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Bose Wave Radio Revisited ...

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Arfa Daily, Oct 31, 2007.

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  1. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    I have no particular desire to 'set light' again to this highly emotive and
    contentious subject, but having just had one on the bench, I feel that I've
    got to have one last stab at defending the little beast ...

    It's only problem was that it was a bit iffy at playing CDs, due to a worn
    laser, which was literally 5 minutes work to replace, due to the simple and
    serviceman-friendly construction that is employed. It looked as though it
    had given stirling service over a number of years to its owner, judging by
    the amount of dust in it. There was no indication that the owner was in any
    way displeased with the way that the unit worked, or sounded.

    Once it was fixed, I took the additional time to give it a subjective
    evaluation, just to see if I was wrong in my belief that these Waves *do*
    work well. You may recall that when I was arguing this with a group
    contributor a couple of weeks back, I contended that the sound was "stunning
    both in its overall quality and spatial definition", a statement that I was
    later castigated for, despite trying in as many ways as I knew how, to
    qualify it as being compared to similar sized portable and semi-portable
    items from other manufacturers, and not multi-thousand dollar 'reference'
    systems with $11,000 speakers on the end. So let me try again with regard to
    the word "stunning". I used it in a colloquial way rather than literally, to
    mean 'enough to take me by surprise'. I accept that 'American' English tends
    to be a bit more literal than 'British English', which may have led to my
    intended meaning being misconstrued.

    So, what did I find this time? Well, despite the howls from the usual
    suspects to the contrary, I would still like to compare this to portable
    units, as it is a similar weight, has similarly spaced speakers of similar
    size, is overall of a similar size, has similar functionality, and runs from
    direct line power, as most general portables also do, and as most owners
    actually run them, as the cost of putting 8 D cells in them is prohibitive.
    The only thing it lacks is a carrying handle, to make the task of moving it
    from room to room, just that little bit easier.

    I played a variety of CDs in it, from Pavarotti to The Scissor Sisters, and
    sorry folks, but I am going to stick to my guns on this one.

    Compared to similar units - that's not stacking systems, not reference
    systems, not single or multi-piece bookshelf systems, not the best mini hifi
    that Electrical Barn Inc can offer - I still believe that the Wave Radio
    delivers superb sound. It might not give you the best (perceived) sound
    quality per buck, but by the same token, I don't believe that the claims
    made by Bose for this item, are too far out of line, allowing for marketing
    hype, that we discussed at length, last time.

    The sound that it delivered on all of the material that I tried on it, was
    crisp, full bodied, well-defined spatially - within the obvious constraints
    of speakers separated by only a few inches, but remember that we're still
    not comparing to anything *other* than similarly sized units - and most
    certainly didn't lack in bass, given that the drivers are only 3" or
    whatever. In fact, when I wound the wick up, the bass shook the bench, and I
    could quite clearly 'feel' the bass punching me in the chest. The amount of
    air that the speakers were shifting, was enough to blow out a candle. Now I
    know that I am not an audiophile, but 35 years of repairing hifi has left me
    with an ear that's not too bad, and even with the volume elevated to a level
    that would be ridiculous in most listening situations, those same little
    speakers gave a very creditable performance in terms of perceived
    distortion. I would have said that the unit would withstand 'party' use
    without any problem.

    So where am I now on it all ? Just about exactly where I was before, I
    think, and that is that I still feel that the Wave Radio delivers basically
    what it claims, and could hold its own against bigger better systems in
    *some* instances. I have no more or less interest in it as a product, or in
    Bose as a company, than I did before. I still don't think that for me, Bose
    products are particularly good value for money, but then neither is a
    Ferrari, or an Armani suit, unless you've got sufficient money that it
    doesn't matter to you. I don't believe now, any more than I did before, that
    Bose as a company, set out to lie to and deceive the public.

    Understand that this is all a personal opinion, including my feelings about
    the sound of the Wave Radio, and does not address any of their other
    products. Despite what some on here might believe, we all have a right to
    our opinions, defended or not.

    OK then, get your Doc Martens on, and start kicking ... d;~}

  2. Mr. Daily, I think you're deliberately ignoring the issue. It's rather like
    defending Thomas Kinkaid's wretchedly awful paintings by saying you like his

    The issue is not so much the sound quality of the Wave radio, but the way
    Bose promotes it. I assure you, if Bose did not advertise the Wave radio the
    way it does -- with gross misrepresentations and outright lies -- we would
    not be discussing it here. The Wave would simply be one other overpriced

    If a business misrepresents or lies about its products or services, those
    who know better have an obligation to speak the truth. Bose has no special
    right to be protected from criticism.

    As I've said before, most people are ignorant, not cloth-eared. Give them a
    choice between mediocre sound and good sound, and they'll generally choose
    the latter. (I know, because I've seen it. *) Bose's advertising and
    marketing is designed to reduce the probability the customer will ever make
    such a comparison.

    The dealers are guilty, too. They're not allowed to discount Bose, and
    they're obliged to demonstrate Bose products in a way that complements the
    customer's prejudice to buy Bose. When you make a guaranteed 40% (I assume)
    on each sale, and you need to turn a profit to stay in business, the
    temptation to carry mediocre products from a lying manufacturer must be
    overwhelming. **

    I believe Bose's product design and marketing are directed at women. Women
    don't like hardware in "their" living rooms. The smaller the product, the
    better. And women seem to have a strange inability to operate any kind of
    mechanical or electronic device. So the Bose's simple remote control is
    appealing. ***

    Hell, man, I ain't buying _nothin'_ that was designed for a _woman_.

    The Wave probably has better drivers than those in most all-in-one
    portables. But they don't work well, because they should be mounted on the
    top of the radio. You can demonstrate this for yourself simply by tilting up
    the radio a few inches. You should hear a big reduction in overall
    coloration. If Bose is so knowledgable about audio, why wasn't this obvious
    flaw caught and corrected?

    Sorry, no. BOSE LIES. And that needs to be repeated over and over.

    You mean it hadn't been thrown against a concrete wall in a fit of rage when
    the owner realized he'd spent too much for too little?

    * 40+ years ago I bought a KLH Model 11 FM portable stereo. My parents had a
    Westinghouse fruitwood console. (My father worked for Westinghouse and the
    console was one of a number of gifts he received for selling a lot of
    refrigerators.) It wasn't bad-sounding, but hardly hi-fi. They _immediately_
    commented on the superior sound of the KLH, which had a lower retail price,
    and used a single 3" driver on each channel. The KLH was _extremely_
    difficult to set up -- you had to attach the power cord and connect the
    speakers, an effort requiring a near-genius IQ.
    Another example... A few years ago a friend asked me to help him pick out a
    hi-fi system. He'd just bought a discontinued Adcom power amp, which had
    (and still has) a good reputation. I decided the best approach was not to
    tell him what to buy, but what _not_ to buy. That way, he'd get something he
    liked, and I wouldn't have to talk him into something that didn't really
    appeal to him. Well... He wound up with a discontinued Krell preamp -- and
    Martin-Logan electrostatic speakers. It wasn't an expensive system (even if
    he'd paid full price for the electronics, which he didn't), but it sounded
    _good_. It was one of those rare combinations of "pleasing" and "accurate".
    It was an excellent choice, and he made it all by himself.

    ** When I worked at Barclay Recording & Electronics 30 years ago, the owner
    told us we could carry any product line we wanted, if we thought we could
    sell it. As a result, we took on several manufacturers whose products we
    were enthusiastic about, and could honestly promote.

    *** Almost 50 years ago, Poplular Electronics published an construction
    project for a device that would turn on an amplifier when the turntable was
    turned on. (There have been commercial versions of such products.) The
    author admitted he designed it because his wife (or mother -- I forget
    which) was incapable of remembering that, in order to play a record, you
    also had to turn on the amplifier.
  3. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    It's only problem was that it was a bit iffy at playing CDs, due to a
    Boy oh boy. You really do have a jaundiced view don't you ? You really just
    can't help yourself. You make a rational (in your mind) post, and then go
    and throw that remark in. It has no justification whatsoever, given that I
    went to the trouble of stating that the owner was in no way displeased with
    his purchase. It ranks alongside the first remark that you made before, when
    you said that anyone asking for help with a Bose, was asking for trouble.
    And just so you know, I don't believe that all your ludicrously convoluted
    arguments actually did answer the basic question of what exactly you meant
    by that remark, except that he was likely to get a baseless kicking from
    people such as yourself, who believe themselves to be superior in the
    esoteric world of high fidelity sound.

    And yes, I know it's 'sterling'. There's no need to put your pedantic
    "[sic]" in. That was a typo because I deal regularly with a person whose
    name is Stirling, spelt like that, and type his name several times a week.

  4. Meat Plow

    Meat Plow Guest

    Arfa's post was his opinion about the sound and not a soapbox for you to
    stand upon and spew about Boses's lies. I agree 100% with Arfa, the sound
    is superb given the size of the unit. Sorry you're obsessed over the way
    Bose promoted it but that wasn't what this post was about.
  5. It doesn't matter what his post was about, because his post has nothing to
    do with the real issue -- Bose lies.
  6. Boy oh boy. You really do have a jaundiced view don't you ? You really
    What does whether the customer likes or dislikes the product have to do with
    its quality? You brought up the point.

    As for my rationality... Feel free (seriously) to attack my points, one by
    one. You're going to have a hard time contra-dicting them.
  7. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    I'm sorry my friend. I am not normally given to throwing insults into the
    mix, but you misread and change the context of things to suit your twisted
    view of the company. Of course what my post was about is relevant, and I
    said nothing about the quality. It was YOU who tried to bring that up by
    throwing in one of your senseless remarks again, about the owner suddenly
    realising that he had been 'duped', and in a fit of rage, throwing it up a
    concrete wall. HE doesn't think that he has been duped. HE thinks that he
    has a product that suited him when he bought it, and continues to do so.
    Either you are deliberately trying to wind me up, or you are genuinely
    misguided to the point of stupidity. You really are a little 'wrong' in the
    head, I think. Either that, or an out and out twat, and I have no interest
    at all in your bigoted ranting, and still less in trying to contradict any
    of your worthless points.

  8. I'm sorry my friend. I am not normally given to throwing insults into the
    A little.

    My friends consider me one of the most-sensible people they know. Shall I
    drop names?


    I can understand your initial annoyance at my trying to get the OP to sell
    his Bose. But your continued defense of a mediocre product form a dishonest
    company is hard to understand. Speaking the truth is not bigotry.

    My points are not worthless. I urge you to think about what I wrote, and
    decide whether they make any sense.

    You'll note that I'm not asking you to believe me, or anyone else -- I
    rarely, if ever, argue by "appealing to authority". I ask you to think about
    these things, and make up your own mind.
  9. Ron(UK)

    Ron(UK) Guest

    Arfa Daily wrote:

    Not.. _The_ Stirling? ex GP driver and all round good egg?

  10. Ken G.

    Ken G. Guest

    It proves nothing to anyone to argue over material objects .

    I like those Altec IM7 ipod speakers . They really sound nice too .
  11. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Au contraire. Truth has to be provably factual, to be truth. When a set of
    ideas are put forward as an incontrovertible truth, and they are actually
    nothing more than a strongly held belief, that is bigotry.

    To me, and others who have commented, in the context of what the thread was
    about, they don't.

    I have, and I have, but because I arrive at an opinion that is contrary to
    yours, you cannot accept that it has any validity. By the back door, that
    *is* asking - possibly demanding actually - that people believe you. As long
    as you keep reading what I say, and then putting your own interpretive
    'spin' on it to arrive at another unrelated point, then those points will
    continue to be worthless. I too have a hard time understanding why *you* are
    having such a hard time understanding my position. I *would* say that it is
    an 'American thing' to do with the different way that the English language
    is understood either side of the pond, but even that doesn't work, because
    you seem to be the only American having trouble understanding me.

    The fact that your friends think that you are rational, is neither here nor
    there. Perhaps they are as odd as you, in which case, you would all appear
    normal to each other.

    I'm sure that over there, you must have a government consumer protection
    agency, much the same as we have here. If you really honestly and truly
    believe that Bose are deliberately lying about their products, with the
    express purpose of deceiving the general public, then this must constitute a
    breach of some federal law. It most certainly would here, and in your far
    more litigious society, I can't believe that it wouldn't there. This being
    the case, why have you not 'gone for it' and reported them ? If you honestly
    believe that your arguments and expertise in the field, are strong enough to
    prove that they are lying - and by the way you defend those arguments on
    here, and insist that they are "the truth", you surely do - then you should
    easily get the result of stopping them, and possibly costing them a lot of
    money in fines. If you truly have the courage of your convictions, would
    this not be the ultimate 'best result' ?

    But I fear that you will not go down that route, because when push comes to
    shove, your convictions will not be quite as strong as you would have us
    believe. I'm beginning to think now that in fact you are a mild troll, whose
    object in creating these circular arguments is, if only "a little", to wind
    others up.

  12. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Sorry Ron, but nah! as they say. This Stirling is a little Scottish lad who
    runs the spares department at a company that I do work for. And it's his
    last name, not first. How's life up there at Lune Valley, anyway. I see that
    you are currently not carrying out any service work. Nothing serious wrong,
    I hope ?

  13. clifto

    clifto Guest

    "To each his own," said the old lady as she kissed the cow.
  14. hr(bob)

    hr(bob) Guest

    Could you please tell me what the lies are that Bose is accused of? I
    must have missed that post.

    H. R.(Bob) Hofmann
  15. Smitty Two

    Smitty Two Guest

    Well, there you have it, Arfa. Your comments have been summarily
    dismissed as irrelevant by the Great Pontificator. Now go to your room,
    and not another peep out of you.

    William, forgive my weak memory. What was the Big Lie that Bose keeps
    perpetuating? I remember it being some verifiable, quantifiable thing...
    frequency response specs? THD? Miles per gallon on the highway? Oh, now
    I remember - "lush, room-filling sound." The filthy scumbags. I hope
    your Noble Crusade to save the ignorant masses from Bose's sinister
    hyperbole is a smashing success. It pains me deeply to think of millions
    of consumers enjoying nothing more than figments of their weak and
    gullible imaginations.
  16. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Hi Bob. The original post which started this going, was from "hondgm @
    yahoo", which appeared on my news server on 10th October, and was entitled
    "Bose Wave Radio". Probably best if you just have a squint at that thread,
    as there is quite a list of fundamental lies that Bose are apparently guilty
    of. My issue was not with whether they are a company given to deliberate
    lying, or not, but why owners of their equipment - even if they are totally
    satisfied with their purchase - always get told that they are fools for
    buying it, as it is lousy quality, very poor value for money, and doesn't
    produce good sound, even if you are comparing it to a flea-market transistor
    radio. As a person who repairs Bose equipment for a local main dealer, as
    well as just about every other make in the UK marketplace, I actually
    dispute many of the attacking 'facts' that are levelled at its owners, and
    did so in this case. The original thread degenerated into a circular
    argument. Most people seemed to understand my position, but one just
    wouldn't (couldn't ??). Anyway, I just repaired a Wave Radio, and thought
    that I would have a bit closer listen, and post the results. And that is
    this thread ...

    So read on, my friend, and either agree with me, or give me a kicking. I
    really don't mind as long as you are objective about any comments ! d;~}

  17. What I'm saying is not an opinion. It's fact. The Bose Wave radio is
    mediocre, especially when held up against the standard of Bose's claims for
    it. It's overpriced, because there are cheaper products that perform as well
    or better. And Bose does not speak the truth about its products. (I consider
    that lying, given Bose's stated claims of engineering expertise.) That's it.
    These are all objective, factual, provable statements.

    As friendly professor Peter Schickele so famously said, "Truth is truth. You
    can't have opinions about truth."

    Businesses rarely sue each other over product claims, probably because they
    think it isn't worth the trouble, and the money would be better spent
    misrepresenting their own products.

    Rather than take Bose to court, I would prefer to find some magazine to
    purchase all of Bose's products -- plus competitive products from other
    companies -- so I could thoroughly test them for a printed review. This
    would be much more effective than suing them.

    Mr. Daily, you need to look to your own thinking. You think that one opinion
    is as good as any other. It isn't. And you think that because you believe
    something, it is necessarily true. (It took me a long, long time to grow out
    of that. In fact, it took a long time for me to recognize that I -- and most
    people -- actually thought that way.)
  18. 1. If a person is enticed by an ad claiming (or implying) that product B is
    "absolutely the best", and they neglect to confirm this by comparing it with
    compare-able products, then they are foolish.

    2. Sonically, the Wave is of mediocre quality. As to the build quality, I
    can't speak, but I assume Bose products are reasonably reliable. However,
    there is that Web page where someone opens up one of their home-theater
    systems and attacks it for poor driver quality and cabinet build.

    3. Given its price, the Bose is poor value for the money. If I thought
    otherwise, I would probably own one. (I might add that I've heard the
    Cambridge SoundWorks 740, and was not impressed.)

    Note the wide range of opinions about its sound.

    Note CSW's claim that "our SoundWorks Radio CD 745i reproduces music at its
    best". Hello? "Best" is an _absolute_ comparative. It's as good as my
    Parasound-biamped Apogee Divas? Or QUADs?

    This CSW product is _another_ overpriced mediocrity -- and it's not from
    Bose. With a bit of careful shopping, you can assemble a true component
    system -- with separate speakers, receiver, and CD player -- that outclasses
    the 740 in every way. Oh, it won't fit on your desktop? Well, who gives a
    damn? Bose claims their products are as good as a roomful of components.

    By the way, I have Mission M71i speakers in my bedroom, for casual
    listening. They originally cost $225 a pair, and you can't believe how good
    they are. I actually _enjoy_ listening to them, and I don't feel that way
    about most inexpensive products. You could easily find a $100 receiver and
    $75 DVD/CD player to round out the system at $400.

    4. I've never heard anyone claim the Wave was inferior to "a flea-market
    transistor radio".

    Bose is almost universally reviled because they make mediocre products and
    lie about them.

    35 years ago, Bose manufactured a line of wretched-sounding direct-radiating
    speakers -- I think it was called Compusound -- that dealers could sell for
    a much lower price, while letting the customer know they were made by Bose.
    I think we sold one pair. They were awful.

    Even 35 years ago, it wasn't horribly difficult to make a modestly priced
    speaker that had reasonably flat, uncolored sound. (Infinity had a $99
    speaker, the POS-1 (yes!) that was nothing short of amazing.) Bose's piece
    o' junk was intended to trade on the sucess of their other products, rather
    than provide a high-quality product.

    Bose might have had another motive. As I write this, I'm reminded of a story
    my father used to tell me. He claimed that, back in the '30s, Gillette
    manufactured a poor-quality electric shaver, in an attempt to make electric
    shavers look bad. It's possible that Bose deliberately designed and sold
    poor direct-radiating speakers to make their own direct/reflecting products
    look better.
  19. This is indeed a verifiable statement. Simply ask listeners to compare a
    system that actually delivers such sound with the Bose.

    There are other claims, such as their TV ads explicitly stating that the
    Bose produces "life-like" sound, and is sonically comparable to larger,
    more-complex systems. These are easily demolished untruths.
  20. Lush Room Filling Sound is a Subjective observation and therefore an
    opinion. There is no scale or measurement for Lush Room Filling Sound and no
    matter how many people you ask it is still an opinion. Say I read a book and
    say that is an excellent book, though someone else reads it and says it is
    terrible. Well I want to prove the book is a good book so I let readers
    compare it to another book. The results will be an opinion no matter who
    reads it or how many people read it, even if they all say it is excellent.
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