5th Anniversary of L1 Launch

890 Launch of this message board community

Ken-at-Bose
Of all the things we planned for the launch -- events, advertising, direct mailings, etc. -- the one that I did not have my eye on turned out to be the best. This message board community. Nowhere has the spirit of what we intended been so apparent. Nowhere has the voice of the musicians we wanted to reach been so clear. From the first post by Steve-at-Bose, who was also the one who told me we MUST have a message board, to this present moment, nowhere have I felt so strongly that we were...Read More...
Here's the link to the new discussion about The L1 Road Show.Read More...

010 Bose in live music before the L1 system

Ken-at-Bose
When Bose introduced the L1 system in October of 2003, we had to introduce ourselves as a company to musicians. Actually, some of you already knew us. The Bose 800, our first professional loudspeaker, introduced in the early 1970s was very popular, and was used by many musicians, as PA, occasionally built into backline amps, and as a monitor. Here's a photo of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band using 800s on stage as monitors. The exact date of this performance is unknown. Perhaps one...Read More...
I wonder how many L1® owners had previous experience with the 800 series loudspeakers. I got a pair of used 802s way back. It was a stretch financially, but they were the best that I could afford at the time and they served me exceptionally well. They were light, sturdy, and flexible. I could put them up on sticks or use the covers as angled stands and tilt them at just the right angle for stage monitors. They were exceptionally well thought-out, with a system inside the lid to retain the EQ...Read More...

900 Post Launch Timeline

Ken-at-Bose
There's a fun and informative timeline of activities since the launch of the L1 system on October 15 2003. Take a look at the L1 timeline in the wiki.Read More...
quote: Originally posted by Ken-at-Bose: HILARIOUS!!! This was a very unusual and beautiful trip we made to the Martin Guitar factory in Pennsylvania. We took an "unplugged" version of The Linemen. What was really funny is that after they played a few really gorgeous songs, some of the execs at Martin wanted to know, well, whether the system could ROCK. Our jaws dropped. Drool started trickling down Tony's face. The boys obliged. Someone ran to get an SPL meter. They were clocking 110 dB SPL...Read More...

015 Cliff Henricksen

Ken-at-Bose
Cliff Henricksen came to Bose in November of 1993. He had worked for the giants in the professional sound industry and had a number of fundamental patents in his name. You can see the tangerine phase plug for high-SPL compression drivers, and the Manta-Ray horn. It is highly likely that there are more loudspeakers installed around the world in larger venues containing devices that use one or more Henricksen patents than any other inventor.Read More...
Hello Steel Ghost, YES. There are two in the Testing the 2nd Prototype post. If for other reasons you'd like more photos I have a whole batch of them and could hook you up. KenRead More...

295 L1 concept gets commercialized first for a different purpose

Ken-at-Bose
People around here were pretty uniformly stunned by what they heard from the early prototypes. You could walk right up to the speaker from the back of a big room and the sound hardly changed at all. Remarkable. If you climbed a ladder the instant your ears went above the speaker, the sound seemed to disappear. As Cliff put it at the time, it was like the transition you feel when you go from water to air when swimming. It was that big. Well, some of these folks work in the installed system...Read More...
The MA12 stacks are hung from above and then simply stabilized with a floor stand.Read More...

120 Cataloging the problems: (way) too much gear

Ken-at-Bose
Both Cliff and I were all too familiar with what it took to do a gig in terms of gear and logistics. We'd both done it our whole lives. "Technology" had made it progressively harder, not easier. On a gig day, or maybe even a few days before, the process would begin to collect all the gear, get it transported, and set up. If you were in charge, as both of us often were, this usually was some sort of all day affair, especially if you were trying to make sure that the setup was professional. By...Read More...
Here's a scan of the actual ad in June of 2004.Read More...

310 intermediate prototype "minimee"

Ken-at-Bose
I just today came across photos of another "lost" prototype when I was looking for photos from the Universal Islands of Adventure project. This prototype was called "minimee" and it shows the integration of bass. I know we did a presentation at Disney Imagineering using this prototype and when I get back to work on Monday I'll try to do a better job of pinpointing the dates of this. Unfortunately the file dates on the jpgs do not help.Read More...
quote: And, au contraire: I'm so happy. What was that thing ST said a month or so ago - If you're happy, tell your face. I think you look lost in a Thomas Edison moment.Read More...

140 Cataloging the problems: problems with guitar amps

Ken-at-Bose
Cliff and I both LOVE electric guitar. I can honestly say that some of my best experiences listening to music has been with great electric guitarists: Hendrix, Vaughan, Christian, Metheny, and so on. But live, we knew that the extremely narrow beam of sound from guitar amps could be and often was, disastrous. We found that guitar players almost never stand right in front of their backline amplifiers. That’s because these speakers are so directional that the sound level and tone directly in...Read More...
Here's the text of the ad we ran on this subject in the Guitar Center buyers' guide. quote: Fifth in a series of articles on amplified live music. To create the new, critically acclaimed Cylindrical Radiator™ loudspeaker, Bose researchers spent ten years investigating the chronic problems faced by musicians and audience members at amplified music concerts. This article is part of a continuing series explaining their findings. Backline instrument amplifiers: How acute directionality affects...Read More...

130 Cataloging the problems: reverb hurting clarity

Ken-at-Bose
The job of the professional sound engineer is to get clear sound in the audience area, among other things. But the more you learn about acoustics the more frustrating it becomes to do that because you can see (and hear) that you're fighting against a tsunami of chaotic sound. The problem, ably illustrated in another early sketch by Cliff, is that lots of sound makes it to the audience area other than from the PA speakers -- the one part of the three-part triple system intended exclusively...Read More...
Here's the text of an ad we ran in the Guitar Center buyers guide at the time we introduced the L1 system: quote: Fourth in a series of articles on amplified live music. To create the new, critically acclaimed Cylindrical Radiator™ loudspeaker, Bose researchers spent ten years investigating the chronic problems faced by musicians and audience members at amplified music concerts. This article is part of a continuing series explaining their findings. Excessive reverberation: How too much of a...Read More...
One of the most fundamental problems we discussed was one we felt was of perhaps the greatest magnitude in terms of musical art. With triple systems, musicians were not in control of their art. Here's how we put it when it came time to launching the L1 system in 2003: quote: All of these problems that we’ve just discussed pale in comparison to this last one, one even more fundamental, because it strikes at the very heart of how musical artists connect with their audiences. In the...Read More...
From the Guitar Center buyers guide, at the time we launched the L1 system: quote: Sixth in a series of articles on amplified live music. To create the new, critically acclaimed Cylindrical Radiator™ loudspeaker, Bose researchers spent ten years investigating the chronic problems faced by musicians and audience members at amplified music concerts. This article is part of a continuing series explaining their findings. Loss of artistic control: Why musicians don’t know how they sound If you...Read More...

100 Cataloging the problems: excessive loudness

Ken-at-Bose
One of them was excessive sound levels, something that veterans of this community know I'm passionate about. We felt that the single greatest contribution our industry had brought to live music were loudspeakers that were ever more powerful, and that sound levels on stage and in the audience were uncomfortably, even dangerously loud. We said that if a friendly alien appeared on earth, and found out music was one of our most valued activities, that it was largely experienced through the ears,...Read More...
Here's the ad on this subject in the Guitar Center buyer's guide: quote: Seventh in a series of articles on amplified live music. Excessive loudness: How ‘volume wars’ on stage lead to the hearing damage and loss of clarity If you have heard the new Cylindrical Radiator™ loudspeaker, seen press reviews or the comments of owners on various internet forums, you already know there is something extraordinary about this new loudspeaker. It is the heart of the Personalized Amplification System™...Read More...

110 Cataloging the problems: mono sound

Ken-at-Bose
You see a band arrayed before you, with musicians left to right. But the sound all comes from a single location -- the location of the PA speaker nearest you. So if you're left of the centerline, the sound comes from the left stack and if you're right of the centerline it comes from the right. That was always a fundamental disconnect for me. It's like turning technicolor into black and white. When we started this project, I didn't know explicitly how much we were missing in "squeezing" all...Read More...
Here's the text from the ads we ran in the Guitar Center Buyers Guide when we launched the L1 system. quote: Second in a series of articles on amplified live music. To create the new, critically acclaimed Cylindrical Radiator™ loudspeaker, Bose researchers spent ten years investigating the chronic problems faced by musicians and audience members at amplified music concerts. This article is part of a continuing series explaining their findings. Connecting Sight and Sound How your eyes help...Read More...

230 Using the First Proto on a Real Gig

colcliff-at-bose
By the end of 1998, I sent this account of my first live music gig with the system to Ken: quote: From: Henricksen, Clifford Sent: Monday, December 14, 1998 10:35 AM To: Jacob, Ken Subject: MUZO Muzin' Part "n" This is to document my recent experience with the MUZO stack (2: 4' arrays) in a live music application. Joe and I put one together, with nice big guitar-amp handles, and I voiced it on Friday afternoon in the Monster Lab using a Rane parametric and Bose 1800 amp with 402 controller...Read More...
GH What a project. But our wildest dreams took a long time to come. Our "Prophetic Visions" were really just clouds of confusion at first, only with a general intention of solving the broken way we used to make music. To be honest about it, we were truly stumbling around in the dark and didn't really know what we were doing. At first anyway. Plus, the whole thing was a sort-of "hobby" project, just one of those "free time" things we get as engineers here. We had no budget and were making the...Read More...

510 Turning the concept into a product: Part 2

Ken-at-Bose
Here's a direct link to Part 1 if you'd like to read that. We rejected the notion of integrated bass into the base that held up the Cylindrical Radiator speaker. This is when we started to think about a separate bass enclosure. Here's an early sketch from Cliff about one such concept. This was rejected because it ate up to much stage depth.Read More...
Chuck, No logos or ports because this was just a solid model (good question, though). Tom, YOU GOT IT. The PS1 power stand is a little smaller than the final. We wanted to make the whole thing a little stabler. NICE ONE!Read More...

600 The start up team

Ken-at-Bose
For many years, Cliff and I worked on this project, occasionally collaborating with our colleagues like Joe Kutil and Chris Ickler, Pete Premo, and many others. They played key and crucial roles in getting approval to move forward and commercialize the technology. And of course there were so many musicians that helped us. Hundreds. Without their selfless effort and honest feedback, we'd be nowhere. Upon receiving approval to commercialize, sometime in early 2002. We hired a team of people...Read More...
Sounded like a live CD, pristine. This is partially because the band played it right, lots of dynamics and lots of air for all the instruments to be heard. Lemme hear you say "Arrangement".Read More...

300 Testing our 2nd generation prototype

Ken-at-Bose
Cliff and Joe had built a number of prototypes of what was to become the L1 speaker -- the Cylindrical Radiator speaker -- and Cliff has talked about those in another post. In late 2001 and early 2002 we decided to build another, more sophisticated prototype based on everything we'd learned. Cliff fabricated stands for what had already become the Bose MA12 line array for installed applications. We built small racks that housed LabGruppen power amps and a DSP controller where we could dial in...Read More...
Pretty small world sometimes, Colonel... :-)Read More...

320 Reinventing the Electric Guitar As We Know it

colcliff-at-bose
I love electric guitar, especially the tone of it. So how come it always sounds so bad at the gig? Get out front and it's ok, but where it should sound great; on the bandstand; it always seems distant and dull. Loud, but not great. Ah, well that's not exactly true. You see, the guitar player situates relative to the amp so they get the beautiful tone. They're in love with it. Unfortunately, they think eveyrone else onstage and in the room is feeling the same euphoria. Not. Especially off to...Read More...
quote: This is not a small thing, gentlemen. Rather, it is the beginning of a new era in the electric guitar. Amen to that, brother Clifford! Of the many reasons why I genuinely LOVE playing through your invention, this one stands way out in front!!!Read More...

200 Historic document showing L1 invention for first time

Ken-at-Bose
In September of 1995, after many conversations (detailed elsewhere in this forum) Cliff produced a six page document and gave it to Ken. Stunned is the word I have to use to describe this surprise. I was not expecting an "invention". Over the years, I've asked Cliff many times to tell me about the "Moment of Invention". He does not know. Here, then, are the original pages from that document. It was lost until a few weeks ago, when Cliff was cleaning out his office in preparation for a move.Read More...
I was most entertained by the idea of the barn-door apparatus which could be adjusted by the musician to vary vertical directivity. I didn't see this in any of the prototypes. Did you ever try this idea?Read More...

350 An Inventor's Pain and Deliverance, over and over

colcliff-at-bose
We played at all these places from Lilliputian John Stone’s Inn, the allegedly haunted pub in Ashland MA with a tiny stage to Boston's Regent and others like it that had big caverns for audience seating. We had a crew to help us once we hired and developed the Linemen into a band that could truly wield the system like we needed. By the way, having the band play right didn’t happen right off the bat, even though we had all been "way around the block" as musicians. We all instantly reverted to...Read More...
Tony. My brain is exploding. I must add this one: Horn players are normally treated like cockroaches at the gig. "You play over there. No, we don't have a monitor for you. Play along with the drummer. Your own mix? You must be kidding..." and so on. Bruce and Doc were like Leonardo DeCaprio on the bow of the Titanic: "I am the King of the World". Things like "Bruce, turn up more for your solo" was like "ok, kids, you'll have to spend another hour at Disneyland". I mean, Doc and Bruce were in...Read More...
This is some historic photo for ya. This is the very first use of the system as originally intended. I finally got some development money and put a 4-unit system together. These are the grey ones in the photo of Joe Kutil and I. You should be aware that even at this point, Ken and I were doing this as a sort-of “hobby” project, not really on any official project list but certainly within our overall license as engineers to do stuff we thought would be of some as-of-yet-unseen value in the...Read More...
Wow again! Oh, to be in a time machine & go back to this day & be a fly on the wall (or the tree!)Read More...

220 Building and Testing the First L1 Prototype

colcliff-at-bose
So I built this thing that was 8’ tall and had a floor footprint of about 6” across and 7” deep. It broke apart in the middle using a pair of plates to hold the two sections together and didn’t have a bass system as it was designed to go down to about 90Hz. I figured this would be fine for my own use as a keyboard and voice system. The most intuitive choice I made was to use the little drivers from the Bose Wave Radio. Now this wasn’t what you’d call a rock and roll instinct. I mean, really;...Read More...

550 Invention of ToneMatch technology

colcliff-at-bose
The 8-unit Village Hall prototype system consisted of 8 individual systems. Each was a line array of a pair of Bose MA12 speakers (with a total of 24 mid/high drivers, crossed over at 180 Hz), a single MB4 bass (the equivalent of a pair of B1 bass, this being today’s standard L1 bass), amps to drive them all and a Bose Panaray controller, set up for biamp and using a standard MA12 voicing curve. And so, when you played, say, a good-sounding commercial CD over this system through a flat...Read More...

210 Earliest known sketch of the L1 concept

Ken-at-Bose
This was sketched by Lou G on tissue paper. I was describing to him our concept, long before we'd tested it or received any approval to move forward with commercialization. Lou is an amazing artist and designer. He was sketching as I talked, sitting across from me at a conference table. I was looking at what he was drawing and couldn't make heads or tails of it and I'm thinking to myself: does he get this? Then, shockingly, I realize that he's drawing UPSIDE DOWN, so that the sketch is...Read More...
When we dug out this sketch, for the longest time I could not figure out what the words meant scrawled at the bottom of the drawing. The words are in Lou's hand, and he must have been taking notes. I was really confused by what looked like "20 degrees C" at the end of the phrase. quote: Everything can be answer > look back to berfore the midda 20 degrees centigrade. Huh? And then it dawned on me. What is says is: quote: Everything can be answered. Look back to before the middle of the...Read More...

250 L1 Protoypes I Have Known

colcliff-at-bose
Here’s Joe Kutil and I with our line array prototype collection, way after the moment of invention. Joe is my collaborator on many of the line-array designs, and did a lot of the basic tuning and port designs. The aluminum one is the very original speaker system for this project. It’s actually all put together from folded-up aluminum with PEM nuts for connecting the drivers to the enclosures, a hold-over from the original US Sound/Panaray LT lightweight designs. Drivers are stock ones right...Read More...

190 Time to get to work

Ken-at-Bose
And so, it was with a full and lengthy discussion over many weeks and months of the problems plaguing live amplified music that we set out on the attack...Read More...
Actually, in this photo, from about the same time, we were prepping for a huge batch of seafood gumbo. Cliff knew a sound engineer in New Orleans who was tapped into the local cuisine. He arranged fly crabs, shrimp, and sausage to us on ice. We threw a big party that night with live music over at the Village Hall.Read More...
×
×
×
×