HUGE Spacious Surrounds - The

Hello "A" Team,

Has anyone tried the 901 direct/reflecting design as surrounds with or without a dedicated surround sub? 901's can be hung upside down by their feet and handle 450 watts.

I can extend the bottom end by adding a REL Storm II to the surrounds if required.

The reason for inquiring: My current in-ceiling Klipsch reference coaxials have allot of competition. I have a much larger center (pair of RF-7's connected in mono) and large, powered fronts. My main system has a SVS Ultra 13 with a Proceed AVP2 +6/AMP 5.

Thoughts, ideas and thanks!

What would you do for the higher end of the frequency spectrum? 901's have no significant sparkle, which is often an important part of surround speaker reproduction - breaking glass, birds singing, etc.
Depending on your room, Bose 901s can sound very good. I bought a pair to use as surrounds in a huge swimming pool room, but have ended up so far just using them for fronts. I use a Behringer DEQ 2496 instead of the Bose-supplied equalizer, and I think that makes a significant improvement.
A different, multi-band stereo EQ (probably active) may help boost original 901 drivers better than the stock EQ.

Or, that, plus, possibly adding two or three high end tweeters. 1 up front and 2 on the rear panels. Balancing this modification and 901 location is critical.

My listening area is 30 x 30 feet. When I toed-in the RF-7's in mono as a dual-centers, the difference was huge compared to the smaller RC-7. It corrected driver height problems and smaller soundstage problems common with smaller center channel speakers (usually placed above or below the screen on a stand).

I started looking at other "front mains" for surrounds. The 901's design simply jumped out. Proper placement is tricky.

I prefer a very full, lush, clear analog sound. My fronts have sealed 15's, three 6 inch mids and six tweeters in each cabinet, perfectly balanced, powered by built-in 300+ watt amps.

My smaller, in-ceiling surrounds are definately lacking equal depth and spaciousness throughout the room.

Comments or suggestions? 901's overlooked by audiophiles as surrounds? Thank you.

Hi Eldartford,

The Behringer DEQ 2496 is one I am considering. I have a Fostex stereo recording EQ that may work. Were you able to enhance the 901's treble and bass responces better? Especially, adding that sparkle mentioned by Knownothing? I can add a nice sub (REL Storm II) just for the surrounds and cross it over just above the SVS Ultra 13 through my AVP2 +6 processor, if needed.
Soundsbeyondspecs....Most equalizers would not have the range necessary to make the 901s flat. I use the parametric function of the DEQ 2496 to insert a broad and deep multioctave cut through the middle octaves. Then I run the automatic room EQ (which is added to the parametric eq) to maker things flat. I have found it best to roll off the lows below about 30 Hz...those little drivers can do just so mugh. The highs don't quite make it to 20KHz, but neither do my ears.

Note that my Bose 901s are in a huge swimming pool room with highly reflective surfaces all around. I make no gaurantees about how they will sound in a normal room.
If your ears make it close to 20 kHz, you are doing better than most!
Eldartford: I could connect only the 901 surrounds from the AVP's pre-outs to a Yamaha reciever with ARC. Then, route the pre-amp signal to the AMP 5 and to the 901's.

The ARC may flatten the 901's out. A EQ, analog SLM and calibration CD may help further manual accuracy by ear.

Hung by their feet from a 45 degree vaulted ceiling, the main 8 drivers should reflect directly downward throughout the listening area. They could definately sound good if the 901's components have the inherent potential for excellent surround sound qualities. Given that I believe 901's probably have different sound qualities within reach using better equalizing/calibration equipment than the stock EQ. Properly shaping the sound with the system and room is the trick.

Knownothing: I believe 20Hz has three 56 foot wavelength impulses per second!
Yes, but 20kHz has a wavelength of only 0.0565 ft., and most people have a very difficult time "hearing" this frequency.

But most people who can hear at all, can "hear" 20Hz sound waves. Although they can probably "feel" sound at this low frequency as much as "hear" it.
Certified audiograms may be the best objective way to test hearing. Unfortunately, I'm only aware of OSHA type certified testing at 500Hz, 1K, 2K, 3K, 4K and 6K.

Test CD's can get beyond that, but a SLM would have to be used to determine threshold values at each frequency.

This could be helpful setting a system up after flattening out the room by with ARC or a CD and SML.

If someone has a 20 dB bilateral loss at 3, 4, and 5K Hz, adding 20 dB's at those frequencies should provide a flat response to the listener. Unilateral losses could be adjusted on that side only, etc.

Music jumps out when I cup both hands behind my ears. It seems to gather shorter treble wavelengths best. There's alot of interesting individual components to nice sound reproduction.
When voicing my custom built speakers with a test disk, I notice that my hearing runs out of steam at about 15000Hz, while my speakers and sound pressure meter keep going up to at least 21500Hz.

What I can hear sounds pretty good though. :o)
I've often felt that the Bose 901s would make good surrounds, especially with analog Dolby ProLogic, or if you can't go with 7.1. Properly set up they should definitely fill in the back half of the room. With digital you'd definitely want to use the active equalizer to get some treble.

However, time does march on. These days, for a small unobtrusive surround with room-filling hemispherical dispersion and a light, airy treble, I much prefer the Mirage Omnisat satellites, or OMD-5s.
Knownothing: My Tandberg 3011A FM tuner, I believe, only goes up to 15K Hz, yet, sounds great to me. Numbers seem to only tell half the story. My quest to find a simple tuner with a spinning tuning dial luckily introduced me to this subject. The difference in sound quality between a Tandberg tuner and my reciever's tuner was a great, unexpected wake-up call. My goal is to improve a very musical system with much, much better surrounds. There's alot going on back there. Ideally, the fronts and mains focused and blended together, and the surrounds seemingly everwhere else yet not overpowering at all.

Johnnyb53: Both surrounds looked good to me, too, especially the OMD-5's after I read more reviews. I was also quite impressed by the Paradigm Signature ADP3 v2 Surround / Dipole Speaker. Bass is direct and mids/trebles are reflected bi-directionally front and rear. 901's surrounds with a upgraded EQ still has my processor thinking.

Large, yes. Hung up on the ceilings, maybe not too intrusive, at least in a large room and painted flat white to match the vaulted ceiling. 901's are relatively lightweight, too. One firm installation point on a ceiling support with a small stainless steel chain/fittings, and I can rotate and adjust heights of the 901's for locating the best surround reproduction positions.

My processor allows on-the-fly volume adjustments of all speakers on the front panel and remote, including the sub in multi-channel. I should be able to balance both audiophile quality music first and major HT audio with the right EQ on the 901's and some luck. Luckily, I live in a single detached home where I can do this.

RF-7's wired in mono for a center is a huge waste. Why don't you use the RF-7's as your surrounds, they would be much better used that way. RF-7's are killer speakers.
Maybe so, but man, they sound nice. They are a huge improvement compared to the smaller RC-7. I did try them as surrounds and they sounded good. They had a very "direct" presentation of surround sounds. The main problem: the main seats would sound great, but the remaining HT surround balance for other seating is lost because it's so localized.

I can locate a matching pair of RF-7's. It would exchange reflective surround sound qualities for the direct surround sound. A more spacious reflective surround sound is what I was hoping to "engineer" into the system.

For the 901's, I hear a cut-off frequency of 90-100 Hz and below, with 90-100 and above EQ'd as flat as possible may sound best.

The best of both worlds may be both. 901's for HT surround, and switching to RF-7 surrounds for multi-channel music to perfectly match my center RF-7's. A simple 2-way transfer switch would do it.