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-   -   Bose S1 Pro vs Acoustic Amp (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=596848)

Martin_F 10-31-2020 11:39 AM

Bose S1 Pro vs Acoustic Amp
 
I am looking to get a good rig that I can sing and play acoustic guitar through. It will be mostly for home, but also I want it to be good enough for small shows and jams. My question to those who may know, do you think you get better sound from a dedicated acoustic guitar amp like the Fishman Loudbox mini or the Boss live singer, or do you think the Bose S1 Pro might be a better choice?

I initially thought the Bose because it is likely to be a bit more versatile. But, I think there might be something to be said for the dedicated acoustic amps dealing with my LR Baggs under saddle pickup better. I know the boss has a setting to liven up the sound a little. If possible, I donít want to waste too much money on a DI box or anything now.

Any experiences out there between the two? What might you suggest?

Martin

dnf777 10-31-2020 01:08 PM

I am a huge fan of the Loudbox amps, but I also have the Bose L1 compact, that wins, hands down. Its ability to project a full depth sound is unreal.

Edit: oops, i just noticed you mentioned the bose s1, not L1...i think the s1 is a battery powered, updated version similar to the other acoustic array speakers, with the array built into the cab, instead of on a tall stick. My L1 is the most basic offering, and the built-in tone-match mixers are amazing. My Dred-jr plugged straight into the bose sounds darn near as good as any acoustic rig
Ive heard. You pay a premium, but the acoustic engineers at Bose are top notch, and it shows.

willymartin 10-31-2020 02:05 PM

If you are singing through it...S1 pro hands down winner...Fishman has a sightly better tone for guitar (IMO) but vocals do not compare. (You're not asking, so I apologize...but Genzler Acoustic Array Pro...tone of a Fishman, vocals of the S1 pro..but the S1 Pro is the most trouble free as far as handling feedback and dispersion)

Edit: Bose, IMO, would win hands down over the mini. When I said the guitar tone was slightly better through the Fishman I had the "Fishman Artist" in my mind.

Captain Jim 10-31-2020 06:31 PM

I have a LoudBox Mini and an S1 Pro - easy choice: the Bose. I prefer the sound with both guitar and vocals with the S1. Plenty of EQ in either. For guitar, the LBM has chorus that the S1 doesn't have. The Bose has two combo (XLR and 1/4") inputs with mic/guitar tone match on either channel; the LBM has one 1/4" input and one XLR.

If you want to put it on a speaker pole, the S1 has that fitting, the LBM does not. To cart around, I find the Bose more comfortable to carry. The exterior of the Bose isn't as fragile as the Tolex covering on the LBM. If you want to go with battery power, you can move to the LBM Charge, the S1 has battery power (after the first year of production).

rmp 11-01-2020 06:10 AM

hey ya only live once! Get a Loud Box AND an S1. Slave the S1 from the direct out off the loud box. That is a absolutely killer small live setup.

Yrksman 11-01-2020 07:06 AM

I use two S1 Pro amps and also an L1 Compact. Iíve used all sorts of equipment over many years. You wonít go wrong with either of these systems.

Methos1979 11-01-2020 08:34 AM

A lot depends on your budget and playing style. My wife and I (acoustic duo) use a dual Bose S1 Pro setup plus an EAE StompMix X6 digital mixer. This is a very modular system that allows us to use just a single S1 with one guitar and one mic for the ultimate in small, lightweight battery powered and super fast set up plus great sound.

But the S1 all by itself is limited in power, effects, EQ and input options. At $600 it's also not cheap. Add some sort of input preamp (the X6 in our case) and the S1 becomes a very loud and outstanding system. Slave a second one and now you've got a ton of tone, volume and dispersion. But you're also looking at well over a grand, closer to $2,000 depending on your preamp.

On the other hand, a really nice little dedicated acoustic amp can give you a sound that is more than good enough for at-home practice and play that will also give you enough for small venue gigs as well for a fraction of the price. You can pick up a used Loudbox Mini or even better, Artist, for $300 or less. That's a lot of amp for the money and will also have much better EQ and effects options.

If your budget allows then something like the EAE D6-8 system which is basically a small yet powerful amp with the wonderful EAE mixer built into the amp will give you more inputs, way more EQ and effects options through a speaker that sounds outstanding but in a single package. But you'll also pay more, upwards of $800-ish new.

So it sort of depends on you, your budget and what you want. If it was just me, starting over I'd go with the EAE amps as they offer everything I currently love in a single package. But just about anything you've mentioned would work well.

varmonter 11-01-2020 09:01 AM

If your trying to decide on one or the
other..and you currently have nothing..
I would get the bose. It will give you more room for expansion in the future.
The LBM has more features but will not make a good PA speaker in the long run.
I would look at a small mixer as well.
Like the zed10fx or signature series soundcraft. This will give you more control over
the bose. Which is where its lacking as
A standalone amp/pa.

JakeStone 11-01-2020 09:03 AM

I have the Bose S1 Pro and just recently got the Boss Acoustic Singer Live.

The Bose S1 Pro is fantastic unit and is of course very portable (battery). Works for home studio or living room jams and works well for me at just about any small venue, bar, brewery or outdoor patio show. Smallish crowds no prob.

I recently picked up a Boss ASL amp (60watt version) cost me $300 (used). It is all I need for solo Guitar and Mic .. sounds fantastic. Has some added tone shaping that the Bose does not have. Plus it has a very versatile I/O on back of unit. So I can use the ASL for solo (by itself or add the Bose S1 on a pole) and for Duo, Trio band gigs ... take the outputs to Mixer > PA Speakers. Using the little ASL as my monitor.

As a stand alone system for guitar.. I'd say the Boss ASL has the edge (over the Bose S1) for guitar sound. Straight in with no extra processors. Vocals (mic straight in no extra processors) I'd give the slight edge to the Bose!

For me ..The Boss ASL is way more versatile than the Bose. But again for Solo guitar, singer , Either set up works great!



Quote:

Originally Posted by Martin_F (Post 6538540)
I am looking to get a good rig that I can sing and play acoustic guitar through. It will be mostly for home, but also I want it to be good enough for small shows and jams. My question to those who may know, do you think you get better sound from a dedicated acoustic guitar amp like the Fishman Loudbox mini or the Boss live singer, or do you think the Bose S1 Pro might be a better choice?

I initially thought the Bose because it is likely to be a bit more versatile. But, I think there might be something to be said for the dedicated acoustic amps dealing with my LR Baggs under saddle pickup better. I know the boss has a setting to liven up the sound a little. If possible, I don’t want to waste too much money on a DI box or anything now.

Any experiences out there between the two? What might you suggest?

Martin


jwellsy 11-01-2020 10:31 AM

I get confused when looking at getting a decent amp. I know the S1 gets a lot of love which makes it really attractive. I'm sure it's really good choice. I've never heard an S1 in person. However, all the videos I've seen with the S1 sound IMHO a bit hollow boxy at lower volumes.

The best outdoor sound I've heard (in my very limited experience) are QSC powered speakers.

If you have any kind of pedalboard or mixer, why would you prefer a S1 over a powered speaker (other than battery power)?

dnf777 11-01-2020 01:15 PM

If you have any kind of pedalboard or mixer, why would you prefer a S1 over a powered speaker (other than battery power)?[/QUOTE]


To answer that, its best you listen and play through one in person. If youve ever heard how a tiny Bose Soundlink or Wave can fill a room with full sound, imagine that on a larger scale. Its a personal preference at that point.

Martin_F 11-01-2020 08:52 PM

Thank you all for your great input. Last night, a great deal came up for me on a Blackstar Sonnet 60. So, I picked that up used. The guy I got it from hadn’t really ever used it much. Then I went out and got myself a Sennheiser e935 for a mic. I was going to get a Shure SM 58, but the Sennheiser was on sale for half price. This price made it less than the SM58. The only thing the mic doesn’t have is a switch, which I tend to like. However, I wanted to try it out. I can always buy a Shure later.

For the price of the Sonnet, I could still get something else too. So, I figured it was a good deal and will serve me for a while. It also has a DI out to go to something larger. Actually, so far I really like it. It makes my LR Baggs ust pickups sound pretty good with a shaping feature. Vocals sound nice too. I still have to dial in “my tone”. But, so far I find it a great little amp. I played some music through it from Bluetooth and it does a very decent job at that too. Not quite as refined as my klipsch “the three” for a Bluetooth speaker, but definitely better than most for sound.

I played guitar and sang for about an hour or so. Really warm amp and the vocals come out sounding fairly balanced. Since it’s a new mic and new amp, I still have more experimenting to do to see what I can eventually get for sound. If I heard someone in a small bar playing with something like this, I think it would be good sound.

Since I have this, I may concentrate on getting something bigger than the S1 for later. But, I’ll play with this for a while and see how things go! I love new gear day! Maybe I will look at an Bose L1 early next year.

Martin

Methos1979 11-02-2020 07:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jwellsy (Post 6539322)
The best outdoor sound I've heard (in my very limited experience) are QSC powered speakers.

If you have any kind of pedalboard or mixer, why would you prefer a S1 over a powered speaker (other than battery power)?

Here's the short answer: If you prefer warmer, intimate space filling sound that does not need to overpower ambient noise, then you may prefer the S1 over a QSC. If you prefer/need a super clean, clear and articulate sound that can overpower any noisy venue with sheer volume then you would prefer the QSC over the S1, or any Bose system. Read on for more details.

For a short while we had the Bose S1 and a QSC k8.2. We used the S1 primarily with the QSC as a backup for when we needed more power. It quickly became apparent that our little acoustic duo and the gigs/venues we were playing would never require that much power. Since we'd become really enamoured of the Bose S1's sound, light weight, battery power and versatility we decided that a second S1 would be more useful for those occasions we needed more power and/or coverage. And having a second identical unit to the primary would make sense as a backup should there be a failure with the primary. So we sold the QSC and bought another S1.

That said, I did a LOT of back-to-back A/B testing between the QSC and S1 when I had both. I've got some demo videos if you haven't seen them where I play both outside cranked up and walk around my backyard listening to them. The QSC's do sound great really loud outside (and inside) in venues that need to be loud. I find that with large/full rock bands they just can't be beat. For a smaller solo or duo they sound great as well, especially if you need that much power. If you're playing REALLY loud then the QSC will beat the S1 hands down every time. But for us at least, as an acoustic duo playing acoustic songs we just don't need that kind of volume.

Bose tends to 'color' their sound. They always have. If you go onto any headphone audiophile forum discussion you'll always hear people talk about Bose and the way they 'color' their sound. And it's generally frowned upon. Headphone audiophiles tend to prefer a 'reference' sound which put simply is just the actual sound very clearly and cleanly amplified. If you are the type of person that does not like your sound to be 'colored' which is generally a warmer more intimate sound that fills the room but rather like a more sterile, clean and clear 'reference' sound than you would tend to like the QSC powered speaker over any of the Bose systems.

tadol 11-02-2020 10:46 AM

Iíll second that - Iíve been playing with a 2 S1 setup, and the flexibility, and quality of sound, is really good. The battery operation capability has proven to be fantastic (I even used mine to set-up a halloween experience for well distanced candy distribution for the little kids in my neighborhood). Bluetooth pairing is fun. Straight in guitar and vocals sound great with just a little reverb, but itís no problem to add some modification to the units with pedals. Throw on a subwoofer and itís a sweet PA system ready for a mixer. So far, theyíve been great -

My only experience with the QSC has been the band Iím in uses a pair of the K10.2s, which we use whenever we play, primarily for vocals (4 singers). The other guitar player and I did a couple nursing home shows, taking just one QSC and my Bose T1 mixer, and it sounded good, but I know the S1s would have been better -

Martin_F 11-02-2020 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Methos1979 (Post 6540035)
Bose tends to 'color' their sound. They always have. If you go onto any headphone audiophile forum discussion you'll always hear people talk about Bose and the way they 'color' their sound. And it's generally frowned upon. Headphone audiophiles tend to prefer a 'reference' sound which put simply is just the actual sound very clearly and cleanly amplified. If you are the type of person that does not like your sound to be 'colored' which is generally a warmer more intimate sound that fills the room but rather like a more sterile, clean and clear 'reference' sound than you would tend to like the QSC powered speaker over any of the Bose systems.

Bose have been the leaders in psychoacoustics for a while. I'm not sure what research they feed off of, but they have always been making things to "sound bigger" than what they are. They do this by accentuating some frequencies and not others. So, you are absolutely correct that audio purists will pretty much always reject Bose equipment. That being said, I have other Bose home audio products that I absolutely love because they sound big for their size and, to my ears on a regular listening level, sound great. Now, when I sit down to really listen to music, I have a Rotel system with good speakers and everything and a Klipsch "the tree" for bluetooth/network listening. However, Bose does a great job in providing big sound in a small package. Is it acoustically accurate? I doubt it. From what I have read, they use the same psychoacoustic principles in their PA systems. By following some of their principles, they make less wattage sound bigger than what it is because of how it's EQ'd and how they arrange the drivers. Most people notice that it is very hard to find out how many actual watts any Bose system has. They don't really advertise that because they put their hopes on making things sound bigger than what they are.

Is this a good approach? Maybe. I guess you could debate it back and forth. Most people are pretty happy with the Bose stuff. They tend to have pretty good QC and back up their products pretty well.

From what I have heard, the S1 and L1 are both pretty good systems for smaller gigs. Would they be as good playing something very loud and heavy, like metal? I doubt it. For that kind of thing, you want raw power. For jazz or acoustic listening? More likely. I originally wondered how Bose dealt with things like the UST for a guitar pickup. Some amps don't respond to them very well with too much quack and everything. I've heard Bose systems used at a bunch of gigs, but never really paid too much attention.

Martin


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