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View Full Version : Rainbow Review.Very Long



griffee
08-12-2006, 09:23 AM
While on my Hawaaiin Longoard I came accross this review on the Rainbows,and found it informative and helpful.Since it didn't really follow the guidelines of the other thread I started I figured it might be better off on it's own.

Recently added the vanadium midrange in with both the Profi set and Power set.

Due to instalation limitations, the speakers were listened to in my house in prebuilt sealed enclosures rather then in my car. Important to note is that the midrange unit should be sealed off, but because i had nothing to mount it in it was run free air. This took away a little from the midrange 'weight', but it still sounded fantastic regardless. The speakers were connected up to my Logitech Z-560 computer sub/amp which provided neither the best crossover points, nor the highest quality of amplification. Source was a creative X-fi Platinum sound card.

Here are my conclusions:

Setup 1: Profi Tweeter, Vanadium mid, Profi Phase Plug midbass
Overall impresions - Great overall sound. The detail is outstanding in that you tend to hear everything in the music. Not as soft or boring as many would probably expect - the set really sounds very lively. Midbass seemed nice. Overall its a very, very nice speaker set, but it's hard to write alot about them when youve heard the second setup below - the latter just has so many interesting factor to dicuss!

Setup 2: Power Tweeter, Vanadium mid, Power Midbass
Wow is all I can say. The first thing you notice is the midbass - it's just increadible. After listening to these and going back to the profis, they sounded tiny and thin in comparison. I've never heard a midbass speaker with this much impact before, and it really does add an increadible amount to overall character of the sound. Everything from rock, to rnb, to dance just sounds much more solid and 'full'. Particularly noticable is the weight behind kickdrums that are so solid you can practically 'feel' them, and deep male vocals that come out so deep it sends a shiver down your spine. Everything just sounds so 'real'.

The character if the midrange from the Power unit is great. It is an extremely refined driver, and vocals sound to me to be smoother and more natural then they do out of the Profi midbass - but unfortunately and understandably they just dont extend as high. There is a noticable gap between the midbass unit and the tweeter that is too high for the midbass to reach, and too low for the tweeters to get to. This proves to be the one single accosutic weakness of the Power 2-way set, and when adding in the vanadium mid I noticed this immediately.

With the Midrange to fill in the gap, suddenlly music that wasnt even there was coming out in full force. All of those subtle little details that the big 7 incher just couldn't seem to quite reach. The combination is an absolute match made in heaven (and even match visually!) and really makes me wonder why rainbow didnt make a three way power set from the factory.

Onto the tweeter. Comparing the two, they are surprisingly quite different in character. The Power tweet is softer, warmer and smoother which not surprisingly matches it well with the characteristics of the 7" midbass unit. The Profi tweeter in comparison seemed more 'dry' sounding, and perhaps a tad scratchy in comparison. However, the Profi tweeter extends further, while the power tends to drop of a little earlier and ultimately doesn't have the outright top end etension and detail of the profi. It's a 50-50 situation where neither is clearly better, it's dependant purely on what you like. If you prefer refinement above overall extention then the Power tweeter is IMO a clearly better option. A tad of top end EQ tends to bring it out great. If you a more of a fan of outright detail and extension there you would prefer the Profi.

Off axis response favours the Power tweet. I don't know whether it's because of the larger dome, or the basket characteristics or what, but when mounted off axis the Power tweeter seems to lose alot less detail then the Profi. While the power becomes only slightly toned down off axis, the profi seems more of an 'on off switch'. When mounted off axis (i'm talking like, 90 degrees off axis) the Profi loses alot of it's top end extension, and alot of the finer details seem to dissapear. It's not bad, still just as good as alot of other tweeters i've heard, but it just doesn't hold itself quite as effectively as the Power tweeter when it's mouted off axis. I noticed the the most when I at one stage had both sets down in the kicks, 90 degrees off axis. The Power tweet was hitting higher notes that weren't there on the profi - yet when mounted on axis the Profi clearly has the better top end extension. Quite unusual how the Power just doesn't seem to loose all that much when mounted off axis.

As far as tonal ballance goes, I find the power tweeter to be more laid back and to just sound more natural. The profi to me sounds a tad more forceful (but only when compared to the Power). In my brief chance to hear a Rainbow Platinum tweeter, I'd say the style of sound of the power is very similar to the Platinum, although the Platinum is a little more detailed and smoother again.

On the Platinums now..very nice. A very smooth laid back tweeter, but they do an amazing job of bringing out female vocals with increadible presence. I heard them off axis, so it was hard to guage what their overall top end exnention was like, but id say it would probably be quite similar to that of the profi. Was a very natural and very pleasant tweeter to listen to, and I would absolutely die to hear the Power midbass and vanadium mid running as a three way with Platinum tweeters - a direction im seriously considering taking. The Platinums were listened to in a car (not in my house) and run back to back with Profi vanadium tweeters. My best description would be similar extension to the Vanadium, but an overall smoother, more natural and more refined output.

The results for the Profis and Powers were the results i got when mounted up in the house, so there were no incar issues (resonances, refletions etc) to alter the tonal qualities of the tweeters. Likewise, when I briefly isntalled the power midbass units into a car door without sound deadening, the midbass was even more impressive then it was in the house (probably due to the home amp's high crossover points). I can only imagine how impressive it will be in a properly designed and deadened door installation.

griffee
08-12-2006, 09:23 AM
P.s. I forgot to comment on build quality. Bottom line? Faultless pretty much. The little 'rainbow' tag fell off my Power tweeter, but the unit itself is heavy, sturdy and extremely solid. The Profi tweeter is also stunningly well built, with a strong solid basket, vented magnet and the 'Profi' name etched into the metal. No problems with the Rainbow tags on the Profi tweeters, they are on solid like a brick and I couldn't possibly fall off without quite abit of provocation. The profi tweet comes with more mounting options, with a bunch of brackets and sets, but the larger Power tweeter doesnt need these as much because it has crew holes around the basket for a direct mount.

I have had numerous people comment on how heavy and solid both tweeters feel. As for the Platinum - absolutely flawless. Beautiful silver finish with a grille that can be unscrewed to reveal the tweeter (although Id recommend it to stay on). Biggest thing I noticed was the size of the Platinum - it looks like a siimple little 1" tweeter from the picture on the website, but for a compact dome it's pretty bloody big and very heavy and solid for what it is. Has special screw-down terminals on the back so that you can run into it your own wire, rather then having to use the cable that is supplied.

Onto the midrange unit. Again, flawless build. Unlike a lot of brands who tend to go with small dome midranges, the Rainbow midrange looks more like a 4" midbass unit. It actually looks exactly like a Vanadium midbass unit in that it has the same type of magnet, basket, motor structure, cone, surround and wiring terminals - all just scaled down to 4" sizes. Vented magnet with a **** alluminium cone and proper chrome screw down terminals, and a chunky *** magnet. The 48mm mounting depth is almost as deep as some slim design 6" units, so definately not a 'weak' mid.

Not much to say about the profi midbass, as its mostly a bit version of the mid. Differences being mine is a Profi line with a natural fibre cone and machined alluminium phase plug. Otherwise, more of the same high standard of build here.

Onto the Power midbass - what can I say? Much like the Platinum tweeter, the Power 7" midbass is flawlessly built. For a good idea, check out the 7" Vanadium subwoofer on Rainbows website, as visually they are practically identical, except the midbass only has the one venting hole in the middle of the magnet, not the other 8 little holes surrounding it on the sub. To my knowledge the magnet is exactly the same as the one found on the 7" an d8" subwoofers. It's a massive double stacked affair, with chrome finishes alla round it. Basket is also the same as the sub I believe, and is as solid as a rock. You could wack the thing with a sledgehammer and it probably woldnt dent. Teminals a screw down similar to the profi's, but ith slightly larder terminals. The surround is huge for a midbass, probably double the size of the profi surround - and this is what makes up the 7" diameter. The actual cone area is actually similar to that of the 6.5" accordign to rainbows specs. Overall impression is that this is one big, strong, heavy duty unit and you would be forgiven for mistaking it for an 8" sub at first glance.

The profi crossovers are quite nice, but this is another area where the Power set eclipses them. While the profi crossovers are around the size of dynaudio ones, the Power crossovers are huge - at least 1.5 times the size of the Profi ones, and easy double the size of my old Morel Pulse crossovers. Both crossovers have a tweeter protection warning light which lights up if you are pushing them abit too hard, and this is a nice protection features. Profi has tweeter selection for either +0dB or +3db from memory, while the Power has a choice of either -3dB, 0dB or +6dB. The power crossover also has a jumper to selection either 18dB or 24dB per octave crossover slope. The profi has a silver finish on the crossover, with the Power having a **** clear see through cover that allows you to see all of the chunky components within, and the cover on the power crossover is secured by four allen head screws, which is comforting to know. Both use chrome plated screwd own terminals, with the powers a little larger from memory.

The midrange runs off a 'piggy back' type crossover which connects through the standard two way crossover, and also has different attenuation settings for the midrange (although i can't remember these off the top of my head - I think 0dB and +3dB).

FoxPro5
08-12-2006, 09:34 AM
Wow, nice review!!

Questions though. What are you using for processing? Just curious about the x-over points you used.

It would also be helpful if we got a sense of the rest of the system...HU, amps, sub, etc.

griffee
08-12-2006, 09:52 AM
Unfortunately I don't know the answer to any questions FoxPro5.It actually wasn't my review but a different board members.I just thought it would be beneficial here since there was so much information regarding the Rainbow sets.Figured it might save 6speed some typing as well...unless he feels compelled to add a novel now too.:)

FoxPro5
08-12-2006, 10:17 AM
Unfortunately I don't know the answer to any questions FoxPro5.It actually wasn't my review but a different board members.I just thought it would be beneficial here since there was so much information regarding the Rainbow sets.Figured it might save 6speed some typing as well...unless he feels compelled to add a novel now too.:)

I see, well how about a link to the original thread??

griffee
08-12-2006, 07:02 PM
Here ya go FoxPro5

http://www.caraudioaustralia.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=65530&hl=rainbow

6spdcoupe
08-12-2006, 09:45 PM
Excellent review and hats off to the author for taking his time with the detail of it. It actually hit the nail on the head with my thoughts across the board about the tweets.

While the CAL27 (PowerCS) tweet is more open and carries a larger format (Oh I miss that tweet) The CAL26 is certainly no slouch. Theres alot of assumptions that get tossed around about the 27 being in a "higher line set" then it must be supremely better. On that note it is, but dont sleep on the 26. ;) Detail is full, lively and well rounded for their mid-level comp set. The up~or~ down side to the 27 Is the mounting...It mounts like a driver. Drop it in and screw it down. No other options without creativety and/or modifications. Doesnt work for all, but those that believe form follows function will make it work and love themseleves afterwards.

I personally have found several advantages with the CAL28 (Platinum) over the 27, but not all could justify the price.

The midbass of the PowerCS just overwhelms All, hands down one of the best midbass drivers Ive ever used,held,played with,sold,etc..6.9" driver with potential to hang with upper 10"ers and does it IB. Not the friendliest to install due to its depth, but again worth it in the end. The Platinum midbass does shine in the detail and overall reproduction department, but cant keep up with the CS especially in the 60-80Hz region. Dont be mislead, it Will hold its own, just not to the CS. :)

Overall excellent review and shared among many that I know that have or currently do run the listed pieces. Just none of them are the "drop it in and call it a day" sets. Unfortunately too many people mislead themselves into thinking.."I bought a ..high-end set of comps so theyll just sound great. While this is true, only to an extent. Install is certainly key here. If you just want a simple replacement using factory baffles and no sort of dampning look into the SLC or the likes. The Profis,Powers,Platinums are more for people that will take their time paying attention to detail with their install.

FoxPro5
08-12-2006, 10:02 PM
Thanks for the follow up comments broseph. You really know the full spectrum of the Rainbow. :eek:

Anyway, I was just thinking on that W175 mid...it's not that much bigger is it?? I calculated it to be about 1" deeper than most drivers (3.8"). With a 3/4" baffle it shouldn't be a problem for the avg car. I know I have the room :naughty:

6spdcoupe
08-12-2006, 10:50 PM
Not a problem bud. Its not a Huge difference, but it is noticable and does require substantial work on some car. Theres someone on here (local friend/customer) that has em and fitting them into a Pontiac G6 is not an easy task !