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Discussion Starter #1
Here's what I'm currently running:

Pioneer 860mp 3-way mode
Zapco Studio 50/CDT tw25s
Zapco Studio 150/CDT ef-6cf
Zapco Studio 150/Arc Audio 12D2(IDQ12 style)

Overall I am happy with this setup... when I first got going I only had the two studio 150's, one for tweets and mids, and one for sub. Then I picked up a studio 100 from ebay(I still have it... more later)

I bought the CDT's as the EF-61CF/25 set following the latest trend, and was very unhappy with the way the set sounded with the passive 560's(never been a big passive fan anyways). Keep in mind that this probably has a lot to do with the fact that I must run my tweets up in the pillars(trust me there is no alternative in my vehicle) and that the mid locations are very poor. I understand that I could have been running them with more than 75RMS per door, but I haven't ever been a real high power guy for comps anyways, and I am sure that the Zaps were pushing a little more to them anyways.

I decided to go active and did my rewiring. I unhooked the sub for the moment and used my two 150's for the comp set. BIG DIFFERENCE. The CDT set sounded so much better run active and they strongly recommend against doing this...

The studio 150 was way too much for the tweets vs. the mids and so I was having to do a 10db cut on the deck to tame them. I picked up a studio 100 from ebay and it was still too much but I was able to do less of a cut on the deck(-6db or so). I think this once again has something to do with my up high location but I've heard plenty of cars at shows in the SoCal area that sounded great with this setup... from my personal research some competitors are having good results with this setup as well. I think all of the negative attitude from tweets up high come from when people try to do it with passives and it is impossible to tame the tweets enough... active is a must.

Eventually I found a super hard to get studio 50 and picked it up and pulled the studio 100. Its 25RMS per channel seemed perfect for the tweets vs. the 75RMS per channel for the mids and I was not having to do any cut on the deck anymore.

So, now for the problems. The mids are great looking, and very high quality, but are waaaay too efficient in the 1-2k range and are ear killers when turned up. This may be because of the carbon fiber cone, or the less than ideal location. I am having to do major eq adjusment in this region. I've been considering stepping down to less power with the studio 100 to go from 75 to 50RMS per mid to try to tame the 1-2k but I haven't tried it yet.

The tweets hate anything lower than 4k to my ears and so I am crossing them at 5k/18db-O and the mids at 4k/12db-O. Everyone always talks about how laid back these tweets are and to me they are so laid back they're almost asleep. I can't get any crispness or detail out of them to save my life, and you guys can see that I'm not using junk gear... I used to do car audio for a living and now have different career and am just getting back in to the hobby in my own vehicle. I just can't understand why I cant get this setup to sound good and I am pointing fingers at the CDT's right now.

FYI, my install is A+ quality so it is not the problem. I have about $500 worth of dynamat xtreme in two layers throughout the entire vehicle, four layers in the front doors, and on all of the plastic interior panels. All wiring is stinger including RCA's. The vehicle is a 2004 dodge dakota quad cab, and the stock location are OKAY, but not what I would call ideal. They should not be causing this much trouble as I've heard installs in way worse stock locations with cheaper components and less damping that sound way better than my current sysytem. The tweeter location is a must, I know some will argue this but if you sat in my truck and looked at everything you would see why.

So, I am looking for new mids and tweets, you know my situation, you know my amplification(remember I've got that extra studio 100),and you know my problems.... suggestions????
 

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Are you limited to mounting depth for the mids?

Also have you installed some ensolite in the doors or deflex pads, etc, to help behind the speakers?

I don't really have a rec. but knowing the mounting depth will help weed out different choices.

Also a budget will help too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mounting depth isn't a major issue.

I'm looking to spend about $100 or less per mid and $75 or less per tweet.

There is a large brace glued to the doorskin behind the speaker location so there isn't any where I could attach a pad.
 

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never heard those seas mids

but ill cosgin on those lpg's tweet above 3k they are awesome

personally I wouldnt play them too much lower than that, but thats my ears only

and those cdt tweets are ear not very good, and that mid in that particular set is really just average, below even

not really a fan of the cdt mids other than the 07's (but those are more expensive)

good luck
 

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I could certainly recommend much higher quality drivers, but I'm not so sure that's the problem in this case (with the exception of the tweeter being of subpar quality as compared to larger chambered tweets, and/or more expensive ones).

Many of the problems you describe seem to be setup and tuning related issues. Although the install maybe A+, the proper use of equaliztion, crossover, and level matching is critical.

It sounds like you have a good ear, have you tried turning the tweeter level up and equalizing any problem areas?

Also, with the mid being harsh at 1-2khz, is this true with the tweeters turned off?

If you do want new drivers, maybe take a look at perhaps a pair of vifa xt19's and some Seas W18, L18, or CA18 mids. Price is about $95 for the tweeters, and $112 - $310 depending on which mids you want. You should notice some increase in bass output, and when properly utilized midrange clarity. For about $210 using the vifa xt19 and the Seas CA18 I think you would be extremely happy with the performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's funny that you mentioned the mids being harsh with the tweets off, because the more I cut the tweets the smoother the mids seem. It kind of leads me to beleive that my issues are partly related to phasing. I am running the tweets reverse phase because they are a considerably different distance from my ears than the mids and it seems to clean up the 3-5k area quite a bit as well. I'm going to try switching the passenger side tweet back to regular phase and leave mine reversed as soon as I get a chance to see if that clears anything up for me.

I was reading through posts last night and saw you mention running 8k/1st order to cross your tweets, which I found funny because I had tried that as an experiment before I installed my Arc 12, and it seemed to fix the reverse slope response curve the tweeters seem to have from 4-10k. I didn't end up sticking with it but I just tried it again for fun after reading your post and it really seemed to help a lot this time. It didn't have as much effect before I think because I had my woofers crossed too low to account for no sub and it was causing some upper frequency distortion. I also bumped the mids from 4k to 3.15k and stuck with the 2nd order cross. I think that CDT crosses these mids in their passives at 5k, which to me is too high for almost any midwoofer. Just sounds plain stinky.

I haven't always been a big fan of steep crossover curves because they seem to create issues with blending the drivers together smoothly, and I never seem to be able to get steep slopes to match each other quite right... there's always a notch or a peak somewhere, and if the overlap is too great the phasing likes to get all crazy too. They work great sometimes though...

The vifa xt19 is surely an impressive driver and I would love to try it but my mounting location is very space limited. I'm a machinist(among a million other things) and had to turn custom mounting rings from aluminum for the TW25s to fit. I also had planned on doing this for the LPG's if I decide to get those.

What other compact domes would you recommend knowing that I'm space limited? How about other mid options if I decide to get spendy?
 
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