Build of bose speaker drivers...
Feb 22, 2006 at 6:56 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

strogg

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 31, 2003
Posts
424
Likes
10
OK, without turning this into an "i-hate-bose" thread or a flaming thread, i ONLY want this question answered: what materials (and qualities of) are the bose drivers made of, mainly those for the 901's or the acoustimass series.

bose doesn't publish the info, and for some reason, i can't find much on it online. all i know is that it's cheap. but i need more than that. i'm writing an essay for english class, and one of the paragraphs i want to write about is on the build quality of bose drivers. i know it's odd, but that's what i want.

and of course, if you got it from online, please cite your sources
wink.gif
if it was from pure observation, than say so. thanks
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Feb 22, 2006 at 7:33 AM Post #2 of 14

Wodgy

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Posts
4,657
Likes
12
Bose drivers are made of treated paper. You can see photos of some of them here:
http://www.oaktreeent.com/Bose_Speaker_Parts.htm

There's nothing wrong with treated paper, by the way. Many of the most expensive Scanspeak drivers, such as the ones used in the Sonus Faber Cremona, use treated paper. I personally believe treated paper is a superior cone material than magnesium and other rigid metal cone drivers, because it has superior damping properties and can be implemented with a less complex crossover. (Polypropylene is probably the worst cone material.) Certainly, when shopping for sub-$1000 speakers, I wouldn't buy one with metal cone drivers. Been there, done that. Doesn't sound good. Even metal cone speakers with good crossovers tend to sound harsh on a majority of commercial recordings. It looks like John Krutke has taken down his page on cone material, or I'd point you there.

Also, this will probably destroy my credibility instantly: I would never buy Bose for myself, but Bose is not such a bad value for many people when you consider the entire picture. Bose also doesn't deserve the reputation as being shameless peddlars of useless technology. The record doesn't support that. Dipole speakers are finally becoming popular these days (e.g. Linkwitz Orion). Who pioneered this concept? Bose, with the 901, 25 years ago! Who pioneered the sub/bookshelf arrangement that's virtually ubiquitous these days? Bose, 10 years before it became mainstream. Single driver crossoverless speakers are popular too these days. Who's been selling them for ages? Bose. Bose is not the magic their marketing makes them out to be, but they're not the devils most audiophiles make them out to be either, if you sit back and look at things objectively.
 
Feb 22, 2006 at 7:42 AM Post #3 of 14

allenf

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Posts
1,110
Likes
11
It is only fair to point out that the Acoustimass speakers sound terrible, really awful by any standards. By marketing rubbish like those as some kind of ultimate Home Theatre solution, Bose deserve all the criticism they get.
 
Feb 22, 2006 at 8:10 AM Post #4 of 14

Wodgy

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Posts
4,657
Likes
12
Quote:

Originally Posted by allenf
It is only fair to point out that the Acoustimass speakers sound terrible, really awful by any standards. By marketing rubbish like those as some kind of ultimate Home Theatre solution, Bose deserve all the criticism they get.


Well, to be fair, all single driver crossoverless speakers sound pretty poor, not just Bose. But "audiophile" brands like Omega, nOrh, Zu, etc. get a pass on various forums for reasons I don't entirely understand.
 
Feb 22, 2006 at 9:09 AM Post #5 of 14

CRESCENDOPOWER

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Posts
2,581
Likes
10
Quote:

Well, to be fair, all single driver crossoverless speakers sound pretty poor, not just Bose.


Sometimes it’s not just strictly about what type of design is used, it’s about how that design is implemented.

Quote:

But "audiophile" brands like Omega, nOrh, Zu, etc. get a pass on various forums for reasons I don't entirely understand.


Not all crossover less speakers are created equal.
 
Feb 22, 2006 at 10:09 AM Post #6 of 14

strogg

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 31, 2003
Posts
424
Likes
10
thanks so far
smily_headphones1.gif


yeah, i figured it is made of treated paper. consdering that the cheap-esque single driver tang band speakers i have are treated paper as are the much better hi-vi's sitting right in front of me. ironically, my subwoofer has an aluminum cone. diy'ed, the sub only cost me $250 in parts, yet, sounds better than anything you would find at best buy, et al. well, it is a single-driver sub, which is probably why i was able to get away with it
wink.gif
but that's besides the point. i was thinking more along the lines of the other parts of the bose drivers. for example, the surround. i think there's evidence that the surround will wear out easily, yes? i'm not terribly sure about that claim, though. also, how robust is the rest of the driver?

to elaborate further (since wodgy pointed it out), this essay is on the debatable performance and audio fidelity of bose speakers. mainly on if the high quality really is "high quality". cuz what they strive to do is to make EVERYTHING sound good, at least psychologically, yet, they suffer when you put some high quality recordings to it. having tried the bose triports and qc2's before, i am honestly impressed at the performance. it really made the low quality recordings sound very good. that's what inspired me to pick that topic. the only trouble is that i know little to nothing about what goes into making the bose speakers.

oh yeah, and i don't care if the bose drivers really are robust and well built (in which case i stand corrected); i just want to find the truth. this essay is supposed to be objective and unbiased, and i would like to know which side this would support, if any.
 
Feb 22, 2006 at 3:53 PM Post #8 of 14

BlindTiger

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 8, 2003
Posts
1,016
Likes
10
Correct me if I'm wrong, but does bose still use paper cone tweeters?
I'm referring to their speaker that sits horizontally.
 
Feb 22, 2006 at 4:03 PM Post #9 of 14
Joined
Jan 9, 2003
Posts
4,138
Likes
2,353
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wodgy
Bose drivers are made of treated paper. You can see photos of some of them here:
http://www.oaktreeent.com/Bose_Speaker_Parts.htm

There's nothing wrong with treated paper, by the way. Many of the most expensive Scanspeak drivers, such as the ones used in the Sonus Faber Cremona, use treated paper. I personally believe treated paper is a superior cone material than magnesium and other rigid metal cone drivers, because it has superior damping properties and can be implemented with a less complex crossover. (Polypropylene is probably the worst cone material.) Certainly, when shopping for sub-$1000 speakers, I wouldn't buy one with metal cone drivers. Been there, done that. Doesn't sound good. Even metal cone speakers with good crossovers tend to sound harsh on a majority of commercial recordings. It looks like John Krutke has taken down his page on cone material, or I'd point you there.



To add another subjective data point, my Tannoy Eyris DC3's use treated paper (multi-fiber pulp) cones for midrange & bass. They sound fantastic. I've also got some Taylo Ref Monitors with a 7" SEAS Magnesium driver for midrange & bass - the midrange by comparison sounds dry, uninvolving, and yes a bit grainy & harsh.
 
Feb 22, 2006 at 6:34 PM Post #10 of 14

Wodgy

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Posts
4,657
Likes
12
Quote:

Originally Posted by mulveling
To add another subjective data point, my Tannoy Eyris DC3's use treated paper (multi-fiber pulp) cones for midrange & bass. They sound fantastic. I've also got some Taylo Ref Monitors with a 7" SEAS Magnesium driver for midrange & bass - the midrange by comparison sounds dry, uninvolving, and yes a bit grainy & harsh.


That's something I've noticed too. The Seas W18 is literally one of the lowest distortion drivers in the world when measured, but it's so dry and lean that it tends to leave people dissatisfied. If the breakup mode is not properly dealt with in the crossover, it can sound harsh, and of course it sounds harsh on "bad" recordings. Not that it can't be done well, but it does illustrate the idea that the most expensive drivers don't necessarily lead to the most musical satisfaction to an average person.
 
Feb 22, 2006 at 9:50 PM Post #12 of 14

seeberg

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 8, 2002
Posts
2,619
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by BlindTiger
Correct me if I'm wrong, but does bose still use paper cone tweeters?
I'm referring to their speaker that sits horizontally.



Yes, they do in anything that uses a tweeter, because it is more economical to assign one type of tweeter to most of their product line that calls for it, however they have at least two different sizes of tweeter currently in use. I'm also unsure of specifically what the Jewel Cubes use because I've only seen them in real life once, and that was it. Beyond that, to be very specific about what type of Bose drivers are used in what, it's mostly treated paper woofers with foam surrounds- this applies to all x01 speakers, except perhaps re-coned 901's with fabric surrounds, and Acoustimass system midrange drivers, which are a combo of treated paper and treated cloth surrounds.

More than likely, this also applies to their professional line of products as well, since they use the same drivers, although modified for the sake of being extremely rugged. This I believe is what the treated cloth surround is for, since it doesn't deteriorate the same way or within the same length of time as a foam one.

Now I've beaten this topic to death, but the biggest exception to perhaps all this is thier premium Japanese line, which uses drivers that are a modified spec of their HVC drivers, i.e. the 901's and 802's- these have treated paper with what seems to be metallic fibers in the cone, with treated cloth surround, and sound VERY good compared to the standard fare of Bose speakers sold here in the US.

I have a pair of 171 bookshelf speakers that were sold in Japan as part of their premium Westborough line (as WB 121's) and they meet this criteria- they also sound very good IMHO, and are not characteristic of the "no highs, no lows" philosophy, although they are admittedly a little lean on bass. Not too much though for a 4.5" driver. Unfortunately, I only have experience with that pair only, and my search for the fabled 464 floorstanding tower pair or their WB 901's will have to wait until I can afford a trip to Japan to audition them
smily_headphones1.gif


Guess that's the knowledge I walk away with as a former "Boseophile" before my HeadFi days...

580smile.gif
,
Abe
 
Feb 22, 2006 at 11:38 PM Post #13 of 14

Wodgy

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Posts
4,657
Likes
12
Quote:

Originally Posted by allenf
This should tell you all you need to know:
http://www.intellexual.net/bose.html



That site is full of misinformation and just plain ignorance. The most glaring example is the section where he claims that there is a huge (-6dB) null around 200 Hz. That's because he plots the individual responses of the satellites and the sub, not their sum. It is actually a clean 24dB/oct Linkwitz-Riley crossover. But of course that doesn't fit his agenda. He probably has never even heard of a reverse null.

The peak in the upper midrange is typical (indeed, characteristic) of single driver crossoverless speakers. Omega loudspeakers, etc. have the same problems, which is why they never publish their frequency response measurements either. Take a look at the measurements for Zu Druids:
http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/me...zucable_druid/
(Those were taken at Canada's National Research Council, btw, not some guy's garage.) The Druids sell for $4000 and measure much worse than the Bose units. But for some reason people don't put up webpages slagging the Druids, and there are plenty of rabid kool-aid drinking Druid owners who come out of the woodwork every time someone says something negative about them on some forum. (Space cadet Srajan Ebaen at 6moons even published an special editorial defending his bizarre love for these things with a picture of a guy giving the finger to the critics.)

BTW, at least Bose attempts to improve the horizontal dispersion of their single driver units by angling two drivers at a small angle to each other.

Bose is not magic, nor are they high-end, but they're not a pile of snakeoil either. They're tuned to make average music sound enjoyable to average people, and there is decent though not great engineering behind their designs.
 
Feb 23, 2006 at 12:08 AM Post #14 of 14

nysulli

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Posts
600
Likes
10
funny thing happened the last 2 days

about a month back my advisor started listening to music all the time, got a new video ipod, grew tired of the stock earbuds and picked up a pair of bose triports from bestbuy or whoever just cause thats what the guy said was the best in the store, well he finally took them to work yesterday, i gave them a listen, then brought in my hf-1's for him to give a try, not that the bose are that horrible, but he doesn't have a trained ear, but within 2 songs (eric C. - layla, queen - another one bites the dust) he exclaimed just how much better the grado's were, now he's trying to get his grubby little hands on my beloved hf-1's, but he's currently heading to the local grado dealer to audition some others
rs1smile.gif
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top