Was Bose right all along?
I have spent the better parts of 3 decades trashing or atleast not saying any nice things about the creations of Dr. Bose.
Of late I am been delving into full range drivers (fostex, jordan, visaon, TB et. al.) and given the succes of driver like the JX92, FE107/127, TB W3 871, etc... wonder if Bose's 901 has/had any merits.
Bose it must be said managed to build a system using multiple 4" drivers in a compact WAF compliant box.
only 1 4" driver faced the front dodging the problems of lobing. instead of open baffle, bose added 8 more drivers in the rear in 2 4 driver (2x2) arrays. this theorically gave him enough Sd and Xmax to produce bass down to 40Hz. esp since these drivers were "bass refelxed" and equalised (like KLH and others did in the 70s).
maybe things the 901 did sometings wrong. i have never had the opportunity to audition them over an extended period of time with quality accessories. When I had the opportunity I was too brash to even give them a chance. wish i had.
however with good fullrange drivers like the jx92, 107, etc.. one is tempted to give what may the most successfull single driver loudspeaker a chance. One is also tempted to attempt an "audiophile" version of the 901 using perhaps the 871, 107, 127 (the jx92 are too costly for such and effort) etc.
BTW I just found this article b accident....
I had extensive exposure to the 1st gen 901 system, with many comparison sessions with my tweaked Altec theater horn system and they did some things very well at moderate SPLs IF you had the room to set them up properly, which few who bought them did, and the electronic EQ system wasn't really up to HIFI SQ standards. Consequently they got a bad rep, then they cheapened up the drivers, which further degraded the sound. Now that relatively cheap digital EQ 'FR shapers' are available, I've been accumulating NOS RS 40-1197s to build some 'clones' to see if I can equal/improve on what I remember 'on the cheap'.
Who knows, this may be the next big DIY thing. Just imagine the bragging rights some well heeled DIYer would have showing up at a regional meet sporting a 901 clone system loaded with eighteen AERs/matching BSS electronic systems. ;)
take the bose direct reflecting principle.
mix in better drivers like the fe107/127 (or maybe even the tb 3" 871 or 4" 657 or 927).
improve WAF/SAF by making it thin and tall and maybe even wall mounted like B&W VM1 or FLS or KEF's KHT and maybe we can get the best of both worlds.
BTW have you seen this....
Life style people
Bose have made some very good items but are more for the Life style product people. They want the name, thats all.
I auditioned Bose 901's the first time I got the hifi bug, in the mid 70's. I had never heard of them before I auditioned them. My impression at the time was that I heard a large amount of distortion.
JMO bit the 901's are "explitive".
also JMO but a TB based speaker with units remotely suited
to 40Hz reflex tuning and passive line level eq for BSC and
any loss of bass due to overdamping would be miles better.
Treble end, which everyone seems to ignore in the original is
hideous, again using TB's and line level Eq you can do better.
I've only heard the "professional version" which is "expletive".
IMO anyone who knew what they were doing and used line
level EQ could easily make a TB based Bose 901 "killer".
But I'm not remotely suggesting it would compare with the same
money spent on a conventional speaker, in my book it wouldn't.
Listening to reflected waves could never beat listening to direct wave fronts in terms of clarity detail and imaging. Wide dispersion would be about the only benefit and there are easier ways to do it. If you want a similar effect while preserving the good things, use the multiple drivers in an OB line array. If you want the sound to appear to just come from an entire wall without detailed imaging, use the same OB line array and wire it in a Bessel amplitude arrangement.
I like the 901 to some extent - due to the comb-filter effect it's a lot of fun, not what I would use for serious listening.
The comb-filtering adds spaciousness & depth to the sound, the amount the 901 creates is abit over the top.
A single classical guitar or single vocal sounds way too big.
Read the review...
Too much EQ is needed to get the 901 to cough up some high frequencies. I could see an active equalizer being used to boost the bass of a line array such that a subwoofer would not be necessary but the use of active EQ in the high end bothers me.
My Bose experiences,
I had many months listening to 901's in the early 70's. I was pleased. By now I have grown to a higher Audio buff, so I can reflect on the many problems the 901's had. No real balls in the low end, and too much distortion in highs. Mids played well bounced off the walls but now days I prefer direct rather than reflecting.
I basically agree that Bose would be hard pressed today to sell as many as the early 70's. :)
I'm all wishing to get my hands on a pair of 36" PA speakers like I listened to in concerts during the 70's age. Ha. What nice mids they could churn out!
Hoping this helps,
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