thoughts on the bose 501 speakers

before i bought my bose 901 seies 2 speakers, i had the 501's! any comments on this model??
I sold these in 1979.  At that time,  I found them to be fairly balanced sounding.  I had better things in our show room.  ESS, Acoustic Research, DLK and a few others that would throw a similar sound stage, but clearly imaged better.  
I also sold them way back when, the tweeters were not high-quality. Any of the typical receivers back then could drive them pretty loud, so they were popular. The Mirage Speakers and AR's we had were way better, but the Bose name always sold them no matter what they sounded like. They did have a good sound-stage with their 'direct-reflecting' speakers, but sound-stage is not the same as good imaging. So, did you have the Technics or Pioneer turntable? With a AT, Shure or Pickering cartridge by any chance? Thanks for the memories!
I have Series 1 and 2 901's that I bought used for my 5.1 setup. I think they were and still are their finest product next to their Noise Cancelling Headphones.

I heard a pair of 501's at my Dad's friend's place once when I was a kid. Great for casual listening I guess. I'd need to hear a pair just for my own curiosity.
I listened to the 501's in a home system back in '75. Wide open very dimensional soundstage! I liked what I heard! "Legend Of A Mind" and the rest of In Search Of The Lost Chord by the Moody Blues. Maybe the best speaker ever from Bose?
@deadhead1000, i had the pioneer direct drive turntable pl-51 with the at15s shibata stylus to play the cd-4 records!
"...I have Series 1 and 2 901's that I bought used for my 5.1 setup. I think they were and still are their finest product..."

Series 1s were the best of the bunch. They may have been their best product but they were not the best loudspeaker in 1971 or any of the following years.
The 501 had the biggest cabinet and the largest bass driver in the bose line so it does have the warm full sound that a lot of bose speakers do not have so i would have kept them for a different type of sound compared to the 901 just for a change of pace sometime.
   First....I have joined many others in criticism of Bose speakers in the past. I'm not sure what your aim is here. To purchase the 501's as superior speakers to the 901's or just to see what other opinions are?
   Many years ago I went down the Bose path. Decent sounding speakers for my setup. I started with the 301's (bookshelf) and then ended up with 901 series III. Wasn't overly impressed since I bought them used and wondered if something could be better. After reading online, and given the age of the speakers, I opened the cabinets and found the foam surrounds were deteriorated. Bought a refoam kit and installed. Speakers didn't sound any better. (501's with age may suffer as well). 901's are useless without their dedicated EQ.
   So, not knowing your intent, if you want the ultimate from Bose speakers inspect the surrounds if you intend to buy some. I will state again as others have.......Bose is a mega company with a super marketing operation. But...their products are mediocre and over priced. Much better products can be found elsewhere at a less cost.

I also had the Bose 901s series 3 and still have a pair of 301’s. I bought my 901’s in 1980 when I was in the Army in Germany- I liked them but difficult to setup correctly I switched to B&Ws 803’s in 1993 and found B&Ws much better for all kinds of music. Today those have been ungraded to Wilson’s Watt 8’s which is another step up. Bose was good in the 70’s and 80’s but could not compare today with so many better speakers 
g_nakamoto, my thoughts:  You are a brave soul for asking "any comments on this" on a site such as this!  Given your purchases of the 501 and, thereafter, the 901, I would hazard a guess that you like jazz and music with a solid midrange.  Properly placed, those speakers certainly deliver in that department.

I bought my first quality audiophile system in 1972 on a poor student's limited budget.  After spending most of it on a receiver (Sansui 2000X) and turntable (Philips 212) I settled on a pair of Studiocraft speakers (made by Bose in those days).  The shop had a wonderful policy allowing full trade-in value on those speakers toward a purchased of more expensive ones if purchased in the next 365 days.  A year later, I returned to that shop to upgrade the Studiocraft and spent several hours A/B'ing many pairs within my budget range.  It was a large shop with a huge inventory (Tech Hi-Fi Cambridge, MA).  Those were the good old days for audio shops.  I A/B'd pair after pair and worked by the process of elimination.  I very much enjoyed EPI, AR, Advent and others but eventually whittled down the competition to Bose 501 and Ohm C.  I listened to those for a long time because I liked them both very much.  Eventually, I chose the Ohm C largely because, to my ears, I thought they were a bit clearer, more dynamic and did a better job with acoustic instruments, especially acoustic guitar.  Regardless, the 501 were very nice speakers, indeed.  Just for fun because I certainly couldn't afford it at the time, the salesman had me A/B the 901 with the Ohm F to see what I thought.  The amplifier used, as I recall, was either a McIntosh or Phase Linear.  I didn't have to listen long.  My ears definitely preferred to Ohm F largely for the same reasons.  As you are probably already aware, speakers, more than any other components, are a very individual and subjective choice.  Different ears like different sound(s).
I owned the Bose 901 series 2`s. back in 1974 sounds ok when pumping at outrageous volume and high on weed. the 501`s seriously suck.
"No highs, no lows, must be Bose"

As an audio retail sales person and store manager back in the late 70s, that was how we would describe them.  We sold them, people wanted them, but not by any of us in the industry.
ozzy621,477 posts05-12-2021 7:14amg, you are a brave man for asking such a question in this forum..........

I thought Audiogon was trying to move up to a new level of true high fidelity.
At least we can say 
Audiogon is a free, fair, open forum.
Even Bose can get a  post. 
@ozzy621,477, i don't know too much about stereo units. in my lifetime, i've had a marantz 4300 quad reciever and my bose 901 seies 2 speakers that i bought back in the early 70's. today i still have the bose but with a mcintosh mx132 and mc602 amp!!
g_nakamoto, if you are considering upgrading or replacing your 901, certainly understandable given the MAC lineup you have, go do some serious critical listening, under controlled conditions, of speakers in your budget range and worthy of that MAC equipment.  Your ears will tell you everything you need to know.  However, by all means, unlike sheridanmartinj, please do your critical listening without weed in your ears.  Though the Bose 501 weren't ultimately to my liking way back then, they certainly did not "seriously suck".  That's only one opinion and you know what they say about opinions, don't you?  They're like anuses.  Everybody has one.