make them sound more consistent when
played one after another. This eliminated
the tonal discomfort I was experiencing, but
added more components to pack, transport,
load in, set up, and plug in—and as the L1
Compact does not have phantom power, it
meant I needed another power outlet.
It was time for a field test in a medium-sized
open room with auditorium-style seating and a
high but uneven ceiling—fairly lively acoustics.
Load-in and setup went quickly; soundcheck
was another story. Once I got the guitars
dialed in for the room and the vocal mic balanced against the guitar, it was time to add my
bandmates to the mix. Dan had his own bass
amp, and Eric was just playing acoustically in
the room. Here’s where the lack of a Master
Volume became critical. We quickly determined
that this was not the gig for the L1 Compact,
and I ended up using a different amp.
A few days later, I tried the L1 Compact at a
coffeehouse-style bakery. It was a solo gig,
so I had only myself to contend with. I took
one guitar, the Gallagher A- 70, and went
direct, as Bose intended. I’m told that the
Bose sounded great in the L-shaped room,
and that the sound carried perfectly and
beautifully through the entire place. However,
from where I sat, every time I played an
F# or G chord I felt like I was being pummeled in the side of the head by the bass
frequency—which is interesting because that
guitar usually only acts up on A if it’s going
to at all, and A was perfectly smooth in the
mix. My son was next to me for a while, and
heard exactly what I was hearing. The single-eyebrow-raised look of vexation he learned
from me passed between us.
I’ve grown used to responding to what I
hear in the monitor and trusting that what
the audience is getting is good. The L1
Compact is supposed to serve as both monitor and main, so this fierce bass frequency
distracted me and made me change the
way I was playing to compensate. However,
I learned that at about 10–15 feet away the
frequency was smoothed into the rest of the
sound. As the crowed ebbed and flowed,
controlling the sound without a Master
Volume was an additional challenge.
tone. we can help
Prewired pickup and control assemblies, on templates or pickguards, for many popular
guitars. Not inclined to spend your Saturday soldering? Then let us do it for you.
The finest pickups. The finest components. The finest pickguards. Get wired.
The Final Mojo
The Bose L1 Compact is a Bose, so it will
reproduce with alarming accuracy anything
you plug into it. It doesn’t do much else and
that seems to be by design. In the right room,
a player with minimal needs will appreciate the
amp’s simplicity. Its size, weight and ease of
transport are beyond my wildest dreams. This
is not the amp for you if you play larger rooms
or rely on features like a Master Volume, EQ
for the guitar channel, phantom power, an
effects send/return or a built-in reverb.
you love light, compact, easy,
fast, stylish and simple, and you
can completely control the environment at every gig you get.
you need a truly viable and versatile
piece of gear that is gig-friendly.
Head online to hear sound clips
of the unit in action at
…Tele® assembly, Fralin pickups, mounted on plastic template