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Professor Amar Gopal Bose

A man and his inspiration

I joined Bose Corporation in 1967 after seven years at MIT, the last three with Dr. Bose as my faculty advisor. I chose not to do a dissertation to receive my PhD. Seven years was enough. MIT is not a place where you relax. As soon as I told this to Dr. Bose, he said “would you like a job?” I traveled the country for one month before deciding but I knew I had to accept for by that time I knew Dr. Bose well and his genius was not something I could leave behind. I became the fifth employee of Bose Corporation. There were two other engineers: Sherwin Greenblatt who was president for many years, and Tom Froeschle a genius engineer. The others were a draftsman and a secretary.

The company occupied a 10,000 square foot building in Natick at 17 Erie Drive.

I was put in charge of loudspeakers, quality control and given my own NASA contract. One morning I was walking toward the building with Dr. Bose when he mentioned that the company needed a slogan to place under the company’s logo. I knew well Dr. Bose’s spirit and outlook and so my response was “Better Sound Through Research.” I believe I helped communicate the essence of the company and the man.

On my first day I was taken into the conference room at 17 Erie Drive and there was the second pair of 901s ever made. I could not believe what I heard. As a life-long audiophile I recognized the incredible reality of the sound.

I was taken into the next room and saw Professor Y.W. Lee of MIT attaching the raw silk grille cloth to a 2201 loudspeaker. I was told he was the only person who could attach it properly. However, the mainstay of the company’s business at the time was power processing electronics for the military.

But the most important task ahead was to bring the 901 speaker to market.

I stayed at Bose for 23 years, the most wonderful, exciting and satisfying years of my life. I got to know the real genius of Dr. Bose and was pround of the assignments he gave me and the trust he put in me.

Telling the full story is impossible. You have had to live it. But in my 80th year I will do the best I can.

Below I tell the story of the 901 and the breakthough science behind it, as well as that of two other pioneering products that helped Bose establish itself as the leading and pioneering company in the audio industry.

I had joined Dr. Bose’s research group at MIT in 1964 when I decided to leave solid state physics to do what I loved. I knocked on his office door and asked him if he could give me something to do. I think he picked up on my enthusiasm for audio and so took me to his lab. When the door opened what I saw made me think “I’m home.” It turned out to be the most important decision of my life. There in the corners of the room were two prototype 2201 speakers and I was to become involved in the research that ultimately led to the 901 Direct/Reflecting® loudspeaker. It was a dream come true and the adventure of a lifetime.

The ad above I created when I was in change of home audio marketing. I wish I had done it sooner for it explained in a glance what made the 901 a Direct/Reflecting® speaker.

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