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Author Topic: Bose Personal Amplification System - hands-on  (Read 2424 times)

John Michaels

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Bose Personal Amplification System - hands-on
« on: May 17, 2005, 10:52:57 AM »

A client of mine who does seminars got a Bose Personal System to evaluate for use in smaller rooms. I’ve run sound for him twice now using a system with one L1 and one B1 (and many times with other speakers). I was off to the left side at the front of the room (the only place for the mixer and other stuff), the Bose was even closer to the front wall,  between me and my client, and behind the plane of the vocal mic. Small room, LD condenser for vocal, and speaker behind mic – altogether is a nice recipe for feedback, so I used my old FBX901 to notch out a few things (okay – 9 things to be exact).

I have not A/B’d these with anything else. I’m used to a really old pair of Bag End 12’ 2-ways and my home “reference” listening system is decent, but not exactly current technology. With those constraints, here are my observations:

Playing a CD and walking around in an empty room, I could hear reasonably well everywhere. As I moved from the edge of the coverage area towards the center of the pattern, there was definitely a place where the highs picked up noticeably, and then decreased as I moved towards the other side. I’d say the beam was maybe 45 degrees wide. You still had high end outside that, but it was definitely brighter in the beam (although I wouldn't call the system bright). Volume was pretty even moving from the back of the room to the front. Speech reproduction was clear and quite intelligible. My client uses hand percussion during the presentation, and reproduction of everything from frame drums to Tibetan Bells was clear and reasonably accurate. I don’t have any kind of measurement system, so I can’t tell you what it really does. When I asked Bose for the specs for the system (I know), they started with their “specs are really misleading” spiel, but then actually said that they get 41hz to about 15khz, +/- 2db from the system. For what it’s worth.

Many of the seminar attendees said they really like the sound of the system (in that room). While not necessarily trained ears – I know the audience to be pretty sensitive to the way things sound, and pretty critical of the way things sound. My client likes that he can actually hear how he sounds in the room (since the speaker is behind him).  I like that due to the number of drivers involved, the sound is emanating from a large surface area, and hence no hot-spot as with a horn driver. I won’t say it’s better, I’m just partial a large radiating surface  - like drums, or (OT) Magnepan home speakers. And although the speakers I have used before in this room (the aforementioned Bag Ends) will probably go much louder, and definitely have a higher freq. response, I will concede that their top end may be a bit harsh (they are pretty old). Based on all this, my client wants to use the L1/B1 for future events in this room (there will be more later this year), but he recognizes the system won’t cut it in a hotel ballroom. I see no reason to argue. For the right application, it’s a decent system. But it's not the end of SR as we know it.
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