Hybrid Audio Techologies New Imagine I61-2 Review
Music used was:
Dire Straits-Money for Nothin
LadySmith-Knocking at Heaven's Door
Eva Cassidy-Ain't No Sunshine
Telefon Tel Aviv-Sound in a Dark Room
Alice In Chains-No Excuses Unplugged
3 Hip Hop/Rap songs do not know the names was one of the shop guys CD's.
Listening location was Advantage Audio sound room. In car test will be coming later this year.
Build Quality-The build quality of the mid is very good and really nice heavy cast basket. These are a pretty heavy duty driver some may need to check depth.
Coolest thing about this set.IMO Is they give you the ability to be use tham as a coaxial or 2 way component set. These what is referred to as a convertible speaker. Really cool and makes them very versatile.
Midbass-Very good impact and decay. I was not expecting this much in a $200 speaker but these deliver. I was impressed with their impact, clarity and response. They have the ability to be crossed pretty low and they never reached their limits while were testing them even with the Hip Hop music. Their output impressed me. More than enough to roll down the windows at 70mph and keep up. They are very efficient and 60w-100w is all you need to get these things at full potential. I never heard a hint of these being boomy at all. The are not muddy at all, they stay very composed and have great clarity and are controlled. They did a very good job of blending with the sub and play up to the tweeters with no noticeable break-up on the top end. I would say these are a great 2-way driver.
Impact-drums sounded realistic. Great impact and a real quick snap to them. They will provide some good impact.
Midrange-Very good what you would expect from a HAT product. Clean, accurate, not in your face or to laid back, just right. They do not seem to color anything. Vocals are clear or life like. No break up on the top end and very good clarity in the midrange freq. They really shined in the midrange freq.
Tweeter is very smooth never got harsh. A little more top end would be the only area to improve. No ear fatigue at all. However good top end for a set in this price range.
Value is based on $200. The number's for sound are based on the market of this driver.
Build Quality: 9
Ease of Use: 9
Output Capability: 8.5
Total points possible 40. I rated these at a 36.5. What could be improved I deducted 1 point for not having push terminals, 1 point for these may be large for some smaller car doors as far as depth.
Total point possible 30. I rated these at a 26.5
So far these are the best coaxial speaker I have heard. For me to list everything I have owned and installed in 20 years I am comparing these two would take way to long to list. Short list of what I have owned or owned. Aura, Hertz, Diamond, Seas, Seas Lotus, Focal, HAT, Zapco, JL, CDT, Rainbow, TBI, Rockford, Alpine, Kenwood, ID and some I have forgotten I am sure.
How they were tested and what we tested them against.
I A, B, C compared these to everything on the board.
List of everything that I compared the Imagine line in coaxial set-up to.
Hertz DSK165, Energy line ECX165, ESK165. The ECX could almost hang with them on the bottom end, not as good in the midrange and the Imagine highs where on another level. Pretty much same outcome with the ESK but the ESK tweeter is close to the Imagine line but again the midrange was just not as good.
Hertz Hi-Energy line HCX165 (well over $200 for this set)-The HCX did have better bottom end than the Imagine, midrange was pretty equal but to me the tweeter was just a little better on the Imagine.
So I found nothing in the Hertz line-up for $200 that could match the Imagine line.
Diamond Audio-Only thing I am going to say is the Imagine line were on another level even going well above the $200 mark.
JL Audio-XR650xi lacked bottom end compared to the Imagine. XR could just not fill out the bottom end as well. Midrange preferred Imagine, XR just seemed off in some of the vocal regions. Tweeter was very bright on the XR. Imagine again better tweeter.
The C5 is above the price and marketed a lot higher than the Imagine line.
C5650x Midrange was as good as Imagine but just more laid back different sound. Midbass about equal really. Tweeter about equal really. On some songs I preferred the C5 on others the Imagine.
C5650 about the same as above. The component set that was set-up with a little tuning did sound better then the Imagine.
All in all you are going to have to spend more than $200 to bet the Imagine line and in some brands it does not matter if you buy their $400 speakers they still get beat.
IMO These are a winner. After SBN I will be making some switches to the wifes vehicle. Removing the CDT in there now for the Imagine. Can't wait for a 5x7-6x8 version for the Ford rear doors ect.
The guys at Advantage Audio agreed and we all pretty much had the same assessment except some preferred the C5 a little better and some liked certain things about the HCX more. One thing we all agreed on was that there is nothing in the store for $200 that sound better period.
Advantage Audio is not a HAT dealer but where nice enough to let me use their sound room to do some comparisons.
Great Job to Hybrid Audio.
2009 USACi Basic Consumer World Champion, '09 IASCA INAC 2nd Place, 2010 MECA Finals MODEX 4th, '10 OK MODEX State Champion--Addicted to Sound Quality
'06 F250: JL-Zapco-Pioneer
Team JL Audio, Team RAAMmat, Team Advantage Audio, Team MSE, Team Zapco