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Old 01-30-2009, 12:32 AM   #1
sandt38

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CDT EF61FG-TW25Pro review

Well, I got the factory grilles cut. The only way the speakers would fit was to make 1.25" baffles. Because the factory speakers were 4 inch speakers, I had to make a piece to fit the 4 inch opening, and expand it to 6.5 inches. So I have (2) 1/8 inch boards cut out to the 4 inch hole (using the 4 factory locations for the speaker screws), with an outside diameter of 6.75" (the CDT grilles are 6.75"). Then I have (2) 1/2 inch X 6.75" baffles for the mids. These layers are all glued, sandwiched, and deadened to ensure a tight seal. Because of the required offset of the new mids, I had to turn them upside down to attach the terminals. So then I had to take the factory grilles, and cut the circle so it would fit around the baffles. It was a lot of work, and I didn't get it perfect, but it is close enough. The tweeters location and angles are really close to perfect. I will have to angle the driver's side tweeter a bit, but I am in no real rush.


Set;
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f9...smDSCF0432.jpg

Installed;
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f9...smDSCF0106.jpg

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f9...smDSCF0109.jpg

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f9...smDSCF0111.jpg

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f9...smDSCF0112.jpg

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.

They sound pretty good. The midbass is very strong, I am happy about that. The midrange is pretty good. Vocals seemed very lifeless at first, but as I beat on them and break them in they are coming along, but not quite what I expected for a $600 comp set. The highs are too soft IMO. They are detailed but seem overpowered by the mids. I set the set's passive crossover to boost the tweeters +3dBs, and even needed to boost the EQ to +2dB at 12.5kHz. Otherwise, the EQ is flat. I prefer a completely flat EQ as boosting tends to shift phase and crush the image.

That said, the soundstage is HUGE. This is the biggest stage I have had in my own personal car, and I am not even using kicks! The image is expansive and deep. The set is very impressive in this respect.

Metal is very solid, and most of my listening is of this genre. This set loves rock-n-roll, metal, and rock. The mids really love to be well powered and aggressive. TOOL absolutely explodes. Danny Carey is crushing and plays with a fury and power that this set really shows off well, and Maynard growls explosively and not too forward so as to bury the nuances of Justin's bass. Adam's deep crunching riffs roll off the mid effortlessly.

When I first put in Sarah McLachlan and Norah Jones I was disappointed in the set. Their voices were very flat and lifeless. I like to use these ladies because their voices and instrumentation are difficult for a set to reproduce. While they did a good job tonally, they were completely lifeless. It was sad to have such beautiful voices come across so flat. Now that they are breaking in, though, the ladies voices are coming to life.

I think I may go ahead and try getting a set of their metal dome tweeters. The silk are nice, and not fatiguing at all, but unless they open up with break in, I don't think they will suit my tastes. Really, I think the tweeter is the weak point of the set. I like my Audax silk, semi-horn loaded tweets I use at home better then these, and the Audax tweets are A LOT less expensive.

All in all, the set is OK. If I had paid the $600 retail the tone of my review would be different. IMO the Adire Koda 6.1s I have used for so long is a better set all the way around. I will give this set a little time to break in before I give a final analysis, but thus far I am not blown out of the water. I am sure most people would be thrilled with them. But if you know me, you know I am particularly anal, and I expect the very best for my money. At their current sale price on Woofers Etc. they are a steal.

Last edited by sandt38; 02-08-2009 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:48 AM   #2
joshualittle

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Nice review. That sucks though that your disapointed in them. I just bought a couple sets of hertz mlk 165 and I hope I don't suffer the same fate when I get them installed as you did. Anyways keep us updated and hopefully they get better with age.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:11 AM   #3
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I didn't care much for the DRT25 Silks, like you said they were too soft for my taste. So I upgraded to the aluminium DRT's & am much happier. The aluminium have just a bit more of an edged to em' while still very smooth & nonfatiguing.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:18 AM   #4
sandt38

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I wish I had done a kickpanel install, and had the talent with fiberglass to horn load the tweeter. I realize the directionality issues, but with a properly placed kick that shouldn't be an issue.

So I suspect a hard dome is in my future as well.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandt38 View Post
So I suspect a hard dome is in my future as well.
If you do go w/ the titanium dome, I'd be interested in a review of them as well. All I've heard of them was from a CDT retailer, saying "I only recommend them to the Focal crowd".
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:58 PM   #6
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I think the dull midrange is due to CDT's high x-over. Every CDT set I've heard suffers from that unless you get the mid/midbass on axis.

BTW looks like a great car for a kick panel install.
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimi77 View Post
I think the dull midrange is due to CDT's high x-over. Every CDT set I've heard suffers from that unless you get the mid/midbass on axis.

BTW looks like a great car for a kick panel install.
Tis true,on the lower to mid level xovers but the higher line xovers have a lower point,or so I have been told this by a CDT dealer.
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:57 PM   #8
sandt38

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjhabit View Post
If you do go w/ the titanium dome, I'd be interested in a review of them as well. All I've heard of them was from a CDT retailer, saying "I only recommend them to the Focal crowd".
I am looking at this set:

http://www.woofersetc.com/index.cfm?...roduct_ID=4569

The lower crossover point and dome interchangability looks like the real deal. If I read CDT's site correctly it comes with the aluminum, silk, and titaniums. I don't usually like a real bright tweeter, so the aluminum sounds like a better option (thinking Koda tweeter here). But if it is really interchangeable and comes with all 3 domes, I will review each in detail, for you and the forum.

Maybe you could lend your input to this set... By spending this extra $300 I will have exceeded my desired spending point significantly, and I would hate to be really pissed off at a forum favorite .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimi77 View Post
I think the dull midrange is due to CDT's high x-over. Every CDT set I've heard suffers from that unless you get the mid/midbass on axis.

BTW looks like a great car for a kick panel install.
I didn't notice any acceptable improvement on axis either Jimi. I like to move around the car and find the sweet spots to see what I can do to improve the SQ, so I do this a lot. The only thing I did notice was the midbass becoming more powerful and forward, washing out the vocals. I like the midbass a lot, it almost reminds me of the power and laid back feel of the Koda 6" mid, so I don't want to EQ it out of the equation. But the set lacks the crisp sound of the aluminum Koda tweet I love so much. I know Dan utilized a unique double dome and dispersion plug on the grill, but aluminum should bring the vocals forward enough to make it usable, hopefully not terribly forward .

As far as kicks, with the overhang of the dash, and the fact that this is my daily driver/family vehicle (young kids don't use discretion with their shoes, and I would hate to kill one of them for ruining my speakers) makes it a poor candidate for kicks . Also, I think the dash overhang would ruin my image.

Last edited by sandt38; 01-30-2009 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 01-31-2009, 03:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandt38 View Post
I am looking at this set:

http://www.woofersetc.com/index.cfm?...roduct_ID=4569

The lower crossover point and dome interchangability looks like the real deal. If I read CDT's site correctly it comes with the aluminum, silk, and titaniums. I don't usually like a real bright tweeter, so the aluminum sounds like a better option (thinking Koda tweeter here). But if it is really interchangeable and comes with all 3 domes, I will review each in detail, for you and the forum.

Maybe you could lend your input to this set... By spending this extra $300 I will have exceeded my desired spending point significantly, and I would hate to be really pissed off at a forum favorite .
Well I'm every happy w/ the DRT-26As braxial mounted, but I didn't pay that kind of price for em' either. That looks to be an excellent deal getting 3 sets & a kick *** crossover though. The crossover alone sells for that price, so anybody would be stupid not to get the tweets w/ it .
Anyway, I did some critical listening & pulled out some Tool & some Damien Rice w/ Lisa Hanning . And the tweets handled both extremes really well. I wish I was better at articulating their sound, but I'm just no good at that type of thing. I can say they are very detailed & not harsh at all w/ the tweet attenuaed @ -3db. If anything, I think jimi is right on the money. My midrange is the weak point, just not as "in your face" as I'd like. I'm starting to think I may benefit w/ a crossover upgrade as well. I have the ES-6 mids & EX-480 crossover btw.
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Old 01-31-2009, 04:18 PM   #10
sandt38

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I prefer a more critical tweeter, but not a really bright tweeter, like titaniums tend to be. I have found aluminum to be a really nice go between.

I like the fact that you had to attenuate the tweeter a bit through the passive. It makes me feel better about their output. I hate having to boost through an EQ. I would much rather attenuate, and I would much rather do it through the passive cross then the EQ.

When I get my tax return in a couple weeks, I guess I may go ahead and give that a try. If I am not happy, I may have a great deal on that crossover/tweeter set for ya

Last edited by sandt38; 01-31-2009 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 01-31-2009, 04:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandt38 View Post
When I get my tax return in a couple weeks, I guess I may go ahead and give that a try. If I am not happy, I may have a great deal on that crossover/tweeter set for ya
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:46 PM   #12
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i have the 450 xover iwth the fg mid and same tweeter.. i think the tweeter is entirely too damn loud...lol i have to attenuate it -6db most times. its very smooth and detailed.. i agree that the midranges are crossed WAY too high... the classic 3 ways are very nice.. im going to keep my set as of now and grab a HD3" mid range and one of the hd300 crossovers.. i think its going to fill the small gaps where the tweeter and mid rangge struggle.

as for on/of axis with my mids its makes a HUGE difference... the mid range output is much improved.. not to mention definition and tone is much improved as well as blending...

for the 170 for the fg set with the Tw-s25 tweeter that isn't a better set IMO...
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:37 AM   #13
sandt38

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Well, I just contacted CDT with my complaint, and to see what they thought of my proposed upgrade. It just pisses me off that I have to spend $300 more to get a $600 set to hopefully sound almost as good as my 6 year old $325 set.

New units, my cost/retail:
CDT $550/$950
CDT comps: $250/$600, CDT upgrades: $300/$350

Adire $125/$325
Koda 6.1 $125/$325, and the best set I have ever heard.


Hmmmm, I am not feeling the CDT love right now.

Last edited by sandt38; 02-04-2009 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:55 AM   #14
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this isent the same set j/w how it would stand up to this set with the tw-25a tweet, also has anybody used this midwoofer? http://www.woofersetc.com/index.cfm?...roduct_ID=4691
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Old 02-04-2009, 11:20 AM   #15
sandt38

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I doubt the tweeter will be too soft. Aluminum usually offers the best of both worlds, it is a metal dome, and more critical and detailed, but it doesn't have the issues with ringing and the piercing highs as in a hard dome titanium. I see it uses the 400EX crossover, though, so I doubt the crossover point will be better, as it is a lower line crossover then my 450.

Like I said in the first post, this set will make most people very happy, and apparently it has because everyone has great things to say about CDT comps.
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