Written on: 10/10/2008 by banjobkp (1 review written)
Light! Powerful! Reliable! Audience Friendly!
Bottomline, they sound good.
Older Models, the case lid would break off. Series 1 speakers would foam rot, so you would have to refoam them. This is actually an opportunity to pick up 802's cheap, if your willing to put the work in to refoam, which isn't really that hard. Lastly, you need a special EQ unit called a controller. Without the Controller to correct the deficiencies by using only 4 1/2" drivers, the bose essentially will sound bad. This isn't a bad point so much as it is something you have to figure out how to manage in your rack, and in relation to your board, eq's and other processors you might have in line.
Bass is always something to think about as well. For recorded music, which is often limited and compressed and nicely balanced, bass reproduction in my opinion is fine. However, if you intend to put live music through these units, while they have no problem pumping out the volume, you probably need to put a sub woofer in play. Bose has over the years made the 302, 502, and now the mb4's, which seem to be fine solutions. Since they are really there to fill 150/160 hertz and below. (remember that 41 hrtz, is the low E string on a bass), In my opinion, one doesn't have to be limited by bose subs to fill this space.
I will use old EV' S12 cabs for indoor or low scale outdoor work and a custom 15" DLX EV 400 Watt bass bin for larger outdoor gigs. It's not a commercial sub like a EAW, or Delaney, but, I'm pretty happy doing a moderate outdoor venue, i.e. mid size bluegrass festival with this rig.
In the ongoing battle of trying to find the right rig that cover's lots of ground from indoors to outdoors, and of course trying to do a great job on a budget. The Bose 802 speaker make for a fine scalable speaker unit on which one can build a cost effective, high performance system that doesn't require a crane or huge truck and a crew to setup.
I've heard some outstanding commercial systems over the years and basically pass out looking/lusting after them when I see what a commercial rig actually costs. And of course they weigh a ton, and are designed to direct and throw quality sound a good long distance without blasting out the front row. (well, not so much)
I do sound as a part time thing for bluegrass bands. I'm also a musician and supply sound for my band when needed. I've had many club sized systems and used many a club sized system over the years. EV's, Yamaha's (I never really and still don't get why folks like yamys), Community, Klipsh, JBL EON"s, and all of them have "characteristics", which one must handle with processors to get the sound one wants. Its one thing to play with recorded material. In live sound, its the mics, the stage, the instruments and the quality of the voice that makes these speakers work for or against you.
I've always enjoyed good club speaker systems for the simplicity of plugging in a going. And I've always like working with EV's and Community speakers the best, but still, lugging around 15" woofer club speakers requires a VAN etc.
Ever since I switched to acoustic music, and since I'm getting older and have learned the hard way that bigger isn't always better, just heavier, I have been very very very happy, impressed, delighted, pleased with the Bose 802.
And bluegrass isn't quiet music. I like loud vocals with big bass with cutting banjo's, mandolins and fiddles. The bose 802 truly generate 115 db at 240 watts. What that means is that I have played outdoors at a local prop airport, and was asked to turn it down.
It really is hard to believe that something that weighs under 40 lbs, that is easy to handle and carry and load and unload, something i can put in back of my car suv, can be too loud, outdoors.
But volume and lightness aside. They also sound good. Is it going to sound as good as a commercial system, well it depends. If i need a truck and a crane and a crew and a scaffold to put up a commercial system, then I'm not doing these 500 buck jobs.
There is a rational on PA's that has to be part of the equation as it relates to the quality of the sound. I run quality mics. Shure SM58 Beta's, Shure SM94 condensors. into a Mackie Onyx 16 channel board, into the BOSE Eq., I use DBX 15 band eq's, into Sabine 1020 plus feedback killers, into a BBE crossover, using BBE Sonic Maximizer and bass notching to get the sound right, and run them through my Medusa Snake to a rack of Crest FA Series amps. I do run a sub woofer in an old EV S12's and cross around 150hrtz.
I may not have the commercial, state of the art Speakers and AMPS, but all my gear is quality, purchased mostly used on EBAY, and while it might be 80's and 90's technology, well, things were sounding pretty good in the 80's and 90's.
My last sound job was at the morris arboretum outdoors. A tape head guy put up his Mic and I could see he was using C414's in stereo. It was a large 7 piece acoustic band with drums and upright bass and digital piano..... I asked the guy, how does it sound?
Well, its a loaded question. I know it sounds good. That's why I put up with moving all this damn equipment. I'm a musician. I grind my teeth all the time when I hear poorly executed sound. When I'm happy, its sounding good. He just smiled and said I can't wait to listen to the tape.
Folks say the bose are expensive. If one is resourceful, you can build a nice system cost effectively around used bose 802 equipment, that you can cart around in a Toyota RAV4. The general public doesn't think bad things when they see a BOSE system. And after you have a successful show, where everything sounds good, the musicians are happy, and the audience is saying thing about how good the band is, well, that's the bottom line.
I'm a happy bose 802 owner, and am going to expand to 6 bose 802's in my system. Flying two stacked together over a big sub, and having two more for fills. That's going to be my outdoor festival rig. And all I have to do is scale down two one or two sets of 802's for indoor gigs using 12" subs.
I'm happy, the audience is happy, the musician's are happy. Only certain folks are unhappy, and they are the ones who have the commercial rigs.
(It was a strange festival. The sound company whom I have alot of respect for, tears down on Sunday so the festival can save some money. But they put on a sunday show for the die hards using guys like me to setup sound. One of the musicians who play's in the band with the owner of the commercial system said out loud after playing a song, it really sounds really good up here! And their playing on my rig with the bose and vidsonix monitors. By far the most important things in your rig are your microphones, and how you eq your system, and using a sonic maximizer, which has always been my secret weapon!)