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Discussion Starter #1
I've been considering upgrading the 3.5" dash speakers in my 2018 Dodge Challenger. Right now, I'm using the Kenwood Excelon KFC-XP6903C component set (6x9 midbass in doors and 3.5" coaxial in dash), which I'm actually pretty happy with, but I also know that I can do better.

I'm only interested in using the stock dash speaker locations and don't want to move to completely separate midrange and tweeters. REALLY not interested in any "pods" or custom a-pillars or anything like that - which is why I want to stay with a coaxial in the dash. Looks aren't really important since they will be hidden under the stock dash piece anyway. I also don't want to go to a 2-way setup where there is a mid-bass in the doors and a regular tweeter-only int he dash or a-pillars - I really like the idea of having a mid/tweeter in the dash, which is why I'm looking for a 3.5" coaxial...

I've found a few different "high end" 3" or 3.5" coaxial speakers (very few options) - or at least they appear to be "high end" based on price:


1. Illusion Audio C3CX - these are 3" (not 3.5") coaxial speakers with external crossovers for mid/tweeters. They don't use the same 2-screw mounting system as the stock or "drop in" aftermarket speakers so - and since they are 3" instead of 3.5", there would be at least some custom work involved to get them installed. I've seen these things for as much as $900 new (on Ebay).




2. Critical Mass RS3 - these are 3.5" coaxial speakers that use the same mounting style as my stock 3.5" speakers, so they would be simple "drop in" speakers without any custom work. Really can't find much info on them though.



Really, that's about it. AudioFrog has a 4" coaxial, but I think that would require more custom work than I'm will to do (since they are bigger than the stock speaker size).

Anyone have any input on the Illusion Audio or Critical Mass RS3 speakers? I can get both for a pretty good deal right now. Or - does anyone know of any other "high end" 3.5" coaxials that I may have missed?

Also - if I go with the 3" Illusion Audio speakers, any help with how I would mount them in my 3.5" stock speaker locations? Has anyone ever heard of any "adapters" for 3" -> 3.5" speaker mounting? I'm assuming it will just have to be custom...

Thank you!
 

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I would take the Illusions in a heartbeat. Although the aren't a true pointsource, they are close, and since the mid and tweet run on separate channels you can delay the tweeter a bit to act more like a real pointsource.

All you should need is a small adapter ring. I'm not sure what's available, but they wouldn't be tough to make, and if you have some time, I'm sure you can get a member with a router to cut some out for you, if you can send the dimensions.
 

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Do they still sell the C3x new ? I'm wondering if prices are so high is because they are not produced by Illusion Audio anymore ? Seems like I read that somewhere. I've only heard good things about these speakers but otherwise don't know anything about them.

JTrosky I"m thinking of getting a Chrysler 300 but would like to put my 5.25" (2.625" mounting depth) Satoris in the dash. They would be proud of the dash and I realize it would require complete custom work. What I'd be interested in is how much depth is available in the stock mounting location area if one is willing to cut out all the plastic. I've had success in two vehicles doing major surgery on the dash locations without removing the windshield or the dash. In this case I'd be willing to remove the windshield but probably not the dash. I'm just wondering how much you can see in there and if it would be possible to get some depth in there. Do you know of any photos of this area ?
 

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I’m pretty sure Illusion Audio is no longer selling speakers. There was some sort of plant issue I think and they were supposed to be going back into production but it doesn’t look like that ever happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm not sure if Illusion Audio is still actually making speakers or not. Their website is still up and they do have the C3CX's listed on their website and their website does has a 2020 copyright message, but that doesn't mean that they are actually still manufacturing them.

I actually decided to just go ahead and purchase a NIB set of the C3CX's from Ebay. I got them for pretty good price (about 50% off of their normal Ebay price). I just hope that I can actually physically install them without too much work. I probably should have done a little more investigating in regards to fitment before I purchased them, but I received a good offer from the seller and then counter-offered and he actually accepted, so it was a spur-of-the-moment thing and I decided to go ahead and purchase. They do actually sell some pods for them on Ebay as well, but I don't think I'd go the pod route - just don't like the look. If they end up being too much work to install in the factory locations, I may just end up re-selling them. We'll see.

At the very least, I may need to find someone to make me some "conversion" rings for fitment like @gijoe mentioned above. I'm hoping that they will fit depth-wise (I think they will, but I don't remember the specifics of how much room I have - just going from memory when I replaced the stock dash speakers). I'll try to take some pictures of the available dash space when I pop the dash panel off to check fitment of these when they arrive.
 

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It's fairly easy to make custom adapters out of 1/8" or 1/4" ABS plastic sheet using simple tools...a drill & a jigsaw, or a hole saw, or router if you have one.

Make a cardboard or posterboard template of the entire mounting location and see if you could fit a slightly smaller diameter mid-range plus a small tweeter tucked into one of the corners of the opening in a custom mounting baffle.

You said you were looking for something "High-End", so maybe see if the Audiofrog GB25 + the tiny Gladen Aerospace 20 tweeter would fit on a baffle in the opening. You could simply use a 2" PVC end cap on the back side of the GB25 for its enclosure.

And though I haven't actually seen these in the wild yet, the newly announced Audison Thesis Voce 3.0 II midrange would probably be a good candidate.

On a side note, most coaxials are designed to be used in I.B. or "free air". But most of the high-end component midrange drivers will usually perform better in a small sealed enclosure, from 0.25L-1.5L.

But this would all depend on how low you need to cross the midrange over to the midbass. If you won't be getting close to the Fc then it's not much of an issue.

EDIT: Good luck with the C3CX.
 

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You'll be happy with the Illusion C3CX, they are a great mid/tweeter combo. Some of the early releases were notorious for blowing tweeters. But, later models are suppose to have the issue corrected.

And Illusion is still producing/selling product. They just recently released a redesigned C8 and there should be a new C6 released soon as well. There was an interruption in the supply chain, but as I understand it that has been resolved.

@jtrosky I'll post some pics below to show how I mounted my Illusion C3s (same basket as C3CX) in my Scion xB. My opening was larger than yours, but it would be the same principal. I did this before I purchased my router, so I used my dremel to make all of my cuts. If I were doing this today, I would use my router and some sort of hear/UV stable plastic to build the baffles. For the time, it worked.

C3 next to OE "tweeter"




Ghetto Dremel "router" setup...


Cutting rings...


Rings and baffles cut...


Clamped, glued and then sealed...



Drivers mounted in baffles, baffles into car, and foam treatment around the OE grills...


 

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I actually had to replace a C3cX yesterday when my shop was installing my new subs. The midrange wasn’t working and
my dealer said he reached out to Orca and they are 2nd day airing them. Thank goodness I bought them from my shop. But Illusion was in business as of this time yesterday, or the shop is lying too me..
 

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I find it hilarious that people are propagating this rumor that Orca has shut down Illusion Audio.
 

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I find it hilarious that people are propagating this rumor that Orca has shut down Illusion Audio.
That’s why I said pretty sure. All I know is people haven’t been able to reliably get their speakers. I also see stories that they are still producing speakers but they’re very hard to get so....
 

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That’s why I said pretty sure. All I know is people haven’t been able to reliably get their speakers. I also see stories that they are still producing speakers but they’re very hard to get so....
Yeah, finding them isn't easy, so the speculation makes perfect sense to me. When Crutchfield doesn't have them, but some random website that nobody has heard of says they have them in stock, it's easy to understand why people think Illusion is done.
 

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Illusion still has the C3cx, but they are working on a new version. IF you do go with the current version, USE PROTECTION ON THE TWEETERS AND CROSS THEM HIGH. People seem to forget that these are very tiny tweeters and cannot handle a "normal" crossover
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Actually, if I can fit them, I will be using the included passive crossover and not taking advantage of the fact that I could amp the mid and tweeter actively - at least for now. I don't have enough amp channels or enough DSP channels to run them actively at this time.

I have read that they have two versions of the passive crossover - an older version and a newer version. No idea which version is included in the set I bought (they are "new in box", but no idea how long ago they were actually purchased).

I need to make sure that I actually receive them before I worry about the details too much. :) I have never had issues with Ebay purchases (bought a LOT of stuff on Ebay), but...
 

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Once you have the product in hand, I am sure you will be able to contact Orca to confirm you have the latest version of the passive crossovers. The passive network on the C3CX is quite nice, and will at least provide you with up to 6dB attenuation on the tweeters if needed.

And if you ever do add amp channels, you can maintain the passive network due to the bi-amp capabilities. I know of several people who went fully active with the C3CX, but kept the passive network in-line for added tweeter protection. As @SkizeR said, the tweeters are quite small at 14mm, so don't try to use a low high pass filter. It absolutely isn't necessary with the C3 midrange anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Once you have the product in hand, I am sure you will be able to contact Orca to confirm you have the latest version of the passive crossovers. The passive network on the C3CX is quite nice, and will at least provide you with up to 6dB attenuation on the tweeters if needed.

And if you ever do add amp channels, you can maintain the passive network due to the bi-amp capabilities. I know of several people who went fully active with the C3CX, but kept the passive network in-line for added tweeter protection. As @SkizeR said, the tweeters are quite small at 14mm, so don't try to use a low high pass filter. It absolutely isn't necessary with the C3 midrange anyway.
Yeah, with my luck, it will be the older-style crossover, which, from my understanding, crossed the tweeter too low and was the cause of the tweeters blowing on the earlier units. That is just what I read - supposedly, the newer crossover uses a higher crossover freq for the tweeter. Don't know if that is true or not though.

I'm guessing this "Orca" is the owner of Illusion Audio? Not familiar with that name.

Thanks for all of the info - I appreciate it.
 

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I know an installer that can make that Kenwood set sound incredible. His fave drivers are Morel, so that is saying alot.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I know an installer that can make that Kenwood set sound incredible. His fave drivers are Morel, so that is saying alot.
Yeah, I do have the Kenwoods sounding fantastic - and most people would probably just leave things be (I've spent a TON of time tuning my current system via my Helix DSP.3) - and I still recommend that Kenwood set to people all of the time. That being said, if I can get such great sound with the Kenwood set, I can only wonder how much better it can be with even better speakers. Again, I love the Kenwood KFC-XP6903C speaker set - but I'm also not fooling myself into thinking that they are the best 3.5" coaxial speaker in the world either. :) There is always room for improvement!

I'm excited to see how much better I can make my system sound with the Illusion Audio 3.5" coaxials. They should be here on Monday, so we'll see. :) Who knows - maybe I'll end up going back to the Kenwoods since they sounded better. I find that unlikely, but....

But yeah, for the ~$200 price tag, that Kenwood Excelon KFC-XP6903C component speaker set is a no-brainer for those looking to keep costs down (and need a 6x9 / 3.5" component set). They are nowhere near the best speakers on the market, but you'd have a hard time finding a better-sounding set of speakers for the price (with some tuning). I originally had Infinity Reference speakers all around and I like the Kenwoods so much better.
 

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I would take the Illusions in a heartbeat. Although the aren't a true pointsource, they are close, and since the mid and tweet run on separate channels you can delay the tweeter a bit to act more like a real pointsource.

All you should need is a small adapter ring. I'm not sure what's available, but they wouldn't be tough to make, and if you have some time, I'm sure you can get a member with a router to cut some out for you, if you can send the dimensions.
You don’t need to delay the tweeter, timing is done from the voice coils of both drivers as that is where the ‘sound’ is timed from for the benefit of time alignment (not the cone or dome), so as long as illusion have made them well they should be good to go from the same channel of time alignment effectively via the passives
 

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You don’t need to delay the tweeter, timing is done from the voice coils of both drivers as that is where the ‘sound’ is timed from for the benefit of time alignment (not the cone or dome), so as long as illusion have made them well they should be good to go from the same channel of time alignment effectively via the passives
The illusions arent point source. Their coils arent aligned and still need a hair bit of delay
 
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