PHD Audiophile Sound Systems FB 6.1 KIT PRO
I recently found myself in need of mid-range 6.5's after foolishly setting the HPF too low for my CDT COM-6 mids. They were paired with CDT TW-25 tweeters. This was my first and, previously, only components(I have heard, but not owned, many sets, though). I bought them used, and they performed admirably considering the amount of power I had them running on. In fact, I was so impressed by those entry level CDT's that I was dead set on obtaining a more capable set of mids from them. However, after being introduced to the set I'm reviewing, I ultimately decided to try them.
Originally, I was only purchasing the mids. My CDT TW-25 tweets were fine, and I run my components active. However, a shipping error occurred that was greatly to my favor and I ended up with the whole kit. PHD FB 1.1 tweeters and a two way crossover were included in the box. And speaking of the box.... it really doesn't matter, but the box for these things is gorgeous, lol. It's high-gloss black, with a large silver embossed PHD logo and little round red, white and green symbols resembling Italian flags that say "Made In Italy", under them. As for the shipping error, I contacted my PHD dealer to notify them of the mistake. I was kindly told not to worry about it, to put the tweeters to good use, and to enjoy the drivers.
Now, for what's inside. The first thing I picked up was the original object of my desire. The mids FB 6.1 PRO M/B, are fairly heavy despite the utilization of their patented HIGH TIGHT™ basket material. The HIGH TIGHT™ basket is injection molded using a blend of polycarbonate, fiberglass, and other materials. It has eight aerodynamic ribs, and is designed to eliminate resonances that can tinge frequencies in cast or stamped baskets made of metal. Although it's light, it is quite rigid. I was unable to flex a rib, or the mounting ring, when attempted. The cone is layered fiberglass, and the surround is natural rubber. It's not a stretch to describe the motor as "beefy", for a mid. Its a single ferrite slug sandwiched by a cast aluminum bottom plate and a machined aluminum top plate. According to the spec sheet, the voice coil is 32mm's, and an aluminum former joins it to the cone. A copper shorting ring is employed to reduce distortion. They are rated at 150wrms/300max.
The tweeter is a 1" silk dome. It has a 1" copper voice coil, aluminum former, and a neodymium motor. They are roughly the same weight as my TW-25, but the dome seems a bit wider. They are rated at 15wrms/150max.
The mids are installed with a layer of of old-style Audiotechnix 60mil covering the sheetmetal under the plastic door panel, and a decent sized square directly behind the mid itself. There is a double layer of closed cell rubber foam tape bridging the gap in between the mounting ring of the mid and the plastic door panel. I was fully intent to further deaden the door cavities with bagged r-30 fiberglass mat. But after opening my doors up, and rolling the window down, I discovered that there is no possible way to fit it in there.
The tweeters come in ABS plastic pods, and would appear to be a great fit if left fully assembled and placed on the A-pillar. I decided to keep them on the sails, though, so the full pods were not used. I simply placed the front half of the pods, minus the rear, directly over the stock tweeter location. They are still well in front of me, and would be even farther away from the mids (that are at the very bottom of my doors) if I placed the tweets on the pillar.
All four drivers have their own run of 16 gauge wire leading to a Kenwood Excelon XR-4S. It's set using an DD-1, and is rated at 120x4 wrms. I run active using a combination of the deck and my amp. The amp is set using a CC-1 to cross the tweeters HPF at 3.55 Khz @ -12dB/octave, and the same frequency is used for the mids LPF. The HPF for the mids is currently set at the HU, an Excelon x-994, at 80hz @ -24dB/octave. I will lower it to 60hz, possibly 50, after a 20 hour break-in period. EQ is flat at the moment. No sub has been added to the sound yet, but I'll do so today.
When I first placed the mids in the doors, before connecting the tweets and putting the door panels back on, I played some Yelowolf. Strange choice, I know, but I wanted to see something... The motors are not pole vented from the rear and I was wondering if they would cool well. I played it for about 10 minutes at roughly 3/4 volume and then placed my hand in front of the speakers cotton dust cover. It was venting warmed air onto my hand just as i had hoped. They seem to cool themselves very well in this manner. I pushed it a bit louder after a little while, and felt the area of the cone next to the dust cover and it was just barely warm. Not even broken in yet, and the excursion was enough to keep them cool under a fair amount of power, playing music that certainly tests their limits.
Then I assembled the doors and was able to hear them with seals.... and hol-eee crap they are loud. I mean silly loud. As in my side rear-views are vibrating beyond use. There is visible flex in my outer door-skin(Now I really wish I could have installed the fiberglass bags). Whats remarkable is I then popped in a Sum 41's album, Screaming Bloody Murder and witnessed how much range and detail they had, right off the bat. The cd is filled with piano, various electric guitars on multiple settings, acoustic guitars, strings(synthesized and not) and a wide range of drum frequencies that were all very well reproduced. I was expecting to be disappointed by the mid/upper range after being wowed with such powerful bass/lower mid-bass, but that was certainly not the case. I also played bit of classical music, and was excited to hear horns(I play the trumpet and French horn) sound remarkably realistic.
Of course, I didn't just install the mids, although I could rave about them for even longer, lol... There are the tweeters. I came very close to not even installing them simply because the TW-25's were epoxied to my sails, and they seemed to work well. They've been very good to me. However, I said that I'd put the whole set to good use. I was worried that it wouldn't be worth the trouble, but my worries were put to rest immediately. They are more crisp and detailed than the TW's, and have that "twinkle" that I couldn't seem to get reproduced all that well before. They also take the power very well. The last tweets got a bit warm after 15 minutes of loud rock music. Thirty minutes of wailing guitars later on the new ones, and they are still cool to the touch. Zero signs of power handling issues, and they have volume that matches the mids. They are a tiny bit bright, though. I had to turn the upper band up a little bit on the EQ with the TW's to get what comes from these on a flat setting.
The set isn't perfect though, as nothing is. However, the issues I've discovered thus far are minor. Soldering the wire to the terminals was a total p.i.t.a., and I highly recommend using female speaker terminal connectors rather than direct soldering. The label on the back of the mid-range's motor seems a bit cheap, and will probably peel off after the elements have its way with it. Also the tweeter pods, imho, should be made of a material other than ABS plastic. This is a fairly expensive set(for my cheap butt anyways, lol) and I would like to see them sitting in something a bit more durable, and classy. However, all that said, the sonic satisfaction I am receiving from this set far, far outweighs any of these minor issues. They sound superb.
More pics will be added soon, as well.
I purchased this set from @ge_off_me ;. It has thoroughly impressed me, and I have been VERY satisfied with his customer service. He's a class act, and I highly recommend that anyone who's looking for a killer comp set to hit him up.