Solving the BOSE issue! [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums

PDA

View Full Version : Solving the BOSE issue!



Florian
04-14-2006, 05:27 PM
Hey guys,

it occured to me that we always complain about the none-existing frequency reposnce graphs. Why dont we measure them? I have a RTA device and my friend has a sound proof booth. Anyone in my area with some BOSE speakers?

shokhead
04-14-2006, 07:28 PM
Why dont you just use yours?

Florian
04-14-2006, 07:31 PM
Why dont you just use yours?

I would but unfortunatly my 301's has burned drivers! Can i use yours instead?

Jim Clark
04-14-2006, 07:51 PM
I never did really understand why there was ever a "bose issue" in the first place. What percentage of people around the world actually have even a midfi system? Whether it is 2 channel or home theater most people have as a comparison either a boombox or the crappy speakers attached to the TV. Even the most strident Bose bashers would almost have to agree that the Bose system, whatever it is, is going to be substantially better then what they have become accustomed to.

Bose is almost ubiquitous. You can find Bose systems on display everywhere from furniture stores to Best Buy and CC. Find them in print ads in virtually every place imagineable. Naturally these are going to be impressive compared to what the average listener has experienced in their lifetime. I believe that there are faults with the speakers, systems, and tactics of the corporation but the bottom line is that they make money and have millions of customers. Doesn't really sound like much of an issue to me.

I'm not a bose apologist. I just realize how unique I am among every single friend I have. I literally had to go online to find someone near me that had a similar interest in audio. In between where probably hundreds of Bose systems with perfectly happy people. I never did see any real harm in that.

In the end you can go out and measure anything you want but I don't see how that or anything else will change my perspective.

Regards,
jc

Florian
04-14-2006, 07:56 PM
Well there is no issue, esp. for me but since there are so many threads popping up i thought that someone migh be interested in some facts. Maybe they meausre better then a Paradigm or B&W speaker and are more true to the source? I dont believe that, but measuring them would be interesting!

superpanavision70mm
04-14-2006, 08:14 PM
I am not necessarily a 'Bose-basher', but I do not typically like all-in-one packages in general. I've listened to Bose on display and they don't appeal to me on any level. The only thing that they seem ideal for is 1. a dorm room 2. a bathroom 3. a closet 4. a bomb shelter

shokhead
04-15-2006, 06:15 AM
I would but unfortunatly my 301's has burned drivers! Can i use yours instead?

Sure but i'll have to rip them out of my car. LOL:ihih:

thekid
04-15-2006, 06:48 AM
Flo

I appreciate your ambition but I don't think it will resolve the issue one way or the other. When I look at the Bose threads the main chorus seems to be against their HTIB or all-in-one systems and even within those Bose makes several so you would be testing for a long time. I would be interested in results for their stand alone speakers such as the 301's, 201's etc. that might help separate the wheat from the chaffe as they say because both Bose bashers and defenders tend to paint with a broad brush and I think there is a difference (both in price and sound quality) between their bookshelf speakers and their all-in-one units.

In the end I am not sure even conclusive results one way or the other would change most minds. In my short time in this forum the opposing camps seem dug in pretty well. As anyone here wanting to check can see I have a Bose set-up for my HT. While generally satisfied with it I know there are better speakers out there-not something most Bose owners/defenders would admit. At the same time not every single Bose product is an over-priced, poor sounding collection of plastic and paper-not something most audiophiles would admit.

Good luck with your quest and I hope to see some results posted in the future!

emorphien
04-15-2006, 03:03 PM
I would be interested to see their stand alone speakers measured as well. Sure it's not apples to apples to compare them to other speakers but as long as you set each type of speaker up properly it'd be interesting to see the differences in the listening area.

But for arguments sake it'd be nice to see one of their HT setups tested too just to get an idea of how big of a frequency gap exists between the cubes and the "bass module."

Woochifer
04-15-2006, 03:59 PM
Well there is no issue, esp. for me but since there are so many threads popping up i thought that someone migh be interested in some facts. Maybe they meausre better then a Paradigm or B&W speaker and are more true to the source? I dont believe that, but measuring them would be interesting!

Well, believe it. The numbers don't lie, and first-hand listenings only reinforce what the technical data says. Sound & Vision published the benchmark results for the Bose Acoustimass 15 a few years ago, and they did not fare very well. (especially note the 10.5 db variation used in the frequency response measurement) I don't know of any Paradigm or B&W system that measures this poorly:

SATELLITES
Frequency Response: 280 Hz to 13.3k Hz at 10.5 dB
Sensitivity (SPL at 1 meter)* 85.1 dB
Impedance (minimum/nominal) 5.3/8 ohms
Bass Limits (-3/-6 dB) 280/220 Hz

BASS MODULE
Frequency Response: 46Hz to 202Hz at 2.3 dB
Sensitivity (SPL at 1 meter) N/A
Impedance (minimum/nominal) N/A
Bass Limits (-3/-6 dB) 46/40 Hz

Contrast this with the Sound & Vision specs for Paradigm's Cinema package (the previous version), which at that time cost about $400 less than the Acoustimass 15.

SATELLITE
Frequency Response: 125 Hz to 20 kHz at 4.6 to 5.2 dB
Sensitivity (SPL at 1 meter)* 86 db to 89 db
Impedance (minimum/nominal) 4.9/12 ohms (L/R/LS/RS), 8.1/10 ohms (C)

SUBWOOFER
Frequency Response: 46Hz to 115Hz at 2.1 dB

thekid
04-15-2006, 04:09 PM
Wooch

These specs/results don't surprise me.
IMO what Bose has done for their Accoustimass systems etc has divided a speaker in two with the cube serving as the tweeter and the bass module just a modified woofer.
By dividing a speaker this way I do not see how they could avoid gaps in their response levels.

I am not an expert but I wonder what the others think of my analogy.

Woochifer
04-15-2006, 04:20 PM
Wooch

These specs/results don't surprise me.
IMO what Bose has done for their Accoustimass systems etc has divided a speaker in two with the cube serving as the tweeter and the bass module just a modified woofer.
By dividing a speaker this way I do not see how they could avoid gaps in their response levels.

I am not an expert but I wonder what the others think of my analogy.

I think what differentiates Bose from other systems is that they have a much wider frequency gap and that gap occurs higher into the frequency range. This gap is very audible and the tonal imbalances throughout the rest of the frequency range make the Bose Acoustimass systems very poor performers compared to competing systems. The satellite units only extend down to 280 Hz, while the bass module has to go up to around 200 Hz. This means that the bass module is actually going into the lower midrange.

Also, by design the Bose Acoustimass systems require that you patch all of the outputs through the bass module where the crossover is located. This means that if you ever want to improve the bass response by adding a subwoofer, you actually have to keep the Bose bass module connected! The satellite units cannot be individually connected to the amp/receiver.

That Paradigm Cinema system is not ideal either because the satellites can only go down to 125 Hz, but if you use a home theater receiver with a crossover point of 120 Hz, then you have a much smaller gap between where the subwoofer takes over and where the satellite units drop off. And if you ever decide to upgrade the bass, all you have to do is swap out the subwoofer, or buy the satellites individually and get a different subwoofer from the outset. The Paradigm design is an open design that allows the user to upgrade different components, and this is how most other manufacturers design their systems. The closed loop design that Bose uses is another way that they rip off the customers, because it does not allow the user to swap out any components without upgrading the entie package.

Florian
04-15-2006, 04:22 PM
Thanks Wooch for the specs, saves me some time!

emorphien
04-15-2006, 04:38 PM
I think what differentiates Bose from other systems is that they have a much wider frequency gap and that gap occurs higher into the frequency range. This gap is very audible and the tonal imbalances throughout the rest of the frequency range make the Bose Acoustimass systems very poor performers compared to competing systems. The satellite units only extend down to 280 Hz, while the bass module has to go up to around 200 Hz. This means that the bass module is actually going into the lower midrange.

Also, by design the Bose Acoustimass systems require that you patch all of the outputs through the bass module where the crossover is located. This means that if you ever want to improve the bass response by adding a subwoofer, you actually have to keep the Bose bass module connected! The satellite units cannot be individually connected to the amp/receiver.

That Paradigm Cinema system is not ideal either because the satellites can only go down to 125 Hz, but if you use a home theater receiver with a crossover point of 120 Hz, then you have a much smaller gap between where the subwoofer takes over and where the satellite units drop off. And if you ever decide to upgrade the bass, all you have to do is swap out the subwoofer, or buy the satellites individually and get a different subwoofer from the outset. The Paradigm design is an open design that allows the user to upgrade different components, and this is how most other manufacturers design their systems. The closed loop design that Bose uses is another way that they rip off the customers, because it does not allow the user to swap out any components without upgrading the entie package.
Good point, and even now there are probably some packaged sets that don't have that gap which are reasonably priced. I'd be curious about the SVS system for example, among others.

Perhaps most suprising or at least enlightening for me is to see how the Bose speakers cut off just above 13KHz. I don't think it is so much a matter of me not believing it but that I've never seen the numbers specifying it.

Woochifer
04-16-2006, 12:06 AM
Good point, and even now there are probably some packaged sets that don't have that gap which are reasonably priced. I'd be curious about the SVS system for example, among others.

Perhaps most suprising or at least enlightening for me is to see how the Bose speakers cut off just above 13KHz. I don't think it is so much a matter of me not believing it but that I've never seen the numbers specifying it.

That old saying "No Highs, No Lows, Must Be Bose" did not exactly originate in a vacuum! I would guess that their older bookshelf speakers have similar specs in the highs because they use comparable 2 1/2" paper cones. But, Bose's direct/reflecting speakers in general are very difficult to obtain accurate frequency response measurements for because the direct/reflecting design relies on bouncing half of the high frequency output off the walls. Consumer Reports has had to make special accommodations to their testing methodology to measure the Bose bookshelf speakers.

That SVS system is very promising because the satellite units can legitimately extend below 70 Hz, and the roll off is gradual due to their sealed design. This more ideally melds with the more typical crossover point of 80 Hz used on HT receivers. Combine this with their PB10-ISD subwoofer, and the SVS system should have minimal frequency gapping and legitimate bass extension down past 25 Hz in-room.

The thing to keep in mind with the SVS system though is that the satellite units are much larger than what you'd typically find with a sub/sat system. It's more like a typical bookshelf speaker, but somewhat smaller because most bookshelf speakers are ported and thus require a larger cabinet volume.

And I think that's the ingenious part of how SVS designed that system. They took a very different approach from the other manufacturers at this price point by using a soft dome tweeter, a 5 1/2" mid/woofer, and a sealed box. Some other sub/sat systems also use a sealed design with the satellite units to reduce the box dimensions, but they also use much smaller drivers, which necessitate either going with a higher crossover point with the subwoofer (if your receiver even has a variable crossover point to begin with), or putting up with a frequency gap between about 80 Hz to 120 Hz. This SVS system seems optimized towards creating the smallest satellite units possible that can legitimately cover the full frequency range while using a THX standard crossover point of 80 Hz.

I'm very curious as to how this system sounds because in the past I have always liked the sound of acoustic suspension bookshelf speakers. And this is really the first system I've seen that uses those types of speakers in a 5.1 speaker package. I'm just surprised that no one had thought of this before because it makes so much sense.

emorphien
04-16-2006, 12:27 AM
True the SVS is different, I was just using it as a pricing example compared to what the Bose systems can go for. Even though it needs a receiver and a source, you could spend $500 on that and outclass the Bose with no trouble.

I really haven't read in to the SVS system too much. There must be some reviews out now worth reading. I just remember the amusing fervor over it on the AVS forum. It was the best thing since sliced bread, even before it was shipping.

njspeer
04-17-2006, 10:22 PM
How 'bout someone try to measure the so-called comb-filter effect I keep hearing everyone refer to as if it were the Gospel? I wonder how easy that would be to measure?

superpanavision70mm
04-17-2006, 10:54 PM
at what frequency range can the human ear hear anyway?

shokhead
04-18-2006, 04:25 AM
Some say 15-18,000Hz and most say 20-20,000Hz

GMichael
04-18-2006, 05:13 AM
On the average, as you get older the 20k drops off (if you could even hear that high to begin with). And although you may not be able to hear anything below 20htz, you sure can feel it.

emaidel
04-20-2006, 08:58 AM
When I sold component audio systems for Lafayette Radio in the 60's and 70's, I continued to be amazed at how many people who could afford better, and who should have known better also, purchased outright crap and were thorougly satisfied with it. The Electrophonic/Morse-manufactured all in one combo units (record changer with ceramic cartridge, 8-track player (yecchhh!!!) and a truly horrible FM tuner/amp with about 3 watts of real power) continually outsold component audio systems, and were just as often purchased by people who could have afforded to spend the extra money on something that sounded inifinitely better.

Bose is a master of marketing, and should be commended for its efforts. It has managed to convince people who should know better that the only way to go is with Bose equipment, even though substantially better performance can be had elsewhere, and for a lot less money. Getting everything in one box is still appealing to the average consumer, even if the net result is genuinely crummy performance.

Resident Loser
04-20-2006, 10:33 AM
...does the torture never stop?

I'd go scrounge up the finalized plotting charts of my 901s and 301s and post 'em, but they would really prove zip-ola...

All Bose speaker systems are not designed to be direct radiators...

Comparing their FRs to that of any other loudspeaker, including dipoles, is meaningless...

The difference in FR between 13kHz and 20kHz is around 2/3 of an octave...an octave being eight whole steps (or notes) apart, that means the fa-so-la-ti-do of that final octave rolls-off...

But then again there are no notes at that point in the frequency spectrum since, as we all know, most fundamentals produced by musical instruments and the human voice pretty much top-off in the 3.5k to 5kHz region...most everything above is harmonic in content...which doesn't mean they aren't important, just not quite as important as the numbers themselves would seem to imply.

Think in terms of polar dispersion...similar to microphone response patterns...from omnidirectional to hyper-cardoid and any permutation thereof. Obviously this is an oversimplification and generalization, but comparing them is really useless as they all do their jobs, but in a distinctly different way...

jimHJJ(...apples and oranges anyone?...)

kexodusc
04-20-2006, 11:15 AM
They operate on that weird reflecting/direct technology gimmick, don't they?
Maybe they're not suppose to measure flat?

Personally, I've always found FR to be somewhat over-rated. I've heard speakers that measure poorly (ie: +2/-9 dB) sound okay.. The key is the -9 dB and where it was at in the spectrum. I gave the speaker soundstage a sense of depth in the midrange.
Sometimes it was a bit annoying, most of the time you couldn't tell though. I think errors of addition are worse than errors of omission in that case. A +9 dB peak would probably make the same speaker unlistenable.

I'm just saying, maybe that's a sound people like, and is exactly what Bose is trying to do?

A few years back Parts Express was selling the Bose drivers they bought out for $0.15 or so...I can measure those if anyone has any?

Woochifer
04-20-2006, 11:36 AM
...does the torture never stop?

I'd go scrounge up the finalized plotting charts of my 901s and 301s and post 'em, but they would really prove zip-ola...

All Bose speaker systems are not designed to be direct radiators...

Comparing their FRs to that of any other loudspeaker, including dipoles, is meaningless...

The difference in FR between 13kHz and 20kHz is around 2/3 of an octave...an octave being eight whole steps (or notes) apart, that means the fa-so-la-ti-do of that final octave rolls-off...

Actually, the Acoustimass system whose specs I posted is designed such that the cubes can be positioned with all drivers pointed directly towards the listening position and nothing pointed towards the back and/or sidewalls, and that's what the S&V measurements reflect. This is different from the fixed driver angles and more deliberate aiming of the tweeters towards the walls that Bose uses in its direct/reflecting bookshelf and floorstanding speakers.

While you might dispute the importance of highs that roll off at 13 kHz vs. 20 kHz, the second part of that measurement that you left out is the magnitude of the variation within that frequency response. A 10.5 dB variance is not trivial, especially compared to the 5 dB variation in the less expensive Paradigm system that I posted for comparison. Having heard both systems before, the colorations rendered on the AM15 are far more glaring and obvious, and the measurements simply confirm what I heard first hand.

And that frequency gap between where the bass module leaves off and where the satellite unit picks up is also very consequential, and substandard compared to the competition. You're always going to have frequency gaps with these small sub/sat systems, especially if they're connected to home theater receivers with the crossover points fixed at 80 Hz or 90 Hz. But, Bose created this large gap by design and pushed it into a higher frequency range where there is a lot more musical content (lower male voices can sound very strange when played through an Acoustimass system).

emorphien
04-20-2006, 02:09 PM
...does the torture never stop?

I'd go scrounge up the finalized plotting charts of my 901s and 301s and post 'em, but they would really prove zip-ola...

All Bose speaker systems are not designed to be direct radiators...

Comparing their FRs to that of any other loudspeaker, including dipoles, is meaningless...

The difference in FR between 13kHz and 20kHz is around 2/3 of an octave...an octave being eight whole steps (or notes) apart, that means the fa-so-la-ti-do of that final octave rolls-off...

But then again there are no notes at that point in the frequency spectrum since, as we all know, most fundamentals produced by musical instruments and the human voice pretty much top-off in the 3.5k to 5kHz region...most everything above is harmonic in content...which doesn't mean they aren't important, just not quite as important as the numbers themselves would seem to imply.

Think in terms of polar dispersion...similar to microphone response patterns...from omnidirectional to hyper-cardoid and any permutation thereof. Obviously this is an oversimplification and generalization, but comparing them is really useless as they all do their jobs, but in a distinctly different way...

jimHJJ(...apples and oranges anyone?...)
Sounds to me like you're trying to rationalize the poor performance of the Bose speakers.

It aint worth the effort. Even properly setup they're lacking IMO.

thekid
04-20-2006, 04:25 PM
E - Wooch and Resident

Youe responses are example of what I was referring to in my earlier response on this thread. I agree Wooch that their all-in-one systems are more along the lines of the "direct" approach that conventional speakers use and because of their choice, to in a sense divide the speakers they produce a poor sound. Resident is talking about their other speakers and may be there is something in what he says because on occasions some people here have given gruding props ( not accolades!!) to the 201's or 301's etc that I think are a different breed. I also agree (I'm in an agreeable mood...) with emorphien and Resident that FR readings may not be all they are cracked up to be but it is intersting to note that when it comes to Bose, their lack of publishing FR's is often cited as a criticism. I am not sure people can have it both ways... FR are important when they favor my POV and when they don't they are not true measure of performance. I am not taking a position either way on FR's because I don't know enough about them.

emorphien
04-20-2006, 04:56 PM
E - Wooch and Resident

Youe responses are example of what I was referring to in my earlier response on this thread. I agree Wooch that their all-in-one systems are more along the lines of the "direct" approach that conventional speakers use and because of their choice, to in a sense divide the speakers they produce a poor sound. Resident is talking about their other speakers and may be there is something in what he says because on occasions some people here have given gruding props ( not accolades!!) to the 201's or 301's etc that I think are a different breed. I also agree (I'm in an agreeable mood...) with emorphien and Resident that FR readings may not be all they are cracked up to be but it is intersting to note that when it comes to Bose, their lack of publishing FR's is often cited as a criticism. I am not sure people can have it both ways... FR are important when they favor my POV and when they don't they are not true measure of performance. I am not taking a position either way on FR's because I don't know enough about them.
FR is important, don't get me wrong. But it doesn't necessarily directly tell you how the speakers will sound in your listening environment.

It is entirely up to the individual but I happen to agree with those that say even when given a fair chance and set up as their design necessitates, the Bose "regular" speakers (ie not surround systems) just aren't as good as other speakers at or below their price range.

GMichael
04-20-2006, 04:57 PM
They operate on that weird reflecting/direct technology gimmick, don't they?
Maybe they're not suppose to measure flat?

Personally, I've always found FR to be somewhat over-rated. I've heard speakers that measure poorly (ie: +2/-9 dB) sound okay.. The key is the -9 dB and where it was at in the spectrum. I gave the speaker soundstage a sense of depth in the midrange.
Sometimes it was a bit annoying, most of the time you couldn't tell though. I think errors of addition are worse than errors of omission in that case. A +9 dB peak would probably make the same speaker unlistenable.

I'm just saying, maybe that's a sound people like, and is exactly what Bose is trying to do?

A few years back Parts Express was selling the Bose drivers they bought out for $0.15 or so...I can measure those if anyone has any?

I have thought the same thing Kex. Bose does a fair job with the mids. And they have a little thump in the range that pop music likes to play with. Maybe part of the research that they've done led them to believe that this is what is important to most people. Crisp highs and tight lows are great for critical listeners. But the average Joe may not give a flying fig about them. Too much highs hurt people's ears. Too many lows can get too people too. My dad hates my sub. When he's over & we watch a movie he complains about all the thump thump thump. And specs are not everything. I have heard speakers that had fair highs & lows but I couldn't stand them. I couldn't hear the singer's voices. They were over powered by the base & clashing of highs. The lack of output in the 120 to 200htz may be what is needed to keep the base from getting to be too much. Maybe Bose is just giving people what the average Joe wants, or at least thinks he wants.

njspeer
04-21-2006, 07:27 AM
Specs by damned. My 901s rock the house!

Woochifer
04-21-2006, 09:20 AM
I have thought the same thing Kex. Bose does a fair job with the mids. And they have a little thump in the range that pop music likes to play with. Maybe part of the research that they've done led them to believe that this is what is important to most people. Crisp highs and tight lows are great for critical listeners. But the average Joe may not give a flying fig about them. Too much highs hurt people's ears. Too many lows can get too people too. My dad hates my sub. When he's over & we watch a movie he complains about all the thump thump thump. And specs are not everything. I have heard speakers that had fair highs & lows but I couldn't stand them. I couldn't hear the singer's voices. They were over powered by the base & clashing of highs. The lack of output in the 120 to 200htz may be what is needed to keep the base from getting to be too much. Maybe Bose is just giving people what the average Joe wants, or at least thinks he wants.

Well, if Bose's research calls for huge peaking in the midrange (which is exactly what occurs with the Acoustimass 15) followed by a major dropoff in the upper midrange, then it contradicts the listening tests and acoustical research that Floyd Toole did at the NRC in Canada. In his research, he found in double blind listenings, people will generally prefer speakers that have most linear response throughout the midrange, regardless of what occurs in the highs and lows. The other findings were preferences for low distortion and good off-axis response.

I think in Bose's case, the Acoustimass design choices placed the greatest priority on minimizing the size of the satellite units and using a single driver design to reduce costs. Everything else had to mitigate that initial design compromise. Bose is giving what the average Joe wants, and that's a system that prioritizes the design compatibility and sounds better than their TV speakers. If people complain about the highs and lows, they're probably not accurate to begin with. A properly tuned subwoofer that has accounted for the room-induced peaking will not have a thumping sound, unless that was part of the original source.

GMichael
04-21-2006, 09:39 AM
Well, if Bose's research calls for huge peaking in the midrange (which is exactly what occurs with the Acoustimass 15) followed by a major dropoff in the upper midrange, then it contradicts the listening tests and acoustical research that Floyd Toole did at the NRC in Canada. In his research, he found in double blind listenings, people will generally prefer speakers that have most linear response throughout the midrange, regardless of what occurs in the highs and lows. The other findings were preferences for low distortion and good off-axis response.

I think in Bose's case, the Acoustimass design choices placed the greatest priority on minimizing the size of the satellite units and using a single driver design to reduce costs. Everything else had to mitigate that initial design compromise. Bose is giving what the average Joe wants, and that's a system that prioritizes the design compatibility and sounds better than their TV speakers. If people complain about the highs and lows, they're probably not accurate to begin with. A properly tuned subwoofer that has accounted for the room-induced peaking will not have a thumping sound, unless that was part of the original source.

Oh well. I gave it a shot. I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt. Doesn't sound good for them.

In my dad's case, he worked at a power plant for over 30 years. His ears are shot. He can't hear anything over about 8k. I may have my sub turned up a bit:biggrin5: , but I like it that way. Sounds good to me. I love it when you can feel the explosions.

Resident Loser
04-21-2006, 09:41 AM
...I keep seing references to the Sound and Vision article from 1999 from which those specs were quoted...and yet more recently in November '04 Ken Pohlmann did a review of the Lifestyle 38 system that seems to have no axes to grind...and didn't call into question Dr. Bose's lineage or ulterior motives in his supposed quest to dominate the A/V world...

Getting back to those numbers...I realize no loudspeaker exists in an anechoic vacuum, but putting any Bose loudspeaker in that test environment seems to be somewhat self-serving...Direct/Refelecting being the operative phrase, sorta' kinda' intimates that relections are what they are...well...a somewhat important , dare I suggest integral, part of the mix...Hmmm...anechoic...reflections...anechoic... reflections...DANGER! DANGER! This does not compute Will Robinson!!!

I've found nothing re: these specs that indicates the multiple cubes were aimed on-axis, the only available resource is here:

http://www.intellexual.net/bose.html

and if they were, given the fact that the Bose owners manual indicates they should be aimed to give a balance of direct and reflected sound, the test parameters are therefore suspect IMO. Might the fact that they are supposed to be off-axis to each other have skewed the numbers? and all the while, conveniently fitting in the apparent Bose-bashing agenda? If so, how convenient...

I'm not gonna' say the frequency plot as provided isn't ragged...bu-u-u-t...

That dip in the 200-300Hz region is at the crossover point between the bass mod and the satts...if the system was placed in a real room (not in a anechoic environment) would things have been more linear? Keep on repeating...direct/reflecting...direct/reflecting...

The rise to a +4 dB peak and subsequent fall @ 5-7kHz region...could the axis alignment (if that's how it was indeed done) have been responsible?

Answers? I have none...only questions...

I'll try to locate my pink-noise plots over the weekend, but at the very least I'll just re-plot the inverse of my current settings on my half-octave graphic and provide some further info...at least re: 901-lls...and they were done in a real-life living room and with the best of intentions.

jimHJJ(...now I think I'll have an apple turnover and some OJ...)

emorphien
04-21-2006, 01:39 PM
Specs by damned. My 901s rock the house!
Be that as it may, we're trying to find out what it is and how to quantify those properties that make Bose speakers sound bad to us.

njspeer
04-21-2006, 08:03 PM
Be that as it may, we're trying to find out what it is and how to quantify those properties that make Bose speakers sound bad to us.

The thing that makes it sound so bad is peer pressure. Below is one of my favorite quotes from this forum. I think it illustrates the culture of Bose Bashing perfectly.


...I'm not too familiar with any of their home audio equipment. However, as a pilot, the Bose product I am familiar with is their noise-canclling aviation headset, which is horribly overpriced compared to most other products on the market. I get the impression that a lot of people buy them because of some perceived mystique associated with the Bose nameplate.

It's a quality product, but there are other aviation headsets that provide about 80% of the quality for only 50% of the price.

Just a thought.

So here we are on an audiophile forum where it's acceptable to buy solid silver speaker cables, $20,000 DACS, $3000 crossovers, and no speaker is ever too expensive in the pursuit of better "imaging" or what ever. But if Bose dares to makes the best noise-canceling aviation headset in the world, it still better be the best gd deal on the planet or it sucks. I wish someone here would man up and admit that they hate Bose because they were told to.

here's the link to the quote (http://forums.audioreview.com/showthread.php?t=16808)

Feanor
04-22-2006, 04:57 AM
I've only ever hear Bose briefly in a dealer show room; I found that the setup there had a very "expansive" sound which I sort of enjoyed.

My own bedroom set also has an "expansive" sound. I have Radio Shack Minimus 7's mount very close to the ceiling plus a low-cost subwoofer. The Rat Shacks point straight ahead horizontally, not downwards towards the typical listening position. The results are -- to use my word -- an "expansive" i.e. diffuse, room-filling sound. It's actually pleasant for no-critical listening but there is no imaging at all, barely even a sense of stereo sound.

I did once have a pair of speakers that sounded pretty expansive but that still imaged well. These were my Ohm F, full-range Walsh driver, speakers. Walsh drivers are omni-directional, of course. My Ohms were placed 2.5' from the side wall and 3-4' from the wall behind them. I suspect that any closer to the walls and the imaging would have deteriorated pretty fast. I've always been sorry that I sold those Ohm F's.

JoeE SP9
04-22-2006, 09:17 AM
The thing that makes it sound so bad is peer pressure. Below is one of my favorite quotes from this forum. I think it illustrates the culture of Bose Bashing perfectly.



So here we are on an audiophile forum where it's acceptable to buy solid silver speaker cables, $20,000 DACS, $3000 crossovers, and no speaker is ever too expensive in the pursuit of better "imaging" or what ever. But if Bose dares to makes the best noise-canceling aviation headset in the world, it still better be the best gd deal on the planet or it sucks. I wish someone here would man up and admit that they hate Bose because they were told to.

here's the link to the quote (http://forums.audioreview.com/showthread.php?t=16808)
I am consistant. I have never liked anything from "The Mountain". I didn't like the original 901's when they were introduced. I like them even less now!
I have been an audiophile longer than a lot of you have been alive. I have always advised everyone that "Blose" products are not what the common assumption says, ie:the best in the world. I don't like a "Blose" defender saying I was told to do anything.:cool:

emorphien
04-22-2006, 10:06 AM
The thing that makes it sound so bad is peer pressure.
Quite frankly that's a very ignorant and arrogant statement.

When I was younger I used to be interested in Bose, I had heard all the marketing and thought that they must be good. I finally heard them, well before I got in to audio and well before I joined my first forum and realized that they weren't what I had expected of them. I could tell then that they didn't compare to other speakers costing less. Over the years I've only seen and heard more of them and have continued to marvel at how well their marketing works. I almost fell for it but hearing them was enough to tell me that they weren't that great.

You are allowed to like them, I'm not going to criticise or say you're stupid or that you don't think for yourself. Everyone has a different acceptance threshold as well as different hearing. I have very good hearing and on more than one occaision I've driven shop owners batty at audiophile shops complaining about whining CD players. "I can hear the CDs spinning!"

Others may say you've fallen prey to the marketing, and maybe you have but perhaps you're no more guilty of that than many are for just following the anti-Bose bandwagon without ever giving them a listen. I'm just going to say I don't like the Bose sound, I think it's subpar and they charge too much for speakers that sound the way they do.

GMichael
04-22-2006, 03:12 PM
The thing that makes it sound so bad is peer pressure. Below is one of my favorite quotes from this forum. I think it illustrates the culture of Bose Bashing perfectly.



So here we are on an audiophile forum where it's acceptable to buy solid silver speaker cables, $20,000 DACS, $3000 crossovers, and no speaker is ever too expensive in the pursuit of better "imaging" or what ever. But if Bose dares to makes the best noise-canceling aviation headset in the world, it still better be the best gd deal on the planet or it sucks. I wish someone here would man up and admit that they hate Bose because they were told to.

here's the link to the quote (http://forums.audioreview.com/showthread.php?t=16808)

I actually like how Bose sound and have said that many times. But I have also heard much better sound for less money.

thekid
04-22-2006, 04:10 PM
If I may attempt to bring this back on topic somewhat .....and ask a newbie question.....

Re-The FR gaps that were mentioned earlier referencing the cubes- are they (FR gaps-Not the issues with the cubes) correctable using tweaks from your reciever or other methods? For example if the speakers over emphasize mid-bass could you change your x-over? As I mentioned I don't really understand the intricacies of FR and sense it came up here I thought I'd ask.

Thanks for any education in this area you all could provide.

JoeE SP9
04-22-2006, 06:53 PM
If I may attempt to bring this back on topic somewhat .....and ask a newbie question.....

Re-The FR gaps that were mentioned earlier referencing the cubes- are they (FR gaps-Not the issues with the cubes) correctable using tweaks from your reciever or other methods? For example if the speakers over emphasize mid-bass could you change your x-over? As I mentioned I don't really understand the intricacies of FR and sense it came up here I thought I'd ask.

Thanks for any education in this area you all could provide.
Suppose you have a two way speaker with a woofer and a tweeter. If the tweeter can reproduce frequencies from 2,000Hz to 16,000Hz and the woofer can reproduce frequencies from 62Hz to 500Hz how do you hear the frequencies between 500Hz and 2,000Hz. This is a frequency response gap. My example is exagerated a bit. I think you get the point. All the tweaking in the world will not help with FR gaps.:cool:

Resident Loser
04-26-2006, 08:52 AM
...I'll try to locate my pink-noise plots over the weekend, but at the very least I'll just re-plot the inverse of my current settings on my half-octave graphic and provide some further info...at least re: 901-lls...and they were done in a real-life living room and with the best of intentions.

I didn't have the time to locate my originals, but the following graph is the inverse of the settings currently on my SAE 2700B half-octave equalizer...

1765

It took a while even locating multi-cycle, semi-log paper I could download that could be re-worked from a .pdf to a .jpg for my purposes...and me being an avowed Luddite and computer-illiterate had a devil of a time at the whole venture...plus now downsizing to fit the site's requirements...anywho!!!

jimHJJ(...have at it...)

Woochifer
04-26-2006, 01:23 PM
If I may attempt to bring this back on topic somewhat .....and ask a newbie question.....

Re-The FR gaps that were mentioned earlier referencing the cubes- are they (FR gaps-Not the issues with the cubes) correctable using tweaks from your reciever or other methods? For example if the speakers over emphasize mid-bass could you change your x-over? As I mentioned I don't really understand the intricacies of FR and sense it came up here I thought I'd ask.

Thanks for any education in this area you all could provide.

To a point, you can correct for unevenness in the frequency response and alterations caused by the room acoustics. But, a frequency gap like you see with the Bose Acoustimass occurs at the extreme physical limits of the satelite and bass module units. EQ'ing or processing won't make those speakers do what they are physically incapable of doing.

Woochifer
04-26-2006, 01:54 PM
...I keep seing references to the Sound and Vision article from 1999 from which those specs were quoted...and yet more recently in November '04 Ken Pohlmann did a review of the Lifestyle 38 system that seems to have no axes to grind...and didn't call into question Dr. Bose's lineage or ulterior motives in his supposed quest to dominate the A/V world...

Uh, and that 2004 review that Pohlman wrote did not include any technical measurements, which is very unusual for S&V. Let's see, S&V reviews for other comparable HTIB packages DO include the technical measurements, while they are excluded from the Bose Lifestyle 38 review. No axes to grind evident, but I would hardly call this type of exclusionary cherry picking objective.


Getting back to those numbers...I realize no loudspeaker exists in an anechoic vacuum, but putting any Bose loudspeaker in that test environment seems to be somewhat self-serving...Direct/Refelecting being the operative phrase, sorta' kinda' intimates that relections are what they are...well...a somewhat important , dare I suggest integral, part of the mix...Hmmm...anechoic...reflections...anechoic... reflections...DANGER! DANGER! This does not compute Will Robinson!!!

And here's where the Acoustimass differs ... that direct/reflecting design is adjustable by the USER, and can in fact be positioned as a conventional direct firing satellite unit. This is very different from Bose's direct/reflecting bookshelf and floorstanding speakers, or dipolar or bipolar or omnipolar speakers, which have the radiating pattern fixed into the speaker design.


and if they were, given the fact that the Bose owners manual indicates they should be aimed to give a balance of direct and reflected sound, the test parameters are therefore suspect IMO. Might the fact that they are supposed to be off-axis to each other have skewed the numbers? and all the while, conveniently fitting in the apparent Bose-bashing agenda? If so, how convenient...

S&V conducts all of their speaker tests using on-axis measurements. That's why their results are comparable from graph to graph. David Ranada and more recently Tom Nousaine have been conducting these tests the same way for years. No Bose bashing agenda from them, and no Bose favoritism from them either, unlike Pohlmann's approach of only telling the good news, and leaving out the details.


That dip in the 200-300Hz region is at the crossover point between the bass mod and the satts...if the system was placed in a real room (not in a anechoic environment) would things have been more linear? Keep on repeating...direct/reflecting...direct/reflecting...

Nope, the wall reflections and room placement cannot create what isn't there in the first place. The existence of this frequency gap is audible during normal listening. As I noted before, male voices sound very strange on an Acoustimass system.


The rise to a +4 dB peak and subsequent fall @ 5-7kHz region...could the axis alignment (if that's how it was indeed done) have been responsible?

Another very audible phenomenon in a real world setup. Despite their steep dropoff in the highs, the Acoustimass systems subjectively sound bright much of the time, and that goes along very well with that peak that occurs around the 5 kHz mark. However, this brightness does not apply to higher pitched sounds like violins, trumpets, cymbals etc. With those sounds, the Acoustimass systems sound almost muffled.


I'll try to locate my pink-noise plots over the weekend, but at the very least I'll just re-plot the inverse of my current settings on my half-octave graphic and provide some further info...at least re: 901-lls...and they were done in a real-life living room and with the best of intentions.

jimHJJ(...now I think I'll have an apple turnover and some OJ...)

Interesting results that you posted. The most notable aspect that I spotted was the big difference in how the L and R speakers measured. Was this room asymmetrical?

superpanavision70mm
04-26-2006, 02:24 PM
I think that we are going back and forth on something that is just not really going to go anywhere. Chances are if you do not like Bose ...you are never going to like them. If you have a sweet system already...then you don't really care about Bose and that's the end of that. If you DO like Bose...then YEAH for you. I don' think it's right or wrong to like something because it's all a matter of taste. Fact of the matter is that Bose is right for certain people because of the price, the name, and to them it meets the need. For others, like most of us that write in this forum...we don't have any interest in Bose and that's fine too.

Resident Loser
04-27-2006, 05:29 AM
...being the dimwit that I am, on review I noticed the right-channel peak @ 10k...actually since my EQ controls are +/- 16dB max, that point in the plot should be 5dB lower...like this:

1772

And in answer to your inquiry:


Interesting results that you posted. The most notable aspect that I spotted was the big difference in how the L and R speakers measured. Was this room asymmetrical?

Well, ostensibly the room (10x14 or so) is visually a rectangle and my speaks are along the longest wall...however, directly opposite the left speaker is a foyer, alcove, place to wipe your feet, roughly 4ft. square...standing in it is a sonic nightmare, and I'm fairly certain it has an effect...to say the least...and then there's the picture window in the short wall in between...

As if that weren't enough, there is a similar situation at the right speaker. That mirror-image "alcove"-like space actually extends into a hallway, which at least doubles that leg of the room...and then there's the archway that opens into the dining area...so sonically, the space is sorta' like a U-shaped affair...and then of course comes the furnishings...all in all, a great big pain in the (r)ear...

I had used a laundry-list of SPLs on a legal pad for the EQ set-up...Since transferring those numbers to the proper plotting medium, I think I can now visually account and correlate for nearly every blip and bloop in the response curve.

jimHJJ(...all-in-all, it's been a beneficial exercise...)

njspeer
04-27-2006, 01:50 PM
While you guys are trying to figure out why Bose sounds so bad, I'm listening to Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon' on my vintage 901s, and they sound perfect.

GMichael
04-27-2006, 02:00 PM
While you guys are trying to figure out why Bose sounds so bad, I'm listening to Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon' on my vintage 901s, and they sound perfect.

I'll be listening to Rush 2112 on my Bose, on my way home in a few minutes. I'm sure that I'll enjoy it as much as I did this morning. But when I get home, I'll turn on my Yamaha mid-level receiver and it will sound much better, as it always does. I'll pop open a brew and maybe make myself a Pb&J sandwich.

I spent $25 on my cables. Hope that's OK. And My Infinity speakers still have the crossovers they came with.

njspeer
04-27-2006, 02:39 PM
I spent $25 on my cables. Hope that's OK.

It's okay this time. Don't let it happen agian.

GMichael
04-27-2006, 05:01 PM
It's okay this time. Don't let it happen agian.

I'll try not to. I'm thinking $38 next time. But that's only because it's double insulated. I doubt that helps the sound, but it does meet building codes for installing wire inside your walls.

Resident Loser
04-28-2006, 06:12 AM
While you guys are trying to figure out why Bose sounds so bad, I'm listening to Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon' on my vintage 901s, and they sound perfect.

..."...some of you guys..."...I've enjoyed mine since '75...

On the self-titled Heart album there is some between-cut banter (just before "Say Hello" I think) in which the voices, and the coin they're tossing on the ground, sound about as immediate and in-the-room-with-you as may be possible in recorded form...also during "Magic Man" (Dreamboat Annie) there is a synthesizer glissando that drops the frequency of a bass line into the Marianas Trench...smooth even, tight and powerful all the way to the bottom...of course the room EQing helps in smoothing no doubt, but they've got an excellent bottom and top-end IMO...

And in PFs title cut on "Wish You Were Here" there is that acoustic guitar intro that blows me away every time...and since I have played guitar since 1966, I have the reasonably adequate ability to know what one sounds like.

Smaller, less futzed-with disks, particularly jazz with acoustic bass, the bass is so present (and I don't mean loud and overbearing) I'm sometimes amazed...bowed lines are incredible...you can almost feel the rosin on the bow...details...you want details...I also find them to have very good localization and presentation of depth...

R. Carlos Nakai's "Canyon Trilogy" is a solo album of Native American flute music and it's sound is positively ethereal...as I'm sure it was intended...the 901s do it justice...

And I don't mean to give the impression of a generalized euphony, because there are albums that just plain s*uck for one reason or another...good recordings sound good/bad ones, bad...

jimHJJ(...and that's the name of that tune...)

thekid
04-29-2006, 02:58 AM
Wooch-JoeE

Thanks for the education. FR Gaps is a term used frequently around here and I just needed some clarification. Wooch I think your point regarding room accoustics is one sometimes overlooked in many speaker discussions.The hardcore tend to balance the whole equation where newbies such as myself often don't have the time or resources to deal with that issue and it is probably a very critical component with how a speaker sounds no matter who the manufacturer. As mentioned in some of the earlier threads the "Direct/Reflecting" technology does affect how a Bose speaker is going to sound and therfor room accoustics and speaker position are more critical for Bose than with other speakers. I am not saying that makes them better or worse it just a factor to consider when people start talking about measuring Bose-the original topic of this thread.

Florian
04-29-2006, 05:09 AM
The bottom line is this, if you like them then fine :-)
I still would like to measure one but dont feel like spending 50$ to buy one. So if anyone near me is interested in some measurements let me know.

thekid
04-29-2006, 05:03 PM
Well Flo I do travel alot but Bavaria is not on my schedule or I'd bring mine over and let you measure them.

Florian
04-29-2006, 05:09 PM
Well Flo I do travel alot but Bavaria is not on my schedule or I'd bring mine over and let you measure them.

Yeah right :-)

But then again its pointless to measure them. I personally cant stand more then +-1.5db difference across the entire spectrum. You could buy a Tact RCS and try to get it time, phase coherrent with a flat responce.

-Flo