Half Stack

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L1 Pro32

Can I operate the L1 Pro32 with only the lower section of the line array?
Sometimes there is not sufficient height to use the full array
The L1 Pro32 can be used without the upper array. This configuration is useful when a venue ceiling cannot accommodate the height of the L1 Pro32
Source: Page 7 of the L1 Pro32 Owners Guide
  • For best results, ensure array is at ear level for listeners
  • Unlike the L1 Model II, the L1 Pro32 automatically adjusts the level of the bass output to maintain the appropriate spectral balance.
It’s a valid use case to use only the bottom array section. In fact, the EQ automatically adjusts to compensate.
Craig Small - Bose

Half Stack Not Recommended for Small Gigs

Running only the lower section of the Line Array is a workaround when there isn't enough ceiling clearance to use both sections. For small gigs, turn down the volume on the L1 Pro32, don't run without the top section of the array because

  • You'll need to elevate the system so the array is at ear level for the audience. Otherwise, the sound will be muffled
  • You will reduce your projection over distance. The sound will drop off more over distance.
  • You may need to turn up the volume louder than if you were using the full array. As a result, you increase the likelihood of feedback.

This extends the official L1® System FAQ.

L1 Model II


What about using just the lower half of an L1 system's loudspeaker in places where the ceiling isn't tall enough for full assembly?

You can do it, but using only half of an L1 loudspeaker will significantly impact system performance. The EQ will be incorrect, and sound coverage decreased. Plus, in order to hear yourself properly, it's best to have your ears at the same height as some part of the loudspeaker—which may be difficult unless you're seated.

Note - If you are using a Model II, the following applies if you are using one or two B1s attached directly to the L1® Power Stand
Notes from MikeZ-at-Bose
Referring to situations where there is not enough height to install the upper section of the L1 Cylindrical Radiator® loudspeaker MikeZ said
The easiest way to 'get through the gig' is to simply remove the top section and play through the bottom only. To balance out your sound in this mode, plug a cable into the 'bass line out' (don't connect it to anything).
Of course you lose a lot of performance from the system, but the show will go on.


Later in the same discussion Le5 Mark explained.
by removing the top half the L1 speaker the impedance effectively doubles for this section thus reducing the power output of the mid-highs and the bass will be more pronounced. By inserting a cable into the "bass line out" the power stand will "believe" that a PackLite has been connected and it will reduce the bass output level and the sound will now be "balanced".

Please note: The following are not recommended or supported

  • Using a cable to connect the two sections of the Cylindrical Radiator®
  • Mounting the upper section of the Cylindrical Radiator® except other than as shown in the L1® Model II Owners Guide

From the L1® Model II Owners Guide Safety Information on page 2.

CAUTION: Make no modifications to the system or accessories. Unauthorized alterations may compromise safety, regulatory compliance, and system performance.

Bose Pro Community Admin 

L1 Classic

NOTE: The impedance issue affects the L1 Model I and L1 Model II. The L1 Classic uses separate amplifiers for the top and bottom sections of the L1 Cylindrical Radiator® loudspeaker. So the rationale for using a cable (or just a connector) into the bass line out may be different, it is still worth considering. You may also get decent results using the R1 Remote or T1 ToneMatch Audio Engine to turn down the bass output.

Follow up notes:

Question: Mike: Is it safe to assume that getting the 1/2 pole raised to approximately ear level will help?

Answer: Yes. Ideally, this is best. You need a sturdy flat surface to set the unit onto. A sturdy square bar table works.

Here in Boston, lots of the Irish pubs have really low ceilings, but luckily they also have sturdy tables :-) BUT, be really, really careful. I stand and try to knock a table over before I put my 1/2 L1 on it. If at all in doubt leave it on the ground.
Note - if you are using a B2 connected directly to your L1® Model II Power Stand

You can still run your system with only the lower half of the Cylindrical Radiator® but plugging in a ¼ inch jack cable to the Bass Line Out will not affect the output to the B2. You will likely want to set the B2 Bass Level switch to the (-) minus position, and turn down the bass at the source (T1 ToneMatch Audio Engine or mixer).