System consists of Nakamichi Cd-400, Alpine Type X comps run by a Linear Power 2.2HV, and Morel Integra 6.5 coaxs in rear doors.

Suprisingly our cars (B5-5.5 Passat) come with a decent setup stock, mind you I do not have the Monsoon system (thank god). Tweets up near the A-pillar and mids in a decently deadened door. This type of setup has decent stageing, most everything appears dash level, unless you have really low vocals or an apparent bass guitar which will be produced by the woofer, thus drawing the stage down. Biggest draw back would have to be the tweets being aimed towards the center of the dash, whereas the vocals are leaning towards the driver side, and guitars tend to come from the other side. Not the greatest, but much better than a set of caox's in doors where the stage is at your knee caps. Anyway, after that overview, off to the review.

As much credit Alpine takes for this set, it's not really theirs. Minus of course the cosmetic changes to the tweet and mid you are basically buying a set of Vifa Xt's. The Mids and tweets are solidly built, Vifa or DST make great drivers (check em out at partsexpress.com) but the x-over in this set is what makes it fun to listen to time and time again.

Mid was placed on a 3/4" mdf baffle plus a mounting ring that came with the set (needed that extra .5" or so to keep the window from destroying my mid) Tweet was placed in stock location near the a-pillar. The set is being run by a Linear Power 2.2HV, for all of you that are not familiar with this amp (linearpower.com) its a freakin tank. Rated at a mear 13.5 watts per channel, with a real world output of well over 100 watts per side, and easily 1500watts rms bridged at 2 or 4 ohms. Strait up, its a freakin beast.

After everything was wired up, gains were set at the appropriate level, I tossed in the The Jester Race - Blackash Inheritance by In Flames. Opening track, Moonshield, starts with an acoustic interlude. At first I was impressed. The sound stage was similar to stock, but the Alpine tweets have better off axis repsonse than the stock VW ones, so immediately the stage was projected outward more away from the dash and towards the listeners ears (like it should be). Guitar was dash level and I could locate it, but it wasnt as apparent with stock setup. Skipped a few tracks, got to something a little heavier. We end up on track 6 Dead Eternity Opening guitars again dash level blah blah. Vocals tended to be aimed at my knee caps and on the driver's side, not good. So, I lean back mess around with the x-over, and eventually find a happy medium. Passenger side tweet has a 2.5 db increase and driver's side has a 1.5 by doing this the vocals appear more centered than leaning towards the driver's side.

After Messing around with the x-over more, I have the system setup somewhat similar to a kickpanel setup. Everything is dash level, vocals are unable to be located, meaning, you dont know where they are comeing from. You want this in a system, make it harder to find where the speakers are actually located so vocals arent leanign towards one side, they are coming from all around you. I still need to tweak it a little bit and change the x-over frequency so the tweet will be doing most of the work, thus again raising the sound stage.

If you've actually read all this, I commend you. In closeing. Strait up, this set owns. It's amazing what a ******* crossover can do to imageing. If you are interested in buying a set, crutchfield.com has em for 230 shipped. Awsome deal if you ask me.

Thanks for bearing with me.

Later.