Douglas, you've articulated the problem we bassists have very well. There's a perceived lack of low end "tastiness" compared to good conventional bass rigs, at least with a single system. I'm willing to believe that the extended bass system could address this, but it has its own issues unrelated to sound quality (read on).
To me, there's also a logistics/cost component. With all due respect to Hilmar, you don't need to spend $3300 on a bass rig to get equipment with fabulous bass tone. If you shop smart, you can get it for well under $2000. My rig cost just over $1000 and sounds about as "good" (in my admittedly subjective opinion) as anything I've ever heard: SWR Grand Prix preamp (used), PreSonus Blue Max compressor (used), Stewart World 1.2 power amp (used) and an Avatar 2x12 w/horn (new). 1200 watts, and it produces the low end on my 5-string (below 40 hz) very nicely.
I've compared it to a PAS with 2 B1s (using a Bass Pod XT as a preamp/tone control) and while the PAS does a fine job, it lacks a certain something in the low end...it really only shows up in the lower registers...say, below the low A or low G, all the way down to the low B on my 5-string. I'm willing to believe that a second PS1/2B1 system could address this, but consider that with an extended system such as this:
- I've got four B1s to tote around, and 2 PS1s, plus the L1s. The bulk thus rivals that of my existing rig. It would weigh less, but not that much less.
- The cost is breathtaking. Okay, so my $1000 rig is largely made of used equipment, but even if it were all new it would STILL cost much less than half of the cost of the extended Bose system.
And what would the extended PAS get me?
The only significant advantage that going with the extended PAS is improved dispersion characteristics, which are limited to the mids and highs anyway.
My simple solution, as outlined in the thread "Using a bass rig AND the PAS"
is to use my rig as usual and just take a line out of the preamp into channel 3 or 4 of one of our band's existing L1/B1 PASes, the same one I use for my vocal. I give it just enough level to hear clearly....the bass rig is still giving that wonderful throbbing low end I crave...those frequencies that are not directional anyway.
The total rig weighs more, but that's about the only real drawback I can see, assuming that I'd need the extended Bose system to duplicate my results.