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post #1 of 109 Old 09-13-2009, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a few questions about the Bose 301 series V speakers. For weeks I’ve googled and read tons of reviews on the speakers as well as running a search here on the online-shashki website to read what people have to say but it still leaves me with questions. Two of the biggest reasons I’m writing in to ask about the Bose is because most reviews are years old and I’m now thinking of upgrading my center and surround speakers. I have junk HTiB speakers from Sony that I am slowly upgrading and before going out to buy more 301’s or 201’s for surround as well as the VCS-10 center speaker I wanted to be sure I cleared up the questions I have with Bose and to ask if it really is worth it to buy a different brand.

Reading reviews I get a mixed response about Bose in general as well as the Bose 301’s. Most reviews are negative but it seems that the majority of reviewers talking down about Bose is either talking about the tiny acoustamass satellite speaker systems or they are using the Bose in the wrong type of application. I totally agree the acoustamass system is junk because there is no way to get great sound from such a small speaker. They just can’t get a good frequency range to work with from the little cube which leads me to believe that is where most of the “no bass” complaints come from. As far as wrong applications, I think a lot of people are buying the Bose and think they will be able to blast Hip-Hop music or anything with a lot of bass that comprises most of the music track and they don’t use a subwoofer. I read one review bashing the VCS-10 only to find out it was the only speaker he had for his TV/stereo.

I personally think that the Bose 301’s I own sound great. I like how crisp and clear sounding the midrange and high frequencies are without being harsh or brash and they do have acceptable bass from them that isn’t overpowering. With the addition of the subwoofer it’s easy to get the amount of bass just right. I know buying speakers is all subject to the listener and if I’m happy with them I should just buy more, but I haven’t been able to actually compare Bose with other brands side by side which brings me here to ask opinions of other users.

What I am looking for is an honest opinion on the Bose 301’s vs. other speakers priced about $300/pair that can faithfully reproduce soundtracks without sounding “colorful”. The main use for the speakers is for the home theater to watch movies so sounding good while playing the latest radio top 100 hits isn’t that important. If it helps any, my wife does listen to music such as Opera, Pop, Alternative and Hip-Hop as well as watching Opera on DVD/BlueRay. My music of choice is Punk Rock, Alternative and Classic Rock. I currently have an Onkyo TX-SR706 receiver.

Thank you in advance for any input. Please only give your thoughts if you actually have experience with the Bose 301’s. Just posting Bose are junk and I should buy “x” brand but you never actually heard the Bose 301’s when set up properly isn’t much help to me.

Thank you again and I look forward to your input.
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post #2 of 109 Old 09-13-2009, 09:30 PM
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I've had OLDER 201's (I believe) and loved them. I had 4 of them, and a center channel and sub by Yammaha at one time ... couldn't have been happier. When I decide to get back in that game ... I will be looking at the 301's.
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post #3 of 109 Old 09-13-2009, 09:35 PM

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Aaron ... We are not a bad drive from you. There are many speakers in the range of the 301's which are far superior.

We also have a pair on hand, in case you want to hear them against several worthy competitors.
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post #4 of 109 Old 09-13-2009, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks! That is good news others have had luck with Bose
I also have a Yamaha sub and have no complaints with it. It will be the very last thing to upgrade when the time comes. First comes the center speaker, then I'll upgrade the rear speakers and finally the side speakers.
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post #5 of 109 Old 09-13-2009, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audi S4 View Post

Thanks! That is good news others have had luck with Bose
I also have a Yamaha sub and have no complaints with it. It will be the very last thing to upgrade when the time comes. First comes the center speaker, then I'll upgrade the rear speakers and finally the side speakers.

Are you running 7.1 or 5.1?


***I'm also looking at the Klipsch RB-10. Have you heard these before?
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post #6 of 109 Old 09-13-2009, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Erie isn't that bad at all. There are a few home theater stores in my area that I have visited but wanted to get non sales person opinions as well. No offense to salesmen, just covering all bases. I will look you up and maybe make the trip out that way, it’d be great to actually hear a side by side comparison.

I forgot to mention that I’m a bit against the idea of giving up the perfectly good Bose I’m happy with. If I do switch brands I’d want to go with the same brand all around to keep them matched acoustically, but I’m open to changing if there is a big improvement.

I'm currently running 5.1 but going to 7.1 soon. Never heard the Klipsch though.
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post #7 of 109 Old 09-13-2009, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Audi S4 View Post

Erie isn't that bad at all. There are a few home theater stores in my area that I have visited but wanted to get non sales person opinions as well. No offense to salesmen, just covering all bases. I will look you up and maybe make the trip out that way, it'd be great to actually hear a side by side comparison.

I forgot to mention that I'm a bit against the idea of giving up the perfectly good Bose I'm happy with. If I do switch brands I'd want to go with the same brand all around to keep them matched acoustically, but I'm open to changing if there is a big improvement.

I'm currently running 5.1 but going to 7.1 soon. Never heard the Klipsch though.

If you are happy with Bose, keep it buddy

I have just heard much praise for these little Klipsch suckers, that I want to check them out as well...since they are about equal in price.
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post #8 of 109 Old 09-13-2009, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll take a look as well. I am happy with the Bose but wondering if I can be more happy for the same price
I'm searching options before spending more money. I have heard speakers that sound great on their own but am wondering if they'd sound good once I get them home. Speakers that are tuned to put out a lot of base tend to sound a bit more "muddy" to me which is why I do like the crispness of the Bose. They have just enough bass without sounding muddy with the subwoofer picking up where the Bose leave off.
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post #9 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 12:51 AM
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I have a pair of 301s series iv, been pushing em for a few years now and love em.
I've read the Bose bashing, "no highs...no lows...Just Bose", "Bose is cheap..paper cones". I think my 301s sound great and work well with movie soundtracks.
I also have Bose AM10s, to get more bass from the acoustamass aim its port towards a wall. It Booms!
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post #10 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one satisfied with the 301's and I will stick with Bose to finish out my HT. Is it possible to buy a Bose sub woofer without buying the whole acoustimass package? I'll have to take a trip to a few stores and check it out. The sub woofer is last on my list to upgrade so I have some time to figure that out. What's nice is I have a Bose factory outlet not far from me, I should start there.

Thanks again for the input!
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post #11 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 06:49 AM
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Way back when I could first afford this stuff, I bought a pair of 301's and a Kenwood receiver. (I wanted the 1990'ish 601's but couldnt afford them.) I put the 301's on a set of the 901 stands and they sounded pretty darn good. I had that system for several years until making the mistake of getting the AM-5's and letting my 301's go.

So - bottom line is I think the 301's are pretty decent speakers - BUT..... I would encourage you to look around at some other brands in your price range. PSB immediately comes to mind. I have a PSB Alpha 5.1 system and it sounds exceptional when considering its low cost. You can get a pair of Alpha B1 speakers for less than the 301's. The C1 center is far better than the Bose VCS10 (I had one of them too) and the Alpha line also has a small speaker that works well for surround (I was able to get a set of the discontinued bipolar Alpha S's). I would honestly put that Alpha system up again several more costly systems.

So look around and don't just go for Bose because of the name or familiarity. I had never heard of PSB until I walked into the showroom and was blown away. Have fun with your search and listen to a lot of speakers before giving anyone your $$$$.
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post #12 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 07:32 AM
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Check out the Paradigm Performance series. The Paradigm Titans are great speakers and cost around $300 bucks. I found them to be FAR superior to Bose 301's and 601's 7 years ago when I first got serious about HT. I've since upgraded to Rocket 850s and the Bigfoot center for my movie room but my Paradigm bookshelves and center now rock my living room.

Also the dealer I bought them from used to sell Bose, the Bose reps, kept hounding him because Bose doesn't want their speakers to be A/B compared in stores, They demand to have their very own area isolated, (think about the last time you saw Bose speakers that weren't segregated from the other speakers). He quit selling them anyway because they weren't selling when people could compare them to the Paradigms which were kicking their butts for less money.

He did keep a few Bose loudspeakers around to offer comparisons for his customers. He said most peoples jaws drop after they heard how lacking the Bose are compared to his other brands. Bose spends millions on advertising and alot of people hear the name and THINK it means high end, most ignorantly don't even audition other speakers they just see the Bose name on it and get giggly.
I think this is why so many people dislike Bose - they sell people cheap stuff and con them into paying high prices through advertising and forbidding retailers to let customers A/B their product. But it's all about selling product, right! Their loudspeakers aren't as bad as the cubes but they are in no way top of the line, IMHO. Go compare before you buy for sure...

on online (professional) review of the 301
http://hometheaterreview.com/bose-30...kers-reviewed/
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post #13 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audi S4 View Post

Thanks everyone, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one satisfied with the 301's and I will stick with Bose to finish out my HT. Is it possible to buy a Bose sub woofer without buying the whole acoustimass package? I'll have to take a trip to a few stores and check it out. The sub woofer is last on my list to upgrade so I have some time to figure that out. What's nice is I have a Bose factory outlet not far from me, I should start there.

Thanks again for the input!

You do know that the Bose acoustimass woofer is not a "subwoofer" they call it a Bass module, it doesn't go near low enough to be considered a sub. search the forum and you'll get alot more info.

Bose's $300 B1 only goes to 40hz with two little 6 1/2" drivers and the accoustimass series uses 5 1/4" and doesn't even get to 40hz, most good towers can go almost this deep a few can go below it. For less than $300 bucks you could get into the mid 20hz range and have a real subwoofer. Partsexpress.com sells Dayton 12" subs for $155 that are supposed to rock the house and reaches to 25 hz.

http://parts-express.com/pe/show...number=300-635
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post #14 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 09:01 AM
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"They demand to have their very own area isolated, (think about the last time you saw Bose speakers that weren't segregated from the other speakers"

Bose 301,201, and 161 are sold in the speaker rooms at BB, CC(before the end), Tweeter, and ABT. You can hear em right along side the other speakers sold. I beleive this is true at Future Shop in Canada as well.
The Acoustimass may have its own Bose provided display area. But you could never correctly hear a acoustimass system in a store speaker room, the acoustimass needs to be properly set up.
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post #15 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Coltbuca View Post

"They demand to have their very own area isolated, (think about the last time you saw Bose speakers that weren't segregated from the other speakers"

Bose 301,201, and 161 are sold in the speaker rooms at BB, CC(before the end), Tweeter, and ABT. You can hear em right along side the other speakers sold. I beleive this is true at Future Shop in Canada as well.
The Acoustimass may have its own Bose provided display area. But you could never correctly hear a acoustimass system in a store speaker room, the acoustimass needs to be properly set up.

You are correct, I was speaking of the acoustimass speakers that charge $1500 for the entire package at department stores. And the info I got about the Bose Reps threatening the Dealer about A/B comparisons was from the Store owners mouth himself.
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post #16 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 09:27 AM
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But you could never correctly hear a acoustimass system in a store speaker room, the acoustimass needs to be properly set up.

...in the dumpster out back.


Kapow!!
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post #17 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 09:31 AM
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...in the dumpster out back.


Kapow!!

HAAA.. Too funny
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post #18 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I've heard that Bose doesn't like to have the acoustimas speakers next to other systems but I do see the bookshelf speakers next to others everywhere. Is it a good comparison to play them next to others in such large stores?

I did not know the Bose "Bass module" wasn't a sub. I never looked into them since they are only sold as a package. That is good info for me so I don't look on E-bay for one :P
Thank you.

So it seems I will try out different speakers. I was in the local home theater store (not Best Buy, this store is only home theater and custom install) and the rep did say the 301's are decent but could be better. He recommended B&W but they go a bit above the price range I want. If anything I could convince my financial adviser (wife) that I should just pick up two new front's and center channel, use the 301's for rear surround to replace the tin can's I have now. It'll be more up front but possibly worth it. I really want to get a new center channel first since mine is not great at all but want to keep it matched to the front left/right speakers. As it is right now it drives me crazy as the sound pans from left to right and I can tell the difference as it goes between brands.
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post #19 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I just thought of something. I'd suppose if I brought my 301's with me to the store and asked nicely they'd be more than happy to hook them up so I can compare what they have to offer.
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post #20 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audi S4 View Post

I just thought of something. I'd suppose if I brought my 301's with me to the store and asked nicely they'd be more than happy to hook them up so I can compare what they have to offer.

I would think so. After all, most non-Bose stores would be glad to accept an opportunity to do some Bose bashing.

On the other hand, if you brought some non-Bose speakers to a Bose store and asked for head-to-head comparison, you'd be escorted out by security.

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post #21 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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So now I have a new question; seems like I'm full of them, sorry about that. I just read on this forum about the B&W 686's that:

"The new 600 series are a very bright speaker and can get fatiguing when listening for long periods of time."

So when comparing speakers how can you tell if it'll make your ears tired after a long period of listening?

I'd never bring my Bose to a Bose store to compare against other speakers )
The HT store near me doesn't sell Bose so I'm sure they'd let me bring mine in if it helps their sale.
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post #22 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Audi S4 View Post

So when comparing speakers how can you tell if it'll make your ears tired after a long period of listening?

Well, you can pretty much tell right away if the speaker is overly bright or not. If it is, chances are it'll fatigue your ears if you listen to it for extended periods. Some people actually seek out such bright speakers though, so it's really a personal preference. And if you're older and your hearing has naturally deteriorated, then it's a moot point anyway.

But the only sure way to find out would be to take the speaker home and actually try it out. Sometimes the speaker will sound differently in store vs. at your home due to different room acoustics, different driving gear, etc.

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post #23 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 10:22 AM
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Good decision Audi S4,
the Real home theater stores can really show you how the speakers can perform. B&w makes good speakers, Like I said before for your price range i'd look at the Paradigm performance series, they're very impressive, very dynamic, uncolored and image well, I spent just under $450 bucks for my front three speakers 7 years ago, and i saw their new design 2 months ago and they look and sounded even better for just a slight increase in price.

I'm glad I could help on the sub issue, did you check out the link to the partsexpress sub? It has a lot of user reviews on that page, very impressive for the price, so i've read.
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post #24 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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I did check out the link, thank you for pointing me to it. It looks to be avery good sub and at a great price, thing is the sub is last on my list to replace so it might be some tmie before I get around to it. I do plan on checking out the Paradigm speakers, I hear a lot of good things on them. Later tonight I'm going to scour the web and read as many reviews as I can on them.
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post #25 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been reading up on the PSB Alpha B1 and the Paradigm Titan Monitor and they both get some great reviews, as I expected they would. Looking at the specifications though it seems that on paper the Bose would out perform both speakers. Both the PSB and Paradigm have 5.25 inch woofer with one 3/4 inch or 1 inch tweeter respectively, while the Bose has an 8 inch woofer and two 2 inch tweeters. The frequency response for both the PSB and Paradigm start at 65Hz while the Bose starts around 40Hz. All three reach 20k Hz. Input power for the PSB and Paradigm is 80 watts while the Bose is 150 watts.

It seems that listening to them will be most important. The Paradigm's look great but the PSB get more glowing reviews (from what I've seen in the limited reading I've done so far). What troubles me is that my stereo is 100 watts per channel which exceeds the PSB and Paradigm. I know I never turn my volume all the way up But I do get it rather loud at times. Would lower wattage ratings mean the speakers sound quieter than the Bose at the same volume dial position?
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post #26 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 02:53 PM
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The frequency response for both the PSB and Paradigm start at 65Hz while the Bose starts around 40Hz.

But at what decibel level drop in sound volume? I can say that my speaker goes down to 40 Hz, but if at that level I'm already down by some 10 dB, then it's useless to me because it means that those 40 Hz frequencies are so much quieter than all the other frequencies that I practically can't hear them or can barely hear them.


Quote:
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It seems that listening to them will be most important.

Exactly. Don't get overly concerned with the specs. Often times they don't mean much. It's how they actually sound is what counts.

If you like PSB, I would suggest you consider their Image series, which is a step up above the Alpha. A pair of Image B25 can be had for as little as $320 right now - they're on closeout because there is an updated version of Image coming out soon:
http://saturdayaudio.com/picture...07-29-2009.htm

Quote:


What troubles me is that my stereo is 100 watts per channel which exceeds the PSB and Paradigm.

I wouldn't worry about it. You probably don't approach anywhere near 100 Watts in normal listening.

Quote:


Would lower wattage ratings mean the speakers sound quieter than the Bose at the same volume dial position?

No. What matters is their sensitivity level. The higher, the better (the louder they'll sound at the same power level).

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post #27 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audi S4 View Post

I've been reading up on the PSB Alpha B1 and the Paradigm Titan Monitor and they both get some great reviews, as I expected they would. Looking at the specifications though it seems that on paper the Bose would out perform both speakers. Both the PSB and Paradigm have 5.25 inch woofer with one 3/4 inch or 1 inch tweeter respectively, while the Bose has an 8 inch woofer and two 2 inch tweeters. The frequency response for both the PSB and Paradigm start at 65Hz while the Bose starts around 40Hz. All three reach 20k Hz. Input power for the PSB and Paradigm is 80 watts while the Bose is 150 watts.

It seems that listening to them will be most important. The Paradigm's look great but the PSB get more glowing reviews (from what I've seen in the limited reading I've done so far). What troubles me is that my stereo is 100 watts per channel which exceeds the PSB and Paradigm. I know I never turn my volume all the way up But I do get it rather loud at times. Would lower wattage ratings mean the speakers sound quieter than the Bose at the same volume dial position?

Did you read the link i posted above for the review of the Bose 301
http://hometheaterreview.com/bose-30...kers-reviewed/

The Bose pretty much fell on its face. With paradigm and I'm sure PSB your actually getting your foot in the door into real High End performance speakers, driver size is irrelevant unless your talking about producing sub 40hz frequencies at reference levels. How it sounds to the ear, how does it image, how dynamic is the speaker, Hows the build quality- these things are what you look for in a speaker. Driver size should not be that big of an issue. You'll be rolling off to a sub at around 80hz anyway.

I assure you that 301 is falling apart (very distorted) at 40hz. And i'm not sure where you got your info but the Paradigm Titan has a 7 1/2" bass driver and weighs 44lbs,The Bose 301 weighs 12.5 lbs, the build quality is not even comparable.
here's the link, click on specs

http://paradigm.com/en/paradigm/...1-2-4.paradigm

To be honest IMO the Bose should not even be considered as competition to the other two.

Do yourself a huge favor and go listen to some high fidelity speakers in a real Home theater shop, audition the mains in two channel playing a high quality cd or dvd, ex. The Eagles Freezes over, John Mayer has a great Bluray disc out, and you'll get goosebumps when two speakers that image well plays instrument all around the front stage of the room and the speakers can't be located but disapear into the room. Some intruments you hear right in front of you and some slightly further away, and to the left and right, and you feel like the band is in your room. With only the two Mains playing!
This can get addictive

Yes bookshelves can be that good. Many people think they image better than floorstanders.

As far as power goes it's much better to have a little more power (headroom) than too little power, which causes clipping, distortion and can blow your speaker. Your receiver pulls 708 watts (i looked it up) from the wall, meaning wtih all seven channels driven it'll probably push out 90 or so watts, many manufacturers don't truly run all channels for their rating some rate 100x7 and can in actuality only do 60x7. You have a very good receiver.
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post #28 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow! Thanks guys. You are right cdy2179, I totally blew the spec on driver size with the Paradigm, funny thing is that is the page I was reading before posting my reply last time.

I'm not sure on the decibel drop on the 301's Pete. I had read that they are actually listed as 30 - 20k Hz but they start to roll off at around 45Hz and can't be heard below 40Hz. Bose doesn’t post the specs so it was all second hand information. I'm also sure I don't get anywhere near the full 100 watts when playing movies, at most I only turn it up a little above half way.

That makes sense about over doing it on the power, I'm in electronics by trade and understand amplifiers and clipping which is why I like having a bit more than I actually need so I don't run the equipment at full capacity. Yes the room is large but even at half volume it is still rather loud, I just want to be sure the speakers are a bit over built as well so I don't run into any problems. The Paradigms are starting to look more up my ally but I’m going to look at the PSB Image series now and see what they are like. There is an authorized PSB dealer 22 miles from my house so it’ll be easy to drive on over to have a listen maybe this weekend. I really think either the PSB or Paradigm may be what I end up going with.

Thanks for all the input and help guys!

Oh, and yes I read the review, it had nothing good to say about the Bose. Since I like the Bose as much as I do I’ll probably fall in love with either of the other two brands we’ve been talking about.
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post #29 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 04:05 PM
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Mr. Audi S4 (nice car BTW!) not to run any speaker up or down but I would really suggest that you just hide the wallet and go listen to everything you can find including your local best buy and whatever. I would up changing everything I thought I knew every 3rd speaker I listened to and fell in love every 4th. A bit of patience will do wonders. no only will you learn what different speakers sound like but you will learn what you like. Understand that much of the run down bose gets from folks here and elsewhere is that they sort of sell stuff that many of us (I said many, everyone) find lacking. At the root is folks trying to help out or thinking they are trying to help out. Its a good thing. DOn't forget that if you go to best buy they will likely have the speakers set up all wrong so look around for tips in speaker positioning and play around. ITs possible to take a good speaker and make it sound like a average speaker by positioning it all wrong.
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post #30 of 109 Old 09-14-2009, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your 2 cents Paul! I'll put that in my pocket to help me purchase my new equipment.

You are right, I do need to just listen to speakers and pick what sounds best to me. I’m the one who has to live with it but I do like having the selections narrowed down before walking into a store. I’d love to just forget about the wallet and buy what I like best but I may not have a wife after that is all said and done
Hmmm….

While I ponder that I’ll keep your advice in mind. I’m sure going to a few Home Audio stores around here the sales reps will have me try a few brands we have not talked about. B&W was one such brand from a recent visit to a store. They didn’t have the PSB’s or Paradigm’s though, not that I remember.

Thanks for the compliment on my car as well. I love driving it and it’s hard to stay out of trouble in it. By the way, it has a Bose sound system in it as well which I think sounds phenomenal as a factory installed system. hehe
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