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Heard Bose 901 VI speakers and really like them ! Any 901 fans ?

Discussion in 'New Gear - Values' started by vintage4, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. tiga

    tiga Super Member

    Thank you. I'm intrigued by these and would love to listen to them some time. I passed a pair of series 1 a few months back and am regretting it. I will throw out there however that I'm actually pretty impressed listening to some music on my Onkyo SR606 HTR and using the surround processing. Not all sources sound good but the one's that do sound great. They have a few of their own processing modes - one is called "Studio-Mix" that just sounds amazing with Electronica music. Quite captivating, sounds are coming from different directions and different points in space.



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  2. frankxbe

    frankxbe Super Member

    outer limits
    Welcome , Just don't try to drive them with your Onkyo especially the series I ,II,orIII. I would stay away from the series I,II or III the IV and up are a big improvement.
    901's could kill your Onkyo ,901's have put many amps and recievers to rest. nothing to play with if you don't have the power most avr don't have beefy enough power supplies maybe a TOTL Pioneer Elite with the B&O ICE amps or a big TOTL Dennon would . I've got a 140WPC Sony ES and I wouldn't trust it on 901's .
    The series IV and up are a little more forgiving in that respect but I still wouldn't try it . Make sure you get the matching equalizer very important they are series specific. Bose made a 400 WPC monster power amp just for the 901's with a 2KV/A transformer thats a potential 16 amp @120 volt draw at the wall outlet Yikes! That was back in the mid seventies just before the 200-300WPC monster reciever wars . Nothing short of that or a large separate power amp or pro gear would drive them propely.A Crown XLS 1500 or 2500 would work run it from your pre outs unless you have a Pioneer SX1980 or a spec 2 or something like that sitting around .Ifyou get lucky with some newer ones that don't need re foam best choice you will be good to go, if not kits are not that much but doing 18 drivers might try your patence . good luck .
    All the Bose owners manuals are available on line in .pdf .
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  3. Panotaker

    Panotaker Well-Known Member

    I don't think I would pay brand new prices for a pair of 901's, but the series VI that I bought used for $300 where a bargain. They where the first good pair of speakers that I bought and they really do sound excellent. I was running them with a SX-1250 and they would go a lot louder than I could listen. When I first got married, the only speakers my wife would let me put in the living room where the little cube Bose speakers, which for their size, are not bad either, and light years ahead from watching TV with the tv's built in speakers. Today I have big NHT speakers for my TV, and Mini Stratas on my SX-1250, but my 901's are in storage and I will either give them to one of my kids or set them up in the garage. If I had to start from scratch again, I would not hesitate and start off with another used pair of 901's.
    mustafa likes this.
  4. pwilburn

    pwilburn New Member

    I have a pair of 901 series 4 (refoamed) and I really them for light classical music. When I want "in your face" 80s rock, it's the pioneer set.
  5. smi31093

    smi31093 New Member

    Bose 901 comments

    Hello Everyone, Stereo is a great hobby. About Bose 901 and the EQ. I have been using the EQ for the last few years, not on the 901's. Reciently I aqquired another pair of series 5 901's with a series 6 EQ. My plan was the clean them and resell them and buy a pair of Community CSX70's. When I began to use the 901's in addition to some Altec 501 horns with Emminence drivers crossover with some woofers, we stayed up till 2 am, just amazed with this great sound. As it stands now, I use 1 EQ series 5 with the 901's and the series 6 EQ on the Altec's. I mostly listen to Jazzradio.com, but I have a CAl Labs DX1 that we use sometime. I have a Dynaco PAT4 that I modded somewhat using Van Alstine guide, but only the tone control bypass and changed the 5uf in the line stage only to a 5uf metal film NP. I have had lots of tube gear, Dyna, Heathkit, MArshall 9200 and A Theta tube preamp, the silver face. This Pat4 is equal to any preamp that I have had. Anyone using the SS Dyna pat4 should at least bypass the tone controls. I have read much of what others have said and I am not in agreement with those comments. My ears tell me this is not a second class sound and I like some have had my fair share of all classes of stereo as I was drafted in 1969 and stereo was what we lived for. Now, this did not happen overnight. It was many years in the making. I will say don't take the word of others, try it. Music is fun. Good Luck R. Smith
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  6. jblnut

    jblnut Don't Overthink It Subscriber

    Boston Area
    I've heard 901's several times over the years. I've heard them in homes as well as clubs and one thing about them always sticks with me. While they may be capable of some decent bass (with the EQ and a ton of clean power behind them), I have never - ever - heard them produce anything approaching what might be called a clean or airy high end. You just cannot get cheap 4" drivers to move fast enough to reproduce what a smaller tweeter driver is designed to do. No amount of EQ is going to change the laws of physics. I agree that they are fun and I have actually enjoyed some of my listening sessions with them (more so in the home environment) and it's not hard to understand why they are still in production - they have an appealing sound.

    It is however, not appealing to everyone. Detail freaks like me come away a bit underwhelmed, especially where the high frequencies are concerned.



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  7. smckenzie

    smckenzie New Member

    To each his own. Maybe my 40 year old ears just can't hear the very upper registers. But, my Bose 901 Series II (when driven by my Yamaha CR-1020 and the dedicated 901 EQ) have pretty frickin' good highs to my ears. When a guitar player slides his fingers on the strings it is like he (or she) is in the room. I'm not a huge audiophile, but I have heard some nice systems.

    The bose 901 Series II (which I got for $75) sound fantastic driven by the CR-1020. I have a much newer Yamaha receiver that has less power. With that rig they sound very flat and uninteresting.

    Positioning is important, and they sound terrible without the EQ, but everyone who has heard my system has been impressed. Rich, warm, full, nice bass, clear highs. They have a smooth warm sound that you can listen to for hours.

    I wouldn't pay the $1600 for a new retail pair. But you can find really nice older units for $400 all day long. The Series II had cloth surrounds that never wear out.

    There is some good reading in here: http://www.stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/425/index.html
  8. psyopwak

    psyopwak Active Member

  9. GHilinski

    GHilinski Active Member

    Having worked in a Bose dealer in the early 80's, 901's were always on in the store. I liked them but never really loved them and when I heard the JBL L112's, I was hooked on more of a monitor style speaker. I even took them home for a few days and they just sounded good but not awesome. I think it had a lot to do with the room. In the shop, they were hanging from the ceiling and in my basement, placement was very poor. As others have said, you also need a lot of power to drive them.

    They were ahead of their time and brands like Definitive and Golden Ear have used the same concepts to present a more dynamic live sound.
  10. davidro

    davidro Lunatic Member

    Sydney, Australia
    I had IV. Initially liked them for sounding large. Quickly found them uninteresting. Mid was shallow and the low was fake. Yes I had the EQ and tried all sorts of positioning. I can see some people might like them tho. YMMV.
  11. Tetrode

    Tetrode Active Member

    As a very pleased owner of 901's VI's I am not surprised you enjoyed them as they are superb speakers for the music lover,not the gear obsessed audiophile.

    They have a pleasant uncritical big sound like music itself.


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  12. JohnMichael

    JohnMichael Super Member

    Central Ohio
    Way back when I sold audio we carried AR, Bose and JBL for our speaker lines. I was more a fan of the AR9's at that time. As much as I liked the AR's there were some recordings I preferred to hear over the 901's. If I had a larger place I would be happy with my current setup in one room. In another I would have a 901 room. I could not have only the 901's but I could enjoy a pair.
  13. JuggleSama

    JuggleSama Member


    :lmao:Sorry, I had to. Good stuff, Dee. That one had me in tears!

    All immaturity and considerate evaluation of Bose's absurd market techniques aside, I'm actually curious to sample a pair of 901's. The only times I've really stopped to pay attention to Bose speakers was when I owned a pair of 201's and when I've listened to their various D/R models in stores around my state. When I made the switch to a pair of Column II's, they made the 201's sound like garbage, but what did make the 201's a neat listen was the soundstage. OP and the following review sounded like quite an exciting experience! I wonder how neat they would sound as an addition to HT in a big living room!
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  14. alexage

    alexage New Member

    Regarding sound stage and reflected vs. beamed sound:

    - In all cases we're at the mercy of the recording and mixing engineers. They create a sound stage which is ALWAYS presented to us as a lesser facsimile of the actual sound, both because it was not recorded by your ears, and it is played back through speakers, which NEVER come close to replicating the complex reality of the performance space. Electronica excepted, but who cares about that?

    - As a musician, replicated sound NEVER seems real to me. I think one reason for that is the directionality of speakers, they "point" sound in one direction. In reality, instruments project in 360 degrees, off the floor, all walls, the ceiling. Things like cymbals wash an entire space in complex high frequencies no speaker comes close to reproducing. Pianos are another notorious-to-reproduce source. One way to orient to this is to remember the times you have walked down a street and heard music coming from a club or restaurant at a distance. Typically the drums are the first unamplified thing you'll hear. If you're like me you will know immediately, by what mechanism I cannot say, whether you are listening to a recording or a live drummer.

    - Direct/reflecting speakers like the 901 bounce sound around the room, as does a live source. Whether or not it sounds more "realistic" than point source speakers probably depends more on the engineering of the specific recording than anything else. But they certainly are as conceptually valid as any other solution, and perhaps more so.

    - Then we can harp about the drivers, and is the bass low enough, or the highs high enough, and all that crap. What good are high highs if you have to anchor yourself in one spot and can't get up to dance around the room like the happy madman you should be when hearing ecstatically great music (or grabbing another beer)?

    - Bottom line on quality: All speakers are sort of crappy, some more than others, some in different ways. Chose your compromise according to taste, for which there is no accounting.

    - Who cares about marketing and legal tactics>/? Aren't we here because we like music?

    - All this blither-blather. It's obvious that a lot of people like 901s, and have for many years. If you hear them and like them, they're a great deal for the $. Buy them! If you don't like them, don't buy them.
  15. VinylRob

    VinylRob Vinylphile

    200 more miles...
    ><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯ `· .¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((º>‏

    Not sure that these quite do it for me. Now I admit to enjoying muzak on an elevator... and appreciate the successful advertising that drives a company boasting a several bazillion dollar budget. I also like critical analysis like, the 901 gets the essence of the music right. From one who is driven by smooth, warm, lush sounds to the ears, as myself, how could I expect anything less than this Lithium-like induced response? One may not square well with the utility of faint praise directed at an audio component such as “sins of omission”, but not me, it speaks volumes honestly of value. I can't quite think of a more politically correct, benign, and unoffensive remark to describe, so don't sue me. Hifi listening, or rather electronically reproduced music listening is a very personal experience and it also can be very emotional. I have yet to hear someone say, or personally experience someone with true tears in their eyes, professing how, while listening to said speaker, realized the image of musicians and vocalists, in such a vivid realistic setting, in such flesh, with all the dynamic realism of a present and living performance unfolding in that space, suspending their disbelief just for a moment, enraptured with human emotion and frailty, and stunning their preconceived notions of high fidelity or the value of music in their lives... not once, even for a moment... If I am playing Chopin: Fantaisie Impromptu, op. 66, or maybe Cactus from the Pixies -Surfer Rosa, a speaker better damn well express itself with the appropriate passion, tonal colour, rhythm and drive, edge, or grit that that piece of music calls for... or to me, that audio component is lacking, and some are, more than others.

    Happy Listening! :beatnik:
  16. hotroady

    hotroady Well-Known Member

    Yeah, they blose.


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  17. JuggleSama

    JuggleSama Member

    I don't think we should pull the 901's out of the category of "interesting", but there certainly exists other types of speakers that can do the 901's job better. There are other omnidirectional speakers available --one well known in particular is the Ohm Walsh.

    When people critique Bose, the majority of their claims are usually about the quality and detail of the sound. If Bose made driver/crossover improvements to their 901's, I'm sure they'd be more popular in the audiophile community.

  18. dan-c

    dan-c Perpetual Lurker Subscriber

    San Antonio
    Shouldn't this thread now morph into a high end speaker wire thread as opposed to lamp cord?
  19. sal.monella

    sal.monella New Member

    I have two sets of 901 series 1 speakers that I actually designed my great room around. One set is suspended from the ceiling at about 25' butt down and the other set is on stands directly below them. There is a fireplace in the middle. Each speaker is in an 8' recess that's approx 6" recessed from the face of the fireplace. They are being driven by Bose 1800 series 6 amps and fronted by an old Technics 9600 pre-amp. The bottom end is being handled by a Polk 110 sub. I've been working for years to build a stereo that just did it. I can not say how pleased I am with this system. During calibration I was playing Dark Side of the Moon and as the chap ran by the cats tracked him across the wall and then ran into the kitchen to see who it was. I think it's safe to say they're imaging correctly. I've added a pair of JBL 4459 room eq's to the mix but have not finished calibration. So far so good.

    Of course now I have to find something else to do with my JBL 4311 and Sansui SP5500 speakers. Oh, look up the sp5500's. Not the "x" model but the real 5500. Took a long time to find an amp that liked them. Sansui 9090 receiver did the best.
  20. Old_Tech

    Old_Tech Yer-isn't!

    901's are great

    I first heard them in 1972 the original 901's. They were also driven by a Sansui amp, maybe an integrated not sure now. They were unbelievable.

    Their behavior was very tight with heavy bass and clear snap in the highs. We were listening to Deep Purple. Yup. It was like being on stage.

    I have always wanted a set for the house but had to settle for 301's. I am running four in my bedroom stacked. Amazing little speaker. I found if you throw away the placement guidelines and experiment you can fill the room with sound. I mean yes the soundstage is huge and very dimensional.

    I love my 301's if that matters. The 901's I am sure sound as great today as ever. :D

    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013

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