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Bose 802's - opinions Signal Splitters (HW)
Old 11th October 2015
  #1
Bose 802's - opinions

Had anyone here used the Bose 802's as a PA? Need to ad a sub of course, but what would these be like with piano and other keys?

Thanks
Old 11th October 2015
  #2
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Sound like about as good as a cluster of 4" drivers in a plastic box can sound, and you should use the Bose EQ module that goes with them.
Old 11th October 2015
  #3
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Old 11th October 2015
  #4
haha thx manosar - and ascme
Old 11th October 2015
  #5
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They can sound OK but you need the BOSE controller which applies a broadband eq to take out the nasal mid. Even after that you need a graphic over them as well or at least good desk eq.
They still have a plastic box signature but can be made to work well if you dont expect long throw and large volume. Piano and vox can sound good if you work within their limits.
Dont ever buy the sub that goes with them; it's a very one note resonant device.
Cheers, Ross
Old 11th October 2015
  #6
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I used them in my keyboard rig for a while as monitors (band was using JBL stacks as mains) and as mains for my lounge lizard act with a female jazz singer. Worked out real nice as they were easy to transport, sounded good and were rugged. This was back in the 70's and early 80's where the choices of light / decent sounding PA systems were few and far between. These days there are lot's of small, very good sounding systems from JBL and others.

If you are buying used, pull the front panel off and look for deteriorated foam around the drivers. You unscrew the two tube locking rings and then just pull the front panel off.

Also you MUST have the BOSE EQ or they will sound nasal and in general awful.
A regular EQ won't cut it.
Trust me, I tried and it never worked out sounding decent.
They also take a lot of power to drive to high levels unless something has changed in recent years.

These days though if you need something portable I would look toward JBL, EV or even Berhinger as they all make decent all in one systems that actually sound pretty good for the money.
Old 11th October 2015
  #7
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It might be more useful to think of Bose as a marketing company, rather than a provider of fine audio equipment.
Old 11th October 2015
  #8
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I have always avoided Bose products, but three years ago I was "forced" to use six Bose 802s IIIs in a sound system for a large basketball oriented gymnasium.
The client (a large charter school) owned six brand-new / still-in-the-box 802 IIIs and they were hot-n-heavy on using them.
Because their budget was already meager compared to what equipment they needed to actually cover the bleachers, I used the 802s to "augment" the better Yamaha enclosures I used.
My main gig these days is building and operating large-scale sound systems and I get to use the best equipment.
My standard is pretty high.

I was surprised that the Bose 802s could be forced into sounding decent, but you MUST use the Bose processor or like a previous poster said, "They will sound awful."
Because I ended up having an extra Bose processor after the system was installed I analyzed the processor and found that it is basically a digital EQ unit.
It has EQ curves that match various configurations of Bose speakers.

I was somewhat surprised that the EQ curve is as drastic as it actually is.
In essence the curve is what we often call a "smiley face" curve, but it is down -15 db at 1K.
I don't recall exactly where the cuts start and where they end although I recall that it was roughly a "bowl" starting at 250 hz with the deepest cut at 1K and back to flat way up around 3.6Khz or slightly higher.
Either way, it is a VERY drastic curve, but it makes the 802s sound fairly decent.
I guess that Bose gets away with that severe of a curve by using a digital EQ.
If they used an analog EQ with that much of a cut the end result would be a mess.

So, the Bose 802s can be forced into sounding OK, but I would never pay that much for such a speaker.
The entire Bose philosophy centers around products that sound OK on their own, but ONLY when used it certain environments.

As far as Bose mostly being a marketing company goes... well, hell, yeah they are!
As an example: I have sat in an airplane and A/B'ed the Bose noise canceling headphones and the Radio Shack equivalent.
The lower priced Bose sounded no better than the $60.00 Radio Shack headphones!
Yes, the expensive Bose set offered more isolation and were quieter, but they fully enclosed headphones.
You could find Chinese made knock-offs that sounded just as good.
BTW... All of those headphones are Chinese made.

Last edited by dbbubba; 11th October 2015 at 10:15 PM..
Old 11th October 2015
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
I have always avoided Bose products, but three years ago I was "forced" to use six Bose 802s IIIs in a sound system for a large basketball oriented gymnasium.
The client (a large charter school) owned six brand-new / still-in-the-box 802 IIIs and they were hot-n-heavy on using them.
Because their budget was already meager compared to what equipment they needed to actually cover the bleachers, I used the 802s to "augment" the better Yamaha enclosures I used.
My main gig these days is building and operating large-scale sound systems and I get to use the best equipment.
My standard is pretty high.

I was surprised that the Bose 802s could be forced into sounding decent, but you MUST use the Bose processor or like a previous poster said, "They will sound awful."
Because I ended up having an extra Bose processor after the system was installed I analyzed the processor and found that it is basically a digital EQ unit.
It has EQ curves that match various configurations of Bose speakers.

I was somewhat surprised that the EQ curve is as drastic as it actually is.
In essence the curve is what we often call a "smiley face" curve, but it is down -15 db at 1K.
I don't recall exactly where the cuts start and where they end although I recall that it was roughly a "bowl" starting at 250 hz with the deepest cut at 1K and back to flat way up around 3.6Khz or slightly higher.
Either way, it is a VERY drastic curve, but it makes the 802s sound fairly decent.
I guess that Bose gets away with that severe of a curve by using a digital EQ.
If they used an analog EQ with that much of a cut the end result would be a mess.

So, the Bose 802s can be forced into sounding OK, but I would never pay that much for such a speaker.
The entire Bose philosophy centers around products that sound OK on their own, but ONLY when used it certain environments.

As far as Bose mostly being a marketing company goes... well, hell, yeah they are!
As an example: I have sat in an airplane and A/B'ed the Bose noise canceling headphones and the Radio Shack equivalent.
The lower priced Bose sounded no better than the $60.00 Radio Shack headphones!
Yes, the expensive Bose set offered more isolation and were quieter, but they fully enclosed headphones.
You could find Chinese made knock-offs that sounded just as good.
BTW... All of those headphones are Chinese made.
I pretty much agree with all you have stated Danny. Like I said, these days there are better alternatives which provide good sound and at the same time offer portability, which was one of Bose's main selling points at the time. Compared to the EV or JBL or Altec cabinets most bands were using at the time, the Bose were just the ticket for me. And like I said, perfect for my lounge lizard act.

The EQ is a MUST.
Don't even bother without it.
Looks like they have a new version these days, Panaray 802 Series IV. Looks different. No tubes sticking out the front and WAY OVERPRICED...
I think mine had blue coned drivers.
Don't remember for sure though.
Old 11th October 2015
  #10
Thanks guys for the great advice. Decided to have a look at the EV ZLX-12P instead. Might make an offer on a pair. Reviews all seem to be okay.
Old 12th October 2015
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loopy View Post
Looks like they have a new version these days, Panaray 802 Series IV. Looks different. No tubes sticking out the front and WAY OVERPRICED...
You know... The ones that I installed were the Panaray 802 IVs.
I now remember the Panaray name.

Over priced? HELL, YEAH!
I was thinking about adding a fourth pair to the three the school already had and the very best deal that I could find was a used pair for around $900.00.
I was about to drive from Dallas to Oklahoma City, OK to get them but decided: TO H E L L WITH THIS!
In the end six speakers covered the areas just fine.

Another thing that REALLY angered me about the Bose stuff was the mounting hardware.
I had to buy "flyware" to hang the individual speakers and the factory "flyware" was only a steel plate that bolted on top of the enclosure with hex nuts.
The plates and hex nuts were stupid expensive and truthfully, after years of hanging large speaker arrays, the Bose hardware is utter crap.
In fact, attaching a piece of flyware to even a lightweight, plastic enclosure with two bolts that are tightened with an allen wrench is bullsh*t.
I guess that so few people actually fly these speakers and thusly few have fallen and caused injury that Bose gets away with selling such crap.

Also, if anyone needs them I have two EXPENSIVE wall mounts for the 802s.
I'd sell them cheap, but they are needlessly heavy.
You see, Bose over-engineered these pieces of hardware, so they cost a mint to ship.
This is why these products have earned the name: Bring Other Sound Equipment.
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