Using Bose L1 pa system with Vibraphone

Hello All,

Has anyone out there used the Bose L1 Compact Portable Line Array System (or the other models in the line) to amplify the vibraphone? I am planning to purchase the AMT VP-2 microphone system and consequently need to move away from my current Peavy keyboard amplifier.

I want the easiest thing to carry into the gig. I work with a singer who brings in her Bose L1 with considerable ease and is ready to go in 5 minutes when the gig is done. I am envious!


Jerry Weir

I'd check out one of these mini pa speakers. I have the Behringer which is just the cheap knock off of the mackie- $150, unbeatable. Only weighs a few lbs so you can throw it easily in a backpack, has built in phantom power and a little mixer onboard, also gets pretty darn loud. I figure if I need much more sound reinforcement, they gotta have a PA at the venue or pay for cartage. This gets it done for situations where you just need a little more projection or a monitor so you dont have to bash.


Thanks for the suggestion. I'll definitely make a comparison against the Behringer before I buy the Bose since there is such a great difference in price. Two things about the Bose that have me interested 1) people have come up after the gig and told us how great they thought it sounded - which in my experience is unusual, and 2) it's really easy to carry being long - kind of like a bag of fishing poles - instead of a big chunk which is more difficult to fit into my car.

Granted, the people who have commented are hearing the vocalist on the Bose - not me on the vibes - which is why I'm not sure how it will handle the vibes sound.

BTW, I have your CD Botanica - I am truly impressed with your playing. Hope to hear you in person some day - if you ever make it to New Jersey!


ya the behringer or decent for the price and do the job .. ive had a two channel mixer for about 15 years and it still works .. for trio and quartet gigs i run that mixer into a small behringer combo amp. Usally mic the instrument for underneath and grab the low chorus effect off the behringer, in conjunction with the motor at half. great for small venues and really simple set up ..

check out steve shapiro's set up .. im pretty shure he uses the bose system with a few condenser mic's attached the resonators ..

It's a lot easier to drag your vibes and the new mics into a music store once that to do a decade of gigs with a system you hate. If a music store near you wants to sell you the Bose enough, they will withstand you bringing your stuff in and trying it out on-site.

There is no perfect solution. The room will matter. Your personal tastes will matter. The style of music you will be playing will matter.

I have played through the Bose and had a reasonably good sound at low to moderate volume in a moderate sized room with moderate to loud crowd noise. The mics I use are much different, they have much greater off-axis rejection and are both warmer and create a hotter signal. Not a valid comparison as such. I will say that it worked, though. Not the best I have ever had, but very good.

Given the money you will be spending, I would compare them to a nice small mixer, like a Mackie with a pair of QSC powered speakers. ...or even one speaker, if that does it for you. The QSCs can give the Bose a run for the money sound wise, to my ears.

Good luck.

I've played through and it was great. it does depend on your mics. i use the amt mics (which we sell here!) and they are great. you talk about ease.

mount 2 on top of the vibes, you would set up the bose and you're ready to rock. i think there's 3 inputs on that? the one i played through was a few years old.

Thanks all for your comments. I do appreciate it. This is very helpful.

I've been using the Ayotte pickups for the last several years and running them through a Peavy KB-100 amplifier. I've let the sound man mic the vibes and the amp from the board when playing at larger venues - pretty much ignorant of what kind of mics he is placing on them.

Mostly though I'm ready to move back to a more natural sound - thus the AMT microphones to replace the pickups. I'm thinking of the AMT mics because it seems like a very convenient way to go although if anyone wants to suggest other models I'm all ears!

Thanks again,


I own the Bose L1 Model 2 system that I use for grand piano, electric keys, and vocals. I've never used it for vibes since I haven't played a vibes gig since I bought it. But I can offer some suggestions for consideration based on what you wish to use it for.

I would have some grave concerns about using the Ayotte Sensor System (or the K&K) through the Bose only because I don't know if those small speakers can handle the impact without distorting. However, reverting to microphones would solve that problem easily, and you could possibly sell your Sensor System through this website and that would bring the cost down.

I only have one issue with the AMT mics, and that would be the matter of using the motor. The model of AMT's that clamp on to the frame are probably going to pick up motor noise; I don't really see how you're going to get around it. However, if you place the mics on a mic stand that doesn't touch the instrument, I think you'll be okay. And again, if you're committed to not using the motor, then it doesn't matter at all and Tony will get you the best possible price. The quality is excellent.

As far as the Bose itself, I like that it clamps together, and that there is no heavy lifting of speaker cabinets, that I don't have to carry tripods, and that it is sleek and really fits well onstage. It doesn't feed back and that is important to me with a vocal group. Best of all is that the wiring is kept to a minimum since I hate running wires and especially when wearing a tuxedo. You can move the entire PA in one trip, and with a rock and roll cart you can move your vibes and the Bose in one trip. So physically speaking, it's just great for me.


Thanks for the reply. You are hitting several points that I have thought about and good to hear someone else chime in on them.

I'm glad you mentioned the rock-and-roller cart as I had looked at it a few months ago and then forgotten about it completely - I'll definitely be adding that to my equipment.

As you note I am moving away from the pickups so it is not my intent to run the sound from them to the Bose or whatever I decide to get.

I spoke to someone at AMT and their feeling was that the motor does not present a problem as the microphones are elastic mounted and won't vibrate due to the motor. Of course it depends on how quiet the motor is as to whether or not they will pick up the hum or if the hum can be rolled off the low-end at the mixer if it does pick some up.

Maybe Tony can shed some light on that aspect? I thought I'd found it discussed somewhere previously but am not sure. I do like to use the motor!


Just a few more things to mention.

Steve Shapiro uses a smaller Bose system that sells for around $1000, and it is very good and was not available at the time I bought mine. So that may be your ideal system as opposed to the Model 2 version.

My concern about motor noise is that the mic stands are attached to the frame, so the motor vibrations may be picked up through the mics. So in that respect, I tend to feel that AMT mics on a floor stand are a better bet unless you are playing a Piper M58 or a VdP vibe since those instruments are specifically constructed to be stone quiet.

As far as the rock and roller, I recommend spending the extra money and getting the better front wheels. Back in the old days, most concrete surfaces were smooth and the cheaper front wheels were fine, but today I see more and more brick surfaces and you're going to need better wheels in front. The back wheels aren't a problem since those are inflatable rubber.

Hi Jerry,
As I see I'm mentioned below, I will chime in... I actually have the Bose L1 compact, AND one of those Behringers that I use together. Here's what I do:
I have a little 4-ch mixer with good mic pre's and FX which can handle 3 mics that I put under the vibes (AT Pro 35x conderser), plus an extra mic for sax or vocals when there is no sound guy. I send one side to the L1, which I absolutely love. It is not super-loud, but it has a VERY natural sound that spreads around the room, so it gets you more coverage than you might realize. For smaller rooms, the L1 can be enough on its own. But for larger rooms, I send another output of the mixer to the Behringer cabinet, which is very loud. I have the 10-inch Behringer, which is a nice deal for the money. The combo with both speakers going is quite enough for combating even a loud drummer in full jam, and the whole thing packs very small. The Bose is 5 times the price of the Behringer, but well worth it - having both types of amplification is very useful, and the Bose resists feedback very well. Also, If you use a mixer to help control the input signal, it would probably work pretty well with pickups.
Cheers, Steve

Hi Steve,

Thanks for that. You brought out one important point that I had neglected to include in my original post and that is the extra mic for a vocalist or sax. It is often that there is someone to sit-in and sing a tune so I had thought that the Bose might be well suited for this situation as well as for the vibraphone.

I hadn't really thought about the mic-under-the-vibe approach since long ago when I had to stop the sound man from putting the mics at the bottom of the resonators! But I've often wondered if there is some resonance and tone to be gained there. From your experience the answer is yes.

Thanks to all who have answered. What a great resource Tony has going here!

Regards, Jerry