How full/thin does it sound from a distance?

I recently heard a NEXO line array (which isn't cheap stuff) at an open air show. It was impressive how soft the sound level was right in front of the stage -- and how much of that arrived at the rear end of the audience.

BUT from a distance, it sounded like thru a phone. No bass, no lower mids. No brilliant treble either. Is that different with the PAS? Unfortunately, where I live, there seems no chance to hear one...



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Original Post
Great question.
I was just about to start a new topic but this one is closely related so I'll piggy-back onto this thread.
Doing some research on the MA12 (cousin to the L1) I found that a stacked pair will throw 90-100 feet. What exactly does this mean? Obviously you will be able to hear the speaker beyond this throw. Does it mean you will only hear the full frequency response within that distance?
Along the same lines, lets say a person is seated with his head 3-4 feet above the highest driver in the array. What kind of sound will he be hearing?
Robert L
If you move above the L1, you get less highs and more mids and lows comparitively. It loses brightness.

If you elevated the L1 and angled it down toward the crowd (like the Nexo array), you would still only get band of bright sound relative to the size of the "stick". The Nexo array projects a much wider arc than it's relative size.

This is the beauty of the L1 for club applications,etc.; it projects sound where you want it (a 7 foot cylindrical wave covering almost 180 degrees out from the speaker, that doesn't significantly reflect off the ceilings/floors). It behaves like a true (almost perfect) line array in that the sound does not decay with distance like a conventional speaker.

Is that different with the PAS?

What's a PAS? (we refer to it as "L1") Smile
Originally posted by dk215:
And that applies to the full frequency spectrum, right?

As designed it doesn't apply for the frequencies below 180Hz (I guess the frequency may even be a bit higher), because the low frequencies are thrown by a "normal" speaker with radial pattern (a true bass line array would be ways to large).

But as the test results (measuring data) of the "Production Partner" magazine from 10/2004 confirmed, it applies (surprising) well for a wide range of frequencies (in the mid/high range).

And that applies to the full frequency spectrum, right?

Wrong. According to the Bose documentation the cylindrical wave is 1-4kHz (-6dB point average).
Interesting that they chose to publish the -6dB rating. Most manufacturers publish the -3dB rating. A -6dB rating, as I understand it, would be half the volume of the -3dB rating. The -3dB rating would most likely show a much narrower frequency band. Something like 2-3.5kHz perhaps (just guessing here). Please note that the specification given is actually for the MA12.
Really though, you need to base your decision on listening to the system. This is where the 90 day trial period comes in to play. You can test the system in multiple venues to find if it fits your needs. I don't know of any other manufacturer that offers this type of trial period. Bose is confident that you will be satisfied with this product.
The actual physical behavior of the L1 (and most other speakers for that matter) is very complicated and it's very difficult to express this through a specification with only a few numbers. That's one of the reasons why are very reluctant to publish specification: More often then not they are interpreted incorrectly and people draw the wrong conclusions.

Let me try to clarify the MA 12 spec:
First of all the “1-4 kHz” spec describes the behavior of the MA12 in this frequency range. It doesn’t talk about other frequencies at all. In particular, it does NOT state that it’s not a cylindrical radiator outside this range. In fact it’s an even better cylindrical radiator above that range. The correct way to read this would be “This picture shows what happens in the 1-4 kHz range. If you are interested in different frequencies please refer to our additional documentation. If you do, please make sure you understand the meaning of polar plots, sensitivity, and efficiency, for cylindrical radiator as they are much different from spherical wave loudspeaker”.

Second, the data concerns a single MA12 in free space. The L1 is twice the height and also designed to work with a significant floor reflection. The effective height of an L1 is roughly 3 to 4 times that of a single MA 12, so trying to draw any conclusion on the L1 by looking at a single MA12 is really not appropriate.

In the end, I really have to agree with Robert here: The easiest and best way to find out whether the L1 works in your application is to simply try it out. Mathematical & physical data is of very limited little practical use.

Hope that helps

Hi Dominik,

My take on Fullness is this:
When you sit up close, within 20-40'
the L1 systems sounds the "fullest".

As you move to the back of the club, the bass frequencies drop off,
however, the overall sound still seems well balanced, just "thinner".
To me this sounds like a pair of open ear headphones with a walkman
...crisp, but not heavy on bass.

It's not a bad sound though, to me it is pleasant and natural,
clean and clear rather than boomy or muddy at a distance.

I find the best visual example is a videotaping I made
of Bose user, Baby-Blue-Eyes's "Sinatra" band.
My wife taped them from the rear of a large tent,
even taping with the camera pointed away from the band.
The sound is smooth and consistent.

Then she walked forward to the band, and you can hear the changes.
At about 40' out, the bass quite suddenly becomes more apparent.

This Video Clip should give you a good idea of near/far sound perceptions with the L1 system.

Bear in mind the video cam is not the quality of the live sound
but gives a pretty clear interpretation of the "difference" to be heard.

That day, the other bands all played thru the bigger system you see.
When I was at the back of the tent,
I found their sounds to be quite less "natural".
It was somewhat fuller, but at the expense of the clarity.

I hope this is of a help to you, and that the filesize is
not too large for your downloading capabilities over there.

BTW, I saw a NEXO line array at a Bebo Norman concert in St Louis last year.
Until today, I didn't know who made that system, but I remember that logo.
I was astounded at the sound, NEVER had I heard that good a sound
in a concert PA system (in a really big church). And NOT TOO LOUD!!

I remember searching the web for pictures to identify it,
and asking around the forums about it, trying to describe their wishbone shaped logo.
My wife and I talked for months about how good the sound was.
NOT PAINFUL, even as close as we were sitting, about 5th row,
right in front of the line array and it was very comfortable.
No earplugs...which is odd for me at a big concert.

I would liken the Bose L1 sound to one of these systems, only not so loud of course.
I was a Bose user at that time and was spoiled on the sound and was avoiding concerts
because the sound was usually too loud and too unclear for my new tastes.
But the Nexo was very, very nice.
Pete, thank you very much. That's just the kind of info I wanted to hear. It's a great idea to post such a video. It's not the real thing, but I think it shows very well that it's no cheap "phone" sound.

And yes, we do have broadband internet over here Smile

Thanks anybody, I find my questions thoroughly answered.

Originally posted by Hilmar-at-Bose:
Second, the data concerns a single MA12 in free space. The L1 is twice the height and also designed to work with a significant floor reflection. The effective height of an L1 is roughly 3 to 4 times that of a single MA 12, so trying to draw any conclusion on the L1 by looking at a single MA12 is really not appropriate.


Hallo Hilmar,
do I understand correct, that to raise the L1 above floor level would be an mistake? I'm considering to raise it 3 ft and fix it to the wall, so the sound isn't blocked by the altar. (See picture)

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