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What kind of PA set-up do you own/use for performing? Have you ever tried the Bose L1 systems?

Location: Brampton, ON, Canada
Members: 34
Latest Activity: Mar 8

Discussion Forum

Why such a HUGE difference in sound? 9 Replies

Last week a buddy and I did an open mic. We'd rehearsed in my basement with the the following:Me - Martin guitar with L.R. Baggs dual source system run through a Zoom A3 preamp & mic through a…Continue

Started by Terry Angelli. Last reply by Terry Angelli Mar 23, 2014.

I'm confused! 4 Replies

I've read with great interest about al of the Bose systems. I currently own a rather sophisticated PA That is suitable for a band in 200 to 300 capacity venues. I can see the end of the road coming…Continue

Started by Terry Angelli. Last reply by Terry Angelli May 16, 2013.

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Comment by John Fleenor on March 21, 2012 at 6:55am

Edward, Yes the Bose is an expensive monitor unless you look at in ear which are nice but I prefer the Bose. I like hearing what the audience hears. 

The R&R group I work with consists of the guys I played music with in the early sixties. My brother is the drummer and he still uses the same set of Rogers he used back then. In fact I still use the same guitar, a Gibson ES-335 and the other guys have the same guitars they used then as well. We do a "retro" show. Mostly British invasion, late 50's rock, CCR, Paul Revere, Searchers etc. so we try to keep the sound as close to an original sixties garage band as possible. We don't play very often but we enjoy it. We do a three hour set (no breaks). Not bad for 60 year old men.

Mostly I play acoustic gospel and Bluegrass with the other groups, a little Jazz with a Latino band sometimes.

Comment by Edward Sparks on March 21, 2012 at 5:19am

John, We don't use a drummer...or looper, or drum machine for that matter. But acoustic drummer's do change the setup!   For about 20 years I played in a group called "Free FLight" and we had a drummer who was fantastic...then he moved to played drums live via a keyboard...meaning that he had a synth keyboard with a drum setting and he would play the drums by hitting the keys with the drum sounds LIVE!  

It was fantastic...

1. He was a real drummer, so he knew how to make the playing sound like a real drummer playing,

2. Because it was a synth, we could turn his volume up or down to fit the mix for a given venue, plus we could add reverb to his "kit" to fit the space.

3. He could sing and play this way at the same time, which was important since we were a "Crosby, Stills, Nash" style group that depended on three part harmonies.

4. Some songs didn't require drums and he sang and played percussion, or played piano, organ, flute, sound effects like bells and wind, etc. via the synth.  He even played a synth sitar on the Beatles Norwegian Wood! 

And as I said earlier, like you John, we use the BOSE now as a monitor for big venues, and have our old style power amp/4 mains with a horn and 15" woofers when we need them.  The BOSE is an expensive monitor, but then we are making more money for the big jobs.  These days though, the contractors hiring us like to go for multiple acts and their own sound company with people who know what they are doing! Edward 

Comment by John Fleenor on March 20, 2012 at 2:15pm

Sometimes we attach an SM-81 lower on the mic stand depending on the room (you have to keep the banjo player turned slightly or those RB 250's can be overpowering).

The real challenge I have is with drums in theR&R group. I've been using two Sennhauser KM 40 cannon mics to catch the overall drum kit. So far that seems to be the best way. We only send the drums and vocals through the Bose and use the backline inst. amps and balance the two signals. In larger rooms We use the bose as a monitor and send the mains to JBL Eons. You have to listen to your fellow members no matter what you are using to balance your sound.

Comment by Edward Sparks on March 20, 2012 at 11:44am

Wow John, one condenser between you all, now that's authentic!   Yeah that would be more of a challenge! Yes, and club owners like it because it takes up less room and therefore makes there stage look bigger...and it takes less trips through the room to get in and out, and it really does disperse the sound so much's not deafening up front and lost in the back. And you are also right, if a club is too big and or too populated for the BOSE to work, they should have a rented system with a soundman!  We have done plenty of those too and had great luck with getting good people behind the board.   

Comment by John Fleenor on March 20, 2012 at 8:17am

If you use dynamic mikes no problem. In our Bluegrass we use only use one large diaphram tube mic. In this set up we put the Bose off to the side and a bit in front. No need for monitors. As far as volume, check the Bose site and it will explan the wave pattern produced by the L1 system. I find most audiences love it because they can hear you as well as converse with other people without yelling into their ears. Club owners/managers really like this. In the past I have used everything from Altec "Voice of the Theatre" speakers to JBL, the old Bose 800 series, Shure vocal master and so on. I like the L1 for what I do now, the small to midsize rooms. Anything bigger we'll rent or the venue already has a sound system in place ie outdoor festivals..

Comment by Edward Sparks on March 20, 2012 at 8:10am

Good questions Mike...

First: We do stand right in front of them...BOSE actually designed them to be used by one musician standing a little off center. Each player with his own set up would certainly solve the volume question you have.  I am sure that BOSE would love for each member to buy one!  We found though that using it as a trio in the size venues we play (very similar to what yours are) seems to work great in terms of volume...because we have three people sharing the are in front of it most of the time only two of us can be standing off center...and we have THREE live mics in front of it!  Still we don't have too many issues with feedback...If we really crank it up with all the mics live and aimed at the main speaker tower it will feed back, it would be a miracle if it didn't.  But we find that if the singer is standing between the mic and the tower, essentially blocking the line of sight between the two, there is less chance of feedback, but again that is only at high volumes.  Also, it would be important for me to say that we use the BOSE because it has the separate bass module and we run the bass guitars through it is our ONLY PA in these venues. If we were just running vocals and guitars, I am sure that the Fishman system would be great too.  We got our BOSE from the local Guitar Center and it had been a floor model and saved a  bundle...lots of people had played with it, but it was not damaged in any way and came with a full manufacturer's warranty.  So, so far we have not needed extra monitors and we only resort to a front of house system when playing really large venues (500 to 600 people) or for outdoor festival type venues.  Some outdoor venues, like the one I posted the picture below, are meant to be low volume, like there is another group playing down the street, or the physical location of our system and ourselves, like between to tall buildings, keeps the sound enclosed and works well.  Remember too, we are NOT a rock band and have no drums...we do Crosby, Stills, Nash style classic rock music.  Drummers change everything...and THEN they want a cut of the money...go figure! :-)  Well, there is my two cents!  Edward       

Comment by Mike Murphy on March 20, 2012 at 7:44am

Thanks for all the feedback. I'm closer.

2 questions,

Q1 you guys all seem to play directly in front of these things, no feedback problems? I'd love to no have to bring my monitor.

Q2. Volume. I've heard different opinions. My typical audience is small pubs with 100 capacity, rarely full. So it's more like 40-60 people. I know room acoustics vary quite a bit but that affects with all PA's. My Mackies are bi-amped 165W mid/low + 30w up top so essentially just under 200W. I have never ever run them at more than 50% on their dial even when I had the mixer right up there.

Comment by John Fleenor on March 20, 2012 at 7:05am

I play as an acoustic solo and duo act, with a Bluegrass band as well as  with a sixties Rock and Roll group. We use the Bose L1 single bass, the original and set up in the same manner as Edward just described. Works great.

Comment by Edward Sparks on March 19, 2012 at 3:43pm

Well, Mike as you can see in the picture below, we have the BOSE L1, the original system, and we love it.  

The pub we play most often can hold about 100 on the "music" side (the other side is a sports bar), and most of the time it's just shy of that...about 80.

When we play the pub, the three of us run everything, including the bass guitar, into a mixer and then from there two line outs to the BOSE.  So far it's been loud enough and works as our monitors as well since it is behind us.  We have had almost no trouble with feedback...only when the house gets a little rowdy and they get loud!  When we play something bigger, we have a front line system that consists of a power amp fed by another set of  line outs on the mixer to it and then it powers either two or four cabinets out front on poles, each with a horn and a 15" woofer.  But the BOSE is is a pic of us playing an outside venue at an Arts Fest...we were situated in a little park between two tall buildings and the BOSE filled the space perfectly! 

Comment by Ed Provost on March 19, 2012 at 2:45pm

Hi Mike,

I use a Roland BA-330 - I really like it. I tried the bose L1 and the fishman.

The roland has more bass than the L1 and the fishman. If you purchase the Bose with the optional bass speaker.. a different story..I have played to 300 people with now problem.. The room acoustic's the clarity of your sound system

have alot to do with sound projection..The Roland price is around $600




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