BOSE acoustimass series

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by lsandini, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. lsandini

    lsandini
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    Hello people !

    First post in here, with no pretentions. I have a BOSE acoustimass 5 (2.1) speaker system, coupled to a Harman and Kardon AVR-235 in my small living room, and I got these as a cheap bundle years ago. I use a self-built HTPC with Mediaportal, and a Harman& Kardon DVD-31 mostly for CD playback, since the HTPC does the job with DVDs.

    Despite all that has been said here and there about BOSE's quality, (or better: BOSE's quality/price ratio), I have been more than happy with them. Of course one of the criteria was their small form and wife acceptance factors, but the resulting sound is more than acceptable for my needs, as I am not too demanding in that respect. Living room picture here. When I want to sit down and relax listening to music, I use AKG headphones.

    Now to the question. I am slowly getting interested in 5.1 surround sound, now that a PS3 has landed and a FullHD TV found its place on the wall.

    Without considering the price tag, I'd be ready to add the center and rear speakers from the same manufacturer (Switch to BOSE Acoustimass 10 or 15 ?), but a few people are trying to make me switch to high(er)-end stuff. What alternative would you suggest, considering the small form factor, white colour, ceiling position... ?

    I don't want floor stands (small kids), and if possible I would do without a subwoofer. Some claim the AnthonyGallo small satellites go low enough in frequency, so that I don't "have to" add a subwoofer.

    Suggestions welcome :)

    Lorenzo
     
  2. swift1

    swift1
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    B&W M1 are better than the Bose AM10 MK3... Trust me I've owned both!

    B&W M1 do come in white as well, However, although the B&W M1 are better than the Bose - they are not all that what they make out to be either because it simply is a lifestyle speaker.

    Best thing to do is get a demo, the biggest mistake I made twice, buying LifeStyle speakers without a demo:mad:

    Also Without a sub you will not get the full experience.

    Good luck
     
  3. Stoatman

    Stoatman
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    I would absolutely recommend a sub with "lifestyle" speakers. Even the larger of the Gallo orbs doesn't go down low enough to give any film or music justice in my opinion.
     
  4. Matyam

    Matyam
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    Sorry bose just dont cut it if you really want proper movie sound and if you dont have a sub well your missing the best bit,if you are going to stick with bose a proper sub is essential,listen to a proper system then you will see or even hear:devil:
     
  5. lsandini

    lsandini
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    Thanks everyone for the quick replies ! Sounds like the BOSE option is put aside for a moment, while I examine the alternatives.

    B&W M1 (or the MT-20 set) seem to be a serious contender, but the size and shape almost excludes them from my list. Quite and big and I really don't like the look of them (a matter of taste only). The subwoofer comes only in silver or black, but white is required here.

    A. Gallo's A'Diva : I love the spheric shape, but at 280 euros a piece, they are quite pricey and still need a subwoofer. And while spheres are nice for filling the corners, I just can't imagine a center sphere under my TV...

    My local shop here doesn't have much, but for some reason they have a large arsenal of BOSE stuff (just to annoy me...). I stopped there for a while to listen to the Lifestyle V30 and its JEWEL CUBE satellites. While the little satellites impressed me by the crystal clear sound in movies, the result for music was a bit too aggressive, and the subwoofer was catastrophic producing some uneven muffled sound with disgraceful loud spikes during movie special effects. The sub was placed in some enclosure that really killed it unfortunately, but for the seller it was very well like this... :(

    Sooo, any other suggestions ?

    Cheers,
    Lorenzo
     
  6. lsandini

    lsandini
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    Hello,

    Just a follow-up to the thread above. I had a look at the B&W M1s, but they weren't wired when I went to the shop, and the sellers weren't too willing to collaborate. I can't say anything about the sound, but I didn't like the look of them, and their size was just above the limits I had set.

    Next I was going to a different place to listen to the Anthony Gallo speakers, and I found they had Monitor Audio Radius HD small satellites, just what I was looking for. I listened to the R45HD's and R90HD's, and as expected the R90HD sound better. However I am filling a small room with sound, and I am planning to mostly listen to movies and only occasionally to music. So I have a set of 5 x R45HDs and the R360HD subwoofer on their way for a test in my living room, and I am quite convinced I'll keep them. I'll report back soon, with pictures if I decide to keep the set !

    Lorenzo
     
  7. ashillito

    ashillito
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    Hi Lorenzo

    I had a similar setup to you, a Bose 2.1 Accustimass for the front left and right, a B&W full size centre and a pair of cheap white yamaha discrete speakers for the rears running from a Marantz AV amp. I had this system for around the last 9 years and have being very happy with it indeed. I never felt the need to add a sub as the bose system is basically a sub and satellites and adding another sub into the mix would undoubtedly muddy things !

    I recently 'nearly' bought the new Bose V20 system, the one with no player, just an input box with a 5.1 speaker system, as I love the look and convenience of the Bose package.

    I listed to it and although it was indeed good, it was no better than what I had, it was also expensive ! I then auditioned some Kef 5.1 speakers, and although fine with movies, sounded bad with stereo.

    I then listed to the Tannoy Arena package, which to cut a long story short, I bought and am very, very happy with. I still use my Marantz for the time being, but the 'size' and 'power' of the sound with movies is frankly in another league. With stereo it's good too and the speakers, although not as small as the bose units, look nice. The Sub though is a bit bigger than the acoustimass module, but hell it packs a real punch.

    So, my experience has made me leave Bose after being a pretty loyal fan, i'll still use the Bose in another room as for their size I think they are amazing, but you need to hear something like the Tannoy Arenas to really know what you would be missing :)
     
  8. lsandini

    lsandini
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    Hello,

    Reporting back after the upgrade. So I have now my 5 Radius R45HD satellies and Radius R360HD subwoofer :smashin:

    I stereo mode, I can't say the difference is huge, except maybe for the subwoofer, that is much mode dynamic, especially in movie mode. When listening to the radio, the satellites give a crisper sound, but especially the Harman and Kardon's "3-speaker" stereo mode makes speech much more understable from the nearby kitchen. Using the multispeaker modes, I can get good stereo sound from 4 satellites, which sounds great when listening to music.

    Now for movies, especially in DTS mode from the PS3 or from the HTPC, the sound is great for so small speakers. I was a bit worried when I listened to the R90HD in comparison, but in the end the R45HD do the job quite well in my small living room, where the sound level is usually quite low (kids sleeping...) When cranking up the volume, the satellites are a bit too directional, and I feel the high end of the frequency range is a bit intrusive, but nothing that cannot be adjusted lowering the treble output. The subwoofer really makes watching movies worth it now!

    All in all I am quite happy with the new set, it costed me 950 euros here, plus VAT and speaker cables. BOSE Acoustimass 10 would have been 1300 euros in comparison... I hope this little example will help someone else decide for themselves.

    Lorenzo
     
  9. Deadringers

    Deadringers
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    well done for not going with bose, IMO it is far too over priced and difficult to upgrade, i.e. add different bits in.

    hope you enjoy it :)
     

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