Monthly Archives: January 2013

My relationship with Bose speakers

I have a total of 23 Bose speakers in my house.

I became somewhat fascinated by the Bose name after a visit to the (then) Tussaud’s Group owned Alton Towers, a large theme park in the UK. Any outdoor speaker there was a Bose 151. All along Towers Street, almost every 10 feet on the soffits of buildings these Bose 151s with their kevlar cones and 5 year guarantee pumped out the theme music. In the farm section, a larger Bose column speaker was hidden in a vehicle pumping out farmyard-y music. Bose 101s were in the petting zoo barn. Bose 802s were scattered among the queue line at the (then) newly opened Nemesis ride.

Yes, there were still Paramount Omnispeakers (the in-ground type with 360 degree sound dispersion) dotted around. Another new ride, Toyland Tours (now no more) used literally hundreds of Bose 151s along the water’s edge as your boat cruised through a toy factory. Even in the Haunted House (before it became the vulgar ‘Duel’ laser shooting game) there were the smallest Bose freespace speakers positioned near animatronics (only visible upon examining flash photos taken at the time).

The “Peter Rabbit and Friends On Ice” show in the big top had Bose Panaray 502As suspended in the air. I now have a pair of these curvy beauties either side of my TV in the lounge! They were priced at £1,230 per pair at the time back in 1994, but I managed to get a nearly new pair on eBay in about 2004 for about £150. They are still being made today. As an aside, I recently saw that they are the speakers that multi-millionaire composer Andrew Lloyd Weber has in his lounge too.

I must say I’ve never bought new Bose speakers. The only new Bose product I have bought is the bluetooth headset for my blackberry, which is very good (but wasn’t at all cheap).

Starting outside, I have 2 x Bose Panaray 502As on the patio. They’ve been there for 6 years now. BUT I only recently discovered that they aren’t actually weatherproof. So one of them no longer works. I have a pair of Bose 151 (the original ‘cube’ shaped type) pointing into the patio from the garden wall. I also have a Paramount Omnispeaker nearby, but this isn’t yet wired in. On the front porch is a single Bose 151. There is also a Paramount Omnispeaker near the front wall next to the gate. I can speak into a microphone in my office through both of these speakers.

In the kitchen we have a Bose 101 in white with a cloth fabric grille on top of the fridge that pumps out the radio from a Cambridge A1 amplifier. In the dining room, a Bose Wave Radio that I was given by a family friend who didn’t think it kept the correct time (it did) pumps out wifi radio (notably KABL and BBC Radio 4 Extra).

In the lounge, as mentioned, are 2 x Panaray 502As either side of the TV on the wall. A 600W subwoofer fills in the bass. A Bose Video RoomMate pair in white are either side of the sitter on a sofa (in case I fall asleep!). The Video RoomMates have a built-in amplifier.

A pair of black Bose 101s compliments a pair of JVC speakers in my upstairs office. In my bedroom I have a black pair of Bose Video RoomMates plugged into my laptop at the side of the bed. I also have my prized and rare Bose 171s which aren’t plugged in. These look great and are magnetically shielded. I was going to use these in the dining room, but they’re just so nice and brand new.

In the garage I have another pair of black Bose 101s, a single spare 101, and a spare pair of 151s. I had previously owned a few pairs of 32SEs, but because these were 100v line systems and I didn’t have an appropriate amplifier, they always sounded very quiet so I sold them on eBay. I think I actually made a profit on what I paid for them.

I once read that Bose are a non-profit making company, in that the put all the profits they make back into research and development of new products. I’m not sure if this is entirely true, or if everyone who works there is just on one hell of a salary.

All the speakers seem to use the same speaker cone, and multiples of it – a full range driver, so no separate tweeter or woofer. If all their money goes into R&D and they’ve been using this same full range driver for the last 30 years, then they must surely be just designing cabinets for them? Even the ‘omnispeaker’ style garden speakers just have the Bose 151 kevlar cone driver in it. They say full range drivers “are more reliable than conventional speakers whose small, separate tweeters often cannot handle the high power and extended use demands of professional applications.”

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No more trainers

When this blog was located at (goes back to 2004 – check it out kids!) it used to garner much interest when I talked about trainers (UK) or sneakers (USA). Ultimately, I don’t buy any more shoes these days. I bought too many really. The last ones I bought were some Adidas TOMS style things which had a rainbow pattern and looked very 1980s (which is why I bought them). However, they didn’t fit – either UK size 9 or 10 (I’m normally an 11). They were either too big or too small. So they got sent back to the ever-forgiving Schuh. 3404549970m6_main

I often wonder why TOMS are so relatively expensive for what they actually are. They look rather cheap to me, made of no special material or anything. Like the sort of things you’d get in Lidl or Aldi, or a seaside shop. And they want £40 for them?

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Music at your own funeral

What music would you want to be played at your funeral?
Maybe a sad song to start with, then a fun or silly one to make everyone laugh (assuming anyone’s there, of course!). It’d be cool to have a custom-sung jingle played, I think. Not cheap though, but I’d probably forgo a posh coffin for it. I’d also want it to be played through a really good PA system, not the church one. Bose speakers, subwoofers, the lot. And why not have a heavenly dry-ice fog effect on the floor throughout the service?!

The music from the BBC TV series “A History of Britain” has a great deal of very moving melancholy songs from hundreds of years ago. Three Ravens is the one that just makes me cry whenever I hear it, and is the only song that makes me do this.

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Xmas break is over, work tomorrow

I really enjoyed the Xmas and New Year break – 11 days off (we have in the UK – everyone else seems not to). I checked emails and had a replying session only once so as not to make customers think I was ignoring them. I didn’t put the auto-responder on, because I get so much spam. I’m rather dreading going back tomorrow, as it’s been so nice. There was even a discussion of moving my office into the lounge, then I thought maybe a good tablet would work ok, but then thought everything is so nicely set up in my office it would be a shame to move it all. Then we discussed moving the 2 sofas into a slight ‘V’ formation around the wall-mounted TV, but that was poo-pooed. It would create wasted space at the back of the sofas. I will still work on it though, as it seems a more social way to arrange them. (at the moment they are both flat against the wall opposite the TV).

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Weak wi-fi signal to Android Tablet from Netgear Router

I bought an android tablet about a year ago. Not very good, I thought at the time. This Christmas holiday, I started installing free games on it, and it’s actually good fun to use. I don’t like how some apps or games automatically run in the background of their own accord, without being loaded, seemingly at random. That’s when the kill active apps program works well. But you shouldn’t have to use it really.
All the computers in my home are connected via CAT5E cables. No wi-fi. However, when we got Blackberries I switched wi-fi on so that we could get emails quicker and it wouldn’t drain the battery as fast.
The tablet needs wi-fi, of course. However, even though the router is only in the next room, and on a channel that isn’t used by 61ZsIjoQPCL._AA1500_anyone else, it’s just not good enough to beam through the door to the tablet in the lounge. So I’ve ordered a TP-Link TL-WA901ND Radio Access Point/ Range Extender to blast the signal all over the place, and hopefully get better data speed on the tablet. When it’s on 2 or 3 bars, it’s 10-50k a second. When it’s on 5 bars (and when I’m in the same room as the wi-fi router) it’s about 1 – 2Mb a second – a huge difference.
Anyway, that’s what’ll happen. Hope it works out ok.

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Financial income of once-famous people

moneyWhere do famous people, who maybe don’t work much anymore, get income?
We now know that Patrick Moore was generous to a fault, spending all his income on parties and putting people through university, etc. But think of someone who was on TV in the 80s or early 90s and just ask where the money for them to pay bills, buy food, council tax, etc is coming from.

Personal appearances?
Royalties? Residual payments?
Money from shares or rental from property wisely purchased when the ‘going was good’?

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Filed under Finance, Money