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Hey All,
Being an engineer at heart, I had to do it. I had to know and I had to have some data...

I went and bought a set of Pioneer 1695s, and did a three way comparo vs. factory and vs. the Boston Acoustics RM6 (already had them before from an old istallation).

Here's a link to some pics and bass frequency response curves for the three speakers. (note only 20-100 Hz data)

http://ourworld.cs.com/_ht_a/shnjhn/ody/fresponse.htm

Had I had access to a spectrum analyzer, I'd have done a full 20KHz sweep, but settled on using pure tones from one of my test CDs, and my trusty handheld SPL meter (digital, from Radio Shack).

It's pretty late, so I'll sum up real fast:

1) efficiency of all speaks were really close. I calibrated to 1V input on each speak before doing the test, but did not get a chance to do an impedance check.

2) very subtle differences in response, in the measurement error of my meter... however, the data is somewhat telling of overall trends.

My subjective evaluation:

Pioneer 1695 is probably the best sub-$90 speaker I've ever heard in a car. I don't think any other manufactures' coax in this price range can compare. Bass response, high end response, smoothness... Overall I was impressed.

Horn tweeter is VERY directional. Rotate the horn and you get very different results. I found the manufacturer's recommendations (like Chuck and the other guys show in their pics) works the best. Rotate it so the long axis is facing you, and watch out!

The Boston does have better low bass response, and its upper end is a bit more detailed and crisp. I find the dome's dispersion and response more ammenable to the types of music I listen to.

If anyone were to ask me what speaker I'd recommend to put in the front door of a Honda to upgrade factory, I'd recommend the 1695 first. Best price/quality ratio. Though I liked the Boston overall better, it's 2X retail price is probably not worth it for most people. Besides, if you wanna spend that much on a set of coaxials, go with components instead!

More details later...
Enjoy!

-SJ

p.s.- anyone want to buy a set of 1695s that were installed and played for maybe a total of 30 minutes? Got them online, so need to sell them, rather than return them...


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DEP '01 EX no-navi
 

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How much?
 

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Same question here: it was serendipity that you posted this as I'm getting ready to change mine, and was longing for someone to push me over the edge on a choice. (Of course, I personally can't do it, but will find someone.)


P.S. Replace the back also, even though one poster says he can't hear them anyway?
 

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Couple of other notes:

This is in car (in VAN!) response with the SPL meter sitting dead center of the vehicle, on top of the center fold down tray. Used factory EX CD player, fader set all the way forward.

I'm gonna put my ad for the 1695s in the Buy/Sell area... so check it out...

http://www.odyclub.com/ubb/Forum16/HTML/000034.html

-SJ
 

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Shinjohn
Very interesting. You answered two of my questions..that the speakers were mounted in the car and you were using the factory CD player. I'm a little surprised that any of the speakers had any useable output as low as 40 Hz, particularly mounted the doors rather than in a properly tuned enclosure. I'm also surprised at the similarity in the response curves up to 100 Hz. I know from my experience trying different speakers, there is a big difference subjectively. Did you spot check any readings in the mid and upper frequency range? Maybe that's where the difference in output of the various speakers really shows up and accounts for the big subjective difference in sound. Probably my biggest gripe with the stock system was it's lack of intelligibility (right word?). A muddled sound. For instance, I had a big problem understanding vocals at highway speeds. The Infinitys I tried first helped some, but replacing the head unit with a quality aftermarket unit made the big difference. I firmly believe there's more wrong with the factory unit than just lack of power. Would be real interesting to do a similar experiment across the frequency spectrum with different head units but the same speakers. Better yet, wish somebody could bench test the factory unit. You mentioned the fact that the Bostons have a larger diameter cone than the Pioneers. Ironically, that was one of the reasons the Infinitys looked so good on paper to me--a very large cone relative to the basket size. Just didn't help much in their case. Anyway, I enjoy your posts. Keep it up.
PS I agree that from the standpoint of deminishing returns dollar-wise, the Pioneer 1695's are the stopping point.

[This message has been edited by dlh2 (edited 08-20-2001).]
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by MerpsMom:

P.S. Replace the back also, even though one poster says he can't hear them anyway?
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MerpsMom,
In regards to your question about replacing the back, my opinion is that the front is much more important, the rear is optional.
The reason I say this is multifold:

1) classic, 2 channel stereo guys (like me) feel that rear speakers, (if they can be heard clearly and loudly) actually destroy any decent sound stage that the front speakers can produce. Almost all music we listen to on CDs is 2 channel stereo, and so purists looking to produce the most "realistic" sound stay with only 2 channels. I use rear speakers in my high end system in my '99 Accord, but they are ajusted to a level where they are barely audible. I also have them crossed over, with no tweeter, so they are playing midrange down to mid bass. I do this for a little bit of "rear fill" or ambience effect, and for rear passengers riding in my car.

2) Bass from the rear speakers in the Odyssey is minimal with those little OEM 5" or any aftermarket 4". Now if there were 6x9s in the rear, than the speaks could be used alot like a sub, and that would make LOTS of sense to me.

3) Rather than spending money on rear speakers, consider buying a sub, which in my opinion would improve the sound in the vehicle MUCH more, if you've already done the front switch. Drop in solutions such as KB Sub, Bazooka tubes, the Infinity Basslink, etc.. would do wonders for the Ody system...

Now of course I am talking JUST about 2 CHANNEL audio, not 5.1, DD, DTS, etc... If you wanted a full blown theater type setup, you need good speaks (and tonally matched ones!) all around.

The other reason to have good speakers in the rear is simply your rear passengers are sensitive enough to SQ that it would be usefull, or you actually sit back there and can't stand lousy sound back there.

I'm not switching my rears until I upgrade to a full blown 5.1 theater level system... My 2 year old doesn't really care how it sounds back there....

Just my humble opinions... Yes, I'm very opinionated about what I do, but that's what makes all this audio stuff fun! Figuring out what you like and what works is what its all about!

-SJ

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[This message has been edited by shinjohn (edited 08-20-2001).]
 

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Thanx for all the analysis. I will surely go with the Pioneers; and about the strongest reason I want good back speakers is so the rear passengers can listen to the books we all bring along on long trips. Of course, if they don't complain, perhaps I should just keep my counsel and my money.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by dlh2:
Shinjohn
I'm a little surprised that any of the speakers had any useable output as low as 40 Hz, particularly mounted in the doors rather than in a properly tuned enclosure. I'm also surprised at the similarity in the response curves up to 100 Hz.
</font>
The van's transfer function is the reason why the response "looks" so good. You always get a huge rise on the low end, but that's negated almost completely by the low f road noise prevelant in the Ody.

Responses are all so similar for the speakers because the transfer funciton has such a strong effect on the acoustics, and all the speaks were designed very similarly for door (infinite baffle) configurations. All use butyl surrounds, poly cones, similar voice coil sizes. I'd be willing to bet that Fs, Qts, and Vas were within 5% on all these speaks.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">

I know from my experience trying different speakers, there is a big difference subjectively. Did you spot check any readings in the mid and upper frequency range?
</font>
Nope, didn't get the chance.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">

Maybe that's where the difference in output of the various speakers really shows up and accounts for the big subjective difference in sound. Probably my biggest gripe with the stock system was it's lack of intelligibility (right word?). A muddled sound.
</font>
You're right on that note, upper end response usually shows ALOT more differences. At the same time, my experience tells me that response curves at higher fs tend to not necessarily be revealing about sound quality.

About the muddled sound, the factory speakers stink, and they are completely drowned out by road noise. I'd sure love to get some data on spectral content of road noise in the Ody. The van doesn't SEEM too loud, but I'd be willing to bet that <60Hz, it's alot louder than most sedans, and probably alot louder than the "competition"....

One of the things that the response plots don't show too clearly is that there is a BIG difference in bass response between these speakers, esp. vs. facory. This is because the puny factory speakers bottom out and distort, while the Pioneer and Bostons have plenty of power handling... Of course they all hit the wall when the headunit poops out.. more below...

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">

I firmly believe there's more wrong with the factory unit than just lack of power. Would be real interesting to do a similar experiment across the frequency spectrum with different head units but the same speakers. Better yet, wish somebody could bench test the factory unit.
</font>
Not sure, since the radio doesn't sound TOO bad when the vehicle is not moving and volume levels are low. I'd love to measure the factory unit, but just don't have time to yank it out, bring it to work, and hook it to the scope. Perhaps later in the future when I (eventually) switch out the headunit, I'll get around to doing such a test. I agree though, that as you turn up the volume, the head unit craps out, bass drops, and it sounds bad. I think that's the result of a current limiting circuit built into this lousy head unit... it dramatically decreases dynamic range when you turn it up!

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">

You mentioned the fact that the Bostons have a larger diameter cone than the Pioneers. Ironically, that was one of the reasons the Infinitys looked so good on paper to me--a very large cone relative to the basket size. Just didn't help much in their case. Anyway, I enjoy your posts. Keep it up.
</font>
I haven't seen the Infinitys, but what is the OD of the magnet/motor assembly, and how deep is the speaker? The reason I ask is that the voice coil/motor is an equally important factor in the low bass equation. Boston took its design to the "max". I had to make new mounting holes for the speaks because the OD of the hole diamter is way big for the factory cutout. It's depth is also as deep as the Ody will take, period. (about 1/8" to 1/4" clearance when installed, from my estimation!) The 1695 is pretty close in terms of motor design too...

OK, I ramble on too much. Gotta get home to the wife and kid.

-SJ

p.s.- thanks for the nice comment. I've learned so much from this discussion forum on all things Ody, I feel very compelled to give back to it! Hope to be around for awhile (at least until #2 arrives!)

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