Bose 901 VI, havent found the right amp - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 204 Old 03-13-2012, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I picked up a set of used Bose 901's series 6 with EQ recently, the seller threw in an American Audio amp(info below). The setup sounded great, i was very very impressed and it fit my taste.

The bad...this amp is rack mountable and has 2 80mm fans that run on full blast as soon as you power it on. When the music is blasting you dont notice it, but in movies, its just too loud. So i started searching for a new amp.

I was recommended a Crown amp and I picked up an xls 'drive core' 1500.

The sound from these amps(i tried both 1500 and 3500 models) are nowhere near the sound i was getting from the AmericanAudio unit.

im really at a loss as to what amp to pair up with these speakers. or better yet, what specs should i be looking for when it comes to choosing the right amp for a set of Bose 901's.

Thanks!

American Audio VLP-600
http://www.adjaudio.com/ProductDetai...&Category=Amps


Crown XLS 2500
http://www.crownaudio.com/amp_htm/xls_drivecore.htm
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post #2 of 204 Old 03-13-2012, 01:01 PM
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Sorry, this doesn't answer your question...but when my uncle passed away, about a years ago, the family gave me his audio gear. Got a Reciever/CD/DVD player from Pyle pro, which has the same issue...a very annoying and loud cooling fan. It is a two zone reciever, so I only use it when I am in zone "B"...

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post #3 of 204 Old 04-13-2012, 10:21 AM
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Put your amp in another room?

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post #4 of 204 Old 04-13-2012, 11:02 AM
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The Crown amplifiers are basically public-address system amps and the distortion is relatively high. The published specs are meaningless, because the complexity of music makes an amp produce significant harmonic distortion that a simple test tone does not. Good sound...NOT.

I use a Bryston 3B-SST amplifier, which will give you sound to die for, but it is over $4000. You are not giving us a clue what you are willing to spend.

One amplifier that is actually very good for its price and has very low distortion is the Vincent SP-331, which goes for only $1300; it really has no competition that I know of at that price level. I recommend it highly.

If that is still too much money, you could get a pair of Emotiva UPA-1 monoblock amplifiers for $700. They are certainly not as good as the amplifiers above, but they will most likely be way better-sounding than the American amp you have now (and no fan...lol). That is an excellent price for some fairly good sound.



Quote:
Originally Posted by r3zon8 View Post

I picked up a set of used Bose 901's series 6 with EQ recently, the seller threw in an American Audio amp(info below). The setup sounded great, i was very very impressed and it fit my taste.

The bad...this amp is rack mountable and has 2 80mm fans that run on full blast as soon as you power it on. When the music is blasting you dont notice it, but in movies, its just too loud. So i started searching for a new amp.

I was recommended a Crown amp and I picked up an xls 'drive core' 1500.

The sound from these amps(i tried both 1500 and 3500 models) are nowhere near the sound i was getting from the AmericanAudio unit.

im really at a loss as to what amp to pair up with these speakers. or better yet, what specs should i be looking for when it comes to choosing the right amp for a set of Bose 901's.

Thanks!

American Audio VLP-600
http://www.adjaudio.com/ProductDetai...&Category=Amps


Crown XLS 2500
http://www.crownaudio.com/amp_htm/xls_drivecore.htm

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post #5 of 204 Old 04-13-2012, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

If that is still too much money, you could get a pair of Emotiva UPA-1 monoblock amplifiers for $700. They are certainly not as good as the amplifiers above,

Did... did you just say the cheaper amp wouldn't sound as good as the more expensive one? Especially when the cheaper one is an accurate class d?
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post #6 of 204 Old 04-14-2012, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The Crown amplifiers are basically public-address system amps...

I use a Bryston 3B-SST amplifier... $4000.

You are not giving us a clue what you are willing to spend.

...the Vincent SP-331.. ....$1300

...Emotiva UPA-1 monoblock amplifiers for $700...

The Crown and the American audio amps are ~$600, but given that the OP has purchased a bunch of amps to compare leads me to believe that money is less of a concern than performance, but OP is not at a cost no object extreme.

This is what I would do.

Bose states, per the owners manual, "901 speakers are designed to work compatibly with receivers or amplifiers rated from
10 to 450 watts per channel"


I would use 450 Watt amp or greater. Here below is my short list.

All USD MSRP.
Emotiva XPA-1 pair, 500W@8 ohms, $1998
Belcanto MonoBloc pair, 500W@8 ohms, $5500
McIntosh MC452, 450W@8 ohms, $7500
Parasound JC1 400W@8 ohms, $9000
Bryston 14B SSTC 500W,8 ohms, $9950

There is a price gap in my list, specifically from 0 to $2000 and from $2000 to $5000.

I hope others could add their own input on all of this.

Interesting thread since Bose 901's are getting a good amount of interest over the ToneAudio website review.

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post #7 of 204 Old 04-14-2012, 05:37 AM
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I'd say go for the Emotiva XPA-2. Best bang for your buck and I've noticed Emotiva has quite a reputation as high bang for your buck amps. I know a few guys on here powering Paradigm Sig 8's with them, which are just shy of 10 grand a pair.
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post #8 of 204 Old 04-14-2012, 06:20 AM
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The Crown amp is high quality, the American Audio is cheap entry level, so the amp isn't the issue. How you're hooking the Crown up probably is. My guess is you're trying to drive the pro-sound level Crown with a consumer level source.

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post #9 of 204 Old 04-14-2012, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r3zon8 View Post

....
The bad...this amp is rack mountable and has 2 80mm fans that run on full blast as soon as you power it on. When the music is blasting you dont notice it, but in movies, its just too loud. ...

I was recommended a Crown amp and I picked up an xls 'drive core' 1500.

The sound from these amps(i tried both 1500 and 3500 models) are nowhere near the sound i was getting from the AmericanAudio unit.

im really at a loss as to what amp to pair up with these speakers. or better yet, what specs should i be looking for when it comes to choosing the right amp for a set of Bose 901's.

I have some experience with pro amps & consumer Receivers. I had to do great deal of self study & reading about 'gain' and how to integrate pro & consumer. Best bet, stay away. That is also my lesson learned

Pro Amps don't have 12V auto on, which really is a deal breaker for me. They do have inexpensive 'watts' but they are not convenient. So when you power on your receiver, you have to be near by to power on the amp.

Additionally, Pro audio's design goal is completely different. It's like driving a NASCAR race car to the movies. Yeah it hauls ass, handles well, but WOW is it loud & way uncomfortable.

Hopefully the Emotiva XPA-2's 300 watts per channel solves your issue. ( oh and 30 day return policy, yay!)

Bill

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post #10 of 204 Old 06-09-2012, 05:17 AM
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I think this is the ultimate Bose 901 Amp.

418

Or This integrated. Works with the Bose EQ and Bose has even provided support for this on the Bose user support site.
400

Here is the link for the support page at Bose

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post #11 of 204 Old 06-11-2012, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input everyone!

After going through Crowns entire XLS Core line and not liking what i 'heard' one bit, I asked some more questions in the bose sections and settled on QSC's RMX-2450.

IMHO, it was the toroidal based power supply section/transformer in that amp that made the difference. Im no expert in HT or Pro audio but the power im getting from this unit is impressive. Down side..still uses fans and they get quite noisy...
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post #12 of 204 Old 06-11-2012, 10:22 AM
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Good Deal. Put the Amp in another room or cabinet (with good ventilation) and you should be fine.

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post #13 of 204 Old 01-17-2013, 01:36 AM
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Hi, there! A newbie in this community here! smile.gif
r3zon8 , any news about the QSC amp? Have you find the "Nirvana" with your 901s? smile.gif
Did any members, tried the Bose 1600/1800 Pro series VI?
Any opinions? Thanks!
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post #14 of 204 Old 01-17-2013, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The Crown amplifiers are basically public-address system amps and the distortion is relatively high.
Oh? What are the actual distortion numbers? Please share this information.

And by "Public address system" you mean "professional concert and music venues as well as theaters, clubs, and churches"?
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post #15 of 204 Old 01-17-2013, 06:52 AM
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I agree with Bill Fitzmaurice, FWIWFM. I suspect the big difference is in the sensitivity (gain) between the two amps... I would expect the Crown XLS to be at least comparable if not better than the American Audio. I have installed XLS amps in various systems and had no problems with speakers much harder to drive than Bose 901's and in much larger venues than the average home.

901's are not a terribly difficult load, though all the drivers contribute some back-EMF, and they are not terribly efficient.

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post #16 of 204 Old 01-17-2013, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The Crown amplifiers are basically public-address system amps and the distortion is relatively high.
Oh? What are the actual distortion numbers? Please share this information.

And by "Public address system" you mean "professional concert and music venues as well as theaters, clubs, and churches"?

You are unlikely to get a cogent answer to that question since both the Crown and QSC amps in this power range are fully comparable with the better audiophile amps. The two pro amps will probably have the edge when it comes to handling low impedance loads.

The downsides to pro amps include the lack of home audio amenities like 12 volt control and the potential (but not certainty) for noisy fans. The XLR and Speakon connectors may scare away some small boys. ;-)

An interesting twist might be to use Crown XTi series amps and replace the Bose equalizer by programming the Xti internal DSP.
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post #17 of 204 Old 01-17-2013, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

You are unlikely to get a cogent answer to that question since both the Crown and QSC amps in this power range are fully comparable with the better audiophile amps. The two pro amps will probably have the edge when it comes to handling low impedance loads.

The downsides to pro amps include the lack of home audio amenities like 12 volt control and the potential (but not certainty) for noisy fans. The XLR and Speakon connectors may scare away some small boys. ;-)

An interesting twist might be to use Crown XTi series amps and replace the Bose equalizer by programming the Xti internal DSP.
I admit it was a loaded question. I've not used the Crown, but I commonly use Yamaha P-series pro amps. The problems he's asserting simply don't exist.

Real issues for home users are (the potential for) loud fans, a lack of an auto-on/off, the -6db or so gain difference from most non-pro amps (due to the v difference between XLR and RCA standards), and the often gaudy lights (I'm looking at you Peavy/Crown).
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post #18 of 204 Old 01-27-2013, 03:51 AM
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Bought this. Try it! Simply spectacular!
Fans? Four!
Noise? ZERO!
An unchained (but very musical also) Monster!
In stereo (4 channels) and same power in Parallel Mode (two channels out of circuit).
200watts 8 ohms
310watts 4 ohms
440watts 2 ohms

In Bridge Mode (it becomes stereo)
620watts 8 ohms
800watts 4 ohm





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post #19 of 204 Old 01-27-2013, 01:08 PM
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The biggest problem is that you're thinking the 901's are going to sound good. The simple fact is that they are pretty lousy speakers. Sorry.
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Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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post #20 of 204 Old 01-27-2013, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyng_fool View Post

The biggest problem is that you're thinking the 901's are going to sound good. The simple fact is that they are pretty lousy speakers. Sorry.

Big +1 on that, now a day a good speaker doeas not need some supose to be direct/reflecting technologies.
If you like the sound, enjoy.
And save your money on a cheap amp without fan.
Most expensive amp will only a marginal of better sound (2-3 sometime 5-10% better) and you need very good speakers to enjoy the fruit of the extra cash.

I personaly use an Outlaw 7700. It is good for the money? Yes
Is there better? Of course.

Your system is only as good as the weakest link.
It is all about balance.
Enjoy your BOSE 901 and save your money on expensive amp.

Ray

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post #21 of 204 Old 01-28-2013, 02:25 AM
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Enjoy your BOSE 901 and save your money on expensive amp.

Ray

I not agree. If you have a big room, a great amp can deliver all quality, power and dynamics through a pair of 901!
I think you already know the Acoustimass A-5 dimensions...
Well, put the Bose 901 where you will see them veeery little in that room! Exactly, when you see two Acoustimass cubs in a normal room.
Connect them to a very muscular amp (but good quality is required also), set your preferred track and go full throttle!
It's unthinkable what can really do the 901 System. In certain situations (non obstacles, big walls, no windows near 901s), in example, a rear wall 23 ft. long.
Stay 16,5 ft. away from them and give to them (through a great amp) some good title, the "little" speakers will disappear, the room will transform in a great invisible speaker, musical instruments and low frequencies everywhere, no sound-colorations, only a live sensation!
I've tried this experience only one time in my life, in a photographic studio (of my ex girlfriend's father).
I will never forget that unthinkable, marvellous acoustic experience!!
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post #22 of 204 Old 01-28-2013, 05:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyng_fool View Post

The biggest problem is that you're thinking the 901's are going to sound good. The simple fact is that they are pretty lousy speakers. Sorry.

No, you are the biggest problem. The OP asked for help in selecting an amp, but you only saw an opportunity to dump on Bose and insult the OP in the process. Of course, in your mind, I'm sure you think you're doing him a favor by enlightening him with your audio wisdom. This may come as a shock to you, but everyone doesn't have to agree with your world view...or your taste/opinion in loudspeakers.

Now, as to the OP's question:

There are lot's of good choices in amps to drive 901's. As someone already said, they are an easy load. I use an Adcom GFA5500 with my 901's and I'm quite happy with the results. They never break a sweat driving them, even at high levels. Here's a quick, off-the-top-of-my-head list of candidates I would check out if I were in your shoes: Adcom GFA565se and 555se, NAD C 275BEE and the Parasound 2250. I'm sure there must be some other good value options, too, but these are all solid designs that have been around awhile.
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post #23 of 204 Old 01-28-2013, 01:55 PM
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Ah yes. DAT, the defender of all things garbage rears his head once again. Sorry if the truth hurts.

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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post #24 of 204 Old 01-28-2013, 02:14 PM
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A lot of people look down on Bose 901's. I had a pair til about 5 or 6 years ago powered by a Carver TFM-45 Amp. This combo used to knock pictures off the wall. I advanced to a Paradigm 7.1 system and sold them. When I played them to the buyer, I thought to myself, wow, these things sound great. Should I be selling them? It all boils down to what YOU like to listen to.

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post #25 of 204 Old 01-28-2013, 02:27 PM
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there is a reason why NO OTHER speaker company has tried to copy the Bose 901 driver configuration...because it WAS and STILL IS a BAD IDEA! Lots of small driver...cannot get low and the imaging is terrible, by design!

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post #26 of 204 Old 01-28-2013, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

there is a reason why NO OTHER speaker company has tried to copy the Bose 901 driver configuration...because it WAS and STILL IS a BAD IDEA! Lots of small driver...cannot get low and the imaging is terrible, by design!
For lots of small drivers look up "linear array". There are quite a few manufacturers using them to one degree or another.

Bi-directional speakers are also common.

I don't think anyone has copied Bose's "more back then front"; but then again even Bose only uses that on one speaker (the 901).
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post #27 of 204 Old 01-28-2013, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

there is a reason why NO OTHER speaker company has tried to copy the Bose 901 driver configuration...
We did in college, 1970, using $7.95 Radio Shack FE-103 drivers. They sounded a lot better than the real 901s. That was in first semester acoustical engineering. By the middle of second semester when we knew which way was up we started building real speakers and we gave the 901 clones to some sorority, no longer considering them even frat worthy.
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post #28 of 204 Old 01-28-2013, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

there is a reason why NO OTHER speaker company has tried to copy the Bose 901 driver configuration...because it WAS and STILL IS a BAD IDEA! Lots of small driver...cannot get low and the imaging is terrible, by design!

Wow! You know why all speaker manufacturers have not tried to copy the Bose 901! Although that's not quite true, I don't know of any lately. What an amazing gift of divination you are blessed with! Do you do birthday parties? And to think, I always figured it might have something to do with patent infringement and lacking the engineering and/or manufacturing resources to pull it off. Silly me.

"cannot get low" Really? You haven't heard mine though, have you.

"terrible imaging" Uh, do you get out to hear live music much? ...or ever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

there is a reason why NO OTHER speaker company has tried to copy the Bose 901 driver configuration...
We did in college, 1970, using $7.95 Radio Shack FE-103 drivers. They sounded a lot better than the real 901s. That was in first semester acoustical engineering. By the middle of second semester when we knew which way was up we started building real speakers and we gave the 901 clones to some sorority, no longer considering them even frat worthy.

I guess that's why the 901's are still in production after 45 years.
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post #29 of 204 Old 01-29-2013, 02:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dat56 View Post

Wow! You know why all speaker manufacturers have not tried to copy the Bose 901! Although that's not quite true, I don't know of any lately. What an amazing gift of divination you are blessed with! Do you do birthday parties? And to think, I always figured it might have something to do with patent infringement and lacking the engineering and/or manufacturing resources to pull it off. Silly me.

"cannot get low" Really? You haven't heard mine though, have you.

"terrible imaging" Uh, do you get out to hear live music much? ...or ever?
I guess that's why the 901's are still in production after 45 years.

Bose are in production because people who don't know any better continue to be fooled by their marketing. That's not really hard to understand.

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Of course, I got it modified with the TK-427, which cheeks it up another, maybe, 3 or 4 quads per channel.
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post #30 of 204 Old 01-29-2013, 05:36 AM
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if you think Bose get low, you have seen the professional measurement of said speaker! The Freq response graph looks like a earthquake graph! And yes, I know the "official bose t" response is that is fired in mutiple directions so won't measure well (or sound, apparently)...but the facts are, if you are any distance in front of that speaker, it is weak on the lows and it is weak on the highs. And yes, I get out an hear music. Funny, most professional clubs DON"T use base reflect, they actual put speakers all around you!

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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