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March 21, 2008

Bose 901 Speakers

I'm trying to get my Bose 901 Series VI Speakers hooked up to my Yamaha RX-V995 Home Theater Receiver. It's a little bit tricky because you have to connect the Bose 901 Series VI Active Equalizer properly to get the speakers to sound right and this is the part I'm struggling with.

According to the Bose 901 Series VI Owner's Guide:

"There are two options for connecting the equalizer. Your choice depends on the type of receiver you own and whether you plan to use the system primarily for stereo or for home theater enjoyment."

So, my primary use is going to be for "home theater enjoyment", presumably. Then I find this little gem:

"Note: If your receiver is designed for home theater use, it may not have a Tape Monitor switch. If not, you must use a PRE AMP OUT/MAIN AMP IN connection. This may also be called the ADAPTER or SIGNAL PROCESSOR connection. Refer to “Home theater use (PRE-AMP OUT/MAIN AMP IN)” on page 10 for instructions on how to connect for home theater use."

Bingo. That's my problem, in a nutshell. I don't have a Tape Monitor switch on my Yamaha receiver. The next note doesn't give me a warm-fuzzy feeling:

"Note: If your receiver does not have this PRE AMP OUT/MAIN AMP IN section, the 901 speakers will not be usable in your home theater system."

So, I'm trying to figure out if I can even use this silly receiver with these speakers. The receiver cost about a grand, so you'd think it would have pretty much everything under the sun, but there's certainly nothing that's clearly labeled "pre-amp in" and "pre-amp out" back there.

So, now I'm looking at the Yamaha RX-V995 Owner's Manual to see what the deal is here.

"If for some reason you wish to drive the main speakers with your existing amplifier, the following terminals are available for connecting external amplifier(s) to this unit:
Main Terminals - These terminals are for main channel line output. If you drive main speakers with an external stereo power amplifier, connect the input terminals of the external amplifier (MAIN IN or AUX terminals of an amplifier or receiver) to these terminals. There is no connection to these terminals when you use the built-in amplifier. Output signals from the MAIN terminals are affected by the use of BASS, TREBLE, BALANCE controls, BASS EXTENSION button and the TONE BYPASS button. Notes: If an external power amplifier is connected to the MAIN, CENTER, or REAR output terminals, do not use the corresponding SPEAKERS terminals (MAIN, CENTER, or REAR)."

So, this sounds like bad news. It sounds like I have pre-amp out, but not pre-amp in.

Hmmm. Looks like Yamaha knows that this is an issue. According to Yamaha:

"Can I use my Bose 901 speakers with my Yamaha AV or Stereo Receiver?

Bose 901 speakers are designed to be used with their special equalizer and require a ‘Pre-Out Main-In Coupler’ or ‘Tape Monitor’ connection. The compatible models are the RX-797 (Pre-Out/Main-In), RX-497 (Tape Monitor), RX-397 (Tape Monitor), AX-596 (Pre-Out/Main-In)."

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Posted by Rob Kiser on March 21, 2008 at 02:39 PM

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