Coffee house woes

Sad but true story of how not to use a PAS.
I play at this great little coffee house and there are many great players who perform there every week including a jam on Tuesday night. I bought a PAS w/bass mod for myself and showed up one night with it and did my duo act. It sounded great and all were impressed so the owner drove two states away to pick one up at a GC and introduced it to all as the new house rig. I was thrilled because now the PAS would be there and I wouldn’t even have to bring mine or I could have two!!
Predictably though things went downhill from there. Most of the players were intimidated at first and had no clue about the presets or really what the system is designed to do and as a result were getting poor sound quality due to user error.It’s not feasable to have some one there to run the thing for them so it goes back this week and they’re taking the 2k and sinking it into a standard system for house.

When I went in there to play last week I noticed the presets were at 00 for both channels
and the mixer they put in front was not set up properly for the mics being used as far as panning, levels, etc…so no wonder they are unhappy with the sound they are getting.
I still have mine though and will most certainly use it no matter what they get for the house. I just really love the even sound and overall quality now that I have it figured out. I wonder how many times this is playing out at different venues and what could be done to make it easier for people to use it in this capacity without them having to read up on it ahead of time. In my opinion it’s worth the effort but most aren’t willing to try - their loss.
The old “stovepipe” as it has been called (we live up north in the woods) has not been given its’ due but then that’s not what it was designed to do anyway. Frown


Bummer! I can’t help but think that they’re going to run into at least as many challenges with a standard system. Where (up north in the woods) are you located? I’m wondering if we have any field people in your area. I’m also thinking that we might be able to get the folks at the coffee house a ‘quick start’ kind of a user guide for their performers’ reference. Is it too late to try to get them some help? Do you know if they have already returned the system?

Unfortunately, I think this is happening more frequently. I have spoken with a couple friends in other bands, and when the Bose topic comes up, the story is the same. I’m raving about it, and their response is “No way, they s**k”. It turns out they played some venue that bought a couple systems for their house PA, but provided no guidance. After fighting the feedback / no volume issues due to poor set-up, they move the towers out in front like a traditional PA, then complain that they can’t hear. It’s a total turn-off for them. I was able to get one guy to bring his bass over to my house and show him the right way to set up. Major “light bulb” over his head. He is now convinced and wants to buy as soon as he can afford it.

I’m curious about the Cheeseburger in Paradise systems that are popping up all over. How are these being presented to the musicians that play there?

Perhaps Bose needs to attach a laminated card with big RED letters explaining proper gain staging somewhere on the base unit. Of course, having worked in technology for most of my life, it is a truism that no one ever reads the manual unless they are totally desperate and confounded, so that might not work either.

There is the Unofficial Performers’ Guide. The target audience is performers who don’t necessarily own the System that through which they will be performing.

Please, if you have suggestions for content, please drop me a line in the discussion thread (link above).



The same applies to the The Unofficial Users’ Guide (target audience is owners).

Originally posted by Edpas: it goes back this week and they're taking the 2k and sinking it into a standard system for house.

Interesting how the human brain works (or doesn't work). If a PAS sounds bad it goes back, even though it was purchased (I assume) because it blew everything else out of the water (or snow at this time of year in the northern woods). Yet the previously bad sounding conventional system gets back in.

Maybe a bit of Stockholm Syndrome in all of us.

Wow - hot post topic I guess! Lots of ? to answer but my reply to Chuck is yes it has gone back. I went to lunch today and poked my face in the window and it is indeed not there anymore so too late for that joint but…as I said I still have mine and the same players who said they would bring their own system next gig were the same one’s who thought I had the PAS sounding fantastic - and they are not the types to say so unless they meant it. We live in central Maine and the coffee house is in Hallowell Maine which is a mecca for great music. I was your best field rep when they bought it. I was there for set up and I told them what to do but there are too many players involved so it’s not gonna work. I do agree that they may well run into as many problems with another system but those systems are more familiar and that’s what we are up against here.
The PAS is great and brings out the best in the best but it exposes weaknensses in other areas that were previously not an issue with convetional systems. Overcoming those weaknesses takes time and effort and human nature tends to work against that philosophy.
I swear that using the PAS for the past 6 weeks or so has made me a better player and singer. That is an intangible fringe benefit but not everyone is quite ready for that. I believe that in every nay-sayer lies a potential for growth and when ready they will see the light. You will sell the PAS to them in the future so really -NO WORRIES MATE!!!

Ken hit it on the nose with this quote:

"At every crossway on the road that leads to the future each progressive spirit is opposed by a thousand men appointed to guard the past."

Maurice Maeterlink, Belgian Nobel Laureate

How true it is.

And aren’t you glad to be one in a thousand!

Amen brother, Amen.

We sure wish we knew. I would have hopped in a car and drove to Maine to fix this one. Frown

Saxhound mentioned a guide to help musicians. I developed just that for our Cheeseburger in Paradise locations. We’d be happy to make something specific for a venue!!

In addition, we’ve considered a peel-off label that would go on top of the PS1 that would show folks how to get up and running quick with the system.

All thoughts and comments are welcomed.

Come on Kyle, you just want an excuse to come to Maine and hang out!! I don’t blame you, that’s why I moved here!
Seriously though, I don’t know about fixing this problem where it has already occured, but it seems like it would pay for Bose to actually market something to address this issue BEFORE a PAS goes out into the venue. I’m certain you guys are going to get these things back often under these circumstances and if potential end users knew what to expect with regard to some of the tech. challenges they will be faced with they would enter into the purchase with an open mind and be willing to fuss more to keep it.

I played out last night with my duo and we had that thing sounding fabulous. I thought that would be enough to convince others to buy and keep thiers but it seems that’s not enough. I guess i’m saying Bose needs to make this known up front in a way that won’t intimidate but rather give future clients a heads up. Instead of having a little pamphlet or quick start guide
available in the wings somewhere push it on your
homepage and make it VERY visible so people will see it and ask about it before they buy anything. I feel this would kick start the consciousness (sp.) needed to reduce the number of units you get back. PAS is a state of mind!!!

JOKE: What did the Buddist say to the hot dog vendor? - Make me one with everything. Big Grin


Great suggestion!! We’ll discuss this in our upcoming meeting here.

Hello, all

I’ve been under a rock lately.
What is this “Cheeseburger in paridise” ??? Confused

Here you go!

Originally posted by Strat man:
Hello, all

I’ve been under a rock lately.
What is this “Cheeseburger in paridise” ??? Confused

Here’s announcement from October 2005

We are very pleased to announce that we have been rewarded the contract to supply live music systems for a rapidly expanding and very exciting new restaurant concept called Cheeseburger In Paradise.

This new concept, which FEATURES LIVE MUSIC EVERY NIGHT, is owned by one of the largest restaurant companies in the world, Outback Steakhouse Inc.

Read the full discussion:
Bose will supply live music systems for Cheeseburger in Paradise!


You bring a very real problem out loud and clear: New technologies (like our system) require new education to allow their use. We knew this was the case way before product introduction. The first use of our prototype system, using the best local musicians (now “Tony Sarno and The Linemen”) went nuclear (nuculer) instantly. Honest. I’m talking about real showbiz veterans that have been around the block too many times to count. We all had to learn how to use it, even with the inventor of the system in the band (me). It took someone outside the band to (duhh) point out “you’re too loud” (Ken Jacob). And so, to expect someone to relate to the thing as a normal amp, is actually too much to expect, especially given that musicians using “triple systems” (mains/monitors/backline) have developed deep-seated and musically-bad habits that took decades to develop and are very hard to break. Things will improve, but it’s an evolution and not a revolution.

Glad you like the gear anyway. Thanks for writing in.

Thanks, ST

I have experienced this same situation here in the S.F. Bay Area. Several venues have been blown away by the performance of OUR PAS systems and purchased their own at GC. I tried to get them to go through Cap for the record, at lease they would have gotten some customer support! They tried to let the musicians figure out the system on their own…you guessed it, returned to GC…on to another system! I would be willing to help this situation if possible. If there is a client in my area with questions and needs on-site support, I would be happy to pay them a visit. This would surly cut down on the number of PAS systems returned during the trial period, thus benefiting Bose tremendously! Maybe a network of knowledgeable technicians for on-site system training is the ticket to the success of the Bose PAS program.


Here are the latest additions to the Unofficial Performers’ Guide

Input Output Panel Guide

Solo setup
Duo setup

These were adapted for the web from the materials created for the Cheeseburger in Paradise setups.
I’ll be adding more like this as we collectively have more experience with helping others perform with the Bose Systems.

This could also be a hot topic at the Big Sur Bose Bash (April 24/25 2006)

Here’s a recent post that offers another data point on the Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurants and the new Bose system. Click here.

We’re doing a lot of work to try and make the experience for the musician in these venues as good as we all know it can be. It’s a great challenge for us.

Hey Phil (Pure Energy Productions),

Check your inbox - I sent you a PM a while back…

This is soooo fascinating to me. I can’t help but compare it to Leo Fender and the Precision bass.

Imagine if, back then, that a venue buys one of Leo’s solid body, fretted basses because it sounds much better in the room compared to an upright. Now imagine an “experienced” player walking into that. Tough change huh. Yikes! I think he had it harder than we do.

Clearly Leo had the right idea and a better product for amplified performances; I wonder how many solid body fretted basses are sold each year now.

My two cents,