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  1. #1

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    Default Bose 901's for $60 - you bet I did

    I have always heard about the famed Bose 901 series. Happened across an ad on craigslist for a pair for $60. I called the guy to make sure it was legitimate - it was and they are now sitting in my living room. Nice, but at first listen do not compare to 12B's. I'll need more listening time and some tweaking with the EQ but so far, I am impressed, but not as impressed as I with the 12B. I will say there is FAR more bass than I expected!
    Carver C-1, TX-11a, M-500t MKII (By ME!), Oppo DV980H, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha HTR-5835, Polk RTA 12BM's (M-for mod'd).

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    Very nice grab.

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    Thanks, worst case I can flip them......
    Carver C-1, TX-11a, M-500t MKII (By ME!), Oppo DV980H, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha HTR-5835, Polk RTA 12BM's (M-for mod'd).

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    Congrats on the score!
    Feed them lots of power.
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  5. #5

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    Hooked up to my carver 1.0t - seems to be doing fine. I need to get my stands with the spikes and try these.
    Carver C-1, TX-11a, M-500t MKII (By ME!), Oppo DV980H, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha HTR-5835, Polk RTA 12BM's (M-for mod'd).

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    Which version?

    The Series III and IV were known for rotted foam surrounds. Fixable, not expensive--but labor-intensive. Series V had nice rubber surrounds; I think the Series VI (current production for the last ~20 years) also has rubber surrounds.

    Bass isn't the problem. Treble can be.

    I bet if a person upgraded the equalizer caps and such like we upgrade crossover caps, resistors, and inductors, they'd sound better.

    Fresh electrolytic cap kits can be had for under thirty bucks...but I'm not sure I'd want to go through all that effort just to put electrolytics back in.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bose-901-Ser...item3efc381965

    http://reviews.ebay.com/Bose-901-Spe...00000001314034
    Last edited by Schurkey; 10-10-2011 at 10:28 PM.

  7. #7

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    These are Series I with cloth surrounds. The former owner did a decent paint job making them piano black, but they need real grill covers. I may just strip them down and go back to natural. I got the cloth cover off the back and all the surrounds look good. They coated them with some kind of conditioner / sealant and they all look good. I am going to fire them back up and see how they sound uncovered.

    You are right - they lack treble. I have an Audio Control C-101 I hooked up to try these out.
    Carver C-1, TX-11a, M-500t MKII (By ME!), Oppo DV980H, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha HTR-5835, Polk RTA 12BM's (M-for mod'd).

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    I say good on ya! They get alot of flack on the web, but when I heard them way back when, in the late 70's? They were pretty impressive, placement is key to getting the best out of them. One of my Dad's golf buds had them in their sunroom, perfectly placed just so, in the corners and in macrame' hangers his wife made for them no less

    He drove them with that big badass Bose amp they made then, when the Dad's went golfing, the lads and I cranked up the Zep , very nice memories of dem 901's!!
    Huh? Wot?? Dig it :tongue:

    Where can I get me some??

  9. #9

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    I am finding it really depends on what you are listening to. Classical music definitely sounds better on the Bose. Bluegrass, on the Polks. What I a really surprised at is that everything sounds best with a blend of both..... Hmmm..............
    Carver C-1, TX-11a, M-500t MKII (By ME!), Oppo DV980H, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha HTR-5835, Polk RTA 12BM's (M-for mod'd).

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    Did you get the Bose EQ that came with them from the factory? That's the key for making them reproduce anything close to normal sound. The Series 1 & 2 had very different eq curves than the later ported (and foam surround) versions. IIRC, these have no xo's, that is all contained in the EQ box.

    I have 500wpc going into my 901 IV's out in the garage. They rock in a big room. Have fun!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael8it View Post
    These are Series I with cloth surrounds.
    Introduced in '68. Can't be newer than '73.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael8it View Post
    You are right - they lack treble. I have an Audio Control C-101 I hooked up to try these out.
    Ahh. Not using the Bose equalizer. That's going to be interesting. I bet the Bose box has more treble boost than the typical graphic equalizer.

    The sealed-box design is gonna take more amplifier than the later versions. Mr. Carver is your friend now.

  12. #12

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    Interesting link for the Series II equalizer--probably similar to the Series I.

    http://www.dcx2496.fr/Equalizer901/901_EQ_mods


    Shows a treble boost of up to +18.5 db.





    And from venerable J. Gordon:

    http://www.stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/425/
    Last edited by Schurkey; 10-11-2011 at 12:10 AM.

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    Thank you for the links! I had to really crank the treble, even on the AC101 to get this to go. Looks like there are schematics for the unit so if I can't find any resonable one's for sale I can build it. Pity this guy painted them black..... but they are easy to strip and refinish too.
    Last edited by Michael8it; 10-11-2011 at 09:48 AM. Reason: spelling
    Carver C-1, TX-11a, M-500t MKII (By ME!), Oppo DV980H, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha HTR-5835, Polk RTA 12BM's (M-for mod'd).

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    I was even tempted, and still may, to hook up a tweeter. thought of pulling my crossover from my 12B with tweeter attached and hooking that up as well to see what it did.
    Carver C-1, TX-11a, M-500t MKII (By ME!), Oppo DV980H, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha HTR-5835, Polk RTA 12BM's (M-for mod'd).

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    For Bose afficianato's , the serial number tags have a large 'one' and 'two' stamped on them. The origninal owner thought this meant they were the first two made, but the serial numbers are not sequntial. Any idea why would this be stamped on the tags?
    Carver C-1, TX-11a, M-500t MKII (By ME!), Oppo DV980H, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha HTR-5835, Polk RTA 12BM's (M-for mod'd).

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    I think that was for connecting the EQ to them. Instead of saying left speaker right speaker they have 1 or 2.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Smith View Post
    WOW!

    That's like working your way through Katie Perry in order to get to Rosie O'Donnell.

  17. #17

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    Joe, thank you. Ill see if I can get a bose EQ for this and see how it is labeled.
    Carver C-1, TX-11a, M-500t MKII (By ME!), Oppo DV980H, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha HTR-5835, Polk RTA 12BM's (M-for mod'd).

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    I'm sorry, but 60 bucks is a lot of money to spend on poor quality firewood.
    HT Setup... Pioneer Elite SC-37, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TL's , Oppo BDP 93
    Two Channel... Carver Statement 450~1 Vacuum Tube Monoblocks, Dodd Mid-line Tube Linestage with Psvane 12Ax7 tubes, Pioneer Pdd 9Mk II SACD Player, Yamaha PX-3 Turntable with Sumiko BPS EvoIII, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TLs.


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  19. #19

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    Thanks. That added a lot to the conversation.....
    Carver C-1, TX-11a, M-500t MKII (By ME!), Oppo DV980H, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha HTR-5835, Polk RTA 12BM's (M-for mod'd).

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    It was just an attempt at humor. I have yet to hear a set of 901's in the proper room with the proper equipment and room treatments to make them sound remotely close to the legend status they have achieved. Sorry if the joke offended.
    HT Setup... Pioneer Elite SC-37, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TL's , Oppo BDP 93
    Two Channel... Carver Statement 450~1 Vacuum Tube Monoblocks, Dodd Mid-line Tube Linestage with Psvane 12Ax7 tubes, Pioneer Pdd 9Mk II SACD Player, Yamaha PX-3 Turntable with Sumiko BPS EvoIII, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TLs.


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  21. #21

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    No offense taken. :) I have never been a 'fan' either but I figured I could flip them for more than I paid. Nice to A/B them with something I am familiar with.....
    Carver C-1, TX-11a, M-500t MKII (By ME!), Oppo DV980H, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha HTR-5835, Polk RTA 12BM's (M-for mod'd).

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    Congrats on a great snag. They love power and a solid wall close behind them. I always wanted to try a pair turned around as midranges in a tri-amp set up. I've also wondered how a Carver sonic holography generator would effect them.

    BTW - I'm in Lincoln Park and have a S.H. generator. lol
    Last edited by gidrah; 10-12-2011 at 08:44 AM.
    Make it Funky! :)

  23. #23

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    Funny you would ask that. My preamp is a Carver C-1. meh...... It really did not work with reflecting speakers. It is almost as if Bob was going for this reflected sound when he designed S.H. Obviously I am surmising that on my own. But the two together was unimpressive.

    On the other point, if I could combine the mids from these with the top and bottom end of my 12B's....... wow. I am going to try a setup where the bose are directly behind the 12B's at lower amplification and see what I get.
    Carver C-1, TX-11a, M-500t MKII (By ME!), Oppo DV980H, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha HTR-5835, Polk RTA 12BM's (M-for mod'd).

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael8it View Post
    What I a really surprised at is that everything sounds best with a blend of both..... Hmmm..............
    I've experienced the same
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  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael8it View Post
    Joe, thank you. Ill see if I can get a bose EQ for this and see how it is labeled.
    So you're running these without an EQ???
    Not sure if your Series 1 are the same, but the EQ (although a pain in the ass to deal with, IMO) does make a big difference. In fact, Bose makes a BIG DEAL about using the EQ with these.
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  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by IRLRaceFan View Post
    So you're running these without an EQ???
    No, he's using a generic graphic equalizer and flipping sliders to "get close".

    Quote Originally Posted by IRLRaceFan View Post
    Not sure if your Series 1 are the same, but the EQ (although a pain in the ass to deal with, IMO) does make a big difference. In fact, Bose makes a BIG DEAL about using the EQ with these.
    Having the correct equalization makes a HUGE difference with 901s of ANY series. I don't see that the Bose equalizer is any sort of problem to "deal with"; shove it's interconnect cables into a tape loop, connect the power cord to a switched outlet on the preamp/receiver...and forget it exists. The use of the equalizer is then transparent.






    Thanks to this thread, I yanked my Series V equalizer apart, cleaned the case, and recorded the values of all twelve electrolytic caps inside. (There's only three different values) Now I just need to source appropriate-quality replacement caps. There's a bazillion itty-bitty resistors and non-electrolytic caps, and two pair of integrated circuits. Nothing but the electolytics and perhaps the power transformer looks to be easily up-gradeable to my inexperienced eyes.

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    Nabbed an EQ off eBay for $77.00. Fair but not great. Schurkey - I'll pop mine open when I get it and see how easy it would be to refresh the caps, and anything else.
    Carver C-1, TX-11a, M-500t MKII (By ME!), Oppo DV980H, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha HTR-5835, Polk RTA 12BM's (M-for mod'd).

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael8it View Post
    Nabbed an EQ off eBay for $77.00. Fair but not great.
    Series I or Series II equalizer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael8it View Post
    Schurkey - I'll pop mine open when I get it and see how easy it would be to refresh the caps, and anything else.
    If it's a Series II, I'd stick as close as possible to the mods in the link provided--although it's kinda hard since he didn't provide any part numbers; and some of his off-site links are now dead.

  29. #29

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    Well, my hat goes off to the Bose team for the 901 design for this reason: all the panels were mounted with double sided sticky tape. And they all came right off, which made stripping these back down to wood (from the atrocious black spray paint job) very easy. Some final sanding, natural stain to bring out the grain in the Walnut veneer, and a few coats of finish, and they do look sharp! I picked up some taupe grill cloth, and reassembled the fronts.

    But how do they sound? Well, like 901's. I did get the equalizer in the mail, hooked it up, and was still not impressed. I did better with my AC-101.

    But, I know these have quite a following, and after I finish the grills on the back, and clean up a pair of oak stands for them, I'll find a new home for them.

    They are no RTA12B's, that's for sure!
    Carver C-1, TX-11a, M-500t MKII (By ME!), Oppo DV980H, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha HTR-5835, Polk RTA 12BM's (M-for mod'd).

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    I've been waiting for such a comment. At the price you got them at you did great. I also would have picked them up just to use on my zone 2 w/ my Yamaha rx-v665.Bose around here has been slammed for years and I think now it's just stereotyping a brand.Back in the day a set of 901s and a marantz 2200 series reciever was a vey common set up.

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