• 12-28-2003, 12:51 AM
    Can Bose 601/701 towers be combined with other periferal (back) speakers?

    I don't pretend to be a speaker expert by any means, but I do love music. I spent hours out in the cold boxing day morning here in Canada to get the Bose 701s series 2 speakers on sale for $699 (Canadian dollars) and a 5.1 sony 100w/channel receiver for $200 CDN. Now, I hooked them up and Im still debating how I feel about the sound. What I really want to know is can I add 2 back speakers without Bose's reflecting thing they specialize in (I was thinking maybe a couple of Polk or Infinity bookshelves) and still have the whole system sound good for music? I do want to use them for movies too, but havent hooked them up to a dvd player yet, so if you have tried that I would also appreciate hearing how your results were. I have a feeling that these speakers would really benefit from 2 rear speakers for music, and I think the Bose speakers are the best deal I can get here for the price I paid (let me know if Im wrong). I know I can get a good 5 speaker system (I was looking at the Athena Point 5 MK2 speakers on sale for $499 CDN at futureshop) for the price I paid for the Boses... but I think the 701s do a better job than 4 bookshelves would. Really curious to hear opinions.

    Just FYI, Im mostly into rock type music (pink floyd, tool, nirvana, etc).

    Thank you very much
  • 12-28-2003, 06:22 AM
    You can add whatever speakers you want as long as they are within the impedance ratings of your receiver. The receiver doesn't care.
  • 12-28-2003, 06:35 AM
    Youv'e gotta love Futureshop
    I think they have the same really helpful 30 day return policy as they use at Best Buy here in the states.

    $700Cdn is about $500 US. Bring the Bose back, and take the Sony while you are at it, both have more limitations than value IMHO. That would give you $900 Cdn ($650 US) to work with. We can do this, and re-spend the money at Futureshop to ease any apprehension about returning things.

    Here is a painful truth about audio life. Bose speakers are best bought by those who like Bose speakers. Music lovers should not apply, nor should Home Theater lovers. What they do best is elevate your status among your friends who know nothing about audio, and make your friends who do snicker behind your back. Instead of being embarrassed, you should feel good that you were on the ball enough to realize that something was wrong, rather than accept a system aspiring to someplace short of mediocrity. I'm pretty dang proud of you, if that means anything.

    Now, that being done, you are going to spend twice as much on a receiver. Get the Yamaha 5650. If you don't mind giving up S video switching and S-Video upconversion, you can get by with the 5640.

    On the speaker front, the Athena package is going to need a subwoofer to make it worthwhile, although that little 8" Athena they have is a killer little sub. With the sub it would have been a far better choice than the Bose, offering better performance in the highs, midrange, and bass. However, if you like a floorstander, get the Athena F1s then save up for the surrounds, then the center. By the time you get done with this, Futureshop will probably have the 10" Athena sub on the floor (this spring from what I gather).

    Not two or three days ago did I post in agreement with Skeptic about people not caring about sound. Thanks for proving me wrong. You made me feel better about the world today.
  • 12-28-2003, 09:53 AM
    markw: I was thinking more in terms of sound quality... I was pretty sure the reciever would play them regardless.

    spacedeckman (or anyone else): Few questions:

    Best Buy does have the 30 day warrante.

    The sony is a STR-DE595. What is wrong with it... what are the limitations? I looked up the Yamaha and while it looks good Im not sure how it is better for music than my current Sony one. I do not really think a rear center is necessairy, so it seems like a waste to spend double for a 6.1 receiver.

    As for the Boses, when I first hooked them up I ws dissapointed. But when I read the instructions and properly spaced them from the back wall and the corner, they sound pretty damn good to me. However if I can do better, I couldn't honestly care less about the brand name. Are the Athenas the best I can do for music? They seem to be more of a home theatre-type speaker. And for the sub, I was thinking maybe saving for an 8" velodyne CHT, would the AS-300 or AS-400 Athena be just as good. I love my bass :)

    I read a ton of 701 reviews and have a sneaking feeling (although Im likely completely wrong) that you are the guy from st catharines who worked at futureshop and posted a negative review or the 701s? I actually go to brock.

    Thank you for your replies and I'll keep looking throughout the day (and doubtless the next few days while I decide what to do with these 701s),
  • 12-28-2003, 10:34 AM
    Agreement tally?
    Are you tallying those who agree with you, with each other, what?? BTW, I thought it was "Lies, damned lies, and statistics".

  • 12-28-2003, 11:19 AM

    Originally Posted by macduffy
    markw: I was thinking more in terms of sound quality... I was pretty sure the reciever would play them regardless.

    As for the Boses, when I first hooked them up I ws dissapointed. But when I read the instructions and properly spaced them from the back wall and the corner, they sound pretty damn good to me.

    Speakers are a personal choice, much like a wife. What works for me may not necessarially work for you.

    FWIW, you might want to listen to what the spaceman says. He speaks many truths, but again, personal preferences rule in this hobby. That, and marketing.
  • 12-28-2003, 01:02 PM
    Help as requested
    "The sony is a STR-DE595. What is wrong with it... what are the limitations? I looked up the Yamaha and while it looks good Im not sure how it is better for music than my current Sony one"

    Sound quality, reliability, ease of use. The entry level Sonys have a very poor track record. All of the mainline Sony receivers are designed to look good on the specification front. They are trying to sell to the people who want the most watts per dollar. People who are more concerned with build and sound quality are expected to ante up for a Sony ES. Yamaha doesn't play that game, has an excellent reliability record on all receiver product (all Yamaha products do very well actually, although the cheap DVDs...well, they are at least as good as anyone elses) and is more concerned with sound quality and build quality. You have to trust me on this one, or you can try this one yourself. When at Futureshop, tune a strong radio station on the Sony and the Yamaha, then try to match the volumes (making sure the EQ function is off on the Sony and bass and treble or processing is bypassed.) You just have to be close for what I want you to listen for. Switch from one to the other. You will notice the Sony will sound really congested, lack bass, and detail in the highs. The Yamaha will sound fuller and more realistic. The Yamaha is also much better in surround processing. So, it is a better choice for either stereo or surround listening. You will NOT regret this decision.

    "I read a ton of 701 reviews and have a sneaking feeling (although Im likely completely wrong) that you are the guy from st catharines who worked at futureshop and posted a negative review or the 701s?"

    Don't even know where St Catherines is. I have never posted a negative review of any product on this or any other site. I have no connection to Futureshop or Best Buy (although I did work for Best Buy nearly 20 years ago if that is relevant).

    "I couldn't honestly care less about the brand name"

    You may be trying to convince yourself of that, but deep down, somewhere, Bose's marketing $$s wore down your defenses. You had to essentially buy them without comparing them to any other speakers that were there for that price...the 701s are just NOT competative even at that price. Seems to me the original price on those was $900 US, nearly $1200 Cdn. At 1/2 price, with a well known brand name, that had to play into it quite a bit. But look at it from the other side. Essentially Futureshop has had to GIVE them away at what is probably a loss to get rid of them. Customers thought they were that good. Here in the states, there are still quite a few Best Buy stores that have them in stock too...they can't get rid of them either, and they want to badly. The problem is that Bose customers want AM Sub/sat products, not floorstanding speakers.

    "As for the Boses, when I first hooked them up I ws dissapointed. But when I read the instructions and properly spaced them from the back wall and the corner, they sound pretty damn good to me. However if I can do better, I couldn't honestly care less about the brand name. Are the Athenas the best I can do for music? They seem to be more of a home theatre-type speaker."

    The shortcomings of the 701, well maybe it is easy to make a list.

    Tweeter: It is a 2 1/2" paper tweeter. Even the cheapest speakers out there at this point have stopped using them. They have horrible dispersion characteristics (that's why Bose uses two of them pointed out in a "V" into the room, to overcome shortcomings in dispersion or how sound travels into the listening area. Outside of Bose, I don't think you will find a paper tweeter in the store. Should be a "red light".

    Woofers: Very low grade Chinese import. look like refugees from a big screen TV or factory car stereo. Replacements exactly like OEM without Bose label are available for $5-8 US.

    Enclosure (box): Thin walled particle board with no bracing. A rap on the side gives big hollow sound.

    Sound: With active woofer in thin walled box, bass is boomy and uncontrolled. This is made worse by poor quality amplifier and woofer. Vocals are muddy and muffled, placed well behind the rest of the music, and the tweeter seems to play one note really well, right about 5k, but nothing around there either higher or lower.

    Now, any of the Athenas will have a better tweeter, a dome is always preferred (except by horn-heads) due to better dispersion, and not using paper in this application (I've nothing against it in any other driver, just not in tweeters) allows more extension and "airyness". The other drivers will be better built, as is the enclosure. They are more sensitive so they will play louder than the Bose with the same input, go deeper (without the muddy midbass mess of the 701s), have a cleaner midrange and better more extended highs. The superior dispersion of the Athenas will allow more people in the room to get better sound due to a wide "sweet spot".

    Woofers? Velodyne is good, but I'm not too keen on their entry level models. They are tuned with the entry level home theater buyer in mind and have a bass hump probably just below 50Hz. In other words they will play one note really well, and not do much on any others. Their more expensive woofers are quite good, however. But, you could buy two of the Athenas for that kind of money and still have cash for other stuff. Your call. Depends on what you want to spend. Just play some music through whatever woofer you choose. If there is only one predominant bass note coming out (Klipsch is an excellent example of what a subwoofer should NOT do) cross it off your list.

    No, I'm not a Bose fan. But I'm also not a Bose 'trasher" who just dumps on them to dump on them. I gave you my reasons. If you really like them though, you are free to ignore anything I have told you here. You are the one who is going to have to live with this, not me. BTW, the real shorcomings of the review process on this site is the sheer number of shills on either side. Especially when it comes to a brand like Bose. Most of the posters do not own the product, but want to, and write glowing reviews to validate their desires. The tend to like Bose because of what it reprensents to them...The Best Speakers Out There. Unfortunately, these people have very little exposure to any speakers, even Bose. They have just succomed to the marketing, and more often than not are willing to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars without comparing the Bose product to others in the price point. This didn't come for free. Bose has spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the past 30 some years to make that so. But think about it for a moment. Who does their advertising target? Those who do not currently own a system, nor have investigated the whole process at all. Their favorite target is upscale buyers who can drop $1500-3000US for a system, and won't ever look back. Instead these people will show their other financially rich and knowledge poor friends who do it again. The tactic is quite successful. They are the largest selling brand in the world. They don't compete on the performance front, but have a large and dedicated potential customer base...their actual customer base doesn't fare quite as well, often upgrading to better products after coming into contact with others who were more "up" on what was going on in audio. They feed on ignorance, which is cool with me...caveat emptor. I'm a capitalist, and am very appreciative of the fact that Amar Bose made it okay to spend $1500(US) on a sub/sat system. I'm also appreciative of the fact that he has made it okay to spend a couple of grand (US) on a system, and maybe even three or four your second time around. Amar has done some very good things for the industry, making speakers just wasn't one of them. I wish I had the web address for a guy who really went through it all step by step. He was only wrong on a couple of minor points.

    Good luck. Remember, my advice was free to you, and only distilled through 17 years in the audio industry from sales through product design. You don't have to listen.
  • 12-28-2003, 01:39 PM
    Trollgirl...you want answers
    These are the guys I NEVER seem to agree with, and we appear to be forever at fundamental opposites. Norm, while he seems to be a nice guy, suffers from "commodityitis" where everything is the same and CR knows best. Mtry, attempts to prove that audio is a commodity by the use of science. Skeptic, I may have misidentified. While being grumpy, he isn't a "commodity guy". He ascribes to what we know of science. I think I like him. He is at least honest to himself, and I can respect that.

    The tally is a running joke that has just begun. Now, I have agreed with Mtry at least once at one time, as shocking as that may seem. I even agreed with Norm once. I just don't recall the circumstances and it was before the tally started.

    Statistics can lie, or tell the truth. Maybe deceive is a better term. You just have to use them out of context. Politics is where this is done most often. The best example I can come up with would have to be the economy over the past 4 years. Anybody who understands basic economics and business knows how things happen in either an economic slowdown or recovery. During a slowdown, businesses will cut corners, defer maintenence, capital aquisitions, expansion plans, pay increases, bonuses, etc in an attempt to keep current employees working. The last thing they typically want to do is get rid of employees who are up to speed on how the company works...that information is valuable and expensive to transfer. So layoffs are the last thing a company will do. Rehire and retraining expenses are just too high. Also, during a recovery, rehiring is one of the last things that will get done. Current employees will be run overtime to keep up production until management sees that the recovery is continuing, then they try to bring people on, but not too fast so they have to get rid of them again which kills morale and lowers productivity when they need it the most. Okay, so you must have heard the Democratic presidential candidates and nightly news anchors talk about a "jobless recovery". Well, jobs are just beginning to come on now. Growth to this point has come by the productivity of remaining employees working overtime. Now companies are beginning to hire, and will increase the hiring rate as we go forward.

    The whole "jobless recovery" started out as a lie from someone who understood economics, or a mistake from someone who didn't, that was spread by some who did and some who didn't know (liars and the uninformed) using current statistics out of context of business flow. In the end, statistics were/are being misused and misrepresented in order to deceive the general populace who do not have the knowlege base to see the big picture. If they did...aka, were taught in school and actually paid attention that day, what we hear on the daily news and are told by politicians of any stripe would be just a bit different.

    The whole idea of specifications being "true" and having any meaning outside of the context of the test used to find it is also part. Norm and Mtry fall into that category. Sometimes tests work that way, sometimes they don't. In their world, they are smarter than me, in my little world, maybe they aren't. But I find I have quite a few little friends in my little world. I'm into this because I love it and I like good sound, and hate BS. And, there aren't very many good sources for newbies to get info that isn't completely messed up.

    Happy new year...hope this helps. You may have gotten more than you bargained for.
  • 12-28-2003, 03:34 PM
    Wow, impressive reads. Im pretty lost on your second post... not sure who that is directed at, but it was interesting none the less.

    I don't think I succumbed to marketing really... although I know if you define marketing broadly enough then just about anything falls under it. I really wasn't exposed to it. I had heared that Bose was a quality speaker from a friend and a reliable company with good warrantees (5 years parts/labor) so when I saw 2 speakers at half price that had 8" powered subs inside them, I jumped on it. Never seen a Bose advertisement in my life I don't think... don't read audio magasines or do alot of researching really.

    Anyways, I agree with you spacemonkey on most points. I think the bass is better than you said, it seems pretty tight to me. The main problem I have with the speakers though is the level of ear fatigue I get from them. My ears just feel tired after a while. I think I will take them back, probably with the reciever, and get the yamaha. As for what speakers I will get... the Athena Point 5s with the AS300 sub... although this is getting pretty expensive. At least that way they are all matched for eachother. I wonder if the athena tower would be significantly better for the main speakers... maybe get a cheaper sub..

    Thank you for taking the time to reply in such detail, it was truely appreciated.
  • 12-28-2003, 05:54 PM
    return them
    return the bose and buy yourself the polks if you like the sound I think the rti4 are 499cad and you can get r15s for rears at about 199 the sub you maight still be able to get a free one from polk its notthe best but it sure beats bose. As for your receiver well the bose also require lots of power they dont tell you what Oms they are they say 4-8 compatible well thats a big difference. I had the bose am6III hooked up to my kenwood(not the best ) and had to turn it up to 30dbs -25dbs to get it loud enough and it also made the receiver run at higher temps. We put the bose away, we use polks for the main portion of the HT setup the sound is amazingly better and the receiver runs very loud at 40dbs and never gets hot just warm....so you may rethink your options but its up to you in the end....but if you do anything just go listen to the polks or even athena even JBL.