Amar Bose has died. I drive past the Bose headquarters almost every day, and I felt obliged to buy a Bose Wave Music System after having the porch remodeled. There really is no other product that does what the Wave does for its size.
Bose 901 Series II loudspeaker
In high school, when I was bitten by the stereo bug, the Bose 901 speakers were a big deal. It became a joke that if you walked into a stereo store you were guaranteed to hear Edgar Winter’s Frankenstein played full blast on a pair of Bose 901’s.
Personally, I never cared for the sound of the heavily-equalized Bose 901, preferring instead the designs of Roy Allison, but I have to admire Amar Bose for his marketing savvy and his profit margins. He had the vision to lead the home audio trend away from ever-bigger box speakers by introducing tiny stereo satellites that were coupled with a dedicated bass unit that could be hidden under an end table. The innovative and imitated Bose noise-cancelling headphones are very successful.
Greater Boston has a great and grand tradition in audio, but now it’s mostly in the past. Acoustic Research, KLH, Advent, H.H. Scott, EPI, Genesis, Allison, Snell, ADS, Cizek, Avid and Apt are long gone. Boston Acoustics was sold years ago and NAD is in Canada. Only the Bose Corporation endures with its name and heritage intact, and that is a testament to the leadership of Amar Bose.
Addendum: In 1971 Bose sued Consumer Reports for libel, because its review of the 901 Series I loudspeaker stated that the stereo image “wandered around the room.” Not yet knowing of the CU lawsuit, but having read the review at the library, I had the exact same impression of the Series I when I heard it in early 1972. A year later the 901 Series II was introduced and the “ten feet tall violin” effect had been tamed. I assumed Bose had taken the criticism to heart and fixed the problem, which can also be affected by speaker placement, so I was surprised when I learned of the lawsuit in one of the hi-fi magazines I devoured in those days. Bose should have dropped the case, but it dragged on for over ten years and went all the way to the Supreme Court, where Bose lost.
Addendum 2: Atlantic Technology is still in business, in Norwood, MA.