Introducing the Bose® L1® Model 1S and Bose® B2 Bass Module

Introducing the Bose® L1® Model 1S system.

and the Bose® B2 bass module

For Model II owners who want to use the full features of the B2 you will want the Model II Power Stand Firmware version 1.4 providing support for the B2 Bass Module

Additional information in the L1® Wiki:

Video

Bose L1 Model 1s Line Array System - Bose L1 Model 1S

Bose B2 Bass Module for Bose L1 Systems - Bose B2


edit - Updated link to firmware update (corrected files)

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Original Post
So I just got back from my local Guitar Center where I played through the new Model 1s. I spent the most time with the B1 instead of the B2. I am a solo performer and my typical venues are wineries, restaurants, courtyard bars, etc so I'm not looking to cut through a huge, loud crowd with more base. My L1 Compact (w/ T1) has served me wonderfully for the past 2 years. Only issue was a couple loud venues (bars) where I had to push it but that's not my normal venue and I have been extremely happy with the Compact. Having said that, I don't know how I am NOT going to buy the L1 Model 1s. The tone, clarity, depth, presence, don't really know the correct technical terms other than to say this system sounds great and it without a doubt a big step up from the Compact. Am curious as to why no volume knob but I guess channel and master on the T1 are enough. I spent an hour trying to find something I don't like about it. I couldn't. Can't wait to watch the reviews start rolling in.
Very Important Notice
Corrected files for Model II Power Stand Firmware update.

This applies to Model II owners who are using a B2 bass module

Please use this download: Model II Power Stand Firmware version 1.4 providing support for the B2 Bass Module

This addresses the following issue:
When customers complete the update it still shows that they have V1.02 installed. In all actuality the update did take (enabling all B2 positions to work)however the firmware version is not renamed.

The file on the Bose downloads page (first linked file) contains the error.

Updated instructions
Important: After step #3 below (firmware update) you need to restart your system to see the firmware version number update on the T1®. I have inserted instructions in the screen shot below.



If you have already installed the updates The T1 and the L1 Updater sofware will report that you are now on version 1.2
Install the new files in the link in this notice.

If you see this error message click Yes




The lead post in this discussion has links to the correct file.
Hi valvenerd,

quote:
Originally posted by valvenerd:
Can it be mixed and matched with model 2 towers and bases?

Sorry, no. None of the Cylindrical Radiator®s are interchangeable across models.

Here's a Compatilbility Guide
quote:


What is the difference between the L1s power stand and the model 2?

  • Same weight, size, general appearance.

  • Model 1S - NO bass line out
  • Model 1S - the Cylindrical Radiator® is just the top half of what you see (12 drivers). The lower portion does not have drivers in it.
  • Model 1s - at 79.4 inches tall is 4.6" shorter than the Model II.

    Lots more here L1 Family Comparisons and Application Guide

    Links to pictures and documents:

  • L1 Model 1S

  • Bose B2 bass module
    quote:

    Can I use my model 2 speaker with L1s?


    If I didn't manage to answer your last question yet, could you rephrase it? I'm not sure how it is different from the first question.

    Does that help?
  • Hi Kramster,

    quote:
    Originally posted by Kramster:
    Can the 12 speakers part on the 1S be used with out extension? I use my compact like that (one extension) a lot at home so I can listen more balanced up close when sitting in front of it...


    Unless you wanted to do some surgery, I'm sure that the answer is no.

    Take a look at your Model II Cylindrical Radiator® sections and compare the bottoms of the sections. I think you'll see what I mean.
    Hi valvenerd,


    quote:
    Originally posted by valvenerd:
    Thanks ST. You've answered everything.

    No sign of it on Bose Australia website. Do you know if Bose are releasing 240V/50Hz models for Europe and the rest of the world?


    I don't know, but I'll ask.

    This is from the Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs] (link from L1® Model 1S)

    Can I use this 120-volt system in another
    country?

    The unit does not have a universal power supply. You should use the 120V
    version only in 120V countries. You can use the 240V version in countries
    with 220V, 230V or 240V systems at 50 Hz. We do not have a 100V system.

    If I remember correctly, you're an engineer? So you might have some insight into what's involved in having different versions of the gear for different voltages and jurisdictions.

    But I'll bet the B2 would work for you. You play Bass don't you?
    Hi Kramster,

    quote:
    Originally posted by Kramster:
    Thanks ST... have you seen the 1S yet in person up close like?


    It's really neat this time around. The local dealer actually has stock. No more waiting for months after the release down South for us to see new product up in the Great White North.

    Sorry valvenerd. I know that none of that helps you.
    Hi Greg,

    quote:
    Originally posted by djgregb:
    Are there any options for those of us with Model 2's without a T1 to update the firmware to support the B2's?


    I've asked the question when I put the pieces together in my head and realized that there wasn't an easy update path for folks without a T1®. I'll let you know what I hear.

    Update:

    I just talked to the great folks at L1® Support.

    Guitar Centre and the Bose Retail stores can help you with the firmware update. I'd call ahead to make sure that they are ready for you, but there is a plan to take care of people in your shoes.

    If it's not feasible for you to do that, call L1® Support and see if they can help.

    Call Bose® Product & Technical Support at (877) 335-2673 (U.S. and Canada only)
    Monday-Friday: 8:30 AM - 9:00 PM ET
    Saturday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM ET
    It's wonderful Mary. I might add, having gone through the firmware and EQ updates with both of my power stands, When you start to load the EQ firmware it will say that the firmware is already loaded and ask if you want to overwrite the existing file. Just click yes. Then you need to power everything down and up again as ST mentions that you need to do before the firmware and the EQ update. If you open the updater software you will see that the EQ which was at 1.0 will now be at 1.0.3. I didn't try the B2 switches before doing the EQ update but until you power cycle everything the B2 switches will just mute the audio. Thought I would point that out in case anyone gets confused by it.

    The other thing is that the B2 is bigger in real life than I thought it would be based on the the pics I had seen over the last few days. I mean when you look at it set up and then look at the pics they are accurate, but it's just hard to get a guage on what the actual size is. Still takes up less space than 2 B1s though, and it's not really all that heavy to carry.
    I am very pleased that Bose with all it's knowledgebase has finally released a Base bin to satisfy the owners of the L1's.

    I could not understand why many DJ's actually carried 8 subs with them to events. 8 Subs hardly translates to a portable system!

    Thank You Bose Designers for listening! Eventually!
    The B2 has a three position switch that triggers sensors in the 1S and Model II powerstand to apply the correct EQ and/or other neccessary DSP. The Model II is relatively simple to update to accomadate this new speaker.

    The B2 will work with the Classic and Model I in "NORMAL" mode only. If I understand correctly that setting is "about" the same as two B1s.

    Bose has not supported updates for the Classic / Model I for some time. I have no way of knowing if it is even possible to update or not, but they are discontinued product at this point, and the decision to not support update is reasonable.

    O..
    Dumb Question Department...

    So... the new L1-S... is better than, sounds better than, is more powerful than, projects better than... the L1 Compact?

    and NOT better etc than the L1 Model II?

    What about compared to the Classic?

    Also - you DO need a T1, or some front-end, to be relatively effective, correct? I mean, plugging a mic and instrument directly into the L1-S, with multiple presets available is NOT an option?

    And the B2 - appears to be fabulous, BUT... with the Classic, "only" same as, or slightly better than - TWO B1's?

    I'm just an observer here, happy with my 2xB1 Classics, not buying anything, but DO want to understand, and confirm my observations.

    Thanks...
    I'm sure this is a good product that will make many happy, but it doesn't have the same appeal as the Compact or Model I, in that it doesn't stand alone.

    I wouldn't want to consider one L1 "better than" another, but obviously some are more versatile. The 1S comes up short on versatility in my opinion. It's a very narrow slot that they have put the 1S in.

    As it pertains to output capability. It's 6dB more than the Compact and 3dB less than the Model II. I call that a little more and not much less.

    It does require a T1 or other mixer if you intend to use more than 1 high impedence input.

    I'm at a loss trying to understand the marketing plan on this one.

    In the powered speaker market most all have some direct in capability for at least 2 inputs that are not proprietary. For Bose to leave out the Compact 2 channel mixer is a huge disappointment to me.

    The Compact outs provide an easy route for recording and to tying into bigger house systems, a convenience not so readily available in the other L1s.

    Bands that are not already using L1s are good candidates as are those who are upgrading from the Classics and Model I's either because of age or desire for more low end.

    Entry level soloists comparing powered speakers will be facing $2300 for the "complete" Bose experience. That's a lot to ask.

    I think big companies find it easy to determine the cost of products they make. Bose knows to the nickle what each system costs from first idea, to arriving at our doorstep. What is harder to measure are the sales lost because of cost savings in the design and build process.

    Maybe those who want a Model II and can't afford it will see the 1S as a nearly the same alternative, and it is. So Model II sales might suffer because of the lower price of the 1S.

    If I had my way it would have been a stand alone system with a Tonematch Port.

    O..
    Hi Mike,

    The Classic is - exactly that. Introduced nearly 9 years ago, it was and remains, a great product. The Model I that replaced it in 2007 was functionally and aesthetically very very similar. Setting aside the 5 year discussion about whether it was a perfect replacement, the Model I was the solution that Bose offered to take the place of the Classic.

    If Bose has introduced anything as the "new improved" version of the Classic, it was the Model II. Looking at both of them as straight-ahead portable, self-powered loudspeakers, what the Model II offered was a better experience at the extreme edges of the horizontal sound field.

    Now that the Classic/Model I is discontinued, the closest replacement if you want the same forward projection and coverage, you need a Model II. If you want the same and better control of the EQ volume, and mini-mixer capabilities then you can get a T1®.

    I think that the new Model 1S is a great option for people who need more coverage and bass than the ultra portable Compact can give you.

    And if you need more coverage than the Model 1S can give you, then you need a Model II.

    So at the end of this, I don't think that the Model 1S displaces the Classic/Model I, but it offers an option for people who might never have used the Classic/Model I to its fullest potential.

    I was helping a buddy with his two new-to-him Classics last weekend. He was doing DJ / Master of Ceremonies duties at an event in an outdoor baseball park. Fortunately, the audience was on the field and in the first few rows of the stands (within the vertical sound field). It's been some time since I've seen the Classics in a situation like that. I was floored at how well I could hear the music and especially the announcements - from clear across the park (diagonal line through first and third bases). I think the only replacement in the product line in a situation like that would have to be a Model II with T1®.

    I still have my Classics. I don't use them as often as I use my Model IIs but to my mind, they aren't obsolete until it is more cost to replace them than to use them. I don't see that happening any time soon.

    The B2 is an interesting introduction to the product line. It is I think, testament to what Bose can fit into a relatively small package. The B2 is smaller than a single Hi-Fi speaker I would have had in my living room as half of my home stereo system. But optical dismay aside, I think that run 'flat' (the normal position switch). The (-) minus position is supposed to sound like a single B1, but I don't know that I'd use that much.

    Looking at the firmware update and EQ update that we have to do to get the Model II Power Stand to support the B2 I think what those do is:
    Let's the Model II detect the position of the switch on the B2.
    Gives the Model II another low end EQ curve to highly emphasize the bass frequencies.

    As owners of Classic/Model I - Mike, you and I can switch presets and use the R1 Remote to change the EQ of our Power Stands. We won't have the fine-grained tuning that Bose built-into the new EQ curve to support the B2, but I don't think that we are out in the cold on this one either.

    With two B1s we could crank up the low end with Presets and the Remote, but ultimately we hit the limitations of two B1s. I think that the B2 releases us from the physical limitation of two B1s.

    What do you think?



    quote:
    Originally posted by Mike in Texas:
    Dumb Question Department...

    So... the new L1-S... is better than, sounds better than, is more powerful than, projects better than... the L1 Compact?

    and NOT better etc than the L1 Model II?

    What about compared to the Classic?

    Also - you DO need a T1, or some front-end, to be relatively effective, correct? I mean, plugging a mic and instrument directly into the L1-S, with multiple presets available is NOT an option?

    And the B2 - appears to be fabulous, BUT... with the Classic, "only" same as, or slightly better than - TWO B1's?

    I'm just an observer here, happy with my 2xB1 Classics, not buying anything, but DO want to understand, and confirm my observations.

    Thanks...
    Hey, and thanks - ST and O...

    What do I think? I think... I still dig my Classics! I don't play out much any more, a few, several, 6-10 times a year, and some of those are 1-hour festivals with provided PA. So, I don't have much skin in the game anymore, but that's ok too.

    If I was more active, I would appreciate the smaller size of the Model II base. But I would NOT like giving up my multiple channels on my Classic. As I've un-popularily stated - I do not care for the T1, I prefer the good old direct presets and simple remote, so my opinions and usage are out-dated. BUT... my groups STILL sound quite good, I believe.

    I would sure make use of the new B2 - great box.

    Because of the lack of direct channels and inputs with presets, the newer models just don't do it for me, sad to say. The "empty" speaker sections concept does not appeal to me either. Guess I'm just "passed by", oh well...

    My trusty Classics are a LOT more valuable to me now that I've taken these minutes to assess. Maybe I should get some new CASES! :-)

    Y'all have a good weekend, enjoy the new gear, and REMEMBER TO MAKE MUSIC!!!

    Best, Mike O'
    Thanks all for the impressions and comparisons! I'm not especially tempted by the 1S, but am seriously jonesin' on the B2. Geez.

    Darn thing is, I've got a line on a used Model II/B1 .... great price. But would really like to have the B2 instead! Fortunately, no rush.

    The kind friend who wants to sell the the unit has loaned it to us for a number of gigs. WHAT a difference! I know, it's the original concept, but we've been financially constrained to just my Model II until recently.

    Anyhoo, nice to have something to look forward to. Maybe if I wait long enough..........

    Mary
    As far as output capabilities I think when you start getting up into certain areas 3db is fairly significant so, being 6 db louder than the compact is a substantial increase. I think in L1 systems that don't drop off as quickly as conventional systems this impact is magnified. Maybe it's just me that thinks this way but to me although you are only using low numbers like 3 and 6 when you have to double your power for a 3 db increase a 6 db increase would conventionally require 4X the power.
    As far as adding a B2 to a classic system being confined to the "normal" setting might be just fine if you could control the bass effectively with EQ. Admittedly I've only been able to test out the B2 in my house but I don't even need to do side by side to say that it sounds to me like there is more bass in normal mode than 2 B1s.
    So far I think I will actually find the "-" mode somewhat useful in some situations i.e. just vocal and guitar. My initial impression that I will be able to have that harnessed bass Eq curve that the B1's give.
    To me so far, I'm just coming up on 2 years of being an L1 user, but I didn't really notice much difference in actual bass EQ switching from 1 B1 to 2 B1s to 4 B1s. I realize that is by design and that ultimately I would achieve the same EQ just with more output capacity by adding B1s. There is a very significant difference in bass output switching between "-" "normal" and "+" on a B2 so when Bose talks of "-" being equivalent to 1 B1, "normal" being equivalent to 2, and "+" being equivalent to 4, it doesn't seem to me that it's a direct translation that you can base on your previous experiences with the B1s.
    Perhaps as far as total room coverage i.e. being able to fill a room of a certain size with the same level of bass frequencies those comparisons are accurate but based on the design and physical difference between the B1 and B2 maybe they achieve this coverage in different ways. Ways that are obvious to the listener when you are closer to the unit. I think this would be most important to drummers and bass players who are in close proximity to the L1 on stage and don't get to hear the balanced sound that happens out in the audience. Often they want that sensation of the bigger kick sound or low end thump. I think the B2 will be able to offer that. Again these are just initial observations. Hopefully I will have more insight after tonights gig.
    I'm thinking even without the fancy new EQ changes and "correct" high pass filter, the B2 may be a big improvement over 2 B1s with a Classic/M1 setup simply due to the dual 10" woofers. Plus it looks like it's passive so the "less/more" switch is probably just switching out some passive components which is no biggie. Even set to "normal" I would think it would sound bigger and more bass content. Maybe I will pick one up to try out. Smile
    Hi litesnsirens,

    Over the years of using the L1s, I have always thought that they carry too far. In long rooms it is possible to get a nasty bounce back at times. Outside they carry on forever so even relatively low volume music or speech enters into the lives of many you never see. In that respect a buyer looking at the Model 1S vs the Model II might consider their intended use, as the 1S might suit some better.

    I haven't refreshed my memory on this but I believe that I recall 3dB as being the threshold where one is just able to recognize an increase or decrease in sound and 10 dB is how much it takes to percieve doubling. Please forgive me if I am wrong on that.

    I do know that comparing my use of the Compact vs. the Model II, I am more concerned with the ambient noise level in the space than I am in than the ability of the system to fill the space with a suitable performance volume. If it is quiet the Compact will cover a great area.

    I think the performance of the 1S will be different in that it won't carry as far as the Model II, and in some situations that could be a plus, but I still believe the difference in max dB output capability is a non issue for most users. (although they have every right to disagree) As a Model II owner I feel no incentive to buy the 1S. There is not enough difference to justify the purchase. I wish I didn't feel that way. I wish there was something about it that compelled me to buy it.

    I'm curious about the B2, but, being a soloist and having experimented with 4 B1s I don't think I need it either, however I might be tempted into trying it just out of curiosity. .... And I will keep an open mind about the 1S. Once we get some real world assessments my mind could change.

    Looking forward to your comments after the gig.

    O..
    Hi O,

    Well, thinking toward the future a bit: the second Model II/B1 will be just fine (already have second T1) for my bandmate. However, I love extra capacity, and hold forth the hope of his getting to play bass with us someday as well. The thought of the B2, assuming we would NOT need a bass amp to go with Gil's e. guitar amp... I have a vision.

    I would also be interested to try it, myself. Although I play acoustic guitar, I do emphasize the bass--long habit from being the bottom end/rhythm of a trio. Now a duo... I still have people asking where we are hiding the bass player!

    Aside from bass fundamentals, there are the barely tangible partial tones that add space and atmosphere to one's sound. Once I had the opportunity to try a homemade B1x4... all one box, made from B1 components. It just opened up my whole sound, without cranking anything. So I'm guessing that's what we have in the B2.

    So, just as I enjoy the fuller sound of my two B1s, I'd probably really like having that much extra sonic 'room'.

    And if we should be so fortunate as to gain a multi-instrumentalist bandmate, we'd have that much more reason to add bass guitar to our menagerie! With the B2 to facilitate.

    Mary
    I'm not tempted by the 1S and don't understand the marketing angle as well. I like the Model I/Classic for many reasons over the 1S: it was only $200 more, had a long array for better throw, had more inputs and outputs, offered better monitoring in a band with its front-facing speakers, and could go louder.

    Regarding the B2, it's tempting, but those who have seen it say it's pretty heavy and ungainly because of it's size and the difficulty carrying it. The original concept of having a modular system that was easy to carry seems to have disappeared.

    I'm not sure I'll get either.

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