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    Some thoughts on Oz Audio 180cs

    Finally got around to putting these in my car for testing. A lot of install work left to do, so these are just some early thoughts.

    Power source is an a/d/s P2110, with the gains running very conservative (it was nightfall by the time I got done, and setting gains with low light isn't easy on that amp). The speakers are mounted in the factory locations of my Integra, not ideal for the tweeter as these are forward and high in the doors. Right now, they' very on-axis, so I'll have to play with the tweet aiming a bit. I dialed them down 3db to compensate a bit for this (via passive).

    I had these crossed out at 78hz, but as I'll note, I found that a limitation later on.

    No subs were used while evaluating these.

    Music selection included:

    Duncan Sheik's Phantom Moon -- Recorded almost exclusively with acoustic instruments. All the songs were recorded in one session, with all the musicians in one room. Vocals are a solid male tenor.

    Orishas' A lo Cubano, El Kilo -- Cuban hip-hop. Good mix of bassy beats with horns, pianos and vocals in several tonalities, from typical rapping to salsero singing. Also, lots of latin percussion.

    Death Cab for Cutie's We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes -- An old favorite that I'm very familiar with. Lo-fi on a lot of tracks, but it's a very musical record. Ben Gibbard's falsettos can be tricky to reproduce well.

    Danny Elman's Batman score -- A soundtrack classic. Lots of bass, swirling flutes and violins, and lots of horns. Just a really, really good movie soundtrack (and not the typical cheesy John Williams stuff).

    My impressions were this:

    Tweeters

    Excellent vocals. This really became clear on Phantom Moon. Duncan's voice came through with a clarity and richness I hadn't heard through any speakers until now. Guitars sounded great, pianos were exceptionally rich. Later, on the Orishas tracks, I found that, again, the vocals were stunning. Vocalist Roldan never sounded better. The fast-paced raps came through crystal clear, cutting through the heavily-layered mix excellently. Horn sections sounded great, as did higher-pitched percussion. I could hear the resonance from the timbales. Great detail. With Death Cab, it was less than stellar, but at no fault of the speakers. As I noted, the recording is very lo-fi. The tweeters revealed this to a fault. Hiss became very audible, studio echo also stood out. The Batman soundtrack was the weakest performer. Particulary, cymbal crashes sounded hotter than I remembered and I also thought they tended to lose a bit of detail when passages became extremely complicated. They did, however, stage well for their position in the stock location.

    Overall, they excell with vocals. My only knock is that I found them to get a bit harsh at the extreme high-end, particularly with cymbals, though some of this is probably owing to install deficiencies. It seemed to me that they play pretty low (though I'm not sure where Oz crosses these over), and did so quite ably. I would think the Fs on these is pretty low.

    Mids

    They didn't struggle at all with the Duncan Sheik record, imparting great warmth and handling all the instruments with great musicality. Performed very strongly with the basslines on the Orishas records. No matter where the basslines went, the mids were right there with them. Very, very tight, very controlled. Death Cab, again as with the tweeters, these tended to reveal the source recording's weaknesses, so it didn't sound very great. Some positive notes are that they were able to reproduce passages wherein the bass and guitar overlap, so that both instruments could be disinctly heard. On some other speakers I've tried, these tended to bleed together and the guitar would get lost. Again, the weakest performance was with the Batman soundtrack, where the mids were able to reproduce low bass excellently, tightly, and with a lot of musicality, but seemed to thin out in the upper midrange.

    Overall, I initially thought they sounded very thin altogether, but I had my previous speakers crossed at 78hz. I decided to run them full-range, and that proved to be quite an improvement. I would confidently say that these mids can go down to 60hz with authority. Though, despite the improvement, I think they tend to have more force on the low-end and are a bit weaker in the midrange. I had previously heard complaints that they lacked midbass. I'd say that's not the case at all, unless they're being crossed over too high (as I initially did). But I would say that I wish there was more fullness in the midrange. Makes me wish Oz offered a three-way set.

    As for the total set, I felt that they did image well, despite the fact that I care a lot more about tonality than imaging and that this install is not a good one (right now) for imaging. The sound was wide and easily spanned the whole dash. Vocals sometimes wandered to the driver's side, which is far more on-axis, but this is clearly an install issue. Separation was good.

    Long winded, but I hope it's of some use. Thanks for reading.
    Last edited by Notwerk; 12-08-2006 at 05:19 AM.







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    Re: Some thoughts on Oz Audio 180cs

    I know in my install, midrange is not lacking one bit. Great set, it is one of the best I have ever used.



    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR
    - HU: Custom CarPuter - Front Speakers: Oz Audio Matrix Elite 180 CS
    - Front amp: US Amps 4300X - Rear Speakers: Oz Audio Matrix Elite 180 CS - Rear amp: US Amps 4300X
    - Subs: (2) Oz Audio Matrix Elite 12.4 - Sub amp: US Amps MD2


    2008 Mitsubishi Outlander Wife's
    - HU: Premier AVIC-F90BT - Front Speakers: RE 6.50" Comps - Front Amp: USAmps 400.2
    - Sub: 12" OZ Audio Matrix Elite 12.4 - Sub amp: Phoenix Gold X600.1


    --------------------------------------

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    Re: Some thoughts on Oz Audio 180cs

    Yeah, like I said, the install is really, really rough right now. These are just some initial thoughts. As I work through it, things will improve, I'm sure. Right now, I just have them thrown in the doors. Short days really ****. Not enough sunlight to get things done.

    But it seemed there was some interest in these, so I thought I'd pull them out of the closet and get them installed and contribute a rough review.




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