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.