How do you develop such a powerful name? (Bose, Monster Cable, etc)
Dec 16, 2007 at 7:33 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 29

Jussei

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A couple of Bose threads popped up a little while ago which begs the question...
How did they get to the position they are in?

This Thanksgiving, my wife and I had her family over for dinner. They hadn't seen our new house since we did some remodeling so we showed them around.
I showed her dad my office/listening room. I've got around $20,000 worth of some of the highest reviewed audio equipment I could afford.
Granted a lot of it doesn't necessarily look like it's very great stuff (I'm guessing a non-Head-Fier would laugh at the fact I paid ~$300 for the Grado RA-1 by it's looks alone), but some of it certainly demands attention. I've got tubes sticking out everywhere and even if you know nothing about it, I would assume you'd think it's nice stuff capable of producing some great tunes.
Anyway, it's not that I'm trying to be an elitist here or say look! look! I have expensive audio stuff. I'm just leading up to the punch-line...
So, we then go take a look around the living room and here is where I get steamed. I'm slightly embarrassed to say, but I've got a Bose CD-3000 unit in the living room. It was the only 'pretty' thing that the wife said would fit with the decor. I got it for a really good deal and it makes music. It's truly the last thing that I would have picked, but it's at least a way to get music to that room in a small package that had some WAF. She didn't want wires, speakers, etc, but this is besides the point.
Anyway when we get in there, her dad and brother RAVE about the stupid Bose. "How do you like it?" "I'd love to have one of those." "How does it sound?"
WHAT?!? I just showed you some pretty incredible audio gear and you pick this thing to oooh and ahhh over?

This exact thing happened when my wife had some of her friends over recently. We showed them around the house, including my 'audio room' and as soon as we get to the living room... BAM! "Oh wow, how to you like that Bose?" "I just got a 1-2-3 system and I love it!" Ahhh! Granted, these people also scoffed at the idea when I offered them a Guinness or Stone IPA which I had in my fridge when Bud Light was the other option. It's the King of Beers! "How do you drink that Guinness crap?"

I guess my question is: How can people be so brainwashed into believing Bose, Monster Cable, and similar companies are the pinnacle of audio? I understand advertising plays an ENORMOUS role, but still it should really only be able to get you so far. You have to produce results at some time.

I've thrown together cheap $300-400 systems (speakers included) that stomp the Bose into the ground.

I try to explain this to them when we have people over, but it just makes them mad. They view me as a blasphemer and act as if I don't understand good audio equipment. Finally, I basically cave and say, "Yep, Bose is probably the best, I'm just an idiot, here is your Bud Light."

So, I'm not here to bash Bose. It's OK stuff, the CD-3000 I have does an OK job. It retails for around $1200. I paid around 1/4 of that. For $300 or so, it's an OK system. It's certainly nothing special by any means.

In closing, I've worked some things around with the wife and she is finally letting me set up a 'real' system in the living room. The Bose is now for sale and I'm replacing it with either a McIntosh Amp + Squeezebox to some nice Onix speakers or an Onix SP-3 + Squeezebox to the Onix speakers.
It'll be nice having that damn CD-3000 out of the house since it's all anyone can ever talk about when they come over. I guess they'll be unimpressed with the junk I replaced it with though.
 
Dec 16, 2007 at 7:46 PM Post #2 of 29

Uncle Erik

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You've got it partly right. Advertising plays a huge role. Bose sets itself apart as an audiophile system for the everyman, and are virtually the only company that does that. Bose is quite conscious of its reputation; you might be interested in their lawsuit against Consumer Reports:

Bose Corp. v. Consumers Union of United States, Inc - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

You'll also notice how they set their products apart from the others in consumer electronics stores. Direct comparison is not allowed and salesmen get entirely different perks for selling the Bose equipment.

Not only that, but some of the more unscrupulous news and reviewers will take cash and/or products in exchange for favorable reviews and opinions.

I'm sure they use a bit of viral marketing, as well. They know Bose won't fly in audiophile circles, but you can bet they have agents lurking many popular discussion sites to jump in recommend Bose any time someone asks about a stereo.
 
Dec 16, 2007 at 7:50 PM Post #3 of 29

vcoheda

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bose *is* high end for the uninformed. and most are.
 
Dec 16, 2007 at 7:55 PM Post #4 of 29

hanalei mike

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I think advertising in main stream media is definitely the reason.
people are ignorant of their options, they think it is the best because they are told it is the best. Grado? Akg? Sennwhatzer?, never heard of em.
and I get the Guiness thing all the time.

..........hey, btw,how much for the bose, i heard they are awsome!
 
Dec 16, 2007 at 8:01 PM Post #5 of 29

Jussei

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You've got it partly right. Advertising plays a huge role. Bose sets itself apart as an audiophile system for the everyman, and are virtually the only company that does that. Bose is quite conscious of its reputation; you might be interested in their lawsuit against Consumer Reports:

Bose Corp. v. Consumers Union of United States, Inc - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

You'll also notice how they set their products apart from the others in consumer electronics stores. Direct comparison is not allowed and salesmen get entirely different perks for selling the Bose equipment.

Not only that, but some of the more unscrupulous news and reviewers will take cash and/or products in exchange for favorable reviews and opinions.

I'm sure they use a bit of viral marketing, as well. They know Bose won't fly in audiophile circles, but you can bet they have agents lurking many popular discussion sites to jump in recommend Bose any time someone asks about a stereo.



Interesting read, I was unaware of the lawsuit.

I did know of the deceptive tactics they use in stores. I still think that even with all of that said, the product would still have to perform in the home of the buyer.
Do people just buy the gear, hook it up assured they have the best and that's the end of it?
What a crazy existence when you never question things and wholeheartedly believe what a salesman or the commercials tell you.
How did Bose develop the initial grip on the market? Did they have incredible capital to start with to pay off reviewers, stores, etc?
 
Dec 16, 2007 at 8:08 PM Post #6 of 29

Jussei

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hanalei mike /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I think advertising in main stream media is definitely the reason.
people are ignorant of their options, they think it is the best because they are told it is the best. Grado? Akg? Sennwhatzer?, never heard of em.
and I get the Guiness thing all the time.

..........hey, btw,how much for the bose, i heard they are awsome!



I'll sell the Bose to you for $1175. That's $25 off retail! I couldn't fathom going any lower because fidelity like this comes at a price!
It's truly the greatest piece of audio equipment I've ever owned! EVERYONE tells me so!
Thing is though, you'd have to go to Best Buy and get the $250 HDMI Monster Cable if you have a LCD TV, because I'd want to be sure you'd have the ultimate audiovisual experience possible. Be sure to get the extended warranty too!
 
Dec 16, 2007 at 8:09 PM Post #7 of 29

Socrates3000

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There seem to be 4 categories of audio equipment:

Stuff with a high reputation that sucks: Bose
Stuff with a high reputation that's good: Klipsch
Stuff without popular reputation that's good: Rockhopper Audio
Stuff without popular reputation that still sucks: I won't name some of the stuff I've had.
 
Dec 16, 2007 at 8:09 PM Post #8 of 29

mbriant

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Quote:

How did they get to the position they are in?


Simple answer: Effective marketing which includes not just advertising but excellent point of purchase displays.

I happen to think that both Bose and Monster Cable are treated unfairly all the time. IMO, neither brand deserves the scorn heaped upon it. Unfortunately, some people feel it's fashionable to slag them every chance they get.

Bose speakers, with their signature rear-firing drivers ( which is what they originally built their reputation/recognition on) have never been the most accurate in either frequency response or imaging .... two things the purist audiophile world generally prefers. Historically, this probably had the most to do with the general impression that "they suck". But IMO, their reflecting design does a better job of re-creating live rock ( and likely other types ) of music in a consumer's limited-size listening room, than most simple two way speakers .... because most live concerts are held in halls and arenas where the sound is BIG and reflections are big part of what people hear. If you've ever heard a pair of Bose 901's properly set up and equalized, you'd know what I mean. I can't help but think that many of the people who slag Bose, are either purists who place a high regard on imaging or people who haven't really heard them properly set up ... if at all.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that they're the best thing since sliced bread, but they can sound pretty darn good if you're not a purist looking to close your eyes and visulize that flute playing slightly forward and to the right.

I think another problem is that both Bose and Monster Cable were marketed as being better than your basic run-of-the-mill stuff ... which they are. But detractors always start out by incorrectly giving the impression that both brand's high visibility , consumer recognition, and popularity equal a claim that they are both the Rolls-Royces of the audio industry. Nobody's claiming that. Why this happens is beyond me. When Ford claims that the Focus is the best selling car in North America, nobody accuses them of comparing themselves in quality to Mercedes or Bentley .... so why draw that comparison to brands like Bose and Monster. Again, being popular and leading seller, doesn't mean a brand is the absolute best in the world compared to everything else there is ... it just means that it's popular with the mass market. I've never seen Bose claim that a pair of their $500 speakers is better than everything else in the world, so why keep attacking them as if they're claiming there's nothing on the planet at any price that can compete with them? Same thing with Monster.
 
Dec 16, 2007 at 8:30 PM Post #9 of 29

Jussei

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mbriant /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Simple answer: Effective marketing which includes not just advertising but excellent point of purchase displays.

I happen to think that both Bose and Monster Cable are treated unfairly all the time. IMO, neither brand deserves the scorn heaped upon it. Unfortunately, some people feel it's fashionable to slag them every chance they get.

Bose speakers, with their signature rear-firing drivers have never been the most accurate in either frequency response or imaging .... two things the purist audiophile world generally prefer. But IMO, their reflecting design does a better job of re-creating live rock ( and likely other types ) of music than most simple two way speakers because most live concerts are held in halls and arenas where the sound is BIG and reflections are big part of what people hear. If you've ever heard a pair of Bose 901's properly set up and equalized, you'd know what I mean. I can't help but think that many of the people who slag Bose, haven't really heard them properly if at all.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that they're the best thing since sliced bread, but they can sound pretty darn good if you're not a purist.

I think another problem is that both Bose and Monster Cable were marketed as being better than your basic run-of-the-mill stuff ... which they are. But detractors always start out by incorrectly giving the impression that both brand's high visibility , consumer recognition, and popularity equal a claim that they are both the Rolls-Royces of the audio industry. Nobody's claiming that. Why this happens is beyond me. When Ford claims that the Focus is the best selling car in North America, nobody accuses them of comparing themselves in quality to Mercedes or Bentley .... so why draw that comparison to brands like Bose and Monster. Again, being popular and leading seller, doesn't mean a brand is the absolute best in the world compared to everything else there is ... it just means that it's popular with the mass market. I've never seen Bose claim that a pair of their $500 speakers is better than everything else in the world, so why keep attacking them as if they're claiming there's nothing on the planet at any price that can compete with them?



Don't get me wrong, I don't want to seem like I'm bashing Bose, Monster Cable, et al. I mentioned that I don't mind the CD-3000. I've heard other Bose gear too that isn't bad.
I just find it frustrating that the automatic assumption is that it's the clear winner at it's price point, when that is almost never the case. When I try to enlighten people on this fact, they look at me like I'm a fool.
If I had to pick a $200 Sony shelf system from Circuit City or the Bose CD-3000 I have, the Bose would be my clear choice. But, if I had to build a system, ground up, for the same cost as the Bose CD-3000, I can (and have) done much much better.
I don't have a huge amount of experience with their speakers, but I'm still guessing that I could find significantly better at the price point. I'm sure that the 'no-name' (to the general population) companies like Totem, Dynaudio, Sonus Faber, Tyler Acoustics, etc could offer a much better value at the same price.
My point was not to say everything they offer is junk, it's not. Not by any means actually. I'm sure if I had to, I could live with an entire Bose system and find enjoyment in it.
I guess it's just the fact that there is this blind faith in it and thinking that, without question, it's the end all. This refers back to my original question of to how this happened.
I'd never compare the Bose system I mentioned to some Cello monoblocks or Wilson speakers, that's not fair and not my point. It's just shocking to me when I have multiple people come into my house and rave about my Bose unit and say nothing about a system I've worked tirelessly to put together over the course of years and years.
To each his or her own, but to use the car analogy again, if I was a car buff, it's like constantly getting compliments on my Civic (not to say it's a bad car, its definitely not), when my Maserati is sitting in the garage.
 
Dec 16, 2007 at 8:50 PM Post #10 of 29

mbriant

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Quote:

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to seem like I'm bashing Bose, Monster Cable, et al. I mentioned that I don't mind the CD-3000. I've heard other Bose gear too that isn't bad.


And don't get me wrong. My rant wasn't aimed at you. It was more of a general frustration with what appears to me to be a lemming mentality that seems to cause a number of people to make bold, exaggerated, negative, possibly even slanderous statements about products ... and sometimes even websites
wink.gif
based not on fair observation or honest, un-biased personal experience, but on peer influence alone. Of course this works both ways with negative and positive opinions.

Regarding my comments about the mass market vs. purist expectations, I think vcoheda said it best:

Quote:

bose *is* high end for the uninformed. and most are.


Most are uninformed in most product categories, not just audio. Sometimes we who tend to obsess over audio mistakenly start thinking that we're the normal ones.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Dec 16, 2007 at 8:51 PM Post #11 of 29

infinitesymphony

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Intentionally high pricing, show rooms / areas in every Best Buy, and extremely high WAF. Why else would people buy cubes with virtual bass and a "bass module" (not subwoofer) to fill out the low frequencies?
 
Dec 16, 2007 at 8:56 PM Post #13 of 29

Jussei

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mbriant /img/forum/go_quote.gif

Most are uninformed in most product categories. Sometimes we who tend to obsess over audio mistakenly start thinking that we're the normal ones.
smily_headphones1.gif



Very well put, I guess I often fail to think of it that way seeing how I talk to you Head-Fiers so often.
 

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