Rainbow Profi Line CS 265
Kenwood excelon dpx-701
Rainbow Profi 6.5" comps, run passively
Diamond d3 400.2
Research, decision and purchase
I originally wanted to spend around $300 for a pair of comps, but I soon realized it was going to be hard to get what I wanted out of a speaker (which was everything, basically) for that price. After reading every thread I could get my hands on here and at EliteCarAudio, I decided I should go with a pair of Rainbow.
I check out prices online, and was happy to see that they were going for below MSRP. Everyone here said to go with Don, but I was kinda hesitant at first because I didn't really want to pay the full MSRP for them if I could avoid it.
I decided that talking to a real human being about them, and getting them from an authorized dealer, was worth the extra money. I was partly right; Don was GREAT to deal with, and talked to me for over an hour about the speakers. Then I find out the pricing is a good deal less than MSRP, and is right inline with the online stores. Perfect.
Not to derail and pimp Don too much, but he was phenomenal. He has answered a ton of emails from me, pre and post purchase, and even spent time trying to help me find a good installer near me!
Installing a headunit is about the limits of my mechanical and electrical know how, so I went to a shop to have these installed. Eric at Autosound in Bedford was also great to deal with. He walked me through all my options, and his suggestions on how to do things matched up with Don's suggestions. Nice to know I was dealing with an honest installer who would try to get the most out of my speakers.
MDF baffles and a good amount of Damplifier in each door was used. The tweeter on these things is a pretty good size, and we mounted them a few inches above the mid (which was mounted in the factory location). The Rainbow crossover was used, and the crossover from the deck for cutting out the sub-bass frequencies.
How do they sound?
I had decided before the install that I wanted to keep the rear factory speakers powered by the deck, as rear fill. I kept it like that for a day, and thought they sounded really, really good.
Sitting in my garage, I was playing some stuff pretty loud, and thought I heard some faint distortion in the midbass. It was VERY faint, but it made me kinda sad. Until I realized it was coming from the back speakers! I had the deck faded about 50% to the front, and was running the HPF for the rear at 100hz.
They still couldn't keep up, and really drug the sound quality down on the whole system. It sounded great before, but when I turned the internal HU amp off altogether, the SQ just shot through the roof. Screw rear fill for now.
I have a hard time tuning my deck to exactly how I want it to sound. Something about the Kenwood just slightly throws me off. I really wish I had the Eclipse or Pio I'm thinking about for this review, but I will update when I change decks.
That being said, when I do get the EQ and crossover settings nailed down, the sound is unbelieveable. Detroit, Lift Your Weary Head! by Sufjan Stevens gives me goosebumps. The opening xylophone is crystal clear, and the depth and liveliness when the horns and piano come in is just out of this world. Rainbow should require this song to be played on all their speakers for demo purposes.
The Illiad by Tapes n' Tapes is another song that I've been able to really nail down settings wise. Sufjan is amazing SQ wise, and has a very composed and refined feel. Tapes keeps most of that, but is more forceful and demands your attention. The overarching guitar and drum riffs ripple through your chest - these speakers can bang when the music demands it.
Dirty Harry by the Gorillaz blends the lows, mids and highs so seemlessly it just brings a smile to my face. Again, the theme of polished, refined and composed music presents itself. These speakers can play music effortlessly well past my comfortable listening level, and never sound or feel like they're being taxed.
I would liken the listening experience to listening to a song you've heard a 100 times through a good pair of headphones. I keep noticing details in the music that were previously inaudible, both on my old Infinity Reference, Boston Acoustics and Athena home speakers. Not the most apples to apples comparison, but you get the idea.
The bad and conclusion
Not much so far. I have a few electronica tracks that I just can't seem to get sounding just right. Something is off on the midbass. Could be something with my aural preferences and the deck, my inability to manipulate the crossover and EQ to take advantage of the track, or something with the speaker itself being best suited to other genres. Or a combination of all three.
I wish I had kept my old CD3434, so I could pop that in for a comparison.
I generally dislike metal tweeters, but LOVE these. So I guess if you generally like metal tweeters, you might not like these? These sound so good, very natural, I don't see how you couldn't love them ;).