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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, wanted to drop a bit of a review on some Italian drivers that I’ve put in my car. I have had everything for at least a couple months, giving them plenty of time to break in and get the tune dialed in. Here’s my setup:

iPhone 8 256GB + ALAC Files >
Apple Camera Kit 3 + Helix DSP.2 + USB HEC >
Sinfoni Presto + Sinfoni Andante + MMATS Hifi4250d >

Sinfoni Tempo10 (50w ea. @4Ω) +
Audio Development ESA Mid ([email protected]Ω) +
Audio Development ESA Bass 6.5" ([email protected]Ω) +
Audio Development Vipera F12 (d2) ([email protected]~25hz, [email protected]Ω)

Tweets: 4khz and up
Mids: 315hz - 3150hz
Midbass: 70hz - 250hz
Sub: 25hz - 55hz

All slopes are Bessel 24db/oct. The car is a 2009 Audi A3 hatchback. All amps and drivers purchased brand new. Tweets and Mids are in dash pods on-axis, Midbass are in factory door locations. Sub is rear facing in ported enclosure, strapped down in the hatch.

Sinfoni Tempo10 Tweets: I have had the Sinfoni tweets for several months now, and previously used JL C6, Audison 1.1, HAT L1ProR2, and AF GB15. In my 3way setup, the tweets play from 4khz up, providing an excellent sense of space and presence. There are lots of rave reviews about these tweets, and mine is no different. Effortless and never fatiguing, the Sinfoni tweets provide excellent accuracy and staging.

AD ESA Mids: The AD ESA Mids replaced AF GB25’s. I found that the GB’s didn’t cross low enough for my louder listening levels. I had to keep them above 500hz, whereas I now have the AD’s at 315hz. Both were in sealed pods, though the AD pod is larger and more solidly build (0.3L, 3” PVC, stuffed, carpeted). In terms of content delivery, these are the star of the show in my car. Vocals and guitars are accurate yet smooth, powerful yet dynamic. You can tell from the physical feel that the motor is robust and the cone is very lightweight, while the suspension hints at its significant 7mm xmax. At 3Ω, these have the nice benefit of coaxing more power from your amp. My Sinfoni Andante is rated at [email protected]Ω and [email protected]Ω, so I estimate [email protected]Ω. With this power I can turn it up louder than bearable without notable distortion or strain, all while keeping the high pass relatively low at 315hz. The end result is a deep and engaging midrange stage.

AD ESA Bass Midbass: My car is very loud in the 50-200hz range (~85db) because racecar. I went through a lot of drivers trying to find something that could play loud enough to overcome my car’s noise floor, and the AD’s do the trick magnificently. They are massive beefers, again very heavy with obvious capability for big output via the 18mm xmas. They are also 3Ω, getting approximately 325w from the front two channels of the MMATS Hifi4250d amp. In the past I have tried Dynaudio E650, JL C6, HAT L6Se, and AF GB60. While each of these are easily better in a 2way setup because of their upper midrange, they did not get nearly loud and low enough for my application. After going 3way and adding tons of extra deadening in the doors, the AD’s slam surprisingly deep in the doors, while remaining supremely clear and tight. On an upcoming road trip where I won’t have room for the subwoofer, I have set up a tune with no high pass on the AD’s - these things go ridiculously low for 6.5”s, perfect for getting major bass up front before subwoofer considerations.

AD Vipera F12 d2 Sub: AD again delivers silly good on this driver. I purchased this sub to replace a Dynaudio E1200 in a 2cf sealed box, aiming to gain more output in a smaller enclosure. I originally built a 1.3cf sealed box, but wasn’t fully satisfied with the output. I ended up switching it into a JL pre-fab box as an experiment, approx 1cf, port tuned around 25hz. WOW - the output from the ported enclosure is breathtaking for a single 12”, and the accuracy is essentially on par with the sealed E1200 after tuning. With a Qts of 0.23, I should’ve known a ported box would be better… With the proper enclosure and tuning, I don’t necessarily believe there’s a better sub available that balances outstanding SQ with such impressive output.

Summary: After a LOT of high-end driver swapping, I have finally achieved the SQL that I’ve been after in this car. These Italian drivers deliver accuracy and dynamics in spades, while easily digesting significant wattage and reaching very impressive volume levels. For my application-specific needs, each individual driver performs flawlessly, and finally I don’t find myself spending hours poring over data sheets and reviews trying to find the next improvement from my drivers. This gear is expensive, but if you are after spectacular SQL, it’s more so much more economical to get the right stuff the first time!

Premium Member
1,168 Posts
Thanks for taking the time to post your review! I’ve been curious about those ESA mids, but haven’t had a reason to place and order for a set yet. It’s fun to hear your impressions.
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