Hey everyone, I just though I would write up a review of what I feel is the best component system for sound quality for the money available, the DLS UP6.
Let me give a brief history of my system first. Back in the day (12 years or so) I had some MB Quart reference coaxes that were the best speakers I had ever heard thet werent seperates, because I couldn't afford seperates. Fast forward 10 years, I get my current car, an '04 Civic Si Hatchback, and decide I can finally do a nice basic system, so I bought some decent components (polk db6500's) rear fill coaxes (polk db650's) and an Infinity basslink for a sub. I was using an old PPI amp (75w x2) to run the comps. Sounded good, but midbass was lacking, thought I needed more amp. The guys at Avincar in PDX talked with me, and we decided sound deadening the doors was the way to go. MAJOR IMPROVEMENT. I was pretty happy, until an unexpected windfall landed me a set of s6 Diamond Hexes, and an Xtant 3-channel amp. So, out came the Basslink, db 6500's, and PPI amp, in go the hexes and xtant, with to Kicker Solobaric 8" subs is a sealed box that I had waiting for an amp to power them. Again, a good improvement in warmth and depth, with an improved soundstage over the polks, but they actually had LESS midbass than the polks. After a week or so, I was disappointed enough in them I talked to the guys at avincar and they recommended to me the Dls UP6's. I listened to a set on 50w in their Acura TSX and was floored by the clarity and richness, along with enough punchy midbass it can make you question the need for a subwoofer. So, the decision was made, out come the Diamonds, in go the DLS...
The install was done buy the guys at Avincar,and I can't say enough good things about them. They are extremely knowledgable, experienced, and don't try to bullshit you, or pressure you in any way. Hell, they talked me OUT of buying an amp in favor of sound deadener. Not many shops have that kind of integrity.
Now, for the guts after my not-so-brief history. After some preliminary tuning they had me hop in the car and have a listen. The best way to describe the sound quality is "HOLY CRAP I CAN"T BELIEVE IT!" The difference is night and day between these comps and anything I have ever heard. They are so good, I would put them up against Dynaudio stuff. I mean the Dyn stuff is unreal, but @ twice the cost it's value declines sharply. The soundstage was lifted up to just below eye level at the top of the dash, and the midbass is fantastic. One of the best features of the up6's is taht the neodynium magnets are small, enabling these speakers to fit in a lot of places most high-performing 6.5 mid driver struggle to go. They are a much nicer fit than the diamonds. The tweets are a silk dome, that actually play quite low (around 4000hz) which definitley helps with the raised soundstage, especially male vocals. As you look at the tweets, the back of the magnet is vented much like the voice coil on a sub. I'm sure this has someting to do with the smoothness of the response in this set. The crossovers aren't huge, and are pretty nondescript, but given that most will spend thier lives tucked behind door panels it's not really an issue, they just arent a showcase piece like the Diamond Hex, or MB Quart Musicomps, but they fuction flawlessly. They also feature a 3 position tweeter attenuation jumper. Honestly I only have one complaint, and that is the basketball grille on the tweeter. It looks pretty cool in my car, but in most cars, grille cloth covers may be in order.
Sonically, I cannot say enough how wonderfully warm and rich sounding they components are, and they improve in the first 10-20 hours of use as they break in. After an hour or 2 I could already notice the tweeter smoothing out, so if you buy some, keep this in mind, they sound great initially but will need a day or 2 to break in. If my gushing is excessive, I do not care, this product is absolutely worth it. They play loud, and clean, and the tweeters won't saw your ear off like a lot of the metal tweets around (focal, Quart) and the richness is fantastic. I liek these so much I might have considered the Iridiums, but I'm not sure about the life expectancy of an unpressed paper cone woofer in a door mount application in the Pacific Northwest with our amount of moisture, and I have heard they are more tuning-dependant to achieve maximum performance. The up6s are almost a drop-in replacement, especially with Hondas/Acuras with limited space in the door for a magnet to occupy. I love these speakers, and cannot name another mid/high end speaker that performs as wonderfully as these for $400. They will not disappoint. I also need to note they are working on 50w rms! And as for the guys at Avincar, thank you for your advice, knowledge and skill, I'll see you soon for my fiberglass box with a Dls MW110 to finish out my system. Thanks for reading.