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 the time the music started, hours and hours of hard work and logistical thinking had already transpired.

There was just so much stuff!

And the wires. Dang it, there were so many wires, and of so many different kinds.

And then after the music ended, you'd have to do the whole darned thing in reverse.

It was just AWFUL!

We both felt that this whole process flew directly in the face of music making. Many times, we were just wiped out and our brains exhausted just getting set up. And it often wasn't possible to enjoy the afterglow of a great performance knowing there were hours more work ahead because of the gear.

Real problems would sometimes arise between band members because some helped with the gear much more than others, and resentments set in.

The only shoving match I ever initiated in my whole life was over gear set up. Someone in the band showed up really late to a load in up a long flight of stairs on a brutally hot and humid day. I've regretted this my whole life. It was a real low point for me.


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Original Post
Here's the text from the first ad we ran in the Guitar Center Buyers Guide when we launched the L1 system.


First in a series of technical articles on amplified live music
To create the new, critically acclaimed Cylindrical Radiator™ loudspeaker, Bose researchers spent ten years investigating the chronic problems facing musicians and audience members at amplified music concerts. This article is part of a continuing series explaining their findings.

The equipment burden
How setup time dominates playing time

In unamplified music, performers are relatively unencumbered by equipment. In most cases, they easily carry their instruments, quickly set them up, and play. In our research, we found that for every ten minutes spent playing, these musicians spend an average of only one minute on equipment-related preparation.

In amplified music, we found the opposite to be true. A typical system of backline instrument amplifiers, monitor speakers, PA speakers, mixing consoles, and various signal-processing devices represents an enormous burden for most performers. The musicians we interviewed complained bitterly of the technically complex and time consuming task of assembling, transporting, unpacking, setting up, wiring, and testing their amplification equipment. Our research showed that for every minute of playing, these musicians were spending an average of five minutes on preparation – a burden fifty times greater than musicians playing without amplification. A considerable number of musicians told us that this burden was the primary reason they had stopped performing live.

In our new approach to amplification, each player has a Cylindrical Radiator™ loudspeaker placed behind them. (In some cases two or more musicians can connect to the same system.) The unique properties of this award-winning speaker allow it to radiate sound across the stage and into the audience with very little change in tone or level. There are no backline amplifiers, no monitors, no PA speakers, and no mixing consoles. Players simply plug into their Cylindrical Radiator loudspeaker and play. Respected audio critic Wayne Thomson calls it “a loudspeaker…that could change forever the way live music concerts are presented.”

While we cannot claim to have equaled the preparation time of unamplified music, we know from our own studies, and now from satisfied owners, that a quantum improvement over conventional amplification systems has been achieved.

For more information about this subject, and others in this series, please call us at 800 xxx xxxx, or join a vibrant online community at

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