I've used the PAS since December of 2004. I play full time and have used it for hundreds of gigs.

The system has worked well although 4 speakers went out in the top tower 6 months ago and Bose was very good about sending a replacement set very quickly. Unfortunately I damaged the base unit and found that to repair it would take 4-5 weeks for $250 or I could buy a refurb right away for $500. I'm not too happy about this and have written about it on the tech support part of this forum.

I play both electric and acoustic guitars and sing with backing tracks I run through a Minidisc player and a Mackie 1402.

Let me just say that in a small to mid size room the sound is as good as it gets. Very balanced. The main problem I find with the system is that it is not loud enough. Plenty of people have told me to turn it up. I normally run the mic channel at 1 o'clock and the master the same . In small rooms I can run things at 12 O'clock until it gets crowded.

I live in New Jersey and play mostly in restaurants. Maybe everyone else plays in venues where people sit with their hands folded and are listening to every note. For me the rooms I play in are filled with people talking and sometimes the PAS just isn't loud enough to cut through. My solution is to use it with my old PA speakers and a 1000 watt mosfet amp for big gigs. So much for reducing onstage clutter.

The other problem I encounter is that I'm often set up on the floor very close to a wall. In some places it's hard to get out in front of the system to hear it properly.

The other thing to keep in mind is that the system works best when there are some reflective surfaces to bounce the sound back to you. I played in one room that was heavily carpeted, acostical tile ceiling and couches and chairs. In that setting the sound was quite small.

The reverb issue is a problem for everyone I know that has used the unit. They tell you to try to sing without reverb. Whoever said this couldn't possibly be singing 35 to 40 songs a night. I just send a line out from my Mackie to the mic input on the base so I can use the aux send on my mixer for effects. I would like to bypass the mic pre on the PAS completely but I find my Beta 58 needs the digital mojo of the Bose preset to sound good.

Don't get me wrong. I think the PAS is a really cool design. It just needs some work,more power, better service, on board efx, maybe a powered sub instead of this seperate power amp affair they've come up with. Try before you buy. For me the honeymoon is over.
Original Post
The system has worked well although 4 speakers went out in the top tower 6 months ago and Bose was very good about sending a replacement set very quickly. Unfortunately I damaged the base unit and found that to repair it would take 4-5 weeks for $250 or I could buy a refurb right away for $500. I'm not too happy about this and have written about it on the tech support part of this forum.

Chris, thanks for writing in. I'm sorry that our repair service was so slow. I will look into it today. We do not get a lot of repair orders so the process is pretty bad. 4~5 weeks is inexcusable. I have not read your post on the tech support section yet so I'll check it out next.

As for the system not playing loud enough I'm not sure what to say. The only thing I can think of is to check your gain staging. I did a gig Friday night in a loud full bar and we had to turn down twice (we're a rock & blues band). The master on the remote was just under 12:00.

We played so loud that my ears were ringing all day Saturday and half of Sunday (I know, bad, bad idea playing that loud). My cousing, who uses an L1 was at the show and I trust his ears said it was "plenty loud" in the back.

I don't doubt that it's not loud enough at your venues, I just wonder if the L1 has more to give you. The key is to dail in your gain staging.

It's nice to hear from a long-time owner, even if the honeymoon is over. There's a lot of folks on this forum who might have ieas on how to make the most of the L1 at your venues.

May I contact you about the poor service? I'd like to get the details from you and take it to the service team to see what happened. I'll send you a private message with my contact info.

Thanks for giving us the heads up. As a buddy of mine once said, "It's hard to fix a problem you don't know about." I appreciate you letting us know.

I'll chime in and say that if its not loud enough something may still be wrong with it, although it doesn,t have the blaring hot (powerful?) sound of most conventional systems. An attribute I'm thankful that it lacks. It should still play loud enough to get on folks nerves though. Reverb seems to always mask or reduce whatever sound it is applied to so you may give it a try with less reverb.

Hope this helps
Hi Steve,

Thanks for the input. I have contacted Bose a number of times and they always say the same thing about gain staging. I've tried to do this a number of ways. I don't think it's just me. My friends have a 4 piece band and tried using 3 PAS units and found them to be not loud enough as well. I will concede that some people overload the system and engage the limiter which can reduce power but I don't think that is the problem.

A typical scenario would be a small place I play sometimes. It has very good acoustics and the PAS sounds wonderful there. When I've played there on very busy nights with many people standing in front of me, things just seem to get lost.

Mind you I used to work at a music store that had a very big rental program. One thing I have found over the years is that the more efficient power you have and the type of speakers you use determines how hard you have to drive a given system. I think the PAS sounds wonderful. I also would say it's very hard to make something sound great and be super efficient at the same time. EAW's can perform this way but are very expensive and heavy.

Please feel free to contact me regarding this. I'm very open to suggestions.
The main problem I find with the system is that it is not loud enough.

Well, I haven't had my PAS all that long, so I'm no expert at getting a PAS to 'put out' in the sound department, but I have noticed that I can't put my master volume up much more than past about the two O'Clock position otherwise I'd go deaf.

We (the duo) played in a bar a couple of weeks ago where, without everyone talking amongst themselves, the sound from the PAS filled the large room without a problem; and very cleanly and clearly as well.

Once everyone filled the place, and started talking at once, we found we had to turn up the volume. We got to about the two O'Clock position and then we started in with feedback. I attributed that to us (the microphones and my acoustic guitar) being too close to the PAS (tight quarters in this bar!).

Anyway, we played all night at the two o'clock position on the volume knob, and I can tell you my ears were hurting at the end of the night. It was far too loud for me. I can't imagine what the folks at the front tables must have thought! We never play that loud normally. Never had a need to.

So...I have adopted this approach now: The PAS is supposed to fill the room with music. It's not supposed to get above the noise of a hundred or so people all talking back and forth to one another. If people want to hear the music they'll move towards the front of the room.

I don't know if that's considered a good approach, but it's the one we've adopted. Otherwise, if we can't get on a larger stage area where we can move further away from the PAS...we'll be deaf before Christmas!

When my square dance band had a similar problem, some folks here recommended raising the L1s (on crates or tables). It appears this is discouraged by BOSE, but works for some people. Most of our dances are small enough to not have a volume problem. Occasionally, our caller needs us to turn up (crowded room, lots of converstations), and then we wish we had ear plugs!

Original discussion at:
It's not supposed to get above the noise of a hundred or so people all talking back and forth to one another. If people want to hear the music they'll move towards the front of the room.

Stu, you're on to something there for sure. No speaker will out perform a mouth to ear battle. If people want to talk they will get closer and talk louder no matter what you do with the music.

Another idea might be to angle the L1 up, toward the ceiling (if it's low enough) to try and reflect sound off the ceiling a bit. I don't know the room, but I've heard of that approach. It'll get more reverberant but that might be okay in these loud rooms.

Kyle-at-Bose and I are on the case with service. We'll make it right and try and fix it for the next person that comes along.

Yes I have elevated the system before and it does help somewhat. In fairness any system will have a hard time cutting through a wall of people. The advantage of a speaker on stands in these situations is that the majority of the power is focused over the crowd whereas the majority of the PAS is now blocked. Simple physics dictates that the sound cannot travel through solid objects.

I'm not trying to dis the system or make anyone feel bad about using it. It's a great product, though not perfect. I usually sing by myself about 30 to 40 songs a gig. When I'm busy I sometimes perform 6 or 7 gigs in a week. To sing this much you need a good deal of headroom to not fatigue your voice. I see a lot of weekend warriors that can scream on a Friday and Saturday night and then they can barely speak on Sunday. Also, when performing with recorded background tracks there is more to compete with. Voice, guitar, bass , drums and keys. To make the mix sound balanced you need to get used to hearing your voice a little back in the mix. When using monitors in a band situation the only thing I have coming out of the monitors is voice. Not the whole band.

I do agree there is no need to try to drown out a crowd of people which is what the big rock bands do in the area. The problem is that if I'm in a small place and set up on the floor and I'm only 3 feet from the back wall I'm not in the best position to hear the PAS. Couple this with people standing close and speaking loudly it becomes very difficult to hear. This is why I started using an extra PA speaker with the PAS.
Is there a separate forum/place for SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS? I've heard some good ideas in the forums, and made several suggestions to staff on the phone that I hope were passed on.

*Controls for ch3&4 in the remote (perhaps different color & smaller knobs)
*Storage compartment for the REMOTE in the BASE unit.
*All remote knobs FLATTER so they are less vulnerable to damage (less important if remote could be stored protectively inside the base unit).
*More durable, large YKK zippers on the base unit's cordura case (like the heavy duty ones on good sleeping bags).
*More spacious zippered pocket on base unit's cordura soft case so power & remote cords can be better stored w/o stretching cordura and straining the zipper.
*The 'channel' in the TOP speaker half that receives the stabilizing/guide bar runs the ENTIRE lenght of it: I'm not sure if this is for a purpose, but it COULD be used to hold a SLIDING REMOTE MOUNT at various heights and angles (instead of mounting the velcro at ONE specific height).
*Possibly padding the cordura case for the base a bit more around the control panel.

Great support responses here in the forums guys - super job being on top of things and responsive.


Originally posted by Chris Delis:
... Simple physics dictates that the sound cannot travel through solid objects.

Chris you are absolutely right and what I don't understand is how a conventional speaker, with its spherical wave front and higher fall off rate can outperform the L1. In my experience the L1 shines when you do a one-on-one shootout but I seem to be missing something here. Have you measured the fall off with both situations or have you gotten feedback from trusted ears.

I'm certain that if bodies are right in front of the L1 (or any speaker) they will block the highs. But as long as you get a few feet, the reflections and refraction should do a pretty good job of filling to the back. Similar to a speaker on a stick.

I have an idea, you might want to use your L1 like a "PA speaker" from time to time. Put it in front of you, run a monitor back to you, and crank it up. ~~Shameless plug coming ~~ You could use a PackLite(tm) amp to power the monitor if you wanted a small, light amp to drive your existing monitor, ~~ shameless plug over ~~ or you could get a powered monitor (or use whatever you have now.

Most of the time you'll be able to use the system behind you and leave the extra stuff in the car, but when you need to crank it up, you can move the L1 out in front, and light it up.

I hope that helps,

PS Kyle-at-Bose and I are working on the turn-around-time stuff.
I would agree with you Steve about the PAS spreading the sound around more than a conventional speaker if there is an open space between the audience and the speaker. The situation I am speaking about is in a room where the audience is standing in front of you, say 4 to 5 feet. At that point the majority of the sound from the speakers in the PAS are hitting the people where the speakers on stands are positioned above the people. This obviously doesn't happen all the time but often enough.

For instance I did a duo gig with a friend and I brought my PAS and he has a Carvin powered mixer (800 watts), 2 passive EV speakers rated at 300 watts and a Mackie powered sub (500 watts). In the crowded room we were in his system just had more punch and filled the room better. I think this was mainly due to the powered sub.

I've tried using an extra B1 with my system but it doesn't really add much. I've always felt that the B1's should be self powered. It's nice that you now offer a small amp for this purpose but I still think it would be better if the B1 was powered. Maybe PAS Mach II.

My solution is to bring one or two of my old PA speakers to the gigs that I need more power for. A Yorkville Elite 350 and a 1000 watt mosfet power amp. I just put the Elites on the floor and run them with the PAS. It really works well. I used this at an outside gig last year and it was great. Maybe I'll get around to trying your new Packlite with an extra B1 in the months ahead.

One final thought. I still prefer the SOUND of the PAS over most semi-pro sytems. It doesn't fatigue the ears. It also makes my backing tracks sound really good. It's also the best system I've played through for acoustic guitar or direct electric.
well can i throw my opinion in, after a nightmare time getting all the correct equipment off bose UK (it took us the full 45 days of the trial before we got all the correct equipment !!! the money was very efficiently taken however!. so the trial began and quite honestly, the PAS would be great for wine bar type location where you wine and dine but for us, a duo with 2 pas 4 sub layout it just couldn't quite get there. The sound from the towers was super clear, perhaps even TOO clear? but the bass did not have the extension or control to do what we need, A busy pub on a Friday night people just want to talk, laugh and listen, not just sit and listen like in a concert? We have been lucky enough to compare it with the 2x802/2xMB4 set up which was better? Ok i know 2 MB4s is the same make up as 4 B1s but it was better.down side is it requires panaray controller and 2 amps to bi amp, so maybe not a fair comparison? but we could get it louder(to the level we need) and more bass control/quality so we are looking at the costs. again not as portable but not far off. we had a qualified sound engineer with us who agreed with our conclusion.
So it will be going back to Bose with us still considering the more costly set up in pursuit of a superior sound.
Lasty, Bose UK, get your act together otherwise PAS here will never get off the ground? Roll Eyes
Originally posted by Chris Delis:

For me the rooms I play in are filled with people talking and sometimes the PAS just isn't loud enough to cut through. My solution is to use it with my old PA speakers and a 1000 watt mosfet amp for big gigs.

I have played in a room or two where the crowd noise seemed to be too much for the PAS to over come but, It wasn't so loud that I couldn't hear myself, and not in my wildest dreams did I think that more equipment would make the crowd quieter.

Invariably, if the live music gets louder the crowd goes with it, and usually if they won't quietly listen at low volume they won't listen at high volume either.

I have never, EVER, been in a club or live music setting where the crowd seemed to want the band or PA turned UP.

I've heard bad sound, seen acts where you couldn't understand the vocals or hear the guitar, had to cover my ears quickly due to feedback, and had people shout in my ear or resort to hand gestures to communicate, but I've never thought (or had someone comment to me) Gee, this would sound great if it was just a couple of decibels louder.

I agree with others here; if someone wants to hear or dance to a band using the PAS, they will move closer; if they want to talk, at least they'll have the option of not shouting in their mate's ears.

My ears are still ringing on Sunday from a band I heard on Friday. It was so loud (and this was not a heavy metal band) that I lost the ability to distinguish the sounds one from another; I could feel the bass and the kick drum, but it wasn't necessarily musical. I could see the singer's lips moving, but I couldn't understand what they were saying; I could hear the guitar clearly IF I was directly in line with the amp.

I think that we have gotten used to the noise levels (there, I said it, not music, but NOISE) from conventional triple systems and are using the SPL to achieve something that IS NOT MUSIC.


After playing guitar and having a good time for the last 34 years, my Bose system has finally made me sign up for guitar lessons. I have always liked my sound through my little Deluxe Reverb, but the PAS opens up so many more possibilities that I want to be up to the challenge of fulfilling some of them.

Now that my 10 year old set down and learned half of the lesson I was given last week in 30 minutes (!), I think I see the future; a whole generation of young people trained NOT to play through the triple system approach, finally able to hear and control what they sound like and use that feedback to get better and better and create new music that has more dynamics and different sound textures than today's popular music.

I'm planning on saving my hearing for their music. And I'm proud to say my kids will have the opportunity to hear how their instruments and voice really sound from day 1, thanks to the engineers at Bose.
Being a singer, I think I know what your problem is. I don't think it's that the pas doesn't have enough head room. I use mine for vocals, bass, and guitar all straight in. I have the gain at about 4:00, master at half and channel volume at 3:00 If I really want to sing loud into it it will hurt ears.

I think what you are doing wrong is putting too much instrumentation into it. Even on a PAS all the backing tracks you mentioned will mess with the vocal clarity, and make it hard for you to hear.

If an instrument takes up the tonal space of the singing, any amount of headroom won't help much.

I'm not a sound engineer, but you could try turning down the other instrumentaion in relation to how much vocal head room you want. Also, maybe EQ the frequencies of the other instruments so they aren't in the same tonal space as your voice, exactly.

Another think you can do is to up the mids on your vocals. mids will make your voice stand out and be easier to hear.

I used to run into this problem on my old pa when I had to mic other instruments, even though my voice was substantially louder on the pa level, it often got lost in the mix when right next too guitars and bass coming out of the same speaker.

The pas is better at multiple sounds coming out and hearing them well, but it does have a limit in this repsect.

While I respect your opinion on reverb, keep in mind reverb is just to give the illusion of bounceback. Less or none of it, will make you more intelligible and easier to hear to you and the audience. Adding reverb will just add to the problem you are trying to combat.

I've found with the pas my voice reeeeeealy cuts through the mix now. Between my shure 58 and the preset, it sounds like someone professionally eq'd my vocal for me while singing.

A while back I tried chorus, but found I liked the straight in sound of the bose better.

You also, might want to do some microphone shopping. People here have reported much difference between mics. I tried a crown Cm310 for it's ability to keep unwanted sound out of the mic, I did not like it's sound compared to my 58. It got loud but it was boxy and made it hard to sing anything with any high end frequency.

I mic you may have liked on another system may not perform as you'd like on a pas.
Don't get me wrong. I think the PAS is a really cool design. It just needs...more power. For me the honeymoon is over.

Hi Chris,

Sorry to hear about the honeymoon.


If Bose redesigned it with more power I think it would defeat it's own purpose and be too loud. With the system behind you it would deafen you quickly, so you would have to put it out front.

Then you couldn't hear yourself and would need monitors...back to the old 3-tier. What's the point?

I agree with you that sometimes for some audiences it's not loud enough. I've been through that myself. Old listening (bad) habits are hard to change. Like my former guitarist's wife said, "Rockers want big speakers and they want it LOUD". It's not that the Bose isn't loud enough, it's that some audiences desire it too loud. Fortunately, where I play, it's the exception, not the rule.

I would say though, that you have had the system long enough to know if it's working for you or not. Can't argue that.

So will you be going back to the old 3-tier? Do you look forward to hearing yourself thru a floor monitor again?

I couldn't imagine that. It would be like re-marrying an ex-wife who weighs 10 time more than the last one. What would that honeymoon be like?

The first thing i tell people about the bose system is that the sound is very different to a conventinal system. To my ears the system never really sounds to loud and thats the beauty!

That whole idea of it blasting the people down the front is gone, everyone in the room gets the right sound so you really dont have to have it loud.

I may be repeating things that have been said here already but i really believe you have to change your thinking about sound when it comes to the L1 system.

I have guys who come in and say thats not loud enough my JBL speakers thump peoples guts out. and i have to tell them that this system is a completely different sound than your used to.

I think once people start to accept this as a different sounding speaker they improve there performances and start to sound and play better than ever.

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