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Bose 901 amplifier suggestions
Old 11th January 2020
Here for the gear

Bose 901 amplifier suggestions

I'll admit, I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to these things. I just came across a free pair of bose 901 series II with the EQ, and a pair of bose 301s. I just had the 901s refoamed and refurbished. I have a receiver to hook these up to surround sound, and currently have the 901s hooked up as front left and right and the 301s hooked up as rear left and right. My receiver doesn't come with a tape loop so I can't hook up the EQ at this time I don't believe. I know there's a way to do so, but I'd need an external amplifier according to some very old posts I've read around the internet. And nothing exactly matching my current setup, so I'm turning to this forum.

The receiver I have is an Onkyo TX-RZ830. My questions are as follows.

The Onkyo seems to power everything, do I really need an amplifier?
What amplifier should I get to power the 901s if it's needed?
Do I need an amp for the 301s too, and could this be the same unit? Or would I need 2?
Should I also get a subwoofer? There doesn't seem to be much bass (or treble for that matter), and what do you suggest if I do need one?
How in the world do you put it all together?

I understand that similar questions have been asked before, and I've read a lot of responses ranging from Bose is terrible to, spend 2000 dollars on a vintage amp. Surly there is a middle ground that will do this system some justice. Also, in none of my googling did I find someone with 901s and 301s in the same setup.

Any help is appreciated. It's a home theater situation, and it doesn't need to be very loud, I just want it to sound good, as is, I've never turned the volume up past 50, and I assume with an amp it will be much much louder. The 901s were my moms when she was a kid. They're series IIs, and I'm kinda hell bent on using them for sentimental reasons. The 301s I believe were bought in 1996 if that means anything.

Thank you all for reading my post, and I hope you have a great day.
Old 11th January 2020
Lives for gear

The sound should improve somewhat with the equalizer in use. It looks to me like you could connect the equalizer to the main left and right pre-out, and then return it through one of the eight inputs and send that to the zone two amplifier (and connect the 901s there).

An external amplifier would not necessarily make things louder, or at least significantly louder; it depends on the actual power output of it vs. that of your receiver. I suspect you have plenty of power for the speakers.
Old 11th January 2020
Here for the gear


Thank you so much for the quick reply. Let me get this straight.

I have uploaded two images. One of the back of the Receiver, and one of the back of the EQ. If I'm to understand what you mean, I am to connect RCAs from The amplifier connections portion input of the EQ to the L and R Front in the Pre Out section of the Receiver.

After that I'm kinda lost. I'm so sorry.
Attached Thumbnails
Bose 901 amplifier suggestions-img_0602.jpg   Bose 901 amplifier suggestions-onkyo.jpg  
Old 12th January 2020
Lives for gear


Then connect the amplifier output connections on the EQ to one of the eight audio input sets on the receiver, and the speakers to the zone 2 outputs of the receiver, and set the receiver so that zone 2 is getting sound from whatever input you chose. I can't say exactly what menus to wade through on the receiver to do that, so you'll have to check the manual for the details. I'm assuming that zone two can get sound from an input independently of the main outputs; if not, then this won't work and you should ignore what I suggested.
Old 13th January 2020
Lives for gear

re EQ

Others have suggested possible ways to include the EQ. And yes, you do need it, as the EQ curve is severe. In its "flat" position, it does this:

+10 dB @ 40 Hz
-8 dB @ 700 Hz
+12 dB @ 14 kHz

That's a 20 decibel spread to get them flatish. On the plus side, when I worked for a dealer back in the early 70's, we used to try to blow them up with a Mac MC-2300. Ran it almost to clipping, about 360 watts rms per side. It wasn't pretty, but they survived.

I hope you enjoy them.

Old 18th January 2020
Here for the gear
musicalavtech's Avatar

901s can also survive being plugged into a 110v outlet. Really!
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