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post #1 of 30 Old 11-24-2013, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Fellow AV Geeks,

I currently use a Bose Cinemate 2.1 audio system (keep your groans to yourselves, please..) on one of my HTPC's. The quality is really very good, but I've become dissatisfied with a few other things. My first complaint is that the speakers just shut off after 30 minutes if there is no signal, so you have to turn them back on. Another complaint is that there is an optical port and analog ports, but no HDMI (which means, they cannot be controlled with CEC). I am trying to make my system a little more user friendly, so I'm thinking of selling them and going with a different set of speakers.

My primary use is music.

Requirements are:

1. They must sound great.
2. 2.1 only. I do not have the room for a 5.1 system.
3. HDMI connectivity with CEC compatibility.

I am just starting my research into this. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 30 Old 11-24-2013, 04:05 PM
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What's your budget ? What size speakers ?

You can get a pretty awesome pair of speakers for $800 DIY. Probably the best you or anyone you know would ever hear.

Is DIY an option ? $1000 in DIY is like $5000+ in mfg made in terms of sound quality.

Imaging so good you'll swear you have a center channel speaker on dialog. Dynamic sound you simply can't buy in retail speakers.

Check out something simple like 6.5 " or 8" or you can go all the way with a 12" and deep crossed over horn.


Any traditional AVR should support your HDMI requirement.

DIY subwoofers are clearly better. Miles better in every way possible. Really a huge difference better. At same price points it's no contest. Of coarse many only want to spend $500 on a subwoofer and you can do this on a DIY kit but to get equal bass from mfg OEM your looking at $2000+ too.

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post #3 of 30 Old 11-24-2013, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

What's your budget ? What size speakers ?

You can get a pretty awesome pair of speakers for $800 DIY. Probably the best you or anyone you know would ever hear.

Is DIY an option ? $1000 in DIY is like $5000+ in mfg made in terms of sound quality.

Imaging so good you'll swear you have a center channel speaker on dialog. Dynamic sound you simply can't buy in retail speakers.

Check out something simple like 6.5 " or 8" or you can go all the way with a 12" and deep crossed over horn.


Any traditional AVR should support your HDMI requirement.

DIY subwoofers are clearly better. Miles better in every way possible. Really a huge difference better. At same price points it's no contest. Of coarse many only want to spend $500 on a subwoofer and you can do this on a DIY kit but to get equal bass from mfg OEM your looking at $2000+ too.

Well, the Cinemate system ran about $650, so I guess that's my budget. One of the appealing things for me about the Cinemate is the small footprint. The system is in use in my living room and space is at a premium. I would like to replicate the big sound I get from the relatively small package size of the Bose. Adding DFX audio enhancer to this system produces audio that nearly rivals my primary 5.1 theater system.

This system is used primarily for live TV (kids shows, the news, etc..), Music and the occasional movie. Music is the biggest priority here. I save the 5.1 stuff for my dedicated home theater.

Finally, WAF is a big deal here. I use a kludge of autohotkey scripts to switch the audio output between the Bose and the TV's built in speakers. It works fine for me, but my wife has a tough time with it. I really want to be able to turn the speakers on and off along with the TV and not have to fiddle with the audio outputs. My harmony remotes probably have the ability to do these things, but I haven't put in the time to figure that out yet.
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post #4 of 30 Old 11-24-2013, 07:16 PM
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Head on over to the speaker forum but I suggest HTD.. Home Theater Direct. I have the Flat Panels for the LCR sound Stage and the Midis for the surround and rear. I have a Polk PSW1 Sub. All together this was about $1000 for a 7.1 system plus another $600 for the AVR 2312ci.

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post #5 of 30 Old 11-27-2013, 11:45 AM
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Hi,
There is a general hatred for Bose everywhere you go on the internet. Personally I don't understand the reasons why. There seems to be a lot of people out there who think that they know more about acoustics and engineering then Degree Engineers at a major American corporation.

Ok I don't hate Bose, frankly I have enjoyed my Bose 901's for over 35 years. There are other speakers I auditioned before I purchased my 901s, but at the end of the day, the 901s came out on top. Today my home theater system consists of some old and new components. The oldest component is a Nakamichi 700. The newest component is a Emotiva UMC-200.

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post #6 of 30 Old 11-27-2013, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Bruce Embry View Post

Hi,
There is a general hatred for Bose everywhere you go on the internet. Personally I don't understand the reasons why.

It's because with a very few exceptions, they cost way, way too much for what you get, and you can get equivalent or better sound for a lot less money. Bose is basically built on (these days at least) selling their name and the myth that they are doing something really special to make really good sound. In reality all they really do is make things that sound, better than one might expect for it's size.
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There seems to be a lot of people out there who think that they know more about acoustics and engineering then Degree Engineers at a major American corporation.

It's not that, it's that there are other corporations/companies that do as good of, or even better jobs and sell their products for less money. The "hatred" comes from the idea perpetuated (by Bose marketing) that by buying Bose you're getting the best you can get, when in reality you're paying a premium price for something of average performance.
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Ok I don't hate Bose, frankly I have enjoyed my Bose 901's for over 35 years. There are other speakers I auditioned before I purchased my 901s, but at the end of the day, the 901s came out on top. Today my home theater system consists of some old and new components. The oldest component is a Nakamichi 700. The newest component is a Emotiva UMC-200.

You've obviously done your homework which is more than (I get the impression at least) most Bose customers do, and that's great. I've heard nothing but good things about the 901's but it looks like they came out in 1968 (nothing wrong with that) and in the time since Bose has turned from an audio technology company into a marketing machine. I've heard good things about their noise cancelling headphones too, but when it comes to home theater systems or "radios", you can do a lot better, or spend a lot less if you don't fall for Bose's marketing myth.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #7 of 30 Old 11-27-2013, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Bruce Embry View Post

Hi,
There is a general hatred for Bose everywhere you go on the internet. Personally I don't understand the reasons why. There seems to be a lot of people out there who think that they know more about acoustics and engineering then Degree Engineers at a major American corporation.

Ok I don't hate Bose, frankly I have enjoyed my Bose 901's for over 35 years. There are other speakers I auditioned before I purchased my 901s, but at the end of the day, the 901s came out on top. Today my home theater system consists of some old and new components. The oldest component is a Nakamichi 700. The newest component is a Emotiva UMC-200.
The reason is quite simple. Bose is a great Engineering company, but they know nothing about accurate sound reproduction. They can get very impressive sound from small boxes, which is where they excel. What these small boxes output is nothing close to realistic sound. They can play loud and wide, but not accurate.

I owned a set of the original Bose 901's back in the early to mid 70's. Once I was exposed to some high quality speakers with accurate sound reproduction and staging I couldn't wait to unload my 901's. I traded them in on a pair of brand new Dahlquist DQ-10's, and I literally had to beg the dealer to take the 901's as a trade-in. I have since owned speakers by Magneplanar, Vandersteen, and currently, Definitive Technology. Suffice it to say that there are countless brands of speakers that will run rings around any Bose speaker ever made.

The 901's could play as loud as anything I had ever heard, but the imaging was non-existent. There's no way you can get pinpoint staging of the artists and musical instruments when you face sixteen 4-inch speakers in different directions with two more of them facing towards you. The phase interactions alone caused all sorts of problems. The musicians were literally splattered all over the rear wall of the listening room with no discernible distinction of their locations relative to the original sound stage. The speakers were heavily equalized to achieve anything close to a balanced sound from top to bottom. The sound was extremely colored as a result and never sounded natural. I liked them because I really had no clue how to listen to music.

Bose developed other models using their Direct-Reflecting technology. As one would expect, they also exhibited no imaging that was even remotely close to reality. More recently they designed the Lifestyle system and numerous spinoffs that used pairs of small cubed speakers that were attached to each other and could pivot in different directions. They use a separate subwoofer in a satellite arrangement. The small speakers are intended for use as front, center, and surround in a 5.1 setup. As one would expect, with the high frequency drivers facing in different directions from the same point, the imaging went to hell in a handbasket.

Bose is popular because they advertised their products so heavily to the point where it became a household brand that everyone recognized. (Monster Cable is another such over-hyped product line.) When uneducated people hear the name, they recognize it and therefore believe it must be a good brand. Educated audiophiles know better, which is why there is always such a strong response when someone mentions they have purchased a Bose product. "Bose" is truly a four-letter word to any educated audiophile.

I met a salesperson in a record store down in Boca Raton, FL, back in the mid 70's where they also sold a few brands of audio equipment, mostly ones I had never heard of or been exposed to previously. When I first set foot in the store, one of the sales people put on a record that stopped me dead in my tracks. The sound was going through an Audio Research SP-3 tube preamp and an Audio Research D76 tube power amp that fed a pair of Magneplanar Tympani 1C loudspeakers that looked like room dividers. The record was playing on a Thorens TD-125 turntable and tonearm with a Bang and Olufsen SP-12 moving magnet cartridge. I remember it so vividly because I eventually got the same turntable, phono cartridge, and preamp. The sound was so real I could swear The Pointer Sisters were right there in the room with me. It literally gave me goosebumps. Before I left the store, I was provided with an education that I will always be grateful for. I learned that there were far more things in the music that I had been missing because I never knew what to listen for. Once I understood what quality reproduction could do for me I quickly soured on my 901's. Unfortunately, I was still in college at the time so I had to suffer with them for a while longer until I finished school and got a job.

If you like your 901's or other Bose speakers, I implore you NOT to visit any quality audio salon and audition a set of high end speakers while being educated on musical listening by a trained salesperson. Your love for Bose speakers can quickly turn to hate once you've been exposed to quality sound reproduction. Untrained ears tend to make bad buying decisions.

OTOH, getting addicted to high end audio can make you neurotic and ruin your bank account. I still love music, but don't listen to it anywhere near as intently as I used to. I got to where I was so tuned to the sound of the hardware that I lost sight of the music. Decades have passed and I'm much better now. I've gotten to where I now tell people to buy what sounds good to them since they're the ones that have to listen to it. Still, you can do yourself a favor and improve your listening enjoyment by getting better educated. You don't have to delve into the high end market for quality sound because there are a lot of great sounding components at reasonable prices. High end technology and sound quality has definitely trickled down into the mainstream consumer products and they're better than ever before. Sorry, but Bose just doesn't happen to fall into this category.
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post #8 of 30 Old 11-27-2013, 01:47 PM
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Bose is about athtetics, and WAF factors. They use paper cones, cheap parts... and really don't have a ton of quality behind the parts and MFG. They do have good audio engineers, and they do have good looks. They also specialize in products the compromise sound quality / accuracy / dynamics with looking good, or fitting in a certain place. So they are appealing to many people who's primary concern is how they will work in their room from the perspective of how they look rather than how they will sound.

There is nothing wrong with this at all. If someone care more about how the speakers look, or fit in a room more than how they sound BOSE is a good option than can deliver acceptable sound and fulfill the other things important to the buyer. I think the only reason they get beat up so much is because the high end folks (the kinds of dudes on AVS) know they really do not sound as good, play as loud, have a low distortion, have as good dynamics, or anywhere near as flat and accurate as enthusiast grade speakers. That is a fact.

It's all related to how BOSE sets up their products. They don't want to make them ruler flat in freq response, rather a dip in the midbass where the small drivers fall off and the sub doesn't reach up is ok. Or- running the sub on some models higher than you should and producing sound localization seems ok with them too. Bose sets up what sounds "good" to normal folks... which is often not flat. It's got peaks and valleys in the response- and they fall off on the top end (they almost never hit 20,000hz) But it sounds good to normal folks so who am I to tell them it is not ???

It's like an SSD vs a HDD. I tell folks all the time the HDD isn't the same thing but they seem happy and think it's good. My dad doesn't seem to care his PC is slow. Half the people in this country have hearing damage anyways (I do) and don't even know it.

Bose makes a good product and people that buy them seem happy with them. That's really all that matters.


Back on track,

It doesn't sound like you want to do a DIY option - they might be too big and ugly for what you are looking for. They are usually standard sized rectangle MDF boxes, and while you could polish them up piano gloss finish it's a lot of work. Most of the guys are hiding them behind AT screens, but some of the DIY have done some really nice finishes. Building your own will yeild by far the best bang for you buck, and if you buy a well designed DIY kit like the ones from DIYsoundgroup you would get results better than any speaker you probably would consider buying.

On the cheap people really seem to like this: http://www.diysoundgroup.com/speaker-kits/os-speaker-kit.html


Also the Pioneer model like it for about $99 (AVS had a main page review on it not to far back )

Something like these is going all the way: http://www.diysoundgroup.com/waveguide-speaker-kits/fusion-series-kits.html


If these options don't work well I would check out a simple system from Polk Audio or a similar MFG of quality consumer speakers. Lots of them. They all basically the same around the same prices IMO if you are a normal type of person who isn't obsessed with the nitty gritty. If you are- you'll need to go DIY or spend thousands. I don't think that's you in either case.

http://www.soundandvision.com/content/review-clash-minispeakers

That's a decent review of some popular pairs ^

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post #9 of 30 Old 11-27-2013, 01:54 PM
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Sort of like Apple...
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post #10 of 30 Old 11-27-2013, 02:17 PM
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They use paper cones, cheap parts... and really don't have a ton of quality behind the parts and MFG.
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Bose makes a good product ...

You can't really have both. It's either good or it's cheap. Good and cheap really doesn't make for high quality. Bose makes a mediocre audio product and sells it for way more than it's worth. If you're really wowed by the Engineering skill it took to design them then you'll probably get your money's worth. However, if quality sound is more important then you should be looking elsewhere.

Back when I was in college a friend of mine found out what make and model drivers were used in the 901's. He found a vendor that sold them in cases of 27 drivers for about $125. This was back in 1972 and I believe the drivers were made by CTS or some brand with a similar name. He built himself a pair of gigantic 901's with nine drivers on each rear facing panel and two on the front for a total of 20 speakers per cabinet. He did a nice job of finishing them and ended up with a pair of 901's on steroids. Trouble is, they just sounded like big 901's, which is to say, they still sounded like crap. I never told him so because I didn't want to hurt his feelings.
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post #11 of 30 Old 11-27-2013, 02:32 PM
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Sort of like Apple...

I wouldn't argue with that...

It's odd because I used to sell BOSE along side brands like Polk Audio and Infinity, JBL etc... Back in college in the late 1990's and early 2000's I worked for Circuit City and I started in the audio department. I was young, but I was already an electronics and HI-FI geek. I remember some co-workers and I took apart a BOSE speaker (301 or 201 I think) and were disgusted it uses a cheap paper cone and very simplistic cross over inside. The cabinets were cheap wood, covered with this laminate black stick on paper like stuff to make them solid black. The front grille actually had a decent amount of quality, and attention to make it look good from the front. That's all consumers cared about. It looked good from the front. In comparison - Polk audio used a trilaminate dome tweeter (better) and a non paper cone and the combo allowed the speaker better bass, ability to play louder, and actually sounded better (to me)

The 201 was just under the price of the RT bookshelf. The 301 was actually $10 more. The Infinity was decent about the same price, used a poly woofer or CMMD something or other.. that was some engineering advancement marvel from Harman group.

We are talking now about $99-$150 speakers. Polk had a 5.25" and a 6.5" model - as did Infinifty and Bose.

At first being an audio geek and knowing nothing about selling- I always tried to sell the Infinity or the Polk because not only did they sound the best to me, but I believe in my heart they were better because of the quality of parts they used compared to BOSE and paper cones, simple dome tweeters and cheap cabinets with parts. But- I lost a lot of sales because I would push the Polk and Infinity and consumers seems to prefer or want the BOSE because of the name and marketing. It wasn't uncommon for people to say "bose is the best" but half the time the idiots never even heard them before. Needless to say I lost a lot of sales and back then I was trying to put myself through college and pay my tuition and I was working on commission.

About a year went by and I started to understand it's better to swim with the current than against it. So as soon as I found a customer that seemed to be interested in the BOSE, rather than explain why and how the infinity or Polk was also really good for the same price I just went with it. I'd say something like "I see you seem interested in the BOSE, have you ever heard bose speakers before ? " Depending on the answer I knew which direction I should take. If they said something good about them, I'd say something like "these are the some of the best speakers we carry and our best seller, we already sold a couple pairs of these today. They are really hard to get and keep in stock, we sell out often because they are hard to get and they are in high demand" Often I'd sneak in a "not sure if in stock anymore, just sold a pair" too. Almost like a take away from the customer so instead of me trying to push them into a sale, they are hoping for one. Of coarse we had like 10 pairs of all of them. I'd come back after checking stock - "only 1 pair left" Customer: "I'll take it"

Bose were price protected back then. They sold for the same price everyday almost, and they sold for the same prices at all retailers. It was hard because if you couldn't close a customer they rarely came back. Such is the way with retail.

Moral of the story is while they didn't sound the best (to me) and they weren't the cheapest, and they did't use the best parts - they looked good and the name BOSE was what people wanted to see because of effective marketing. Customer bought them, and never returned them. They had a much lower return rate than POLK or INFINITY did, especially when I beat a customer into them instead of BOSE. The lighbulb clicked for me when one time I spend about 20 minutes selling hard the Polk Audio to a guy that was clearly interested in the BOSE. I demo-ed both side by side and I thought it was pretty clear the Polk sounded better, I explained paper cones vs advanced tech etc... I took twice as long for the sale as I should and I missed out on a customer that bought a much bigger purchase during the time I was with this gentlemen, and the idiot of the department made that sale. The next week I saw I had a loss of income from a return, so I went into the computer and found that they gentle man that bought the two Polk Speakers actually returned them and bought the BOSE from another store- I lost my commission. That was the point I opened my eyes... I knew too much and it wasn't helping. I needed to be simple if I wanted to sell more. I did, and I ended up becoming one of the top 200 sales associates for CC in the country year after year (2000,2001,2002 etc) I graduated college, went into managment and eventually became a store director. I was still young and stupid, and although the job paid well for a kid I didn't realize working all those hours and nights and weekends and holidays was not normal. I left CC before it went downhill and out of business, because I decided I hated retail. I was there in the glory days before the internet changed everything.

I think there is a lot of successful companies that seems to get it just right, and balance looks, reputation, product quality, and price in that perfect optimal mixture for success. I think of Apple much the same, not the best, not the cheapest, but a good level of quality and looks and a good blend of price, quality, looks, and reputation to justify a good margin with good sales. Bose is the same way- a good balance of quality, to price, to performance, to appearance to maximize margins and sales. Look around the world is full of them, Mcdonalds sells a coffee for $1 and I can't say it's bad compared to $4 coffee from another place. Starbucks sells lots more coffee all day long because of the appearance of the store, reputation, quality.. and seem to have a good balance of price /margin/ sales. It's almost crazy how much a coffee costs there. It's also crazy how much a really crappy sandwich costs at Panera bread. It's twice the price of most other places with better sandwiches- yet panera bread has great sales and margins (profits)

I guess such is the way of the world we live in. I'm not really a fan of Bose, Apple, Panera, or Starbucks myself but sadly I've bought them all. lol. Explain that ????

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post #12 of 30 Old 11-27-2013, 03:35 PM
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I still stand by what I said above. Bose 901s requires a proper setup to make them sing. and they do have very good imagining. Some of the speakers that I took a listen too were Infinity, JBL, Klipsch, Magnepan, and others. I really like the big Klipsch horns, but moving those around would be impossible. When proper set up the Bose 901 do have very good imagining. The Bose 901s requires clean amplifiers.

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post #13 of 30 Old 11-27-2013, 04:33 PM
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Fellow AV Geeks,

I currently use a Bose Cinemate 2.1 audio system (keep your groans to yourselves, please..) on one of my HTPC's. The quality is really very good, but I've become dissatisfied with a few other things. My first complaint is that the speakers just shut off after 30 minutes if there is no signal, so you have to turn them back on. Another complaint is that there is an optical port and analog ports, but no HDMI (which means, they cannot be controlled with CEC). I am trying to make my system a little more user friendly, so I'm thinking of selling them and going with a different set of speakers.

My primary use is music.

Requirements are:

1. They must sound great.
2. 2.1 only. I do not have the room for a 5.1 system.
3. HDMI connectivity with CEC compatibility.

I am just starting my research into this. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Have you considered a Sonos? I don't own one, but they're well reviewed and offer many of the same features, as well as CEC and wireless connectivity. A quick search and you'll find some pretty good black Friday deals. And... BB let's them in the Magnolia store lol
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post #14 of 30 Old 11-27-2013, 05:59 PM
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Sort of like Apple...

Can't forget Beats!

They all belong in that same category.
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post #15 of 30 Old 11-27-2013, 09:48 PM
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I still stand by what I said above. Bose 901s requires a proper setup to make them sing. and they do have very good imagining. Some of the speakers that I took a listen too were Infinity, JBL, Klipsch, Magnepan, and others. I really like the big Klipsch horns, but moving those around would be impossible. When proper set up the Bose 901 do have very good imagining. The Bose 901s requires clean amplifiers.
All I can say to that is if it floats your boat, go with it. As far as imaging with the 901's, it is essentially impossible to do the way they're designed. It just ain't gonna happen, period. Just because you auditioned other speakers doesn't qualify you as an audiophile or any sort of expert. Unless you know what to listen for, chances are you're going to be attracted to whatever produces the loudest bass or the loudest sound level, which the 901's do. That's exactly what salespeople at stores like Best Buy are counting on so they can sell you overpriced crap. A properly designed loudspeaker should be completely transparent so you only hear the music and not the coloration induced by the drivers and crossovers. Bose speakers don't even color inside the lines. rolleyes.gif

With a properly imaged setup you should be able to close your eyes and visualize the exact position of each performer on the sound stage. With the 901's, all you get is an image of the performers being spattered like paint balls all over the rear wall. The image is larger than life and completely unrealistic. Magnepans are a bitch to image properly, which is why I no longer own them, although they provide a level of detail and clarity the Bose 901's can only dream of. Keep in mind that the Bose 901's require heavy equalization to get any sort of a flat response across the audible spectrum and the result is a completely artificial sound. If you want accurate sound reproduction you have to use drivers that can reproduce their portion of the audio spectrum with no equalization and provide the most detail and clarity, among a plethora of other requirements. Bose uses cheap drivers that simply don't live up to the task. There is no way in hell that a 4-inch driver can provide accurate sound across the entire audible spectrum with a totally flat response. It's going to roll off sharply when it hits the outer limits of the spectrum it is capable of reproducing. Equalization forces the drivers to produce sounds at frequencies and levels it simply wasn't designed to handle. The result is anything but natural sound. It's kind of like putting your testicles in a vice to reproduce high frequencies you don't normally emit. eek.gif

The only Infinity speakers I've ever heard that I would consider owning are a reference set they made about 40 years ago that cost $10,000 for a pair of towers consisting of a multitude of ribbon drivers for both the midrange and tweeters and a pair of 8-foot towers that housed the subwoofers. The system was powered by something like a pair of 10 kilowatt monoblock amps with speaker cables thicker than a garden hose. The same system today would easily cost upwards of $50K. I've never been a fan of either JBL or Klipsch loudspeakers as they are clearly middle of the road, although I admit I haven't auditioned the latest Klipsch models. Horn drivers sound like, well, horns (i.e., they honk). They don't even come close to approximating natural sound at high frequencies and add their own brand of coloration.

You can rebut the post if you like, but it still doesn't change the facts as to why so many audiophiles dislike Bose speakers. You'd basically be beating a dead horse because you'd only be posting in a vain attempt to convince yourself that Bose speakers are actually good.
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post #16 of 30 Old 11-28-2013, 06:32 AM
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It's odd because I used to sell BOSE along side brands like Polk Audio and Infinity, JBL etc... Back in college in the late 1990's and early 2000's I worked for Circuit City and I started in the audio department. I was young, but I was already an electronics and HI-FI geek. I remember some co-workers and I took apart a BOSE speaker (301 or 201 I think) and were disgusted it uses a cheap paper cone and very simplistic cross over inside. The cabinets were cheap wood, covered with this laminate black stick on paper like stuff to make them solid black. The front grille actually had a decent amount of quality, and attention to make it look good from the front. That's all consumers cared about. It looked good from the front. In comparison - Polk audio used a trilaminate dome tweeter (better) and a non paper cone and the combo allowed the speaker better bass, ability to play louder, and actually sounded better (to me)
LOL, I remember the days when I'd go to my local Circuit City. The minute I walked through the door the salespeople would converge upon me like a plague of locusts. As soon as I told them I was just looking they scattered like cockroaches when you turned on the kitchen light. When I actually wanted some help they were nowhere to be found. I think the whole commission thing was one of the reasons why Circuit City went downhill. I actually welcomed salespeople with a working knowledge of what they sold and not some corporate robot that only pushed the name brands like Bose. Had I ever worked retail sales I would have had the same mindset as you. Problem is, customers really don't want your opinion or expertise, just your approval for a product they already decided to buy.

I recall one experience when I was trying out 8mm camcorders. I brought a tape with me to take some sample recordings using different camcorders so I could compare them later and make an informed decision. When the salesperson realized what I was doing they asked me to stop because they thought I was spying for one of their competitors. Since I was inside the store the only thing I could shoot was the inside of the store. The guy said that their competitors wanted details about how the stores were laid out, like that was some sort of big secret. I politely removed the tape and told him he just lost any chance of a sale and left the store.
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I guess such is the way of the world we live in. I'm not really a fan of Bose, Apple, Panera, or Starbucks myself but sadly I've bought them all. lol. Explain that ????
We were all there at some point in our lives. Some of us just became better educated along the way. I still go to Starbucks on occasion, but I only buy their regular coffee which is priced about the same as anywhere else. I won't buy anything that begins with the letter "i" because it's overpriced and overhyped. Apple makes decent products, but you have to buy the configurations they put together. I prefer a PC because it's far more flexible and less expensive. I can also upgrade it whenever I want with whatever I want without having to buy a whole new computer.

We've got a bagel club in my office where people take turns buying bagels for the group once a week. The guy that runs the club is an old New York Jew that told me that they take the bagel club very seriously. Imagine my surprise when just about everyone bought their bagels from Paneira Bread. When it became my turn to buy the bagels I got mine at a local bagel shop that makes real bagels and not the bread donuts Paneira Bread sells. Everyone loved them and commented on how good they were. The next week we had Paneira Bread "bagels" again and forever after, with but one or two exceptions. I eventually dropped out of the club and told the guy that I joined a bagel club and not a Paneira Bread club. I also told him that he apparently didn't take his bagels as seriously as he'd claimed, which was extremely odd considering his heritage.
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post #17 of 30 Old 11-28-2013, 07:41 AM
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I still go to Starbucks on occasion, but I only buy their regular coffee which is priced about the same as anywhere else.

About the only way to get a decent "regular" coffee from Starbucks is to get an Americano. The regular coffee has been sitting around all day staying overly hot while everyone else orders their cream and flavored drinks with a touch of coffee bean juice. The Americano is at least made when you order it, fresh made espresso with hot water.

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post #18 of 30 Old 11-28-2013, 08:01 AM
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About the only way to get a decent "regular" coffee from Starbucks is to get an Americano. The regular coffee has been sitting around all day staying overly hot while everyone else orders their cream and flavored drinks with a touch of coffee bean juice. The Americano is at least made when you order it, fresh made espresso with hot water.
About the only time I ever get a coffee from Starbucks is when I'm in an airport leaving on an early morning flight. There's usually a long line so many people don't have the time to sit around waiting for them to make a latte or other fancy coffee drink. The regular coffee has always been fresh anytime I've bought it since they have a high turnaround, especially in the morning. Obviously, YMMV.
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post #19 of 30 Old 11-28-2013, 08:17 AM
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All I can say to that is if it floats your boat, go with it. As far as imaging with the 901's, it is essentially impossible to do the way they're designed. It just ain't gonna happen, period. Just because you auditioned other speakers doesn't qualify you as an audiophile or any sort of expert. Unless you know what to listen for, chances are you're going to be attracted to whatever produces the loudest bass or the loudest sound level, which the 901's do.

That's a little harsh, I don't necessarily disagree, but I don't think it's important for one to be a "audiophile". What is important is understanding what you like and then auditioning equipment to find what matches your tastes. If someone likes inaccurate sound or "inferior" speakers who are you, or I, or anyone to say that's wrong. I applaud anyone who takes the time, and interest to audition equipment on their own and make up their own mind, rather than trusting over-the-top marketing or internet "wisdom".

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #20 of 30 Old 11-28-2013, 09:04 AM
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That's a little harsh, I don't necessarily disagree, but I don't think it's important for one to be a "audiophile". What is important is understanding what you like and then auditioning equipment to find what matches your tastes. If someone likes inaccurate sound or "inferior" speakers who are you, or I, or anyone to say that's wrong. I applaud anyone who takes the time, and interest to audition equipment on their own and make up their own mind, rather than trusting over-the-top marketing or internet "wisdom".
Not trying to be harsh, just honest. Since Mfusick was an audio salesperson at one time I'm sure he can agree on the types of tricks that salespeople use to entice unsuspecting buyers into buying one brand over another. Of course, this goes out the window when buyers come in with a preconceived notion about one particular brand (e.g., Bose). What's even harder to do is convince someone that the speakers they bought are clearly not the best. The mindset is that if they bought them, they must be good. Nobody likes to admit that they may have made a bad purchase, especially if they believe the product is the best going in.

Others may have read a review in one of the audio mags, such as Stereo Review, which was a popular mainstream audio magazine back in the 60's and 70's until it morphed into Sound and Vision. The one huge caveat is that all components were tested by Hirsch-Houck Labs, which was run by Julian Hirsch. Now Julian's a nice guy (I've talked to people who actually met him), but he went by whatever measurements his test equipment gave him to judge the sound of everything he tested. His listening experiences seemed to be extremely brief when reviewing a particular piece of equipment, which basically means he really had no clue as to the actual sound performance. If it tested good for low harmonic distortion, it was state of the art. This is the type of reference material that led to a lot of disappointed buyers. I know because I bought some of my first audio equipment based solely on his reviews. I learned my lesson fairly quick. One huge problem with the mainstream reviews is that they tended to review only brands that were advertised in their magazine.

When listening to speakers in a sound room, the ones that play the loudest with the most bass will attract more potential buyers than ones that image better with cleaner overall sound, especially to the uninitiated. In any case, listening to speakers in a showroom is probably the worst place to audition them. Most people don't realize that every other speaker in the showroom will behave as a passive radiator and add to the sound of the speakers being auditioned. The best place to audition speakers is in the actual listening environment where they will be used.

There once was a time back in my early years when I thought I knew a lot about audio until I was shown otherwise. It was a real eye opener when I finally knew what to listen for. Many people go through life never having the same kind of revelation I had. That is neither good nor bad and if someone is happy listening to Bose speakers or some other brand I'm not particularly fond of, who am I to tell them any different? I'll only chime in when someone makes a claim about a particular speaker that I know to be blatantly false. I don't expect to change anyone's mind based on my statements. I'm just trying to set the record straight.
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post #21 of 30 Old 11-28-2013, 10:56 AM
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They use paper cones
There is nothing wrong with paper cones and by and large that is the best material for (non sub) cones.
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post #22 of 30 Old 11-28-2013, 12:21 PM
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There is nothing wrong with paper cones and by and large that is the best material for (non sub) cones.
really? since when?

NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
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post #23 of 30 Old 11-28-2013, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I figured we'd wander off topic, but geez, guys!

All I really want is a set of 2.1 speakers with equal or better sound in about the same package size to what I have now that's hopefully easier to control compared to my current (somewhat confusing) arrangement.

Does such a beast exist?
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post #24 of 30 Old 11-28-2013, 12:33 PM
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really? since when?
About 50 years.
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post #25 of 30 Old 11-28-2013, 01:00 PM
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Take a look at Hsu Research. I have a 7.1 package from them and they are the best speakers I have heard for the money.
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post #26 of 30 Old 11-28-2013, 10:20 PM
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There is nothing wrong with paper cones and by and large that is the best material for (non sub) cones.
Paper is OK if the speakers are new. It does tend to deteriorate over time so there is that. The surrounds that support the outer edges of the speaker cone are probably of greater importance when it comes to speak longevity. Foam surrounds will dry rot and disintegrate over time. Butyl rubber will last infinitely longer.
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post #27 of 30 Old 11-28-2013, 10:50 PM
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You want small quality in 2.1. To repeat myself, NHT super zero 2.1 package (super stereo on their website)..
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post #28 of 30 Old 11-29-2013, 11:40 AM
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really? since when?
There are some very fine multi-thousand $$$ speakers with paper cones, usually doped to make them stiffer. So they are nothing to sneeze at. They tend to be very stiff, and very light. Both great features in a speaker cone.
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post #29 of 30 Old 11-29-2013, 05:39 PM
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There are some very fine multi-thousand $$$ speakers with paper cones, usually doped to make them stiffer. So they are nothing to sneeze at. They tend to be very stiff, and very light. Both great features in a speaker cone.
that is all true...
but as this is a bose thread, the question should actually be stated as to how many tweeters actually use paper? since most bose only use one small driver for the full range...
just seems to me that there is probably a better material for tweeters than paper...
of course I also foolishly believe it is probably better to use a tweeter and a mid (aka more than one driver) when designing a speaker than it is to just use one small driver in a cube...
note, I do have a Bose 5.1 (of course, the .1 is really the mid's... no real bass to speak of) setup in one room, and it is fine for what it is... as long as you have nothing to compare it to...

NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
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post #30 of 30 Old 12-02-2013, 09:07 AM
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It's not that paper is bad, but that it's cheap. And Bose paper cones are specifically chosen because they are simple and cheap, not because they offer superior sound quality.

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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