Bose L1 servicing

A couple of customers with a Bose L1 + backing tracks set up have asked me about servicing the Bose L1 so here goes…

As far as I’m aware there’s no set service intervals given for the Bose L1 by Bose (if there is, someone will no doubt correct me), so it can probably be treated the same as any other amplifier/speaker system when it comes to servicing.

Many musicians only tend to get a service done on their musical equipment at the same time as they put it in to the workshop for some minor repairs (kinda killing two birds with the one stone).

However others feel safer working with gear that they know has been serviced at regular intervals.

If you’re in the latter camp, the service intervals you should choose will depend very much on how hard you drive your equipment and how often you use it.

As an example, if your gear gets gigged every night then you should probably get a yearly service done.

Weekend “giggers” on the other hand may be fine with a service to their gear every couple of years.

Another thing to bear in mind is that different people have different ideas about what a “service” should consist of and whether it’s really necessary at all if everythings working fine.

Even many engineers themselves believe that if your equipment is working just fine then it doesn’t need servicing.

There’s certainly a lot of logic in the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach, but the flip side of the coin is should you wait till your gear breaks down in the middle of a gig before you decide to get it serviced or does it make more sense to have it checked/serviced regularly to try and prevent this happening?

Many of us have probably had a car at one time or another where something mechanical went wrong shortly after we’d just spent a load of money getting it serviced.

Musical equipment is no different, so there’s never any guarantee that just because you serviced your amplifier last week it won’t break down next week.

That’s life I’m afraid!

Certainly, things that suggest your musical equipment is due for a service are little pops, crackles, hiss, hum from the speakers, noisy pots, knobs and sliders and dodgy jack inputs etc.

A good service engineer should also PAT test your gear at the same time he services it (PAT testing, among other things, involves basically blasting a heavy current through the earth system to show up anything untoward). A good service engineer will test the insulation in the lead and look for any signs of wear and tear, dry solder joints, fried components that need replaced or signs of overheated components that may be on the way out etc.

Unfortunately there are a few unscrupulous engineers out there who’s idea of a “service” is charging you a fortune while spending 2 minutes opening up your equipment and spraying the circuit boards with a can of compressed air to clear away the dust…so beware!

If you’re giving your equipment to an engineer to service or repair, ALWAYS make sure it’s someone reputable that you trust and don’t be scared to ask him to give you a checklist of exactly what he intends to do before you hand your equipment (and your money) over to him…