Which Receiver for Bose 901 Speakers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 55 Old 04-16-2010, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey all, this is my first question here and I am a bit of an AV newbie so forgive me.

This is a bit of a comparison question, with optional open-ended suggestions.
My dad received a pair of Bose 901 Series VI Speakers from his company as a gift in 2009, but it was never set up because it needed a receiver with pre-amp output, which he never had time to research/buy.

ANYWAY, now he has asked ME to pick out the receiver and based on this compatibility list that Bose provided (pdf link here), I've narrowed it down to the Yamaha RX-797 and Marantz SR4021 based on availability and our ~$500 budget.

My question is: Which of the two receivers would you recommend? We would be using these speakers mostly for listening to music and maybe for a basic home theater setup.

THANKS!
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post #2 of 55 Old 04-16-2010, 11:09 PM
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You can use any receiver that has a "tape loop", ie. L/R tape out ... L/R Tape in.

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post #3 of 55 Old 04-17-2010, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks, but out of the two listed, which would you recommend?
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post #4 of 55 Old 04-17-2010, 03:15 PM
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I guess I'll be the first one to suggest this, Sell the Bose and you'll have $1500 to buy something really nice for him. Spend a bunch of time in the 2 channel sub-forum HERE
Spend some time in other audio forums too to get a feel for what you are getting into.

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post #5 of 55 Old 04-17-2010, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjabosi View Post

of the two listed, which would you recommend?

FWIW, I prefer the Yamaha.

"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance  it is the illusion of knowledge." - Daniel Boorstin
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post #6 of 55 Old 04-17-2010, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malovich View Post

I guess I'll be the first one to suggest this, Sell the Bose and you'll have $1500 to buy something really nice for him.

I'll second that. Putting a good quality receiver on Bose speakers is a waste of time and money. Meanwhile, people who fall for Bose's marketing efforts will happily pay you enough for those speakers to buy a good pair of speakers and a receiver to power them. He may even pocket some cash out of the deal, in addition to keeping the $500 you're looking to spend now.
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post #7 of 55 Old 04-17-2010, 07:09 PM
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Are the 901s that bad? Some people seem to love theirs. Can't say I would buy them, but maybe the guy's father wants to use them.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #8 of 55 Old 04-17-2010, 07:22 PM
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Bose 901's use 70's technology and they sound terrible compared especially with today's other brands of speakers which are far more affordable. This is my two cents and I know because I used to sell audio equipment that included unfortunately Bose for quite some time. +1 to those who recommended to sell the 901's.
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post #9 of 55 Old 04-19-2010, 04:10 PM
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sjabosi, you'll soon realize that talking about bose speakers usually isn't the best thing. but most bose bashers i can probably say have never heard them with gobs of power and the right setup. a bose outlet isnt usually the best place either. for a speaker that is bashed so much, bose 901 have probably sold more that any other speaker out there. ive heard and driven 901 VI with as little as 80 wpc (onkyo) and as much as 1100 watts by 2 crown mt-1200 bridged and they can handle that power just fine. 9 mid drivers needs lots of power. I have listened to lots of speakers before i bought mine, paradigms studio 100 v3 monitor audio silvers and golds, nht, emp, viennas, martin logans, maggies,jbl's(which i own also) etc and they all sound different. klipsch sound great until you get sick of the horn hollowness. ive had mine for 5 months and agree with most they lack clarity in the highs. So I added a nice morel dome tweeter and crossover to clean up the highs. not a hip hop speaker by any means either but some of the above mentioned speakers werent either. it seems with rock they sound good and definately loud, but for most $500 receivers youll never be able to hear what they really can do. plus you can hang em.yamaha receivers are bright which may help the 901s but i think you will find onkyo and denon may have a little better sound to offer.
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post #10 of 55 Old 04-19-2010, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemifamily View Post

yamaha receivers are bright

Utter nonsense.

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post #11 of 55 Old 04-19-2010, 04:37 PM
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sjabosi, if you havent pulled the trigger yet on anything, alot of the receivers, lower entry level are now hdmi 1.4 and 3d compatable. my advice is get as low of cost $300 or even less, cause i just checked, abc warehouse on receivers and make sure they have preouts for amplifier. go to zzounds and get crown xls-402 for 249.00 (260 wpc 8 ohms) for the bose 901s and the receiver can be used as pre/pro and i think youll find this to be the best bang for the $. you can use receiver power for surround speakers etc. youll find that this will probably blow most of the above mentioned top of the line receivers of 1500 or more away in clarity and power.
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post #12 of 55 Old 04-19-2010, 04:39 PM
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cavu, you can find 100s of post here that yammie's are a tad bright sounding, sorry to say.
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post #13 of 55 Old 04-19-2010, 04:54 PM
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Here's some suggested reading:

http://www.firstadopter.com/fa/archives/001749.html

Then go find a Bose retail store (often in malls) and audition.

ck
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post #14 of 55 Old 04-19-2010, 05:03 PM
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as a pragmatic consideration you may want to get an avr where the rear channel amp can be reconfigured to power a pair of speakers (zone2) from its own output--i initially hooked up my dad's 901's this way with my old denon 3805 ad it worked quite well. honestly though id recommend an outboard amp. you can put thousands of watts through those and they wont flinch. youll also want make sure you have a sub cause they dont have much output below 40hz. my dads setup now has a harmak kardon 3490 used via preamp ins as an amp--ended up working out better than just using the 3805...it was a cheap way to get a solid amp for teh front 901's in his setup.

as a alternate strategy you can get a sunfire III seriies prepro for a bit over 500 and paired with an emotiva or used anthem/sunfire amp youd have a really solid setup as long as you have a blu ray player with analog outs...
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post #15 of 55 Old 04-19-2010, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemifamily View Post

cavu, you can find 100s of post here that yammie's are a tad bright sounding, sorry to say.

I bet I can find 100s of posts where people think biwiring their speakers helps, too.
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post #16 of 55 Old 04-19-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjabosi View Post

Hey all, this is my first question here and I am a bit of an AV newbie so forgive me.

This is a bit of a comparison question, with optional open-ended suggestions.
My dad received a pair of Bose 901 Series VI Speakers from his company as a gift in 2009, but it was never set up because it needed a receiver with pre-amp output, which he never had time to research/buy.

ANYWAY, now he has asked ME to pick out the receiver and based on this compatibility list that Bose provided (pdf link here), I've narrowed it down to the Yamaha RX-797 and Marantz SR4021 based on availability and our ~$500 budget.

My question is: Which of the two receivers would you recommend? We would be using these speakers mostly for listening to music and maybe for a basic home theater setup.

THANKS!

First things first. I have never been a fan of Yamaha amplifiers, but that not being part of the equation, I would still choose the Marantz as the better amp. Superior build and superior sound.

Next, don't listen to these clowns that tell you Bose is no good and that it is all marketing. The 901 speaker system is in one word, outstanding. The little Bose cube speakers are what is over priced. Bose floor speakers, like your 901's, are excellent speakers and do not need marketing hype. The 901's are what got Bose where they are, not marketing. I tell you this from first hand experience. The 901 speakers are the best music speakers I have heard in their category. I've never used/heard them in a home theater application so cannot comment, but since you are interested in music, you will not be disappointed. I wish I had the room and the funds to have a music only system. If I did, I would have a pair of 901's and a tube amp right now.

In conclusion, the Marantz and Bose 901 will be fantastic combination for music that you will be hard pressed to surpass.

*EDIT* To clarify when I stated I was speaking from first hand experience. Yes, I have owned 901's. The reason I don't still own them is I needed to sell them when I moved cross country and had to sell most everything I owned at the time. Home theater wasn't even a term back then. I really wish I had them back.

And to further clarify the Bose quality, and that these people really don't know what they think they know, if Bose was all marketing, do you really believe that they would be in business still? Marketing can only do so much if a product sucks. ALso, Bose has been in the entertainment industry for decades for good reason. They are the sound system of Zoo's, Amusement Parks, Sea World and others too numerous to list. Do you think these multi million dollar business's would put overpriced, poor quality crap systems in their venues where they rely on repeat business and word of mouth to stay in business? Do you think they would install crap overpriced speakers that need constant replacement, costing 10's of thousands of dollars? Bose is an excellent brand. As I said, the cube speakers are overpriced for what is available, but even still, beat out every other look-a-like wanna-be cube speaker made by others.
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post #17 of 55 Old 04-19-2010, 06:21 PM
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If you're keeping them (I would) I'd choose the Yamaha and get some music your dad likes and crank them.

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post #18 of 55 Old 04-19-2010, 06:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboRay View Post

I bet I can find 100s of posts where people think biwiring their speakers helps, too.

You said a mouthful my friend. Truer words have never been spoken. Kudos to you.
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post #19 of 55 Old 04-19-2010, 07:15 PM
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Reason #1 I would not get anything bose: they do not list their frequency response of any single speaker, for example, the 901 manual states it can output 106dB at 35 hz, what does it output at 40 hz? 115dB? thats well outside the industry standard norm of +-3dB. Nobody really knows what they output. Below is the response you will get from bose when requesting a frequency resopnse:
Quote:



Bose does not publish frequency specifications. The reason for this is
that we believe that such statistics do not add very much to an
understanding of an audio product's acoustic characteristics and, even worse,
can be misleading. Audio manufacturers make these measurements
independent of industry standards, and in varying conditions. Additionally, a
single statistic is not a reliable measurement of a product's
performance. One could, for instance, find a very expensive system with exactly
the same specifications as a much less expensive system. On paper, the
two would appear identical. The difference in performance, however,
would be significant. A better approach, we feel, is to listen to the
product.


Thank you for contacting Bose Corporation.

Reason # 2, Their output being 89% backwards depends highly on the room acoustics and sound treatments
Reason # 3 They use PAPER cones, this is technology that has been outdated for 2 decades or more.
Reason # 4 Bose is used everywhere because the big whigs think it is the best, they ask the tech guys why there are JBL outdoor speakers and not Bose speakers. Tech guys grumble and comply as they will get a higher commission out of selling the bose.

As a side note, If you spent over $20 on speaker cables you got ripped off.
Type bose into the search on avs and see what pops up.

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post #20 of 55 Old 04-19-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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#1 Numbers do not translate into sound. Sound translates into numbers. The response from Bose is absolutly correct. But then there are those that believe only what is on a piece of paper and not their ears. These people don't know what they are hearing but instead need to be told what they are hearing, and thus the bogus 'published numbers' argument.

#2 Two things. First, do you even have a clue as to what you wrote even means, and two, how did you come up with this 89% number. Where is the data that backs this number up and proving you didn't make it up?

#3 PAPER cones are used to this day by almost all speaker manufacturers. This "reason" has no credibility.

#4 This staement makes zero sense. Either you misquoted someone/thing or you are also making this up as you go to attempt to make yourself sound more knowledgeable that you are. Again, where is your 'proof' that "big whigs" think it is best? You have none. And if these same "big whigs" ask the tech guys a question, the tech guys do not answer a question but instead "comply". And just how or why would these same "grumbling tech guys" get a commission out of selling Bose?

Instead of being clear and concise, you are all over the place, as are most Bose bashers that bash necause they think they are cool by doing so. They read bad things about Bose, so they figure they can join in and sound knowledgeable when they are really demonstrating just how ilinformed they actually are.

Finally, you end with more misinformation by stating that higher than $20 paid for speaker cables is a ripoff, when in fact you are neglecting the part where a 100' spool of 12 gauge wire generally costs more than $20 dollars. Had you said something like if you bought Monster speaker cables it is a ripoff, then you might have some credence. But even then, people find things on sale all the time and someone may have gotten a deal, a better deal than no-name products even.

I can type in the car sub you have in your non dorm room and get bad reviews. Again, you are only showing ignorance if you think this actually means anything as there are complaints about every product there is. So because of this, it means that nobody should buy anything?

You need to learn about things first hand in the world we live in today, before you can expect to have any credibility to bash one product over another. Bose certainly gets more than its fair share of bashing, but as I've said, the bashing does not apply to the floor standing speakers, only the cubes. But people are thick enough to disregard that fact and instead make blanket statements that have zero to do with the topic at hand. And the topic at hand is 'which receiver is suggested', NOT for college students to 'tell me what you think of Bose even though you have zero experience with any Bose product ever made.'
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post #21 of 55 Old 04-19-2010, 09:45 PM
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#1 Numbers do not translate into sound. Sound translates into numbers. The response from Bose is absolutly correct. But then there are those that believe only what is on a piece of paper and not their ears. These people don't know what they are hearing but instead need to be told what they are hearing, and thus the bogus 'published numbers' argument.

Resonable Argument Touche.

Quote:
#2 Two things. First, do you even have a clue as to what you wrote even means, and two, how did you come up with this 89% number. Where is the data that backs this number up and proving you didn't make it up?

I was looking at the x-over, my bad. 1 speaker facing forward, 8 facing backwards 8/9=88.8888888, this comes from the 901 manual.

Quote:
#3 PAPER cones are used to this day by almost all speaker manufacturers. This "reason" has no credibility.

Half True, Paper cones CAN be good. The question is how many speakers from other manufacturers in the 901 price range have paper cones? The other manufacturers are all trying to innovate while Bose plays around with equalizers. Is Bose the dunce sitting in the corner or the 500lb gorilla? You decide.

Quote:
#4 This staement makes zero sense. Either you misquoted someone/thing or you are also making this up as you go to attempt to make yourself sound more knowledgeable that you are. Again, where is your 'proof' that "big whigs" think it is best? You have none. And if these same "big whigs" ask the tech guys a question, the tech guys do not answer a question but instead "comply". And just how or why would these same "grumbling tech guys" get a commission out of selling Bose?

Bose is seen everywhere because they do spend so much money on advertising. I have never seen an advertisement for speakers other than Bose, maybe they are the only brand the general public knows. I don't know how they would get a commission.

Quote:
Instead of being clear and concise, you are all over the place, as are most Bose bashers that bash necause they think they are cool by doing so. They read bad things about Bose, so they figure they can join in and sound knowledgeable when they are really demonstrating just how ilinformed they actually are.

In your fit of rage you miss-spelled a few things. Who am I trying to impress? Inform us please.

Quote:
Finally, you end with more misinformation by stating that higher than $20 paid for speaker cables is a ripoff, when in fact you are neglecting the part where a 100' spool of 12 gauge wire generally costs more than $20 dollars. Had you said something like if you bought Monster speaker cables it is a ripoff, then you might have some credence. But even then, people find things on sale all the time and someone may have gotten a deal, a better deal than no-name products even.

50' of 12GA is ridiculous per speaker. 50' of 12GA speaker wire from monoprice would be $23.26 shipped, one should need no more than 10 feet of wire per channel meaning to wire a set of speakers it would cost $9.30. I know there is wasted wire there. Copper wire is copper wire, the electrons don't care and there is proof and double blind tests that have been done to prove this. Things that would matter would be oxidation and appearance in which case a bit more money would be worth it for speaker wire. The Original poster should look out for snake oil.

Quote:
I can type in the car sub you have in your non dorm room and get bad reviews. Again, you are only showing ignorance if you think this actually means anything as there are complaints about every product there is. So because of this, it means that nobody should buy anything?

What I am saying is people should be critical of reviews, calling Bull**** when necessary. The driver in the sub I built cost me a whopping $35, I KNEW it was on the low end but it had value to me. It also had the highest review average out of everything else in that price range.

Quote:
You need to learn about things first hand in the world we live in today, before you can expect to have any credibility to bash one product over another. Bose certainly gets more than its fair share of bashing, but as I've said, the bashing does not apply to the floor standing speakers, only the cubes. But people are thick enough to disregard that fact and instead make blanket statements that have zero to do with the topic at hand. And the topic at hand is 'which receiver is suggested', NOT for college students to 'tell me what you think of Bose even though you have zero experience with any Bose product ever made.'

I'm 23 and an engineering student, I'm learning give me a break. Is it a crime to point out potential regrets the original poster may have? I like to keep an open mind and give my opinions to new people on this form who may want the added guidance. It should be noted that none of the Bose products intended for home use currently produced are floor-standers if they require a stand. And finally I do have experience with a set of Bose 301-V speakers by the way.

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post #22 of 55 Old 04-19-2010, 10:44 PM
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I think I would rather trust numbers, measurements any other audio scientific data before I would trust my ears. I believe Bose is too embarrassed to reveal any technical data they may have for any of their products. For the record every Bose product I ever heard including floorstanders and in two vehicles I had that came with the factory Bose system have just sounded terrible. Now that is the only time I definitely I trust my ears that something is wrong!! It's sad that most of the finest car manufacturers choose to stick Bose audio in their vehicles. I believe that only stems from the under the table deals they make with Bose and the vehicle marketing team going "This comes with Bose standard" as a selling point because they know that is a household name. Marketing propaganda I tell ya. And why would anyone want to listen to speakers that are pointed to the walls to reflect sounds is beyond me. All this reflected sound garbage just ruins the sound stage and is all muffled and echoes too much.
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post #23 of 55 Old 04-19-2010, 10:53 PM
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The argument of objective measurements versus subjective opinion is like arguing science versus religion...
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post #24 of 55 Old 04-20-2010, 05:18 AM
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I would suggest the Harmon Kardon 3490 (120wpc) which has the desired connections and can be purchased for less money.
The Bose 901's are IMO an excellent speaker when set up correctly. They might not be as accurate as some but in the right room they have that wide open room filling sound.
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post #25 of 55 Old 04-20-2010, 06:33 AM
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nice to see some 901 supporters for once. I looked at that hk 120 wpc and they even say they built it just for 2 ch listening. would love to hear how the hk sounds. my 901 have been hooked up to yamaha 1065, 105 wpc, onkyo 515, 80 wpc, pioneer 100x5 (not sure model #) and 2 crown MT-1200 bridged at 1100 watts and currently hooked up to emotiva xpa-5 with sherwood/newcastle p-965. in every test with my ears i did notice a lack of clean highs, they just cant produce it with no tweeters. but not to the point that you couldnt live with. Id say the yammie cranked them the best just because it may be a so called brighter sound, which could just be better or cleaner power. could take yammie to lets say 1 or 2 oclock before any noticeable distortion. The onkyo was a warm sound but the receiver is probably 15 yrs old with no pre outs and no sub out. the pioneer was in the middle with power and definately the worst to drive the bose. the crowns are definately not over the top with power being bridged. the bose really come alive with that kinda power, but just dont look nice in my system. I think this thread was to originally to help a kid and his dad get something for 500 bucks. the hk 2 channel would probably be best and the easiest. but from my experience, gobs of external amplification will make em shine in the end. not that i've gabbed enough but i think some clarification needs to be said. Most great subs, guitar style bass drivers, jbl, eminence, peavey etc are all paper based cones if Im not wrong. not to say svs,jl,paradigm aren't great subs. I have a jbl-prx 518 for my ht and it may not have a beautiful cherry finish but what is nice about a paper based cone driver is it has a more natural sound to it. who really cares about an x-mass or x-factor on how far a driver is +- driven as long as it sounds natural. i listened to so many subs before I got the jbl and even a jl 8" at 138 DB in a car. I think that little sub was moving 3 or 4 inches in and out to the point I couldnt see straight. but as most of us get older, our goal is to not always shake the reading glasses off our neighbors faces when theyre in bed 300ft away reading and were watching bat man or transformers and were in our 40s or 50s. at my age good clean accurate and tight bass is nice, some subs just move the air. And the comment on facing the drivers to the wall, thats the whole point of the 901. Its goal is to try and eliminate the one and only sweet spot in the room which most floor standing speakers have. I walked around my living room 16x30 and vaulted ceilings and am amazed at how they fill a room with ease, sweet spots all over. listened to friends paradigm studio 5 v3 with the big sub and paradigm surrounds, 7500 worth of speakers and the first thing i noticed, 1 sweet spot. but man,they are awesome over the top speakers.
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post #26 of 55 Old 04-20-2010, 10:16 AM
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Considering how 901's operate, with most of the sound being produced from the rear, wouldn't frequency response curves of the speaker system be pretty difficult to produce? Aren't speakers still being tested in anechoic chambers? Would that even work for a speaker that has most of its output reflected? In a way, it almost seems like 901's frequency response would depend on room surroundings even more than a normal direct speaker. Would it even be possible to get meaningful frequency response curves from 901's?

As an aside, I have an old pair of 901's (Series IV's). I've not used them in about 10 years, as the surrounds have deteriorated. I have replacements but haven't gotten around to repairing all 18 drivers yet. Back when I used them, I always enjoyed their sound on certain music. Lots of what I listened to back then was older music; perhaps newer recordings would sound different. I can't say that I'd pay what a new pair costs, but I got mine used for cheap. At that time, I think they were very good.

I also don't see any reason to bash 901's; their use doesn't effect me, some people like them, and I've personally heard them in situations where they sounded very good. Once I get mine repaired, I'll hook 'em up and see how I like them. I'd hope that 'Bose bashers' have at least heard them set up properly, with appropriate equipment, before posting negative comments.
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post #27 of 55 Old 04-20-2010, 10:39 AM
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Friends don't let friends buy Bose. Why is it whenever you go into any store to look at the Bose setups they are always on an endcap somewhere? Now ask the salesman to put that setup in the same room with equally priced equipment. Won't happen. You know why? Bose won't allow it. I've tried this at several stores and was told the same thing. Can't do it. There's a reason for it. It doesn't compare to systems costing much less. You can do much better for less money in the speakers realm. Use the savings for other items you need in your setup.
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post #28 of 55 Old 04-20-2010, 01:07 PM
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Friends don't let friends buy Bose. Why is it whenever you go into any store to look at the Bose setups they are always on an endcap somewhere? Now ask the salesman to put that setup in the same room with equally priced equipment. Won't happen. You know why? Bose won't allow it. I've tried this at several stores and was told the same thing. Can't do it. There's a reason for it. It doesn't compare to systems costing much less. You can do much better for less money in the speakers realm. Use the savings for other items you need in your setup.

BOSE buys endcaps so that they get better exposure and so they have more control over the material and display. Not so they can't be put up against other systems. I am not a BOSE fan and prefer other speakers but can't understand why people continually bash them. The 901's are an excellent speaker and sound very good. The AM-10 and AM-15 feature excellent sound for such small speakers.

Keep the 901's buy the Yamaha or Marantz and enjoy the set up. I would guess that most people bashing the 901's probably have never even heard them.
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post #29 of 55 Old 04-20-2010, 01:15 PM
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BOSE buys endcaps so that they get better exposure and so they have more control over the material and display. Not so they can't be put up against other systems. I am not a BOSE fan and prefer other speakers but can't understand why people continually bash them. The 901's are an excellent speaker and sound very good. The AM-10 and AM-15 feature excellent sound for such small speakers.

Keep the 901's buy the Yamaha or Marantz and enjoy the set up. I would guess that most people bashing the 901's probably have never even heard them.

Bose buys those endcaps because those speakers sound good for those ranges they are setup in. If you have a room that size, then yes buy the Bose setup. Now if you have some friends over to view a movie or listen to some music it will be crowded. And yes I have listened to 901's. Compared to some speakers that sell for less, they still sound like crap for what they cost.
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post #30 of 55 Old 04-20-2010, 01:19 PM
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The 901's are an excellent speaker and sound very good.

Most people on these boards wouldn't know a Bose 901 if it dropped on their head. They merely parrot others comments.

I just assisted a retired friend, the former VP of a TV network, in setting up his 106" home theatre using a pair of vintage 901 speakers as his main L/R driving them with a Yamaha AVR. It sounds very nice.

I bought/sold a few sets of 901 speakers back in about 1968. With sufficient power and proper location, they were quite impressive.

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