Question about Bose 901 VI Main / Stereo Speaker

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Bose 901 series V speakers

I just inherited two in great condition but the previous owner threw away the receiver because the lights didn't work anymore. Is there any other receiver (less expensive) I could hook these up to and have them work properly?

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Use a dedicated amp for ur 901s..and like the guru said,if ur doing multi channel amplification,just get ur front signal from ur control amp and feed it to ur 901 amp through the 901 eq.i used to work for bose as a service tech here in okinawa ,japan.

Posted on Jun 12, 2009

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Hi and welcome to FixYa,

To my knowledge, there is no specific receiver coupled to the 901 series of Bose speakers. Rather, there is an equalizer which serves as an active enhancer/band pass filter for the 901 to operate at its best on specific frequency.Before the 5.1, these equalizers are used through the Tape IN/OUT to received the audio signals, process them and feed them back into the receiver. In todays current designs of receivers and amplifiers, this equalizer would need not be used since most have their own sound processors (Dolby, DTS & others). In some other set-ups, 901s are used as center or front speakers.

Good luck and thank you for using FixYa.

Posted on Feb 08, 2009

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Actually, back in the late-70's, early-80's, Bose did make a couple of receivers that had the 901-specific EQ built-in. But that was for stereo only and pre-digital age.

I auditioned it with some Bose 901-III's, which had a three-wire interface to each speaker, as I recall, that allowed the receiver to vary the ratio of the outward-facing rear panels to the inward-facing rear panels to suit your tastes and the nature of the recording. Essentially, you could vary the apparent width of the soundfield - wide for large orchestral recordings through narrow for a string quartet, for example.

I heard Lucky Man by ELP at ear-bleeding levels and when the MOOG solo at the end came by the sales guy narrowed the field and it knocked my socks off. It was stunning.

If I ever have a chance to cop one of these puppies cheap, I might pick it up. I've had a lot of Bose in my life, from the Bose 301 series 1, 2 and 4, Bose 901-V (all still in use) and even the Bose after-market car speaker/amp system (model 1401??) in 1981 which, regrettably, went with the trade-in.

For you here and now: your best bet is to find an Active EQ on eBay that matches the series of your speakers.

To employ it in a modern AV multichannel rig:

The use of 901's in any digital AV receiver setup for anything EXCEPT STEREO listening through the 901's alone requires you to have a separate amplifier for them and to avoid having to use a Tape Monitor.

That is because if you activate any Tape Monitor circuit at all, you will kill any digital sources. That is a function of AV receivers in general, nothing to do with 901's. However, you can still draw the Front Left and Right signals out of any Pre-Out (with a Y-cable set, looping the Pre Out directly back to the Main In) or Tape Out jacks (remembering to NEVER activate that monitor on the receiver), go into the Active EQ's Amplifier Connections; then Out of the EQ's Amplifier Connection to a separate amp and attach the 901's to that amp. This way you won't introduce proprietary and potentially damaging Active Equalization back into anything in the AV Receiver with its conventional speakers.

Get yourself a nice separate amp, draw the Front L&R pre-out signals from wherever you can find them. On many, there is a pre-amp out for every channel in case you want to run external amps for any channels. That is how my old Pioneer VSX-36TX is equipped. For others, you may have to borrow the signals from a typical Tape- or Adapter-Out RCA pair. Just remember, AV receivers disable digital inputs as soon as you switch in a Tape Monitor, so choose one you won't have to switch IN. The signal Out is always there regardless of the monitor state.

The AV Receiver can still drive the Center, Surrounds and the Sub(s) as it is designed. This is how mine is wired.

Come to think of it, you could still have conventional Front L&R speakers on the AV Receiver, but why? Maybe one would prefer the 901's for music and some other speakers for surround. Level matching with the 901's to conventional front speakers would only be possible if the separate amp has its own volume, but it would work. Maybe I'll try it someday. None of my current amps has a volume control.

Posted on Nov 30, 2009

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