The Unofficial Users' Guide
for the Bose® Personalized Amplification System™ family of products.

December 23, 2006

The Unofficial Bose® L1™ Wiki is the new site for the Unofficial Users' and Performers' Guides. The information in this thread may not be as current as in the new wiki, but I will leave it here for backup and historical interest.

 Bose® L1™ Wiki is your new source for the latest Unofficial information.

What follows is the older version.

If you just got your System or want to get to know it better, you are in the right place.

If you just got a gig and have found out the house system is a Bose Personalized Amplication System™ you probably want to read the Unofficial Performers' Guide.

This is a collection of advice, hints and tips from system owners and people-at-Bose gathered from the Bose® Musicians Community Message Boards. If you would like to add to this living document please post a reply in this discussion. Remember, there is also great information in the Official Product FAQs.

The Gear
Setting up


Carrying the Gear
Stage Layouts
Instrument Tips
Terminology & Concepts
Working with Others
Want to Help?
If you would like to add to this living document or make suggestions about it, please post a reply in this discussion (thread).
Change Log
2005/12/29 Spares (just in case)
2005/12/22 New intro and link to the Unofficial Performers' Guide
2005/12/22 Hard Shell Cases
2005/12/12 L1 Cylindrical Radiator Update - Adjustable Bayonets
2005/12/07 Localization, Spaciousness, and Reverb added to Terminology Section
2005/12/01 Effects added link to Hilmar's Effects 101
2005/09/24 Effects using VoiceLive and GR-20 - thanks Deakes
2005/09/23 Terminology Equal Loudness Curves
2005/09/14 Introducing Performers to the Bose System
2005/09/13 PS1 power stand - updated with comments from Cliff-at-Bose
2005/09/11 Terminology Comb Filter notes from Ken-at-Bose
2005/09/11 Stage Layouts - MTM suggested that I add this
2005/09/10 Amp Modellers & Line6 patches at Vettaville added to Instrument Tips
2005/09/08 Interactive Tour of the I/O panel (link to the main Bose site)
Presets - added links to pdf and text versions of the preset lists
Hearing oneself with the Bose... - jmead suggested that we include this
Effects - new section
2005/09/08 update to
Deluxe Logo Bags (notice about expiry of free bags offer)
Mixers - Gittar-Jonz
2005/08/15 Gain Staging (added link to
General Principles)
2005/08/14 more notes on Gain Staging (
Owners - several of them talk about Gain Staging)
2005/08/12 L1 section: Pictures -
Damage from inserting the L1 upside down 
2005/08/11 New Section - Instrument Tips -
Acoustic Guitar
2005/08/08 first version


Original Post
A little history, and how you can help.

Guitarget had an idea for a Lessons Learned Document.

Since our message board is a dynamic (albeit big) document, I'll volunteer to help organize a living document.

How you can help - Links
Post a link (see link notes below) in this thread pointing to your favourite discussion or post with a memorable lesson.

Tell us what you thought was memorable or important in your post, and if you happen to have a link to a related topic in the official FAQs or support pages this will be a huge help. You can also send me a Private Message if that's easier for you.

How you can help - Favourite Lessons
If you just have a thought to share just post it in the most appropriate area of the forum (Technical, at the Gig, etc.) and then post a link to it here.

My part
I'll organize a page of your contributions and add links to things in the official FAQs that are related.

It's Alive
As long as you keep sending me links, I'll keep updating the page.

It's Sticky
If you are familiar with the common practice of having 'stickies' in forums, that's what we will do with the colllected wisdom.

So thanks to Guitarget for the inspiration.

Let's get it rolling.

Posting a link is easy

For an Entire Discussion
right click in the area where the web address is visible (e.g. then click 'copy' in the popup menu.

Compose a message and when you get to the place where you want to insert the link, right click and click 'paste'.

You can use the fancy system for inserting the link, but for our purposes in this thread, displaying the whole address is fine.

For an Individual Post
In the post to which you create a link, right click this icon

click Copy Shortcut (Internet Explorer) or Copy Link Location (Mozilla/Netscape)

-or- simply click that icon and copy the web address from the address bar in your browser.

Compose a message and when you get to the place where you want to insert the link, right click and click 'paste'.
B1 Bass Module

The most current version of this information is now in the B1 Bass Module section of the wiki.

New: 2006/01/20 - Checking B1 Connections
You may want to double check your Blue B1 cables. See instructions in the note above.

Lesson: Feedback
If you are getting low end feedback, especially with acoustic instruments try re-orienting the B1. Try different angles. It often doesn't take much.

Lesson: Keep the B1s together (revised - you don't have to stack 'em)
If you have more than one B1 playing the same sound source (instrument), keep the B1s together. You should get as much as 3 dB more than if you have them separated. This is due to acoustic coupling. This also avoids creating nulls.

You can stack them or have them side-by-side but you want to keep them together.

Lesson: Logos
You can rotate the Bose logo so it is parallel to the floor even if you have turned the B1 on its side.
Click the image below for more info.

-- click the image above to see how to do it --

Lesson: Port Orientation
"Theoretically, port-side-up may give a tiny bit better aligned floor reflection but in practice, the difference is so small that it isn't worth bothering with.
However, I would still advise when you stack multiple B1s keep them all in the same orientation."
See Hilmar's comments about this in context

When I read this, I had to go and look very closely to find the port. It's easier to figure out that when the B1 is on it's side, port side up is same as (on the back) connection panel down.

Longer cables for B1s
See: Longer cables for the B1
Speakon Cables

Question: How low does the B1 go? 40 Hz - but my Bass, goes lower than that.
Answer: Hilmar-at-Bose talks about How low does the B1 go?

Cliff-at-Bose talks about Positioning the B1 and proximity to walls
L1 Cylindrical Radiator® loudspeaker

Lesson: Keep the audience in the column of sound
If you are on an elevated stage, remember that people above or below the Cylindrical Radiator™ will not be in the coverage area.
Hint: Tip the PowerStand by a few degrees from the back or the front by a few degrees. Easy ways to do this: Fold a B1 case and tuck it under the front or the back. If you have the logo bags with the wheels, then leaving the PowerStand in the case will naturally tip it down. I carry a couple of sheets of bubble pack packing material in the case and fold it to suit.

Lesson: Be careful how you insert the lower section. If you insert it upside down you may damage the connector in the PowerStand.
Kyle-at-Bose posted Pictures of the damage

Lesson: If you notice a change in the propagation properties of the System, check that the sound is coming from both the top and bottom sections. If not, dissassemble and reassemble the L1 making sure that everything connects firmly.

Lesson: Slapback echo
If you are getting echos from the wall opposite the stage tip the PowerStand a little (1 or 2° should do it).

Lesson: Do not remove the Bayonet
The Bayonet should not be removed from the top section of the L1. It may be a stretch at first, but you can get the top portion of the L1 into the carrying bag.

Lesson: The Bayonet can be adjusted for easier mouting/dismounting with lower ceilings.
Newer L1 Cylindrical Radiator(r) loudspeakers have bayonets with three holes. With the upper L1 on a table or floor, you can easily unscrew the two Phillips-head screws from the Bayonet and reposition the Bayonet so that it does not protrude as much out from the upper L1. This gains you an extra inch of space when mounting/dismounting the upper L1 in places where the ceiling height is less than ideal. Contributed by Kyle-at-Bose

If you have more than one System, you do *not* have to keep all the pieces in sets as they were delivered.
Quoting Hilmar-at-Bose
By "carefully matched" we mean that all components of the system (drivers, acoustic enclosure, power amps, EQ, limiter, pre-amps, protection circuits etc.) are designed so that they really work optimally with each other.

On the other hand we are manufacturing to very tight specifications and tolerances. One L1 is virtually indistinguishable from the next one, so it's perfectly ok two swap speaker and power stands.

See it in context

edit: Bayonet can be adjusted contributed by Kyle-at-Bose
PS1 Power Stand

Lesson: Leaving it in the bag
It is okay to do this if you like (and personally I find it a lot quicker for setup/teardown)

Hilmar speaks about the heat (relates to leaving it in the bag).

quoting Cliff-at-Bose about the flip-up door on the Power Stand, and getting the L1 with bayonet into the bag:

"I took my cover off right away and couldn't even tell you where it is right now. The carry bag for the PS1 seems to do a good job of keeping things clean in storage, the trunk, in transit. For the upper L1 section, turn it upside down, grab it by the bayonet, lower it into the bag and the bayonet should tuck into the top just fine."

Lesson: No Sound? Look down the well.
See No Sound - thanks to Joseph for this one.

Lesson: Battery Power?
see: Battery Power not recommended
R1 Remote

Lesson: Packing it
Don't pack the Remote in the PS1 bag.

Lesson: Stiff Controls
If the knobs get stiff, you can pull them out a bit. Chances are they've just gotten jammed down during packing.

Lesson: Wiring it - Vocals on the Left
I always wire up the PowerStand so that the vocals are in Channel 1. This just means that it's always the same, easy to describe, and one less thing to wonder about.

Lesson: Wiring it - Two players
If you've got two players sharing a System, and hence the Remote, take a moment to wire things up so that the Channel strip that affects someone's sound is closest to them.

Lesson: Leave 'em hanging - NOT -
Here's and idea for a bracket you can mount on the mic stand. Sure, the velcro is fine but ...
See: Bracket for the Remote

Zipper sounds, latency - Hilmar speaks!

Daisy-Chain the Remotes?
No - Please don't try to connect more than one Remote to a Power Stand (or more than One Power Stand to a Remote)
See: Daisy Chain Remotes

Connecting the Remote - is it required?
If you power up the System without the Remote Connected, the PowerStand operates as though the Remote is connected with all controls straight-up (12 o'clock) position.
See: Connecting the Remote

The PS1 power stand continuously senses activity at all preset selectors and what is connected at the input/output jacks. In general, it is not recommended to operate without the remote connected. The PS1 power stand can however function without the R1 remote control. If you power the PS1 power stand on without the R1 remote control connected, it will operate as if the R1 remote control was connected and at a fixed setting of 12 o'clock (center position) on all the control knobs. Alternatively, if the unit is powered on with the R1 remote control first connected and the user then disconnects the R1 remote control, it will retain the last settings of the R1 remote control before you disconnected it. This is helpful in the case where sharing may be necessary.
Source: Official Bose FAQ

Lesson: Channel 1 and 2 Controls on the Remote don't mute the channels.
Quoting Hilmar-at-Bose
The channel volume controls have about 40 dB gain from all-the-way-down to all-the-way-up but don't completely mute the sound.

See it in context:
Volume Control on the Remote

- Channel 1/2 mute
- Connecting the Remote (thanks Chuck-at-Bose)
Steve-at-Bose shares tips and tricks
• Use the loop side of the Velcro sparingly. We gave you plenty so that you could put some in several locations (on both sides of the L1, your keys, your mic stand, etc.) and you’ll find that the hook is quite aggressive. It only takes a small strip, say 1” x 2”, to hold the remote.

• The bags are a bit tight when you first get them. They will “relax” over time.

• When the top section of the L1 is in its bag, there is room in there for the remote (knobs away from the L1 is best).

• If your remote gets “thumped” and a knob is hard to turn, you can pull it off and re-insert the knob. What’s happening is the bottom of the knob is rubbing on the cover of the remote.

• Put a piece of tape (or several) on your remote and mark where you like your settings (much like people do with stomp boxes) so that if they get turned by accident, you’ve got a mark of where you left it last. I’ve also seen people put a little dot of white out for this. Just remember, you probably want something that will be removable in case you change your mind. Then again, there’s always black paint to fix any boo-boo’s.

• Put your cables in the PS1 bag’s “outer sleeve”.

• The fuse will fit nicely in a couple of the recesses on the PS1 panel door. Tape it in one of the larger rectangles on the “channel 1 and 2 side” of the door. Now it’s always with your PS1.

• If the PS1 panel door pops off, pop it back in. It is designed to pop out during a “stepped-on-it” event, and is readily reattached.

• The Bose® logo on the grill of the B1 can be rotated. If you’re like me, and use the B1’s on their side and stacked, it looks nice with the Bose® going horizontally. The trick to rotating them, I’ve found, is to grab the “B” and “E” (not the tails) and pull straight out, then twist.

• Saving the nice packaging foam when the system arrives with is a good idea. It can be used in a hard-shell case if you decide to go that route at some point in the future.

• The L1 is slightly loose in its fit in the PS1. This is intentional so that it has some compliance when it gets bumped. As such, it is less likely to tip when someone accidentally pushes on it.

• And lastly, though I don't recommend you try, the socket in the PS1 where the L1 is placed can hold, and drain, pint of liquid.

See the original discussion
Bags for the L1

The Bayonet should not be removed from the top section of the L1. It is not necessary to remove the Bayonet to put the top section of the L1 into the bag.

The L1 doesn't really fit in the standard carry bag

PS1 Bag
Can I leave the PS1 in the bag while running it?

Is the PS1 bag washable?
For at least one person the answer is Yes
Deluxe Logo Bags

Clarification: There is a thread about the "free" upgrade to the Deluxe Logo Bags. This was during August 2004. These can still be purchased separately as an option. See: Accessories

quoting Steve-at-Bose talking about the Bose® Logo Bags

The PS1 bag: Yes, Steve Z you figured out the buckles on the PS1 (that was quick). I've got to warn folks though, the fit is *VERY* tight by design. Inserting the L1 bags in the panel pocket requires a fiar amount of fiddling. There are along list of reasons why we didn't make it loose (the major being if it's loose things get sloppy as you're wheeling the PS1 around with the L1's in place) so if you give this a try be warned ... it's a tight fit -- but it works.

We're not calling this a "feature" of the bag because candidly I don't think it meets the standards of quality and excellence you've come to expect from Bose. You can do it, but I'm warning you, it's not "beautiful". Once you get the L1's in the pockets, slip the buckle through the handle on the L1 bag and away you go.

I'm also worried about the handle on the PS1 bending and the "tippy-ness" of the PS1 when the L1's are in there. The handle is tough enough, but it may bend if you, for example, pull the system down a set of stairs with the L1's in the PS1 bag.

If you use this option, PLEASE use good judgement and don't let the bag sit unattended. It balances but it's tippy. And treat the handle well, especially when fully extended.

The L1 bag has two "saddle bags" down each side, great for cables, and we've made the bag longer so inserting the L1 is very easy. Each L1 bag comes with a shoulder strap that connects to the "D" ring on each end of the bag. And you can use the buckles to connect the two L1's together and use one shoulder strap for two L1's (but it's heavy at 30lbs or so). Or use the buckles to attach a mic stand (folding legs kind).

The B1 bag now goes all the way around (the best way to put the B1 in the bag is an "over the top and pull it down" with the bag versus "put this heavy square object into a flexible bag sitting on the floor". It has two "D" ring attachment points, but I doubt anyone will use a shoulder strap with it (it does not come with one). The B1 is not a fun thing to sling over your shoulder.

And the Back Pack is really nice. The firm that did the pack does work for surf/skate companies, and the big sneaker companies, and we said "make it top of the line" and it, IMO is really nice.

See the original discussion
NEW: July 2006: What is Preset #58
NEW: March 2006: Get Plugged In - check out Ken-at-Bose talking about Presets in a mini video.
December 2005: Four new sets of Custom Instrument Presets

Q: I just got a new System, does it have the latest presets?
A: Quoting Kyle-at-Bose: "You can easily tell if you have one of the newer power stands- those that come preloaded with Presets 2.0- by looking at the rear I/O panel. If the Amp 3 Output connector area (where the B1s plug in) is a light blue color, then the Presets 2.0 have been preloaded at the factory."

click to see the discussion
Lesson: Finding what works
The captions beside the presets are recommendations and these are a good place to start.
Still, you want to do a little exploring. See:

  • Presets 2:0: Anyone listening? by Cliff-at-Bose
  • Presets: Finding What Works for You

  • No voodoo or making things bigger and badder. Steve-at-Bose talks about the presets
  • Cliff-at-Bose had these general comments about working with the presets.
    "They were all developed to make CLOSE VOCALS (as in eat-the-mic) sound more natural through our system. When you back way off, say 6 inches or more, all bets are off. The same goes for even close miking of musical instruments. Actually, close miking of a Dobro might be fine in the flat setting, maybe turn up the HF on the remote for some sparkle. In the studio, a B57 sounds pretty useful 4-6 inches away from a guitar. Stay away from the sound hole if the sound gets too dark. Too much signal from the sound hole will also encourage low-mid feedback. As a hunch, try preset 35, assuming you recently purchased and these are v2 presets. This is probably the most radical one in the catalog, but will give you an idea of the extremes. It's for a very midrange-heavy electric guitar (PRS) to be played direct. Also, try all the presets on a spare evening alone. Lots of tone variations here. Forget the titles and just listen.

    Also, on the mics for singing, try presets 01-04 as an alternative to the ones we recommended for your mics.

    No one really knows the sound you want but you, when you hear it. So experiment with the presets and turn the knobs. Write back and let us know your results. Lots of players like you will benefit from your results."
    See the original discussion.

  • Cliff-at-Bose had more to say:

    The mic pre's are really good ones, recording quality. Compare them to anything. You'll be amazed how they stack up to tweakier high-dollar units. We worked real hard on this and we're happy we did.

    About the presets: No mic that I know of sounds good for close vocal, even for recording for that matter. All our presets compensate for this. A lot of these mics sound a lot more natural when you back off a foot or so from them. Of course this is true in the studio too. No one does this for a live performance (backs very far off the mic) since you want to maximize gain before feedback by eating the mic. And so then you get funny sound and so then you need our presets to make it natural.

    If you need more channels for all-the-same mics, use a small mixer into channels 1 or 2. The presets work on line levels too, so a mixer full of mics using the recommended preset will all sound great. Use the presets always. They are one of the really great features of our system and they really give you a no-brainer great-sounding place to start for any amplification.

    See the original discussion.

Print your own copy!
Presets 1.0
Presets 2.0

See Upgrade Your Software to learn how to get the latest.
- and if at first you don't succeed -
Software Upgrade Troubleshooting

Preset 2.0 - Una panoramica - Italian - Thanks to Marco-at-Bose-Europe.

- NEW: March 2006: Get Plugged In - check out Ken-at-Bose talking about Presets in a mini video.

- Preset 2.0 - Una panoramica (Presets in Italian)
- Software Upgrade Troubleshooting
- Custom Instrument Presets
Gain Staging
Vocal Microphone

Ken-at-Bose talks about setting the gain for your microphone.

General Applications
Reference from the Bose FAQs
What is the proper method for setting the gain on the PS1 power stand?

Owners - several of them talk about Gain Staging

General Principles
General Principles from ST
Gain Notes from Chuck-at-Bose

Gain setup for a microphone
See the video on the main Bose site. Get Plugged In
Unofficial Users' Guide (this document) in pdf format.

Let me apologize in advance, the PDF file looks a little rough as it is a 'capture' of various posts on this site. This doesn't turn out very well in Adobe Acrobat. Still, it is readable (sort of) and you can take your time and read it offline.

I'm still collecting information and until we got more, I will hold off formatting an offline document. Or, it may simpy make more sense to drop the offline document idea. Anyway, you can treat this as an experiment.
Acoustic Guitar

Internal microphones (blender systems) and feedback:
You may have to turn off the internal microphone:
Not an an issue unique to the Bose Systems, but an issue when playing at significant volumes.

Acoustic Guitar and the Line6 Pod XTLive?
Check out the tips from Chuck-at-Bose

-- click the pic for the story ---

edit: Acoustic Guitar and the Line6 Pod XTLive
If you have a mixer in your setup you will want to read this how-to guide from Gittar-Jonz
Mixer Set up

This includes setting the trims, channel strips and other controls you will encounter.

Specific Model - Output Notes:

Mixers shown in this list are just ones where an owner has inquired about the connections. Inclusion in this list does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement.
Thanks Jim,

The discussion was called
Hearing One's Self with the Bose ...
In the early days of playing I had to remind myself of things like "let the amp do the heavy lifting" (instead of my fingers), so over the past little while I've come up with a few points that seem to be helping with the System. I'd really appreciate your comments on these little maxims I try to remember when setting up and playing.
-- more ---

I've been meaning to rewrite parts of my contributions there because I wrote it very early in my experiences with the System.

In the meantime, I'll add a link to it in the lead post above.
Stage Layouts

Last time I looked at the numbers, we had around 150 discussions in the Illustrations section.

Here are a few that illustrate general principles.
Amp Modellers

  • Amp Modeller ... lounge
    Some of us (Guitar Players) will never give up our tubes but you can get a good overview of the several of the alternatives in ASAT's lounge.
  • Get your Line6 patches at
    The people-at-Bose have created several patches for the special PS-1 output mode of the Line6 gear. This output mode was designed for the Bose System.

Go back to The Unofficial Users Guide
Here are some notes about feedback. Rather than sending you following links, I've just put things that seemed relevant below.

From the Bose Support Site
My vocal microphone keeps encountering feedback. Is there anything I can do to stop it?

  • Orient the microphone so that it is not pointing directly at your Cylindrical Radiator™ loudspeaker. It’s best when your system is not directly behind you- give greater than 5 feet distance between you and your system.
  • Try using a “close-miking” technique to increase the gain at the microphone and to reduce unwanted stage sound.
  • Use the HIGH tone control knob for the microphone channel carefully. Feedback could occur when this is set too high.
  • Upgrade your power stand to newer software that offer a high gain preset. see: Software Upgrading (This covers firmware update and Version 2.0 Presets)
  • If using a vocal effects processor, make sure that it is not contributing to the feedback problem.
  • If stand -mounting a directional microphone, tilt the microphone up ten or twenty degrees off the horizon so that it is less sensitive to direct sound from the speakers.
  • Try a different microphone such as a directional mic. Hypercardioid microphones work well with the system.

Here's a sketch of setting up a microphone on stand.

Other general notes:
  • All players should be playing / singing through the Bose System closest to them
  • Every doubling of distance between the microphone and the singer reduces gain-before-feedback by a factor of 4. The difference between 1/2 inch and an inch can be significant.
  • Wherever possible "acoustic" instruments should use pickups instead of microphones.
    This is important because many players find it a struggle to keep a consistant and close distance between the microphone and their instrument. Also, an instrument can be a source of feedback as it resonates with the amplified sound.
  • Another (low prority) design guide-line could be to keep open mics as far apart as possible. Neighboring systems with open mics can mututally decrease gain-before-feedback

Here are more notes from
Handling the Microphone
Seems like a pretty natural thing, doesn't it? But how your vocalists handle the mic has a major effect on the resulting sound. It may look great, but your tech team won't get the sound they want when your soloist holds a microphone an arm's length from her mouth.


The first reason is the inverse square law. If you hold your mic a half-inch from your lips it receives a given amount of sound energy from your voice. Move it twice as far-one inch-and it receives one-fourth as much energy. That extra half -inch takes away three-quarters of the efficiency of your sound system. While good mic technique involves "working" the microphone, singers that fully extend their arms when reaching for that climax, are usually doing it for dramatic effect. Small changes in distance from the mouth can result in very dramatic changes in sound level.

Second: When you move the mic away from your lips, you must turn up the microphone level at the mixer to be heard, and more unwanted sound enters the mic. When sound from a monitor speaker enters the mic, it instantly becomes the earsplitting screech we know as feedback. Keeping the mic close to your mouth minimizes feedback.

See the whole article: Miking Live Vocals

This originally appeared in the discussion Look no further

Go back to The Unofficial Users Guide
Introducing Performers to the Bose System

Here's how I introduce new players to the system. I wrote this to describe what I do for festival situations and open stages. I hope you find some ideas that work for other situations too.
edit: This post started as a reply to Ron in About to get my first 2...

If the performers are used to trusting the soundman, that is: they just want to walk in, plug in, and play... you may have a little difficulty getting them to take the reins (control the remote).

If they are used to trusting *you* then things should go smoothly.

To be prepared for people who just want to walk in and play the old way... Have a conventional mixer wired up with mains out running to your two** systems (channels 3/4). You might want to do this for line-level instruments anyway.
** Ron, for whom I originally wrote this was contemplating 2 Systems.

That's your backup plan. BUT

This is what I do with open stage situations with guest artists. It sounds like it would take awhile, but really we're talking just a couple of minutes.

I setup the Bose systems as though there was no mixer. That is:
- microphones into channels 1/2 on each system
- DI's to the remaining channels 3/4 open on each system.
- Remotes wired and attached to the mic stands

1. Introducing Performers to the System
But before getting into a lot of detail, I just get the gain staging setup in the conventional way. (all volume controls on the remote at zero). This is the time to set the presets for people who have brought their own mics. While I'm doing that I'll point out that all the sound is coming from the Bose systems and that there will be no need for monitors or a separate house mix. Everyone: The performers and the audience will be listening to the same sound source.

2. How does this thing work?
Time for a quick tutorial about feedback, covering mic angle, positioning and how resiliant the system to feedback as long as you don't leave an open mic pointing directly at the L1.

3. Bring on the sound (one unit at a time)
Turn up the master to just under 1/2 way and get the performers to turn up the individual channels. Encouragage them - this is *you* in control of *your* sound. Get them to try the other tone controls, and let them get used to the buffered response to the controls. Assure them that what they hear is what is being heard in the house.

If there are concerns - "it seems dry" reassure them that when we bring up the master volumes, they will hear all the natural reverb from the room as it responds to them at performance levels.

4. Bring on the feedback
With the master volumes at a relatively low level (under 1/2)
I warn the performers and then I'll actually induce some feedback by repositioning a microphone (pointing it at the L1). Then we make it go away by tipping the mic back to a better angle (typically upwards). I hand someone a mic and say "here, you try it." You can also show them that if they leave the system in feedback mode, the system will mute it in a few seconds.

Okay - we've tested the worst case scenario and know how to deal with it.

5. Bring up the volume
Okay: we've got the balance between the players and instruments sorted out, and the performers are comfortable with setting their individual levels in the mix. It's time to bring up the master volumes to suit the house.

Give the performers a chance to do their soundcheck song(s) and adjust as necessary.

6. On with the show!
If all went well up to this point - you're good to go.

7. Plan Backup
If someone just doesn't want to deal with it ("what are they paying *you* for?" (mister sound-guy)) then just plug the mics into the mixer, set the levels and go for it the slightly more conventional way).

It takes only a few minutes to go through the whole procedure and I've found that it's well worth it. But if you try to skip any of the steps, you could have an unhappy performer on your hands.

Successful outcome report
I recently worked with a true road warrior who immediately picked up on the system. He then did his performance without a hitch. read about it here...

This was originally posted
About to get my first 2...
Introducing Performers
Originally posted by ST:
To be prepared for people who just want to walk in and play the old way... Have a conventional mixer wired up with mains out running to your two systems (channels 3/4).

I'm sorry, ST, but I'm suffering from a nasty summer cold, and between the lack of sleep and the cold remedies, my brain is not very sharp today.

The rest of your contribution made perfect sense (and, as you know, is very applicable to me), but I got lost in the above quote.

Can you expand a bit on that for me, please? What two systems are we talking about?


Hi Mike,

When I posted this earlier this morning I had a nagging feeling that I had missed something and went off to find the original discussion. Couldn't find it. But I have now.
About to get my first 2...

This was started by "Ron", and so the two systems were ... his two systems. Sorry about that. I've edited the my post now.

Thanks for spotting that.

Get well soon.
Originally posted by ST:
Like many others, this community is developing its own lexicon. Look for a few terms and quick references here.

hey st check this out...For those of you who couldn't be here for our live "pickup shootout", we invite you to check out some brief videos of Saturday's performance.

The concert was recorded direct to DV with the camera's on-board mic. Maury & Tim played all the pickups through a Bose PA System with no effects and only very minimal EQ. Depending on your internet connection and your PC's speakers, you may find these comparisons a little hard to judge.

We hope to put these on a DVD very soon for those of you who would like to get a better look (and listen). If you have any questions or comments, please consider sharing your thoughts with us ... it's our goal to get you the most information possible on these pickups.
I found this on the martin web site....
What are Out of Phase Overheads?
Originally posted by Cliff-at-Bose: in Out of Phase Overheads
These are not "overheads" but 57's placed below the cymbals and above the top heads of a small kit. The mics are wired out of phase, basically 2 and 3 reversed on an XLR. There's lots written about this on our forum. But the basic idea is that the pair will cancel onstage bass but pick up local instruments on the kit, in an effort to reduce rebroadcasting onstage bass from the drum mics. This way we get a stronger signal than typical overheads and cleaner bass onstage. To "mix" these, just move the mics closer to the instrument you want to emphasize. Typical setup is on either side of the snare facing the snare. Snare is everywhere and there is no need to put a mic directly on it. It's actually pretty easy to set up and adjust, moving the mics around for a good kit mix. With 3 mics and only 2 inputs on the PS1, we get a really nice amplified sound for our shows. I listened to the output of the pair recently (multitrack recordings of a recent show) and the cancelling thing really works great. Give it a try.

What is Passively-Out-Of Phase?
See this discussion about
Wiring two SM 75s with a Y cord for Drums.
This one has it all - theory, analogy, pictures and testimonials.

Here's a juicy excerpt
Originally posted by Hilmar-at-Bose:
Here's the nerds view Smile
Wiring the the two mics out of phase creates essentially a "dipole". Everything that is in the middle (i.e. equal distance) between the two microphones will get equally but out-of-phase so it cancels when the two microphone signals are summed together. In essence it creates a "blind spot" for the microphones for whatever is right in the middle plane. For the drums, that's mainly the kick (as Larry pointed out) and also the drummer (when he/she is hemming and hawing, squeaking with the chair, yelling about or in general having a grand old time).
Another nice trick is to place the L1 that gets the mic signal somewhere the middle plane of the microphones. This drastically reduces potential for feedback and unwanted regeneration.
Sound sources that are significantly closer to any one of the microphones are not much affected by the whole procedure.


See it all: Wiring two SM 75s with a Y cord
Connections to Channels 1 and 2 on the PS1® Power Stand
Wondering what cables you can use with those inputs on Channels 1 and 2? Here is a summary.

Connections from a Mixer

XLR to XLR (balanced to balanced) should be fine.
Things you can do if the signal is too hot (you are having trouble with the input clipping on the Bose System)...
- check to see if there is a 'pad' built-in on the mixer (most Mackie mixers have this on the panel beside the XLR outs)
- turn down the main outs on the mixer
- use a 20 dB pad (attenuator) between the mixer and the Bose System.

¼" Tip-Ring to ¼" Tip-Ring (unbalanced to unbalanced) is fine:
You could have difficulty if you are running long lines (and losing signal or picking up noise).
If you are, consider using shorter cable runs, or running an balanced line. To do this you can use a short unbalanced cable to a DI (to convert from unbalanced to balanced) and run from there: XLR to XLR (balanced to balanced) to the Bose System.

XLR (balanced) to ¼" Tip-Ring-Sleeve (balanced) doesn't do much for you.
This is because the ¼" input on the Bose System is Tip-Ring unbalanced anyway.

Other connection options - typically unrelated to a mixer

¼" Tip-Ring-Sleeve balanced to XLR balanced Specialized instrument cable (probably Guitar)
This is probably a specialty cable that was supplied with the instrument. It is intended for a microphone input on a mixer. This should work fine with the Bose System.

Female XLR to ¼" Tip-Ring (microphone adapter)
This will probably not work very well. Sometimes you see these being used for home karaoke machines. These are not suitable for professional use.
The ¼" input was designed for high impedance line-level inputs and may not provide enough gain for a microphone which is probably low impedance.

¼" Tip-Ring (unbalanced) to XLR (balanced) instrument adapter
This may not work particularly well.
You are probably running an impedance mismatch (high impedance from the instrument to low impedance balanced XLR).

This is a slighly edited version...
See the original discussion
Connections for Insert Points on the PS1

You would use this kind of cable for a connecting an effects unit using the Serial Connection method.

Here's an excerpt for the PS1 Power Stand manual.

Zipper sound, latency, and the R1 Remote
...there are two design related issues that come into play here. The reason why nearly nobody knows about is, is that rarely ever anyone notices it.

1) The remote has a certain amount of latency. It takes a moment from the time you turn a knob until the setting actually takes effect. The exact time depends on the circumstances, but it's always less than one tenth of a second which is indeed barely (if at all) noticable.

2) The Channel 1 and 2 Volume controls produce a very slight "zipper" noise when they change between different volume setting. That noise does not affect the tone controls or the master volume. The technical reasons for that are complicated, but I'm happy to explain it, if someone is interested.
Anyway, the "zipper" noise only occurs when you actually operate the control, so it doesn't occur while playing unless you play and adjust at the same time. If you need to do that (e.g. for a fade-out) and the zipper is audible and objectionable, you could maybe use the volume control on your instrument or the master volume on the remote.

Again, most people never notice these issues in the first place and if they do, it's rarely a problem of any sort.

Hope that helps

See the original discussion
A1 PackLite™
Kyle-at-Bose Introduces the A1
The Solution

We designed an amplifier, perfectly matched for driving two additional B1 bass modules. It doesn’t look or feel like and amplifier. In fact, it is currently the lightest pro audio power amplifier on the market today.

Introducing the model A1 PackLite™ power amplifier.

Recently added to the main site - featuring Kyle Sullivan (Kyle-at-Bose)

Packlite™ video
-- in context --
Hilmar's notes about the A1
Originally posted by Hilmar-at-Bose:
Oh dear, I just stumbled across this thread. We are currently working full throttle to get the A1 on the store shelves and the last few weeks in a product development cycle are always a little hectic.

I’m certainly happy to take on all questions and comments so far, but I may have to do it in multiple installs. Feel free to ping me if I’m slacking off (or if I bore everyone out of their mind).

Let’s start with some technical stuff (philosophy will be in the next installment)

1) Crossover
If there is no B1 and nothing connected to the Bass Line Out. The L1 sees frequencies from 110Hz up. Feeding it anything lower, doesn’t make sense, since it couldn’t produce any acoustic output and if would rip the drivers to shreds.

In any other case the L1 sees signals only from 180Hz up. There is no other variation in frequency or gain for the L1 no matter what else happens

2) Bass Line Out and B1 behavior
This is based on the design goal that “You should always sound the same; no matter how much Bass stuff is attached” I can try to explain my view of why this is a good design goal (of which you may disagree) but let’s look at the actual behavior first.

Without Bass Line out
1xB1: 40Hz-180Hz, B1 specific EQ, some nominal gain that we call 0dB
2xB1: 40Hz-180Hz, B1 specific EQ, -6dB as compared to nominal

With Bass Line Out
0xB1: 40-180 Hz, flat, roughly the same gain as 2 B1
1xB1: 40Hz-180Hz, B1 specific EQ, -6dB as compared to nominal
2xB1: 40Hz-180Hz, B1 specific EQ, -12dB as compared to nominal

What this complex behavior does is the following. No matter if you attach 1, 2, or 4 B1s, you will get pretty much the same balance between all combined B1s and the L1s. It’s a little off for 3, 5, 6, 7 & 8 B1s, but still reasonably close.

3) Frequency content of an acoustic guitar
Oldghm, you did some really interesting experiments there. However, you have to be really careful when using an RTA. You can feed these things a pure sine wave at 80 Hz and by turning it up make the 63 Hz and even the 40Hz LED light up. They will be lower than the 80 Hz LED, but still come on. That does NOT mean, that the sine wave contains any other frequency than 80 Hz (it certainly doesn’t). It only means that the RTA has a pretty limited frequency resolution. The 63 Hz LED will respond best to 63 Hz signal but it’s in no way “blind” to 80 Hz signal.
Thus being said, the actual frequency content is not easy to determine. All sounds that have a pitch are certainly constraint to 80 Hz and up (in standard tuning) and there isn’t actually too much energy at the fundamental. However, the “non-pitched” sounds like a hard string attack or whacking the top with your hand can very well have lower frequencies. Unfortunately, I don’t have any hard data on that, but we will measure that at some point.

4) Equal loudness curves
Here is the bunch
These curves tell us two things:
First, the same physical sound energy produces different perceived loudness depending on frequency. You can turn that around into “The physical sound energy required to produce the same perceived loudness varies with frequency”.
Second, this frequency dependency is a function of overall level.

The first statement is not particularly bothersome. Your auditory system is well calibrated to that. A voice sounds normal because it sounds like what you are used to, not because it has “constant sound energy” or “constant perceived loudness” with frequency.

The second statement is much more trouble. It basically says that if you amplify an acoustic source (even if you do it perfectly), the perceived spectral balance will change. This is a well known effect, and most of our home entertainment systems have actually and “automatic loudness compensation” that changes the system voicing with overall level. We actually contemplated adding this to the Personalized Amplification System™ but after some soul searching we thought it would be too intrusive on the musician.
The main corrections are at very low levels, and in most practical live music settings, the effect is pretty minor.
As a rule-of-thumb guideline, turn the bass up a notch as you turn the volume down.

5) L1 versus B1 fall-off with distance
As many have observed, only the L1 qualifies as a Cylindrical Radiator™ loudspeaker, the B1 certainly doesn’t as it looks a lot more like “cubical” radiator. Only a cylindrical source will display 3 dB per distance-doubling falloff. The B1 is a conventional speaker and falls off with 6 dB per distance-doubling. Does that mean that the spectrum gets unbalanced with distance, i.e. not enough bass as we move away from the source?

Not really, and here is why: The observation of so-and-so dB per distance doubling is only true in “free field”, i.e. in some imaginary space that doesn’t have any reflective surfaces. Such a thing doesn’t exist. Most places where you play generate lots and lots of reflections. At any point in the room, the sound field consists of two components: 1) The sound that comes directly from the source aptly called “direct sound” and 2) all the sound that comes bouncing back from the walls, called “reverberant field”.

The level of the reverberant field tends to be roughly the same everywhere in the room. When you are close to the source, the “direct sound” dominates. As you move away from the source, the direct sound drops in level and at some point called “critical distance” the direct sound has the same level as the reverberant field. From this point on the reverberant field dominates and the sound level remains pretty much constant no matter how much further you move away.

The level of the “reverberant field”, the “critical distance”, and the “reverb time” are all close room acoustical cousins and basically determined by the geometry and amount of absorption of the room. In nearly all rooms, there is more absorption at high frequencies and less absorption at low frequencies. Less absorption makes the reverb time longer, the reverberant field level higher, and the critical distance shorter.

Another factor that influences the critical distance is the directivity of the sound source. Let’s make a thought experiment: Imagine a sound source that radiates “normally” to the front but nothing to the back. The direct sound level doesn’t change, but the reverberant level drops by 3 dB since the total energy radiated into the room has dropped by half. That means the critical distance has increased. Of course, that’s only true if you stand in front of the source. In the rear, there is no direct sound any more and the critical distance has become zero. We see that the directionality of the sound source increases the critical distance within it’s beam, cone, pie slice (or whatever shape it radiates), but decreases the critical distance outside.

Now what has all that to do with our initial L1/B1 problem? As it turns out the L1 has a much higher critical distance than the B1. That has two reasons: First, there is more absorption at higher frequencies. Second, the L1 is highly directional: it doesn’t radiate up or down.

Taking all this together we see roughly the following picture: The L1 has a fairly large critical distance, i.e. it’s mostly direct sound and that falls off with ca. 3 dB per distance doubling. The B1 has a short critical distance (not directional, low room absorption) so the behavior becomes quickly a mix of reverberant field and direct sound which tends to also look fairly similar to a 3 dB per distance-doubling fall-off over a good stretch.

To add insult to injury, this is all grossly simplified. In actual rooms, the reverberant field is never really constant, room modes get in the way, the L1 behaves not quite cylindrical in the lower mids, bass levels increase in the vicinity of wall, etc.

If it’s any consolation, we have actually measured the fall off versus distance for our combined system (L1 & B1) in a couple of different rooms and the 3dB per distance- doubling describes the measured data remarkably well.

If anyone is still awake after this lengthy lecture (apologies), I’ll try to tackle the “philosophical” stuff next.


See the original discussion
Updating the software to Version 2.0

Originally posted by Kyle-at-Bose:
Hi Greg/Jerry. Some random things to consider when upgrading your system by the download-burn CD method.

  • Burn the downloaded file as a "audio" CD, not a "data" CD
  • Make sure that your burn software has all processing disabled. Some software applies normalization. Check the options to make sure that this is OFF.
  • When you burn the CD, I actually prefer to burn 3 tracks of the same file in a row. So, in other words, tracks 1, 2, and 3 would be the same file.
  • On your DVD player you MUST TURN OFF ALL DSP PROCESSING like dynamic range compression, 3D effects, speaker size selection
  • If you are using a portable DVD player with a volume control, make sure that the volume control is at MAX.
  • On your DVD player, try BITSTREAM MODE first. If that doesn't work, we've seen PCM MODE work also.
  • When flashing the PS1 using the DVD player, it's sometimes good to start with the DVD player at STOP. Turn the PS1 off, then back on. Next, press play on the DVD player to start the upgrade process. Be patient, it sometimes takes 10 seconds or so to start the blinking.

I hope these suggestions help!

see it in context
L1 Cylindrical Radiator® loudspeaker

Modification to section:

Lesson: No need to remove the Bayonet to get it into the carry bags.

The Bayonet should not be removed from the top section of the L1 to get it to fit in the carry bags. It may be a stretch at first, but you can get the top portion of the L1 into the carrying bag. You'll soon find it fiting nicely.

Addition to Section:

Lesson: The Bayonet can be adjusted for easier mouting/dismounting with lower ceilings.

Newer L1 Cylindrical Radiator(r) loudspeakers have bayonets with three holes. With the upper L1 on a table or floor, you can easily unscrew the two Phillips-head screws from the Bayonet and reposition the Bayonet so that it does not protrude as much out from the upper L1. This gains you an extra inch of space when mounting/dismounting the upper L1 in places where the ceiling height is less than ideal.
Here are a couple of things I would have on hand (spares) that you can get on the Accessories page

Long remote cable(s): Not strictly necessary, but you might want to have one or more of these 33 foot cables. I use these on those rare occasions when I need to help from off-stage. But I also use them all the time in 'snakes' with 25 foot microphone cables. It just gives me more flexibility for stage layout.

B1 Cable: If you don't have ready access to 4 wire Speakon cables then might want a spare. Not because they fail, but in case you lose one. What I did was get an extra cable and a Female:Female Speakon adapter so I have a spare, but I can also use the spare as an extension if I need a few extra feet.

Fuses: I've never popped a fuse and you do get a spare with the System. Still, if power as an issue for you, you might want to be prepared..

If you are getting only one System (for now) you might consider getting an extra Remote. If you are getting more than one System then in a pinch you can set things up with a Remote on one System, then move it to another and use it there.

To be clear... I have never had a problem with any of these little things but if you are micro-attentive then you might want to have some of these close at hand.

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