i have owned a pair of 4001's for nearly 20 years. i used to run them through Sony home theatre and after about 10 yrs had to replace the drivers in the amp,so i had an electronics wizard fit super-drivers into my Sony and still coudn't damage the speakers! like the guy below says they WILL rattle your house apart! matched to a good quality amp these speakers look great and make a big statement in your loungeroom. they are a dedicated left/right speaker as the tweeter panel needs to face inward. oh and high end speaker cable is a must. these speakers cost me (in australia) back in nov.'96 $900 new without the stands. i still have them and have kept them in mint cond. Bose..enough said.
I was out yard sale shopping and saw these Bose 4001's sitting on the grass. They looked pretty shabby, someone had tried spray painting them and got it all over the place. I pulled the covers off and they looked pretty good........so I offered them $10 for the pair, and thus became the owner of some Bose speaker for the first time in my life. Now I'm no fan of Bose. I think they are over rated and over priced. I figured I'd put them on my covered patio for some sounds....and they are the right height for plant stands. So I took them home and hooked them up to my system (Rotel, Denon)and put on some Alison Krouse. Well.was I surprised. These didn't sound like any Bose I'd ever heard (rethinking the patio thing). Mids were pretty good and imaging spot on. Highs maybe a tad bright and bass surprisingly good for 6 1/2" woofer. Overall, I'd give these a 4 out of 5 considering their age. If you find a pair cheap, you just might be pleasantly surprised too.
First of all, to say that my style is that of an "audiophile," seeing that this is a review for a low-mid fi speaker could be misleading. I do have a very discerning ear, being able to detect both likeable attributes as well as flaws, in speakers costing as much as $10,000. One of the reasons you will see myself reviewing lower-end speakers often is because I love to collect speakers, and currently, these are what I can afford financially.
Now, to the 4001. There were no reviews whatsoever for this speaker, so I wanted to offer a few words. I currently own Bose 501 IV, and have owned many other Bose speakers and do currently own even other speakers still, so I am able to make A-B comparisons and so forth.
These speakers were part of a series apart from the " 01" line of speakers. They were released if I'm not mistaken during the late '80s to mid '90s, and were meant to be a bit lower cost than the " 01" series. That being said, I believe these cost approx. $400 new, and are approximately the same speaker as the Bose 401, which I believe retailed for around $499 (pair).
The speakers are comprised of two 6.5" woofer/midwoofers in each enclosure, along with a 2.5" tweeter. As opposed to the 401, the Bose 4001 has both woofers facing out into the room, whereas the 401 had a rear-firing woofer and a front firing woofer.
Although these speakers oddly do not indicate a dedicated "left" and "right" speaker, I chose to place the speakers so that the tweeter arrangement was most similar to that of the 501 IV, having the tweeters facing inward toward the center listening position, rather than out toward the side walls. This placement provides more precise placement of the voices and instruments as opposed to the diluting effect of having the tweeters reflect from the side walls. Having said that, the speakers were placed on 18" stands (a must), approximately 6 feet apart and about 3 inches from the back wall.
How do they sound? With many Bose speakers, especially within any recent years, bass is exaggerated, highs are shrill and also exaggerated, and little is left in the middle for the listener. In the middle, incidentally, is where a lot of the musicality lies. Voices, guitars, snare drums, most piano music; a lot of the musical sound of music is produced in a good speaker by a good dedicated midrange driver. The Bose AM-5's are notorious for having the "Wow" factor, but not much substance. The 501 IV are very similar, in that they do not have a good dedicated midrange in order to produce a good, strong voice section in the audio spectrum. The 4001's are different. Since they do have 2 6.5" woofers, front facing, (one of which is tuned toward mid to upper bass, one more "sub" bass) these speakers are able to produce a very good, solid midrange with some presence missing in a lot of other Bose speakers. Sarah McGlaughlin's (sp)"Push" has her voice so precisely placed and comes through with such authority that you will believe your center channel speaker is on (this also is due in part to the placement of the tweeters facing inward). So, kudos to these speakers for voice clarity.
What about the bass? The 4001 are a very good speaker when it comes to most of the bass recorded in today's more popular music. With the CD "Now 14," Pop fans will be in awe at the amount of clean, tight bass that these speakers are able to produce. They will knock stuff off your shelves, and they will find rattles throughout your house. They will rock! These speakers will not play extremely deep, I am guessing probably about 55 to maybe 50 Hz is about the bottom of the usable response, but the bass is tight and well defined, and will fit very well into a home theater system that contains a subwoofer.
Finally, the tweeters. For a Bose speaker, with the tweets angled inward, these speakers have a really good ability to place things where they belong on the soundstage. As mentioned earlier, it is easy to believe a center channel speaker is active. The tweeters are bright, as in most Bose speakers, but there does not seem to be a huge gap in response between the mids and highs as apparent in a lot of other Bose.
Overall, the sound quality of these speakers are in the end above average for speakers that can (or could) be purchased in a chain store like Circuit City or Sears. They do sound better and are of higher quality than many Pioneer, Technics, KLH speakers. When comparing to speakers more within their price range such as Polk, Infinity, DCM, and some Paradigm, many will find attributes that are more enjoyable in the Bose and some that are better in others. For an overall cleaner sound, Polk or Infinity may be a better choice, but these speakers will not provide the output the Bose will, and definitely will not "handle" as much bass as the Bose. For an all-arounder that will both rock out and relax, these are some of the better speakers Bose has made.