Bose 1401 Technical Specifications

Written by christine wheatley
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Bose 1401 Technical Specifications
The Bose 1401 stereo system featured innovative speakers for optimum sound quality. (mini car speaker image by robert mobley from

The Bose 1401 direct/reflecting car stereo system was manufactured by the Bose Corporation in the 1980s. It was composed of a booster/equaliser, four loudspeakers, mounting hardware and cables, which could be purchased in a complete package with the Bose 1401 CRC tuner/cassette unit or purchased separately for use with a different radio/cassette unit.

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Because of their direct-radiating qualities, the two front loudspeakers of the Bose 1401 system are intended for mounting as far forward on the door as possible. The two rear speakers feature special reflector grills that can be rotated to the angle providing the best sound quality. All four 44-inch speakers have a voice-coil producing 0.45 ohms that is made of rectangular wire and wound on an aluminium former, creating heat dissipation, high efficiency and power handling.


The Bose 1401 booster/equaliser has four separate amplifiers, each producing 25 watts. It also features active electronic equalisation, where the bass and treble responses are modified according to the car's interior acoustics. On the bottom edge of the booster/equaliser are slider bars that act as controls, as well as a spatial control that alters the frequency balance and a low-frequency control that boosts or eases the bass. For cars with absorbent interior fabric, there is an optional treble boost switch on the unit's back panel that can be set when the stereo is installed. The unusually shallow unit measures 10-by-44-by-14 inches and should be mounted beneath the tuner/cassette unit or underneath the front shelf. The booster/equaliser unit draws a current of about 400 milliamps up to 5 amps, depending on the type and volume of the music. Bose recommends running the unit from the car battery to avoid problems with the switch contacts or fuses; however, the unit's power must be turned off separately from the car ignition. Phono sockets are included with low-level and high-level inputs, allowing the system to be compatible with most good-quality car radio/cassette units. The system also comes with a 7-amp fuse.

Tuner/Cassette Player

With the ability to store up to 12 stations, the tuner/cassette unit has a digital tuner that features flexible manual, scan and seek tuning modes. A display shows the station frequency and then reverts back to clock mode after seven seconds. Included is a local/distance switch for changing the tuner sensitivity, a fringe blend switch for reverting to mono and a noise cancellation switch for reducing interference from the car systems. The cassette player on the Bose 1401 features auto-reverse, with locking rewind and fast-wind buttons. Also included are Dolby noise reduction and switching for chrome/metal or normal tapes. This unit has standard DIN measurements and should easily fit into the dashboard of most cars built after 1975.

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