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Old 03-04-2018, 02:52 PM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Default NAD: Bose S1 Pro - we have a winner! UPDATE - detailed video demo added

My reviews are long and detailed. For those that want the quick and dirty, here you go:

Bose S1 Pro, two vocal mics, K&K equipped guitars, preamp & mixer signal chain, acoustic duo small to medium rooms - An awesome choice for great sound with small footprint, light weight and battery.

Note: I've added a detailed video demo at the bottom of this.

For those that enjoy the long, detailed versions, read on:

Okay, folks, the jury is back from deliberations and the verdict is in: The Bose S1 Pro is convicted of being an awesome amp, exactly what we hoped it would be for our needs. Over the last few years we've been going through some acoustic amps trying to find the best fit for us. 'Us' is the acoustic duo called NO1U Know, link to our Facebook page down in my sig line, if you're so inclined to check it out.

To date we have owned/used the following systems: Genz Benz Shenandoah 85, Fishman Loudbox Mini and Artist, Fishman SA220, Henriksen 'The Bud', Roland Street Cube XT, Roland AC-33, Carvin AG200, Harbinger MVL800 and now the Bose S1 Pro. All these systems had their pluses and minuses but nothing seemed to be that perfect fit. What is our definition of 'perfect'? Small, light, great room-filling sound, simple, multiple positioning, not ridiculously expensive, and able to fill a room of average size with enough volume for our mellow acoustic duo act. The Bose is the first one that ticks off all those boxes. At 15 pounds it's the lightest amp we've used except for The Bud which while slightly smaller lighter was way more expensive and I was not able to get a decent tone from it for both vocals and guitar.

When I first picked up this amp last week I initially did not get a good sound out of it after a short, rushed test run before work. It took a few days to really dial it in. For me that means a preamp for my K&K equipped guitars. I have no shortage of those and the two main ones I use work just fine. As of late we've put together a signal chain that runs the guitar through a volume pedal, a TCE BodyRez, through a TCH Harmony G-XT (for the harmonies, of course) and then through a PARA DI and into a little Behringer mixer. The wife's mic goes through the TCH G-XT to the mixer and my mic goes straight into the mixer. Mixer out to channel 1 of the Bose. Bose is set to no ToneMatch switch position, treble is flat, bass rolled off a bit.

As with most K&K guitars I'm using the PARA DI to roll off the mids significantly and also have the notch dialed way out with bass rolled off a bit and the presence and treble rolled up a little. Gain is about mid and volume is also around mid depending the guitar, a little up for the Martin, a little back for the Emerald. Using this basic setup we barely have the volume on the Bose up at the 9 o'clock position and it's more than loud enough at home in our fairly small living room/practice room. We played our first gig with it this morning and even there we only had it bumped a bit more and the volume was perfect. The room in this place is approximately 30 x 60 feet with very high ceilings and us crammed into a corner at the long end right in front of the bar. Using the Harbinger line array system this was problematic because the bass speaker (on the floor) was blocked by the bar and we suffered with uneven tone and a difficulty with dialing out the low end feedback.

While I had brought the speaker stand for the Bose, I was hoping beyond hope that I could just put the Bose on the bar as the wide legs of the speaker stand would take up a lot of floor real estate in that small area. This was confirmed when we set up last night for a sound check. So I put the Bose directly on the bar and it seemed like it would work. With the volume set just about 9 o'clock I walked around the empty room with my wireless guitar and could hear everything very well. Especially the vocals which seemed to fill the room. My only concern for today was how it would sound with a room full of patrons and also would the speaker be too much on the bar with people sitting and eating just a few feet away. It turned out to be no problem at all. I warned the couple sitting close that it might be loud and to let me know but after the first song they both smiled and shook their heads signaling it was fine. A second couple came in after they left and had the same experience.

After the first set I walked around the restaurant and talked to a few people I knew. A friend from work who was sitting about midway back on the left said it sounded great and he could hear everything just fine. I talked to another couple who were sitting further back on the right had the same opinion. These two are also friends, but are two of four people in a well-known local band and the woman also just happens to be our vocal coach and someone I took piano lessons from for two years. So basically, she KNOWS amplified sound. In fact we'd gone to see them the night before after our sound check and caught their last two sets. They have a great sound system that uses two QSC K12's, so they get it. She also confirmed that the sound was excellent. And this is with a full room of people eating and talking.

Needless to say, we are very happy. I've read a bunch of posts on this little wonder and most people's only reservation was not having enough volume to fill larger rooms. There was a whole lot of volume left to be had using the mixer and preamp setup so unless it's more of just the small speakers not being able to handle a lot of volume, I don't know what they're talking about. Next week we are playing a Celebration of Life private party in a 40x60 function room so that will be the next test. I assume I'll have the Bose on the speaker stand for that one. I'll keep you posted. I've got a short video clip my vocal coach took which shows us playing and then she sweeps to the left to show what the room looks like. You can see the Bose on the bar and how close people are as she begins to sweep. I'll see if I can attach that to this post.

In summary, if you're in a small duo like ours and use a mixer and preamp setup, you should be fine for most average sized rooms I would think. Maybe that's the difference with regard to limited power - going straight into the amp with no external signal boost. But as we require two mics and the guitar we need the mixer anyway. Although it will be interesting to test it out someday with just the wife straight into the Bose mic spot and me straight into the Bose guitar spot with the little K&K belt clip preamp. I'd bet even that super-simple setup would be great for most of the small to mid-sized gigs that we do. Oh how I would love to go to a gig carrying my guitar in the gigbag on my shoulder and the Bose amp - period! Once we get past winter I'll give it test run outside in my 5 acre backyard to see how it handles a really big 'room'.

In the meantime, count me in as a big fan of this little amp. I'll definitely be buying the battery at some point.

Video clip:



Long video demo:

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Click any below to see the NGD post for each...

Martin 000-18GE Custom (K&K)
Emerald X20 Custom Woody (K&K)
Journey Overhead OF660B
Bose S1 Pro


Visit our Facebook page here:

NO1U Know - our acoustic duo Facebook page

Last edited by Methos1979; 03-05-2018 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 03-04-2018, 04:01 PM
jseth jseth is offline
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Terrific review, Methos!

I am SO glad that you've "sussed out" the S1 Pro and it works so well for you... I can't believe that I'm even thinking about selling my AER and getting one of the Bose units to back up my bigger L1 Model II system, but there you go!

I was NEVER a "fanboy" of Bose home stereo gear (decent sound, WAY overpriced), but since using the L1 systems live, I am a HUGE fan of Bose gear for performing...

Thanks for taking the time to follow up your previous posts on the Bose S1 Pro. They've helped me, and I bet they've helped others, as well...
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Old 03-04-2018, 04:49 PM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jseth View Post
Terrific review, Methos!

I am SO glad that you've "sussed out" the S1 Pro and it works so well for you... I can't believe that I'm even thinking about selling my AER and getting one of the Bose units to back up my bigger L1 Model II system, but there you go!

I was NEVER a "fanboy" of Bose home stereo gear (decent sound, WAY overpriced), but since using the L1 systems live, I am a HUGE fan of Bose gear for performing...

Thanks for taking the time to follow up your previous posts on the Bose S1 Pro. They've helped me, and I bet they've helped others, as well...
Thanks! I'm glad I stuck with it as well. Not that there was any doubt. I always give new equipment a full try. It's rare that I get a great tone right out of the gate.

The AER Compact 60/3 was always on my short list with it's many fans but the price was always prohibitive for me. It would have to have been a one-and-done system and might have been good enough based on all accounts.

I'm not a Bose fanboy either, nor do I think they make bad stuff although I have felt their prices were always a premium for what they offer. I think the S1 might be the first system where you're getting a lot for the money. If the battery came stock with it at that price then I would definitely say that but since they get another $100 for it I can't in good conscience quite give them that!

I see the Harbinger line array gathering dust now. I've only got $300 into that so I'll hang onto it for the rare case where we need more power. Down the line I'll probably even sell that off and then if I ever find I need more than I'll grab a QSC K8.2. Had the Bose S1 not worked out it was going to go back and be replaced by a K8.2.
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Click any below to see the NGD post for each...

Martin 000-18GE Custom (K&K)
Emerald X20 Custom Woody (K&K)
Journey Overhead OF660B
Bose S1 Pro


Visit our Facebook page here:

NO1U Know - our acoustic duo Facebook page

Last edited by Methos1979; 03-05-2018 at 06:54 AM.
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Old 03-04-2018, 05:39 PM
Vancebo Vancebo is offline
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Hey JSeth, I have the Bose S1 Pro and my AER Compact 60 sitting side by side on my workbench now. Come on over!

They are both excellent. I am still in the process of trying them both out with multiple configurations. It is indeed as good as advertised. I do think the Guitar preset does get you real close to begin with. The biggest bummer for me was when I discovered that it doesn't have phantom power. I must have assumed that it did. It may be a deal breaker for me. There are indeed some benefits it has over the compact 60. It bugs me that Bose did that so you would buy the T1 mixer. My mic won't work.

Bummer.
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Old 03-04-2018, 06:17 PM
Marty C Marty C is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Methos1979 View Post
Thanks! I'm glad I stuck with it as well. Not that there was any doubt. I always give new equipment a full try. It's rare that I get a great tone right out of the gate.

The AER Compact 60/3 was always on my short list with it's many fans but the price was always prohibitive for me. It would have to have been a one-and-done system and might have been good enough based on all accounts.

I'm not a Bose fanboy either, nor do I think they make bad stuff although I have felt their prices were always a premium for what they offer. I think the S1 might be the first system where you're getting a lot of the money. If the battery came stock with it at that price then I would definitely say that but since they're to get another $100 I won't give them that!

I see the Harbinger line array gathering dust now. I've only got $300 into that so I'll hang onto if for the rare case where we need more power. Down the line I'll probably even sell that off and then if I ever find I need more than I'll grab a QSC K8.2. Had the Bose S1 not worked out it was going to go back and be replaced by a K8.2.
Funny you say that about the K8.2. That was the direction I was going.

I use my S1 Pro with a TC Helicon Play Acoustic. I did purchase the battery, but felt it was a waste since my TC unit needed power anyway.

I did some research and purchased a small pedalboard, a portable power supply, the needed adapter cables and now I am 100% powerchord free (except for the charging). Both batteries seem to last 6+ hours.

Since I have all my equipment running on batteries, if I need more coverage, I will get a second S1 Pro. I doubt I ever need more volume for where I play, but I really like the sound I get with this setup.
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Old 03-04-2018, 06:23 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Thanks, Methos, for updating us after the gig. I am intrigued by the size and light weight of the S1, and look forward to checking one out in person. Your review is very helpful.
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:09 PM
Kalani Kalani is offline
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Much thanks for the in-depth review and video—-very informative and helpful! Nice music too!
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:34 AM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Updated with detailed video demo!
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Click any below to see the NGD post for each...

Martin 000-18GE Custom (K&K)
Emerald X20 Custom Woody (K&K)
Journey Overhead OF660B
Bose S1 Pro


Visit our Facebook page here:

NO1U Know - our acoustic duo Facebook page
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Old 03-05-2018, 01:37 PM
Vancebo Vancebo is offline
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Hey Methos, that was an excellent demo of the amp because that was exactly what everybody does. They (We) go home, set up in their small living room and test their gear. It didn't take anything fancy and yet it sounded great. Assuming you didn't have your sound engineering team all standing behind the camera with expensive gear.
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Old 03-05-2018, 03:40 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Thanks for the demo video. Sounds like the S1 would be great for smaller venues, with the plus of light weight and next to zero set-up.

I do have a question about your pedals on a music stand: how do you add in some vocal harmonies with the Gxt without taking your hand off the guitar?? Assuming you aren't doing a Jackie Chan type kick up to the music stand?

Also assuming you are using the BodyRez as a "set it and leave it" - do you use the BodyRez adjustment and still EQ with the mixer? Any redundancy there?

TC Helicon has some good reverb options on their pedals (I have the Gxt and the Play Acoustic) - how does the reverb on the Gxt compare with that built into the Bose?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Thanks!
Jim
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Old 03-05-2018, 03:49 PM
JakeStone JakeStone is offline
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Awesome review Methos1979..
Thanks for posting!
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:08 PM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Jim! These are all EXCELLENT questions!! I will address them in order...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post
I do have a question about your pedals on a music stand: how do you add in some vocal harmonies with the Gxt without taking your hand off the guitar?? Assuming you aren't doing a Jackie Chan type kick up to the music stand?
Good catch on the vocal harmonies. TCH sells a TCH companion microphone that has a button located physically ON the microphone that engages and disengages the harmony function with a press. We bought that right away and the wife loves it. She's gotten really good at it. It works great with songs that have quick harmony sections that are only a few measures long and change often. We also like having the pedal up as it makes changing the preset easier than having to bend over.

The mic alone sells for $169 and the TCH G-XT for $229 on Amazon but I just checked over there and there's a package deal for both (plus cable) for $239! Go figure. I can't remember what we paid...

TCH Mic alone

TCH Harmony-G XT alone

TCH G-XT and Mic - smoking deal!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post
Also assuming you are using the BodyRez as a "set it and leave it" - do you use the BodyRez adjustment and still EQ with the mixer? Any redundancy there?
When setting up and EQ'ing to a new room or guitar I typically bypass the BodyRez and get the very best sound that I can without it. This typically is a back-and-forth between the mixer and the PARA for EQ's gains and levels. These days now that I've got it fairly well dialed in there's not much change. Once I get that tone to where it sounds best, I engage the BodyRez and dial it up and down to see where I like it most. The Martin tends to favor the BR up past half as it's a mid-forward guitar anyway so that scoops the mids and brings out the bass and highs more. The Emerald conversely tends to favor the BR on the lower side of half as it tends to have more pronounced lows and dialing it up past halfway makes the lows a little too predisposed to being over-driven and feeding back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post
TC Helicon has some good reverb options on their pedals (I have the Gxt and the Play Acoustic) - how does the reverb on the Gxt compare with that built into the Bose?
You are correct - the TC does have some decent reverb on it but for right now we've just been using the reverbs on the Behringer mixer which in all honest are not bad either. I've been pretty impressed at how well this inexpensive little mixer functions. It's got fair amount of choices for different effects. The number 15 you see on the LED is the number reverb I chose. As for how the reverbs compare between the three, all are comprable. The Bose is the least in that there is but one reverb and you dial it up and get what you get. Conversely the TCH and the Behringer have multiple reverb types. The TCH has 18 different EFX, six of them dedicated reverbs and the rest delays and other combos. I never delved into it that much, to tell the truth. The Behringer has a 100 different EFX, I think like 25 dedicated reverbs. I hunted around through them until I found the one that I liked the best.

No professional sound team although my sound is a pro soundman. He has yet to see my new rig. When I told him I bought the Behringer mixer he told me the best way to get good tone out of it was to dump a PBR on it! Wiseguy.

I'm actually happy people are liking the sound. The cell phone always accentuates the highs a ton and the lows are scooped out, left laying on the floor as the case may be. That's why it sounds so shrill to me on playback but in the room with the bass it's a full and beautiful sound.

Good questions, all!
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Click any below to see the NGD post for each...

Martin 000-18GE Custom (K&K)
Emerald X20 Custom Woody (K&K)
Journey Overhead OF660B
Bose S1 Pro


Visit our Facebook page here:

NO1U Know - our acoustic duo Facebook page

Last edited by Methos1979; 03-05-2018 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:20 PM
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kramster kramster is offline
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Great write up and video. Thanks!
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:35 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Thanks for the additional info. I'm going to have to make time to see an S1 in person. I've been using a Bose L1C for about 8 years... not like that rig is a heavy weight or takes effort to set up, but that S1 looks pretty slick, especially the battery option.
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:19 AM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post
Thanks for the additional info. I'm going to have to make time to see an S1 in person. I've been using a Bose L1C for about 8 years... not like that rig is a heavy weight or takes effort to set up, but that S1 looks pretty slick, especially the battery option.
I would think anyone used to the Bose line array products would have no problems with the S1 and would find it a welcome addition for small gigs where ultra-portability or battery power is needed.
__________________
-------------------------------------------------------------
Click any below to see the NGD post for each...

Martin 000-18GE Custom (K&K)
Emerald X20 Custom Woody (K&K)
Journey Overhead OF660B
Bose S1 Pro


Visit our Facebook page here:

NO1U Know - our acoustic duo Facebook page
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