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Old 18th August 2003, 04:14 PM   #1
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last year i bought a pair of used bose 901 series I speakers on ebay. I know there is alot of disagreement on bose speakers (good vs bad) but anyway i've got em and now i was wondering about the power source. I have been using an Aiwa 115 watt receiver which i had previously purchased for home theater but changed my mind. Is there a reason to go out and buy a subwoofer, amplifier, or new receiver? will i notice a significant difference? also, when listening to rap recordings with really deep base the speakers clip. Is that an effect of too little power?
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Old 18th August 2003, 06:35 PM   #2
GM is offline GM  United States
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At least you got the ones with the ~good drivers. Have new surrounds been installed or looked at them to confirm they're OK? if they're not, then not only won't they sound good, but will quickly bottom out. Did you get the EQ also? Are you aware of the precise in-room setup required?

Yes, these need quite a bit of power. A friend bought some of these new and wound up using a 400W Phase Linear amp for R&R. A sub is a good idea though since it will reduce audible distortion and make the 901s more acoustically efficient.

Not familiar with Aiwa, but I think it's safe to say that swapping from a consumer grade receiver to a more 'HIFI' preamp/amp will make a significant sonic improvement.

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Old 18th August 2003, 07:15 PM   #3
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thanks alot...looked at the surrounds and they appear to be ok...will look into an amp or subwoofer! I did get the EQ and tried my best to place them according to manual. btw..are later series bose 901s poorer quality?
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Old 18th August 2003, 08:11 PM   #4
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I would bet that your amp is clipping....not the speakers

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Old 18th August 2003, 08:34 PM   #5
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yeah i think you are right...actually the aiwa's owner's manual says it is only 60W per channel.....it does appear i need an amp...this is going to sound really stupid...how would i hook that up along with my current receiver- would i use the tape out on my 901 EQ? i'm looking at a 2-channel QSC USA 370 110 watt per channel on ebay right now ($100)....or would i really notice a difference if i were to go with a significantly higher wattage?
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Old 18th August 2003, 08:54 PM   #6
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OK, cool! A lot of times the EQ unit goes bad so the speakers get dumped/sold 'as is' and usually don't have the manual either. If you're satisfied they're OK then I'm with JD, time for some upgrading.

Yeah, I didn't keep up with their decline, I just know that the ones marketed in the late '80s were but a ghost of the originals. When TT got his we compared them to my Altec theater horns, and while the 901s weren't in the same league (and didn't expect them to be), on orchestra/symphony music they were designed for they were more than adequate.

I still have Bose's 901 demo LP, which sounds like crap on regular stereo speakers, but really comes 'alive' on a well set up early 901 system. In fairness to Bose's marketing strategy, I also have an earlier Altec demo LP, which of course sounds fantastic on Altecs and like crap on the 901s. A pity since there's a diverse selection of fabulous music on both. Marketing, ugh!

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Old 19th August 2003, 12:40 AM   #7
Jay is offline Jay  Indonesia
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Quote:
Originally posted by xenocide
how would i hook that up along with my current receiver- would i use the tape out on my 901 EQ?
If you wanted to use double amplifiers, one 60W and another 110W, you can't.

Don't remember if EQs have "tape out", but usually it is placed before amplifier, after source (tape, CD, TT) and pre-amp.

Quote:
Originally posted by xenocide
i'm looking at a 2-channel QSC USA 370 110 watt per channel on ebay right now ($100)....or would i really notice a difference if i were to go with a significantly higher wattage?
Higher wattage will surely help with most speakers.

Commercial (non-hi-end) amps tend to "lie" in their power specification. IMO from such a amp, you cannot get 110W unless you have terrible distortion. Transformer is the primary component to deliver power, and because it is expensive, manufacturer tend to give an under-rated one. You cannot trust 100% the power spec. The heavier the amp the better (because transformer is heavy). Toroidals are lighter but never found them in $100 amps.
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Old 19th August 2003, 01:13 AM   #8
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Welcome to hifi Xeno,

I have a friend with 901s and in addition to changing the settings on the EQ very little, he also insists that the enclosures are either quite near the wall or quite far. He says that the 901s are supposed to give both direct and reflected sound and that near or far from the wall is the best way to keep the two sets of waves from getting blurred. I've never liked them, but they are still better than most consumer speakers I've heard.

And, that bad bass may actually be coming from the RAP music. I've noticed that a lot of RAP, especially the underground stuff is mixed really poorly with a lot of bass EQ and even recorded on really noisy equipment. Almost as if some 'hood DJ did the work without knowing the basics of signal levels, clipping and distortion. I know that on my NWA disc, the bass is so badly modified that it almost sounds like it was made by a kettle drum with the skins loosened to almost flapping.

:)ensen.
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Old 19th August 2003, 02:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jay


If you wanted to use double amplifiers, one 60W and another 110W, you can't
so you are saying i would need a preamp if i'm using multiple sources (most power amplifiers i am seeing have 1 input - 1 output) and discard the receiver?
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Old 19th August 2003, 07:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jay


Don't remember if EQs have "tape out", but usually it is placed before amplifier, after source (tape, CD, TT) and pre-amp.
I thought that the 901 EQ goes between the amp and the speakers...

In any case, don't over-cook the EQ settings. They are often used (erroneously) to customize the sound, but really should only be used to compensate for frequencies that get cancelled due to the increased room reflections caused by the Bose 01 series speakers.



Quote:
Originally posted by xenocide


so you are saying i would need a preamp if i'm using multiple sources (most power amplifiers i am seeing have 1 input - 1 output) and discard the receiver?
If the receiver has a "pre-out" connection, then for the time being you plug a power amp into that and use the receiver as a pre-amp. If you remember that a receiver is just a pre-amp, tuner and amplifier in one chassis, then the pre-out connection takes the signal just before the internal power amp.

If the receiver doesn't have a pre-out, then you are kind of forced into getting a pre-amp right away. If it does, then you can wait until you want to upgrade.

Even with a pre-out connection, most people eventually discard consumer level receivers or demote them for use in the office, workshop or garage. The reason most people do that is because all the circuitry in one chassis is often the result of a lot of compromises.

The tuners are not so good because the extra circuits create RFI that messes up the sensitivity. The amps are not so good because the other circuits draw energy from the power supply that could be used to deliver cleaner and higher peaks. And the pre-amps are often compromised just to save costs.

And by buying separate components. Upgrading becomes a question of choosing the link in the chain to be replaced. The un-needed unit can then be sold at a higher re-sale value than all-in-one equipment.

I think that before you continue, you should decide what you want the system to do and then tell the thread what kind of components you have. It's really the only way we can offer valid advice.

:)ensen.

PS: IMO, for HT the cheapest way to get hi-fi quality sound is to start with a good multi-channel source, like a DVD-A or multi-channel SACD/DVD player. Then use the analog outputs from the player into a 6 channel pre-amp and then get 5 active monitors and an active sub. If you find the various HT pre-amps too expensive, just get 3 older matching stereo preamps, match levels manually with volume and balance and use a single remote as the master volume. If you build the preamp yourself, you could get away for less than the cost of a new mid-level Marantz HT receiver and that includes the active monitors.
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