Bose deficiencies exposed with SCIENCE!

Pb82 Ronin

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Well GMC crowd, I finally got a chance to take some measurements in the new rig. Let's just say, I was not surprised by any of the discoveries. I've been hating on Bose since I first saw and heard how terrible it is (and always has been). And after today, my feelings are more confirmed than ever. Let's just say, Bose leaves a TON to be desired for true audio aficionados. I compete in SQL competitions with my ZO6, so naturally, I can't just leave my $70K+ AT4 with the OEM crappy system...that would just be wrong. Follow along with the measurements and descriptions. I'm happy to answer any questions. Here's the rig we use (in my ZO6):
100_0408.JPG

100_0407.JPG


First example, here is the factory BOSE curve (in Red) in MY particular truck. Now what you're looking at is a "target" curve (in yellow) with the BOSE curve (in Red). MANY (if not ALL SQL competitors) use this particular curve as a tuning target for award winning sound...even in home theater setups. Car audio is no different. The idea is to get the output from your speakers (aka drivers) to reproduce sound in line with that curve. Or put another way, the closer your lines are to the target curve the better the sound.
Final vs Target.JPG

Now right off the bat, you can see two HUGE lacking areas. Highlighted in red circles:
shorfalls.png

Why are these two areas important you ask? Because they leave out a large portion of information that you would otherwise hear. Humans can hear (typically) from 20 Hz, to 20 KHz. The end of that spectrum can really stimulate the senses, especially at lower frequencies. In most people, hearing beings to degrade above 16 KHz as we age, which is why you see the gradual roll-off on the high end. It's not "as important" per se...but you still want it to be there for those that CAN hear it.

That brought us to taking some measurements while moving around the "EQ" if you can even call it that. It's more like a broad Q, 3 channel EQ, that can only make huge gains or cuts. There is ZERO fine tuning available with Bose. ZIP, ZERO, NADA. Sorry to say, if you're not happy with your stereo now, it is not possible for it to get "better" without serious upgrades.
curves.png

And now for some serious wonkiness. Why does Bose do this? It makes ZERO sense. See below.
attenuation.png
And don't fret 2500 drivers...I have a little gem for you as well. We took measurements in my friends 2500HD as well. Same everything, all stock, only differences are his is a 2500 Denali HD, and mine is an AT4 1500.
1500 vs 2500 Stock.JPG

His is in purple, mine in yellow. His trace is much smoother than mine, especially in the midrange. And to us as audio competitors, we both hear it. He's itching for subs the same as I am. I think my stuff will be here first though.

To put this into perspective, here's the curve for my ZO6 (SQL competitor). In this, even a rookie can see which curve they'd rather have. This is an older finished tune of mine, and the current one is light years better, but it should be noted that Bose just can't get it right, no matter how hard they try. NO smoothness, NO adjustability, NO hope of ever sounding beautiful.
Z06 vs Bose AT4.JPG
This is the best we could do with the factory setup. In this picture, I dropped "treble" to - 8, dropped "mids" to - 4, and boosted bass to +8.
AT4 Final.JPG
Notice that mids didn't even move. Typical. The red trace is where I have it set. It sounds okay...but still SO lacking. This is about as ideal as my truck can sound without modifications. Additionally, these are great baseline measurements in which to compare the next aftermarket stereo mods to the factory garbage.
 

If you pull the speakers and replace them I’d be interested in buying them. I’m not a big sound guy but my at4 has the basic speakers and it’s not great
 

I've always have heard that Bose spends more on marketing than they do on RnD on their products. Not sure if true, but I wouldn't doubt it. As a home highfi/midfi enthusiast I would generally say yes its true.
 

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I've always have heard that Bose spends more on marketing than they do on RnD on their products. Not sure if true, but I wouldn't doubt it. As a home highfi/midfi enthusiast I would generally say yes its true.
You are 100% spot on sir. Bose is a JOKE in the "hi-fi" world. GM just uses them as a marketing tool...and they get what they pay for as CLEARLY indicated above.
 

@Caprisun Well, the numbers have spoken.

To replace the twiddlers in the dash, the Audiofrog GB25s seem to be the PERFECT driver for even the factory signal. They'll fit without modification and will perform as ideal as possible with the Bose signal. They won't be damaged, and they should present a less "peaky" or muddy sound. And they'll play all the way from 200 Hz - 16 Khz. They play flat all the way up around 8 KHz and then begin to lose a little efficiency from 8-16 KHz. It will not perform as good as a dedicated tweeter would, and that IS disappointing, however, the the "majority" of the sound they'll reproduce will be in their "sweet spot." From available data, it appears that the Bose "crossover" happens at ~1000 Hz. So you need a very efficient driver to play from 1-12 KHz. GB25 fits that role nicely. At least until you can add a better component set with a dedicated tweeter.
GS25 FR.png


When we focus on the woofers...

So far the best woofer driver I've seen (for the GMC 1500 with Bose) is definitely the AudioFrog GS690. The Bose signal to the woofer rolls off at about 1 KHz. Also, the mid range is the WORST area of the curve in my rig. So an improvement in the midrange should give the most "bang for the buck" if just upgrading speakers. This is where I REALLY hunted for the ideal driver...especially one that will bolt right in with minimal effort. The GS690 fits that role nicely.
WOOF.png

In green (below), this is my area of concern. In an also "nice to have," the GS690 is also flatter from 80-130 Hz. Overall, it's just a much better/efficient driver...but still, I feel this will be just a bandaid for the crap Bose signal.
GS690 FR.png

When you compare driver performance, the GS690s (on paper at least) play much flatter in that range, and in fact in the 200 - 1000 Hz range, the AF driver should absolutely destroy the factory driver in efficiency. Again, the Bose signal will also not damage the AF driver. That was a major concern of mine until we can get the NAVTV unit and have full control of the signal. Also, the GB25s shine in the FR range in which they'll play in. While there are other drivers that may be "better" in overall performance...I think with the available data, these particular drivers are the safest bet for better than stock sound in the GMC 1500 platform, while being efficient and not damaged. With some good deadening treatment AND a real subwoofer setup, we might be okay for a little while.

The rear drivers I'm still looking in to...
 

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@Caprisun Well, the numbers have spoken.

To replace the twiddlers in the dash, the Audiofrog GB25s seem to be the PERFECT driver for even the factory signal. They'll fit without modification and will perform as ideal as possible with the Bose signal. They won't be damaged, and they should present a less "peaky" or muddy sound. And they'll play all the way from 200 Hz - 16 Khz. They play flat all the way up around 8 KHz and then begin to lose a little efficiency from 8-16 KHz. It will not perform as good as a dedicated tweeter would, and that IS disappointing, however, the the "majority" of the sound they'll reproduce will be in their "sweet spot." From available data, it appears that the Bose "crossover" happens at ~1000 Hz. So you need a very efficient driver to play from 1-12 KHz. GB25 fits that role nicely. At least until you can add a better component set with a dedicated tweeter. View attachment 926

When we focus on the woofers...

So far the best woofer driver I've seen (for the GMC 1500 with Bose) is definitely the AudioFrog GS690. The Bose signal to the woofer rolls off at about 1 KHz. Also, the mid range is the WORST area of the curve in my rig. So an improvement in the midrange should give the most "bang for the buck" if just upgrading speakers. This is where I REALLY hunted for the ideal driver...especially one that will bolt right in with minimal effort. The GS690 fits that role nicely.
View attachment 922
In green (below), this is my area of concern. In an also "nice to have," the GS690 is also flatter from 80-130 Hz. Overall, it's just a much better/efficient driver...but still, I feel this will be just a bandaid for the crap Bose signal.
View attachment 924
When you compare driver performance, the GS690s (on paper at least) play much flatter in that range, and in fact in the 200 - 1000 Hz range, the AF driver should absolutely destroy the factory driver in efficiency. Again, the Bose signal will also not damage the AF driver. That was a major concern of mine until we can get the NAVTV unit and have full control of the signal. Also, the GB25s shine in the FR range in which they'll play in. While there are other drivers that may be "better" in overall performance...I think with the available data, these particular drivers are the safest bet for better than stock sound in the GMC 1500 platform, while being efficient and not damaged. With some good deadening treatment AND a real subwoofer setup, we might be okay for a little while.

The rear drivers I'm still looking in to...
Thanks for the info. Adding those two drivers to my to-do-list.
 

Link to my audio thread:
 

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