The test of time has spoken.

I guess I will post this here beings I don't have the option of posting it under reviews.

Bose has received many accolades over the years for L1 system, and rightfully so. The concept of having your music behind you, and being able to hear what your audience hears is invaluable. The sound of the Bose is second to none in my opinion also.
But all of those awards could not be evaluated over the test of time. How reliable is this system over the long haul? Can you take the Bose L1 Model II out night after night, Year after year, and feel secure that it will perform for you every time? And to be fair, can you do that with any system? No you can’t! But with many other systems there is a work around to most failures. With the Bose, the “ONLY” thing you have any control over is the AC cord and any other cord that you need with your particular set-up. With the exception of the T1 Module,( which you can carry a spare Mixer and plug into the analog jack of the power stand) and still be good to go. When your power stand fails you are done. There is nothing you can do, except try a different AC cord, a different outlet, or turn the unit off for a few minutes then turn it back on to see if it works then. Yes, I am speaking here from the voice of experience.
So if you are a working musician that depends on your equipment, then you have no choice but to carry 2 systems with you for your bookings if you have a Bose.
And when your Power stand fails, out of warranty, and you call tech support, they are more than happy to help you. For a small fee ( $250.00 plus shipping and tax), and a 2 to 3 week turn around they will happily fix your unit and send it back. Unless you want to buy a refurbished unit for $150.00 more, then they will send you a refurbished unit right away.
Now the L1 Model II came out in 2007, and somehow when I purchased my system in 2010, I received a 2007 unit that I had purchased from an Independent music store in Missouri. That is according to Bose when I called mine in for repair a couple of weeks ago. Bose says they do not ship out 3 year old units but they didn’t tell me at the time when I called in to register the unit it was 3 years old. What customer service!! And the music store had no comment when I e-mailed them about this. Thinking back on this, I think the music store sold me a demo model. Why do I think this? Probably because as I remember, the T1 they sold me at the time had to be sent back the first week. So buyer beware, check your serial numbers on your systems to make sure you are getting what you pay for. If I had known I was purchasing a first model year of this system that was 3 years old I would not have purchased it.
The hardware quality of the Bose L1 Model II in my opinion ranks about 2 out of 5 stars. It is not a matter of “IF” your Bose is going to fail; it is “WHEN” it is going to fail.
Oh, I almost forgot. Bose will be more than happy to sell you a second system so you have a back-up for when yours fails.
Original Post
quote:
The hardware quality of the Bose L1 Model II in my opinion ranks about 2 out of 5 stars. It is not a matter of “IF” your Bose is going to fail; it is “WHEN” it is going to fail


Hi all

At the risk of starting a "fire storm",I can't help but agree with "Mr D". I own 3 Bose L1's and a tonematch. ( model2/2bins and 2 compacts ). The good part is that they are easy to haul and set up and the sound is second to none. the bad part is that the Model2 has been sent back twice and one compact sent back once for repairs. The tonematch also failed and was replaced. Now. please don't say it was something "I" did. I been gigging for 50 years and have never had problems like I have had with my Bose PA Systems. I now use my 2 compacts on gigs because they not only sound great but I have "backup" if one fails. My Model2 is used for rehearsals mainly and if I have to take it on a gig I say a prayer when I hit the powerstand on button and have a compact sitting nearby as backup. My tonematch is also my backup mixer as I now use Allen & Heath ( needed more inputs). The short and the long is that while Bose has great sound and portability I don't feel the "gear" is road worthy tested and believe me I "baby my gear" Not Bose bashing here. I love my Bose sound and portability but thru "experience" really question the time and road worthy reliability of the components that make this wonderful sound.

Aj
classEntertainment
"music is neither new or old.....it just "is'
I hear you Mister D. Ive had 2 of my 3 L1s go down catastrophically. Fortunately Bose repaired them under warranty and replaced the board in my 3rd unit 'just in case'. I too wanted a good explanation from Bose to satisfy my engineering brain - but they are secretive.

Now I always get nervous at gigs over possible gear failure.

I wish Bose would tell us what they've done to investigate and rectify the problem and to give us comfort that the units are totally reliable.
An L1 Compact for under $1,000, might be a good choice as a backup system, in case of a Model II failure.

I have two Model IIs and two Compacts, I have rarely taken a second system out "just in case", and have not had a failure at a gig either.
Although, I did have my very first Model II power stand show up DOA.

I've owned three Classics, and three Model IIs and have had to send something in to have work done three times in 11 years.
To me, it was all worth it for the listening pleasure I got from my Bose systems.
My playing days are now behind me, I regret nothing.
All systems work, but I can't part with them.
quote:
Originally posted by Drumr:
An L1 Compact for under $1,000, might be a good choice as a backup system, in case of a Model II failure.

I have two Model IIs and two Compacts, I have rarely taken a second system out "just in case", and have not had a failure at a gig either.
Although, I did have my very first Model II power stand show up DOA.

I've owned three Classics, and three Model IIs and have had to send something in to have work done three times in 11 years.
To me, it was all worth it for the listening pleasure I got from my Bose systems.
My playing days are now behind me, I regret nothing.
All systems work, but I can't part with them.


I don't think anybody is questioning the sound of the Bose.
On the other hand I think Bose counts on the Apathy of the consumer willing to shell out money to fix them, but not tell the consumer what was wrong with there unit.
That, and they love the ones that will shell out all that cash for multiple units but say there products are so great. The fact that a person has to have multiple units says it all.
I really don't expect a Bose Rep to say anything bad about them.
Why not be open to the consumer, and tell them why there units had failed?? Is that to much to expect???
Hi Mister D,

True, Bose is tight lipped to a fault, nor do they release any schematics to do repairs, third party.
They should have done that for Classic/Model I at any rate.

The original concept for the L1 was to be used as one-per-player, in a band.
In that scenario, if one failed, you could piggie back off someone to get thru a gig.
But as the L1 fell more often to solo artists, there is no backup scenario.
Yeah, I wish Bose would fix this stuff, but it's doubtful.

I'm not arguing with you, just offering my case history.
Hello All,

I was out of this office for most of this week and am just catching up on this thread now.

Please allow me to apologize for any frustration these failures are causing or may have caused. As a performer, the last thing I want is for my gear to fail. As a Bose rep, it is always disheartening to read about negative customer experiences. Especially, when they come from folks that have been supportive and still believe that we make great sounding gear. We never want our customers to be unhappy and while we always strive to achieve the highest possible standards, issues do surface that need to be resolved.

Please know that I have begun to investigate this internally. I will report back as soon as I can.
Hi Tom,

Thanks for the suggestion. I dropped a note about me in 'Who are the moderators?'.


quote:
Originally posted by Tom Munch:
Paul, you might want to introduce yourself so we know your position at Bose and a little but about your experience.
Hi Paul,

quote:
We never want our customers to be unhappy and while we always strive to achieve the highest possible standards, issues do surface that need to be resolved.

Please know that I have begun to investigate this internally. I will report back as soon as I can.


It's nice to know that someone is taking interest in what is proving to be a problem for many of the long term users.

Basically, it can't be regarded as being OK for an international company like Bose to ignore the problems in Professional units which are only 10 years old. At least here (discontinued models) would be the time to disclose the circuit diagrams for these units. The don't repair but buy new attitude of our modern world is definitely not environment friendly, and although doing that keeps the new sales going, it would be a big feather in Bose's cap to make the plans for discontinued models available. I know PA people who still have units which are over 20 years old and still going strong. They can still be repaired (usually very quickly if necessary) allowing gigs to take place should something fail at short notice on a weekend (where most of us find time to go out and play). Imagine not being able to repair a Marshall Plexi for example. I shudder at the thought.

I hope that you can maybe move something here, but my belief says that I think that you're going to fight a losing battle. I really hope that you can prove me wrong on this one, and make very many people happy. Eventually, it could prove to be a good thing for Bose if you did manage something (new customers, because they see the after sales service as not just 8-10 years and then ... bye bye beloved equipment).

To quote Mr. Ed:

quote:
the time has come for us to go but we'll be back ...


Take care,

Tony
I must admit that I thought “Bose” would not care one little bit about how “I” felt, and would not care anything about my situation. Even when Paul posted that he was going to look into this, I thought, “yeah right.” But I was “Wrong.” A company, even as big as Bose is, is defined by the people who work there. And I would be doing a disservice to this Forum and the people who read it if I didn’t post an update.
I tried to keep my post as condensed as I could and still get my point across. Nobody wants to read on and on about somebody’s problem. That being said, Paul, and Andy from Bose contacted me and were sincerely concerned with my situation even as complex as it is. And after some long phone conversations, we have made quite a bit of headway and I am sure we will resolve this. I am also sure there are more people in the background who are involved with this, and to all of you I say, “I THANK YOU”. As I said earlier, a company is defined by the people who work for it, and all of you have shown me that “Bose” does care. I am looking forward to working with Bose now, and in the future.
I hope I have quite a few good years left in me for my music and will be proud to take my “Bose” system with me.
Thank you Andy, and Paul, once again for your support and concern for the little guy.
Mister “D”
Hi Everybody,

on Thu May 21 2015 04:54 PM Paul-at-Bose posted this:

quote:
Please allow me to apologize for any frustration these failures are causing or may have caused. As a performer, the last thing I want is for my gear to fail. As a Bose rep, it is always disheartening to read about negative customer experiences. Especially, when they come from folks that have been supportive and still believe that we make great sounding gear. We never want our customers to be unhappy and while we always strive to achieve the highest possible standards, issues do surface that need to be resolved.

Please know that I have begun to investigate this internally. I will report back as soon as I can.


Part of my reply to this was:

quote:
I hope that you can maybe move something here, but my belief says that I think that you're going to fight a losing battle.


Since then we've heard nothing. I was just wondering if, after 4 months, any progress has been achieved in this matter, or if I was right in my assumption that nothing was going to change.

Thanks for any feedback whatsoever from Bose,

Tony
Hi Tony,
I don't have a bio on the Moderator's Whos-who but many folks here can attest that I've been around since Day 1.

Let me look into a couple things here so I can get the background. Paul-at-Bose has moved onto other pastures (he's missed for sure!).

In general all gear will fail at some point. We definitely want these products to last as long as possible, without over-engineering them and making them too costly for our customers. Working in product development from both engineering and marketing sides, I've seen personally how much we invest heavily on testing and refining beyond industry and regulatory norms to manufacture the highest-quality products we possibly can. But, Murphy's Law sneaks in and things happen.

I am the proud owner of an original L1. It's gets used every weekend and still runs like a champ. A friend of mine down the road however, not so lucky. I too found the no-repair option and because of that had an unhappy friend. Luckily I could open the unit and repair it myself, ordering parts off of electronics components suppliers. If I could, I would do that same for you - open up the unit and repair. In my friend's case he knew what happened - at a outdoor fair an electrical spike took out his L1 and other PA gear (non Bose too). Stuff happens. These products need to withstand the rigors of daily use, bad power conditions, and the "helper" friend dropping your unit after the gig.

With that said, we could definitely do a much better job in supporting dated products. I think however that as you approach or exceed 10 years, it may be time for a new product. Like a used car, things simply wear out - mechanical vibrations, thermal conditions, condensation on components, spills, falls... It's really a balance.

On the repair side, we have teams that troubleshoot and replace, sometimes at the board level. While we don't publish what was wrong (trust me, I am curious after a repair as well!), we do track failure types internally, feeding back this information to quality engineering teams.

Allow me to look into our policies, elevating these concerns. Your investment was significant and I agree your products should have options for longevity.
Hi Kyle,

quote:
I don't have a bio on the Moderator's Whos-who but many folks here can attest that I've been around since Day 1.


One look to the bottom of your post says everything: "Registered: Thu October 16 2003," and I've seen your Avatar often enough when browsing through the forum to know who's behind it without reading the name. Your answering my call tells me that the impression I've got from you through reading the forum over the years has been the right one.

First of all let me say a big thank you for jumping in here so quickly. "Same day service" as they say. This type of reaction is one of the main reasons I went for the L1 system in the first place, and of course the presence of early users and their help on the forum. I must say, however, that I miss Ken Jacob's posts. A shame that he's not around the forum any more (at least not actively).

So back to the topic.

quote:
In general all gear will fail at some point.


This is sadly a fact of life which we all accept.

quote:
On the repair side, we have teams that troubleshoot and replace, sometimes at the board level. While we don't publish what was wrong (trust me, I am curious after a repair as well!), we do track failure types internally, feeding back this information to quality engineering teams.


This is where it becomes difficult for many of us to understand the why's + wherefores of this policy. OK, if a board gets changed because it's cheaper than looking for a failure, I can understand that. Basically labour costs are probably the highest part of any repair nowadays. It wasn't always so. Many of us would, however, like to know what had gone wrong (in case it was a mistake which caused the unit to fail in the first place, and maybe something which could possibly be avoided in future). If you take your car in for repair, you generally also want to know what had really gone wrong when parting with your money.

quote:
With that said, we could definitely do a much better job in supporting dated products. I think however that as you approach or exceed 10 years, it may be time for a new product. Like a used car, things simply wear out - mechanical vibrations, thermal conditions, condensation on components, spills, falls... It's really a balance.


This is where we start to get to the "nitty gritty" part of the problem. Basically, the decision regarding New or Repair should be that of the owner. I can understand Bose wanting to keep their hand over the repairs of current units (I understand that this sort of thing can be relevant regarding reliability), but this cannot be relevant regarding discontinued units. This is where many users are not happy with Bose. Let me put it this way, Kyle:

Bose didn't re-invent the wheel regarding parts - e.g. Resistors, capacitors, relays, transformers etc. I can't see that these things are all Bose specific and not available any more, which would mean, given the schematics, many of us could repair our obsolete equipment ourselves (I trained in electronics and worked for a few years in the I+C (Information + Control) unit of my power station, so I should be able to repair a number of the things that go wrong myself if I had the schematics at hand). Failing that, there are many really good electronics guys around who do that for a hobby. You can see where I'm going with this, and, having read your reply to my query, I think that you probably agree to all intents and purposes. I can also understand that you can't express yourself as freely as we can, because when all's said and done, you have to abide by the policies of the company.

quote:
Allow me to look into our policies, elevating these concerns. Your investment was significant and I agree your products should have options for longevity.


This is basically all that most of us are asking for. Should you manage to get the persons concerned to arrive at the decision to make the schematics for discontinued units available, you would make many users much happier. That would be a big jump in customer service, and do the Bose reputation no harm whatsoever.

Thanks again, Kyle, for joining this thread and offering to investigate on our behalf's. I don't know if you'll get anywhere with it but thanks for trying.

Take care,

Tony
Tony has hit the nail on the head with this. Although my situation was a little unique with the age of my unit when I purchased it (supposedly new), I would have loved to have had 10 years of service with my unit. Everything does wear out. But when I called in and inquired about getting it fixed I asked if I would be told what was wrong with it. I was told I would receive a paper with the unit when I got it back telling me what was fixed. I did get the paper, but it told me nothing. Bose really needs to address that also. Was it something I did to make the unit fail??? Should I be doing something different to get the most out of my unit???
I have seen threads on surge protectors, and Bose posting that there units have built in surge protection. But the paper I received with my repaired unit says to always use surge protectors.
The Bose repair process was so misleading if you ask me. My problem was resolved, but the road to get there left me a little leery. Good luck with this Tony.
Hi Mister "D",

I really do think that what most of us want is to know that the system we buy will still be repairable even after 10 years. For most of us I think that it really would be enough if we, or a repair tech of our choice, could access the schematics for discontinued models that Bose aren't going to repair anyway.

Let's take a look at Musician A:

He's not gigging an awful lot. Let's say 1 to 2 gigs a month. Over 10 years that would mean no more than 250 gigs, and the system can still go wrong although it's not really been used that much. 250 gigs for professional equipment cannot be seen as being a lot. I certainly would not be happy if a guitar amp was obsolete and irreparable after such usage.

Now let's take a look at Musician B:

He's out at least once every weekend which means a minimum of 500 gigs in 10 years. That's still not all that many gigs for professional gear.

There are of course professionals out there who are doing at least 2 gigs a week. That would make at least 1000 gigs in 10 years. In the professional world I would expect a manufacturer to watch my back as a user/customer and do everything possible to make my investment last as long as possible and not try to force me to buy new just because they can see no reason to repair equipment which (in their opinion) is obsolete and not worth repairing any more.

To the folks at Bose who have some say in the politics at Bose: Please rethink the policy regarding the schematics of discontinued units. Is that too much for people who have supported your sales over the years to ask?

I've never regretted buying any of my Bose gear (first buy was a pair of 901's series III around 1978 I think it was). It would just be nice to have a similar type of longevity with the L1 system, as I have never played through anything that sounded anywhere near as good, especially for an acoustic player.

Take care everyone and enjoy making music.

Tony

Edited by Seagullman.

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