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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey folks,

I started my build about a year ago, and it has gone through many iterations. I thought I was done when fellow DIYMA member @toneloc2 put my Hertz MLs in my A Pillars:
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After retuning with my MiniDSP 8x12 DL, it sounded better than ever, and I was stoked.

But then, another forum member posted up Morel MT350 tweeters and Morel CDM880 mids, and they would more or less drop into my pillars, so I thought why not try them out. So I did that:
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Then, earlier this month, I went to the Virginia meet, and Nick from Stereo Integrity (@Electrodynamic) had a set of M3 Carbon mids, which would also drop in, and he was kind enough to let me try those:
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Never mind the ghetto mounting job...these were all temp installs just to try out the gear. Before I get into my findings, here is some important info re: my install, as all my findings were in my install, and I really suspect these findings are specific to my install:

1) My tweeters and mids are quite on-axis
2) The mid pods are fully sealed, maybe .7 liters, if I had to guess
3) Amp is MMATS HiFi-6150d, aka there is ample power available
4) I retuned using Dirac between each speaker swap, using my target curve
5) Mid-basses are Hertz ML1650.3
6) Sub is 10W7 ported @ 30Hz
7) Vehicle is a 2021 2-door Wrangler with a "Premium" soft top

Here are the combos I tried out:
A) ML280.3 + ML700.3: I found the ML280.3 to be too forward for my tastes, likely due to being too on-axis. I listened to the same pair in fellow forum member's BRZ slightly more off-axis (maybe 45 degrees), and these drivers did not appear forward to me. It was easier for me to swap speakers versus rebuild pillars to change the angles, hence the ensuing tests

B) MT350 + ML700.3: This sounded fantastic to my ears. While the ML280.3 and MT350 both measured well all the way down to 1KHz or slightly below, the MT350 sounded really smooth to my ears; perhaps laid back, which I think is the sound signature I prefer. Again, my tweeters are quite on axis, so I'm positive this impacts. Many members at the VA meet enjoyed this setup, which is what I used to demo. I did feel like the ML700s had a bit more impact than the domes tested below.

C) MT350 + CDM880: The CDM880 sounded really smooth. It was a little hot on the upper frequencies (I briefly tried it as a wideband just out of curiosity); of course the DSP was able to temper that. I really liked how this sounded, but I had gotten used to HPing 300Hz LR4, and I liked how that sounded in my particular vehicle/setup. The CDM880 would need to be HP'd around 500Hz. Shout out to @daloudin for sending me his CDM88s a few months back to try out; leaving that out of this post for brevity. I preferred combo B over combo C. But I suspect I would have preferred the CDM880s if they were way off-axis.

D) MT350 + M3 Carbon: I listened to this combo for about an hour at the meet and had 3 other forum members at the meet listen to this combo as well (all of whom had previously listened to combo B). While the mid measured very comparably to the ML700.3, it sounded better when HP'd @ 250Hz BW3 (to my ears). There was one hip hop song where combo B would fatigue my ears a bit (at high volumes), and that fatigue was not found in this combo. It almost felt like this combo gave me the benefit of playing low like the ML700 cones allowed, but with the smoothness of the CDM880 domes. It's possible that these just work better in a small sealed enclosure, and maybe the ML700.3s would have been better vented into the dash. I had 3 other forum members listen to this combo, and they drew similar conclusions to mine (and I didn't share my conclusion with them until I after I heard theirs). This was the winning combo for my tastes. Note: I also tried them as a wideband just to see; they sounded pretty good! Not as good as with the tweeter, obviously. Better than the CDM880 and ML700.3 as widebands.

I believe the takeaway should be that the M3 Carbons sound really good in my particular setup. And that they are a very good driver overall. In my setup, they beat out some tough competition. It's hard for me to say that they are necessarily better than the ML700.3, as I suspect the angle and enclosure type played a big role in my outcome.

The other takeaway is, if you ever have the chance, try out different speakers in your setup! Man, I'm so glad I went to that meet and that this forum and Nick afforded me the ability to try out different drivers in my rig.

I hope this helps somebody!
 

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Would be curious to see how the combos would compare to the AF set up. Never heard the M3's but have a pair of his SQL subs and when properly boxed and tuned they are very nice drivers.
 

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I wasn't able to listen to Anu's setup with the M3's, but can give a big thumbs up to there performance in my very similar "pod on the A-pillar" setup. For the price I think they are hard to beat IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I wasn't able to listen to Anu's setup with the M3's, but can give a big thumbs up to there performance in my very similar "pod on the A-pillar" setup. For the price I think they are hard to beat IMO.
What'd you think of my setup with combo B?
 

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Nick told me when they first released to let them vent into my doors vs having the pods sealed. But I have no idea what air space I had.
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Always curious every time there is a swap-on comparation, if you guys made, every time, appropriate measurement and fine tuning before give a sentence.
 

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What'd you think of my setup with combo B?
I remember liking how it sounded, but to be honest a lot of the setups from that day have blurred together in my memory so I can't recall anything specific, other than your very close driving position! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I remember liking how it sounded, but to be honest a lot of the setups from that day have blurred together in my memory so I can't recall anything specific, other than your very close driving position! ;)
Haha, yea, that was one of my big takeaways from the meet...that my driving position is not the preferred listening position at meets. Duly noted for next time.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Always curious every time there is a swap-on comparation, if you guys made, every time, appropriate measurement and fine tuning before give a sentence.
I had retuned each setup using the exact same method/curve. Pretty quick with Dirac. Though I'm not going to call my testing scientific. I tried to be careful about noting that my results were specific to my setup and my ears.

Sidenote: I did actually find that, to my tastes, the curve that sounded best varied with each set of drivers.
 

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I remember liking how it sounded, but to be honest a lot of the setups from that day have blurred together in my memory so I can't recall anything specific, other than your very close driving position! ;)
We'll have to get together again soon, I vaguely remember everyone's set up. I'm looking forward to hearing Anu's Jeep once he gets his door pods and new subs installed.
 

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We'll have to get together again soon, I vaguely remember everyone's set up. I'm looking forward to hearing Anu's Jeep once he gets his door pods and new subs installed.
Absolutely! I've got a BM mkV waiting to go in and some Scan d3004's I'm going to try out as well to see how I like them with the M3's.

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Great post and great analysis, very informative and I enjoyed your "search for perfection"...
 
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