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Bose Wave Radio

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by [email protected], Oct 15, 2007.

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  1. Guest

    I have a Wave Music System here that won't take CDs. This unit is
    controllable only with a remote since there's no buttons on the radio
    itself. I know the remote works because I've tried it with another
    Wave Radio.

    The eject button on the remote does nothing, neither does the "CD"
    button. I thought there might be a CD stuck in the player, but there
    doesn't appear to be. Strangely enough, pressing the CD or Eject
    button causes absolutely nothing to happen, not even that little dot
    lights up that normally does when an IR signal is hitting the unit.
    But, I get a response on the VFD when I press CD or Eject with the
    working radio even with no CD inserted. This seems like a logic
    problem, but all other functions work so that seems unlikely. Anyone
    familiar with these?
  2. Asking for assistance with a Bose product is asking for trouble.

    The Wave system (which I've heard) is a profoundly mediocre product sold at
    a premium price. This failure would be a good opportunity to listen around
    for something better. You should be able to find a $200 "executive" system
    at Costco with substantially better sound. It won't be a "single-piece"
    system, but a single-piece system that delivered really good sound would be
    large and unwieldy.
  3. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    I don't know why everyone has such a 'downer' on Bose products. I do a lot
    of work for a Bose main dealer, so most of their product range crosses my
    bench at some time or another - although I have not experienced the problem
    that the OP is having with his Wave Radio, so am unfortunately unable to
    offer any particularly constructive advice on it.

    Although I would agree that their products carry a premium sale price, I
    would have to say, purely from a service point of view, that they are well
    built, and appear to use quality components and PCBs. They are also
    thoughtfully designed from a mechanical dismantling angle, and their service
    info and backup, if you are fortunate enough to have access to it, is second
    to none, IMHO. What other manufacturer these days, for instance, has a
    proper paper manual, with a full text description of how every sub-circuit
    in the item works, full-sized fold out schematics which follow proper
    schematic drawing principles and are thus a breeze to read, and have full
    sized board layout diagrams from both sides, that are actually legible ?

    I would also dispute that the Wave Radio is a "profoundly mediocre product".
    Compared to any other portable or semi-portable that I have come across in
    recent years, I think that the sound this little unit produces, is perfectly
    stunning, both in overall quality, and spatial definition. So much so, in
    fact, that I have on several occasions had visitors to my workshop comment
    on how impressed they've been when they have listened to one that I've had
    on soak test.

    I don't know how much of it is 'emperor's new clothes syndrome', but most
    Bose owners that I've spoken to seem to be well pleased with their systems
    and what they cost them. Remember that proper Bose dealers have a listening
    room where the products can be fully demonstrated, so it's not as though
    purchasers of Bose equipment have been conned or fooled in any way by clever
    sales banter. They have bought of their own free will, having listened,
    played with, and decided exactly what product suited them, and with full
    knowledge of what the purchase price was going to be. They could just as
    easily have walked out and gone to Costco or wherever, and bought something
    cheaper, had they have wanted to ...

  4. Andy Cuffe

    Andy Cuffe Guest

    The current CD and non-CD radios both appear to be identical apart
    from the lack of a CD slot (at least externally). It sounds like it
    might think it's a non-CD radio. You would need the service manual to
    find out what the difference between them is. There might be a
    soldered jumper that tells it whether or not it's a CD radio, or the
    micro controller might be different. If it's not detecting the CD
    mechanism because of a bad cable, or failure of the CD mechanism, it
    might go into non-CD mode. Have you tried resetting it by removing
    the backup battery and leaving it unplugged over night?
    Andy Cuffe

  5. Lynn

    Lynn Guest

    "Which I've heard". So if you haven't heard it first hand then how the
    **** can you say for yourself whether or not it is a"profoundly
    mediocre product solt at a premium price."

    If you can read, the original poster was asking about his CD player
    not functioning properly, not for an opinion about Bose products.

    This is, not

    I've had enough of your shit and your off topic posts, a complant to
    Comcast should teach you some manners.
  6. Because many of them are crap. This wouldn't normally be a problem -- lots
    of companies make crap products -- but for the fact that Bose products
    aren't cheap, and the company makes exaggerated claims for them. I owned
    Bose 901s, and it took me a year to finally get through my head just how
    poor they were.

    No argument, but who cares how well-built or easy-to-service a product is,
    if it's not a very good product in the first place?

    No offense, but you've got to be kidding.

    A few years back I went to a Bose-sponsored demo at a local hotel. They had
    a demo area where you could play with the radios. Not only was there a
    stunning lack of space and definition, but when you lifted the front of the
    radio, you could hear a noticebable _reduction_ in coloration. In other
    words, there is severe interaction with reflections from the table. (This
    ought to occur with just about any table radio, but the Wave seems to be
    unique in this regard.)

    I have an inexpensive TEAC "executive system" which is my at-work stereo.
    It's hardly the greatest system in the world, but it handily beats a Wave.

    I have some experience with live recording, and have owned really good
    playback equipment for over 30 years. I have little respect for the opinion
    of the average listenier.

    The two might be intimately connected -- if something is expensive, you tend
    to like it.

    The consensus is that Bose has a separate demo room precisely to _prevent_ a
    full demonstration. The belief is that they don't want their products being
    compared with other products.
  7. Because I've heard it, at length. That's what I said -- I've actually heard
    it -- I was not repeating someone else's opinion.

    It's sometimes appropriate to point out that a malfunctioning product should
    be dumped for something better.
  8. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Seconded. The same is true of all Bose products in fact.

  9. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    It's not off-topic and your idea that a complaint is any way even remotely
    acceptable or warranted is idiotic.

    Comcast will merely laugh at you. I suggest you look at ANY ISPs terms and
    conditions to look for the section that says annoying Lynn is a breach of the T's
    & Cs.

  10. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    I understand that Bose company policy is to ensure that no possibility of a
    proper A-B comparison can ever take place.

    The spin they put on this is merely another example of what bullshitters they

  11. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Well, I guess that in the end, it all comes down to opinion, but if I were
    slagging off Bose, I'm not sure that I would be admitting to owning a Teac.
    Some of their stuff is some of the worst I've ever had the misfortune to
    work on, and it also is not what I would call cheap.

    When I was talking about 'visitors to my workshop', I was referring to other
    service engineers, so not just 'off-the-street' casual observers. Whilst we
    might not be loony audiophiles, we have between us collectively, a great
    many years of experience in the business, and unless we knew what basically
    sounded 'right', we would not have survived as independant repairers, as
    long as we have. Therefore, contrary to your opinion of these people, I have
    a great deal of time and respect for their observations.

    Having owned your 901's, have you actually had much experience of their
    other products on which to base your (apparently) heavily slanted opinions ?
    If it took you a year to figure out that they were no good (for you) it begs
    the question of how you came to buy them in the first place, and just why it
    took you so long to come to the conclusion that you had seemingly been
    duped, and that they were crap ?

    As far as listening tests go, my colleague's dealership has many high end
    systems from the likes of Yamaha and Pioneer and Technics available for
    audio evaluation, alongside his Bose range, and still he manages to sell
    them, so I'm not sure quite how that stacks up ...

    I often wonder when attacks like this on a company start, just what the
    attackers believe was the motivation for the creation of that company, and
    how they believe that it manages to keep going. I mean, do you honestly
    believe that a couple of guys sat down over a beer a few years ago and
    decided that they would produce poorly designed equipment, and charge a
    totally unrealistic price for it ? Do you think that their accountant then
    agreed that this was a cracking idea, and sure to be a long term success ?
    Did they then go out and hire a couple of designers from the poorest audio
    background that they could find, and give them free reign to go ahead and
    design exactly what they liked, no matter what it sounded like ? And having
    established this business model, have continued to be successful with it for
    many years ? In today's business environment, where anyone who cannot turn a
    healthy profit rapidly goes to the wall, I rather think not.

    I might add that I have no particular allegiance to Bose, and I wouldn't say
    that their kit represents particularly good value for money - to me at
    least, but I am interested to know just why their products always come up
    for such a kicking on here, whenever anyone is naiive enough to post about
    one. They are certainly no worse sounding, or have any worse on-paper specs
    than many other makes of high end audio. Their high cost can in some
    respects, although not totally, I would agree, be mitigated by the quality
    of parts used, the standard of quality of construction, and the service
    backup quality, should it be needed.

  12. Lynn

    Lynn Guest

    Get screwed, you pussy licker.
  13. No, it doesn't. As the elderly Chinese man says in "Gremlins"... "To hear,
    one need only listen."

    I'm no fan of TEAC tape recorders. (I've owned one, and heard others,
    including TASCAM.) They just don't sound very good. But some of their
    stuff -- such as their executive systems -- are decent.

    Of course... They're your customers. How else would you feel about the
    people who purchase the services that keep you in business?

    My problem is that your/their description of the sound of the Wave is so at
    odds with, not only what I've actually heard, but the obvious limitations of
    two small speakers sitting almost on top of each other in a little box, that
    it's simply unbelievable. You can't get good imaging out of speakers about a
    foot apart.


    "Heavily slanted" implies that my opinions are based on something other than
    a resasonably objective view of the issues involved.

    I've had experience with several Bose products (see below), none of which
    even began to live up to the exaggerated claims made for it. They might have
    other products that are of excellent quality. But Bose has a truly lousy
    track record among serious listeners. When there is so much other "good
    stuff" out there that costs the same or less, why bother with Bose.

    About 20 years ago I bought a Denon DT-400. (I think that's the model.) This
    was a two-piece table radio that sold for $400. The speakers were two-way,
    and had excellent sound -- far, far superior to the Bose. Furthermore, you
    could separate them for "real" stereo.

    I recently retired it for some Lux components I pulled out of storage and a
    pair of Mission speakers.

    Did you start out knowing everything? Has your judgement about things always
    been correct?

    I worked for a year in a photo/hi-fi store. Bose was one of our top brands.
    I heard the 901s nearly every day, and brought in familiar recordings for
    comparison. The 901s were better than anything else (including AR & KLH).
    (We also sold the Bose 501s and 301s, which did not wildly impress me.)

    I bought two pairs of 901s. (I had then, and still have, surround sound.)
    When they arrived and I hooked them up, I was utterly surprised to discover
    that they sounded (overall) NO BETTER than my KLH 11 FM portable. They were
    not particularly clean nor transparent. It took me a year to figure out they
    were junk. Sorry about my "slowness", but we're all ignorant or hide-bound
    in various ways.

    I replaced the 901s with DQ-10s. The Dahlquists delivered almost everything
    the Boses only promised. They actually produced a plausible, layered image
    in which you could hear the relationship of the ambient to the direct sound
    (in good recordings, of course). The 901s, in contrast, generate a
    artificial ambient "spew".

    The only "honest" review of the 901s appeared in Stereophile. Bose waited
    several years to send Gordon a pair, because they no doubt knew he would
    trash them. He did. Indeed, he didn't criticize them enough. You owe it to
    yourself to read the review. You can find a link in this Wikipedia article:

    By the way, I altered the Wikipedia article to correct a misquote from the
    Stereophile review, and added an additional quote.

    I've never considered Yamaha or Technics "high-end". Pioneer used to sell
    high-end components; I don't know if they still manufacture them. The idea
    that Bose equipment is "high-end" is ludicrous beyond belief.

    I have plenty of experience with live sound and live recording. If I thought
    Bose 901s provided "the closest approach to the original sound", you can bet
    I'd own them, despite the fact they aren't horribly expensive. They don't,
    and I don't.

    Well, there are people who do that, but I don't think Dr. Bose was one of
    them. Rather, I think Dr. Bose is a cloth-eared intellectual idiot who has a
    poor understanding of the (proper?) philosophy of sound reproduction.

    The first Bose product was the pricey 2201, a kind of sophisticated "Sweet
    16". Each speaker system was an eighth of a sphere containing 11 full-range
    Carbonneau (sic) drivers. They were driven by a Hammond Organ transistor
    amplifier, and used active EQ to flatten the response.

    Or more precisely, to shape it. You see, the gentleman who founded
    Soundstream (I forget his name) worked with Dr. Bose to determine what a
    "perfect" sound source radiating from a corner into eighth-space would sound
    like. (I won't go into the technical details, but "on paper" their research
    made sense.) They claimed that the sound of the 2201 was indistinguishable
    from a perfect eighth-space radiator.

    In other words, within the context of eighth-sphere radiation, the 2201s
    were perfect. (This claim, which was covered in moderate detail in Bose's
    early literature, was an influence on my purchase. I had not, at that time,
    heard QUADs. Or Advents, for that matter.) I no more believe this than I
    believe Emanual Velikovsky's writings. The only speaker I've ever heard that
    sounds "live" was the Plasmatronics. Even the best non-ionic speakers lag
    noticeably behind, and the 901s are light-years distant.

    Part of the Bose design theory (which applies to a greater or lesser extent
    to all their speakers) is that single overwhelming factor in a speaker's
    sound quality is its omnidirectional power response. Though this theory
    (which strongly inform's CU's speaker tests) has never been properly
    discredited, it is patently absurd, as one can easily find speakers of
    extremely high sound quality that have relatively poor omnidirectional power

    Just because someone has a PhD and comes from a country noted for its
    intellectual achievements, doesn't mean he actually _understands_ anything.

    By the way, the current Bose literature ignores the original claim of sonic
    perfection. This is likely because they figure the non-audiophile reader
    won't understand it, but it's also possible that such a claim would bring
    the roof down on them.

    There is at least one Website whose owner claims to have dissected Bose
    speakers and discovered relatively cheap drivers of questionable quality, as
    well as inferior cabinetry.

    You are assuming that high-quality products will be commercially successful,
    low-quality products won't, and their success or failure accurately reflects
    their quality. 'tain't so, McGee. The easiest way to make money is to lie.
    Bose doesn't tell the truth, and is also probably lying (ie, consiously
    speaking an untruth).

    Because Bose speaks with forked tongue. Their products aren't very good, but
    Bose claims there are none better. Only one other audio company makes such
    claims -- QUAD -- but it has real justification for them.

    People need to be told over and over and over again that Bose's claims are
    simply not true. And if all they want is a single-box plug 'n play unit,
    they're getting exactly what they deserve.

    Bose products are the market equivalent of the fruitwood stereo console of
    45 years ago -- convenient, attractive, and mediocre. But at least the
    fruitwood console was cheaper than separate compoents. Bose products aren't.
    The customer spends more and gets less.

    What in the name of heaven do you consider to be "high-end" audio? I have a
    true high-end system (Apogee/Parasound), and I'd be delighted to put it up
    against Bose. I have no doubt what your reaction would be -- you'd smash the
    Boses with a sledgehammer.

    I recently purchased a pair of (discontinued) Mission M71i speakers for my
    bedroom. They listed for $250 when new. You could combine them with a modest
    receiver and CD player for a total of less than $500, and get much, Much,
    MUCH better sound than a Wave radio.

    As for paper specs... 30+ years ago I decided to buy a cassette deck. The
    TEAC 450 was new then, and had gotten rave reviews from Julian Hirsch. I
    could buy the TEAC for $360 at Stereo Discounters, or a Nakamichi 700 for
    $700. I went with the TEAC.

    Big mistake. Though the TEAC had very low flutter and reasonably wide
    response (for a cassette deck), it didn't sound very good. It was
    grainy-sounding and "flattened" the acoustic space. (Naturally, JH mentioned
    none of this in his review.) I replaced it with a Nakamich 700 II, which was
    almost perfectly transparent dubbing records. (Live music was a different

    The differences between good and poor equipment are easily audible. Don't
    take my word for it -- go out and listen for yourself.
  14. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    OK. Well, I'm not about to argue this one into the ground with you. Long
    long ago, I learned from participation in other groups that those who
    perceive themselves to be audiophiles, push their views with a similar level
    of evangelical fervour to that of Jehova's Witnesses, to the point where
    they feel that they can justify ridiculously priced cables and amplifiers
    which cost more than a small car. That said, I will address a few of the
    comments that you have made.

    No matter what the on-paper specs say, whether one piece of kit sounds good
    to one person, and another does not, *is* a matter of their opinion, in much
    the same way that any other comparison is - cars for instance.

    With reference to the opinions of visitors to my workshop, I think you need
    to take the time to read what I said a little more slowly. I was at pains to
    point out that these were not punters off the street - what you have taken
    to be my customers - but other service engineers. That is friends and
    colleagues similarly employed as professional service engineers, and with
    many years of experience in repairing the stuff. This does not necessarily
    imply that they are pedantic audiophiles, but that they have a good enough
    ear to know whether something sounds correctly functional, as designed.

    When I am describing the sound from the Wave Radio, I am comparing it to
    similarly sized portable or semi-portable units, not mini hifi systems. I am
    talking the likes of Sharps and Sonys and Panasonics, which also have their
    speakers a foot apart, and many of which employ similar 'fiddle factor'
    phasing of the speaker signals, to make the speakers *appear* to be rather
    more than a foot apart. When you do this sort of comparing apples with
    apples, rather than your sort of comparing apples with oranges, the Wave
    Radio leaves most of those other standing for both overall sound quality and
    spatial definition. Maybe it does do this by artificial colouration of the
    sound, and maybe that doesn't rest easy with a purist such as yourself, but
    in my opinion - there's that word again - it does make it sound more
    pleasing than most other *similarly sized* items, albeit for a price

    I do believe that your view of Bose is slanted, because you seriously
    believe them as a company, to be liars and cheats, so no matter what anyone
    else may say or think, you and your audiophile chums will shout them down
    with those beliefs. I don't know what you call that. I still call it

    Did I start out knowing everything ? Was my judgement never wrong ? No, of
    course not on both counts, but I fail to see how your story of having worked
    in a photo store listening to 901's every day for a year, thinking that they
    were better than anything else in the shop, explains how you then bought
    some, took them home, and found yourself horrified by their apparently poor
    performance. And then took a further year to declare them "junk" ???

    As far as what I consider to be 'high end' goes, I am talking everyday
    brands, that are purchased by everyday folks, but which lie at the top end
    of the price range, and tend to be sold more by hifi shops than electrical
    warehouse barns. I'm talking Jaguar rather than Honda, but not Ferrari or
    Lambo. Most output from the likes of Sharp and Sanyo and Philips and
    Goodmans and Samsung and Toshiba and so on, does not fall into that
    category. Much, although not all, of Technics does. Much, although not all,
    of Yamaha does. Most of Pioneer's efforts do. Some Teac gear does and so on.
    The stuff that you are referring to as 'high end', I and most ordinary
    people, would refer to as super high end, where the prices are nothing short
    of ridiculous for what you are getting. In fact I would say that it is a
    perfect example of the law of diminishing returns. Many of the super high
    end tube amps that I have seen for repair, are little different from a half
    way decent amp that you would have found on the end of a tabletop radio, 40
    years ago. And people are stupid enough to pay $2000 for them ... Now in my
    opinion, the companies that make and market this sort of thing are the real
    liars and robbers, and the people who buy them are the real audiophools ...

    As far as the differences between good and poor equipment being clearly
    audible, I would not dispute that. I am a service engineer - I mend the
    rotten stuff for a living and have for 35 years - so I have a great deal of
    experience listening to everything from Korean transistor radios, to the
    most expensive amps you can buy. What I would dispute is that you can hear a
    lot of difference between a Pioneer $500 rig and a Bloggs and Bollockchops
    9000 series Mark 64 monobloc as recommended by Sebastion Cringeworthy-Twat
    in Audiophile's Weekly, and costing $2500 ...

    And that's all I'm going to say on the matter for now.

    Except I knew 'reign' looked wrong when I typed it. Let's try 'rein' instead

  15. Hi!
    Premium price? Oh yeah. Absolutely. (At least to my way of thinking...)

    Mediocre product? Well, I suppose it depends on what you have in mind when
    you listen to music. The first time I had the chance to hear one was at a
    friend's house. I walked in the door, far away from the room in which it was
    playing and was immediately surprised. I didn't remember any big stereo ever
    being in the place, and one wasn't. The music was coming from this little
    Bose Wave player. I was astounded by the performance, but the price and the
    fact that new ones have only remote controls put me off of it.

    Tivoli Audio's little table radio sounds fairly good to me and the price was
    a lot better. The company was also good to deal with, although I wanted to
    keep the flood damaged unit I had and build a plywood cabinet for it, just
    to be funny.

  16. This has nothing to do with the quality of the Wave system. It's a
    well-known psychoacoustic effect -- almost any audio system sounds better
    _outside_ the room in which it's playing than in the room. I have theories
    about this, but I won't speculate.

    For what a Wave CD/radio system costs, you can buy high-quality components
    with _much_ better sound. That's what makes the Wave system such a ripoff --
    people think they're getting great sound and good value, when they're
    actually getting mediocre sound and paying three times what it _should_

    I bought a Tivoli Model One when they first came out. It was Henry Kloss's
    last product, so it must be great, right?

    It wasn't. The bass was thick and thumpy. (Stuffing the port helps.) It
    won't play very loud without sounding "gagged". And it One sounds better at
    a distance.

    I just sold two KLH Model Eight table radios. Despite the fact that the
    Eight was designed 45 years earlier, the overall sound is much better. It
    has a fullness and "projection" missing from the One.
  17. Guest


    I have heard three (3) Bose "Wave Radios". One, quite recently as
    purchased by our neighbor upstate, Pat, an 84 YO woman puchased it as
    a treat to herself the week she moved back into her house that was
    flooded and nearly destroyed 15 months ago.

    In her tiny little and very busy little living room, it sounded
    adequate (at best), but I am sure that for her vintage ears it sounded
    just fine. She found the remote control with its (relatively) few
    buttons met her needs, the radio took up a small footprint and no
    floor space, so she was a happy camper. And she had a "NAME BRAND"
    radio - something that meant something to her. I did not ask what she
    paid, but I suspect it was over $300, as this one had the CD and so

    For that same (just over) $300, I purchased over the last 15 months as
    follows: Revox B251 integrated amp (already had the proper remote), AR
    TSW 110 speakers, Yamaha CD changer, Harmon-Kardon H500 tuner. The
    Revox had a sticky relay, easily corrected. The rest of it needed no
    more than cleaning. This is what lives in our summer house down the
    lane from Pat.

    Bigger footprint, more complicated to set up, not something my 84 year
    old neighbor would want, all vintage, no warranties - but far superior

    Do I like Bose products? Not hardly, never did, never understood the
    appeal. Do they do a super marketing job? You bet. Are they garbage?
    Relative to what? To Revox? You bet! For an elderly woman living alone
    who wants to treat herself and feel warm-and-fuzzy doing it? Nope.
    They fill that need very well.

    Peter Wieck
    Wyncote, PA
  18. They're small and easy to operatire.
    Of course, there's cheaper stuff that would meet her need. Of course, most
    mini systems have -- for the average user -- relatively complex controls.
  19. Ken Layton

    Ken Layton Guest

    Several years ago there used to be a website called, ""
    which debunked all the Bose marketing hype.
  20. G

    G Guest

    There is also a BOSE FAQ

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