The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Acoustic Amplification

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 10-28-2017, 07:24 AM
JakeStone JakeStone is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 2,910
Default Compare Bose L1 Compact vs Fishman SA330x

There are so many choices out there for personal PA Systems. They ALL have their pros and cons. Plus, we as players are all different. SO it is not a one size fits all area.

My needs case: I play guitar and sing.. Nothing crazy.. Typical classic rock, country, folk for Bars, Wine Bars, Small situations. PLUS I now have a Duo partner coming with me (Occasionally) that also plays guitar and sings.
But mainly this is for my solo gigs. But want the flexibility to add him in to the "mix".

OK.. I had recently bought a new SoloAmp 220 from a dealer. But it had a problem with the amp section and it's been returned. So I am looking this as opportunity to perhaps step up to something else.

I have $800-1000 to spend.. I am now looking hard at the SA330x and the Bose L1 Compact.

I have to admit.. I like the Bose concept. I like the bass speaker on the floor and the highs elevated. I think it sounds and projects really well.

But I had the Fishman 220 for a day and really liked it as well. Nice array of inputs/outputs plus it sounded great!... I also liked that it had reverb which sounded very usable and could come in handy for plug and play simple set up. (Although I do have a TCH Play Acoustic for my effects).

SoOo .. Anyone try both? Or have any advice on which one they would choose and why? OR, of course feel free to advise on other systems.

Lastly, I want something sleek, sounds really good, easy to transport, easy set up and very clean looking. (hope that makes sense)

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-28-2017, 07:35 AM
leew3 leew3 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,087
Default

My response has the potential to be a hijack and will likely be a target of passionate disagreement. That said, I have a Loudbox Artist that fits the bill very nicely for the settings in which you say you're playing. I have yet to find a situation in which it's not loud enough or flexible enough to accomplish the job nicely. For larger jobs I've used the mix DI out to powered speakers so the amp functions as my mixer. I play several different instruments in the course of a night so have the optional foot switch to mute it and just change the cable to the other guitar. Both of my guitars have active pickup systems with some onboard EQ so setting the amp relatively flat on that channel allows me to tweak the guitar sounds at my end as needed. That said, of course YMMV!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-28-2017, 07:39 AM
open-road-matt's Avatar
open-road-matt open-road-matt is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 1,918
Default

The Fishman wins on controls. I used my Compact a lot without any outboard gear but the lack of EQ on the guitar and lack of master volume always bugged me.

Despite that, I would choose the Bose Compact for more versatility. Back when I was playing a lot there were times when I needed to use some of the differnt configurations of the Bose Compact. No extensions and up on a table, one extension for a low ceiling, etc.

I suppose different positions and heights could be achieved with the adjustable speaker stand but I liked just plopping the Compact down and plugging in. I'd rather fool with the extensions than a speaker stand.

Matt
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-28-2017, 08:01 AM
JakeStone JakeStone is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 2,910
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by leew3 View Post
My response has the potential to be a hijack and will likely be a target of passionate disagreement. That said, I have a Loudbox Artist that fits the bill very nicely for the settings in which you say you're playing.
Great comment and I'm open to suggestions.. no doubt a nice amp system like the Artist would sound great.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-28-2017, 08:13 AM
JakeStone JakeStone is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 2,910
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by open-road-matt View Post
The Fishman wins on controls. I used my Compact a lot without any outboard gear but the lack of EQ on the guitar and lack of master volume always bugged me.

Despite that, I would choose the Bose Compact for more versatility.

I suppose different positions and heights could be achieved with the adjustable speaker stand but I liked just plopping the Compact down and plugging in. I'd rather fool with the extensions than a speaker stand.

Matt
Good points.. The Bose flexibility on setup is important to me. One thing I didn't like about the Soloamp was the stand. First off it's ugly and takes up floor space .. plus one more thing to carry.

But more than that.. there was no way to use the SA on floor or stage without the stand. Since the bottom of the soloamp was not flat.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-28-2017, 09:42 AM
SalFromChatham's Avatar
SalFromChatham SalFromChatham is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 5,591
Default

I am still learning...

I think I posted in another thread how I work in a small group and we either use just my buddy's Bose, or also use my SA330. I like my Fish better, even though I am still getting the hang of it. First off, his Bose his nearly $2500. It has the bass woofer, and a tonematch mixer. Its not hard to set up, but my Fishman is much easier.





My Fishman does not have a bass. I dont think it needs it. But it does have the expansion mixer, which is great.

The setup is so easy and quick, and I like that. This is my unit at home.


Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-28-2017, 11:30 AM
JakeStone JakeStone is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 2,910
Default

Sal .. ya the mixer would be nice for a duo.

I'd love to a/b the Bose and Fish without buying them both!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-28-2017, 10:13 PM
jseth jseth is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Oregon... "Heart of the Valley"...
Posts: 8,946
Default

If the Fishman is already set-up to accommodate 2 players/singers (4 inputs), then $$$$-wise, it's the one to pick... with the Compact, you would have to have a mixer along with the unit, which would add to the cost.

So many folks end up using the Bose products in ways they were not designed to be used; meaning, those Bose rigs were designed to be used with ONE player. The fact that they're very price-y is usually the reason that folks try to get more than one player through them.

They WILL work with more than one person's inputs, but they won't sound quite as good as, say, two Compacts for two players. There is a local trio in town here who played through the Bose L1 Model II (the bigger system); three voices, three instruments (2 guitars and bass), and they sounded really good through the one Model II, BUT they were pushing the application of the unit, even though they were playing at nominal volumes (fairly low).

I've been performing with acoustic guitar and voice since 1969, and I've used ALL manner of different PA's, from the absolute dregs (!) to some really high-end systems on a big stage. I have NEVER played through anything that sounds as good or is SO manageable a sound system, as my Bose L1 Model II... there just isn't anything like it out there, although a lot of companies seem to have some sort of similar rig nowadays.

The Bose units have INCREDIBLE dispersion throughout a room. Such good coverage that a lot of people who are used to conventional "point and shoot" PA rigs have a difficult time believing it.

When I set up my Bose system, I dial in the volume I want, on stage, with the unit 8-12' (or more) behind me, slightly on the diagonal... and that volume stays very constant, from tables in front of the stage to folks standing 50' away. AND, I can hear myself perfectly - not too loud, not too soft. No monitors, no drop-out in the speaker coverage, a full 180 degrees from axis of the column.

I've not had the chance to play through one of the Fishman units. I did hear a duo in medium sized restaurant who were each using their own SA 220. It sounded okay, but the players had to have the units' volume MUCH higher on stage than it was out in the room, which caused them some feedback issues, something I have never had with my Bose rig (save for that pesky 150 cycle low-mid thing that can happen with acoustic guitar pickups!).

I would REALLY suggest that you MAKE the time to audition both of those rigs before you buy one... it is a sizeable investment, and you should be certain that what you're buying is what you really want!

I would also suggest that you consider finding a lightly used Bose L1 Model II instead of the Compact, IF you are going to be using it with another player...

It's a fun choice to have... enjoy the journey!
__________________
"You're quoting figures and dropping names,
you're telling stories and playing games.
You're over-laughing when things ain't funny;
you're acting like you don't need money.
If talk was criminal, you'd lead a life of crime;
because your mind is on vacation
and your mouth is working overtime..."

"Your Mind is on Vacation" (Mose Allison)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-29-2017, 04:30 AM
Marty C Marty C is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 742
Default

Hi Jake,
Bose goes on sale at 15% off November 1 - December 31.

I am in the same hunt. I went to GC last week and tried out a few. I was surprised at the Harbingrr MLS 800. I did a side by side (just with my iPhone plugged in playing acoustic recording) and actually liked the sound of the MLS 800 better at higher volumes. It sounded more full.

However, anything I sing and play through lately seems to have too much mid for me. Seems no matter what I play through I find myself cutting back in the mids. I feel sure it is my preference and what only I like to hear.

All I have read recently is people’s reviews saying the Bose system lacks mids. The bass is present and the highs are clear... lacks mids. For me, this sounds like my perfect setup.

I tried the Fishman unit at GC, since it was in the acoustic room and I had a guitar there. It sounded great as well. I did not sing through it.

My choice for my purpose will be the Bose since I think it sounds similar at different levels. Eveything else I tried seemed to change more at different volume levels and I Found myself wanting to cut back in bass and mids as the volume got louder. I did not get this with the Bose. I also use either a Play Acoustic or a Behringer xr 12 so I will have one these units attached to whatever I buy, so the onboard effects don’t really matter much to me. I don’t think I will ever need more than the Compact for my purpose.

I agree with Jseth. My salesperson at Sweetwter did say that the compact might have issues if I tried to add too many people and competing frequencies. Stepping up With Bose one or two levels above that would work fine. Only on one ocassion do I find myself playing with another person and we are usually using house provided sound.

Last edited by Marty C; 10-29-2017 at 04:35 AM. Reason: Additional content
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-29-2017, 07:44 AM
JakeStone JakeStone is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 2,910
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jseth View Post
So many folks end up using the Bose products in ways they were not designed to be used;

The Bose units have INCREDIBLE dispersion throughout a room. Such good coverage that a lot of people who are used to conventional "point and shoot" PA rigs have a difficult time believing it.

When I set up my Bose system,.....I can hear myself perfectly - not too loud, not too soft. No monitors, no drop-out in the speaker coverage, a full 180 degrees from axis of the column.

I would also suggest that you consider finding a lightly used Bose L1 Model II instead of the Compact, IF you are going to be using it with another player...

It's a fun choice to have... enjoy the journey!
Nice post .. I appreciate you taking the time.

Many roads are leading me to the Bose! The sentence above in bold is the major factor... That and "ease" of set up and how clean it looks... The places I play are not music venues.

With that said, I may not have the luxury of have 8-10 feet of space behind me to set up. Perhaps someone can post about how the Bose (or) Soloamp perform in tight (stage or floor areas - where one is backed up against a wall).
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-29-2017, 07:54 AM
JakeStone JakeStone is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 2,910
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty C View Post
Hi Jake,
Bose goes on sale at 15% off November 1 - December 31.

My choice for my purpose will be the Bose since I think it sounds similar at different levels. Eveything else I tried seemed to change more at different volume levels and I Found myself wanting to cut back in bass and mids as the volume got louder. I did not get this with the Bose. I also use either a Play Acoustic or a Behringer xr 12 so I will have one these units attached to whatever I buy, so the onboard effects donít really matter much to me. I donít think I will ever need more than the Compact for my purpose.
This is great news... 15% off brings it to $850. Which seems like a great value. Since I see these on Used market going for $650 -750 (no warranty).

I'm like you Marty - I don't need on-board effects. I have a mixer if needed as well as the Play Acoustic.

Thx!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-29-2017, 08:24 AM
DrJamie DrJamie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 325
Default

I borrowed a buddy's L-1 Compact , for a backyard acoustic trio. Just used a mixing board for 2 mics, 2 guitars. It performed so well, I bought one on sale, with a 6 channel mixing board. I actually used the Bose as my acoustic guitar amp more than for vocals. The sound was terrific without any eq! I did buy a reverb pedal (Digitec Polara). I did finally buy a Fishman Artist as well, for the ease of amplifying my acoustic, for gigs with a different PA. The best sound our band ever had was using 2 of the Compacts (our banjo player has one), and again, the mixing board. We have an electric bass player, who uses his own bass amp. I really like the natural sound of the Bose. I also demoed the older Fishman 220, at that time, but liked the Bose sound better, even considering that the Fishman has reverb, eq., and 2 channels. The simple, clean Bose design also won me over. If I were gigging more, with my own band, I'd seriously consider another used, or on sale, and running both. So easy to set up too. I have not heard the newer 330x though. My guitars all have a combo MIC/UST system (Anthem SL, and Ellipse Blend), and sound great through any system.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-29-2017, 09:43 AM
SongwriterFan SongwriterFan is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 24,522
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeStone View Post
With that said, I may not have the luxury of have 8-10 feet of space behind me to set up. Perhaps someone can post about how the Bose (or) Soloamp perform in tight (stage or floor areas - where one is backed up against a wall).
Can't speak to the Fishman.

But I've seen the Bose used in very tight spaces before. You can even set it up a bit in front of you (off to the side) and you should still get enough volume to hear yourself, I'd think.

If you really don't have ANY space behind you, I'd just put it off to your side about even with where you're standing. You should be fine.

The compact version is very easy to carry and setup for one person . . its volume does drop off a bit faster than the more expensive versions, though. But it should still fall off less quickly than the Fishman, I believe . . or certainly no worse.

The coverage on these things really is amazing.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-29-2017, 11:09 AM
moosedog moosedog is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Finger Lakes area, NY
Posts: 211
Default

I am going to suggest an alternative. I have used both the Bose and the Fishman and find them lacking, even in the rooms you are playing. If there is any crowd noise the sound gets lost. I have had much better luck using a high quality powered speaker, a speaker stand and a small passive mixer. I have a QSC 10 which I put on a stand beside and a bit behind me and a Yamaha MG10XU mixer. The sound quality to my ear is much better and covers a room nicely. The mixer allows for other musicians to join you and greatly increases your connectivity. Even a QSC 8 provides a great sound and even a bit wider dispersion than a 10. You can get the whole setup for $1000 or less. Just food for thought.
__________________
Moosedog

2015 Collings OM2H VN w/LR Baggs M80
2016 Huss & Dalton OM-M w/Baggs M1
2018 Taylor K14ce Builders Edition ES2
2019 Martin Custom Shop OMCE Blaze Burst w/Fishman Matrix Enhance
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-29-2017, 11:29 AM
zhunter zhunter is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,344
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by moosedog View Post
I am going to suggest an alternative. I have used both the Bose and the Fishman and find them lacking, even in the rooms you are playing. If there is any crowd noise the sound gets lost. I have had much better luck using a high quality powered speaker, a speaker stand and a small passive mixer. I have a QSC 10 which I put on a stand beside and a bit behind me and a Yamaha MG10XU mixer. The sound quality to my ear is much better and covers a room nicely. The mixer allows for other musicians to join you and greatly increases your connectivity. Even a QSC 8 provides a great sound and even a bit wider dispersion than a 10. You can get the whole setup for $1000 or less. Just food for thought.
It has been my experience that once folks focus on a stick design they tend to go in that direction. But for the record, *this*. Pick your speaker and brand but this.

I play through several different house systems in venues and my least favorite setup is the Bose. My second least favorite is the Eon One which I played through last month. There must be something about the sound of the stick systems that doesn't agree with me. Never heard or tried the Fishman variety though.

hunter
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Acoustic Amplification

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=