Old Bose 901 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 23 Old 09-13-2018, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Old Bose 901

Neighbor has a pair of these and they work great. He wants to donate it to goodwill and asked me if I wanted them. I don't know much about these 901 apart from these are old,

The picture is not hte actual one but it look like it.

So do I take them or ask him to trash em?
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post #2 of 23 Old 09-13-2018, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asgard1an View Post
Neighbor has a pair of these and they work great. He wants to donate it to goodwill and asked me if I wanted them. I don't know much about these 901 apart from these are old,

The picture is not hte actual one but it look like it.

So do I take them or ask him to trash em?
...yes.
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post #3 of 23 Old 09-13-2018, 11:46 AM
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Does you neighbor have the box/brain and stands for the speakers ?
Are they series 3's?
These are getting purdy old now and depending on how they where cared for, series 3 through 6 have surrounds that are known to deteriorate and may need to be replaced. This is something you can do yourself if you choose.
Now, series 1 and 2 use different material for their surrounds and don't have this problem.
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post #4 of 23 Old 09-13-2018, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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This is the actual sticker on the speaker

https://ibb.co/c2TdQU

Actual speaker

https://ibb.co/jhT6C9

Last edited by Asgard1an; 09-13-2018 at 01:04 PM.
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post #5 of 23 Old 09-13-2018, 02:11 PM
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Bose 901...in the right room, with the right EQ and with 2 channel music if you want no directivity and want to feel like you are right in the an orchestra..then they can sound okay. My friend Paul had them in one house and they sounded pretty good...when he moved to a house with a big open basement, he couldn't make them sound good no matter where he placed them.
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post #6 of 23 Old 09-13-2018, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Molon_Labe View Post
I heard the rear ports were George Lucas's inspiration for pod racer engines. Ok, maybe not

I owned a pair back in the early 90's. At the time, they were really popular making me the envy of all my Army buddies. I used to actually like them but moved on when I got into movies and Dolby surround sound. Wow, seems like a lifetime ago.......
yes, reverse reflection, or whatever they are called speakers would be TERRIBLE for HT!
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post #7 of 23 Old 09-13-2018, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asgard1an View Post
This is the actual sticker on the speaker

https://ibb.co/c2TdQU

Actual speaker

https://ibb.co/jhT6C9
These look to be the original series I 901 speakers from the late ‘60s . Very rare as series II is the oldest I usually encounter. If they are in good condition, and if you have the equalizer they are a collectors item. If I’m correct these have the canvas surrounds that don’t deteriorate like the series 3 and beyond. If it’s not for you than there probably is an enthusiast reachable via eBay or the like.

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post #8 of 23 Old 09-13-2018, 03:44 PM
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Yes.. those are series 1... not sure if you have the box/brain but I would grab them for sure.
Try them and if you don't want them sell them for a few coin. Series 1 and 2 have a good following.
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post #9 of 23 Old 09-13-2018, 05:10 PM
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The dedicated EQ box is a must as these have no crossover. It heavily shapes the sound to make them sound full range. I believe it needs to be placed between the pre-amp and amp. Without it they the will sound all mid range with little or no highs or lows. It has nine 4 1/2" "full range" speakers ... no woofer ... no tweeter! That may be the origin of the old saying/slam ... “Bose: No Highs, No Lows”. (not my thoughts necessarily folks!)

The 901's were designed to be placed in or near the corners of the room with the single driver and ports facing front and the multi drivers facing the corner/wall.

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post #10 of 23 Old 09-13-2018, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes checked with the neighbor and he has a separate EQ box for them as well.
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post #11 of 23 Old 09-13-2018, 07:59 PM
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I'd grab them and live with them for a while. Either way they definitely shouldn't go in the trash.
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post #12 of 23 Old 09-13-2018, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vzphoneman View Post
The dedicated EQ box is a must as these have no crossover. It heavily shapes the sound to make them sound full range. I believe it needs to be placed between the pre-amp and amp. Without it they the will sound all mid range with little or no highs or lows. It has nine 4 1/2" "full range" speakers ... no woofer ... no tweeter! That may be the origin of the old saying/slam ... “Bose: No Highs, No Lows”. (not my thoughts necessarily folks!)

The 901's were designed to be placed in or near the corners of the room with the single driver and ports facing front and the multi drivers facing the corner/wall.
Series 3 through 6 have ports and the ports face the rear of the speakers and are on the same side as the 8 drivers .

Series 1 and 2 have sealed cabinets.
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post #13 of 23 Old 09-14-2018, 11:57 AM
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As mentioned above, you do need to use their EQ box with them. Originally designed to go in the tape loop, these days make sure you have preamp out/power amp input on your receiver or have separate preamp and amplifiers so you can put the EQ in-line.

That said, at least one friend was able to EQ a pair of old 901's using his AVR after the EQ box died and he couldn't get it repaired. Audyssey would not do it, however, as the crossover was too high and wouldn't EQ the bass properly. He had a Pioneer and was able to manually tweak them in.
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post #14 of 23 Old 09-14-2018, 12:17 PM
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Referring to the Bose sticker in post 4 in this thread. What does ONE in the center bottom of the sticker refer to? I believe my 901s are series I but instead of ONE my sticker has TWO stamped in the same place. The series II is supposed to be with a roman numeral after Bose I think. I purchased these in 72 or 73. From what I have read the series I does not have a Bose logo on front lower corner. My speakers have no Bose label on the front. Also my equalizer has a clear/transparent switch on it which I believe is an indication of series I. My serial number is 98630 which is a little higher than the sticker in post 4.

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Last edited by zeuspaul; 09-14-2018 at 12:18 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #15 of 23 Old 09-14-2018, 10:23 PM
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I heard a set hooked to an older Marantz and the EQ through the tape loop. They actually didn't sound all that bad. I've heard worse, for sure.

Very mid-century modern looking too. I'd definitely take them before I let them take to goodwill.
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post #16 of 23 Old 09-15-2018, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeuspaul View Post
Referring to the Bose sticker in post 4 in this thread. What does ONE in the center bottom of the sticker refer to? I believe my 901s are series I but instead of ONE my sticker has TWO stamped in the same place. The series II is supposed to be with a roman numeral after Bose I think. I purchased these in 72 or 73. From what I have read the series I does not have a Bose logo on front lower corner. My speakers have no Bose label on the front. Also my equalizer has a clear/transparent switch on it which I believe is an indication of series I. My serial number is 98630 which is a little higher than the sticker in post 4.
Weren’t they labeled ONE and TWO when you bought a set? Some were labeled LEFT and RIGHT when there was a L/R distinction.

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post #17 of 23 Old 09-15-2018, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sprins View Post
Weren’t they labeled ONE and TWO when you bought a set? Some were labeled LEFT and RIGHT when there was a L/R distinction.

Thank you! I removed the stand from the other speaker and it was stamped ONE. So one of the speakers is stamped ONE and the other is stamped TWO. They appear to be identical in every other way.

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post #18 of 23 Old 09-15-2018, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeuspaul View Post
Thank you! I removed the stand from the other speaker and it was stamped ONE. So one of the speakers is stamped ONE and the other is stamped TWO. They appear to be identical in every other way.
Well there you go, same serial number but two speakers. Gotta keep the paperwork in check

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post #19 of 23 Old 09-15-2018, 04:16 PM
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For the record the serial numbers are different too.


I have always liked my 901s. When set up properly they sound fine for music. I rarely listen to them now. They make decorative good little tables. My only objection has been placement issues and the need for the tape loop for the equalizer.

HT: PSA MTM-210T front, MTM-210C center, PSA MTM-210T surrounds, PSA MT-110 rears, Atmos / Canton, Ascend CBM-170SE, PSA V1800 , PSA V1801, Marantz SR7009 AVR & Emotiva A-100 stereo amp, Panasonic 65ST60 Plasma, Oppo BDP 93, Sony S1700, Music video: JBL L890, L880, LC2, SVS pc13-Ultra, Yamaha RX-V385, ASUS 31.5" IPS monitor, Sony S1700, Multichannel stereo: PSA MT-110, Bose 901, PSA S1510DF, Denon X1400H, Marantz SR6005
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post #20 of 23 Old 09-16-2018, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeuspaul View Post
For the record the serial numbers are different too.

Well, there goes my theory.


Anyways, it's always possible to use a DSP to emulate the 901 equalizer. A graphic equalizer only goes so far, but a parametric eq. will do the trick. Some google research will find the Series I & II, and beyond curves. Then you can even tune the curve to your liking.

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post #21 of 23 Old 09-16-2018, 05:37 AM
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If the drivers are on their way out Parts Express has replacement drivers for them.
https://www.parts-express.com/grs-rs...1-ohm--290-922
Also, they have the surrounds, but I'd be tempted to just replace the driver rather than attempt refoaming 18 drivers myself. Nice score.

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post #22 of 23 Old 09-17-2018, 01:48 AM
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Love or hate Bose ... these are a classic piece of audio history and should live on !

I still remember hearing them for the first time in the 80s !

Cheers,
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post #23 of 23 Old 09-21-2018, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
yes, reverse reflection, or whatever they are called speakers would be TERRIBLE for HT!
They were excellent in 2.0 with my HiFi VCR back in the day for movies.

I had the Series II.

Great speaker for its time.

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