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Old 04-16-2018, 06:30 PM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Default Bose S1 and Boss VE-8: A match made in heaven?

What follows is a review and demo of the Boss VE-8 with the Bose S1 along with a little bit of the Mooer Ocean Machine for 'flavor'.

We recently adopted the Bose S1 as our primary PA system for gigging. 'We' are my wife and I, an acoustic duo with her on vocals and me on guitar. I do sing a tiny bit but not much - she's the talent in the group! I did a video review of the Bose S1 that was well received and is still racking up views on YouTube as a 'real-world' test of the system. I've received a lot of positive feedback on it.

I had added a bunch of pedals and gear to go along with using the Bose for our 'full' setup which included a volume pedal, a TCE BodyRez, a TCH Harmony G-XT pedal, an LR Baggs PARA DI and then a Behringer Xenyx 1202FX. This allowed for great guitar and vocal sound, multiple inputs, harmonies, feedback notching (sort of), and volume control. I had most everything mounted on a music stand which worked quite well and facilitated moving everything in a pre-setup condition saving time and energy. I did a thread on that as well. The volume pedal and then the Mooer Ocean Machine pedal (added later) would remain on the floor.

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On occasion we like to 'travel light'. We do this by taking just the S1, a guitar, one mic and the PARA along with a few cables. Everything fits into the guitar gig bag and we only have to carry two things. I was wondering though if there was something that would replace everything that was on that music stand allowing for a more full featured setup but with still traveling as light as possible, especially when there is no power. The Boss VE-8 seemed like it might be the ticket. Since I'd expressed an interest in checking them out, one of our own on AGF reached out to me and I picked up his like-new unit for a good deal.

I have found that the Boss VE-8 does indeed do most of what everything that music stand did (plus a little more) but with a few caveats. I am able to get a great sound/tone for both the guitar and vocals. I did this by spending a little time delving into the manual and learning the internal programming which is not as hard as some have made it out to be. I was able to dial in the EQ for both in short order. In fact, it took me much less time to learn how to dial in good tone on the VE-8 than it did on the PARA DI. I had both systems set up side by and side and went back and forth once I had the tones dialed in and sure as heck I was able to get just as good a guitar and vocal tone out of the VE-8 as I did the full setup of all that other stuff. All this on a single pedal that can be run on batteries. So if I ever do need to play somewhere with no power I am all set with the VE-8 plus the S1.

The VE-8 also has a built-in looper so that's a bonus since I didn't have that with the other setup. Other things the VE-8 has which the other setup did not is mute/tuner ability and a notch dial. You can technically 'notch' on the PARA DI but it's not intuitive and it's more like a sweepable EQ than a notch. It does work okay after you take the time to dig in and learn to use it but it's not great for dialing out problem frequencies on the fly when playing live. By contrast the simple notch dial on the VE-8 is the epitome of easy. Just reach down and slowly dial until the offending feedback is eliminated. MUCH faster and easier in a live situation. I love this feature.

Down sides to the VE-8 are that the harmonizer is not as good and the inputs are limited. The TCH Harmony G-XT pedal works better in that it has a mic option with a button that allows you turn the harmonies on and off with a flick of your thumb which my wife loved. Now she needs to use her foot. Of course if you're the guitar player AND singer than you'd need to use the foot switch anyway. The second thing we noted about the harmony on the VE-8 is that you have to be right on top of the mic for the harmonies to work. The farther away from the mic you get, the less it seems to work. We didn't have this with the TCH. There's also far fewer inputs on the VE-8 compared to the mixer. Just a 1/4" guitar and XLR mic. That means I have to run my mic through the additional Bose S1 channel. Not a big deal but worth mentioning for review purposes.

I've made a video demo of the VE-8 with the Bose S1 which covers a lot of what I wrote above. There is also some guitar and vocals to hear the sound I'm able to get out of the VE-8 through the S1. I'm using my Emerald X20 Custom with K&K pickup. The downside is that you'll have to stare at the back of my legs (wearing PJs), so sorry about that. There is also a little bit in there about my relatively new Mooer Ocean Machine pedal which is a reverb and dual delay pedal that allows for some awesome ambient tone creation which we find great for several of our mellow songs. There's also a looper on that but I have yet to get into any looping. Funny that I now have two.

So now I have several possible setups to choose from. A 'full' setup would consist of everything you'll see in the video which is still just the guitar, amp and a CablePhyle bag with the pedals and cables/cords. Still pretty light in the scheme of things. For our Sunday brunches we travel uber-light which will just be the guitar with the VE-8, one mic and cables in the guitar gig-bag and the S1. Only have to carry two things. Love it. I'm also planning to add a QSC K8.2 powered speaker to the stable real soon. The S1 is fine for most of the gigs we play right now but I do have some summer gigs coming up where I'll need more power and I think the QSC K8.2 will give more than I'll ever need. I'll be sure to do a video review on that once I get it in and the weather finally warms up as I will have to play it outside to really crank that puppy up!

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Old 04-16-2018, 06:31 PM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:44 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Sounds good! Nice to be able to pack/travel light. Oh, and your vocals sound fine, too.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:12 AM
varmonter varmonter is offline
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I watched a video on that ocean machine.
pretty cool unit..
Great demo. the s1 sounds great..
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:24 AM
troggg troggg is offline
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My two cents (not saying this is the only possible interpretation!): guitar has a bit of a metallic tinge to it, you may want to dial that out if possible; too much reverb on voice, I'd dial it down cause the basic sound of it is flattering for your deep voice; S1 sounds pretty mighty for a small package. That is the advantage of Bose over singing through acoustic guitar amps -- vocals carry some weight and fill a room even with the smallest model.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:10 AM
Chriscom Chriscom is offline
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I'm legendary in my circles for missing things right in front of my eyes, but--is there a link to "the" demo, or are you pointing us to the Facebook page? Good stuff there btw.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:27 PM
AeroUSA AeroUSA is offline
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I tried the Boss VE-8 but I much prefer the TC Play Acoustic
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:14 PM
troggg troggg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AeroUSA View Post
I tried the Boss VE-8 but I much prefer the TC Play Acoustic
Haven't heard anything from Boss to sway me off the Play Acoustic either. Different horses for different courses.
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:29 PM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troggg View Post
Haven't heard anything from Boss to sway me off the Play Acoustic either. Different horses for different courses.


Battery power. It makes no sense to have a battery powered speaker and then be tethered to AC by a preamp/effects box.
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:47 PM
AeroUSA AeroUSA is offline
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Thatís true but I prefer quality over portability. YMMV!!
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:47 PM
Marty C Marty C is offline
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I have my Play Acoustic now on battery power. I purchased a 10,000 mAh battery pack, got the right cable adapters and now with the Bose I am able to run without power chords. I get fairly equal battery time of 6 hours on both.

What are you guys getting on the Boss unit for battery life?
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Old 04-18-2018, 01:35 AM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AeroUSA View Post
Thatís true but I prefer quality over portability. YMMV!!

I certainly donít hear that.
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Old 04-18-2018, 11:28 AM
troggg troggg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkingston View Post
Battery power. It makes no sense to have a battery powered speaker and then be tethered to AC by a preamp/effects box.
Um, don't you also own the Sunburst and the Elite battery powered amps? If memory serves, the Sunburst doesn't have effects, but the Elite does, and you've written that you consider them super high quality, right? That begs the question are you not content with the Elite onboard effects? If portability is a key concern, why add another device be it Boss or TC Helicon?
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:39 PM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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Default Bose S1 and Boss VE-8: A match made in heaven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by troggg View Post
Um, don't you also own the Sunburst and the Elite battery powered amps? If memory serves, the Sunburst doesn't have effects, but the Elite does, and you've written that you consider them super high quality, right? That begs the question are you not content with the Elite onboard effects? If portability is a key concern, why add another device be it Boss or TC Helicon?


Three of the places I play have their own House PA systems so I donít bring in any amp or PA system. Thatís why Iíve experimenting with guitar preamps. I want to have control of my guitar sound when I plug into an existing system.

Last edited by lkingston; 04-18-2018 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 04-18-2018, 07:06 PM
troggg troggg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkingston View Post
Three of the places I play have their own House PA systems so I don’t bring in any amp or PA system. That’s why I’ve experimenting with guitar preamps. I want to have control of my guitar sound when I plug into an existing system.
Makes sense. I'm still curious if you consider the Elite Acoustics sound sculpting provisions on a par with the Boss unit. On the other hand, the Elite I'm sure has lines out and isn't that big. So why not just take that when you plug into an existing sound system?
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