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View Full Version : Alpine vs Image Dynamics for 6.5 comps



Jarick
06-22-2010, 09:11 AM
Can I get a recommendation between these two sets:

Alpine SPX-17REF
Image Dynamics CTX65CS

I'm looking for something really easy to listen to, puts out smoother high end, can be detailed without fatiguing, and has quality low end. Stock door locations, tweeter I'll mount wherever it sounds best.

Using it with a Phoneix Gold Octane amp, 75W per channel RMS. Stock head unit that I can't upgrade unfortunately, but I've got an adapter to spit out a clean RCA feed to the amp.

No rear speakers but using a pair of Goldwood 6.5" DVC subs (I don't like loud pounding deep bass, these fill out the low end very nicely).

Previously used Alpine SPX-177R (nice tweeter but woofer was weak and had little low end), Kicker Resolutions (harsh aluminum cone and lacked detail), RE 6.5's (boxy sounding and nasty upper mids), and an active set with the Alpine tweeters and Seas W18's (very nice but required a lot of tuning and I don't have the equipment anymore).

Thanks!

DarkScorpion
06-22-2010, 01:46 PM
I'd go CTX65's - I feel the mids on the SPX-17ref's aren't punchy enough in the midbass region for me. If worse comes to worst, you can always resell them pretty easily on here.

Neel
06-22-2010, 01:48 PM
ID all the way.

Wingman0121
06-22-2010, 02:16 PM
ID all the way.

x100

Jarick
06-22-2010, 04:03 PM
Ordered the ID's this morning :D

I had a 12" IDQ sub that was the best I've ever heard, super tight low end, punchy, never overly boomy. Hopefully the ID comps are just as impressive!

Also ordered a 4-channel MB Quart amp to go with the new speakers since my amp may have died last night. Should be fun!

Jarick
06-25-2010, 02:25 PM
Amp is in, sitting next to me while I try to work. Hopefully get this in tomorrow and re-wire the car with quick connects. Speakers will be here Monday, so will install them next week (need to cut new baffles)...

DarkScorpion
06-25-2010, 05:21 PM
Nice choice on the amp. Are you replacing the Seas and Vifa drivers with the ID's, though?

Jarick
06-28-2010, 11:32 PM
Okay, everything is installed now! Well almost, I need to screw the rear door baffles into the door, right now they're just smashed in place, so I'm losing a little low end.

Right off the bat, the ID's have a lot more bass, mid bass, etc. Which is surprising because a lot of what I read said they didn't have much bass from the get go. The doors are well sealed though, and I'm sure the fact they're designed for car audio and are 4 ohm (rather than 8 ohm) plays a big part. Either way, it's just like the Seas were in my last car, where I had no temptation to run subs. I even turned the rear subs way down because there's just so much low end. Fun!

There's definitely less detail compared to the Seas, which were so forward in the higher midrange that they were really hard to listen to (there's a massive 10 db spike at 4k which needed active EQ to tune out). That may be a tradeoff I can live with though, because I have incredibly sensitive ears from years of drumming.

I will say this, the ID drivers look a hell of a lot like little subwoofers. They're almost exactly like my old IDQ 12", just 6.5" versions. Kind of stiff, big magnets, probably why they have so much low end. I'm not sure if they sell the drivers separate, but they would be PERFECT midbass units if you're into that kind of thing.

As for the tweeters...they are definitely bigger than the Alpines, which were basically Vifa XT19 ring radiators. I haven't used a dome tweeter in probably five years. It's definitely very bright and kind of harsh for my ears. I tried them in the corners, cross firing, and ended up putting them in the stock locations, in the dash firing up. Put the -3 dB tweeter setting to help out. Hopefully they break in and mellow out, I'll definitely give them some time, but I'm going to hang on to my lovely Alpines just in case. They don't play as low as other tweets, and they lack some volume, but are very sweet to the ears, never harsh, very detailed, very directional.

The crossover is hilarious, an inductor, a capacitor, and two resistors (I'm assuming for 0 db and -3 dB for the tweet)...compared to my old Alpine which must have had 25 components! Looks good quality though, plenty big, just very basic. The included wires were real heavy duty but had annoying quick connects, I may just hardwire them since a tweeter has already come unplugged.

And the amp is pretty nice too. I was surprised the dimensions were almost exactly like the old amp, even the weight. Makes me wonder if they were made in the same factory. No difference in SQ of course (I never blast the speakers), but I really like the crossover settings a lot more (independent rather than joint, plus a subsonic filter for the low end).

By the way, I figured out what I did wrong when I wired up the rear subs...I read the wrong page of the service manual and tapped into the rear speaker HEAD UNIT outputs rather than the rear speaker AMPLIFIER outputs. Twenty or more installs and that was the first time I broke something! I feel shame.

Anyways, I probably won't post a lot because I'm not as big into car audio as I was but if you guys want I'll stop back with some pictures and maybe give an update down the road.

keep_hope_alive
06-29-2010, 03:17 AM
Pics are always great.

I've installed ID comps b4 and you're right - the 6.5's are very beefy - lots of midbass. And ID has always been bright to me - much better off axis and padded, I thought.

If you liked the Alpine/Vifa, you could always use the Alpine crossover - it's flexible enough. It may even tame those tweeters. I've also used the 177R and I felt they were more detailed than the CTX, but the CTX has more balls...

Jarick
06-29-2010, 11:49 AM
Yeah right now the tweets are off axis, have a cloth grille over them, -3 dB on the crossover, and I'm STILL taking down treble at the head unit. It's the only way I can get any real depth to the soundstage...otherwise it's just a mess of treble and it sounds like the instruments are screaming out of the tweeters. The imaging is also smeared all over the windshield. I may end up swapping out for the Alpine tweets tonight, although I don't know the crossover does much for the tweeters (think it's mostly woofers). Worth a shot I suppose.

Is there a good place to read about speaker tuning? My imaging is goofy, and it seemed to improve quite a bit with my old speakers to flip the phase of one side, although the low end did cut out somewhat. The vehicle is a cross between a truck and car, so I'm higher up and further back from the speakers, but not quite as bad as a truck. I have no ability to time delay, so hopefully between flipping phases and tweeter placement I can get there...

Jarick
06-29-2010, 12:25 PM
Actually I think I might also try moving the tweeter temporarily to the doors or kick locations. If it's so loud, getting it away from the dash might help quite a bit.

Jarick
06-29-2010, 02:55 PM
Okay I just ghetto rigged them in the kick area, and surprisingly my imaging was right on top of the dash but the EQ was much better (usually it's way too harsh). Aiming will be key as the passenger tweet was MUCH louder than the driver, which had to be pointed more at me.

Also tried them in the center of the dash per a center tweeter thread I had read, and I didn't like it. Way too easy to localize in the middle, and still too bright. Need to cross over way higher.

I'll be getting some of those thin metal strips and playing around for the next few days. Also going to have to try my Alpine tweets down there too.

I'm ashamed I haven't tried tweeters in the kicks in 10 years and probably 20 different installs in several vehicles!

Jarick
06-29-2010, 11:20 PM
I tried out the Alpine XT19's down in the kick area...super quiet and could barely tell they were there. Up in the dash they sounded better, louder. They sounded pretty good in the A-pillar area a few inches up from the dash and pointed slightly towards the windshield though, a lot of "air". But they really lacked the impact of the ID tweets and didn't play anywhere near as low.

Also hot glued the tweets down in the kicks, they are under the dash pointed at the opposite side person. Still a bit loud, I might have to move them back a bit further.

I also have a feeling I will eventually try adding the Alpine tweeters as an "upstage" tweet, which they seem incredibly well suited for. Cross over at about 10k (they naturally don't play much below 4k or so), just enough to give some air to the soundstage, could be very fun!