In a message dated 1/2/08 4:32:35 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
BTW, does anyone recall the Bose 901 series speakers? They were pretty
popular back in the
I currently own two pairs of 901s, one pair is still in use as the front
stereo channels of our main surround-sound system. I've experimented
several 901's of various vintages over the years.
I assume that they were the standard 8 ohm impedance type
901's are anything but "standard". In later versions Bose developed
own unique "woofer" for this application. Like some Tesla Coilers, Bose
edge-wound ribbon instead of round wire to make a more compact voice
assembly. The ribbon edges are on the inside and outside of the coil,
not the top
and bottom as we wind it for a TC. Not that strange, other manufacturers
done the same, and some even use *hexagonal* cross-section magnet wire
more efficiently pack the wire into the limited space in the magnet gap.
IIRC, all 9 of the identical "woofers" in the original 901 were all
connected in series. I also remember in later versions there was a
series/parallel connection. A lot of tweaking and technology went into
the later versions.
and it seems like I heard someone say that as part of Bose's
campaign for these
speakers that they actually connected the input leads of a Bose 901
a 120 volt outlet and the speaker did not blow.
I've seen a lot of the advertising for the 901's, even the original
magazine reviews from the late '60's when they first came out, and never
anything like that. Believe me, it would've stuck in my mind!
They *did* originally spec them at "unlimited power handling in
non-commercial applications", but much later changed it to something
quite reasonable. The later versions were much tougher, anyhow. I *can*
never seen a blown 901. Like many older speakers, especially of the
mid-70's, they tended to dry-rot and fall apart (Bose even had a
program going for original owners).
Assuming the 8 ohms to be the correct resistance that the 120 volts, 60
AC saw, that means
that the speaker would have been processing 1875 volt-amps (not sure
the power factor
would be in this situation) of sound power!
That's no big deal. I drive my 901's with an older Carver TFM-45,
at 375W/channel continuous indefinite, 750/channel for a few seconds,
I've measured it as much higher on the peaks. Carver had some
designs that used power supply transformers with a lot of leakage
store energy, instead of big filter caps on the DC bus (although the
pretty big caps, and Carver amplifiers are another story unto
I once plugged the speaker leads from my TFM-45 into an uncooked hotdog,
at full output the hotdog began smoking as it made music...
During the heyday of the 901's, there weren't too many affordable
that were capable of putting out enough clean power to blow them. But
901's were very inefficient speakers, so it took a lot of power through
get them as loud as most other speakers. Another tradeoff...
People (myself included) would take 901's, turn them around, and use
them as PA/sound reinforcement speakers. Bose eventually introduced the
which were basically 901's turned around without the 9th driver on the
backside. So they were very tough.
Sorry to get a little OT here, but has anyone else heard this "story"?
Well, now that I typed all this, I figured we might as well find out.
I'm just dumb enough to try something like this, and in a position to do
I just took a single 901 speaker, Series V, 1983 vintage, downstairs
the garage. Donned safety goggles and *earmuffs*. I plugged it directly
the wall. No ballast, no variac, no switch, no nothing! Twice in a row
five seconds each time. No smoke, no smell, and a good clean 60 Hz sound
no indications of clipping. Lights dimmed very significantly. VERY loud.
wife upstairs said it vibrated the whole house.
Center for the Advanced Study of Ballistic Improbabilities
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