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The 12 Most Significant Loudspeakers of All Time


zcon67
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Happened to bump into this article looking for some info and found it to be interesting.  Nice mention of the classicspeakerpages and the work done by the experts on preserving AR.  The article is by Tom Mallin, who I am not familiar with but certainly has much better ears than I do.  This subject is always controversial since we all hear differently, but I found it interesting. 

  The 12 Most Significant Loudspeakers of All Time | What's Best Audio and Video Forum. The Best High End Audio Forum on the planet! (whatsbestforum.com) 

PeteZ

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15 hours ago, DavidR said:

Here's another link mostly about Bose but it has a small section on the AR9.

https://www.audioholics.com/editorials/bose-conundrum

I think this article was written by a CSP member.

Thanks for posting this article, David.  If I recall correctly, you have a pair of 901's.   If you have the time, would you mind sharing a few thoughts about them?  I've only heard them used as "whatever" with all the front drivers pointing outwards at some wedding, etc.   My cousin said, "The music's everywhere but the highs are nowhere."

I'm laughing right now because of the thread title: The 12 Most Significant Loudspeakers of All Time.  That's so because I am a surround sound lunatic with 12 speakers installed in my system, including five bookshelf speakers in the ceiling for Atmos / Auro3D.

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The 901s were more dependent on room conditions that just about any other speaker I ever listened to. They sounded great in a dealer's demo room, but home was another matter. Here's one of Bose's ads:

image.jpeg

In the nearly 70 years I've been on this planet, I have never once lived in a place with a symmetrical space like this one. They've all been asymmetrical, usually with one of the side walls open to another room. You can probably easily imagine what happens to the sound from a direct/reflected speaker that has no wall on one side for its sound to reflect from. I don't think it was just coincidence that Bose's AM-5 speakers weren't designed to bounce sound off the rear or side walls.

 

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9 hours ago, AR surround said:

Thanks for posting this article, David.  If I recall correctly, you have a pair of 901's.   If you have the time, would you mind sharing a few thoughts about them?  I've only heard them used as "whatever" with all the front drivers pointing outwards at some wedding, etc.   My cousin said, "The music's everywhere but the highs are nowhere."

I'm laughing right now because of the thread title: The 12 Most Significant Loudspeakers of All Time.  That's so because I am a surround sound lunatic with 12 speakers installed in my system, including five bookshelf speakers in the ceiling for Atmos / Auro3D.

Yes. I currently have a pair of the series 2 - acoustic suspension. My 901 story, begins approx 1970 with my first pair of speakers - Fisher XP65s. A decent 3-way design. Bose is headquartered in Framingham, a few miles from my current house and not too much further from where I grew up. I really wasn't aware of the original 901 (series 1) but in college a friend had a brother in-law that was a manager and we were able to go for a tour when the series 2 was being made. I was able to get a pair for cost. I liked them but my 45wpc amp did not and soon bit the dust from severe clipping. Moved up to a 150wpc Carver receiver. Back then loud was good.

As Gene K said, its hard to find a room where the boundaries are perfect for them. Some time after college I bought my first home and it had a play room in the basement and I hung them from the ceiling. Damn near perfect for them. Soon after one of the speakers developed a buzz. I took it to the repair center not too far from my home. By the time I got home they had called and found the problem. Unfortunately they used drivers destined for the series 3 that had foam surrounds not the cloth surrounds that last forever. This happened near the end of the series 2 run. It was ~15 years after purchase and Bose gave me a choice: (1) install new drivers (18) at a cost I do not remember or (because they, Bose, felt somewhat responsible) I could get a new pair of series 6 for cost - $350. This, I thought, was a great deal as it was much less money than replacing 18 drivers. I did not like the series 6 too much. The highs were a bit better but the bass suffered as a result. I kept them for a number of years and got tired of occasional port chuffing and sold them after picking up a pair of series 2. I had DHS Speakers rebuild the EQ with Sonicap and silver mica capacitors and some new resistors and a few other components.  The speaker service claims Bose used cheap components back in the day and many of the high signals were unable to pass thru. The difference is very noticeable BUT they still don't have the detail of my AR speakers.

Out of all my speakers everyone wants to hear the 901's. The bass is not as deep of a bass as my 9's or 90's but is easy to get/hear at low volumes. Everyone, upon hearing them ALL say "my God, the bass". I had one guy walking around the room looking for a sub woofer. They work well with watching movies and I listen to them every Sunday morning. The current family room is very narrow and long and getting them set up as designed would be impossible so I just turned them around and have them direct on one face and reflect off a wall on the other face.  There is something about listening to a full range driver (to me anyway). I always want to have a pair.  They are not for everyone. As for the highs keep in mind most males were never able to hear 20kHz and as you get older most of us top out at 15kHz or lower. All tuners top out at 15kHz. There just isn't much music up there beyond that. It's more about the lack of detail. I recommend the EQ  rebuild for anyone who have a pair.

<edit:add> An after thought: they are insensitive to power as long as it is clean. I had a modified Carver amp (M1.0t Mk2 Opt2 with 460wpc) where a transistor that was part of the mod 'let go' and allowed 70VDC to hit one of the speakers (ser6) and reset and do it again. The speaker/drivers suffered no damage. They are tough to kill and will last years if cared for.

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