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View Full Version : WOW! Hold off buying those tower setups!



Razzman
11-29-2009, 11:52 PM
At least until you have a chance to hear this! Kicker is coming out with a new tower setup hopefully by spring. Check this action out, two mid-base drivers and two horns for the tower setup that fits most existing cans! An additional mid can be added to each side for a six-pack! And it looks sweet! Here's a press release shot and some info from Phil White at Kicker!

"First off, we are taking a different approach with regards to mounting. We are not selling these in a can, but rather you have the option / opportunity to source your own can that you like the looks of, or if you have an existing 4-can tower system, you can just undo your old speakers and pop these in. The bolt pattern is the same as a normal coaxial speaker like a Kicker KS650. I do not have pricing settled yet, they are going to be competitive.

Power handling is AT LEAST 150 watts RMS into 4-ohms. We have tested to higher power, and do not have a firm decision about what spec to claim, but they do handle a lot of power. We are introducing a new 2-channel marine amp that is a brother to the ZX450.2 that will deliver 150 watts to each channel for a pair. When you add the accessory mids to get to a 6-can system, you double the power handling to at least 300 watts at 2-ohms, so a ZX550.2 can even be used, or you could use an 850.2 possibly as well.

Wiring them up is super easy, (A typical component set has an external crossover that the speakers have to be connected to; this complicates things). With these new components, the tweeter crossover is attached to the tweeeter. The midrange crossover is connected to the midrange. You connect the speaker directly to the amp with your tower speaker wire with no extra wiring like with a typical external crossover. It is straight parallel wiring. The crossover parts I am talking about are going to be on the back of the drivers, they are not shown in the pic above.

I try not to interject personal opinion as fact, so take this with a grain of salt: All of our ears are different, but to me this is the most musical speaker system I have heard in a while. So much so, that I intend to buy some when we start shipping them so I can build home theater speakers out of them! I want to be careful not to turn this into an advertorial, I know it is frowned upon here and elsewhere, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask me.

Phil
Kicker"

viking
11-30-2009, 01:30 AM
That's cool. I just bought 2 pair of the kicker Coax set-ups for next year used and this would be a good upgrade from there. I like that you can just plug and play in existing cans.

I'm interested to hear them and see what price point they come out at.

Appreciate the heads up Razzman :)

mmandley
11-30-2009, 10:23 AM
Im wondering if this is the same speaker from the KMT6 pods just removed? Maybe a different case on them to look purdy, and the horn tweeter has a easier to manage housing to mount it with?

Razzman
11-30-2009, 10:58 AM
Im wondering if this is the same speaker from the KMT6 pods just removed? Maybe a different case on them to look purdy, and the horn tweeter has a easier to manage housing to mount it with?

Honestly can't say but I'll ask Phil that question amongst others.

sandm
11-30-2009, 11:02 AM
nice to see other companies taking an interest in the hlcd boat speaker market.

couple of observations...
as they are setup, you need 4 cans as a minimum. not everyone has 4, nor needs 4 and seems that they might be setting the system up to recommend 6 cans. could limit the market.
touting the crossover wiring being easy to install really isn't a selling feature. anyone that doesn't want to mess with wiring outboard crossovers is going to pay to install, anyone doing the install themselves or a shop install isn't going to see any significant time savings in having them pre-mounted. a convenience, yes, but should not be the driving force in buying speakers.
gives the end-user the option of only running 2 hlcd drivers and 4 midbass drivers similar to the big wetsounds system. could have better low-mid response using smaller drivers(again, needs 6 cans though).

overall, looks to be a solid competitor in the hlcd market, and am guessing it'll be a quality product coming from kicker. the clear winner here will be the consumer, depending on pricing, and I hope they keep in mind the costs of cans when setting pricing.

interesting statement on using them in home speakers. maybe klipsch should get into the boat speaker market :)

Razzman
11-30-2009, 11:18 AM
Good observations sandm. I know out west the "more is better" theory is king, i only know one person that runs two cans. It seems that as soon as they install two they immediately want two more. To me this seems like it will eliminate a lot of confusion for the DIYer when installing as well. For those with the factory Roswell can/light bars that like the look and want to keep them, this is a nice option as well.

sandm
11-30-2009, 11:38 AM
agree. I would have shopped them with my roswell setup, but the hollowpoints fit too with some cutting..
not sure on the diy'er confusion, as most that take on projects like this have some knowledge of what they are doing, or have a board that helps them out like this one :) but I see your point.
my cousin only has 2 liquid audio speakers on his tige and they sound good, but he does want 2 more. not sure why other than every other boat you see on the lake has 4 or 6, but as you stated.. more is king..

I am betting the entire success of this speaker will boil down to price, plain and simple, or if they are planning on tapping into the "factory" market as a new installed option.

viking
11-30-2009, 04:14 PM
For those with the factory Roswell can/light bars that like the look and want to keep them, this is a nice option as well.

That's me!!

Razzman
11-30-2009, 07:01 PM
So here's Phil's answer to a couple more questions i asked...

"TOTALLY NEW TECHNOLOGY!!!!

The new KM6500.2 components are bad-***... 2 totally brand new hi-efficiency rare-earth neodymium-motor midranges combined with two 1.7" compression driven horns. All brand-new, developed to do a specific thing, at a specific price, with a performance equal to or greater than what is currently out there in the price range.

To make an analogy the KMT6 is sort of the affordable Ford Fusion, while the KM6500.2 is the Mustang Shelby Cobra GT500KR. I believe we are publishing the power handling conservatively at 200 watts RMS for the basic setup, and when you add the extra optional KM6500 midranges to get to 6 cans system the power handling bumps to 300 watts RMS per side."

So that's what i know. As of now there's no price info until spring probably.

sandm
11-30-2009, 07:53 PM
it will be interesting to see them, but to call all this brand new technology is a stretch(salesman talking :) ). neodymium has been around for years in car audio, and compression drivers are not new(remember waveguides in the mid 80's) and not new to kicker either. my first system back in 1985 consisted of 2 kicker truck boxes that were loaded with an 8" sub, 10" passive radiator and a compression horn on the top. awesome boxes that rocked with almost no power..

kinda figured that it would end up looking like a 6-can system. again, price will be the big factor. if the put any of the same development that they have into the L5/7 subs and their amp lineup, they will have a good setup on their hands...

jmvotto
11-30-2009, 07:56 PM
Mount a pair of Klipsch Horns to the towers "bigger is better":p I would prefer the stealth mode like BOSE, music everyehere and nothing to see.

I like the idea of kicker getting in the market of the HLCD, but with four to six cans, will it really outshine the comp., prices may come down for our sake.

Why have the seperates across the towers when the comp does it with one driver what i am i missing

PS crutchfeild has kicker 6.5" speakers for 49.00 today

Razzman
11-30-2009, 09:32 PM
I've asked Phil to join our little group and lend his expertise as well and he'll be able to answer all our questions on Kicker products and installs.

sandm
11-30-2009, 10:06 PM
cool..
seems that they are very highly regarded in the boat upgrade world...
see a lot of installs, even here local that use kicker amps as a upgrade, and tons of boats using the L series subs.

newty
12-02-2009, 10:29 AM
Any idea what the cost may be on these?

Sandm where did you get your Hollow Points?

Razzman
12-02-2009, 11:14 AM
None at all Newty, Phil says they won't have a cost until around spring.

sandm
12-02-2009, 11:26 AM
newty, ordered them from earmark. I'm using the factory roswell 4can setup, so I ordered just the drivers and crossovers. think it was somewhere in the $750 range for the 2 sets, but it's been a few months. price has gone back up, but maybe david would hook you up.
haven't installed them yet, but the quality is real nice. I'm initially very impressed, with only one gripe: no screws to install them. had to spend $4 at home depot for stainless mounting screws. for $700, they should come with them..

should be done and have the whole system bumpin on saturday(fingers crossed)...

newty
12-02-2009, 12:38 PM
I'm really torn here.
I love the look but hate the sound of my fusions.
Brian at Exile has has been really helpful and I love the sound, but I'm not really sold on the look.
I have 6 DIY cans that are for 6.5" but with some mods will hold up to 7.7" speakers. I'm just not that excited about the look of the cans. So the Hollow Points would work well, and I like the look, but haven't heard them. They would also hold the new Kicker set-up Razzman is referring to.
I have a new set of Kicker KMT6's, I like the sound, but hate the look of them on my tower.
I'm also interested in the Bullet Lines set-up.
I've also contemplated doing a DIY HLCD set-up in my fusion cans, but I'm not sure where to start.

AAAARRRG!

newty
12-02-2009, 12:42 PM
Add to all that, I'm cheep!:p

EarmarkMarine
12-02-2009, 12:47 PM
sandm,

You're right, we should have sent the screws too. Our fault. We didn't open and inspect the factory carton. I'm sure we'll be able to make it up to you before you're finished. If you need anything, just ask.

newty,

Contact us at info@earmarkcaraudio.com for details. We offer Bullet HollowPoints, WetSounds, Exile plus we may very well support the new Kickers and with many mounting options. The Kickers really look impressive. I just want to hear them for myself before jumping on board.

Razzman,

I also hope Phil with Kicker joins in as he is a real quality contributor on many other forums.

David
Earmark Marine

sandm
12-02-2009, 12:50 PM
lots of choices out there and sounds like you are looking at several options. really, I think with hlcd's, it won't matter what you pick, they will all be a great improvement over standard car speakers and you'll be happy in the end.

I think one of the biggest problems with spending cash on hlcd's are that you really can't demo them since they are not as readily available as something like polk db series, but are relying more on word of mouth. I only have the ability to hear wetsounds locally, but took a chance on bullet hollowpoints based on the word of mouth and price. I don't expect to be disappointed at all.

it really sounds like you are not happy with the current setup at all, and best option would be to start from scratch with new cans and speakers. I think you'll second-guess your decisions using anything you have currently that you're not in love with. I'd do the hollowpoint 7.7's in their cans if my tower was empty at this point, but that's my .02....

i'm with ya on the kicker ktm6. personally, I think they look horrid, but that's my opinion. really don't like the look of the exile's either, but have heard they sound fantastic. I think the factory roswell 4-can setup looks good and the reason why I kept it, but then others don't, and they don't have to look at it :)

sandm
12-02-2009, 12:53 PM
david, don't worry about it.. I knew you'd see this post :) had to bust your chops a little...

I am real impressed with the quality of the speakers so far. they look to be built real solid and a quality piece of gear. I am dying to get them installed this weekend..
my cousin speaks real highly of his liquid audio cans(great sounding btw), but I'm going to blow him away with this setup :)

philwsailz
12-04-2009, 02:02 PM
Hi guys, Phil here from Kicker.

Razzman asked me to come join you guys.... So here I am...


Glad to be a part of all of this

Howdy!

Phil
Kicker

philwsailz
12-04-2009, 02:07 PM
it will be interesting to see them, but to call all this brand new technology is a stretch(salesman talking :) ). neodymium has been around for years in car audio, and compression drivers are not new(remember waveguides in the mid 80's) and not new to kicker either. my first system back in 1985 consisted of 2 kicker truck boxes that were loaded with an 8" sub, 10" passive radiator and a compression horn on the top. awesome boxes that rocked with almost no power..

kinda figured that it would end up looking like a 6-can system. again, price will be the big factor. if the put any of the same development that they have into the L5/7 subs and their amp lineup, they will have a good setup on their hands...

Hey sandm-

Razz and I were visiting elsewhere about the xxx and he posted my reply here with my blessing. Funny thing, the answer I gave sounds kinda funny when left to stand on its own... You are totally right about this not being new technolgy in the industry...

When I wrote "TOTALLY NEW..." I was referring to the fact that the xxxx share nothing that was developed as part of the xxx system. That part of Razz's and my conversation was missing.



Phil
Kicker

Razzman
12-04-2009, 02:10 PM
There he is! Glad to see you here Phil. :D

sandm
12-04-2009, 03:53 PM
glad to see you here phil.
I am sure you will offer up some great advice to the members, hopefully unbiased if they choose another brand.

really wish these would have been out sooner. there really isn't much to compare for guys like me that want to keep the factory roswell setup. this would have been a good choice to compare against the hollow points..

welcome :)

EarmarkMarine
12-04-2009, 04:00 PM
Welcome Phil. Its a mighty tough crowd when they've got you in a defensive posture in just your second post... Just kidding.

Lookin' forward to those new bass-reflex tower pods too.

Speaking to the members, I've been reading Phil's posts on several forums for several seasons. He brings a ton of experience and knowledge. I've never read a derogatory word about a competing product. Always takes the high road. Never slings bull. A real quality addition. It deserves to be said.

So what if I'm bucking for a deeper discount.

David
Earmark Marine

philwsailz
12-04-2009, 04:04 PM
Hah!

Thanks for the kind words David... David!


Welcome Phil. Its a mighty tough crowd when they've got you in a defensive posture in just your second post... Just kidding.

Lookin' forward to those new bass-reflex tower pods too.

Speaking to the members, I've been reading Phil's posts on several forums for several seasons. He brings a ton of experience and knowledge. I've never read a derogatory word about a competing product. Always takes the high road. Never slings bull. A real quality addition. It deserves to be said.

So what if I'm bucking for a deeper discount.

David
Earmark Marine

viking
03-23-2010, 06:01 PM
any news on these speakers??

Razzman
03-23-2010, 06:25 PM
Not that i've heard, next month or so i think. Phil, got any info yet?

philwsailz
03-24-2010, 10:54 AM
A tiny quantity have shipped, but not many. I am anticipating seeing these in the market in quantity come May. I know that is later in the season than we all wanted to see them, but hey, better eventually than never!

Stay tuned...


Phil
Kicker

guinsha54
03-31-2010, 01:27 PM
Thanks for the update Phil. I am VERY interested in this setup. I’ve got the Mako 4 speaker light bar combo and the new kicker KM6500.2 would be a great upgrade to add some HLCD’s. I saw a few online dealers are showing them retailing for 600 for the set. Anyone that gets an early demo let us know how they sound.

Also phil do the HLCD have grilles on them or only the mids have the grilles?

Razzman
03-31-2010, 02:23 PM
They are out for pre-order, found them for $500 in two locations so far, $100 off msrp;

HiFiSoundconnection (http://www.hifisoundconnection.com/Shop/Control/Product/fp/vpid/8252668/vpcsid/0/SFV/30046)

Crutchfield (http://www.crutchfield.com/p_206KM65002/Kicker-KM6500-2.html?tp=3384)
and the mid-range drivers for $229 (http://www.crutchfield.com/p_206KM6500/Kicker-KM6500.html?showAll=Y&tp=3384)

philwsailz
03-31-2010, 02:51 PM
Thanks for the update Phil. I am VERY interested in this setup. I’ve got the Mako 4 speaker light bar combo and the new kicker KM6500.2 would be a great upgrade to add some HLCD’s. I saw a few online dealers are showing them retailing for 600 for the set. Anyone that gets an early demo let us know how they sound.

Also phil do the HLCD have grilles on them or only the mids have the grilles?

The mids have grills, the horns do not.

The reason is that Kicker took the sonic high-road with these and did everything to maximize efficiency while also maximizing sound quality. A grill over the front of a horn could inadvertantly create standing waves at certain frequencies. Standing waves are a primary cause of the bad sound we often characterize as that "horn sound" so the horn is at its best performance-wise without a grill.

Stay tuned, they will be out there soon...

Phil
Kicker

Razzman
03-31-2010, 03:21 PM
The mids have grills, the horns do not.

The reason is that Kicker took the sonic high-road with these and did everything to maximize efficiency while also maximizing sound quality. A grill over the front of a horn could inadvertantly create standing waves at certain frequencies. Standing waves are a primary cause of the bad sound we often characterize as that "horn sound" so the horn is at its best performance-wise without a grill.

Stay tuned, they will be out there soon...

Phil
Kicker

So Phil does apply to all speakers / subs or just certain freqs on this type of setup?

philwsailz
03-31-2010, 03:40 PM
So Phil does apply to all speakers / subs or just certain freqs on this type of setup?

Any reflective surface you put in front of a speaker will cause reflections, some will end up going back to the speaker cone and then bouncing off. This colors sound, a little, and it affects higher frequencies to a greater degree. High frequencies have shorter wavelengths and the higher the frequency, the shorter the wavelength.

Thee fact that you can put your hand over a small coax tweeter and block all the sound has a lot to do with the very short wavelength. While putting a board over the front of a woofer basically does not block the sound at all, it only changes it. a 10-kilohertz tone has a wavelength of roughly an inch and a half, a 60 Hz tone has a wavelength of almost 19 feet.

You can block the sound from a coax tweeter, but you can also create standing waves. Put your hand over a tweeter so it totally blocks the sound. Now pull your hand off, at just a little distance. Now, slowly move your hand out and you will hear "noise" slowly lowering in pitch. That noise is a resonant spike, created by standing waves around a frequency that has a wavelength equal to the distance between your hand and the tweeter, or harmonic multiples of the same. As you move your hand away, you are increasing the distance between your hand ands the tweeter, causing the resonant spike to shift down in frequency; the distance between your hand and the tweeter is increasing, and therefore so is the wavelength of any potential reqonant frequency. The noise slowly gets lower in pitch as your hand moves further away.


The horn plays the high stuff that is easy to block or reflect, so we left the grill off...

philwsailz
03-31-2010, 04:20 PM
Similarly, for a straight tube, you can set up a resonant frequency at a specific frequency. When we look at a trumpet or other brass instrument, the note it plays is a function of the length of a tube. That is why a trombone lowers pitch when you push the slide out; the tube is getting longer, so the wavelength of a frequency that can stand in ths tube gets longer, and the pitch gets lower. That standing resonance is desirable for a musical instrument; you need it to play one note... But, standing resonance is bad in a sound reproduction device; we do not want to emphasize any resonant frequency, or its harmonic multiple...

The Kicker horn has a constantly changing geometry or "flare", with very little means of propagating a standing wave or standing waves. This prevents the distortion caused by a standing waves, specifically a peak, or several peaks at harmonic multiples of the fundamental frequency's wavelength.

cab13367
03-31-2010, 05:27 PM
Hi Phil,

So what is the total impedance per side (one mid range driver and one tweeter)? Which Kicker amp to you recommend to drive one pair of these speakers (two mids and two tweets)?

Thanks,

Al

philwsailz
03-31-2010, 05:54 PM
Hi Phil,

So what is the total impedance per side (one mid range driver and one tweeter)? Which Kicker amp to you recommend to drive one pair of these speakers (two mids and two tweets)?

Thanks,

Al

Al-

The total impedance of the set is 4-ohms per side. Exactly 4-ohms... We did this for a reason: When you add the optional extra mids, (the KM6500) you get exactly 2-ohms, and no lower. That way a stereo amp will run the basic set, and a guy can add a pair of mids later and not have to swap out for a larger amp or a 4-channel amp.

We recommend using the Kicker ZXM450.2 for the KM6500.2's. That will get you 150 watts RMS into each side, (one mid and one tweet/horn per side) for the regular pair, (2 mids and 2 tweeters/hons).

With that amp, when you add the extra mids to the system, (6 cans, with 4 mids and two tweets/horns) the power goes up to 225 watts per side.

The 6 can system, (2 mids per side, with one horn per side) can handle a TON of power... A good stereo amp with 300 watts RMS per side into 2-ohms would be a nice amp to drive a 6-can setup with.

Many people don't realize this but the KICKER ZX300.1 mono amp is a full range amp, delivering 300 watts into 2-ohms. You can take a pair of the ZX300.1's with an outboard crossover, (like the Kicker KX2) connected on the front end and put 600 watts up there on the tower...

Hope that helps!

Phil
Kicker

viking
04-01-2010, 01:49 AM
OOOOHHHH ........... I might have to swap out my cans with these next year :)

cmathis
04-28-2010, 10:57 AM
Phil,
Are the new speakers a direct replacement for the KMT6 setup I already have on our Supra? The cones are dry rotted and cracked from the sun. What would you recommend to replace them?

viking
04-28-2010, 01:36 PM
I volunteer myself to be a "guinea pig" and test out a pair of these if a dealer or manufacturer wants to send a pair out :)

I know, I know - selfless sacrifice for the Roo Crew!!

But I really am leaning towards these to replace the stock kickers in the 6 1/2Roswell cans. They sound like crap :( I'm wondering what to do with the hole that will be left by removing the attached tweeter? Hmmm...

philwsailz
04-28-2010, 04:54 PM
Viking-

Lights in the holes maybe????? I personally don't see the use in tower lights, as there is basiically no legal way to use them, but it is a thought.... I wonder if there are some that would fit in those holes?

Cmathis-
No these are not replacements for the KMT6. I have to wonder why the cones are rotted; did they get something on them? Armor all or anything like that? The KMT6 cones are UV-stabile, so I wonder if they got something on them somehow... There is basically no good way to repair/replace the drivers for a KMT6, as the enclosure is glued together as well as screwed. Some folks have managed to get them apart, but you never know if you are going to break the enclosure until you remove the screws and pry....

Phil
Kicker