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Trying to help a friend with his Bose Acoustimess

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Well, a friend of mine with one of these wretched systems has asked me for help because this thing doesn't work. It seems another friend of his "did some work on it" to help him install a new Dish CableTv box (Mitsubushi DLP 65" TV, three years old, HDMI, coax digital but no optical outputs) and now the Acoustimess doesn't work at all. He claims he was getting "sound from the center speaker only" but I even doubt that was working and that he was simply hearing an echo from the TV's speaker, when I looked at the Bose equipment, it was all "lights but no audio". I checked all the connections, and his supposed friend wired the 2 channel analog inputs from the cableTv box to the AV pre-amp control module, and he wired the PSIII which the guy uses for his DVD player into the optical connection. I removed those connections and wired the coax digital output from the Mitsubushi HDTV into the Bose pre-amp control module digital port. The display on the control module immediately lit up and displayed "Surround 5 channel" when I switched it to "TV", which was a good sign, but still, no sound. I checked the output from the TV by hooking up a Sony receiver, and verified I am getting output from the TV with a set of headphones. So, on to the "Acoustimas" supposed subwoofer module. The power cord used is incorrect, the Acoustimas has a female receptacle that is looking for a polarized laptop-style power cord and instead someone had used a power cord that can be reversed in the socket to either polarity. There is a green LED, that when the power cord is plugged in, blinks green to black incessantly. Other than that, DOA.

As shown on the first page of this manual,


The pre-amp module has a "Bose Link" speaker socket and a Main speaker socket, and the Bose wiring harness running from the Acoustimas is plugged into "Main". Is this correct? Does anyone know what the blinking light means on the bass module? If I get the old "it has to be sent to Bose for service" advice, I am going to tell him to junk this crap, but he has gone to a lot of work to wire and hang the speakers from his ceiling, can they be used with another receiver or are they proprietary as usual w/Bose?

I was going to recommend he start rebuilding his system with one of these little bargains on Ebay:


Would those crummy little speakers simply blow on that receiver? So far it looks like his entire investment is going to end up resulting in speaker wire and hangers with the rest going to the dumpster. Is there any use for the pre-amp unit as a component? It does work and it seems a shame to just junk it, can it be salvaged to use with any other brand of equipment ?

Thanks for any advice!
post #2 of 4
What a mess. You're a good friend to try and fix it for him. I'd dump the whole thing and start building a new system. That looks like a pretty good deal on the receiver and there certainly is room to grow with it. I'd also look at a new speaker setup. Poor quality speakers will make a great receiver sound crappy, but good quality speakers can make a so-so receiver sound great. Depending on what he wants (bookshelves or floor standing), and how discriminating his ear is, and of course, his budget, there are lots of speaker combos that would play nicely with the Onkyo.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Well, I've helped him out, I sold him a pair of old-school Infinity Reference 2000 towers w/a center I bought back in the 90's that still sound great for 50 bucks a piece and an almost-new Sony 5.1 receiver I had for like, beer money, and he was blown away by the difference it made (I may have been a little sorry I parted with the Infinity's after I heard them for the first time in a while .....) . This whole Bose trip isn't the first time I've seen it, he spent a boatload of money on it, I feel bad for the guy, he isn't an audiophile, so he was essentially played for a sap by some Fry's moron. It worked for about two years and died. I bet he popped 2 grand on the thing at least. But thanks to the Great Recession, the guy is living in retirement now and he's not as well-off as he used to be, so I'm trying to do this on a tight budget getting whatever I can out of what he has. I showed him the Onkyo and he just can't do it, so I came up with the Sony for him which I just about gave to him. I can't remember the model# off hand, but it is the typical mass-produced entry level black box Sony they have pushed at Best Buy and Fry's for the last few years.

I was thinking of maybe mounting capacitors on the speaker lines to block anything under 250mz hitting the Bose speakers he has installed, (5 hanging from the ceiling) so he can at least use them. He also has a set of Bose 201 he bought with the set he uses for stereo, I figure he can use the Infinity's as fronts and the 201's as rears with the Sony Reciever and I can somehow jury rig the Bose surrounds into it all and maybe I can make something out of it. The hardest thing is just plain getting any information on this stuff, I have no idea how many watts those tiny surrounds can handle, I know they can't take any bass at all, but I don't know how much juice I can throw at them with out frying them. I bought the Sony receiver for my kid so we could put a sound system in his room for gaming, it is entry-level maybe 50 watts a channel max, it's become surplus because my kid is getting my old HK which I am upgrading this week, so the old guy is in luck.

I'm thinking of running wire to the floor speakers, and then run wire from the speakers with an in-line capacitor installed on this run, to the Bose wire for the overheads, and throw a cheap fuse in the line.
Edited by kvining - 1/3/13 at 12:51pm
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
This is what I was going to use on the feeds to the Bose surrounds:

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