(mirrored from this thread.)
As you know, we're very much interested in the ENTIRE experience of being a musician, whether you are jamming in your basement all the time or out gigging 7x/week. The input gained here on this message board, from musicians like yourself propel us to continue with new, well conceived and innovative products. This next new product is no different.
While many owners find that a single or double-bass system is perfect for many instruments, venues, and genres, some owners find that two B1’s is just not enough bass reinforcement. So if you’re a bass player, drummer, DJ and you are playing styles that demand more bass output, sadly an easy solution was not available for you (up to now).
Many owners have turned to purchasing third party powered subs or separate power amplifier to drive more B1s. Unfortunately, the cost and complexity of these not-so-elegant solutions negates the entire premise of the Bose system: focus more on the music, not the gear. Powered subs are notoriously heavy and require some tweaking to get it to sound “balanced” with the Bose system. Spectral balance unfortunately is never achieved- the 3rd party sub is tuned differently than the Bose system (port tuned, crossover usually too low).
The 3rd party power amp is plagued by having a form factor that’s difficult to carry. You need a rack to transport, otherwise you are stuck carrying a rack by its rack-ears to the gig (fun, right?). The 3rd party power amp solution requires a significant amount of technical setup and matching to be used with B1s. Sure, you get to drive more B1’s (they sound SO good and are SO convenient to carry, right?), but you are tasked with selecting a power amplifier that is appropriate to the Bose B1. Heck, has ever an amplifier been matched to a loudspeaker? Not often in the MI industry. That’s the reason why power amps have such detailed (and costly) feature sets. This is also the reason why powered subs are so popular these days (don’t need to research and select a separate amplifier).
The power amplifier selection process
What’s that about? An amplifier is an “amplifier”, right? Its job is to take little signals and make them large enough to push a loudspeaker cone and make fluctuations in air; a seemingly simple task. Well as a musician, you need to learn about all of these specs: Power, RMS, THD, CMRR, Slew Rate, Impedance,to name some.. all to make more sound out of your system. So you need to select a power amp that will be a good match for your loudspeakers, in this case B1s.
On top of that you need to
1) Make sure that you are using the right cable from the PS1 power stand. An incorrect cable could give you 6dB less signal than optimal.
2) Make sure all of those little DIP switches are set right on your amp for your setup
3) You need to make sure that your gain is set appropriately! Incorrectly set gain from an amp powered 2 B1s can counteract the effectiveness of driving 4 B1s together as a balanced unit.
So what’s the choice in this case? Become or find an audio/electrical engineer or… sound bad.
Well, we’ve been listening and understand that most of you just want to show up and play. What if you could add more B1 bass modules to your Bose system, keep your tone the same, but be able to increase your level? It sure would be nice if you could maintain an all-Bose solution and simply carry how many B1 bass modules you needed for a particular gig or rehearsal.
-Only need 2 B1s Friday night? Take only two.
-Need 4 B1s Saturday night? Take four B1s, no need to tweak presets and EQ. You have the same tone, only louder now. What would that take to make that happen?
In consideration that the B1 sounds so good and is so uniquely portable, why would we ever want to carry out something that weighs too much or is difficult (or impossible) to set up, just to get more bass?
We designed an amplifier, perfectly matched for driving two additional B1 bass modules. It doesn’t look or feel like and amplifier. In fact, it is currently the lightest pro audio power amplifier on the market today.
Introducing the model A1 PackLite™ power amplifier.
The PackLite amplifier is so easy to use. After placing the amplifier on top of the PS1 power stand and plugging in the power cord, a simple connection from the PS1’s Bass Line-Out to the PackLite amp’s Input connector is all it takes to be ready to drive one or two addition B1 bass modules.
The amplifier is completely automatic for Bose system owners. It even senses what type of input cable you are using and will make adjustments automatically so that you never have to adjust a DIP switch or gain control. Everything is ready to go once plugged in.
This is a great solution for bass players, drummers, and DJs who are looking for more bass output with their Bose system.
For non-Bose system owners, this amplifier can easily drive any 4-Ohm loudspeaker capable of 250W(rms). A great product for musicians or sound people using conventional components (e.g. passive monitors and subs yuck!) to become aware of our products and approach.
The PackLite power amplifier is ONLY 3 lbs. You can literally slip this into a bag with one hand. It’s about the size of a hardcover book (or cable modem). The amplifier is very tough- it has a molded metal enclosure (and yes, could be driven over- we’ll prove that later)!
The PackLite amplifier includes a nylon carry pouch, ¼” TRS cable, owner’s guide, and warranty card.
It will be available this week via Bose direct (check the Bose site on Friday) and on Musicians Friend (in the U.S.). In November, product will be available at Guitar Centers nationwide. The product will be available in Europe early 2006.
The PackLite power amplifier will retail for $399.99 here in the U.S. The PackLite extended bass package, which includes two B1 bass modules and the PackLite amplifier, will retail for $999.97.
As always, we’re open for questions! More info to follow also.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Kyle-at-Bose,
Here is some more info:
PackLite amplifier, rear panel
PackLite(tm) extended bass package
Hey, I'm sure you guys have tested this thing out a TON, which means you probably hooked up like 100 B1s to a single PS1 via chained A1s, just to see what it was like......
Do you have a picture of something like that ???
Now you've done it. Here come the Photoshop mavens...
That's right jimg. Chain those A1-B1 pairs all you want.
Bose L1 Product Referral Specialist
The L1 (Wiki)
Bose Assisted Direct Sales
Is the Packlite the same amp that is in the powerstand, just repackaged? I would think that you would want all B1's being driven by matching amplifiers.
Since the Packlite puts out 250 watts into 4 ohms, what is the result of hooking up just one B1 to the Packlite amp? Is running a (3) B1 system possible?
The PackLite amplifier uses new power amplification technology, not the same amps that are used in the PS1 power stand although the PackLite performs the same (only lighter and smaller).
You could hook up a single B1 to the PackLite amplifier and it would work fine. However, you would be shy of obtaining the full 6dB increase of perceived output which is what you get when you double loudspeakers and supporting amplification.
Hope this helps.
Love it, guys! Can't wait to try the V-Drums with a PackLite extended bass package.
I've heard 24 B1's hooked up to a system in our lab. It was more bass than ... ummm ... was comfortable.
Very cool! Very geeky. Not musical at all. Very "thrill park" if you know what I mean. Fun stuff. (I'm a geek! That's all there is too it.)
My band did a test run with v-drums and a 4B1 PackLite(tm) amp setup and it was great. The bass player was the biggest fan though. He was able to bring his master volume way down and get his tone with more dynamics given all the extra headroom.
This is the kind of thing that keeps hanging me up. On the one hand someone will say you don't really benefit from the extra B1s unless you are really cranking, and then this statement. (above) This one seems to me to be the way it ought to work.
So it will be no problem getting four of them into the PS2. Right?
Ahhhh, I see where I'm hanging you up. The key to unlock this door is dynamics and headroom. Our bass player has a pretty soft touch most of the time so when he wants to jump on it, having the extra headroom with a PackLite(tm) extended bass package makes a big difference.
We'll be grooving along on a mellow song like Tom Petty's Breakdown and then we'll jump into Gimmie Some Lovin' and he'll pound it and drive the whole band/song.
The real magic of having a PackLite amp with a system for a bass player is that you can keep the tone the same at any volume. The components of the system are designed to work together (which is not what a lot of other speaker manufactuers are focusing on right now) so you can just plug and play.
Did that help?
PS The web site finally went live late last night. Check out http://www.bose.com/musicians
|Manager, Electronics Development|
Oooh - Glad you asked, what great questions!
Is it the same amp as in the PS-1? NO.
We designed a smaller, more efficient amp with newer technology. We needed it to fit into a more compact package, still supply the power we needed, and remain cool and reliable.
But you are absolutely right about 'matching' the amps. We went to great lengths to design all the technical qualities (like gain, phase, power, etc.) that will make an extended bass package sound great when added to a standard 2-B-1 package. So one of the advantages to this system is that it is completely "plug-and-play" with the PS-1.
Can we use 3 B-1's? Yes (2 on the PS-1, 1 on the Packlight)
Compared to a two B-1 system, if you add the Packlight plus two more B-1's, you will gain 6 dB of headroom on your bass sound. The spectral balance stays the same, so your tone is still nicely matched. But you can crank overall volume more, if the bass was limiting you, or you can turn up the bass that much more on the remote for more punch.
If you add just one B-1 with the Packlight instead of two (for a total of three B-1's), you still have increased your Max Headroom (anyone remember that character? - I'm dating myself) by 3.5dB. However, the bass balance will have changed slightly, and you would want to turn up the bass on the remote about 2.5 dB to compensate.
Just in case anyone was womdering, you should not connect 3 B-1's to one packlight, it's designed to drive one or two.
I hope this helps!
Of c-c-c-course we remember. It wasn't that long ago, was it? Hmmm - 1988. I guess it was a while back...
Oldghm, Let me offer what may be a weak analogy/example.
Pas with 2 b1's playing recorded music say at 85db average all controls 12:00. Now you want more bass so crank the remote knob to 3:00 or to 6:00. You should notice an increase in bass!
Now, Pas playing exactly as above only with the packlite and a couple more b1's. All controls 12:00. It should sound exactly the same as the above setup. Now crank the low freq. knob on the remote to 3:00 or 6:00. I believe the increase in bass would be substantially stronger than in the Pas with 2 b1's, although playing with the remotes at 12:00 both systems should sound exactly the same.
This low freq. headroom will be more prevelent at higher volumes than at lower volumes.
Hope this helps
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