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Any Way to Upgrade my BOSE 321 DVD home entertainment system

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Any Way to Upgrade my BOSE 321 DVD home entertainment system

Old 03-12-05, 12:59 PM
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Any Way to Upgrade my BOSE 321 DVD home entertainment system

I have the BOSE 321 series 1 system. Here's a photo:



It comes with two speakers that do a solid job, but I'd really like a home theater system with rear speakers to get the full effect.

Does anyone know or is familiar with BOSE and it's system? I looked in the back of the system, and it's hard to tell if I am able to buy a few extra speakers and hook it up, or if this particular model is just not upgradeable.

Also, just in case, what not too expensive home theater system would you recommend buying (if this doesn't work out?) THANKS.
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Old 03-12-05, 02:03 PM
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My father in law has that system, and I recall looking at it one day to see how easy it would be to upgrade it. Although it's not infront of me right now, I seem to recall that it was developed for their "5.1" sound with a 2.1 set up. I don't recall there being any more outputs for extra speakers, and I think the speaker cables themselves are specially configured to fit with Bose speakers only.

I'm not sure how much you want to spend on a HTIB, but for the around $300-$400 range you can purchase an Onkyo 770. A lot larger, and not as attractive as your Bose, but it would be an upgrade in power and amount of speakers.
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Old 03-12-05, 02:22 PM
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The answer is definitely "no."

Like most Bose systems, the 3-2-1 is an integrated, proprietary design. The speakers cannot operate without the integrated electronics, and other manufacturer's speakers cannot be connected (and would not operate correctly even if they could, because the signal is processed before it's sent to the speakers).

As Juicerocket points out, there are a number of under-$500 HTIB systems that are more capable, infinitely expandable, and better-sounding than anything Bose makes for twice the price. My son has that Same Onkyo, and for $400 it was a steal. There are many others.

You can also put together a great sounding component system that won't be too visually imposing in your living room, without spending too much. The Athena Micra-6 is a great-sounding 5.1 speaker system, and coupled with a receiver like an Onkyo 502 and any decent DVD player would comprise a HT system that has no serious compromises.

There has to be someone on ebay who would pay you $350+ for that Bose, with new ones selling for $700. Do it now, while you still can.

RichC
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Old 03-12-05, 03:47 PM
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Thanks for the info guys. It sounds like you can get a nice HTiB for fairly cheap. I'll research the Onkyo.

I'm curious though, where are good places to buy HTiB? Certain stores like Best Buy, or are you getting them for deals somewhere online?

And, what do you personally look for when you are buying a HTiB? 5.1 capability? Something else? I'm pretty new to trying to get a solid home theater set up.

Thanks.
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Old 03-12-05, 04:23 PM
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You can buy them and listen to them at BB, CC, and other stores. The Onkyo 770 is generally regarded as the biggest "bang for your buck" HTIB. You can also purchase online, which is where you'll probably get your biggest deal.

I was looking into purchasing a HTIB just a few months ago, but wound up buying seperates. I was looking for something un-intrusive (WAF was high), 5.1, and which provided a clean sound. My wife and I went to CC to check out the Onky 770, but she found it to large and bulky looking for her tastes. Head on out and take a look at the different sets, see how they sound to you, how they look, how they'll fit in your space.
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Old 03-12-05, 04:54 PM
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Start by going to stores and listening to a bunch of systems, regardless of price or form factor. Smaller stores or higher-end big-box stores (like Tweeter) are better than CC or BB, but try any or all of them.

Bring your favorite movie and music CD with you. The idea is to survey the market and get an idea of what good systems sound like, as well as what not-so-good systems sound like. Spend some time on it. Listen for an extended high-end ("air" around cymbals in live jazz recordings; crispness in the strings in orchestral music or movie soundtracks); clarity in the low end (not just thumpiness, but articulation of notes); solid imaging (left, right, halfway back along the left wall, etc.); distinct dialog in movies; ability to increase volume without strain. In acousit recordings, realism. In movie soundtracks, theater-like immersiveness.

Once you know what good sound is like, you can more accurately evaluate how close the systems you can actually afford come to it.

It's difficult to evaluate sound systems in crowded, noisy showrooms. Stores with listening rooms designed to more closely approximate living rooms are better, but it's rare to find such rooms in stores that carry sub-$500 systems.

That's why, in the end, I think the most important thing is to buy from a store that allows no-questions-asked returns. No other room in the universe has the exact acoustic character of your room, so you'll never really know how a system will sound until you get it home.

So you take your best shot at deciding what system or combination of components will meet your needs, using online research and in-store evaluation; you buy it and install it in your home; and then you decide whether you really like it or not. If not, you need to be able to take it back, even if it's not defective.

This sounds like work, and it is. People hoping to avoid this work are Bose's target market. They have succeeded in fostering the belief that if you just choose Bose you'll have automatically chosen the best, the easiest, the most reliable, the most stylish, the most prestigious. Amazingly this was all done via marketing; there is very little objective testing to support their claims.

RichC
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Old 03-12-05, 10:19 PM
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Thanks guys.
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