A PHD OPINION
by ns387241 - 7/26/08 5:34 PM
In Reply to: Educated Opinion by gmf_fairy
First and foremost, its not Ferrari Enzo, it's Enzo Ferrari, named after the founder of Ferrari.
Secondly, if people actually heard in their homes what they do at the demo at their local retail store, my opinion would be different. I have owned several Bose systems and have been satisfied with none in any way, be it price or simplicity or the experience. It is not at all like comparing a million dollar supercar to a $20,000 compact, it would be comparing cars in the same range, like an Audi A8 to a Mercedes S550. The Mercedes is better known, but the Audi is by far a better value in the way of pricing, build quality and performance. But Mercedes is better known. That doesn't mean that the Mercedes will shift gears as fast or ride smoother. Back to the point: that doesn't mean that Bose performs.
I have currently in a small room (where nobody with prying eyes can see) Bose Model 601 Flooratnders ($600 new), Bose model VCS-10 centre ($200 new) and Bose Model 901 Bookshelf's ($1,300 new) in a surround setup, the bookshelf's in front. I spent roughly $2100 on speakers alone, not including my Denon test receiver (Model 4308 CI). Never in my life have I heard such undetailed sound from any $2000+ system. The highs were faint at best, the mids and mid bass section boomy and overdramatized, and there was no low end, even for a system without a subwoofer. And yes, my receiver was set correctly, taking into account it is a 5.0 system, not a 7.2 system. I recently compared it to the Polk audio TSI series speakers from Best Buy. The system cost about $1,300. The Polks outperformed the Bose system in every way imaginable. They had crisper highs, deeper, more authoritative lows, and accurate slightly taken aback mids. They were smaller speakers, too. Overall, setup with both systems was simple, but the Polks were simply better: better sounding, better looking, more affordable.
The lifestyle systems and the 321 system are not different. setup is no easier on the lifestyle 48 than on a Denon-based system for the price. Plus to make thos systems look right, the speakers need to be professionally installed on the wall and wires run through the walls. Most other systems do not necessitate that to look good and still kick Bose's ass every time.
For those that buy into the Bose experience and would like to have an excellent expereince with their system, look for Bowers and Wilkins. You get what you pay for and they are committed to serving the customer's every need. I personally use B&W 600 series loudspeakers for a computer system and have the flagship model Nautilus' used in a 7.2 array. I know a good speaker from a bad one at any price and Bose is definitely not one of them.
I will say that for the longest time, Bose had it with the 321, as not other system existed for the price that would give it a run for it's money. But now that the Klipsch systems have come along (as well as Kef), there is no need to so much as look at the 321 until the next model comes out.
I will not let by that 95 percent of this forum has a tendency to dislike Bose products for their value and performance, as they have none of that. Bose claims they are the most respected name in sound. I believe by my count they are the least respected name in sound. My friends are rich and poor. Some don't even have systems. But when I bring them to my lab to double check my thoughts, they assure me that the competition sounds better than Bose.
Bose became the brand to buy because they are excellent at one thing: their advertising. Because of their advertising, they have led consumers to believe that they are the best without saying so. And some consumers don't know what good sound is. Too bad for them when they order some ridiculous system that sounds like crap. Most people have been around long enough to pop into their local Best Buy or Circuit city to hear what the salespeople have to say or hear the difference themselves.
Also, the difference is hearing. BUT, you cannot hear the same material played on both systems at any local retailer because the Bose system cannot play anything else than it's own disc as it is on demo mode. So there never was a comparison. At the big box store, you are listening to material that Bose has calibrated to be perfect for that particular system at that particular location in the store. Most HT systems don't undergo that type of calibration, especially not all the way back to the source, which a consumer has no choice of how that's recorded. An in-store comparison is unfair, it will only ever be in the home that you will hear the fair and true difference between Bose and others. I have heard it. It is so distinct that I can get my 97-year-old neighbor, George, to tell the difference. If he can tell the difference, all of you can also... that is if you have passed your last hearing test.
I hope this helps everyone understand why Bose is not the product to buy no matter what. I have tried many of their systems and compared it to systems costing far less and found that the other system suited the rooms better, and sounded better.
And this is the home industry we're talking about, customers here have aims other than showing off a brand and having mediocre quality (BTW, I know many companies that have gone with B&W or Bryston, as an extreme statement for their commercial sound needs). Customers do more intimate listening sessions in the home than at some grocery store or hotel.
Best of Luck