95The Bose L1 Compact is a very impressive portable PA system. We were a bit skeptical upon seeing the small box it arrived in, but this thing kicks ass. We have played with amps of similar size. Some have strong volume or tone, but have a learning curve more intense than that of the instrument being played. The L1’s incredible sound, coupled with the user-friendly two-channel mixer onboard makes it the complete package.

This is perfect for you, your guitar and whatever small crowd or venue you run into. It’s great for a coffee shop, open mic gymnasium or your living room. All you have to do is adjust the height of the tower for the coverage you need. It is a very easy to use system, but its versatility shines. There are a total of four pieces: the base, and three extensions. The base can be used with one extension only, making it an extremely portable amplifier, or it can be used with the full tower of all extensions. There are no cables to deal with between these extensions either. The square extensions piece into one another, and the connections are made internally, which is nice because instrument and microphone cables are enough to deal with. For your microphone channel, there are adjustments for volume, treble, and bass. Once you have an instrument plugged in, all you need to do is adjust volume. There is even a green light for each indicating that your signal is being received. So many portable amps require fumble over 30 knobs and switches before a sound you can tolerate emerges, but the L1 System keeps it simple, and small. While we only tested this with guitar and vocals, it could certainly be used with a bass or keyboard as well.

Each array of the system has a durable soft protective cover. The slipcover for the base even has an attached diagram of how to connect your instrument, microphone, and each component of the system that you wish to use. It couldn’t be easier.

For those with a variety of PA system needs, just place the base on a table and pick up the mic and your ready to give a presentation. There is even an mp3/Ipod input (1/8") for your intermission from the stage, or just hanging around at home.

Though this system is $1,000, a few hundred more than other similar two channel systems, the sound and tone quality are worth the extra investment. That, coupled with the ease of use and modest size of the L1 Compact make it an easy choice.

About The Author

Claude Strayer is a Blast staff writer

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