View Full Version : Rainbow Component Sets

Kevin Boyer
01-22-2010, 05:59 PM
I'm still trying to decide on what to put in my new truck and came across these on woofersetc.com


Has anyone had any experience with Rainbow comps? From what I've been reading, their equipment is top notch, and that includes their amp lineup as well. I've been going back and forth between DLS and Hertz, and now I throw this into the mix. But, I want to make sure I cover everything before I make a decision.


01-22-2010, 06:03 PM
Rainbow = goodness

01-22-2010, 06:06 PM
expensive? lol

Kevin Boyer
01-22-2010, 06:07 PM
misfit...I'm beginning to be a believer. Everything I see and read about the Rainbow line is amazing.


01-22-2010, 06:17 PM
From what I've read, Rainbow components are top notch and you can't go wrong with them, besides the price. Do you have a good headunit and good amps to power them?

Kevin Boyer
01-22-2010, 06:48 PM
I figure I'll build everything around these if I decide on them or another Rainbow comp set. What would you suggest for a HU and amp? This will be my first set-up in 4 years so I'm a little out of the loop. I don't listen to cd's much anymore. I use my iTouch 99% of the time, so I think I would lean more towards a HU like the Alpine iDA-x305 I think. But I am open to any and all suggestions. I'm still undecided as to whether I'm going 2 way or 3 way.


01-22-2010, 07:02 PM
It'll be very hard to correctly set up a 3-way set up so I suggest you stay 2-way, but either way you go I'd suggest you go active. DIYMA might be a better place to go if you want to talk about SQ, but if you want a double din head unit w/ navigation, I can tell you you're going to have to get an external processor since there are now DD Nav units w/ built in active crossover capabilities. There's a huge selection of amps, so just read up. Some of the popular 4-channel amps I can think of off the top of my head (you need either a 4-channel amp or 2 2-channel amps to go 2-way active) are the MB Quart DSC4125, AQ4x90, and Sundown SAX-100.4D, but there is a HUGE selection of SQ amps (think Zed, Audison, McIntosh, etc.) that you can read up on that would pair very nicely with your comps.

And about using your itouch, most headunits will sync up w/ your itouch, so don't limit yourself to headunits specifically centered around ipods/iphones/itouches

01-22-2010, 07:09 PM
I'd look into the Arc Audio SE amps if I were you, OP. You seem to be able to afford nice things. In my opinion, they don't come much nicer than Arc's SE line...

Kevin Boyer
01-22-2010, 07:24 PM
Man....I AM out of the loop. My last set-up 4 years ago was MB Quart Q series I believe, 3 ways. But I've decided to keep this system small and clean, so that's why I'm leaning towards the 2 ways at this time. I'm lost on the whole "active" thing. By your description, if I want to go "active' I need a 4 channel amp, or 2 -2 channel amps to accomplish this. With 2 -2 channel amps, one amp would be for each door where the speakers will be placed, with each of the 4 channels going to power the 4 individual speakers?? Then with the 4 channel amp each channel of that amp would do the same thing as the 2-2 channel amps right?? Hopefully I didn't confuse you with all that.

No navigation unit for me. Just a HU. I've been looking hard at the Audison amps. I really like what I have read on the web, and in the various forums. Although the Rainbow's have caught my eye also.Thanks very much for the advice. I will try to keep up as this progresses.


01-22-2010, 07:38 PM
Well, when doing an active set up, you've REALLY got to take your time reading and researching. In a nut shell, an active set up is this: a set up which allows you to actively control the crossover frequencies and slope of all your speakers so you can fine tune your system. Many Active setups also allow you to control time delay, so you can basically tune your set up to account for all the structural deficiencies of installing hi-fi speakers in a car. The reason you need a 4-channel amplifier or 2 2-channel amplifiers is becuase each speaker will get it's own channel on the amplifier.

Say you have a four channel amp - in an active set up, each channel on the amp will power a single speaker - 2 woofers and 2 tweeters. You will NOT be using the passive crossovers that are provided with your component speakers. Your head unit/processor will control all the settings and tuning. On your headunit/processor, it's common to see these RCA outputs: Left front, right front, left rear, right rear. In the case of an active set up, these will actually serve as: left woofer, right roofer, left tweeter, right tweeter. These outputs will go to the amp which will go to all 4 speakers. If you haven't figured it out, that means you can control all 4 individual speakers in an active 2-way set up!

There are is quite a good selection of active-capable headunits on the market right now. I'll give you a few to look into in a bit, I need to look up model numbers and such, but it's only the tip of the iceberg.

Kevin Boyer
01-22-2010, 07:50 PM
Now I understand. Whew, that was a mouthful. But....I do understand now. Thanks again for the explanation. Here's a list of the 2 way comps that I am contemplating at this time...

DLS UP6i 2 way

Rainbow CS 265.25 2 way

Hertz HSK 165.4 2 way

That's basically the ones I will build the system around. Just not sure which one it will be as of yet. And as I said before, I'm looking at an Audioson SRX 2s for an amp to build upon.


01-22-2010, 07:53 PM
Here's a nice article about active vs passive: http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_9_4/feature-article-active-speakers-12-2002.html

Here's a list of some active-capable HU's, but some of these are a bit old.





It doesn't have all of hte latest and greatest head units, but from that list the Alpine 9887 and Pioneer 880PRS are VERY popular headunits for people seeking an active setup.

From the speakers you listed, I really don't know which one is the "best" since I've never messed with those specific speakers, besides what I've read on the UP6i (which has been nothing but good) :crazy: Seems like you can't go wrong w/ any of those, though.

01-22-2010, 07:57 PM
I had profi van 365s and regret selling them. great comps, pricy but you will like them Im sure if your not put off by the price

Kevin Boyer
01-22-2010, 08:13 PM
That is quite the list, but definitely food for thought. I like what I see with the Alpine 9887. I see there are a few floating around on e-Bay at the moment. My biggest goal now is to decide on what speaker line I want to go with. The problem is, I can't find fault with any of them, which makes my decision even more difficult. I would love to match the speaker I choose with an amp from the same manufacturer. It's not imperative, but I've always been under the impression that it does make a difference in performance, or am I crazy!! I think I'm leaning more towards the Rainbow's or the Hertz right now.


01-22-2010, 08:20 PM
Matching up equipment doesn't yield better performance. There's nothing wrong with matching equipment, though. If you like Rainbow's comps and amps, that's fine. Hell, the iPaul amps are ****. Rainbow also has subwoofers. :)

Kevin Boyer
01-22-2010, 08:23 PM
Thanks misfit...I've been wearing out the Rainbow website the last few hours as well as woofersetc.com. I REALLY like Rainbows equipment at this point in time.

01-22-2010, 08:30 PM
Yeah, don't worry about matching brands, there's no need unless you're set on aesthetic appeal. If you like what you see in the Rainbows, go for it, it may be the last set you ever buy haha. You should also take a look at Dynaudio...

Edit: I don't know why I didn't mention this, but if you DO plan on going active as well, don't limit yourself to car specific brands. Another good thing about going active is that you can use raw drivers (speakers) which are typically used for home systems. Check out Parts-Express (http://www.parts-express.com/home.cfm), they have a massive selection. Madisound (http://www.madisound.com/) carries high end speakers, as well. This way, you're getting more for your money since you're not buying crossovers, mounting hardware, and a name.

01-22-2010, 08:34 PM
You should also take a look at Dynaudio...

fixt the spelling for ya. And yes, be sure to look into dynaudio before making your final decision...

01-22-2010, 08:37 PM
Just look at these beautiful sons-of-*******.


01-22-2010, 08:39 PM
Just look at these beautiful sons-of-*******.


That set cost as much as I have invested in my entire build.

01-22-2010, 08:41 PM
That set cost as much as I have invested in my entire build.

Nah. They're super affordable. :)

01-22-2010, 08:42 PM
that set cost as much as i have invested in my entire build.



Kevin Boyer
01-22-2010, 08:42 PM
Funny you should mention the Dynaudio's guys. The A/V company I work for are Dyn dealers, so I can, if I want to, get a pretty great deal on the Esotec line they offer.Still another option to consider.Thanks for the tip on the websites DS. I will give them a look.


01-22-2010, 08:45 PM
The A/V company I work for are Dyn dealers, so I can, if I want to, get a pretty great deal on the Esotec line.

Look no further...

Kevin Boyer
01-22-2010, 08:50 PM
misfit...are you familiar with the Esotec line from Dynaudio? If so, what can you tell me about the 242GT 2 ways?

01-22-2010, 08:57 PM
misfit...are you familiar with the Esotec line from Dynaudio? If so, what can you tell me about the 242GT 2 ways?

I've never owned them, but I've read a hell of a lot of reviews and owning a pair has been a goal of mine for months. On several occasions I've been close to purchasing the Esotec System 362, but some kind of financial situation has kept me from doing so. It will happen eventually, though. :)

I discussed the esotec system 3-ways with a member named audio phil at great length MONTHS ago. From what I hear, they can easily handle WAY more than their rated power and they're an excellent choice for active setups. The passive crossovers that are supplied with the systems are more of a mixed bag, though. The good and bad reviews are pretty much 50/50. Some people claim they're spectacular while others are not impressed. Personally, I think it's a sin to use passive crossovers with drivers of this quality.

It probably doesn't matter to you, because you have access to a dealer, but you can save a little money buying just the drivers themselves from woofersetc...

Kevin Boyer
01-22-2010, 10:35 PM
Thanks alot misfit. I'll talk to my guys at the office on Monday to see what kind of employee discount I get through the company. If it's as good as some of the other discounts I get, I might just be ordering up a set of the 242GT's on Monday. I'm going to look at the possibility of buying the separates like you and DS have suggested through the other websites. I've never gone that route before, so I might not know exactly what I'm doing. I'll have to do some research.


01-22-2010, 10:49 PM
My friend has some the of the Rainbow 265.25 NGs or something like that. They are very very nice sounding, the tweeter is about spot on between detailed and smooth sounding. I dont have any experience with Dynaudio though, but they sound legit.

01-22-2010, 11:00 PM
That set cost as much as I have invested in my entire build.

I just looked up the price again. A pair of Esotar tweets & mids cost only $2,200. Chump chage, man. :)

01-22-2010, 11:07 PM
Thanks alot misfit. I'll talk to my guys at the office on Monday to see what kind of employee discount I get through the company. If it's as good as some of the other discounts I get, I might just be ordering up a set of the 242GT's on Monday. I'm going to look at the possibility of buying the separates like you and DS have suggested through the other websites. I've never gone that route before, so I might not know exactly what I'm doing. I'll have to do some research. Kevin.

Do some extensive reading and really grasp the concept before committing to it, man. It would be awful to damage such nice-*** equipment by toying around with it, and failing to utilize the stuff to it's full potential would **** too. If you don't feel comfortable with the process, have it done professionally and ask the guy to teach you exactly what's up. Also, you need to do some serious reading about imaging and sound dampening techniques. The stuff you're looking at is a serious investment and should be treated as such. There are forums full of guys that're into SQ on a professional level. Most of us ca.com guys don't really fit into that crowd...

01-22-2010, 11:27 PM
Honestly, unless you have a keen understanding of audio, a lot of time and skills for installation, and some good equipment not only for amps/HU but also for measurement of freq response so you can really tweak your EQ's and x-over points, i'd go with a 2 way passive setup. A good passive network is quite adequate, and you get the (very real) benefit of havingg tweeter protection circuits so you don't accidentally blow your tweets. Rainbow has good crossovers; most are switchable between 2 different x-over points/slopes, and some can even have their crossover points changed for the woofers independently from the tweeters, allowing you to overlap or underlap them as needed in your car. They also have multiple levels of tweeter attenuation which really helps with getting a balanced sound in not quite optimal mounting positions. With the multiple x-over slopes/points and tweeter attenuation available on the nicer passive sets from rainbow, the only major benefits you see from going active are the ability to independently EQ your woofers + tweeters, and being able to independently time-align each tweet and woofer individually. Time alignment would be kinda nice, but honestly, passive powewr line cs's sound good without having to go active, and you save money in amp cost and in installation complexity by going with a 2-way setup.

If you're looking at between 700$ and 2k$, i'd look at the rainbow power line CS as they are beefy *** drivers that get nice and loud, and can be crossed over very low if you prefer a quieter quality based system. For example, with a single 12 on ~500w, i crossed my PL CS @ 50 or 63hz...now that i've got 2 on ~1000w, i moved the x-over point up to around 80 so they can get even louder. Only down side is the woofers mounting depth; just under 3.8 inches. This is because they use the same motor/baskets from the rainbow vanadium subwoofer 7" woofers.

That said, the only speakers I would consider replacing my current Rainbow setup with would be Dynaudio...or a nicer set of Rainbows. And the next step up for either one is about double the price of what I paid. Dynaudio makes superb equipment. If you can get a large discount on a dyn set, that would probably be what i'd try.

Considering the Power Line CS 275's get loud enough to hurt my ears and keep up with my 2 12's without any problem at all, while sounding crystal clear...i don't think it'd be worth the extra cost ;)

Also, don't forget that rainbow makes nice subs too. The vanadium 12 is a very musical sub, though it's not designed for extreme SPL configurations. I'd compare it to the JL 12W6... I like the overall sound of the vanadium better, but it's max volume falls somewhere between the 12w6v1 and 12w6v2...(that's why i got 2 ;)) Of special note is that the vanadium 12" subs sound excellent in sealed enclosures of (ideal volume) 1cf and even smaller if needed (rainbow specs all the way down to .5CF for the 12!) , and are only 6 inches deep, which is important for a truck setup with limited available space. If you went with 10's, those are under 5.5 inches deep, and can be happy in only .3cf. Remember, these aren't extreme SPL subs - but a pair of sealed Vanadium 12's can tickle my ears in my trunk car; they'd be uncomfortably loud in a truck cab.

01-22-2010, 11:32 PM

Kevin Boyer
01-22-2010, 11:43 PM
You're right on headless. I know my limitations. Any decision I make will be with the full knowledge that it will be installed by professional installers.I don't want to get over my head with all this, because it can become overwhelming very quickly. The option of buying a quality 2 way system and a HU that can be used active, along with a proper amp to run it all is all I'm looking for. The info being offered here is very rewarding because as I stated in my OP, I've been out of this "game" for almost 5 years. It's like learning all over again.That's why my goal is to keep it clean and simple, with the room to add on in the future if the need arises. I appreciate all the advice that's been given.


01-24-2010, 12:17 PM
spend the most money on your speaks and source. amps are important as well, but in the scheme of things they're low on the list.