The original 901 actually had a design premise, 11% direct sound, 89% diffuse reflected sound to mimic the sound received in the audience of a symphony hall. The 802 was a repurposed 901 as a direct radiator, but still a diffuse direct radiator, so it mainly makes sound energy. The companion processor was not just a smiley face, but correcting for the relatively high tuning of the modest sized cabinet. I think they may have added a port to later versions to lower the box tuning somewhat. The high end boost was required because of using midrange drivers for full range.
The consumer processor offered several different response curves so you could indeed dial in a happy face on to top of nominally flat and I'm sure many consumers did.