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I inherited some 50+ year old Bose 901's. Should I bother?

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  • Geoff Millar
    commented on 's reply
    There's a current ad for a small SUV which has alleged customers discussing it: "You know, the sickest (i.e. coolest) thing about this car is that it has a Bose speaker in it".

    Well, if that's the best thing that can be said about it.........

  • Unbiasedsound
    replied
    All speaker stereo are standard on most AV Receivers with 5.1 channels and up. Its just 5 channels of stereo instead of 2 channel stereo. If set up correctly using DSP or what you call it a bag of computerized tricks it will sound way better then Bose used for good loud parties. lol

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  • Liberator of Magic Smoke
    replied
    Originally posted by Shonver View Post
    Here's a recent review of the Bose 901 by a fellow DIY loudspeaker designer. I think his analysis is spot on.

    That description of what the speakers sound like reminds me of the old Onkyo receiver I had for a while, which had a button or setting called something like "All Speaker Stereo" among its bag of computerized tricks. As I recall, it sent power to anything connected to the speaker terminals, including the A and B mains. It was kind of fun, but really just a novelty.There were sounds coming from various directions which could, I suppose, be interpreted as a very interesting sound stage, but mostly I think it would have been good for loud parties. The receiver stopped working one day. Turned out to be a dead microchip that would cost more to replace than buying a new receiver with HDMI and other handy features.

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  • fpitas
    replied
    Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
    The thing is that Bose does line arrays, the Panaray series, back in the day and currently. They're only marketed for pro-sound, but there's no reason why they couldn't have made them for home use as well. Of course in true Bose fashion they've mucked those up as well. There's the right way, the wrong way, and the cheap way, and they always choose the cheap way, even though that's not reflected in their pricing.
    Like I said, they didn't get to be a massive rich company by spending money on frills like quality. You just can't be too cynical about consumer stuff.

    Leave a comment:


  • billfitzmaurice
    replied
    The thing is that Bose does line arrays, the Panaray series, back in the day and currently. They're only marketed for pro-sound, but there's no reason why they couldn't have made them for home use as well. Of course in true Bose fashion they've mucked those up as well. There's the right way, the wrong way, and the cheap way, and they always choose the cheap way, even though that's not reflected in their pricing.

    Leave a comment:


  • fpitas
    replied
    Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
    The 901 does have a wide sound stage, but so do line arrays, without the 901 shortcomings.
    Well, I agree. I'm sure nostalgia plays into many 901 buying decisions. Not much nostalgia about a line array

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  • billfitzmaurice
    replied
    The 901 does have a wide sound stage, but so do line arrays, without the 901 shortcomings.

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  • fpitas
    replied
    Originally posted by Shonver View Post
    Here's a recent review of the Bose 901 by a fellow DIY loudspeaker designer. I think his analysis is spot on.

    Thanks, that was interesting.

    Leave a comment:


  • Shonver
    replied
    Here's a recent review of the Bose 901 by a fellow DIY loudspeaker designer. I think his analysis is spot on.

    Leave a comment:


  • fpitas
    replied
    Originally posted by djg View Post
    Am I too cynical if I think Bose came upon a large supply of useless surplus drivers and contrived this design to use them up and make a profit?
    Yeah. But I'm sure they found the cheapest little drivers they could, that didn't immediately tear your eardrums apart. They didn't get to be a big wealthy company by spending unnecessary money on quality.

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  • djg
    replied
    Am I too cynical if I think Bose came upon a large supply of useless surplus drivers and contrived this design to use them up and make a profit?

    Leave a comment:


  • fpitas
    replied
    To keep things in perspective, every good restoration I've seen of ancient speakers was time intensive, costly and frustrating. Looks like new drivers are available, so by comparison this could be a simple restoration.

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  • Whitneyville1
    replied
    You can repair Blose 901's and 501's but lots of $350 a pair DIY speakers will outperform them. Fancy cabinets run the price up more than the guts. I'll admit I want to put nice drivers in pretty wood, but it doesn't really make them sound better. I have some very good drivers in a test box while my shoulder is healing from surgery. It's ugly MDF, not even squared-off on all edges, or finished with urethane, but they sound darn good! About $400 worth of parts in them. Including some sale Peerless midwoofers.Good sound.

    Leave a comment:


  • zx82net
    commented on 's reply
    That level of commission is incredible. I do love these stories of "behind the scenes" in the HiFi retail world. I always makes you pleased to be a DIY'er.

  • fpitas
    replied
    Originally posted by LOUT View Post
    Maybe the on-axis highs will be alright (assuming the woofers are in decent shape) and it'll mostly be the off-axis highs that suffer because of the fullrange driver beaming.? I'm guessing there's some distortion up there though.

    Ooh, found the review I was thinking of earlier. Includes measurements (of the speakers in front, in back, in different positions and of the EQ-box with its different options), and is generally a fun read.
    http://noaudiophile.com/Bose_901/

    A quote from the review:
    "If one was obsessed enough with these speakers and wanted to try and make improvements there are a few obvious ones that I can recommend. First priority is to get a subwoofer, crossing over to a sub as high as 90Hz can really clean up the sound of the speakers, and will give even more headroom. The second priority would be to add a dome tweeter to the speaker. A stand alone enclosure that sits on top and crosses over to the 901's around 3k with something like a minidsp would fix all of the cone breakup and much of the comb filtering issues. Doing all of this should still leave most of the imaging tricks intact and while it does add considerable cost, there are worse things to do with your money."
    Thanks! Yeah, noaudiophile does amusing reviews. That frequency response is just plain scary.

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