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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to add my reviews for my current CDT set here to hopefully offer some insight. I wound up being disappointed in my first set and did upgrades, so you will notice the review is in 2 parts. My initial intent was just to fix the sub-par set I had bought initially by upgrading the crossover and tweeter. I was so impressed with the upgrade that I went ahead and upgraded the mid.

So I recieved my CDT EX550i Crossover as well as the CDT Modular DRT26A Tweeter set (image can be seen here). The crossover point on the 550i is at 2.5kHz, with a 24db/octave slope. The benefit of the low crossover point is the reduction of audible comb filtering, and generally a smoother transition from mid to tweeter. The tweeter uses an aluminum dome which is a nice go between when a hard dome is too bright, and a soft dome is just not critical enough for the listener.

Now, on to the install in question. The amplifier is a Cadence SQA-4 bridged, running 200 WRMS/ch. It is set to run at full range. The source is a Pioneer Premier FH-P800BT. Everything is set flat unless otherwise indicated in the review, all bass boost and enrichment modes off. I use the HU to highpass at 63Hz. Doors are fairly deadened, although admittedly I didn't do a lot to them. All factory hush pads are still in the doors. The mids are CDT EF61FG mids.

Just getting these units in my hand was impressive. Everything about the upgrades just feels vastly superior to the EX-450 and the TW25S Pros

The DRT-26 is SO much nicer then the TW25 (which are well built in their own right). The units weigh I would guess 50% more then the TW25s. They are really built nice, and the black matte housings are very sexy. The color offset of the aluminum domes looks sweet. There is no way in hell you could be unhappy with the mounting options. Flush flat, flush angled, surface flat, surface angled, and "pods". I chose the flush angled mounts so I could play with my angling a bit better. The quick release is pretty damn slick, and very secure. Just 1/8 turn with the release key and the driver pops out and the spring releases it from the seat. Popping it in is very easy, and very smooth, without difficulty from the release spring. A solid click let's you know it is engaged. The price on these tweeters is twice that of the TW25Pro, and just the feel of the unit seems to justify the cost. But how does it sound!?!?!

The 550i crossovers are very nice too. They are a little bigger then the EX450s, but not as significantly as I expected. The covers are very hard to get off of them to adjust for midwoofer and tweeter options, and I was worried about breaking the cases. That is my only real complaint about any of what I received today. The terminations are beautiful, and extremely solid. There is a plethora of adjustability with this crossover set. My only other gripe is that I do wish they were marked better so I knew where I was going with the tweeter adjustment. It is just 4 clicks on the switch. The mid is well marked, which seems odd as the tweeter adjustment would be more critical IMO.

The upgrades definately met and/or exceeded my desired goals. The crossover adjustment made a tremendous initial impact. The mid breakup and canny sound is all gone. Comb filtering appears non-existent, when playing some lower frequency information, in particular the saxophone in "Shine on You Crazy Diamond", and Dave Matthews "#34". I also ran it through the paces listening to Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon, Sarah McLachlan's "Adia" and "Angel", TOOL's Lateralus, and Steely Dan's A Decade of Steely Dan. Female vocals are very rich and inviting. Sarah's voice was so sweet, and so beautiful through the tweeters. Norah's breathless voice really rings true to her nickname "The Queen of Serene" through this set. I noticed no sibilance, like one would expect from metal domes. I like to use Dave and Floyd, and Sarah, and Norah because their voices as well as all the orchestral instruments, and pianos really put a set of tweeters to work, and crossover points get tested throughout the entire song. The aluminum domes are so detailed, and critical but they still maintain the delicate sound of silk. I cannot discern any real ringing at all. In short, they are accurate but not fatiguing. If you like silk, you will love these. But if you are a titanium dome fan, they will likely be too soft. Their off axis response is pretty good, but the wide range of mounting options should make off axis listening far from a requirement.

So to conclude this review, I have to say I am very pleased. Mike, an authorized CDT dealer from Exige/Vertex Audio deserves props for amazing customer service, and for providing me my goods so quickly I almost thought he lived right around the corner from me!!! I ordered them Wednesday, and got them Friday! I will likely be performing further upgrades to the set. Mike and I are discussing some ES-06 mids... so there may be more CDT reviews to come.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of CDT's higher end sets to a discerning listener.

I wanted to include a few images for those of you interested in seeing the units.

Crossovers topless (I circled the 2 adjustment switches, the mid is up higher, and the tweet is lower)


Crossovers (EX450 on the left, 550i on the right)


Passenger side, drivers perspective (sexy black and aluminum)

(Compare with TW25Pro Silks)


Drivers side. When I look down at the tweeter, just tilting my head, this is exactly what I see.


Drivers side, just outside the steering wheel


Here is the box, with several of the mounting options. The angled flush mounts are in the vehicle already, so you can see just how many options there really are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
ES-06 Review

Here is the second review I did when i completed the set.

The USPS priority mail package arrived, and I knew what was in it. I had been excited about their arrival, as they were the final piece to my upgrade from a more entry level set of CDTs to one of their very best 2 way component set offerings. The journey took about a month. The heavy box revealed the monster CDT ES-06 midbass drivers. They are pretty beefy drivers, with a big rubber boot over the motor. Jerking the boot off, I discovered a super shiny chrome motor. The basket is a nice cast 4 spoke basket. The quick release spring terminals offer a secure and quick connection. I quickly yanked out the old mids and modified the door to fit the motor, and they were in place about 1 hour later. I fired them up and let them have a little break in time while I e-mailed Mike at Vertex Audio, the only place I recommend going for your CDT needs, and let him know I got the set and I had just carved up my doors to make those puppies fit.

Installation

Now, on to the install in question. I wanted to let everyone know the important factors surrounding the set, as they can play a role in their performance. The amplifier is a Cadence SQA-4 bridged, running 200 WRMS/ch. It is set to run at full range. The source is a Pioneer Premier FH-P800BT. Everything is set flat unless otherwise indicated in the review, all bass boost and enrichment modes off. I typically use the HU to highpass at 63Hz, but for this review I ran the set full range by themselves. Doors are fairly deadened, although admittedly I didn't do a lot to them. All factory hush pads are still in the doors. The install leaves the mids in an IB install. The tweeters are the DRT26A aluminum dome modular tweeter units. The crossover is the EX550i, which was designed specifically for the ES-06 mids and the DRT26 tweeters, as it brings the crossover point down to rolloff (2.5kHz) of the powerful mid.

Essentially my upgrades left me owning the CDT Audio ES-062i GOLD 6.5" Component Set which I will review as a complete set and link my previous CDT reviews and the successive upgrades that led me to this point.

Original CDT EF61FG-TW25Pro-EX450 review: CDT EF61-TW25Pro review - CarAudioForum.com

Tweeter and Crossover upgrade review: CDT EX550i crossover & DRT26A Tweeter Upgrade review - CarAudioForum.com

Here is a little speaker porn.

Here are a few comparisons of the CDT EF-6FG and the ES-06




Installed with DRT26A tweet:



Now for the review

I have always liked Tantric’s self titled album for midbass detail and depth. The mids definitely handled the usual tracks with precision; the drumbeats accompanied by Hugo Ferreira growling voice showed the mids could really handle transients exceptionally well. I love the way they blend acoustic guitar and electric guitar too. It allows us the ability to determine how realistic the differences are between the 2, with particular attention to the decay. The EX550i has them crossed perfectly (I had to make a small tweeter aiming adjustment to compensate for a tiny dip in frequency response), and the DRT26As handle the low crossover point with ease. Tantric does nothing exceptionally fast, but the separation of their instruments in their first release really helps show off how well a set can provide detail and accuracy during reproduction.

Dream Theater’s Train of Thought was next on the list. Mike Portnoy attacks a drum set like it is his enemy… and the ES-o6 handled the attack with ease. Kickdrum separation was precise; the ES-06 almost belittles his speed. I was surprised with such a relatively high inductance that these speakers did not seem to blur kicks and transients, but they don’t. They are very precise. I am so surprised that I sent an e-mail to CDT to find out if that was a misprint.

I love Pink Floyd. They got a lot of play on these speakers. I stuck to Dark Side of the Moon (30th Anniversary Remastered SACD Hybrid, original copy), and Wish You Were Here. Dark Side of the Moon really was amazing. My old lady commented “Wow, this sounds amazing, did you buy new speakers or something?” to which I replied, “No way honey!!!” Even she noticed the difference at very modest listening levels. Floyd’s psychedelic trips through both of these albums really presented imaging that is so deep and the stage is so vast it seems to extend beyond the doors and windshield of the car.

The usual suspects played on the system as well. Dave Matthews Band’s 34 showed amazing depth with the set, and the Tenor Sax played so beautifully it was frightening. I love to use Warehouse, and Ants Marching as well, because they provide a ton of detail from the bottom of the audible spectrum to the top, with explosive woodwinds and brass, pounding bass, harmonicas, cymbals (from delicate high hats to huge crashes) guitars, and of course, Dave’s voice. Everything is so accurate, and the image with so many instruments explodes around you, with amazing depth and clarity. Sarah McLachlan and Norah Jones both maintained composure, and beauty. Their voices didn’t seem to feel strained at all, no ringing on the high notes, and the mids don’t even seem like they are trying. Pianos rolled behind them with amazing precision and detail. The decay is as perfect as we can expect in an imperfect environment like a car.

In conclusion, this set is very accurate, very fast, and finely detailed. The mids’ attack is aggressive, and their decay is natural. They provided more impact than the FG mids, but they are not fatiguing like many aggressive midbasses can be. I attribute this to their smooth decay. Their depth is impressive, and they handle their midrange duties in a very mellow, laid back manner. Transient response from the mids is beyond impressive. The tweeters are very precise, and controlled, and delicate. I heard no audible ringing, no sibilance, and harsh isn’t a word that comes to mind. They are critical, without being bright, laid back without being flat. The crossovers brilliantly handle the mid to tweeter transition smoothly. This truly is one of the finer sets I have heard. They are a well rounded set that really encompasses the whole package audio enthusiasts are searching for.

Once again, please contact Mike at Vertex Audio, for your CDT needs. He is amazingly helpful and knowledgeable with the products he sells. I am sure he could get you set up with a set that suits your tastes.

After this review I upped the power to 300 WRMS, since the set really laughed at 200. In setting the gains with my scope I noticed just as soon as the mids started to indicate stress, I began to see the signal clip. I can run this set, IB, with an perfectly set amp in full range without audible stress or damage. I felt this was worth noting, as IMO it is terribly impressive.
 

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Thanks for a very in depth review, I`m going test drive a set in a couple weeks with a view of having fitted to my MK4 Golf. I was also tempted by the Dyns what do you think ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for a very in depth review, I`m going test drive a set in a couple weeks with a view of having fitted to my MK4 Golf. I was also tempted by the Dyns what do you think ?

I haven't heard a set of Dyns in years. The last set I heard had to be 5 years ago. I am not sure how much has changed with Dyns over the years, but they are beautiful speakers. I loved their tweeters.

Overall, for what I paid for these, I don't think I could be more satisfied. I love the midbass drivers, and the Al tweeter is so sweet.

I don't think either set would disappoint you. Those are 2 excellent quality sets to choose from.
 

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I had my test drive this weekend with a set of ES-062i Gold Components fitted in the stock locations of a vauxhall vectra saloon. I agree with your comments, the tweets have a lovely sound and the package reminds me of old sq components. The only problem I found was the sound stage was quiet low.
 

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Hey Olly, I'm gonna guess that the set you heard used EX-560i crossovers. Ask your local dealer for a demo using the new EX-550i/25 crossovers. Depending on the installation and driver placement, the change in crossover points between these 2 crossovers is likely to have a big effect on raising the soundstage.
 

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Thanks for the reply, I was originally going to fit the tweets in the stock locations on the A pillars but noticed from your pics you have kept them low, do they need to be pointed towards the driver or will they work off axis.
 

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noob question; how much difference is their between the CDT upstage up-219 and up-524?
Dramatic difference just in the tweeter spec!
The Upstage X-over is said to be "improved" with the 5xx but that part I can't add any personal testimonial for.

The UP-219 uses 19mm tweets which are just OK. The UP-x24 uses 24mm silk domes which, like the 25mm units sound very good. The 26mm silk domes are awesome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I steered clear of the imaging and upstage systems. I am not a huge fan of creating multiple pointsources, period, but even more-so when you are talking about multiples of similar frequency drivers. If I were forced to use an upstage system, I would certainly use the more delicate of the available silk domes. Refraction off hard surfaces, like windshields and side windows, can create harshness that would be hard to tame. I went with the aluminum domed DRT-26 tweet module, hung it low, and angled them at the dome light of the vehicle. The stage is right in my face and he image is very expansive.

As Mike mentioned, the difference between the 560 and 550 crossovers is significant. The lower crossover point on the 550 is better for a couple reasons. First, the ES-06 mid is really a midbass driver. It rolls off fairly quickly at 2.5Khz, which is where the 550 crosses, while the 560 crosses at 3.7khz, so that higher point will hurt the image. The lower crossover also helps bring the stage up as the tweeters handle more of the register, and directionality starts to play into the game. Beaming starts around 2-2.5khz with a 6.5 mid... So by keeping the mid out of the loop where it starts beaming, and allowing the directional tweet to play the game, you can have greater control over the focus of the stage.
 

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I steered clear of the imaging and upstage systems. I am not a huge fan of creating multiple pointsources, period, but even more-so when you are talking about multiples of similar frequency drivers. If I were forced to use an upstage system, I would certainly use the more delicate of the available silk domes. Refraction off hard surfaces, like windshields and side windows, can create harshness that would be hard to tame. I went with the aluminum domed DRT-26 tweet module, hung it low, and angled them at the dome light of the vehicle. The stage is right in my face and he image is very expansive.

As Mike mentioned, the difference between the 560 and 550 crossovers is significant. The lower crossover point on the 550 is better for a couple reasons. First, the ES-06 mid is really a midbass driver. It rolls off fairly quickly at 2.5Khz, which is where the 550 crosses, while the 560 crosses at 3.7khz, so that higher point will hurt the image. The lower crossover also helps bring the stage up as the tweeters handle more of the register, and directionality starts to play into the game. Beaming starts around 2-2.5khz with a 6.5 mid... So by keeping the mid out of the loop where it starts beaming, and allowing the directional tweet to play the game, you can have greater control over the focus of the stage.
Well said!
Multiple point sources opens the doors to lots of issues.
I have yet to attend Syn Aud Con, but as I understand from my colleagues, those classes are some of the very best in the pro sound industry.
Syn-aud-Con Real World Audio Education Seminars for Sound Reinforcement Operators, Technicians, Designers

Even knowing that multiple point sources is inherently something to strive to avoid, I'll say in the same breath that the benefits outweigh the inherent issues in some cases.

That's interesting & very timely info regarding the X-over points & how that applies to ES-06 mid woofers. I'm running a HD-6 woofer & a pair of TW-26 silk domes on each front side. (pics attached) The passive processing is via ES-200Z main x-overs w/ 500 series upstage x-over.

That's interesting that the ES-200Z, like the 560 has a x-over point of 3.7kHz... Time will tell if I like the ES-06 drivers (bought here from a member) will be better for the system. BTW: I have L-pads on both sets of tweeters to match the sensitivity differences between the HD-6 & ES-06 mid woofers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I agree that sometimes the simple design of the vehicle does force us to use a less then optimal installation techniques. That is one of the tough deals about doing car installs, while in a home we can just toe in our mains a bit, or elevate the front, with no big deal... but in a car we have so many materials, so many different placements and changes of our interior (simply getting a passenger in a car car wreak havoc on our perfect install!!!), that we have to sometimes make concessions.

I don't understand why CDT likes to cross so high with their crossovers. The only assumption I can make is they want to keep the mid to tweet hand off above the vocal and common instrument range to limit frequency dips and a lack of realism. But all that does s crush the image depth and stage presentation. If you look at other mid-high end comps you will see much lower crossover points, for example I am looking at getting a set of Morel Elate 6 2Ws and they cross all their sets at ~1.8Khz. It is just a logical way of contending with beaming IMHO. Also, by providing a large amount of adjustability with crossover slopes and attenuation you can compensate for the inherent issues.

So IMO the biggest weakness with the CDT sets are their crossovers. The 550 does have an upstage module built in, and it really is the best all around solution for their 2 way passive sets, and frankly it is reasonably priced.

BTW, fantastic driver placement while keeping near factory locations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Not like I used to. I still own the '86 GN with all the Adire gear in it, but I don't do a lot of side work on them like I used to. I started doing a total drivetrain overhaul last winter but I wound up with "terminal" colon cancer and was out of work for 7 months, so it is in pieces right now. I had no income for months, and was bed-ridden and had to use a wheelchair to get around... so it took a back seat.

There are not many of them around, and most of those left are staying stock and are with collectors.
 

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BTW, fantastic driver placement while keeping near factory locations.
Thx, For the record I did it well only after doing it wrond with the 1st set of door panels.
I originally had a/d/s 346i's in the front with the tweeters mounted where the side mirror control is located in the attached pic. What I did with that 1st set of door panels was to relocate the side mirror controller a few inches higher & cut out for the tweeters using the original mirror control as a baseline.

The results: An excellent yet hard learned demonstration of a concept that I actually had studied. Knowing something is one thing....remembering it in every practical situation is another for sure!
Inverse-square law - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Originally the single set of a/d/s tweeters were at 33" & 48" away from either front side nose level seating positions.
The lower TW-26's are now 43" & 53" respectively.
In addition, the near front main tweeter is off axis WRT the "far" tweeter being on axis.

My process, like for many I'm sure, was a gradual one:
I went from:
  • a/d/s 346i 6" mids & a/d/s tweeters
  • blown a/d/s tweeter at about year 2 of the system
  • replacement tweeter set, CDT TW-25 (hey....these sound good...)
  • new door panels to locate TW-25 tweeters in the current front main location (balance much improved)
  • Audison LRx 5.600 amp (system improved)
  • TW-25 based upstage (ohhh I like the open sound...)
  • TW-26 tweeter upgrade (notable better than TW-25's)
  • X-over upgrades
  • RTA/ear tuning
In short, these tweeter locations gave much, much, much better system balance. The upstage to me was icing on the cake.
Pictures of the sub that I made in my father inlaw's basement.
 

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I just stumbled apon this thread and thought I would chime in myself I have a pair of m6 mids with drt-26a on braxials in my 93 civic in the doors. I need to deaden the doors but have body work that needs to be done first so I took off the inner panel and made a fiberglass panel to seal the inside of the car from inside the door and put the door back on with padding between the door and the door skin. This actually helped a lot to reduce rattles and make a proper I/B. Back to the system I am running them off of a us 1000x and a kicker x over do to no high pass on the us 1000x or the deck. HP is at 80hz and the us 1000x I have set to give the components around 320-340 per side don't remember exactly how much. I must say the drivers LOVE the power I have it at 80hz because of how much power I am giving them. I will say the x overs however don't like this much power (560i x over) the former for the tweeters have melted on both pairs and the tweeters top end starts to lack. I am switching to a active set up soon with exile audio 800.4 and picking up a r.f. 360.2 so should be able to say what they can do in a good active set up.

I would just like to add I LOVE the braxial set up they give a GREAT imaging I am wondering if it would be worth my wile to switch from M-6 to ES-06 I am really looking forward to dropping the x over point to 2500 I have noticed them to be a little bright at times not sure if that is the reason why or if it is just the music I am playing stuff I have noticed it on is punk like yellow card and such.

Mike I hope you can help me with getting the x overs fixed not sure if they are going to kind of hard not to tell they were over powered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The ES-06 is a midbass driver. It may lack some midrange. I myself don't like overtly forward midrange, but many do, so IMO it was about perfect. I just added a Butler Tube Driver Blue 475 to the system and it made the midrange very lively compared to the Cadence FXA5100 I have had running on them. These are even better now.

I liked the ES-06 in a huge way, I hope you do too if you opt for the upgrade. I love how dark and silky they sound. Very nice, laid back, not overtly aggressive yet deep midbass.

I overpowered my set for almost a year. 300 watts on 200 rated, with no issues. I bet the braxial does a great job. I hate pointsourcing issues.


I just stumbled apon this thread and thought I would chime in myself
*PS, why are you not on CAF anymore? I remember you from Eons ago, dude...
 
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