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Old 03-11-2009   #1
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Default Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

Well, this is going to be my on going thread for my Ultra Subs SS-6 comps review. These are the comps that I won in the vendor give away. The Ultra website for these comps can be found here. My thanks goes out to IamMurph and all of those at Ultra as well as Ant for the Second Skin trunk pack. I will use the deadning in the FJ install. I say on going because these will be in two different vehicles and used in two different ways. I'll be updating the thread as I get the comps installed into the second vehicle and be giving my on going opinion as well.

The first vehicle that these will be going is in my car, a 2002Saturn SC2. I know, laugh it up, but it cost me $6000 and it gets 36 mpg. Done laughing, good, now on with the review. Currently (well up until today) installed I have the Seas 18RNX mids with the LPG tweets running active using my Pioneer 860mp as the x-over. The amp I am using is a Phoenix Gold Xenon 100.4, 4 channels at 100+ watts a channel. Traditionally I have been very pleased with this set up, but it seems I am always playing with the settings. It seems I just can't get it just right. To start off the Ultra comps will be a direct drop in replacement for the Seas and LPG's. They will also be run active.

Anywho, let's start off with some pictures. Here are the Ultra mids, they seem pretty beefy. Not too much to look at, but I kinda like that. I like when a company puts the money into the sound of the speakers, and not the cosmetics.



Take a look at the rim of the speaker. The top layer is a plastic guard piece I am guessing. The second layer is the basket itself, and the third (bottom) layer is my favorite. It's a foam gasket of sorts. I found this to be very cool! I don't think I have ever tested a speaker with a foam gasket on the mounting side before!



Here is the back side of the speaker. Nothing too fancy, but you can see the foam gasket a little better.



Here is the mid mounting system. Pretty standard from what I have seen in the past. Simple yet effective.



Here is a pic of the tweet in it's mounting cup.



Backside



Here is the tweet mounting system. I always worry about this when I buy comps because I never really know what to expect. No two companies seem to do this the same way and don't really elaborate on how they do it. After playing around with these I like the mounting options. I will most definitely try to flush mount these in the FJ. They do rotate around in the mounting cups a little so aiming them is pretty easy.

So, that's it for the initial pics. Next post is the install pics.

Last edited by mr tibbs; 03-11-2009 at 07:58 PM..
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Old 03-11-2009   #2
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

After taking the initial pics I dug in and tore apart my doors to do the install. Here are a few comparison pics and the install pics.



Ultra on the left, Seas on the right. Notice the difference in size. The Ultra is a 6.5" and the Seas is a 7".



The backside comparison. Notice the difference in motor size and the vent hole. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, but there is a difference.



And a side comparison shot.



Here are the tweets. LPG on the left and Ultra on the right. After playing with both of them I actually like the Ultra mounting options a lot better. They are much easier to aim.



And here are the install pics. Here are the mids installed on the spacer that I made to compensate for the depth of the Seas mids. I probably could have removed them, but I didn't want to rip up the ensolite. After installing the mids I made sure that there was still a good seal all the way around the speaker and the spacer. All is good.



Here is a shot of the door without the door panel. All of the holes are for mounting of the door panel. Notice the ensolite that is falling off. I resprayed that so hopefully it won't come off again.



And here is the finished install. Notice the tweet in the sail panel. It's not flush mounted, but it is solid and will do for now. I used the mounting system for the Ultra and I was able to aim these.

That's about it for the pics. I'll start another post with my initial thoughts and keep going from there.
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Old 03-11-2009   #3
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

Now on to the initial thoughts of the sound these make. That is what we are after right? I'll start off with the technical stuff. Here is how I set the x-over points initially:
Sub (LPF) 63hz with a 24db slope and reverse phase
Mids (bandpassed) HPF 63hz with a 18db slope
LPF 2.5khz with a 12db slope
Highs (HPF) 2.5khz with a 24db slope

After a little tweaking here is where I ended up leaving them:
Sub (LPF) 63hz with a 24db slope
Mids (bandpassed) HPF 80hz with a 18db slope
LPF 3.15khz with a 12db slope
Highs (HPF) 3.15khz with a 24 slope

I may play around with them a little more but I think I'm close.

So, how do they sound?? Well, initial thoughts are they are damn nice!! Right up there on par with the best stuff I have ran. First CD in was Alice In Chains - Unplugged. I was doing a lot of tweaking with this so I really didn't give it a fair shake but it sounded really good. The plucks of the guitar strings were present with authority, but not overpowering. Layne's voice shined as always, and overall the CD sounded good.

Next I threw in the DIYMA SQ CD as I call it. First song I played was Dire Straights - Money for Nothing. HOLY S#*@!!! The drums were right in front of me, with authority! The voices were at eye level in front of me, DAMN!! This was what I was hoping for. Loud, and clear with authority. Just sonic bliss. I played this song about 4 times through before I made myself try something else.

After that I listened to Fleetwood Mac, Clapton, The Eagles, and that one some about Keith Don't Go or something like that all with similar results. Even the Dr. Dre track sounded really good, but made me realize something. I had to turn my sub down. For some reason it was getting overpowering. After a few little tweaks it just seemed to blend right in. So, I had to go back to Dire Straights to see if it effected that bliss. Nope, The authority of the drums seemed to shift from behind me a little bit to in front or slightly to the side. I actually like this a lot better.

Next I threw in some Days of the New. This is my safe CD. I have listened to this sooooo much that I seem to know every note by heart. I started off with Provider, and as always it sounded great. This song starts off slow with a single guitar then kicks into gear with Travis Meeks vocals. The guitar sounds soo damn good with this set. It seems to shine even more with the Ultra's than with the Seas for some reason.

After that I tried many of my favorite songs and found myself just listening to the music. Somewhere in there I stopped trying to pick apart the speakers and just enjoyed the music. This IMO is one of the highest compliments I can give these. Seriously, this is why I have dumped all of this money into a sound system is to just enjoy the music I love. I'm very pleased with this set so far.

A few notes before I end the initial review. At first I thought the tweets were less harsh that the LPG's but after listening to them I thing they are a little brighter. Maybe it's the different x-over settings, maybe not but I think I'm going to have to EQ these down a little bit. And speaking of EQ'ing, after tweaking here and there it looks like I am a lot close to having a flat EQ than I had before. I'm a hell of a lot closer to dead center than I was with the Seas and LPG's. I'm not sure what that means, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

So, there is the initial review. I'll update this in a week or so with my findings, then in two weeks or so I'll transfer them to the FJ and use the passives. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks, so far these are everything I have hoped for!!
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Old 03-12-2009   #4
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

Someone is asking great question on another forum and I think I should update this thread with them.

Q: I am curious as to more of a comparison with what you took out...

A: Well, the mids seem to blend with my sub better and have more authority. I have noticed that the bass has moved more in front of me than ever before. This is something I have always had a problem with, I just can't seem to blend the Seas in with the sub. And the tweets seem more bright to me. I'm sure this is something I can EQ out with enough time, but right out of the box they are bright. I would not say they are harsh though. I had some of the first RE RE comp sets and those mother's were HARSH! These are no where near that, just a little to high for my liking. Like I said in the review though I after some EQing I am closer to a flat EQ curve than I ever have been. These don't seem to take much EQing to sound good, unlike the Seas and LPG's. It seems I am always tweaking stuff with them. With the Ultra set I feel like I can get it tuned in after a bit and just leave it alone.

I hope that helped! Let me know if you guys have anymore questions!


Q: Were the initial settings what you were using with the Seas/LPG setup? If not, do you have those as well. Also, did you change your gain settings and if so how were they set?

My main curiosity stems from the fact that I have found the CA18 to be about the easiest 6/7" mid to blend with a sub that I have ever played with. Not at all that I don't believe in your setup it is different, but I'd like to know why since there are many people that can benefit from easy to use drivers.

A: Yes, the initial settings were what I was using with the Seas and LPG combo. Perhaps the problem I have with blending the mids and the sub is completely my fault. I'm kinda self taught and in no way do I blame the drivers I am using. I would seriously blame myself before them. Then again it might be the sub, and not that there is anything wrong with it, but maybe I just can't make it blend using the Seas. Dunno, but to my untrained ear the Ultras just seem to blend better.

As far as the gain go I did not touch them. I expected that I would have to, but left them untouched for the initial playing and just kinda left them where they sit. I did go from all 8 ohm drivers to all 4 ohm. One would expect that I would have to turn them down a touch, but I guess I just don't get that carried away with the volume knob. Also it speaks volumes to the great sensitivity rating on the 8 ohm Seas drivers. Interseting huh??!!

Great questions, please keep up the inquisition. This is how I learn!
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Old 03-12-2009   #5
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

does anyone know what these sell for ? I see the manufacture lists them for $499...
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Old 03-12-2009   #6
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

So in your honest opinion are they worth the 499.99?
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Old 03-12-2009   #7
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

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Originally Posted by mr1spd View Post
So in your honest opinion are they worth the 499.99?
Well, I'll save that judgment until I have tried them in the FJ with the provided passive x-overs. So far though I am very pleased.
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Old 03-12-2009   #8
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

I can respect that but I would definitely beat the living hell out of them. "Tusk" Fleetwood Mac. A little " Lies" from Korn. And try the song "Forever" by the band "Hurt" off the album "Vol. 1". Then of course some Pink Floyd and some Tool. The Hurt song is good a wide range of stuff.
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Old 03-12-2009   #9
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr1spd View Post
I can respect that but I would definitely beat the living hell out of them. "Tusk" Fleetwood Mac. A little " Lies" from Korn. And try the song "Forever" by the band "Hurt" off the album "Vol. 1". Then of course some Pink Floyd and some Tool. The Hurt song is good a wide range of stuff.
I have that Hurt CD, I'll be sure to throw it in.
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Old 03-12-2009   #10
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

I've seen them and concert and met them great guys. Good to hear you have heard of them most people just look puzzled when you say the name and surprised when they hear it.
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Old 03-12-2009   #11
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

Like mr1spd said, try some Tool, thier drummer is very technical. The intro to ticks & leeches is a good track from drums, but there are many others. Great review, I have been throwing the idea of going with prs720 comps, but these seem to have what i am looking for.
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Old 03-13-2009   #12
 
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

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Originally Posted by gentlejax2 View Post
does anyone know what these sell for ? I see the manufacture lists them for $499...
That is what they sell for.
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Old 03-13-2009   #13
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

Hey guys !!!
Congratulations Mr. Tibbs on winning the ULTRA SS-6 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope you enjoy my babies !
I come from a Retail background and still own a store to this day.

When it gets to the point that you pay $899+ for a nice set of speakers that sound great but BLOW UP with the smallest amount of "indiscretion", it does become annoying.

The ULTRA method of doing things is PURE PERFORMANCE DRIVEN.
What makes the products unique is how the perform, not how they look.
I think many of us have grown past the Audiobahn type product that glittered and that was about it.

The more you live with the speakers, the more you will see what I'm talking about in SOUND BEING WHAT MATTERS ..........
Maybe try Roadhouse Blues by the Doors, Santeria and then switch gears and throw in Intergalactic from the Beastie Boys, throughout the whole song is a high & low tone that alternates in the song that gets lost when a speaker set up has too much "here and there".

Realistically, if you spend FOREVER tuning and tweaking you can get ANYTHING to sound good but there will be somewhere where you will find a weakness or a hole.

GREAT speakers out of the box make it much easier to get what your supposed to without always messing around with tone settings from song to song.
Well enjoy them and if anybody has ANY questions, please ASK.
It is not "normal" in the business to ask questions or have access to the person who designed the product, normally you can just talk to the marketing department LOL.

Thanks,

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Old 03-13-2009   #14
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

It would be great to see how these fare against the top contenders in their price range, as well.

Off the cuff, I'm thinking Polk SR (right about the same price), and the Pio 720's (a bit cheaper.)

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Old 03-13-2009   #15
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

Any potential for an initial launch group buy discount?
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Old 03-13-2009   #16
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

Quote:
Originally Posted by fourthmeal View Post
It would be great to see how these fare against the top contenders in their price range, as well.

Off the cuff, I'm thinking Polk SR (right about the same price), and the Pio 720's (a bit cheaper.)
Also a comparison with the Hybrid Audio Clarus line, which is similarly priced direct from the manufacturer.
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Old 03-13-2009   #17
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

I personally cant imagine what a set of comps sound like that are worth that much money...I have old ads stuff which I bought new and it sounds fine to me and they were expensive back in the day so ...I guess these new comps can be worth every penny...I just dont have the bank to buy such things any more..
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Old 03-13-2009   #18
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

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Originally Posted by gentlejax2 View Post
I personally cant imagine what a set of comps sound like that are worth that much money...I have old ads stuff which I bought new and it sounds fine to me and they were expensive back in the day so ...I guess these new comps can be worth every penny...I just dont have the bank to buy such things any more..
Just a quick glance around and DLS, Diamond Audio, Zapco, CDT, all have speaker sets that retail for more than these. IIRC even the PG Elites retailed for more than these. I guess it's all a matter of what you want to pay for. To be honest this is probably the most expensive set I have tried out, and so far I am pleased.

Today I played with the x-over point of the tweets and dropped it down to 2.5khz with a 18db slope. That seems to have mellowed the tweets right out. Maybe there was a break in period because these seem to be getting better.
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Old 03-13-2009   #19
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

You'll need to find the range the woofer and tweeter can play separately. Figure out how high and low the woofer can play before noticeably rolling off or getting messy. Then test the tweeter and see how low it can go before dropping off or getting messy. Play them together at 2kHz up to 4kHz and see if you can hear one and then the other start to drop off in response or harshen up. Only a certain range will sound really good.

As well, level balance the woofer and tweeter together well so one does not overshadow the other. You mentioned strong highs, and it may be because the tweeter is a little loud relative to the woofer. Both output level and time alignment can make a driver stand out unnecessarily.

I love pink noise for EQ work. It's also really good for level balancing a woofer and tweeter together. Plus since it's constant noise, time alignment has no effect, so you can dial in levels and then step to TA with music and see if it only sounded correct because some TA offset was corrected with some output level adjustment. EQing becomes a breeze with pink noise. Work through the entire range and balance out everything. See if you come across any noticeable dips or peaks and see if there are any issues around the crossover point (overlap) and if you find yourself EQing down or up the entire woofer or tweeter range because your levels between them weren't initially set right.

Tweak and tweak again. Spend a lot of time pushing them past their intended operating range and get a feel for both how good they are and how limited they may be in certain areas. I suggest after a while try throwing the Seas woofers and LPG tweeters back in to get a fresh look at them after you get used to the Ultra speaker set. You may notice some new details there were present or lacking that you didn't notice before. Also try the Seas woofer with the Ultra tweeter and the Ultra woofer with the LPG tweeter and see how you like the combinations. You may find that you like a particular hybrid better. As well, mixing and matching hardware can also point towards other specifics you didn't notice before. You also have the option of running the Ultras on one side and the Seas/LPG setup on the other side and directly compare both sides. This too can highly some of the minor/major differences that you wouldn't pick up on separately.

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Old 03-14-2009   #20
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr tibbs View Post
Just a quick glance around and DLS, Diamond Audio, Zapco, CDT, all have speaker sets that retail for more than these. IIRC even the PG Elites retailed for more than these. I guess it's all a matter of what you want to pay for. To be honest this is probably the most expensive set I have tried out, and so far I am pleased.

Today I played with the x-over point of the tweets and dropped it down to 2.5khz with a 18db slope. That seems to have mellowed the tweets right out. Maybe there was a break in period because these seem to be getting better.
thats why I asked what they sold for...I know what they retail for but that is not what they actually sell for quite often....
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

Hey guys, just catching up I have been working the last two weeks. I like the look of the mids, solid. Although for the price the terminals could have been better. The mid looks almost identical to the Crossfire MB6 midbass driver, and the tweets from inside the mount basket looks alot like the Crossfire Titaniums. I cant remember seeing but what are the size of the Tweets? They look like a 3/4 inch. Also how does the mid driver play at high volume at 80 htz. I find alot of drivers tend to pop, and seem to settle down around 100-125 htz. Are you going to try a set up with the tweets closer to the mid driver? Does the x-over have an off axis or on axis switch setting? A pic of the x-over would be nice. Also, I see mainly you are playing rock /rap? How does county and classical sound? How does the front stage pick up bass responce if you remove the subs? You are running good power to the set, but alot of people either dont have amps (using deck power) or they have a typical 50x2 or x4 amp. I would be curious how they sound with less power.
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Old 03-14-2009   #22
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

I am agreeing with a lot of the posts. When did car audio manufactures think that all people buying car audio were rich. I installed years ago and there was high end and expensive, but it seems like the price of stuff just goes up and up. Sell your items a little cheaper and sell more. If you can buy pro audio drivers for about the same price what justifies spending 500 on a set of comps. What kind of warranty do they have?
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Old 03-14-2009   #23
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

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Originally Posted by mvw2 View Post
You'll need to find the range the woofer and tweeter can play separately. Figure out how high and low the woofer can play before noticeably rolling off or getting messy. Then test the tweeter and see how low it can go before dropping off or getting messy. Play them together at 2kHz up to 4kHz and see if you can hear one and then the other start to drop off in response or harshen up. Only a certain range will sound really good.

As well, level balance the woofer and tweeter together well so one does not overshadow the other. You mentioned strong highs, and it may be because the tweeter is a little loud relative to the woofer. Both output level and time alignment can make a driver stand out unnecessarily.

I love pink noise for EQ work. It's also really good for level balancing a woofer and tweeter together. Plus since it's constant noise, time alignment has no effect, so you can dial in levels and then step to TA with music and see if it only sounded correct because some TA offset was corrected with some output level adjustment. EQing becomes a breeze with pink noise. Work through the entire range and balance out everything. See if you come across any noticeable dips or peaks and see if there are any issues around the crossover point (overlap) and if you find yourself EQing down or up the entire woofer or tweeter range because your levels between them weren't initially set right.

Tweak and tweak again. Spend a lot of time pushing them past their intended operating range and get a feel for both how good they are and how limited they may be in certain areas. I suggest after a while try throwing the Seas woofers and LPG tweeters back in to get a fresh look at them after you get used to the Ultra speaker set. You may notice some new details there were present or lacking that you didn't notice before. Also try the Seas woofer with the Ultra tweeter and the Ultra woofer with the LPG tweeter and see how you like the combinations. You may find that you like a particular hybrid better. As well, mixing and matching hardware can also point towards other specifics you didn't notice before. You also have the option of running the Ultras on one side and the Seas/LPG setup on the other side and directly compare both sides. This too can highly some of the minor/major differences that you wouldn't pick up on separately.
I will attempt some of this, these are good suggestions! But, I do kinda feel that running these drivers active is a little unfair, that is not what they are meant for. This is a passive set that has specific passive x-overs with them. That is what I was really going to concentrate on. I kinda feel that running them active might not be fair to them because I might be able to skew the results if I am not dead on with my tuning. That is why I am a little anxious to get these into the FJ and use the provided passives and see what they can do on their own. Running them active in the car was just kind of an experiment I decided to do because I had access to two different set ups.

And to be right honest guys so far I am really liking the set. I dropped down the x-over point on the tweets to 2.5khz and that seems to have mellowed them down a bit. I took a little drive today with the wife and even she is liking them. She said "It sounds more "natural" than what you had in here before". Even she feels like everything blends better than what I had going on before, and she loves that I have turned the sub down. That tells me two things, 1) the Ultra comps really do sound good and 2) my setup before is too bass heavy. She generally does not like listening to the stereo with us in the car because she likes to talk. Today she was asking if we could put some of her music in. She's even noticing the differences in recordings. Not too bad for someone who hates this car audio "crap"!
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Old 03-14-2009   #24
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

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Originally Posted by mr1spd View Post
I am agreeing with a lot of the posts. When did car audio manufactures think that all people buying car audio were rich. I installed years ago and there was high end and expensive, but it seems like the price of stuff just goes up and up. Sell your items a little cheaper and sell more. If you can buy pro audio drivers for about the same price what justifies spending 500 on a set of comps. What kind of warranty do they have?
IIRC, and don't take my word for it but I think the warranty is one year if you just buy them and three years if you have a dealer install them. That's off the top of my head so we might want to check on that.

Again I'll save my thoughts on the price until I get to fully test them out with the provided passive x-over.
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Old 03-14-2009   #25
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Default Re: Ultra Subs SS-6 Componets

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thats why I asked what they sold for...I know what they retail for but that is not what they actually sell for quite often....
Mike,

I'm sorry for that response, looking back it sounded kinda harsh and that was not my intent. What I guess I was trying to say is that it seems that there are a lot of comps out there in this price range. I don't feel that the MSRP price is that out there. Hell looking around Infinity Kappa Perfects have a MSRP of $479!! For $20 more I would go with the Ultra's over Infinity's in a heart beat.

With all of that being said do I think I would spend $500 on a set of comps? I dunno, I guess that would depend on my budget for an install. Do I think these are worth $500? Dunno yet, I'll save that for after I have tested them with the passives.
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