guitpic
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May 27, 2005

Watts/power L1 systems

Just curiosity here...

The original L1 classic that I bought years ago was rated at something like 750 watts.

Now I understand that the L1 M2 is rated at 250 watts and my L1 compact at something like 135 watts.

Now I know that my Bose systems, both past and current, use a wave system to do the job..different that other PA's.

But at times I do wonder, I went from 750 watts to, what? 135 watts in my compact? Do I really only have roughly 1/5 the reach/capability in my compact that I had in my L1 classic?

Thoughts? This is probably a tough one to answer.
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ST - Pro
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May 11, 2020

Re: Watts/power L1 systems

Hi guitpic,

The power the goes into a loudspeaker (rated power) is not necessarily indicative of the level of sound that comes out of it. All other things being equal (and they never are), a Cylindrical Radiator® (e.g. any model of full sized L1®) is going to drop off more slowly over distance than a typical point-source loudspeaker (most other loudspeakers). The L1® Compact is somewhere in-between.

So this is a tough one to answer because it depends on what you measure, how you measure it, and where.

If you measure the rated power of the amplifiers, this is pretty unreliable as a measure of loudness. Since your screen name is guitpic, maybe you have heard a 15 watt guitar amp and compared it to a 30 watt guitar amp. Is the latter twice as loud? As you said, "This is probably a tough one to answer."

Comparing the L1®s to a Compact is also tough.

I'm pretty sure that
  1. if you put a Compact beside a Model I, measured and
  2. got the volume to be the same at 50 feet directly in front of them, and then
  3. listened from 5 feet standing to the extreme left or right of the L1 and Compact...

I think you would tell me that although they were equally loud out front, the Compact would sound louder from the sides.

That is certainly what I have experienced.

For more insights please see: Acoustical Output Comparing Classic, Model I, and Model II

Just a quick note: The Classic ran 250 watts to each section of the Cylindrical Radiator® : 250 watts to each one. The B1 was rated at 125 watts for one and 250 watts for two.

The Model I and Model II output 250 watts to the Cylindrical Radiator® (both sections together, not each) and just like the Classic: The B1 was rated at 125 watts for one and 250 watts for two.


Does that help?



edit spelling.
guitpic
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Re: Watts/power L1 systems

ST,

Yes, your reply does help. I still think that the compact is going to work for 90% of our gigs...which are small.

The larger gigs we will still use our Yamaha StagePAS 500 or our Yamaha and the Compact in combo.

Today, I tried using the mixer from our Yamaha Bose PAS with a sub out to the Bose from the mixer and also in combo with one of the Yamaha speakers. It actually works pretty well.

The Bose compact tends to be a bit more mid and high range sounding and the Yamaha filled out the bottom a bit more.

I can get sufficient bass from only the Compact by using the Yamaha EQ but it's nice to know the two can work together.

Again, thanks for the help.
brianmchale
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Re: Watts/power L1 systems

If all other things are equal (speakers, cabinet, etc) an amp needs to have ~10x the power to be twice as loud. Factor in differences in cabinets, speaker efficiencies, etc., and you simply cannot compare different amps by wattage alone. This is why the L1 Model I can have similar loudness to the Classic with lower powered amps.

In addition, it is my understanding that line array systems are very inefficient, requiring more power than normal speaker systems. Why? Once again, as I understand it, a great deal of the line array "magic" is that there is a great deal of phase cancellation going on. As you get further and further away, there is less cancellation going on, which is how the volume is kept moderate on stage yet retains the ability to carry to the back of the room. However, all that sound that is being cancelled still has to be generated, meaning a lot of the potential loudness is thrown away.

Since the Compact doesn't exhibit nearly as many line array characteristics, I would imagine that it would need less power to create good volume.

If I have made any incorrect assumptions/statements here, someone please correct me.
ST - Pro
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Re: Watts/power L1 systems

Hi Brian,

"In addition, it is my understanding that line array systems are very inefficient, requiring more power than normal speaker systems. "

Rhetorical question:
"How does one measure efficiency? If it is sound pressure level at 1000 Hz at one metre (about 3 feet), you might come to one conclusion, but if you you were to measure sound pressure level at 1000 Hz at 24 metres (80 feet) you might come to a different conclusion.


You will probably find this interesting... How much power?. Follow the link and you'll see why I chose 80 feet.

It is a very early discussion, and unfortunately some of the images are long gone, but the text conveys the meaning anyway.

Please check it out.


How much power?
tomtheguitarguy
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May 18, 2019

Re: Watts/power L1 systems

quote:
Originally posted by ST:
Hi Brian,

"In addition, it is my understanding that line array systems are very inefficient, requiring more power than normal speaker systems. "

Rhetorical question:
"How does one measure efficiency? If it is sound pressure level at 1000 Hz at one metre (about 3 feet), you might come to one conclusion, but if you you were to measure sound pressure level at 1000 Hz at 24 metres (80 feet) you might come to a different conclusion.


You will probably find this interesting... How much power?. Follow the link and you'll see why I chose 80 feet.

It is a very early discussion, and unfortunately some of the images are long gone, but the text conveys the meaning anyway.

Please check it out.


How much power?


If I recall correctly, the L1 Classic did have 750 watts - but 250 was "reserved" for the Bass Modules, so it is more like 500 watts.

I bring that up, because the newer L1 Model I and Model II are 500 watts each, with 250 to drive the Bass Modules.

I believe I also read somewhere that even though there was a reduction in power to the Model I and Model II compared to the Classic, they were able to get the sound level difference between the Classic and the Model I/II to be less than 2db.

I can tell you this though - tonight I brought my Compact out to an open mic jam - bass player, another guitar player and drums along with me and a Fender Mustang Floorboard into Channel 2.

The Compact was by far the best sounding. When I got to the place, I mentioned that the PA sounded like it was clipping and distorting. When I brought that up, someone agreed.

When it was my turn, I set up the Compact, ran my microphone to it, set up the Mustang Floorboard (like a Line 6 POD) and by far had the cleanest and crispest sound - and the other guys could hear me across the stage and across the room - and I never had to worry about my guitar overpowering my vocals - because I could hear if it did.

Tom
ST - Pro
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Re: Watts/power L1 systems

Hi Tom,

quote:
Originally posted by Tom the Guitar guy:
...

If I recall correctly, the L1 Classic did have 750 watts - but 250 was "reserved" for the Bass Modules, so it is more like 500 watts.

I bring that up, because the newer L1 Model I and Model II are 500 watts each, with 250 to drive the Bass Modules.

I believe I also read somewhere that even though there was a reduction in power to the Model I and Model II compared to the Classic, they were able to get the sound level difference between the Classic and the Model I/II to be less than 2db.

I covered this (with references) in my post above.
quote:

I can tell you this though - tonight I brought my Compact out to an open mic jam - bass player, another guitar player and drums along with me and a Fender Mustang Floorboard into Channel 2.

The Compact was by far the best sounding. When I got to the place, I mentioned that the PA sounded like it was clipping and distorting. When I brought that up, someone agreed.

When it was my turn, I set up the Compact, ran my microphone to it, set up the Mustang Floorboard (like a Line 6 POD) and by far had the cleanest and crispest sound - and the other guys could hear me across the stage and across the room - and I never had to worry about my guitar overpowering my vocals - because I could hear if it did.

Tom


Sounds like a great night, and living proof that there's so much more to the story than the numbers.
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Re: Watts/power L1 systems

You know what I like about my Bose products? Everything.

Mark-at-Bose
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Re: Watts/power L1 systems

guitpic posted:
...Today, I tried using the mixer from our Yamaha Bose PAS with a sub out to the Bose from the mixer and also in combo with one of the Yamaha speakers. It actually works pretty well.

The Bose compact tends to be a bit more mid and high range sounding and the Yamaha filled out the bottom a bit more.

I can get sufficient bass from only the Compact by using the Yamaha EQ but it's nice to know the two can work together.

Again, thanks for the help.

Hi guitpic,
Regarding the "mid and high range sound" I am curious which input on the L1 Compact you are using. Channel 1 has a Vocal Mic preset permanently applied and will have less bass and more treble due to the EQ characteristics. Is this the input you are using?

Ric1
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Re: Watts/power L1 systems

Watts are rated in so many ways that are inconsistant. Bose has nailed it with clean and accurate sound quality, along with dispersion patterns that allow us to cover a venue without ripping the heads off both the performers and the audiences.