CarAudioForum.com

Go Back   CarAudioForum.com > Discussion Forums > Car Audio: General

Reply
Old 02-22-2009, 07:36 PM   #1
sandt38

Associate
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: So, how's that HOPE and CHANGE $hit workin out for ya?
Posts: 13,715
sandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond repute



CDT EX550i crossover & DRT26A Tweeter Upgrade review

So I recieved my CDT EX550i Crossover as well as the CDT Modular DRT26A Tweeter set (image can be seen here). The crossover point on the 550i is at 2.5kHz, with a 24db/octave slope. The benefit of the low crossover point is the reduction of audible comb filtering, and generally a smoother transition from mid to tweeter. The tweeter uses an aluminum dome which is a nice go between when a hard dome is too bright, and a soft dome is just not critical enough for the listener.

Please keep in mind, I am an extremely critical listener. Many issues I notice will not be apparent to most listeners. I found very few people who had the same complaints as I did in my initial set's review. You can read my initial review of the set here. This upgrade was purchased in an attempt to address some comb filtering, cone breakup at or near the crossover point, a slightly canned midrange, and a silk tweeter that was a little to soft for my tastes.

Now, on to the install in question. 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. The mids are CDT EF61FG mids.

Just getting these units in my hand was impressive. Everything about the upgrades just feels vastly superior to the EX-450 and the TW25S Pros

The DRT-26 is SO much nicer then the TW25 (which are well built in their own right). The units weigh I would guess 50% more then the TW25s. They are really built nice, and the black matte housings are very sexy. The color offset of the aluminum domes looks sweet. There is no way in hell you could be unhappy with the mounting options. Flush flat, flush angled, surface flat, surface angled, and "pods". I chose the flush angled mounts so I could play with my angling a bit better. The quick release is pretty damn slick, and very secure. Just 1/8 turn with the release key and the driver pops out and the spring releases it from the seat. Popping it in is very easy, and very smooth, without difficulty from the release spring. A solid click let's you know it is engaged. The price on these tweeters is twice that of the TW25Pro, and just the feel of the unit seems to justify the cost. But how does it sound!?!?!

The 550i crossovers are very nice too. They are a little bigger then the EX450s, but not as significantly as I expected. The covers are very hard to get off of them to adjust for midwoofer and tweeter options, and I was worried about breaking the cases. That is my only real complaint about any of what I received today. The terminations are beautiful, and extremely solid. There is a plethora of adjustability with this crossover set. My only other gripe is that I do wish they were marked better so I knew where I was going with the tweeter adjustment. It is just 4 clicks on the switch. The mid is well marked, which seems odd as the tweeter adjustment would be more critical IMO.

The upgrades definately met and/or exceeded my desired goals. The crossover adjustment made a tremendous initial impact. The mid breakup and canny sound is all gone. Comb filtering appears non-existent, when playing some lower frequency information, in particular the saxophone in "Shine on You Crazy Diamond", and Dave Matthews "#34". I also ran it through the paces listening to Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon, Sarah McLachlan's "Adia" and "Angel", TOOL's Lateralus, and Steely Dan's A Decade of Steely Dan. Female vocals are very rich and inviting. Sarah's voice was so sweet, and so beautiful through the tweeters. Norah's breathless voice really rings true to her nickname "The Queen of Serene" through this set. I noticed no sibilance, like one would expect from metal domes. I like to use Dave and Floyd, and Sarah, and Norah because their voices as well as all the orchestral instruments, and pianos really put a set of tweeters to work, and crossover points get tested throughout the entire song. The aluminum domes are so detailed, and critical but they still maintain the delicate sound of silk. I cannot discern any real ringing at all. In short, they are accurate but not fatiguing. If you like silk, you will love these. But if you are a titanium dome fan, they will likely be too soft. Their off axis response is pretty good, but the wide range of mounting options should make off axis listening far from a requirement.

So to conclude this review, I have to say I am very pleased. Mike, an authorized CDT dealer from Exige/Vertex Audio deserves props for amazing customer service, and for providing me my goods so quickly I almost thought he lived right around the corner from me!!! I ordered them Wednesday, and got them Friday! I will likely be performing further upgrades to the set. Mike and I are discussing some ES-06 mids... so there may be more CDT reviews to come.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of CDT's higher end sets to a discerning listener.

I wanted to include a few images for those of you interested in seeing the units.

Crossovers topless (I circled the 2 adjustment switches, the mid is up higher, and the tweet is lower)
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f9...smDSCF0116.jpg

Crossovers (EX450 on the left, 550i on the right)
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f9...smDSCF0117.jpg

Passenger side, drivers perspective (sexy black and aluminum)
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f9...smDSCF0122.jpg
(Compare with TW25Pro Silks)
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f9...smDSCF0106.jpg

Drivers side. When I look down at the tweeter, just tilting my head, this is exactly what I see.
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f9...smDSCF0123.jpg

Drivers side, just outside the steering wheel
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f9...smDSCF0124.jpg

Here is the box, with several of the mounting options. The angled flush mounts are in the vehicle already, so you can see just how many options there really are!
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f9...smDSCF0125.jpg
sandt38 is offline   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
Help Syrian Refugees Survive. Donate Now!
Or text REFUGEES to 50555 to give $10 to USA for UNHCR
Old 02-22-2009, 07:43 PM   #2
Postman

Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Chula Vista Ca.
Posts: 498
Postman has much to be proud ofPostman has much to be proud ofPostman has much to be proud ofPostman has much to be proud ofPostman has much to be proud ofPostman has much to be proud ofPostman has much to be proud ofPostman has much to be proud ofPostman has much to be proud ofPostman has much to be proud of



Good stuff,sounds like you are a happy camper



Postman is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 02-22-2009, 08:10 PM   #3
joshualittle

Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Zanesville,Ohio
Posts: 3,869
joshualittle has a reputation beyond reputejoshualittle has a reputation beyond reputejoshualittle has a reputation beyond reputejoshualittle has a reputation beyond reputejoshualittle has a reputation beyond reputejoshualittle has a reputation beyond reputejoshualittle has a reputation beyond reputejoshualittle has a reputation beyond reputejoshualittle has a reputation beyond reputejoshualittle has a reputation beyond reputejoshualittle has a reputation beyond repute



Impressive review, I'm glad your finally happy!!
joshualittle is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 02-23-2009, 01:23 AM   #4
bassfreak

Freestyle GOD
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: lafayette,Louisiana
Posts: 18,755
bassfreak has a reputation beyond reputebassfreak has a reputation beyond reputebassfreak has a reputation beyond reputebassfreak has a reputation beyond reputebassfreak has a reputation beyond reputebassfreak has a reputation beyond reputebassfreak has a reputation beyond reputebassfreak has a reputation beyond reputebassfreak has a reputation beyond reputebassfreak has a reputation beyond reputebassfreak has a reputation beyond repute



as soon as work picks back up im getting the ES-07 and ES tweeters... with active xover... i think they will be worth the money..
bassfreak is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 02-23-2009, 01:49 AM   #5
Jimi77

Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 24,833
Jimi77 has a reputation beyond reputeJimi77 has a reputation beyond reputeJimi77 has a reputation beyond reputeJimi77 has a reputation beyond reputeJimi77 has a reputation beyond reputeJimi77 has a reputation beyond reputeJimi77 has a reputation beyond reputeJimi77 has a reputation beyond reputeJimi77 has a reputation beyond reputeJimi77 has a reputation beyond reputeJimi77 has a reputation beyond repute



Nice. I'm glad things worked out for you. I'm not sure what CDT is thinking with the high crossover point on their other x-overs.
Jimi77 is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 02-23-2009, 02:25 AM   #6
pjhabit

Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,555
pjhabit has a reputation beyond reputepjhabit has a reputation beyond reputepjhabit has a reputation beyond reputepjhabit has a reputation beyond reputepjhabit has a reputation beyond reputepjhabit has a reputation beyond reputepjhabit has a reputation beyond reputepjhabit has a reputation beyond reputepjhabit has a reputation beyond reputepjhabit has a reputation beyond reputepjhabit has a reputation beyond repute



Glad to see you're enjoying thr DRT-26A tweets...as I sure do. Seeing they laugh at the 2.5khz x-over point is also very reassuring (since I'll be getting the EX550i when the fundage allows).
Did you notice any improvement in midbass response w/ the lower x-over point?
Was the vocal presence significantly improved?

Since you're admittingly light on deadener, the ES-06's you're considering might like a more thourall application
Regardless, it should be a nice upgrade as well. And it'll leave you w/ nothing of use from your original purchase lol
pjhabit is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 02-23-2009, 03:40 AM   #7
sandt38

Associate
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: So, how's that HOPE and CHANGE $hit workin out for ya?
Posts: 13,715
sandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond repute



Quote:
Originally Posted by pjhabit View Post
Glad to see you're enjoying thr DRT-26A tweets...as I sure do. Seeing they laugh at the 2.5khz x-over point is also very reassuring (since I'll be getting the EX550i when the fundage allows).
Did you notice any improvement in midbass response w/ the lower x-over point?
Was the vocal presence significantly improved?

Since you're admittingly light on deadener, the ES-06's you're considering might like a more thourall application
Regardless, it should be a nice upgrade as well. And it'll leave you w/ nothing of use from your original purchase lol
The tweeters are very comfortable down at 2.5K, that is for sure. Vocal presentation is vastly improved, and the image has definately deepened. I attribute that to the vocals and midrange being shifted to the tweeter which are significantly more on axis then the mids. The stage was so vast to begin with, I didn't notice much of a shift in it.

I didn't notice much variance at all on the midbass, to be honest. I never particularly expected to. The mids do seem less fatigued, but with 1/2 of the frequency information being delivered, that is to be expected. The biggest difference is in the midrange.

Speaking of the initial purchase... does anyone know of someone interested in a set with 3 weeks worth of play on it?
sandt38 is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 02-23-2009, 03:44 AM   #8
Rare177

Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,144
Rare177 has a reputation beyond reputeRare177 has a reputation beyond reputeRare177 has a reputation beyond reputeRare177 has a reputation beyond reputeRare177 has a reputation beyond reputeRare177 has a reputation beyond reputeRare177 has a reputation beyond reputeRare177 has a reputation beyond reputeRare177 has a reputation beyond reputeRare177 has a reputation beyond reputeRare177 has a reputation beyond repute



nice review
Rare177 is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 03-03-2009, 09:17 AM   #9
VertexAudio

Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: www.vertexaudio.com
Posts: 31
VertexAudio has a spectacular aura aboutVertexAudio has a spectacular aura aboutVertexAudio has a spectacular aura about



Glad this worked out better for you Seth! Thanks for your review!
VertexAudio is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 03-03-2009, 03:24 PM   #10
Mr. Bentwrench

Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Louisville, KY USA
Posts: 21,202
Mr. Bentwrench has a reputation beyond reputeMr. Bentwrench has a reputation beyond reputeMr. Bentwrench has a reputation beyond reputeMr. Bentwrench has a reputation beyond reputeMr. Bentwrench has a reputation beyond reputeMr. Bentwrench has a reputation beyond reputeMr. Bentwrench has a reputation beyond reputeMr. Bentwrench has a reputation beyond reputeMr. Bentwrench has a reputation beyond reputeMr. Bentwrench has a reputation beyond reputeMr. Bentwrench has a reputation beyond repute



Quote:
Originally Posted by sandt38 View Post
The 550i crossovers are very nice too. They are a little bigger then the EX450s, but not as significantly as I expected.
Given the increased component count, it appears that the 550 may be an entirely different animal than the 450. The 450 may have been a 'good' design but the 550 is probably what it really needed anyway. In short, this shows that a good x/o design can make the difference between 'really nice' and 'Oh yeah!'. Did you audition with just changing x/overs first w/o the new tweets? Didn't catch that.

With active x/o being all the rage in car audio, I still believe that a proper passive design will be superior. As you said, you (and I too probably) hear or listen to more things than regular folks.
Mr. Bentwrench is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 03-03-2009, 04:09 PM   #11
sandt38

Associate
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: So, how's that HOPE and CHANGE $hit workin out for ya?
Posts: 13,715
sandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond reputesandt38 has a reputation beyond repute



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bentwrench View Post
Given the increased component count, it appears that the 550 may be an entirely different animal than the 450. The 450 may have been a 'good' design but the 550 is probably what it really needed anyway. In short, this shows that a good x/o design can make the difference between 'really nice' and 'Oh yeah!'. Did you audition with just changing x/overs first w/o the new tweets? Didn't catch that.

With active x/o being all the rage in car audio, I still believe that a proper passive design will be superior. As you said, you (and I too probably) hear or listen to more things than regular folks.
Yeah, the crossover point on the EX450 is listed at 4.3kHz, but I felt it was closer to 4.7... Fiberglass cone breakup at that point was apparent to me, and I would have thought CDT would have chosen to compensate with a lower crossover point. I am not sure if CDT offered this as a set, or if it was a mix and match by a dealer that bought old stock (No, I did not buy the initial set from Mike, but I have bought my upgrades from him).

From what Mike told me the 550 was designed to work with the ES-06 mids, which are true midwoofers and have a listed FR of 50-4kHz, and the DRT26 tweeter, which I have upgraded to. So the intended implementation is different then my set (Maybe the EX480 would have been a better candidate for the original set). So there is no doubt this is a completely different animal, with completely different design goals.

I did not audition the crossovers alone, I just went ahead and swapped out the crossovers and tweeters at the same time. I will be auditioning a set of EF61CF (carbon fiber) cones for Mike, and he asked me to use the 450 as well as the 550 and offer feedback. I am willing to bet the CF cones will hold up better to the 450 crossover. I will go one further and guess the CL with the pulp cones would handle it even better... there is really no substitute for good old fashioned pulp cones IMO.

And as far as active vs passive, I agree completely! I have heard far too many poorly set up active systems in my day to tell anyone to bypass passives. I also feel outside frequency adjustments create phasing anomalies (which is why i always try to have my install all install, rather then slap them in and EQ them) which are difficult to contend with from an electronic standpoint. In most cases I have found the passive crossover "voice" of a well designed set to be far more pleasing then an active set's "digital" voice. Being an anal listener has it's advantages, but as you know the disadvantages usually result in spending more damn money to get it right . This was supposed to be a sub $1000 install for a daily driver. At this rate I will have that in the front stage alone! Thank God I have a couple Adire subs laying around here, and all I need is power for them, or I would be way too deep into this
sandt38 is offline   Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:56 PM.
Powered by vBulletin® - Copyright © 2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 1996 - 2011 by CarAudioForum.com - all rights reserved.