I want my Classic back :(((

I had the L1 Classic for seven years, played almost 1000 gigs with it, then sold it two weeks ago with a B1 for $900!!
The very next day, I went to GC and bought the M2 with Tonematch. I played an indoor gig that night and loved it. Two nights later I did an outdoor party and it was fine. I did another indoor gig and started critiquing it a bit more, questioning the <<strength>> factor on my Takamine TAN16 w/CoolTube. I then played my regular (4 yrs running) outdoor gig and was disgusted. With all the digital tweaks, lighter load-in, more articulate vox and better floor space considered - bottom line is the Model II has less <<strength>> than the Classic. This is evident in the skinny power cord and lighter weight. I haven’t even researched the power specs, but the M2 just does not kick a powerful acoustic guitar sound like the Classic.
I didn’t want to, but I re-boxed the M2 and Tonematch and took them back to GC tonight. Turns out they didn’t have any more Classics ANYWHERE. I was made aware of the B2, which seems great and I’ll get one, BUT, I need a <<—>> Classic - STAT. I don’t even want to do my gigs this weekend. I’m thinking of calling the guy I sold my classic to and offering to buy it back.

Anyone else feel this way? This machine lacks <<strength>> in a big way. Compact? Forget it. L1 Classic is the bomb.

What’s next, Bose? Here’s what really needs to happen - We need the wattage of the classic with the basic design of the M2 (maybe a taller base to accommodate the extra amp?) and keeping the articulated array speakers (I really think that is superior to the Classic). I’ll buy it the day it comes out. Until then, take this M2 off my hands. I can’t use it and maintain my rep as an acoustic ROCKER.

Edit: Forum-Admin changed an <<idiomatic term>> – please see our Terms of Service link at the bottom of every page.

Hi GV,

Did you try all the Acoustic Guitar Presets? You have a lot more choices and control over your sound with the T1® than you had in your Classic.

Here is a link to an interview with Michael Markure - Takemine Guitars talking about the ToneMatch® Presets for Takemine.

You can download ToneMatch® Presets for Takemine Guitars including ones specifically for Takemine Guitars with the CoolTube preamp.

Also worth checking: Some of the Taylor Guitar Presets have a lot of lower end presence.

Hi GV,

I am fortunate to own multiple L1s. As I type tonight there is a Classic and a Model II set up side by side in my basement.

While I think sometimes I can hear differences, I have never felt that one was more powerful than the other. Maybe that is because I never take either to their limits. Perhaps you do.

I do believe that going from the remote EQ with the Classic to the zEQ on the T1 is a switch that requires some tinkering, if your intent is to produce the same tones.

zEQ automatically shifts the Low, Mid, and High bands of EQ to a range that is suitable for the selected preset. The Classic w/ remote doesn’t do that.

I would never choose the Model I or Classic over the Model II / T1 combination as long as I have the choice.

All of the Bose L1 systems excel when clean, natural sounds are what you desire. I understand that some performers like exagerated tones for their instruments and vocals and that is fine too. I believe the T1 and Model II will produce what you need tone wise and with the same volume that you enjoyed with the Classic if you just give it a chance. Keep tinkering with the T1. What you want is in there.


Thanks for the replies, guys. I just finished my gig tonight. I’d rather been digging a ditch. I didn’t get negative reactions from anyone, but it’s almost always far more positive. I rely heavily on my guitar sound/power/articulation for my overall performance and to aid me as a singer. I tried using the Beta87A Mic preset because that’s how I had my Model 1 set. Vocals sound great. Amazing, really. The guitar - unacceptable. I will say that after watching the video with my exact guitar (!), I’m willing to try the Takamine presets and see if this changes anything. While i’m sure the sound can be made more palatable, I don’t think there’s any substitute for raw power in delivering an honest, encompassing, ENGAGING guitar sound. I don’t think, as brilliant as the Bose developers are, there’s a way to trim 50% of the power supply and maintain the same headroom/bigness. I’ve been using a 1000 watt K-Sub by QSC for two years now on all outdoor gigs. This really helps kick up the whole thing several notches above standard L1 set-ups. See, I play a craaay-zy wide array of acoustic covers, many of them pretty hard rockers where my Takamine cranks with an Angus Young thickness/overdrive. The M1 never failed to deliver on guitar bigness. I hit the guitar hard, but I fingerpick 90% of the time. Guys, I’m really stressed about this. GC doesn’t have any more Model 1s ANYWHERE. I want this thing to be all I’d dreamed of, I really, really do - but it’s not. I have the perfect new Bose system in mind. I really hope they go there. Sorry for the rant.

I did see the B2 in GC. I want one!

Hi GV,

Like Oldghm, I have a Classic and Model II in the same room right now. For sound, I have no preference because in my space, I am standing pretty much in front of them, so the sound is, to my ears, for what I am playing, pretty much the same. If I make a point of listening off-axis, the Model II sounds better, and that’s why I take it to my gigs.

These days, I always take the Model II over the Classic to a gig. It’s been like that since I got the Model II.

There are some differences between the Classic and the Model II. Ken-at-Bose talks about that here: L1® Classic, Model I, and Model II Acoustical Output.

I am sure that you are experiencing something and I’m not trying to tell you that there is no difference between the Classic and the Model II. So let’s see if we can understand what you are experiencing.

When performing…

  • Where are you in relation to the L1®? (Directly in front, off-to-the-side)?
  • How far from the L1® are you?
  • Are you standing or seated?
  • What are you running through the L1®? Vocal, Guitar, anything else?
  • How many B1s have you got now?
  • Have you tried the T1® zEQ or the T1® ParaEQ controls?
  • On the Classic: What Preset were you using for you guitar?
  • On the T1®/Model II: What Presets were you using?

edits: spelling

Morning GV,

Just a guess here. The Model II crossover frequency is just a bit higher than the Classic/Model I. It could be that some of that “engaging” sound you are used to, is now coming from the B1 instead of the L1 array. Standing close, that could have the effect of you not hearing that portion of your sound in the same way as you were previously. If you can, move away from the system 10 or 12 feet just to give it a listen. You might find that your desired sound is actually reaching the audience as before.

I’ve never let the “power” thing get in my head. I have a pair of old EV 15" three way cabinets that I used to hook to a 5 watt stereo amp and drive around with them in the back of a pickup to terrorize the neighborhood. It’s all about efficiency, and no one does it better than Bose.


I don’t doubt that there’s a difference, but I’ve never heard it the way you’re hearing it, and I’ve pushed a lot of different instruments through Classics and Model II’s at pretty loud volumes. I’m betting that what you’re hearing is something very specific to the amp in the Classic or the crossover.

I’ve never owned a classic, but I can’t imagine the model II every letting me down in the strength dept. I run 2 model II’s electric guitar, bass guitar electronic drums and a vocal through one… (with added B1’s) and 2 vocals and electric guitar through the other. For a full 4 piece rock band and we are never shy on strength. That said, it absolutely took me several gigs tweaking settings on the T1’s to dial in the right tones. As much as it is a set it and forget it device, if you are looking for a particular sound that is not necessarily straight pure acoustic guitar you may have to deviate/experiment from/with the preset settings to get it. But the power/strength whatever you want to refer to it as is there. Also on another note if you have looked up power ratings on the two units you have to also consider the difference in the resistance of the speakers. It’s all relative.

Maybe you just bought a defective unit or something. We too have a couple of L1 classics (that we’ve had since 2003) plus a Model II. We love the Model II and it certainly doesn’t lack in power next to the others when running side by side… even though we really push the limits of the systems (we’re a rock band). So I’m not sure what you’re experiencing but I certainly don’t think the Model II is any more “wimpy.”

Hello Lee flier,

Where have you been hiding? It’s been a while since last time you were here.


Hey guys, sorry for the delayed response. I’ve been outta town and, well, I don’t surf the web on a bloody iPhone because I can’t see. Ha.

Anyway, check this out - I’m borrowing an L1 classic for tomorrow night’s gig, PLUS I’m gonna hook up the M2. Gonna A-B those suckas! This will tell the truth if ever there was truth to be told, huh? I’m gonna get there early and tweak the eq on the T1 and try with all my might to eek something out if that thing.

I’ll report back!

Well, I didn’t get the chance to hook up both systems last night. I used the M2. this is the 6th gig with it and each one has sucked royally (In my own hyper-critical opinion). I’m so glad to hear (well, not really) others who understand what I’m trying to say about the “strength” of the M2. There’s no substitute for raw power. Yeah, there’s the "efficiency’ argument, but that dries up as soon as you plug in the M2. This could end up being similar to the “Classic Coke vs New Coke” fiasco in the 80s. haha.

Bose, we need a 1000w L1. Plain and simple.

I wonder - is it the wattage, or could it be the crossover frequency and/or the straight v articulated array speakers that also contribute to the difference in strength.

Hi Jukebox Joe,

I think that the change in the crossover point does change our perception of the sound in the very near field.
180 Hz (Classic / Model I)
200 Hz (Model II)

It might be that only those really close to the L1® will perceive that difference, but if it then affects our perception of the sound then it may affect our performance and by extension… the audience.

I don’t doubt that you are hearing something, and I am by no means dismissing the importance of what you are hearing. Everything audible matters.

Given the other benefits of having the Model II as you have described them above, I really hope that you can get accustomed to the Model II. At least for me, the change was definitely an upgrade in terms of the overall experience and result for everyone.

Hi, ST. Okay, I’m sure that crossover difference is a huge reason for the bigger boom of the model 1 (which btw, people in the audience CAN tell, they just don’t know or care exactly what it is, and to them they both sound awesome.) As far as it affecting my performance, it sure does, but not negatively. I’ve learned how to adjust my playing for each system (very subtle but it does keep my playing confident on either model).

As I mentioned it may be my back issues that dictate the M2 as my new go to system, and I’m sure I’ll get over the loss of power the more I enjoy the smoothness of the M2, which I’m willing to bet is also due to the difference in the crossover frequency.

Moral of the story: neither crossover or model is better, just different. So whichever I end up with, I’m a happy camper.

It is not just “boom”. It is headroom too…

I own 3 compacts, 3 L1M2 and now 3 Classics. I use 3 “units” with my gig setup. One for the drum track, one for the rest of the backing, and one for my vocals and the sax player. When I am singing (at a large gig) and the sax comes in while I am singing, I feel my vocal “energy/power” drop. It is like a compressor kicked in. So I bit the bullet and bought a Classic on ebay for the sax player. I saw some comments here about the Classic having more “something”, so I tried running both of us through the Classic. Incredible! We could both scream as much as we wanted! (As an aside, last night I had 2 lead singers and the sax in the Classic, and that was too much.) I went out and bought 2 more Classics. I am keeping my L1M2s for gigs where car space is a premium, but I am using the Classics wherever I can.

What was the difference? It is hard to explain, but after a certain level, the L1M2s just can’t go any more. And at that point, the Classics still have more juice. I have a bunch of theories as to why; ranging from the crossover, to extra amps, to all the speakers pointing in the same direction (not “articulated”), but as I am not a sound engineer, I will keep them to myself.

As I have said many times on these forums - the people who buy the Bose L1 system and are unhappy, are usually trying to use them as regular/traditional speakers. They are not regular speakers. That is like buying a pair of pliers and wondering why you are having trouble banging in your nail. The Bose L1 system is a tool. And it is a different tool than traditional speakers. And even within the Bose L1 family, there are subtle differences.

Yup. That’s exactly what I’m finding with the M1 v M2. Looks like I’ll be buying an M2, but holding on to the M1 for the bigger events :slightly_smiling_face: (I’ll just get someone to help me move the base for my back). The articulated dispersion and higher crossover of the M2 make it superior (to my ears) for the smaller audiences (and did quite well in a medium sized noisy sports bar), but for the bigger, noisier crowds and carnivals and such, the M1 packs the far heavier punch.

Dangit, Bose, you’re making me keep both! How about a Model 1.5, with an in-between wattage, in-between crossover frequency, and semi-articulated array? :smile:

Same here - except I am keeping 3 of each. Frown When I do a gig where the audience is passively listening, then the M2 shines. When they are dancing and making noise, I need the Classic. However, that is not to say that the Classic won’t work for both types of gigs. The only reason I have not sold my M2s yet is because I love the size and weight - and my small car sometimes dictates what I can take to a gig and what I can’t.

Gvlive the GC near me still has a L1 model 1 for sale AT THE CLEARANCE PRICE.