Bose 501 Series I Speakers

Sold for: $575

I picked these up so cheaply because they were advertised as Bose S01s, not 501s. As soon as I saw them, I knew we had a winner. My seller this time was another immigrant family — Russians who spoke no English at all (but they understood the local currency). When I got them home, I pulled the covers off as I like to check all speaker surrounds before re-selling. Well, a couple of points to note for any buyers of this particular model; (1) the covers are not supposed to come off as they are stapled on rather than velcroed, lugged or domed (look at the photo taken without the covers and you’ll see that Bose didn’t intend for people to remove them); and (2) they do need to come off occasionally because like most Bose speakers, the foam surrounds will need replacing periodically. Luckily, both surrounds were in good condition and had been replaced within (guessing) the last 10 years. This also explained why the fabric covers were so badly attached when I bought them. To re-attach the covers I took them up to the local picture framing shop, and for $10 the elderley gentleman staple-gunned them back into position.

They are fantastic speakers — these early American-made Bose are superb. The cabinet itself is divided into two sections: the bottom part contains a 10″ woofer in an acoustic suspension design which is fully isolated from the 2 x 2″ mid/tweeters in the upper section. The two mid/tweeters are angled in different directions to give you that “stereo everywhere” feel. Does it work? Well, yes, kind of, in that it does create some interesting, often beguiling, sound effects with instruments seemingly being played in odd corners of the room. I actually like it but find it a little distracting when trying to work. But I could live with these as they are solid, heavy, powerful speakers. If only Bose had used real veneer instead of crappy vinyl.

To sell these, I decided to try a different approach, and listed them in the “Art Deco & Retro” furniture section instead of the audio section — I mean look at them, they are like a couple of retro seventies, ultra-cool sidetables. Well, it worked, as a couple of bidders went toe-to-toe, delivering several hundred dollars more than expected! Just goes to show that when selling, you’ve got to use your imagination!


100 watts RMS, 4 ohms.

Dimensions: 610h x 370w x 370d

Weight: heavy — 19 kgs (40lbs)


2 Comments on “Bose 501 Series I Speakers”

  1. george says:

    dear sir, may i know now this model is available or not in america ?

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