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Reload Thread: Polk vs JL Audio vs Focal?

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    sarge_in's Avatar
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    Polk vs JL Audio vs Focal?

    Hi All,

    I am looking to upgrade the speakers in my Honda Odyssey, and looking to spend about $200 - $300 for the speakers. I have narrowed down my choice to Polk MM6501 ($199), JL Audio C5-650 ($289) and Focal 165V1 ($249). Unfortunately none of the pairs are available for listening in one location, so it is difficult to compare them. What do you all recommend between these (ignore the price differences, i just want the best sound in this range).

    To me so far, Polk sound pretty good (I also have db651 in another car, and have liked those, though the mids seem to be lacking somewhat). JL sound pretty good too, a bit fuller voice that may help me get by without a sub for a while. Focals sound quite clear, and are the ones recommended by 2 different car audio dealers (none of them sell Polks).

    And what do you recommend for the rears? I can move the stock fronts to the back, or get some new coaxials, perhaps same brand as the fronts, whatever they are?

    And lastly, what amp do you recommend? I am not a very loud listener, but would like to get a clean sound. Perhaps some 4-channel something in the $200 range? Dealers have recommended MTX 7404 / Alpine / Kenwood (dont remember exact models). Any recommendations here?

    Thanks!!







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    Re: Polk vs JL Audio vs Focal?

    1: focals
    2: jl's
    3: polks

    i would go with the focals



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    Re: Polk vs JL Audio vs Focal?

    Get you a nice alpine amp, and go with the polk momo's. Those momo's are very nice with a really natural smooth sound.




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    Re: Polk vs JL Audio vs Focal?

    Out of those Id say the JL's.I had a chance to listen to the C-5s and they were very nice sounding.To my ears they had a very neutral sound.

    I seee your in the OC.When youre ready to buy go to Mobilesoundworks.com.They have some great prices and pretty good customer service.They are in Santa Ana.




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    Re: Polk vs JL Audio vs Focal?

    One more thing.If you want to hear some of them go to Goldstar audio.They have a bunch of different brands(Focal,MB,Morel,Alpine).They also have some pretty good prices.They are in Irvine.




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    Re: Polk vs JL Audio vs Focal?

    I vote for the Focals as well. I love old Polk home audio stuff, but the MOMO's never sounded good to me.

    Go witht he focals, Morel or Boston Acoustics Pro's. The JL's and polks aren't in the same leauge as those.



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    Re: Polk vs JL Audio vs Focal?

    Won't argue with you there on Boston's. Very nice. I run the Boston G-5 and just love the sound quality. Always a good speaker with Boston.




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    Re: Polk vs JL Audio vs Focal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Echo42987 View Post
    I'm going to disagree and say...

    1) Polks
    2) Focal
    1,000) JL
    JL isn't that bad. Yes, I know they're overpriced, but it's not like you're getting complete garbage with JL.




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    Re: Polk vs JL Audio vs Focal?

    Id personally go with the JL's great speakers.




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    Re: Polk vs JL Audio vs Focal?

    go with the focals but be sure to give them at a 100 watts each min and they will be set. o had some on lower power and they were ok. my v2's were the same as far as rear fill look into some focal access or something like that.



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    Re: Polk vs JL Audio vs Focal?

    Thanx for all the replies! Seems the votes are split between Polk and Focal , and 1 for JL.

    Yes I did go to Goldstar, and while they have a great selection, they did not have the JL C5-650 on display. Fortunately, Newport Auto Sound did, and once I heard them together the differences became quite clear. C5 did sound nice when I had not heard the Focal, esp the mids and some lower freqs making me think I could do without the sub for some time, but once I heard the Focal 165V1 (very clear n bright too) I knew I wanted something in between the two. This Focal was too bright for my taste, and I could imagine fatigue within 15-20 mins of listening at a good volume. Tried the MB Quart, Pioneer and Hertz too, out of these Hertz were a sure second - not as bright as the V1 and not as un-bright as JL. But the best of the pack happened to be the Focal 165KF. Though even this is slightly brighter than my ideal, it was a very good balance. But as expected, they are more expensive than the all the rest. So now I have to decide whether I am willing to spend that much.

    The last remaining, of course, is the Polks. None of these audio shops are Polk dealers, so couldn't listen to them. Fry's carries them, and while the DB6501 sounded excellent, it is difficult to compare across shops coz of several other variables. I know they have the silk tweeter, so the highs will not be as harsh - but I wish there was a shop which had both Focal and Polks. Will be going over to Fry's again sometime to listen to it again..

    Look forward to any more comments / suggestions!




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    Re: Polk vs JL Audio vs Focal?

    I have jl xr 6.5's and i like them ok, i wish i would have gotten the c5's in stead tho. I happen to like jl audio and think they are clear speakers with good midbass. jl is my vote




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    Re: Polk vs JL Audio vs Focal?

    1. Focal
    2. JL
    3. Polk

    Ive heard the those Focals installed in a car and some JL ZRs installed in a car and the C5s in a demo room. Havent heard the polks. My vote would go on the Focals because I have heard them in a car and they sounded very nice. Good, accurate reproduction. An employee at tweeter had them in his dodge nitro and he let me run them through their paces. I listened to a few different types of music. Pink Floyd, Metallica, Mozart, and Breaking Benjamin. The midbass was very good and had a nice kick to it which I really like in mid-bass. I can say pretty much the same thing about the ZRs. Just they are 600 bucks I think and not on your list (very nice tweeter btw). If the C5s are anything like the ZRs they are great and would get my vote over the Focals but I havent heard them in a car.





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    Re: Polk vs JL Audio vs Focal?

    I am leaning towards the Focal 165KR. These new ones claim to have a better tweeter, so think I am gonna go with this.

    Whats a good place to put the crossovers? Do people adjust them often, so better to install it somewhere behind the dash perhaps with easy access, or are they set-it-and-forget-it kinda deal (so I can put them in the doors)?

    I may get the Polk db651 for rears (~$70)...Focal axials are almost double (~$140)

    Also, whats a good amp to power these? (I posted a similar q in Amplifier section).




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    Re: Polk vs JL Audio vs Focal?

    Go with the Focals. I've enjoyed their whole line and they make a solid product.



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