interesting question. I'll try to answer as best I can. I personally have 1 Compact + T1 and 1 Model II + 1 B1 + T1. I don't own a second Compact, nor have I used 2 Compacts together, but I have gigged with both Compact and Model II at the same time so I know about how far the sound carries.
I am currently using a pair of Bose L1 Compacts with the Tonematch which is absolutely superb. I am a solo singer/guitarist working to pro backing tracks with the guitar and vocal live and I am very satisfied with my set up and the sound I am getting.
That's good to hear. The Compact does sound very good considering its size and weight.
I specialize in classic 60's and Traditional Country and although I don't often gig in very noisy venues it is important that my sound system can cope with the dynamics of my very diverse styles.
This is a sensible way of looking at things. You've also apparently covered part of things that you might come across when gigging, but it would seem that you're looking one step further and trying to cover all your bases.
My question is, as my gigs can either be a small country pub in which I would just use one column, or a busy town club with 150 plus people in, I find myself wondering whether I would benefit from upgrading to the MK2 (one column for all gigs as opposed to choosing whether to set up one or two).
My current system is only four month old so I know I can trade up but I wonder if I would actually be gaining anything, can one MK2 equal two L1's?
The specs for the Compact say: For audiences up to 100 attentive, but only roughly 50 if they're loud.
For the Model II Bose say that it should be enough for roughly 500 attentive but only maybe for 300 if they're loud.
These numbers are only guidelines. Before I got my Model II I've played to attentive audiences of 150 without having to push it to its limits. I've also found it to struggle a bit in a louder place with only 50-60 people in it.
I played a gig this year with my 3 piece acoustic combo to a seated, attentive audience of more than 300 where the back row was more than 30 metres away from the L1. I didn't have to push the system at all and the sound at the back wasn't really much quieter than at the front. At this gig I used the Compact to amplify a piano with a microphone. I had to turn up the Compact a bit more to reach the back of the room, but still had some in reserve.
A Compact will "throw" the sound quite a distance if you turn it up. It is however louder up close than a Model II covering the same distance with the same volume at the back. A Model II will definitely "throw" the sound much further (at a useful volume) than a Compact. It does however have 24 loudspeakers compared to 6 with a Compact.
The Compact has a System power rating of: 130W
The Model II has a System power rating of: 500W (250W for the low frequency amplifier and 250W for the high frequency amplifier).
When using the Model II compared to the Compact it's almost like bathing in the sound waves. I prefer the sound of the Model II but it's in a completely different league both price wise, weight wise and power wise.
For its size I find the Compact to be awesome. For peace of mind with gigs I would always take the Model II if I was unsure.
One big advantage of the Model II compared to a Compact I find to be the volume up close. If I have to reach the back of a room (say 50-60 feet away), I'd have to turn up the Compact louder at the source to have the same volume as a Model II at the back. People who want to talk at gigs will always have to raise their voices to be heard over a PA. The volume then escalates in the room as more people try to talk and be heard over the PA and also the other people who're doing the same thing. If the sound system is not as loud the people don't have to raise their voices as much to be heard. The general volume in the location is therefore usually lower. This means that using a Model II could result in better coverage with less overall volume in the room.
The spec on the MK2 with the B2 sub suggests it would be adequate for around 500 people which would more than cover any gig I'm ever likely to play, but then so would both my L1's.
If you're sure that this is the case, then there's no need to do anything. Never change a winning team or system.
I recently played a very noisy club with around 200 people using both my L1's, I wasn't driving them and they coped brilliantly and I had plenty of headroom but I wonder if the MK2 might give a little more reserve when needed and would stop me fretting about whether I have enough power to do the job!
Once again you're actually answering your own question. Apparently you feel that what you have will cover anything you're likely to come across.
I am new to the Bose system so I would be very grateful for any input from other users.
I will cover one more point here, which you've not mentioned. The height of the systems which can be a deciding factor in locations/pubs with low ceilings. Looking at your post code you're apparently from the Folkestone area of England. A nice part of the world.
Do you play in places with low ceilings? If so a Model II might be too high for the odd place. This is something we read about once in a while here on the forum.
Compact assembled height, extended position: 78.5" . For the assembly to the maximum height you don't need much more than the given height as there is no "tongue" to slot the loudspeaker array into the extension. You could probably set the system up with a ceiling as low as 80" (6 feet 8/9 inches).
Model II assembled height: 84.0" plus a few inches to be able to insert the top part of the loudspeaker column. This means that in places with less than let's say 90" (7 feet 6 inches) you're going to encounter problems as you'll not be able to insert the top half of the loudspeaker column. This may be something to take into account.
The difference of 9-10 inches could prove to be crucial in some locations with low ceilings. It's just something to take into account.
Just one more thing before I finish this fairly long post. If you're happy with the bass response of the Compact, you should be more than happy with a B1. If you feel the need for more then a second B1 should cover that. A B2 for someone who's happy with a Compact seems to me to be an absolute overkill for several reasons.
1) weight B1
- Weight: 26.6 lb (12.1 kg)
I'd rather carry 2 B1's than i B2 any day.
2) The B1 has (in my opinion) a tighter bass response than a B2. I don't actually have a B2 but I've compared them together in a shop, and preferred the sound of the B1's.
3) With 2 B1's you could just set up what you need in the location you're playing, thus eventually running less risk of having a "boomy" bass.
This really has turned out to be a really long post. Somehow I can't seem to do short, but I do try to cover as many problems as I can think of. Some times some that haven't even been been mentioned (e.g. the height parameters here).
I hope that this has answered most of the questions you may have regarding the 2 systems. Of course there's never anything to replace personal experience. If you get the chance to do a direct comparison then do it. That way you'll hear the difference for yourself.