Bose 301 modifications


Okay, dont laugh too hard........I'm new to the forums and have a question to pose for the experts.  I find myself in possession of two pairs of Bose 301's.  Yes, I'd like to put gasoline on them and strike match BUT....I like to experiment with things too.  Does anybody have any ideas (other than my previous one) on how to improve the sound ie swapping out the speakers inside the enclosure.  My 14 year old daughter wants me to install a stereo in her room and I thought that since I have the 301's I might be able to soup them up a little.  
cubman
The 301's were in a room of a dorm mate in the 70's.
They were pretty nice for the time. 

If anything, I would just add a subwoofer to the system. Bose were always bass shy.
What are you using with them?
Bob
+1 for the added Subwoofer suggestion.That will HP that setup nicely
Using an old school SAE amp and pre-amp.  I'm not looking to add to them ie sub-woofer, I'm looking at taking them apart and putting something different in the holes and on the standoff mounts.  Thanks for the input though.
   I'm not laughing at all. Many years ago I also went down the Bose path believing that it was a well respected brand offering good performance before discovering what real hifi was. In retrospect, Bose was and still is, mediocre equipment at inflated prices.

   That said, I once owned a pair of Bose 301's. At that time they fulfilled my needs until I acquired a pair used 901's with the included Bose equalizer that is critical to their performance. These speakers were several years old. The sound was just OK. As an Internet junkie I researched on how to improve the performance of the speakers. With the age of the speakers it seemed that a common flaw was with the deterioration of the foam surrounds of the drivers. I bought a repair kit and spent several hours replacing the surrounds. The kit also included an adhesive to attach the new surrounds. The speakers sounded better after that.

   So, before trying things such as drilling holes and cutting things inspect to see if the foam surrounds are deteriorated. With speakers of that age it is very possible. You will know if they are shot because when you touch them they will just wilt like sand.

   I never disassembled the 301's but for the 901's it was as simple as removing the front grill and rear baffle. Then the drivers were all exposed. There are still available repair kits for the 301's. I would inspect the condition of the surrounds before doing anything else.


You'll never turn that sow's ear into a silk purse.  The best thing you can do for them is to get the Loki equalizer from Schiit and try to fix the sound electronically.
I would think that if you were to swap out the speakers, they would have to have the same parameters as the old ones because the crossovers are speaker specific.
The, "crossover" in 301s was a single, cheap, aluminum electrolytic capacitor(I’ve forgotten whether it was 4 or 6 uF). I used to stock/sell the drivers, purchased from Madisound(who carried the manufacturing over-runs from Bose’s supplier), for(literally) a couple Bucks each. You might call them, for suggestions on what woofers will fit the holes and perform well in the cabinet volume, properly matched tweeters(efficiency/dB), as well as an actual crossover. https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com Virtually anything would be an upgrade.
I’d buy new drivers and crossovers, and then put them in a different box.  Use the bose speakers in your fireplace to heat your home for an evening!


If they still make sound, I wouldn't do any mods to them. Your daughter wouldn't notice the difference anyway, and I bet she will be thrilled to have them as is. IMO, your free time could be spent more productively.
Just my 2c...

Tom
Leave them as is. The 301 was one of their better speakers.  The HF rolls off due to the use of the 3” tweeters, but overall their sound is warm and unoffensive.  
If you want to have a fun little project, build whatever inexprnsive speaker kit you like either from madisound or parts express.  There’s a cool little portable, self amplified bluetooth boombox for $250 that uses a 6” bass driver, 2 3” mids, 2 1” silk tweeters.  

She can help you paint it!

Do you have a receiver in mind to use with the bose?  Source?
Fix the foams and if you must tinker, add a film bypass cap and low ESR electrolytic to replace the factory cap. Better yet, get your diy kicks by building your daughter a kit from parts express. The Samba MT will set her up for a lifetime of listening enjoyment for under $200.00.
Best thing to do with 301’s without changing out drivers is to power them with a receiver with a loudness function (turned on) and a bit of bass and treble boost....they’re at least listenable . This is for 301-II’s
I took mine apart because they sound like there’s little to no damping material inside the cabinet, but there is lots of it, box seems simply too small for that woofer.

The Woofer is run wide open too, seems very little thought was put into that crossover, just something simple and generic to keep the low frequencies out of the tweeter.
Back in the day, we " stacked " pairs of Advents, ARs, KLH, JBLs, Klipsch Heresy, whatever we had 2 pairs of. Do the same with the 301s,and she would likely be happy. They are not worth the time, nor money, to rebuild them, imo. Also, you can add an inexpensive powered sub...
I concur with the other posters. 
Don't bother with trying to make those speakers something they aren't.
Unless you have lots of time and money to burn, there are better ways at getting sound quality-Like building your own speakers from scratch.

Perhaps Erik Squires might chime in....
Bob