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magma90210
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What's the deal with Bose and Bang & Olefen?

like growing up i always thought of them as "audiophile" gear, but i never see them mentioned on boards like this or in mags like sterophile or others...

so did they used to be audiophile and then changed? or were they never audiophile stuff? or ARE they audiophile stuff?

subquestion: why does all of bang & olufsen's stuff look so kooky and weird?

Kal Rubinson
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Re: What's the deal with Bose and Bang & Olefen?


Quote:
like growing up i always thought of them as "audiophile" gear, but i never see them mentioned on boards like this or in mags like sterophile or others...

so did they used to be audiophile and then changed? or were they never audiophile stuff? or ARE they audiophile stuff?

subquestion: why does all of bang & olufsen's stuff look so kooky and weird?


a. Never although B&O made some great phono cartridges and microphones in the past. Bose?
b. B&O seems to have a talented OEM engineering and manufacturing division but their consumer division is dominated by lifestyle considerations. Hmmm, sounds like Bose.

Kal

Jan Vigne
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Re: What's the deal with Bose and Bang & Olefen?

B&O's original charter included the words "unique and unusual products" to indicate how the engineers should go about their business. The product you see in the US is almost all about looks and lifestyle. B&O has much wider distribution and a much broader market in the rest of the world. Their relatively new "I.C.E." amplifiers are becoming increasingly popular in O.E.M. applications which require high power, low heat, small size and quite good sound quality. So don't write B&O out of the game. For decades their video products were among the best available. Their engineering is some of the best in the world and any B&O technician has a certain grudging respect for how B&O is designed and built. Their products go back together just like they came apart though how that process goes is not always intuitive. That can't be said for numerous high end products which strip screw heads and misfit panels when put back together. However, despite their engineering capabilities, no matter where you go in the world B&O is designed for the carriage trade. They were the first audio company to build a complete system that operated room to room by remote control and could be heard while not being seen. B&O prefers their products to be seen.

Bose is mostly overpriced, not much better than average product with excellent marketing and tight control of their distribution. They also do their own consumer financing of their product. Not bad when you can sell at retail and then charge 23% interest.

mrlowry
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Re: What's the deal with Bose and Bang & Olefen?

Bose is great at what it's designed to do:

1. Be easy to hook up
2. Be visually unobtrusive
3. Be easy to use
4. Not break

Notice that I didn't say anything about sounding good. It's easy to put together something that sounds twice as good for half the money.

dbowker
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Re: What's the deal with Bose and Bang & Olefen?

"or were they never audiophile stuff"

Yeah- they never were, but they have nice looking designs and brilliant and consistent marketing departments. I've heard a few OK B&O products, never heard a Bose I liked, and they ALL cost way too much for what they are.

mrlowry
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Re: What's the deal with Bose and Bang & Olefen?

This is a recycled post that I wrote for another thread:

Bose is a great marketing company that makes mediocre (at best) speakers. First of all, I believe that most would agree that they start their design from a flawed premise. They've always said that 7/8 of the sound we hear is reflected, as apposed to direct sound. This is why most of the drivers in a 901 face in odd directions. Ask anyone from Bose where this number comes from and they can't tell you. This is creating false space as apposed to recreating the space that is actually captured on the recording. Then you have their active equalizer that is there to compensate electronically by forcing drivers past their physical limits to get a "big" sound out of a small box. This MUST create distortion. This is only one of the products, the others are equally flawed.

Then you look at their tendency to sue people for the most goofy reasons. They sued CEDIA (Consumer Electronics Design and Installation Association), a trade association of which they are a member for the use of the word "Lifestyle" with respect to audio. Years ago they sued Thiel because they used that same model number. Which is just stupid because the whole idea copyrights is to avoid confusion in the market place. Who in the world is going to confuse Bose and Thiel? Especially when the speakers looked completely different and were designed from a completely different technical point of view?

The following is from Wikipedia, "In 1981 Bose unsuccessfully sued the magazine Consumer Reports for libel. Consumer Reports reported in a review that the sound from the system that they reviewed "tended to wander about the room." The District Court found that Consumer Reports "had published the false statement with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of its truth or falsity" when it changed what the original reviewer wrote about the speakers in his pre-publication draft. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's ruling on liability, and the United States Supreme Court affirmed in a 6-3 vote in the case Bose Corp. v. Consumers Union of United States, Inc., finding that the statement was made without actual malice, and therefore there was no liability for libel." I can't believe that they sued someone for a bad review!

Then you look at their draconian approaches in retail such as insisting that their products MUST NOT be set up where they can be actively demoed against other brands and their Secret Police tacts of demanding that managers fire sales people that say anything remotely negative about their brand ON THE SPOT or risk being cut off as a dealer. Neither of these things are myth, I've seen them happen!

JIMV
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Re: What's the deal with Bose and Bang & Olefen?

Never confuse advertising with quality or good sound. That said, I have never heard a B&O set up right. Bose sounds OK if you run the sound WAY up and are not listening seriously. I find that Bose at low sound levels is simply expensive AM radio.

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