Ok, I'm going to say as little about any other company’s product as much as possible...
I got these a couple weeks ago. 2 poly mids, and 2 tweeters. I looked at them for at least 2 hours, then got off my lazy *** and installed the mids, then I drove around to compare them to the mids I used to use..., then I swapped the tweeters, re-set all crossover settings completely and re set the gains on my amps. I've been listening to them ever since and have probably racked up 22 solid hours of listening.
The mids use the same basket as the Adire Extremis and RE XXX mids, the motor is neo, and small... EXTREMELY SMALL. How about tiny, does that get the point across? The coil is smaller than the "extreme" mids I had before, 1.25" as opposed to 1.5". The surround looks the same, the cone is different... blah blah blah... Build quality seems extremely good IMO. They use spade terminals, with the positive and negative on the opposite side of the driver... geee... that actually makes sense for a midrange. The phase plug is very well machined and the gap around it is the same all the way around.... not something I can say for all the mids I have used in the past.... These drivers are also very light, which isn't something I'm really concerned with, but I'm sure there are people that would like to know.
The tweeters are also VERY high quality in build... Nothing on them really looks cheap there was no excess glue... I have the tweeters with the HT flanges, but they really aren't that big, ~ 2 9/16"... they would not be hard to adapt to a car install AT ALL.
As much as I don’t want to bring this up… (Due to the little ‘feud’ between these two companies) I honestly do like these AA poly mids more than my Extremis 6.8 mids. Don’t get me wrong, the Extremii are GREAT mids, but IMO they don’t take extra power as gracefully, nor does the higher mid end sound as clear. The poly mids included with the arbiter set (which are… as I understand it almost the same as the Arco set’s 6.5s) aren’t as “bass-heavy” as my Extremii in the same enclosures (.52 ft^3 door pods).
I listened to the whole set for a while and have finally gotten to x-over settings that I really like (something I hadn’t really taken the time to do w/ the Extremii, so please take that into consideration.).
The Vifa XT25 based tweeters that come with this set are amazing… just AMAZING. They sound great. Not as good as the tweeters in Aaron’s (B&W EE’s) B&W 703’s that I now use as my reference system, as they sound so ******* good, but still great for anything you’re going to find for the price. I did have to EQ them up a bit in the 15-20kH region to get the sound I wanted IN MY INSTALL, but seriously, they absolutely MURDER the Vifa D26NC05 tweeters I had previously… there’s no comparison on that.
“OH NO! ISSUES!”
Ok, now here’s where I prove to you all that I’m not hanging off of Chad’s left nut. There are some things about the poly mids that I don’t like…
I run my front stage hard. VERY HARD. I’m pretty sure I did permanent damage to my hearing with the Extremii… and as a result of that I have my mids playing VERY loud. For these mids I have 300 watts RMS available, although with my gain settings I have MUCH MUCH MUCH less going to them, say 120W set with my gains, and a lot less “REAL” wattage. First off, these speakers will get stinky with less than 100 CLEAN, REAL watts, not fried, but just stinky… and trust me, the volume I’m listening to these at when they start smelling is far more than someone’s normal “daily” listening level.
Now for my REAL issue with these mids (I have no issues with the tweeters AT ALL)… At high volumes I get tinsel slap… usually the music is playing loud enough that I can’t really hear it, but on certain songs that are quiet but heavy on the low end midbass levels, it’s there… It’s undeniable, it drives me nuts, I can’t stand it. I haven’t talked to Chad yet about it to see what he says, but as I understand it I’m not the only one that has experienced it.
IMO (“In my opinion”)
For $80 per side plus shipping there is NO BETTER DEAL for those running an active front stage. I LOVE these speakers, and while I have a small issue with them that I haven’t actually tried to fix yet, I would gladly make the same swap again if I could go back in time knowing what I do now, because as I said before, I’m really beating on these mids to get them to that point.
Look at it this way, you can get extremii, and they are VERY good speakers that have a TON of low end for 99 shipped each, which is still a great deal IMO… or… you can buy this mid/tweeter set and get a mid that, while not as bass heavy, has a GREAT tone and upper extension, PLUS an AWESOME tweeter for 80 plus shipping… The choice was, and still is obvious to me.