Bose L1 limits in large venues

Peter, one of our regular backing track customers and a Bose L1 user is thinking of going back to using a conventional PA system…

Hi Kenny
Just been reading your reviews on the bose L1 system.
I bought a bose L1 model 2 system last year with the
tone match and im finding that it limits very easy in
bigger venues and I am considring going back to
conventional speakers. What do you think?

Hi Peter

Personally, I would never go back to a conventional PA system because the quality of sound from the Bose L1 is so far ahead of any conventional speaker that’s available today that going back to a conventional PA would be a step backwards.

You would, in effect, be giving your audience an inferior sound (no matter how good the conventional PA you change to is).

The issue with the new Bose L1 is volume/loudness.

It doesn’t look like Bose are going to address this problem (in fact, they don’t even admit the problem exists!) so to keep the quality of sound but achieve the desired volume in a large venue, the only option is to use more of the Bose systems.

I presently have two Bose L1’s (albeit the more powerful original versions giving out 750w each). They handle medium sized venues very well. They handle large venues relatively well, but can really struggle when the audience are in a party mood, talking or shouting loudly etc – that’s when you notice that the Bose struggles to get above the noise of the crowd AND fill the large venue with sound at the same time.

Robert, our resident singing expert who works on the team here at MP3 Backing Trax also has two Bose L1 systems and he reports exactly the same findings.

Fortunately whenever either of us has to play a very large venue, we can borrow each others L1’s giving us 4 systems (3,000w).

If you’ve got deep pockets, then buying another one or even two Bose L1’s is the best way to achieve that increase in volume while keeping that superb quality Bose sound.

However if expense is an issue (and at £2,000 a pop it has to be an issue for most of us gigging musicians) then you may have to just bite the bullet and settle for a lesser quality PA system but with the power you need. No matter how good quality the Bose system is, if the audience can’t hear you, then you do yourself, your audience, and your act no favours.

The most annoying thing about all this is that not one musician or singer I’ve spoke to was advised by the sales assistants when they were buying their Bose L1 about it’s volume limitations.

And as for Bose, well, I originally believed that they were just like Ostrichs burying their head in the sand trying to ignore the fact that this problem exists. But Robert offered to take the Bose rep to one of his gigs and let him actually hear the limiting. He declined.

If Bose don’t address this problem soon, they risk ending up looking more like sharks than ostrichs…