The Cost to Go Bose

I spent some time on the couch recently (recouping from some medical issues) - and ended up on a forum with some heated debates about the L1 system. There was quite a bit of bashing for this uninformed reason or that uninformed reason that was easy enough to ignore - having used the system for nearly a year now.

However, the most common complaint was the relative cost to go this approach - especially for a group - to use the system as intended with each performer having their own unit. The general consensus is that "you could get so much more of a traditional get up for the same or less $$$$, etc."

These cries came not only from the detractors - but also in the form of concessions from the defenders. It struck me as odd that this argument was given up so easily. So I did some quick math in my head.

To date, my group has approximately $8200 invested in 2 Model 1s, 1 Model 2, 2 T1s, 8 B1s, and 2 A1s. We got some of it during the June Sale last year - and bought a couple of B1s and the Model 2 used. If we went totally new - we would probably be bumping up on $10K.

That does seem like a serious chunk of cash for a "PA system." At the time that I discovered the L1s, we were intent on spending around $3200 on a Mackie or Carvin FOH system. We were also looking at around $1,600 - $2000 on enough IEMs for the group. Furthermore - going Bose for us has totally eliminated our backline gear. Both Guitars and the Bass all go direct. My Rivera guitar Amp is $2200 new. The Bass Player dropped $1600 on his Mark Bass rig last spring. The other guitar player has a 80's vintage stereo Marshal rig and a couple of 4x12 cabinets loaded with British Celestions that has to clip the wire at a $2-$3K pace.

Not that we could sell any of that backline gear for what it would cost to replace it - and I realize that not everyone is willing to give up their cherished backline piece of gear. We were - and the Bose allowed us that luxury. The point is - I never felt like we were spending too much on just a "PA system." We were spending money on a totally different approach that eliminated separate, FOH, monitoring and backline systems.

Our main goal was to chase the awesome sound that I heard coming from seemingly nowhere on that fateful night - and then to only have to deal with humping those "things" that couldn't possibly weigh that much - once i figured out where the sound was coming from. Admittedly - we were a little leary - going in. Didn't completely trust our own ears for some dumb reason.

While on the couch, I resisted the urge to jump into the fray - on the other site. Frankly - I have no interest in changing anyone's mind to this approach. I just like the process of a real cost analysis. If you are thinking that you spent too much - it may help you to ease your mind.
Original Post
Hi John,

Interesting read...I wrote a few posts very much like this one in my early days with the L1.
You are very, very wise not to "jump into the fray", as I have done.
It leads nowhere, you would only get bashed right along with Bose.
Let the blind wallow in the muck and the mire.

I'm with you that the cost is relative.
It's expensive, but over a lifetime pays for itself many times over.

The joy of playing in the L1 sound field is priceless.

Once you go Bose, and the few essentials to interface into it, the GAS is pretty much over.
Now it's just collecting nice instruments to plug into it.
Hi John (SunDog),

Thanks for posting this.

Sorry to hear about the couch time. Are you okay now?


Back in the early days I wrote Is It Too Expensive. You might find that interesting if you have a little time.

Just this morning I was thinking about this again and in What are you saving it for I remembered that the most expensive assets are those that we don't use as they are depreciating. Back in the days before the L1® having at least three rigs (for small, medium, and larger gigs) meant that at any given gig I had two other rigs lying fallow. Now that was expensive.

As Drumr said above, "the GAS is pretty much over" since getting into the L1®s. I dare not think of what I could have spent in the last six years pursuing the dream. But it might not have been that much. I probably wouldn't be gigging now if it wasn't for the L1®.

When it comes to joining the fray, I'd much rather hang out here and answer genuine questions.
Yes ST, I am fine now. Modern medicine is amazing. 2.5 weeks ago I had a stroke that took down my left side and some of my speaking ability. They traced it to a PFO defect in my heart. The effects of the stroke went away pretty quickly - couple of days. Last monday the closed up the hole in my septum - two days later I played tennis.

I struggled for a while being able to carry tune. As of Saturday - I think that I am back to just being off key my normal amount. First gig is 5/20. Can't wait. I'll read your article a little later. Always enjoy them.
Hi John,

I loved reading your initial post. We did some of that analysis back when we were pitching inside the company and it really seemed to help.

I'm sure there are many here who will benefit from you taking the time to explain your personal version of the economics of L1 systems.

I think that until musicians experience the benefits it is hard for them to do the evaluation you've done. Little by little, people ARE experiencing the L1 benefits.

Thanks for sharing this.

Ken
I can't resist. Here is my $0.02.

The cost of my Compact - $1000
The cost of my T1 - $450


The compliments from people on my sound, the satisfaction of hearing myself clearly, the additional gigs, the professional look, the quick set up, the relief on my back and another satisfied customer -

PRICELESS !!!!

I am being honest when I say that I have played thru conventional PA systems for years, but while some have sounded good, none can compare to the L1's, period.

Dave
This info might have been more helpful if I had read itnbeforemi bought my boogie mark V. Then maybe I would have two L1's now instead of one. Trouble is, it is hard to get rid of back line gear that you love. Never know when your gonna have to go conventional.

I agree that the Bose if used as intended can replace a lot of gear. And I adopted the approach full heartedly, if I could get the other knuckleheads in the band to go for it, I would be off to the races.
quote:
Originally posted by Litesnsirens:
This info might have been more helpful if I had read itnbeforemi bought my boogie mark V. Then maybe I would have two L1's now instead of one. Trouble is, it is hard to get rid of back line gear that you love. Never know when your gonna have to go conventional.

I agree that the Bose if used as intended can replace a lot of gear. And I adopted the approach full heartedly, if I could get the other knuckleheads in the band to go for it, I would be off to the races.


I was lucky enough to be in a band that had just got done playing an out-door show where we had to lug around a 400 lb amp rack - just days before I first saw the L1. We are all past 45 and have been rode hard. We agreed to make the initial purchase as a group. Eventually just over $6K of the total was a group effort. I bought a Model II on my own - for my duo act - and Roger bought a T1 on his own for some reason that I can't recall. We dilligently each completed our financial obligation for the purchase by dedicating all our gig money to pay off the free finance of the initial purchase - in about 9 months.

I do keep a couple of combo guitar amps (the Rivera and a Carvin) around - just in case we have to play a conventional show. Even then - I would try my modeler direct first before I lug the amp in.

I just put my old JBL EON system into the attic. If my son decides he wants it - he knows where it is at. Not worth much used.
I've been playing gigs for 40+ years.Before going Bose,I use to like to go to music stores,and pawn shops to look at guitar amps,processing and PA equiptment.Since buying my first Bose L1 Classic in 2005, I no longer have that desire.I instead patiently look foward to another new Bose L1 family equiptment release.I currently own an L1 Classic,L1 ModII,Packlite,4 B1s,T1 and my favorite,a Compact.I go listen to my friend play at small bars using a traditional tri-system,gaze at all his equiptment,cords,processing equiptment,hear his question "how did I sound",look down, smile and say to myself,"better him than me".
quote:
Originally posted by Oldghm:
...Before Bose I never stopped looking for the next "thing" that would improve my sound. Since Bose, I don't even think about it.
I still do ... but mostly just at the 'input end' (e.g.: that better keyboard sound, that better wireless mic, ...).
I am not a musician, but a DJ. 5 years ago, I bought my first L1. It was the hardest thing for me to spend "that much money" on a speaker system. I will admit I bought it purely for selfish reasons...not wanting to lug heavy equipment around any more.

What I found was these were the LEAST EXPENSIVE speaker systems I ever owned.

I ended up buying several more L1's model 1's. I found that not only did I love them, but customers REALLY loved them. I also found I no longer needed a van or a trailer to haul gear....and back up gear...around, saving me a lot of money on gas by using a much more fuel efficient vehicle.

But the thing that really shocked me was when I went to sell a few L1's model 1's to make room for some model 2's. These things hold their value better than ANY speaker I've ever owned before. Making the cost of actual usage less expensive that even cheap speakers that last a couple of years and then are worth nothing.

Today, I own 3 model 2's, 2 model 1's, 3 compacts. Something would have to really blow me away, and blow my customers away, for me to change.

I have tried explaining that on other forums. Some people just say I'm a fanboy that just reads brochures from the company and post stuff from that. That same person said it's simply impossible for a DJ to recoup that kind of money from a speaker system. I laughed and said, most DJ's think that way, that's one of the reasons they offer the best return policy in the business, so if it's not everything they say it is...or other actual users say it is, send it back. Another DJ chimed in and said he did take the trial, and hated the system...was very unhappy with the bass. I asked him if he tried to get any help from Bose. He said he's been in the DJ business for years and didn't need any help from anyone. I said well, no system's perfect for everyone and plenty of other choices out there. Months later, in another thread, he chimed in on how bad the system was again....and someone asked him how many B1's did he use during his trial. He said none. oops.

I said that was kind of buying a truck for a snow plowing business, and then returning the truck because it wasn't very good at snow plowing. You do need to attach the SNOW PLOW to the truck for it to do the job you want.
JDBass on here is using 2 L1 M1s and 8 B1s as a Front of house system. He says it is incredible to use in this way.
I am using (2)L1 Compacts and a T1 for my DJ work and now I am using it for Karaoke.
I want to buy (2) L1 Mod 1 with 8 B1s for Front of House as well. It would take a load off my back when trying to hoist 50 pound speakers onto/off of subwoofer poles at night.
The debate is ongoing whether it should be used in this manner. However, for me...it would be a great advantage as my musicians all use IEM's. Running my mixing board (PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2) with my laptop and iPad. It would be a wonderful addition to my overall system.
I finally got a used L1 model II with Tone Match last week. Did an outdoor trio gig here in North Texas and the system is stunning! Totally even sound dispersion no matter where you are. Our group sounded better than we ever sounded without shouting, screaming, turning up volumes, etc. This was a five hour long gig and we sounded just as good at the end as we did in the beginning. I am delighted to have less gear to set up and sound my best. In fact, my new Bose system reminds me of other things I purchased that seemed pricey at first. In the long run, they really do save me money!
Hi everyone, i am in total agreement with scott. a few years back i was considering retirerjng from playing gigs, i am a solo\ sometimes duo musician. lugging around and setting up my 100 lbs speakers were just getting too difficult for me alone at my age. power lifting a speaker up onto a tripod was quite the challenge, by the time all my gear was set up, i was too exhausted to put on a good show, plus needing a big gaz guzzler of a van was cutting into profits. making the decision to buy BOSE l1 MKII with 2 subs and a T1 was the best decision i ever made, it has given me many more years of doing something that i love to do, i have never had so many compliments of quality sound and i love seeing the reaction of fellow musicians who are still putting out their backs with old pa's when they see the bose. the price was very much worth it, just another proof of life where the saying "size doesnt matter" is actually true....lol
Hi everyone, I thought I would add a few words too, I have never been as busy for live performances and have never had as many real genuine compliments on how good our sound and music is since using my Bose L1's, I recently gigged with another guitarist at a small restaurant in place of a duo who use a top of the range Dynacord PA Mixer and 2 Electrovoice 12" speakers as there regular setup, when I got there I placed my L1 directly behind us about 4 feet away and sat my T1 via the clamp on my microphone stand and started to tune the guitars up, the owner of the restaurant came over and asked me if this was all the equipment I had, when I replied yes! He looked worried and walked off! He told me at the end of the night that everyone himself included thought the sound was fantastic and incredibly clear, when I explained to him that I wasn’t even pushing this system, he shook his head in disbelief and asked me why his regular musicians don't have one?
I just stumbled onto this thread again. Since my last post further up, I did get rid of my Boogie Mark V guitar amp and bought a second L1. I was also wishing back then that the other musicians in my band would ante up for some systems of their own. Now, I'm not so sure we need more that we need more than two. First of all, a lot of places we play don't have much room for the band so we couldn't fit more than 2. Secondly we are getting great sound. I'm not putting them FOH they go behind the band which means we don't need monitors and don't need to ask "How did we sound?"
I currently have 5 B1's an A1 packlite and two T1's which cover all of our mixing needs. So we put 4 B1's on one side to handle bass and drums and I use one B1 on my side for a couple of vocals and my guitar. I will soon get another B1 for my side and maybe even eventually I will get another complete extended bass package (A! + 2 B1's). I don't mind spending the money to round out this system, it really is an amazing experience to play through these things. I don't mind being the sole owner of all the gear either. I play in two other bands besides my main band and since I own everything, I have a system for anything I want to do.

Yes the GAS is gone except for more Bose stuff, I'm trying out some new mics but I think I have my guitar solution with the JTV69 and the POD HD500. After more than 30 years of gigging I'm finally satisfied with my sound and so thankful that its consistent from gig to gig.
Hi Litesnsirens, Sounds like you have a fantastic setup, which mixing board do you use and how many band members/musicians have played at through it at once. I use 2 L1's placed either side of the stage behind us for large gigs and 4 of us play through them using 2 T1's and a couple of effects pedals for guitar and the bass guitarist still uses his amp for now but lines out into the Bose for spread, until we get a couple more B1's then he will get rid of his amp, I get incredible coverage and sound.
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Amadeus:
Hi Litesnsirens, Sounds like you have a fantastic setup, which mixing board do you use and how many band members/musicians have played at through it at once. I use 2 L1's placed either side of the stage behind us for large gigs and 4 of us play through them using 2 T1's and a couple of effects pedals for guitar and the bass guitarist still uses his amp for now but lines out into the Bose for spread, until we get a couple more B1's then he will get rid of his amp, I get incredible coverage and sound.


Chris,

Have you tried the bass player directly into the L1 and then the Bass Line out to the bass amp? (Kinda reverse of what you're doing). The Bass Line out does the crossover for you, so the bass amp is not getting the full range and is acting like a subwoofer.

I did that recently and loved the added subs that the bass amp provided.

Oh, and I think Litesnsirens mentioned he was using two T1's.

Just a thought.


Tom
Hey - I remember this thread.

Nearly a year after starting this discussion - not much has changed for our group. We still have the same complement of Bose gear. We have had occaision to use three L1s instead of our normal two a couple of times. Not sure it was necessary.

I also played two gigs over the last 8 or 10 months using a conventional system with no Bose gear. It was litterally miserable for me as a performer. Audience reports from some regular patrons indicated that the sound out front was not up to our normal standards.

To me the L1 approach is an obvious solution to soooooo many problems. I still monitor other forums for mentions of the L1s. The vitriol is comical.
Hey Chris, yes 2 T1's. In my main band for of us going through the two systems. That's everything, bass guitar direct no bass amp, electronic drum kit, both guitars both of us using POD HD500's and three vocal mics. We set the L1's (For Sarah, we are using model II's) on each side of the stage behind us. No monitors needed. We run in two possible configurations. If with the stage set up the L1's are fairly close together then it's my guitar, my vocal and the drummer's vocal through the L1 on my side of the the stage (one B1) on the other side of the stage (four B1s) we run drums, bass, the other guitar and the bass player's vocals. With the L1's close enough together which I guess kind of means that we are all close together we can all hear each other easily. Sometimes the stage is less deep but wider, when we find ourselves spread out more we can't hear each other quite as well. SO.... in these situations we run a line from the aux out of each T1 to the line in on the power stand on the opposite L1 system. This way we have everything running through both sides and we can all hear each other beautifully.

With another band the bass player uses a bass amp, the drummer uses acoustic drums (which he plays entirely too loudly) and the other guitar player plays a regular guitar amp. I still use the POD through the L1 along with my vocals and the drummer's vocal. Bass player and the other guitar player's vocals go through the other L1 along with the other player's acoustic guitar. With this band I just run 2 B1's per side, normally with this kind of usage 1 B1 per side should be enough but I need a little more headroom as these guys are really loud.

In my 3rd band even more minimalistic use of the Bose, I'm pretty much the only vocalist but the drummer does a bit of back up and does all the talking. So I give him his own L1 system and I use the other for my guitar and vocals. Depending on the size of the venue I will bring either one or two B1's per side.

All in all I am really happy with this set up. But as I said I am considering getting more B1's just cuz. I think the extra headroom that the B1's could bring will make it the entire system more versatile for bigger rooms. And I just like to have a bunch of options for set up, I can bring all the B1's or leave some at home if I don't need them.
quote:
Originally posted by Sarah:
Wondering = when you say you're using an L! system, do you mean Model 2? Compact? Just wondering...

Sarah,

Not sure to who you are addressing this question - but for the most part I think that folks are referring to Model 1s and Model 2s in this thread. I do not think that anyone is talking about compacts in this thread.

My band has two model 1s, one model 2, two T1s, 2 A1s and 8 B1s. For us an "L1 system" could consist of any combination of an L1, a T1, and maybe an A1 as well as 1-4 B-1s.
Hi Litesnsirens,

Thanks for your in depth reply, I am always interested to know how other fellow L1’s owners use them, I am really considering beefing up my L1’s M1 & M2 by adding more B1’s to my setup in order to cater for the larger venues and more band members playing through the L1’s, I still own 4 x Bose 802’s & 2 x custom made 600 watt bass bins and a 2000 watt PA mixer which was my main setup for many years with great success, I don’t use this gear at all anymore, maybe it’s about time I sold them on and upgraded my L1 systems.
Chris, I got rid of my bass amp and play direct through the L1M2 with 4 B1's, and I couldn't be happier. Buy the packlite and two more B1's and get him going without his bass rig, and he'll see how nice it is. Our band plays through 3 L1M2's and 1 M1 for a total of 4. We've had issues moving bass drum air, so we had to purchase separate powered subs that are completely overkill, heavy, and a pain the butt, but they shake bottles off bar shelves if that's what the bar wants. Most gigs I don't use them. One of these days, ol' Sundog here is going to come help me tweak my sound since he's got such a good handle on it. Ain't that right John? :>Wink
Hi Greg,
I will be upgrading soon, maybe very soon if the Bass player decides to donate something towards it! It's all my own gear at the moment but. By the way I managed to get our Bouzuki player to buy his very own L1 Mk2 complete with a T1. I set up a beautiful sound on the T1 for his Bouzuki,he loves it and so do other Bouzuki players who have heard him through the Bose, he says he will never use anything else now. I have saved the settings so if any Bouzuki players are reading this and would like to try it out,feel free to get in touch!
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Amadeus:
Hi Greg,
I will be upgrading soon, maybe very soon if the Bass player decides to donate something towards it! It's all my own gear at the moment but. By the way I managed to get our Bouzuki player to buy his very own L1 Mk2 complete with a T1. I set up a beautiful sound on the T1 for his Bouzuki,he loves it and so do other Bouzuki players who have heard him through the Bose, he says he will never use anything else now. I have saved the settings so if any Bouzuki players are reading this and would like to try it out,feel free to get in touch!


Until then, try my suggestion with running the bass line out of the powerstand to the bass amp and having the bass player plug directly into the L1 - it will be like having the extra packlite and B1's. You (and your bass player) will be able to see how evenly his playing is spread out and you'll get the extra low end that may just be the ticket to getting him to donate towards the extra equipment.

Like I mentioned before, I know the preferred method would be to run the subs w/ B1s and/or Packlites, but until you do I think you'll be pleasantly surprised of how good a subwoofer sound you can get!

Tom
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Amadeus:
Hi Tom,
I will try your suggestion out, I'm just worried that his amp (Trace elliot) may be a bit harsh sounding..But I will try it out!


Even more of a reason to try it out. With the L1 doing the crossover work, the amp will just need to amplify the low notes, so it shouldn't sound so harsh.
Hi Gary10113,

Good to see you here again.

quote:
Originally posted by gary10113:
I love reading this stuff probably as much as BOSE does. It is so true. Since my Bose Compact I have been dropping gear not adding and folks just come up and vomit compliments all over you.
Wink


Please follow this link to your previous discussion T1® for Compact

Thanks!
hello
kevin here from las vegas.
iv'e been giggin about a year regularly with my bose L1 modll & tonematch solo/trax @ bahamabreeze. last week i played a 4th of july gig to about 200 outdoors using my old yammy powered mixer and sticks, 4 piece loud rock band i played through a 2x12 tube amp,[nice guitar sound] but rest was horrible, although the rest of band and party'ers loved it, i could not wait to get back to my regular gig with my bose [sans guitar amp] the next day.
i was thinking about buying a nice Yamaha dxr12 for smaller gigs, and i have already bought a t1 power supply for that purpose, but now i'll be checkin out a compact.
thanks to all for your info
kevin

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