

 

Dipole surround systems (a la the Bose Acoustimessmass *ahem* sorry) work in much the same fashion. They work okay for home theater applications, because frequency-perfect accuracy isn't necessarily the goal in home theater, just impressive surround effects.

 

Even on Bill's website, he refers to these as Home Theater speakers, not for critical stereo music listening applications.

 

A line array sacrifices accuracy for spread. It's simple physics.

 

He lists one speaker designed for stereo pair listening - the "David". It's a dual midrange driver system with a sub and a single tweeter - a far cry from a line array.

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@Griff and montuno man.

 

Thanks. That's very helpful for me. Doubling as a home music system brought it down to "maybe" for me but I want stereo at home - I know it's 2011 but I still want to hear Floyd and Page's crazy ping pong 70s things bounce dance across the room.

 

If I get to try one locally (L1 Compact) I'll post back with my piano/folk gig report. Holding off for now.

 

O/T Got chatting to some suits from Tennants (brewery) and Scottish & Southern (Energy Company). I learned that both pay Google to notify them when someone does a search for their companys or brands - and they have people reading posts to see what's being said online about them.

 

Wondered if Bose do the same.

 

@Bose if you're reading this - I understand the pricing of the home stuff for the "aspirational & lifestyle" customers you target.

 

On behalf of working musicians everywhere - most of us are on modest incomes. Can you drop the price of the musician stuff?

 

We're a different customer base. Your lifestyle and aspirational customers see us up on stage and think we're cool. They approach us after gigs with stories of their teenage years in bands. They tell us how much they'd like to do what we do rather than number crunch or engage in morally ambiguous legal wrangles on behalf of clients.

 

Drop the price of our musician stuff. We're good advertising for you. We bring them the magic of live music and all the images and associations that conjures for them.

 

We'll use you every night and still respect you in the morning.

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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You need two compacts to play in stereo. They would be great for a home system.

 

Not really. The line array aspect would turn the average living room into a reflection hell. You'd have so many nulls and dropouts in frequency response it'd be a miserable listening experience.

 

That's wierd- I've played lot's of house parties (both Keys/vocals and recorded music) and they sounded great. I got lots of compliments too. No "reflection hell" at all.

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I think the major complaint about Bose is that they are over priced for what they do. There are numerous other products on the market that will provide more bang for the buck.

 

As far as specs, watts, SPL, my tech told me that he looks at "continuous sine wave" information to determine how much power a given speaker enclosure can handle. Anything over that is risky.

 

A few years ago, I heard an acoustic guitar player using an L1 system for his guitar and his vocals. It sounded great without being in your face or too loud, even when sitting 3 or 4 feet away for him. However, as the room started to fill up, he got lost in the background noise of the room. He could have used a second L1 system and he might have had a chance of keeping up. However, at the price of the L1 system, it would take him years to get a ROI. (return on investment) Musicians pay hasn't really gone up much in the last 30 years. Bose is not a bargain basement system.

 

 

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.

 

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You need two compacts to play in stereo. They would be great for a home system.

 

Not really. The line array aspect would turn the average living room into a reflection hell. You'd have so many nulls and dropouts in frequency response it'd be a miserable listening experience.

 

That's wierd- I've played lot's of house parties (both Keys/vocals and recorded music) and they sounded great. I got lots of compliments too. No "reflection hell" at all.

 

:facepalm:

 

Someone tell me now if I should just constantly check this thread for anecdotal arguments against the physics of acoustics, k?

 

A room full of people (house party) will absorb most of the reflections generated by the line array. A room full of people is the reason you need a line array in the first place, because those closest to the speakers block sound transmission to people farther away.

 

One or two people in a room? Nothing blocking sound transmission. Sound bounces all over walls. Frequencies cancel. Comb filtering happens. Physics, people. Physics.

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I've played through the Bose L1 a few times at gigs where the restaurant had them set up and at rehearsals where the singer had some L1's in his studio.

 

Played digital piano through them in stereo and they sounded great. For acoustic piano, acoustic guitar and vocals they sound really good. We were playing jazz trio stuff quietly in a restaurant and jazz stuff with the singer so we were playing on the quiet side. I don't know how these would hold up playing rock loud enough for a club with B3 and synth bass. But for piano and vocals at comfortable levels it sounded sweet. Of course they are fairly pricey too. BTW I played in stereo. I leave mono for the pros.

 

 

D

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I think the major complaint about Bose is that they are over priced for what they do. There are numerous other products on the market that will provide more bang for the buck.

 

You can't get a discount on their gear either--like with those 15% off coupons from Guitar Center. Bose stuff is the same price wherever you look, at least from what I've experienced.

 

:taz:

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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Yeah, I remember hearing an ad for the original Bose Wave Radio. I made a comment on line that Bose was the only company that offered an installment payment plan for a freakin' radio.

 

Good equipment, WAY too much money for what it does.

 

 

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.

 

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Well, there's physics, and then there's personal preference.

 

Griff, Bose 901's would fall by the same sword: lots of reflections. But those babies sounded great (if you could find the magic spot in the room for each speaker -- NOooooo, don't move it an inch or rotate it a few degrees!)

 

Accurate? hell no. But a lovely image? A lot of people thought so. I bet the L1's could sound great (to SOME) in the right rooms at the right places. Physics be damned! :laugh:

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