RIP Bose 901 V

Posted by Scott

Opened up my Bose 901 Series V’s today and found that all the driver foam was completely disintegrated. So sad, such a beautiful set of speakers. Apparently you can re-foam them but seems time consuming and I’m not sure I have the skills anyways. Anyone have any experience with this? Mr. Coles?

25 Comments Leave A Comment


michael says:

January 26, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Check out – I ended up replacing the woofers from my mom’s really nice speakers with some from there. I’ve heard it’s not too bad to replace the foam, either. I think they sell kits for that, too.


nielsbot says:

January 26, 2010 at 3:31 pm

I was just going to say–I think you could replace the cones entirely, not necessarily the surround foam. I don’t know where one buys speaker cones unfortunately. I do know there is a LOT of variety in them however. (weight, rubber/foam surround, material, &c.)

Good luck.


Design Police says:

January 26, 2010 at 4:01 pm

You could always just spray some Silly String in there. Just make sure you use the hot pink color – smells better!


Chris says:

January 26, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I’d be happy to laser cut you a set if you have the foam and dimensions. Not sure if they’re exactly flat, probably has some kinda molded shape. Anyway, just let me know.


Scott says:

January 26, 2010 at 6:37 pm

do you mean the tulip bases? yeah they’re storng, using one with a nightstand on it as an entry way drawer, looks amazing, will post pics some time. as for the cabinet itself, if I can’t get it working I want to repurpose it somehow. the wood needs to be refinished though.

thanks for the offer, but yeah, they are pretty 3d so I don’t think it will work.

thanks, I’ll try that. I guess I just just get one of those kits and try my hand at it. I’m just really bad at tedious stuff like that so don’t want to waste the money.


nobirth says:

January 26, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Definitely start looking around for some replacements. You can get some crazy deals on older B&W Nautilus gear, which looks interesting and sounds decent, or some of the more recent pieces (Zu, Gallo).


Asa Berdahl says:

January 26, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Ironically I just reformed mine. It’s not time consuming (well, only slightly). and you defiantly have the skill. Your work speaks for itself.

You’ll only need the new foam surrounds (I purchased a set on ebay). Make sure you get the set of 18. I only paid 10 dollars. for the foams, and about 3 to ship.


A bottle of you general crazy glue. Plus some q-tips to smear it with, or a paintbrush.

The front cover will need to be pried away gently until the staples detached from the plastic. There is exactly 9 drivers per speaker.

I took my crazy glue and mixed it with 2 parts glue, one part water, in order for it to be smooth enough to spread with a paintbrush.

First, line up the foam with the inner cone. Then paint inside the cone and inside the surround in the center. Once it is painted with enough glue you can see some white, just push it over the edge of the cone until it begins to hold. Make sure it is centered.

When it dries in about an hour you’ll lift the edge of the foam and paint under it until it’s white enough. Press the edge firmly down. Use a cup to make sure the edges are firmly attached.

Test the cone while the glue is still wet. Press it in and out on the dome. If you hear a rubbing, adjust the outside edge of the foam until it goes away.

If you let it dry with coil rub, it will destroy the driver with regular use, and will sound horrible.

I put all the screens back on with double-sided 3M foam tape.

If you want to see mine, I’ll post them on flickr tomorrow.

I hope this helps you. I’m really happy to see someone who keeps some of the best speakers ever made around. I do have to ask, do you still have the stands and the EQ for them?


twoeightnine says:

January 27, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I said that before knowing what the tulip stands looked like, those are pretty sweet. Also before noticing that the other side is slightly curved but if you leveled that out and ran a pair of (or a single) legs up those pipe-like things and mounted a glass top to it, it could be a classy table. Especially in a studio setting.


Jeff says:

January 29, 2010 at 9:04 am

Same thing happened to my 901’s. They sell kits to replace the foam and is very easy to do. Maybe a couple hours per speaker to clean up the old foam and re-glue.


Rick says:

February 2, 2010 at 9:30 pm

B&W can not hold a candle to the 901’s ! refoaming is not rocket science, there are planty of accessible kits available and Bose certified service centers. I would not give up my 901s for anything! Nothing else can replicate a band playing live in your living room outside 901!


Leny Mendoza says:

February 15, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I bought a pair of the latest 901s about 5 years ago. I seldom use them, maybe once every week or two. Lately, I’ve been hearing scratchy sounds from them and my son said that he read something about the foam inside deteriorating after 3 years. These speakers were very expensive and are very precious to me. Any leads as to how I can get them repaired would be much appreciated. Or should I contact the company instead ?


Asa Berdahl says:

February 16, 2010 at 8:15 pm

@Lenny, You best bet id replacing them yourself, but do so carefully. My 901’s are family heirlooms being about 30 or so years old. The front cover was the hardest to remove. It’s stapled in 8 places, but after you get one, the rest will follow.

Buy the surround on Ebay (very cheap). Find a bottle of craft glue and dilute it with 1 part water to 4 parts glue. Apply with brush. It’s pretty much that simple. It’s a bit more detailed in my earlier post, but I plan to make a tutorial on Instructables dot com on how to properly apply surround back to speakers. As well as instruction for taking appart the 901’s


Mat says:

April 26, 2010 at 5:47 am

yeah I have done hundreds of these, dont replace the drivers it will change the nature of its sound, thats my 2cents worth


Anonymous says:

August 10, 2010 at 8:28 am

This happened to me too. Bose replaced my speakers even though they were over 15 years old. I think I paid $325 for the replacements. That’s over $1000 off. You have to show proof of purchase but my understanding is Bose will stand behind these speakers…