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View Full Version : Zapco comps (vs. morel, dyn, rainbow)



Buffalohed
05-13-2007, 11:02 AM
I've been planning on getting a 3-way comp upgrade for my car for a while. I've made a thread or two about it in the past, and the last one led me to decide on the Dynaudio System GT 362s, based on their natural sound, huge power handling, dome midrange, and very impressive woofer.

However, yesterday I was talking to a technician at a local dealer who sells Focal, Morel, Dynaudio, and Zapco speakers. The guy has worked with them for many years, there was a car there with Utopias from 5 years ago that he had installed.

So I was discussing this with him and he gave me some good info. I am going to go demo some stuff at the shop and let him look over my car, but I wanted to reach out for some info here first. He supposedly has great connections with the Zapco people and can get better prices on them than the others, and he also recommended them for my application.

He said the Dyn tweeter is very weak, though he confirmed the woofer is fantastic. He said the crossovers are extremely dated, and that Dyns actually prefer 500+ watts per side, while I have 450 per side available.

According to him, Focal has gone downhill for the money in recent years. Next to the Zapco, he thinks the Morel Hybrid Ovation would be my best option.

I wouldn't hesitate to go with Morel, however I want some opinions on Zapco components. The line he was referring to is the Competition CK line, as my budget is around $800-1100. Sorry this is so long-winded... do any of you with experience with Zapco think their components match up? Do you think Zapco over Dynaudio or Morel would be a good choice? And of course, Rainbow is still an option, if someone can convince me Profi 3-ways are the way to go with 450 watts.

Thanks, sorry for typing so much!

3.5Max6spd
05-13-2007, 12:11 PM
1. Hes a Zapco dealer.
2. Do you honestly think theres a difference between 450 watts and 500watts on a fronstage in terms of dynamic headroom? Or that any set of components via passive dont saturate after several hundred watts, and can easily bottom out a driver?
3. The Dyn tweeter has been revised and is now 8ohms. So how is the Xover dated? They use high end parts inside their Xovers and as most passive networks they work best installed in array.

Sounds to me he just has a better margin of profit selling you Zapco.

If you need to be convinced of anything, have it be done by your ears in a controlled(by you) environment.

req
05-13-2007, 12:30 PM
sounds to me like a crock of bs because someone wants to make monies.

kublkmax
05-13-2007, 09:30 PM
Ok look at it this way how many team Zapco guys are running Zapco components in their car? I know 3 personally and none of them are and I am willing to bet you that most of the rest are not either. I think ol boy is just trying to make a buck.

I have the Dyn system 342 and there is nothing wrong with the md102. I would do a little more research before you let this guy sucker you into something you do not really want. Just go and listen to them all if you can and go from there.

Gary S
05-13-2007, 11:18 PM
I've been planning on getting a 3-way comp upgrade for my car for a while. I've made a thread or two about it in the past, and the last one led me to decide on the Dynaudio System GT 362s, based on their natural sound, huge power handling, dome midrange, and very impressive woofer.

However, yesterday I was talking to a technician at a local dealer who sells Focal, Morel, Dynaudio, and Zapco speakers. The guy has worked with them for many years, there was a car there with Utopias from 5 years ago that he had installed.

So I was discussing this with him and he gave me some good info. I am going to go demo some stuff at the shop and let him look over my car, but I wanted to reach out for some info here first. He supposedly has great connections with the Zapco people and can get better prices on them than the others, and he also recommended them for my application.

He said the Dyn tweeter is very weak, though he confirmed the woofer is fantastic. He said the crossovers are extremely dated, and that Dyns actually prefer 500+ watts per side, while I have 450 per side available.

According to him, Focal has gone downhill for the money in recent years. Next to the Zapco, he thinks the Morel Hybrid Ovation would be my best option.

I wouldn't hesitate to go with Morel, however I want some opinions on Zapco components. The line he was referring to is the Competition CK line, as my budget is around $800-1100. Sorry this is so long-winded... do any of you with experience with Zapco think their components match up? Do you think Zapco over Dynaudio or Morel would be a good choice? And of course, Rainbow is still an option, if someone can convince me Profi 3-ways are the way to go with 450 watts.

Thanks, sorry for typing so much!




Some points:

- max6spd is making sense here.

- He is right about focal... prices are up, and on all but the top of the line stuff, quality has gone down.

- Dyn is legendary for their tweeter's consistent, matched quality. However, I do not understand what he means by dated crossover... I have not seen a lot of new technology in car crossovers anyway? Unless they are using cheaper parts? I have to tell you something about dyn Morel.... several years ago, we got some drivers into our shop and did some testing... the mids/woofer performance was lack-luster at best. like I said, they have some great quality low distortion tweeters, but i would not go with their other drivers or sets, I think there are better options.


- of those choices, and this may surprise some people here because I never say this... are you ready... I would go with rainbow. :naughty:

- Didn't you have the Kicker SS components before? Another option would be to add a midbass SS kit. But I will say that a 3-way with a 4" or smaller mid would probably be better.

Buffalohed
05-13-2007, 11:43 PM
I get your drift about Zapco team members. Have any of you guys heard the new Competition series and think they just don't measure up?

Just a little clarification:

The guy also carries Dynaudio in his shop, and Focal and Morel, he isn't any more affiliated with Zapco than with them from what I can tell. He didn't even mention them until we had been talking for like 15 minutes. I didn't ask for details about the Dyn xover because the answer would have gone over my head. He said that the System GT Dynaudio tweeters sound lifeless and that he couldn't cure it with EQing, as opposed to bright tweets that you can tame. He said something to the effect of "you just can't make dull tweeters sound lively". He also agreed that the Dyns are very natural sounding.

I mean don't get me wrong, he said the Dyns are a great set. He just said he thinks I should like the Zapco. He carries them both so...

And yeah I have Kicker SS right now. They just don't satisfy. The imaging could be improved on them, sure, but I'm not going to glass my dash just to remount the tweeter. They are good, just not good enough.

6spdcoupe
05-13-2007, 11:47 PM
The thought of even comparing Morel/Dyb to Focal or Zapco just somewhat irks me. Not to say one is better or not better, but theyre on completely different ends of the spectrum. Different overall sound from each of them. So for this salesman to say one is better (especially to Your ears) is a pitch. Nothing more, nothing less.

To help narrow things down a bit..

What is the vehicle in question?

What type of music do you listen to?

Are you accustomed to a 'bright' sound or a more natual 'laid back' type?

All things equal its Your ears that make the deciding vote, not the profit margin of a salesman. Dont just let the 'he recommended them for my application get you, ask him Why they apply and his response should be in detail.

I wish I could tell you what suits you best, but without more data its impossible for anyone to...

6spdcoupe
05-13-2007, 11:51 PM
I get your drift about Zapco team members. Have any of you guys heard the new Competition series and think they just don't measure up?

Just a little clarification:

The guy also carries Dynaudio in his shop, and Focal and Morel, he isn't any more affiliated with Zapco than with them from what I can tell. He didn't even mention them until we had been talking for like 15 minutes. I didn't ask for details about the Dyn xover because the answer would have gone over my head. He said that the System GT Dynaudio tweeters sound lifeless and that he couldn't cure it with EQing, as opposed to bright tweets that you can tame. He said something to the effect of "you just can't make dull tweeters sound lively". He also agreed that the Dyns are very natural sounding.

I mean don't get me wrong, he said the Dyns are a great set. He just said he thinks I should like the Zapco. He carries them both so...

And yeah I have Kicker SS right now. They just don't satisfy. The imaging could be improved on them, sure, but I'm not going to glass my dash just to remount the tweeter. They are good, just not good enough.


What did he have in stock at the moment? Are you sure he wasnt just pushing what was on hand to make a turn? Unfortunately its very common practice. Or the other thought would be ...he needs to make his numbers. Being that Dyn or Morel dont enforce making 'quotas' and Zapco is a bit more pushy on it could be the reasoning behind his pitch.

By the sound of his 'lifeless' comment Im unsure if hes even ever heard or set or simply just tone deaf. Out of the box they sound phenomenal add a bit of power and they really shine. No need to add 'life'.

Rich B
05-13-2007, 11:54 PM
The thought of even comparing Morel/Dyb to Focal or Zapco just somewhat irks me. Not to say one is better or not better, but theyre on completely different ends of the spectrum.


Zapco's higher end components are actually made in Italy by ESB.

They're no lower in quality or engineering than Dynaudio, Morel, or Focal.

Buffalohed
05-13-2007, 11:54 PM
Ok. This is kind of making me sad... it was at a car show I talked to him at, and I approached him because I asked for the guy who installed the Utopias in a show car. He was a cool guy and spent like 30 minutes talking to me.

Anyway, I haven't been to his shop. I'll probably go on Monday because he was going to look at my car. He even said he might recommend 2-ways.

I'd hate to think he was just trying to shove a ****** product down my throat because he didn't seem like that kind of guy, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt in that department. At any rate, I think I've heard enough here to probably stay away from the Zapcos. Unless there is anything further about them I should know.

Buffalohed
05-13-2007, 11:55 PM
Zapco's higher end components are actually made in Italy by ESB.

They're no lower in quality or engineering than Dynaudio, Morel, or Focal.
Actually he was talking about ESB. I don't remember what he said, but he said that's who made them. I told him I didn't know what ESB was. :)

Rich B
05-13-2007, 11:58 PM
Actually he was talking about ESB. I don't remember what he said, but he said that's who made them. I told him I didn't know what ESB was. :)


Heres a link to CA&E's review of the Zapco CK 16.2 component set.

(They liked it a lot.)

http://www.caraudiomag.com/testreports/0511cae_zapco_ck_162_car_audio_component_set/index.html

6spdcoupe
05-13-2007, 11:59 PM
Zapco's higher end components are actually made in Italy by ESB.

They're no lower in quality or engineering than Dynaudio, Morel, or Focal.



Im well aware of who makes them. But again they are on entirely different ends of the spectrum in SOUND. Has nothing to do with who/where/what makes them. Didnt read the next sentence? :)

6spdcoupe
05-14-2007, 12:01 AM
Ok. This is kind of making me sad... it was at a car show I talked to him at, and I approached him because I asked for the guy who installed the Utopias in a show car. He was a cool guy and spent like 30 minutes talking to me.

Anyway, I haven't been to his shop. I'll probably go on Monday because he was going to look at my car. He even said he might recommend 2-ways.

I'd hate to think he was just trying to shove a ****** product down my throat because he didn't seem like that kind of guy, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt in that department. At any rate, I think I've heard enough here to probably stay away from the Zapcos. Unless there is anything further about them I should know.

Theres nothing ****** about them. We just want to know if he was offering them for the right reasons... Any of the mentioned sets will perform quite well and are of great quality, but the question is ...is his approach sincere or iced with motives?

Buffalohed
05-14-2007, 12:02 AM
The thought of even comparing Morel/Dyb to Focal or Zapco just somewhat irks me. Not to say one is better or not better, but theyre on completely different ends of the spectrum. Different overall sound from each of them. So for this salesman to say one is better (especially to Your ears) is a pitch. Nothing more, nothing less.

To help narrow things down a bit..

What is the vehicle in question?

What type of music do you listen to?

Are you accustomed to a 'bright' sound or a more natual 'laid back' type?

All things equal its Your ears that make the deciding vote, not the profit margin of a salesman. Dont just let the 'he recommended them for my application get you, ask him Why they apply and his response should be in detail.

I wish I could tell you what suits you best, but without more data its impossible for anyone to...
I've done this in a couple other threads but will reiterate here:

I listen to mostly electronic, metal, ambient, experimental, noise, and the occasional rock/pop/rap/classical. I want natural above all else. For example, I stay away from Grado headphones because they are bright and warm in the midrange. Tweets can't be harsh or bright because there is a lot of articulate high frequency stuff in what I listen to, and I will probably attenuate them at high volume levels regardless unless they are just phenomenally laid back but accurate. For midbass... accuracy and timbre reproduction above all else.

Anyway he didn't say Zapco were the best speakers by any means. In fact he was going on about how much he loved Morel Supremos, said the tweet was one of the best he has ever heard (I said I couldn't afford them). So I don't know what that says about his taste in tweeters. I told him the sets I was considering and he said I should consider Zapco as well, I might like them. That can't be too unreasonable.

Buffalohed
05-14-2007, 12:06 AM
Theres nothing ****** about them. We just want to know if he was offering them for the right reasons... Any of the mentioned sets will perform quite well and are of great quality, but the question is ...is his approach sincere or iced with motives?
This thread is making me relive the entire conversation with the guy :laugh:

Anyway, I recall that I told him I wanted a natural and flat reproduction. He said the Dyns do that very well, but that the Zapco actually had the flattest response out of the box of any set before he EQ'd them. He said something about it only taking him 8 minutes to EQ them in a recent install, I told him I don't have extensive EQing capabilities right now. So maybe he recommended them for the flat response?

Gary S
05-14-2007, 01:00 AM
Some thoughts.... based on your type of music and listening to headphones, my first reaction would be to recommend sets with metal tweeters... but then you say you don't like bright and want natural... headphones sound accurate but too good, almost surreal to me, better than natural in a way.

If you can get the tweeter and mid in a kick panel, I would not hesitate to go with something with a metal tweet like the rainbow set... but if you are putting speakers in the dash or tweeters up high and away from mids, you may run into problems.

The eq thing I think is one of the biggest misconceptions in car audio. I know i'm going to get flamed for this, but eq's can help the frequency response look good on an RTA at a car show, but are not necessary for sound quality... if the speakers measure flat anechoic, as the better ones are designed to do, sound quality will be mostly dependant on install quality and speaker placement, overall system design, tunning, and speaker quality... our ears separate the sound of the speakers from the sound of the room/car/late reflections... an eq will only mess up the sound. Case in point... years ago, home eq's built-in to receivers were popular, but you can't find one today, this is the reason. Besides, if Eric Clapton got in the back seat of your car and started playing his guitar, would you ask him to re-tune his guitar to sound better in your car? Do you think it would sound better if he did? Do you smell what I'm cooking?!

Buffalohed
05-14-2007, 10:36 AM
Couple more things this morning before I go to check out the shop.

The tweets will go on the dash with the midrange, which is why I need a dome mid.

I listen to Senn HD600 headphones, which I like slightly more than the newer HD650s. I love them.

Gary S
05-14-2007, 01:28 PM
High end headphones are really good sound... low distortion, no crossover distortion, near perfect stereo separation... If you are that picky about high end headphones, you might be a tough customer to please.

If those mids and tweets on the dash are aimed up and fire at the windshield, that can cause problems... too many early reflections.

SethPhillips
05-14-2007, 01:32 PM
Go Focal!!!

Hebrew Hammer
05-14-2007, 01:41 PM
any guys here want to naysay the zapco comps...my brother matt roberts just built a team car with zapco comps...and I bet to say will walk over most in the lanes......

tbasile1
05-14-2007, 02:34 PM
Go Focal!!!


Yeah, i love Focals!!! But ive never heard Morel, Dyn, or Zapco hahah

Buffalohed
05-14-2007, 03:39 PM
Well...

I went to the shop and talked to the guy again. The Zapco comps are out of my price range, at his shop at least, on the same level as the Morel Elates and Dyn Esotars. I think he quoted me 1350 for the 3-ways. The guy was definitely not trying to shove them down my throat, because when I told him that was too much, we talked at length about some other sets from other brands. In general his prices were pretty high though. This shop is quite literally the only high-end dealer in Austin, so I guess he has no trouble with business. His prices on sets I was looking at are like 200-300 more than what I have been quoted online and authorized from some of the folks here.

The mids+tweets will actually be glassed kind of in between the a-pillar and dash. Sort of like sticking out of the corner where the pillar and dash meet, near the corner of the windshield. They will be firing in whatever direction I want, probably at the opposite window.

If Hebrew Hammer thinks that highly about the Zapco's, and the technician said basically the same thing, that clears things up a bit for me.

Anyway I guess I'm back to the Dyn GTs as my best option since the others are too expensive for my blood.

donpisto
05-14-2007, 03:59 PM
1. Hes a Zapco dealer.
2. Do you honestly think theres a difference between 450 watts and 500watts on a fronstage in terms of dynamic headroom? Or that any set of components via passive dont saturate after several hundred watts, and can easily bottom out a driver?
3. The Dyn tweeter has been revised and is now 8ohms. So how is the Xover dated? They use high end parts inside their Xovers and as most passive networks they work best installed in array.

Sounds to me he just has a better margin of profit selling you Zapco.

If you need to be convinced of anything, have it be done by your ears in a controlled(by you) environment.

I agree with this very much. Seriously, you are not going to notice a difference between 450 and 500 watts. Even at that, thats some serious power, I don't see as to why you would need that much power for some mid ranges. I have Boston Z6's and they handle 400w rms according to their specs. A boston tech told me he's got 390 his but even 200w would be sufficient enough. 500 is crazy.

Gary S
05-18-2007, 01:12 PM
The mids+tweets will actually be glassed kind of in between the a-pillar and dash. Sort of like sticking out of the corner where the pillar and dash meet, near the corner of the windshield.

.

- I would not do that if I were you... one speaker will be significantly closer to you than the other. Kick panels are best in most cases... unless you could mount them on the dash a little closer together... which is probably not practical.

Towncar
05-18-2007, 01:46 PM
Well...

I went to the shop and talked to the guy again. The Zapco comps are out of my price range, at his shop at least, on the same level as the Morel Elates and Dyn Esotars. I think he quoted me 1350 for the 3-ways.

See if you can find a phoenix gold titanium elite 3way comp set. They are hard to find, but you would save quite a bit of money..

vwrx_freak
05-18-2007, 02:59 PM
wqhat shop is it on lamar near rundberg?

trunks9_us
05-19-2007, 08:12 PM
sidewaysautosalon !

and i do have zapco comps ck16 and ther great no distortion at all they sound ****ing awsome.


wqhat shop is it on lamar near rundberg?

Buffalohed
05-20-2007, 04:10 PM
- I would not do that if I were you... one speaker will be significantly closer to you than the other. Kick panels are best in most cases... unless you could mount them on the dash a little closer together... which is probably not practical.
I'll take pics of the location soon when I actually start the glassing project. I know it isn't optimal, but kicks are 100% out of the question for me. They can actually sit decently far back on the dash because of how it's shaped... anyway we will see.

Yeah, sidewaysautosalon is the shop. It's behind an autobody shop so you can't see it very well from Lamar. I wouldn't hesitate to take my car there if I needed some work done I couldn't do myself, but as far as pricing goes the dealers on here can easily beat what the shop offers.

Buffalohed
05-20-2007, 04:11 PM
Hey Trunks, did you get your Zapco's from sideways? Also, maybe if you're around sometime I could come hear them? Maybe you'd like to hear my mags or something. I wanna hear the high end Zapco set even though I can't afford it. :yumyum:

///M5
05-20-2007, 07:49 PM
I'd avoid all of them and run DIY drivers if I wanted a 3 way stage. IMO passive 3 ways are a waste.

trunks9_us
05-20-2007, 07:57 PM
well to tell you the truth i dont live there but when i plan on going up there again i will if i have them hooked up see i was running dc reference amps on the speakers and off of a jensen hu so it was sounding still good but i am saving up for my alpine iva-d105 right now then have to buy the 701 processor and i am also selling my dc reference 1000.4 and getting a zapco 4.0 so yea cant really let you hear them cause ill be running completly different setup but from running off that double din jensen it sound great no distortion at all! but yea when i get finished with it i will let you heaR IT but i am guessing it will be this summer this time. and no i did not get the zapcos comps from them i got them from some where else


Hey Trunks, did you get your Zapco's from sideways? Also, maybe if you're around sometime I could come hear them? Maybe you'd like to hear my mags or something. I wanna hear the high end Zapco set even though I can't afford it. :yumyum:

Gary S
05-21-2007, 08:45 AM
Nm

Buffalohed
05-21-2007, 11:09 AM
Nm

:wave: