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Author Topic: the truth behind the bose 802 speakers  (Read 6024 times)

claude cascioli

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the truth behind the bose 802 speakers
« on: July 15, 2014, 05:26:18 pm »

i have been in the audio businuess since 1974 i have used eaw,jbl,turbosound and many other speakers. any for many years owned a bunch of bose 802 speakers. about i had a crazy weekend with no time to reload trucks and my weekend was all pa on a stick jobs lot of high school commencements. came sunday i had to setup sound for pride fest in new york city at 9am after working till 11 the night before so i said what the hell ill use the bose with my double 18 subs what the worst that could happen not loud enough but i had 18 in the truck. so on sunday i stacked 6 perside of the stage and 2 jbl 728 subs. on the ground and was i shocked.my client came over there complaining 2 blocks away turn it down. so i walked down the block and i was amazed it was loud and clear
the end of the day my client said wow. the sound was great and most of the music was house and no one compained. the next day i had to supply for the queens symphony in astoria queens new york for about 10,000 people for that gig we setup 12 in the front 6 perside of stage and 4 about 200ft from the stage we also used 4 jbls 728s(2 perside) ran the rears full range again i was shocked to find that i had plenty of sound . they were powerd with qsc pl230s and qsc 4.0 for the subs . bose speakers are great speakers the problem is people dont know how to use them. if you want to use a pair for a rock band forget it. but when you start stacking them they couple like you would not belive. and when you stack 4 or more you have a bunch of drivers working together and without phaseing cancellation. and the big atvantige of this is if you are a small company like mine you have one speaker that you can use for every need with out the need to have different  systems. and they stack nicely and are 100% waterproof and you dont need ten guys to setup if you need to setup high on a scaffold. but there is a few drawbacks they cost about 800.00 per box they are power hungry but the trade off is they dont blowup easly i have mine since 2006 used them about 200 times and have not blown a single driver and a nice thing is when you stack them 6 high you can run the lower ones at a lower volume so you wont blow away the listeners in the front rows. use them the right way i also use a smaller setup with a single 18 sub perside and 2 on a stand and it works great for weddings and indoor shows and being they dont have horns the high end wont rip your head off. and they work great as monitors due to that. and another plus is they have a wide coverage angle so no need to use many speakers to cover an area 100ft wide and the 402 also work great. so if you are starting out this speaker would make a great choice
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Spenser Hamilton

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Re: the truth behind the bose 802 speakers
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2014, 05:42:27 pm »

i have been in the audio businuess since 1974 i have used eaw,jbl,turbosound and many other speakers. any for many years owned a bunch of bose 802 speakers. about i had a crazy weekend with no time to reload trucks and my weekend was all pa on a stick jobs lot of high school commencements. came sunday i had to setup sound for pride fest in new york city at 9am after working till 11 the night before so i said what the hell ill use the bose with my double 18 subs what the worst that could happen not loud enough but i had 18 in the truck. so on sunday i stacked 6 perside of the stage and 2 jbl 728 subs. on the ground and was i shocked.my client came over there complaining 2 blocks away turn it down. so i walked down the block and i was amazed it was loud and clear
the end of the day my client said wow. the sound was great and most of the music was house and no one compained. the next day i had to supply for the queens symphony in astoria queens new york for about 10,000 people for that gig we setup 12 in the front 6 perside of stage and 4 about 200ft from the stage we also used 4 jbls 728s(2 perside) ran the rears full range again i was shocked to find that i had plenty of sound . they were powerd with qsc pl230s and qsc 4.0 for the subs . bose speakers are great speakers the problem is people dont know how to use them. if you want to use a pair for a rock band forget it. but when you start stacking them they couple like you would not belive. and when you stack 4 or more you have a bunch of drivers working together and without phaseing cancellation. and the big atvantige of this is if you are a small company like mine you have one speaker that you can use for every need with out the need to have different  systems. and they stack nicely and are 100% waterproof and you dont need ten guys to setup if you need to setup high on a scaffold. but there is a few drawbacks they cost about 800.00 per box they are power hungry but the trade off is they dont blowup easly i have mine since 2006 used them about 200 times and have not blown a single driver and a nice thing is when you stack them 6 high you can run the lower ones at a lower volume so you wont blow away the listeners in the front rows. use them the right way i also use a smaller setup with a single 18 sub perside and 2 on a stand and it works great for weddings and indoor shows and being they dont have horns the high end wont rip your head off. and they work great as monitors due to that. and another plus is they have a wide coverage angle so no need to use many speakers to cover an area 100ft wide and the 402 also work great. so if you are starting out this speaker would make a great choice

You are the Ying to the AllCAPSLOCK Yang.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: the truth behind the bose 802 speakers
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2014, 07:02:48 pm »

The Bose 802 will have strong midrange output but not likely a very phase coherent sound. I would expect the high end to be a little soft and the bass transition a matter of chance. 

I wouldn't sell your subs just yet.

JR
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: the truth behind the bose 802 speakers
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2014, 08:04:03 pm »

The Bose 802 will have strong midrange output but not likely a very phase coherent sound. I would expect the high end to be a little soft and the bass transition a matter of chance. 

I wouldn't sell your subs just yet.

JR
It all "depends" on what one is looking for in a sound system-what their expectations are-what their reference is and so forth.

There is more to good sound than just "loud".  Loud is easy. 

Quality-not so easy.
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Ivan Beaver
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Richard Turner

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Re: the truth behind the bose 802 speakers
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2014, 11:32:52 pm »

I had 12 of them for many years  And yes 8 or more would put out plenty if you had enough amp to drive them. Absolutly horrible sound as a single pair on sticks  and totally worthless without the processor box.

I had the version II so from 90's to 2000 vintage.  Sounded much better and played better together than the yorkville self powered boxes that replaced them. I would have lept on with them but oppourtunity arose to sell them installed and local competiton was poisoning clients against them.

If your patient you can pick up single pairs cheaply as most who bought one pair didnt buy the processor and thought they could get away without it.
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Steve M Smith

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Re: the truth behind the bose 802 speakers
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2014, 02:48:26 am »

Absolutly horrible sound as a single pair on sticks  and totally worthless without the processor box.

Which flattens out the rsponse to make it equally bad at all frequencies!


Steve.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: the truth behind the bose 802 speakers
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2014, 07:32:03 am »

Which flattens out the rsponse to make it equally bad at all frequencies!


Steve.
Just do a transfer function of the processor to get an idea of what is going on.  Can you say "SMILE"
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Ivan Beaver
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: the truth behind the bose 802 speakers
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2014, 10:29:04 am »

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.   

JR
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Steve M Smith

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Re: the truth behind the bose 802 speakers
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2014, 10:49:10 am »

Back in the late 80s or early 90s, I attended a combined sales and training event hosted by Peavey.  Part of the demonstration was comparing a Bose 802 with a Peavey speaker (a CL2 Cluster I think)  both with and without the Bose 'processor'  The difference was quite amazing.


Steve.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: the truth behind the bose 802 speakers
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2014, 10:54:19 am »

It's been a number of years since I've heard 802s, but IMO with the processor they sounded better than the average low-to-mid-end PA cab as generally deployed with no EQ - in other words, the processor for the 802s produced a result better than the typical un-processed PA cab.

I measured the processor with my RTA and couldn't fit the whole smile on the screen at once - the difference between the bottom of the grand canyon and HF and LF peaks is something like 30dB; part of the reason that you can't fix them with the average +/-12dB graphic EQ.
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