Skip to comments.Founder of Mass.-based Bose audio firm dies at 83 (Amar Bose)
Posted on 07/12/2013 5:06:04 PM PDT by EveningStar
Acoustics pioneer Amar Bose, founder and chairman of the audio technology company Bose Corp., known for the rich sound of its small tabletop radios and its noise-canceling headphones popular among frequent fliers, has died at age 83.
Bose's death was announced Friday by the company's president, Bob Maresca, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Bose began his acoustics research and was on the faculty for more than 40 years.
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Rest in Peace without noise.
Listening to my Bose Wave Radio/CD player right now. Bought it back in the 90’s when they were heavily advertised on Rush’s show.
I have external Bose speakers plugged into my laptop.
Aww. My Bose speakers are wonderful. RIP.
Don’t what to say something bad about the dead but Rest in Peace.
However, Bose’s products are junk, whether your car comes with it or that radio you see an ad for on TV ever few commercials, Bose products sound terrible.
The saying, no highs no lows, must be Bose is accurate.
I wish I could remember who it was but Bose was showing his speakers at an expo when another manufacturer created a bunch of buttons that said, B.S. but spelled out. Pretty funny.
I had a car with Bose speakers that died and Bose said they’d replace them for free. Six months later and no speakers, I went to Frys and bought regular speakers (Bose were, I believe 4 ohm) and the teenage salesman said the speakers I was looking at would never work as Bose are specialy designed. Since I design and build audio equipment in my spare time, his advice meant nothing to me. The 8 ohm speakers I bought worked fine and sounded excellent. I replaced them in the parking lot at Frys, I was tempted to get the ‘audio expert’ to listen to how it sounded but I didn’t care enough. I should have asked him what 4 ohms means and why does it matter?
So, he ripped off Colin Chapman and instead of hydraulics, he used electronic actuators. Great, my car had that in 1997 using the proven hydraulic actuators and nitrogen accumulators.
Buy Other Sound Equipment
Love my 501s
I have 5 of his products.
Very mid-range-y. An often voiced phrase about the speakers.
I have that, too. Given to me years ago as a b-day present and was apprehensive at first, as it was mostly shown on late night ads. Now I have the entire sound system for my home theater.
“No highs, no lows... Must be Bose.”
Isn’t that cool? I wonder how much cost it would add to a car?
any opinions about the bluetooths.
Just parroting an audiophile friend of mine who wasn’t a fan of his products. Don’t know about the bluetooths. RIP Amar Bose.
The higher impedance will only lower the available power the car’s audio amplifier can put out before it starts clipping (distorting severely). The up side is the speaker damping should be better.
I bought my Bose Acoustic Wave back in 86 and it still kicks ass in the sound department.
Feel better now?
You sound like a legend in your own mind.
Had a couple of sets of 501’s and 901’s through the years. the early 901’s were awesome. Playing an Andre Bocelli CD through them would bring tears to your eyes. Later stuff seems to be not as good and always overpriced. Still fun though.
RIP, Mr. Bose.
bose acoustimass wow even the shelf speakers are amazing RIP
There might have been superior products, as others have mentioned.
Everything that I have heard in the last 20 years or so is just OK, maybe great for the AM radio listener.
Every product is perfect for somebody.
I can name 30 United States speaker designers better than him. I went to many Audio Show in Chicago and Las Vegas. Bose was one of the worse speakers at the show. The old 901 was terrible. His designs were bad copies of other peoples work and ideas of old concepts. The Bose company screwed their dealers and no one carried the speaker line for long periods. Your post was correct. There are a few audio companies that their egos go beyond their quality. Bose is in the top 10.
Your experience proves nothing about the quality of Bose products other than you have had problems; not all do, you know.
I have a Bose radio/CD player and my wife and I love it.
I also have Bose speakers for my computer. Same.
We just disagree. That’s all.
My complaint with the Bose Acoustimass system was that it had great highs and great lows, surrounding a big hole in the middle.
You have Bose, that’s nice for people why aren’t audiophiles.
I have two 60 Watt Tube Dynacos I modified myself along with American Acoustic speakers along with an ancient Heathkit preamp and I can guarantee you would notice the difference.
Go to some of the audio boards and you’ll see what people think of Bose. Yeah, a 4” woofer will work as well as a 12” woofer, yeah right. I don’t care how efficient it is.
I prefer to build, except for speakers and turntables.
I’m making a very common comment about Bose speakers.
You let me know when you can design a tube or transistor or FET amp from scratch and I might listen to you.
Look up Bose on the web and for people where sound counts, they just laugh at Bose.
Those were good speakers, we’re talking about the triangle shaped ones with multiple speakers, yes?
Those I would own.
But the later products were just average.
So, you're an audiophile. Well, isn't that special?
I guess we of the unwashed just don't know what we'e missing.
I was in the last class to be taught vacuum tube theory at the University of Wisconsin. Like I said, you are a legend in your own mind.
OK, when CDs came out, what did you prefer soundwise, CDs or Vinyl? Not today’s CDs but when they first came out. While everyone was saying how great they were, there were a lot of people that thought CDs sound like shattered glass compared to the warmth of vinyl and they did. If you cranked up a CD it sounded horrible.
I won’t even mention the supposed indestructibility of CDs although they do look cool in the microwave.
Then you should know better.
I concede that vinyl is vastly superior to CDs. That said, how would you like to try to play a LP in your car? But you can play a CD. One surrenders quality for convenience.
The problem with you is that you seem to be a snob, of the audio kind.
You may say snob, I say expert and so do the people I've done work for and it's just a hobby to me.
I've been to a lot of concerts and I don't remember any Bose speakers. I've heard cars that were Bose equipped and they sounded lousy. Not just bad but it sounded like they boosted the mids and attenuated the bass and treble, it just sounded bad and I've heard it in more than one car model. Bose is overpriced and really under performing.
I've got a CD player in my car but it sounds better if you rip a MP3 at a high sampling rate and play it that way. There was actually a car that came with a turntable. This isn't the one I was thinking of since I think it was a Lincoln that had it but this is pretty cool:
Does the guy in the ad look like Alec Baldwin's dad?
Next thing people will be talking about how their $100 audio cables sound so much better than what you can get at Radio Shack.
Here's another example of where speakers matter. If I understand it right Joe Walsh's trademark sound is obtained by his use of 8" speakers no one else uses. It only makes sense if a person liked Walsh's music having 8" speakers included in your speaker system would greatly enhance it.
Personally I prefer older speaker systems with multiple range speakers in the cabinet at least three but prefer five. One of my prize possessions as a teen in the 1970's was a set of speakers my uncle had made up and gave to me with five to each cabinet. They could be driven by a small transistor radio or later by my 100 watt stereo system. They had no preamp.
Different size speakers, different brands, and differing magnets and material etc will give different sounds that is a given fact. A Bose sound system is basically a compromise in that respect. Standing alone if it's all you have it will sound great. IOW it sure beats nothing IMO. My Mom has a Bose CD player and speakers in her Tahoe and yea I like popping in a CD when I'm taking it to fuel it up for her. For a vehicle system it has good sound. Mowing I use an MP3 player with ear buds and shooters head set. By no means great quality but it breaks the monotony of mowing.
In the house I have my component system. I have a turntable, CD, and tuner. I also have a true full size speaker system hooked to it. I do like Vinyl but I also like the portability of either CD or MP3 outside the house. Also some of my vinyl is now damaged after years of use and CD's is the easiest to obtain replacement.
I use a MP3 player on highest rate going through a Cassette adapter on the factory player that came with the truck in 1995. For a vehicle setting it's OK.
I love the miniaturization of BOSE sound systems. People bought them and then donated their older sound system especially the larger speaker systems to thrift stores where I have scored $500 plus range pair of speakers for $25 a set :>} Now that makes me happy happy happy LOL.
Actually, possibly depending on the time frame, Bose car speakers were 1 ohm impedance, so if the car had amps made for those speakers, running 8 ohm speakers made for a pretty big sensitivity hit. But, if the new speakers played loud enough for you, the amp was loafing, and you’d probably never blow it.
The electronics likely also had equalization built in to boost the highs and lows of the Bose speakers, so you probably got LOTS of highs and lows with the new speakers in there. :-)
Strictly speaking, the old Bose 901’s (the “direct / reflecting” home speakers Bose was best known for, until the Wave Radio came along) also had eq. to boost the highs and lows to a respectable level. The real problem was that this eq. required a LOT of power on the low end, and the speakers were subject to a LOT of harmonic and intermodulation distortion if “pushed” on the low end. Even the later ported versions were much improved by adding a good subwoofer.
Not necessarily... And I say that despite maintaining a much larger collection of vinyl than polycarbonate (CD's).
"What happened" is that with most turntables, you get all kinds of resonances and (hopefully somewhat suppressed) feedback in the turntable and in the record itself. These tend to euphonically "warm up" the sound. With CD, little of that occcurs. It took most recording studios a while to adjust to that. Moreover, I read (somewhere) that during this period a lot of studio monitors were replaced with a "new generation", and I do know for a fact that acoustics of recording studios have evolved a lot, over the years, all further contributing to changes in how music is typically "enhanced", and equalized on its way to becoming a published recording.
Home loudspeakers have also evolved -- until recently, few home speaker systems or designers took into account something called "diffraction loss", which can make a recording that is actually fairly true to the original ("Hi-Fi", right?) sound thin and harsh. Here's a good explanation of diffraction loss:
I won't even get into typical changes in room decor and acoustics...
Anyway, it took the studios a while to catch up. (Alan Parsons hints at some of this in the liner notes to the re-release of his "Tales of Mystery and Imagination", which can be found as a double CD of both the original release and the re-release -- quite fascinating to compare, really.) But all that said, all that some of those screechy sounding early CD's need is a little tweaking with an eq. And not all are screechy or harsh sounding: For example, I have the original release of Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" on CD, and on good speakers, it sounds wonderful. In fact, the more high end the speakers (excluding poor designs), the better it sounds.
Another factor is that many CD's have had multiple releases, some better than others, and many times European or Japanese releases are better than the U.S. releases. U.S. releases are too often geared toward people with boom boxes or cheap car stereos, apparently.
Yet another factor in recent years, this one a negative, is something called the "Loudness Wars". See YouTube or Google for more info., if you have not already. Basically, most modern recordings are "squashed" (heavily compressed) to get the maximum average loudness out of each track. (This and other tricks are how TV commercials are made subjectively "loud".) Unfortunately, this sort of thing cannot be fixed with eq. It also means that some LP's actually have much better dynamic range than some CD's, despite the CD's theoretical advantage. It can even happen to some degree with the same album on both media. For example:
Believe me, that Adele recording has more problems than dynamic range, but that CD's dynamic range is pretty pathetic. By comparison, the 1985 German release of Supertramp's "Brother, Where You Bound" is a great recording -- simply stunning on a really good system, and it's not even an "audiophile" CD. (Mobile Fidelity, Sheffield Lab, etc.)
Or if you prefer, say, Mancini, his daughter's tribute album, "Ultimate Mancini", is a gorgeous recording: I've wowed high end mfgr's at CES selling speakers upward of $50,000 a pair(!), with that one, and my copy is "just" an ordinary (Redbook) CD, competently and lovingly done.
One surrenders quality for convenience.
Well, unless you have a serious SAF (spouse acceptance factor) at play*, that's not necessarily true, either.
*Even if 4" tall speakers are the most your spouse will allow in the house, there are always VERY good headphones for well under $200.
Then, yes, you might have to pick your source material carefully, or invest in a good eq. (or eq. software), and record your own CD's for the car. With a little work and modest expense, almost anyone might be surprised at how much more they can find in their music, or how little sacrifice of quality is really necessary... :-)
As for Dr. Bose, no, for "critical listening" purposes Bose speakers do not meet my standards, if I go into that "mode". But neither would AAL's speakers. Each person has at any given time their own standard -- I just try to encourage people "up" once in a while, because great sound can be SO rewarding. Still, Amar Bose was as well-known as one can get, in audio, and he brought a lot of enjoyment of music to a lot of people. Plus he gave much of what he had to MIT a couple years ago most commendable. It is with regret that I see him pass.
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