Bose Spatial Control Receiver blues.

Discussion in 'Solid State' started by Monad, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. Monad

    Monad AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    165
    Location:
    Iowa
    So I bought an old Bose Spatial Control Receiver Model 108787 and some Series VI 901s a while back, got a pretty good deal, local sale. Craig has this list.. Yep, I know Bose this and that but it sounded warm and good in the guy's basement and didn't $$$ :D

    The room where I have it set up is 45'x20' a big box and I needed something I could fill the space. I added a Bose pro series 1800 VI amp (in for a dime, in for a dollar or two).. without knowing much about much, admittedly.

    Everything was going great for a while.. so as things go, that I don't research much and just hope for the best, the right channel blew out, one hot day.

    --> So, I called Bose, they said, "sorry guy, good luck with that" but it didn't sound like they meant it. I called around, same story. One guy, at a place called Audiolabs, yelled at me, asked why I was so stupid to buy Bose in the first place and went on an anti-bose rant. I put the phone down after a few seconds, could still hear his burble, minutes later.

    ..so, I put the bose in a box, and gained access to my Dad's Marantz 2215 which had been in another box/ attic, for 30+ years.. I put a new fuse in it and bingo, back in business. I used to sit in front of this unit, at 3 years old, mesmerized by the dials, pretty blue lights, wheeling the orange/gold lit dial.

    A while back, he came over and I proudly/ stupidly showed him his old stereo, back in action. He was so impressed with the sound, he asked for it back. Lol me.

    Questions:
    1. does anyone know someone who works on the Bose units?

    1.5 is it worth fixing?

    - yes I know the second question is subjective based on how much I like it v. want to spend now and in the future. :|

    2. I found a few 2215 models on the ebays and have started to research other vintage options (thank you AK, all but overwhelmed with information now). Suggestions, bang v. buck?

    - If I don't fix, probably selling the bose 1800 amp but any input there would be appreciated.

    - I'm Keeping the 901s for a while, until I can research more and/ or can afford to make a change. I do like them, even if Audiolabs guy doesn't. I have heard 'good' speakers before and 'get it' but.. meh$$$.

    OK, I know, grab bag here- comments, condemnations and condiments are/ will be appreciated.
     

     

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  2. Monad

    Monad AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    ..was up early on the youtubes watching Marantz restoration vids. I was thinking i'd clean up my dads unit before giving it up.. so much info, overloaded already.

    it seems like there's some fairly basic stuff I can do but to clean it up but I quickly get out of my depth, a few minutes into the vid. also feels like I could spend more on gear to test and service myself- time to learn to do it right- than finding a local fixer person.

    for my next receiver.. I've all but decided to get rid of the bose spatial receiver, it may be likely, i'd be better off finding a refurb model and then, if there's any issues, finding a decent local guy. ugh, I hate paying someone to do the tech equiv of changing my auto oil.
     
  3. Tom B

    Tom B AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    It would help for you to post location. That way local AK'rs may be able to help
     
  4. eiraved

    eiraved Plane Whisperer Subscriber

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    Antelope Valley, CA
    There's definitely a love-hate relationship whenever the "Bose" word is mentioned anywhere. That being said, there are a few threads here on AK on the 1800, google "bose 1800 site:audiokarma.org" and they should all appear.
    I wouldn't go the Marantz 2215 route due to the large size of your room. You really need something capable of putting out some wattage, even if you don't plan on blasting it. Let us know what are you reside and one of the competent local AK techs may be able to assist or guide you in the right direction for repairs.

    EDIT: I see you are from the Iowa area based upon your introduction thread. Maybe someone from that area will chime in here soon.
     
  5. Monad

    Monad AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
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    Awesome, thank you, good suggestion on location and I would really appreciate the gear guidance. Even with the hours of research I've done recently (x11) I could easily go down the wrong hole again and waste time and $ on gear that is less efficient from a sound v cost perspective.

    I'd like to have a 'plan' in mind, with some specific gear to search for, then pick it up as is 'available v good deal', swapping out current for better.

    Current gear priorities-
    1. receiver- if I can fix the Bose affordably, I'll probably still sell it, get something a little better supported at the tech and parts level.
    2. speakers-
    3. amp- If the Bose 1800 Series VI would work, for a while or longer, an amp is less of a priority. I'd rather spend a little more on speakers. I read some good things about it when I bought it, searching through the posts here to find out more. It seems to be in good working order but hasn't been run since last year so, IDK + fingers crossed. **thanks for the search tip eiraved!

    Current room- 45'x 17-20' (narrower at one end for 12 feet) the room has carpet, w/a thin pad and an acoustic ceiling but looking for something that will work efficiently, in several room configs.

    Location- I'm in the 50171.
    I currently live just west of Montezuma IA, but my Dad lives in Des Moines, so I get to the big city every once in a while. I was in up in the mountains, Summit County, Colorado, for the last 4 months, skiing. I'm working on finding a new job now, that will let me move back semi-permanently.

    Brands- I've been doing some reading on other Marantz models and have somewhat figured out the pre-amp/ amp model baseline but not much more.
    I'm not beholden to Marantz past the emotional smiley I get when I recall my misspent youth, huddled around the 2215, peeling through the records and 8tracks.

    Birthday- it's my birthday tomorrow, happy 48, so I do have a little bit set aside to kick off initial acquisitions. :D I had cake and ice cream for breakfast and feel kind of sick but still happy.
     
  6. eiraved

    eiraved Plane Whisperer Subscriber

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    Well Happy Birthday then! You deserve to treat yourself to a nice sound system. :D

    If looking for good recommendations on a proper sound system to replace yours, then open another thread in the "General Audio Discussion" forum asking for suggestions. In that thread, place your speaker preference, which I assume will be the Bose 901 but others can be added, current room size and room treatments, type of music preferred and at what volume levels, preference for solid state or tubes or either. That would be a good start at least.

    If you do plan a selling your Bose 1800, it can be sold here on AK if you become a subscriber and you'll also have access to purchasing equipment on the Barter Town forum. Plenty of good stuff to be had there at reasonable prices.
     

     

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  7. Monad

    Monad AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hi, thank you, and will do. I was thinking I should repost in a 'new build' post but got down a hole researching craigs/ ebay options..
     
  8. dshoaf

    dshoaf That high voltage buzz Subscriber

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    Answers:

    1) The Bose Spatial Receiver is not that complicated but it is quite large. The odds of someone being close by is quite remote. Guys who yell at you on the phone are telling you exactly what you need to know - RUN! The cost of shipping and risk of damage, even if you find a specialist will add to the costs.

    I've got one and have recapped it. It sounds a lot better. The Spatial feature is a novelty for the most part. It does solve a problem if you've got too much space between the 901s. Otherwise, don't bother with it - and your later Series 901s don't have the 3rd terminal anyway for it to work.

    There are lots of switches that will need cleaning, caps to replace. I had to replace a number of noisy transistors, as well. This brings up the last item: If you have to pay someone for the work, it will quickly get prohibitive to have it worked on. Doing the work yourself will significantly lower overall costs.

    2) The Bose Spatial Receiver has a built-in Bose EQ for the Series III and IV 901s. While it will work with later series 901s, you'd be best off matching the right EQ with the Series of 901s you have. The lowly Marantz 2215 may have more sentimental value but plan on using very efficient speakers with it. Do not plan on using the 901s with it unless they'll be used in a very small room. Check the 2215 for Preamp outputs. It would drive the 1801 amp just fine and the 901s would then be quite happy. Fuse the speakers, though, as has been discussed here in other AK threads.

    Good luck!

    Cheers,

    David
     
  9. ants2au

    ants2au Ants

    Messages:
    436
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    and one more note on the spatial receiver, it use the batwing transistors as its finals..it just adds to the complication of putting in replacements.
    as stated above, the spatial feature works with the series 3 and 4 901s.
    but I recently used the series 5/6 901 speakers, with their own equalizer, and set the spatial receiver as just an ordinary receiver.. works very well like that too.

    and do clean all the sliders and switches first.. its important..
     
  10. Monad

    Monad AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    165
    Location:
    Iowa
    Getting the receiver back from the Omaha wizard this week, couldn't be more stoked. I thought this thing was going to be a retro door stop/ dust collector, sold for $80 bucks on ebay, plus shipping.

    I called 11,000 techs, including the Bosers and they all said, it's unfixable, even if someone could figure it out, you'll never find parts and we won't even touch it because it's Bose and my ego is huge..just come on down and buy a new unit from us.

    It's amazing, the difference between competent technical folk and the less skilled part puller/ replacers I've encountered. It's like night and a dazzling sunny day.

    I get it though, it's hard to be good at stuff. I'd like to be that guy who builds amps from kits and can follow a schematic diagram but.. I know my strengths and limitations, mostly the latter but .. I'm just super happy to have found a guy who does good, clean work, at a fair rate and that it ended up being a fairly quick fix. Yay me.

    If it was a parts thing and if I had to ship it somewhere, the same story would have been a disaster and I wouldn't feel so clever or elated, as I do now. Odd how the outcome has colored my perception of past events.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  11. Monad

    Monad AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Iowa
    WP_20180422_16_14_24_Pro.jpg Receiver is back home and sounds awesome! I hooked it up to the 901s and KEF 105.4s. The latter sounds a just a smidgen mo' betta, truth be told..speaker non-specific, the receiver is a gem.

    The fix was cheaper than expected..shocking how unskilled most of the the plug and pull service techs are today. Any chance they might have to think or do the job described by their title and it's, 'oh we won't touch that thing..' as if I'm asking for them to turn it into a televator.

    In the wrong hands- or in the right but unscrupulous hands- the repair could have cost me a mint to fix but 1 hour of bench time with a real electronics professional and my doorstop is back, bright and banging out the blues.

    The Bose 1800 amp had bias set, some connections mended and it also sounds awesome.. WP_20180422_16_14_24_Pro.jpg also 1 hour of bench time!

    So the lessons I learned are 1. 'find a good tech you can trust' and 2. 'split the driving with a buddy, who also needs work done'.
     

     

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  12. eiraved

    eiraved Plane Whisperer Subscriber

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    It also helps greatly if you know the problem and can explain the specifics of what you need accomplished to the tech. Knowledge of the problem and solution greatly simplifies the job for the tech.
     
  13. tarior

    tarior Dirty pool, old man? Subscriber

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    About to say, I've worked on a couple of those. Once ya' figger out how to get into it, they're pretty straightforward.
     
  14. Monad

    Monad AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yep, i did explain what I could. If I knew what was 'specifically' wrong, I probably wouldn't have needed a technician, as the ability to diagnose it accurately would imply a skill level that would have permitted me to fix the unit myself. :|

    When I found a qualified tech and explained it, as I had with the first 100 I called, he said, "no problem, it sounds like you have a..."

    I wasn't downgrading all electronic techs, just the ones I called. I was relating my specific experience in this one effort, describing them as lazy and low skilled was a direct response to finding one who was not and fixed it in 1 hour.
     
  15. ants2au

    ants2au Ants

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    so what was the fix?
     
  16. tarior

    tarior Dirty pool, old man? Subscriber

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    My bet would be dirty controls, burned out lamps, cracked solder joints, and a few bad capacitors. The usual stuff you see in 40 year old gear.
     

     

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  17. rickl

    rickl Active Member

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    I found a pic of the back of one and it looks like it has pre/amp jumpers. Can you use a power amp and use the Bose for a pre? But I agree with tarior that a cleaning might help a lot. Also make sure the 901s have new surrounds. Original surrounds have rotted away years ago.

    Oops. I see you got the receiver fixed. Great news. My first preamp was from Audiolabs but this was back in the 70s.
     
  18. OMGCat!

    OMGCat! AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    That's great you got everything fixed up and for a great price as well.
    A friend of mine went through the same thing with one of his receivers where it would only play out of one channel. Every shop he called said it was done for, unfixable, parts unavailable, etc.
    I found the bad solder joint on the protection relay in about 2 minutes and had it touched up in another 5. I didn't even charge him the customary burrito because it wasn't enough of a challenge.

    I think most of the good techs left the biz a long time ago and the ones that are left need to be followed around all day with video cameras so their knowledge isn't lost. Or at least we can hope they share their knowledge like so many do on AK.
     
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  19. Set2992

    Set2992 New Member

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    Who did you have the repair done by? You mentioned "Omaha Wizard" I have a unit that it is acting up as well and I'd like to send it to an expert. Sounds like you found the right guy. Thanks in advance.
     
  20. dshoaf

    dshoaf That high voltage buzz Subscriber

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    Always best to start a new thread - you'll get more eyes on your problem.

    You'll need to find someone who local who can deal with the Spatial Receiver. The reason is that shipping cost and risk will far exceed all other costs.

    You'll need to provide him with the Service Manual and its related schematic. Also, the tech you're looking for would have been active in the 70s so he'll be familiar with the circuit topologies in use. You have to do the homework for them to get their help.

    Also, while you're out looking for a bench tech, there are lots of switches and you'll need to fully clean all of them first and then read the Owner's Manual fully. It is a complicated receiver that do all sorts of cool things.

    Cheers,

    David
     

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