Bose PAS PA System


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Subject: Perspective--BOSE PAS PA system...

Posted by ken Totushek on 2004-02-17 at 17:36:20

Hey all, I finally got to gig with my new Bose PAS PA, and can speak about it now at least a bit from experience. I'm in the 3rd month of my trial period now, have been testing the unit out off and on in my fairly small (22 x 24'), dead, cozy studio, and now have heard the PAS perform at least in a Large room/med hall. In a nutshell, I am thrilled with what I heard, and have confirmed today that this unit will be a keeper for me. Yesterday afternoon I packed up all my previous PA gear to prepare it for sale.

My set Sunday consisted of my 'always-impressing-me' Carruth 000-12C guitar, a vocal mic and stand, a small RCN vocal compressor, and necessary cabling for these items, along with the Bose tower of course. The program was performed in a fairly large (approx. 50' x 75'), carpeted, nursing home cafeteria (relatively dead--NOT the people, the acoustics!). The program consisted of about 15 songs, divided between guitar fingerstyle instrumentals, songs w/ lyrics, and sing-alongs. I had preset the Bose EQ (it's shelving, but tonally effective 3-band digital BTW). for both mic and guitar, and had 2 extra channels I didn't use. There is no built in reverb, but Bose states because of the unit's design it generally isn't necessary. Beyond that, EFX are not their specialty. Quite surprisedly, I was glad to do without another external box, and was very pleased with the tone just using the EQ and the natural room acoustics--this is very cool!

I purchased the add-on subwoofer but decided to do without it because I felt I was getting plenty of low end for both guitar and vocals at home. Unfortunately, the subwoofer does NOT have a separate control, so the jury is still out on that one for me. It effortlessly makes everything sound bassy enough but then when I pull back the low end I feel I lose something from the mids as well. That's often an issue with shelving EQs.

Here's a breath of fresh air--I did not need a direct box for the guitar as I usually do for natural tone. With the mid EQ pulled back to 10:00 or so, the Carruth sounded just as it does acoustically, except louder, and more articulate as the very soft notes were more easily heard. I did use an external compressor on my vox, but probably would have been OK without it (just taking away one thing at a time here, and for starters it was the reverb).

There are no speaker cables, stands, or monitors to deal with on this unit--I had it assembled and 'concert ready' in minutes--that includes a quicky sound check which needed no further tweaking than what I had already done in my studio. Oh, and get this--I DID NOT even turn up the volume levels from what I was using in my studio because the sound just seemed to travel in this larger room. Therefore, I know it has a ton more oomph if ever needed in larger, noisier, situations, or outdoors (which I can't wait to try).

There were about 45 folks in wheelchairs, etc. People in the front, people on the sides, 5 or six rows deep --I believe anyone in the room, was getting pretty much the same program--this is the unbelievable part, because all those 24 tiny 2' speakers face the SAME direction...hmmm! The system is smoother than previous ones I have used. I had full control of the volume without touching controls. I could be finger picking, strumming, singing, doing sing alongs, etc, and I didn't change the volume control once (which works well for my lazy nature--actually, I don't like having to be the soundman when I'm performing--too distracting and draining). Not that I couldn't have changed the dial for the EXACT, just right level, but it just wasn't necessary. Other systems require fingerstyle to be turned up some, yet when you start strumming or getting percussive, it can get a little harsh sounding if not backed off a bit--not with this tower and my K&K Pure Western setup though. These things could effectively put some sound persons out of a job.

Oh, did I mention NO monitor was necessary. Because the performer is positioned relatively close to the tower, you hear exactly what you are playing, the same way the audience hears it--VERY cool. My previous monitor set-ups could never match what was being projected from my Fender PA, so it was always a step of faith as to the exact expression of my playing or singing, as well as the volume levels. I would occasionally ask the audience how the volume was, and then try to make the most of the varying responses from different parts of the hall or auditorium! Won't be necessary anymore.

Heard enough?...well I could go on, but I won't. Bottom line is, I am sold--hook, line, and sinker, on these things and can't wait for the next gig to use 'em again. Here's a couple pics (the tower and the soundfield coverage of 1 unit), and a website link to the Bose PAS for anyone interested:

Bose PAS PA system


Ken T.

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