Bose L1 in 300 – 400 seat venues

Gary from the UK asked a question about using the Bose L1 with backing tracks in larger venues:

Hi Kenny
I’ve just been reading you article about the Bose L1 system, I recently aquired one of these sysems and like yourself I am very impressed, my old system was a Fohhn with 1x Bass bin and 2 x tops due to the portability of the bose and the quality I am thinking of getting a second system to use alongside my existing one just in case I should get any larger rooms.

Please could you advise firstly if you recommend that if i was going to do a venue of say 3-400 that “double” system would be suitable?

Also which is best way to link 2 x systems, do you link directly from amp 1 to amp 2 as in conventional amplifires or is it best to get a “splitter” from the one output on the tonematch and go indipendantly into each system?

Also am a little confused on the follow up article abot L1 and L1 classic, I thiught there were just 2 versions of the L1?

The L1 with the round base and the Mark 2 with more square base does this now mean there are actually 3 versions?

The system I have by the way is Mark 1 with 2 x bass bins and 1 x tone match which I am thinking about doubling with another Mk1 and another 2 x bins.

Any information would be much apreciated,

thank you very much,


Hi Gary

Good to hear from you.

I would say that two Bose systems would probably NOT be enough for playing to crowds of 3 – 400.

Two systems might just be enough, at a push, but it would have to be in a 3 – 400 seat “theatre type” environment – by that I mean where the audience are seated, are quiet and listening to you.

If you tried to use two L1 systems to get above the noise of an audience talking, dancing around, ordering their drinks, clinking of glasses and general burble of a crowd, then two systems would not be loud enough to cut through to 3 – 400 people.

Worse still, if you’re using two of the newer L1 500watt systems, they probably wouldn’t even be enough for a “quiet” theatre gig of 3 – 400 people.

You are correct about the different models.

There are 3 models, the 750w L1 Classic (round base), the 500w L1 Model 1 (round base) and the 500w Mark 2 (square base). The L1 Classic and L1 Model 1 look exactly the same (round base) which is what causes confusion.

Bose don’t sell the round base L1 Classic any more (the 750w model) so anyone who’s bought an L1 round base version in the last 6 months to a year most probably has the newer 500w model. You mentioned that you have the Mark 1 but don’t say if it’s the L1 Classic or the L1 Model 1 so depending on which vesion you have, it will be either the 750w round base model or the 500w round base model.

If you have the 750w L1 Classic you may struggle to find another 750w system because Bose don’t make them any more so you may have to settle for the newer 500w version which isn’t as loud.

If it’s any help, if I was booked to play a 3 – 400 seat cabaret/club type gig I would want to use my two L1 750w systems with two subs on each PLUS a couple of conventional 15″ or 18″ bass bins and amp. The Bose systems would handle just enough mid’s and hi’s to fill the room and the conventional bass bins would give the extra oomph needed for the bottom end required in a venue that size. I may alternatively consider using another two subs per side instead of the conventional bass bins (ie I would have 1 Bose pole and 4 subs per side) which would give me 2000w in total, probably JUST enough for a 3 – 400 venue. I’d keep my fingers crossed the audience were not going to be too loud or rowdy! Ideally, 4 Bose systems would suit a venue like this – I’d have no reservations about playing a 3 – 400 seat venue with 4 “poles” with two subs on each.

As regards connecting up two systems, I prefer to run my two L1’s in stereo. I find that they give a much better sound when used in stereo.

Conventional PA systems are (in my opinion) better run in mono because the audience members seated on the left hand side of the room can’t hear the music coming out of the right hand speakers (and vice versa). So stereo sound is all but lost when using a conventional PA in a cabaret room type environment.

However the Bose L1 disperses the sound around so incredibly well, that you CAN run two of them in stereo and everyone, no matter where they are seated in the room, will hear everything. Stereo works really well when using two Bose L1’s and sounds fabulous.

Hope this helps!