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  1. #21
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    Sep 2009
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    Copperas Cove, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadbluSi View Post
    Hey Da Man, how do you like the Bullet 770's? And how have passengers liked them? Too much too little?
    If you have a full boat and are boarding any HLCD speaker is going to be too much for the passengers on the rear seat. I never have more than 5 in my boat so everyone is usually below or in front of the tower speakers. For party coves they rock. The Bullet HP 770 are never too little when adequately powered. The Bullet 6.5 cabin speakers are awesome...love'em.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
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    310

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brianinpdx View Post
    BadBlu -

    HLCD's are aimed at driving sound way back into the wakeboarder at 80ft and beyond. It doesnt matter the brand persay, its a matter of technology. The upside is just that...it gets the sound way back there. The downside is they sound ULTRA crisp for people in the boat and on the swim deck.

    -Brian
    Exile Audio
    I have to chime in. The typcal HLCD tower system sounds ULTRA crisp in large part due to crossover and horn geomotery.

    It is possible to have an HLCD tower system that does not exhibit performance characteristics that make it hard to listen to in the nearfield.... Many high-end home systems and recording studio monitor speakers use horns for the high-frequency portion of their driver complement. Done right, a horn can sound good up close, and project to 80 feet and beyond...

    Phil
    Kicker
    Last edited by philwsailz; 01-09-2011 at 06:56 PM.

  3. #23
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    May 2009
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    Dallas, TX
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    880

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    Phil didn't give his own Kicker HLCD product a direct plug here but they deserve one. The fact is that most, but not all, HLCD manufacturers run their horn tweeters totally unbridled (crossover) in the SPL race as no one wants to be in second place. The Kicker and the Wetsounds Pro485 are a couple examples of the select few that have a fully developed horn with both the length and final mouth surface area to offer the full bandwidth potential and the gentle but changing flare in order to provide a linear response (in this case 'linear' would describe a smooth speaker that treats the amplitude of all frequencies equally).
    Odin, our product manager, was in our marine facility the other day and listened to a number of tower speakers. He has a long music background, is a musician, does mixing for various clubs, is a serious collector of vintage equipment and owns one of the top Focal component sets in his car. From an analytical standpoint, he is highly qualified and has a pretty darn good ear. We have the Kicker HLCDs with the supplemental midbass (6-pack) on display and Odin was really impressed. This was actually his personal favorite.

    David
    Earmark Marine

  4. #24
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    Jun 2010
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    28

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    Hey David could those Kicker HLCD's possibly work for my situation?

  5. #25
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    May 2009
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    Dallas, TX
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    Chris,
    Yes, the Kicker package is a unique combination of a sound quality speaker (Phil needs to post photos of his home satellites that incorporate these drivers) and an HLCD that has the ability to reach 80 feet range without stretching its limitations. Keep in mind that to have comparable output and midbass to a typical four speaker set up you would need six pods for this configuration. That is a minimum of 42-inches across using 7-inch diameter pods plus some required space between each pod.

    David
    Earmark Marine

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
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    The KM6500.2 component system is very flexible. It was designed to accomodate a number of different applications, including 4-can and 6-can setups. The KM6500.2's horn has a two way pad built in to its crossover. You can adjust the horn's loudness by moving a jumper on the crossover. When using the KM6500.2 and the extra KM6500 mids, (what has been dubbed the 6-pack) as David points out at the 42" setup you want the jumper in the "+6" position. This makes the horn louder to match the output of the mids

    You can run just the KM6500.2's in 4-can setup like I have on my boat with the jumper set to the "+0" position. I have attached pics of that setup. WIth a single set of horns and mids, the horn's output at "+0" is appropriate and balanced sonically. I have heard of some guys with the KM6500.2 components and the 4-can setup putting the horn's level pad at "+6" for a brighter horn. This provides a lift in the higher frequencies. It is not accurate, but some prefer it. The Km6500.2's by themselves will handle 200 watts RMS. I have 250 going to mine and they don't complain, witht the crossover set appropriately.

    Yeah, I have home speakers I just completed using the KM6500.2 component set and the KM6500 mids. It takes 4 channnels of amplification, (I don't know of a 2-ohm stable home amp I can afford) so I am using an Adcom 5-channel home theater amp and biamping the speakers. They are loud, and if you can grasp the description, they sound just effortless, and very open.

    Phil
    Kicker
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by philwsailz; 01-10-2011 at 10:48 AM.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Pacific NW USA
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    503

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    Phil – I don’t necessarily disagree with what your saying but I also don’t think what I sad was inaccurate either. Sure it is possible to have a tower HLCD system that doesn’t give you the ultra crispness but in the context of the OP’s configuration of using (4) pods, 99% of the offerings on the market would fall into the category that I suggested is “typical”.

    A lot of this has to do with how we as manufacturers position our product offerings with design and features.

    With that said, I do agree that done right, studio monitors and high-end home systems can implement horn designs when backed up by serious crossover networks which are heavily controlled actively or passively and supplemented with 1/3 octive and beyond equalization. Bottom line those offerings are very expensive, and in very controlled environments’.

    Heck, in my 25 years or so now in the 12v world, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve legitimately been asked why speaker A doesn’t sound as bright as speaker B. And much of the time…. The consumer really thinks that bright is better. I’m sure you’ve seen the same thing. More to David’s point, having 6 pod set up with supplemental mid bass is going to win out every time over a 4 pod setup without supplemental midbass. But it gets costly, and takes up a lot of space. We’ve been doing the same thing in the Exile world with our Hybrid setup (2 pair SXT65 + 1 pair XM7 with the SQ internal xovers option). Sounds absolutely fantastic. As far as I know, Kicker and Exile are the only brands that allow “user adjustable” crossover network changes to help you change the horn.

    I don’t mean at all to down play the Kicker HLCD offerings… I think it especially shines for guys that already have empty cans that need re-speakering (is that a word?) It is extremely flexible.. Just thought I’d clarify where I was coming from in my use of the word typical.

    Out of curiosity, on your home speakers, are you using the stock crossovers that ship with the tower speakers? Or are you doing something upgraded with custom parts to tailor it to the home environment? Photo’s look nice btw.

    -Brian
    Exile Audio

  8. #28
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    Nov 2009
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    Stillwater, Oklahoma
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brianinpdx View Post
    Phil – I don’t necessarily disagree with what your saying but I also don’t think what I sad was inaccurate either. Sure it is possible to have a tower HLCD system that doesn’t give you the ultra crispness but in the context of the OP’s configuration of using (4) pods, 99% of the offerings on the market would fall into the category that I suggested is “typical”.
    Brian-

    The OP mentioned that he wanted someting in the middle ground. 70% of his time is spent in party cove and he doesn't want to kill his passengers, but wants something for when he is tied up with friends. To me that sounds like someone who would value sonic accuracy, while occasionlly looking for efficiency. 4 cans would be ideal for a basic KM6500.2 setup as I have on my boat. For the other 30% of the time, the HLCD design will get the sound back to the rider over the other environmental noises.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brianinpdx View Post
    With that said, I do agree that done right, studio monitors and high-end home systems can implement horn designs when backed up by serious crossover networks which are heavily controlled actively or passively and supplemented with 1/3 octive and beyond equalization. Bottom line those offerings are very expensive, and in very controlled environments’.
    Serious EQ and complicated crossovers are usually the byproduct of poor or inadvertant driver complement selection. When one chooses or designs the right drivers, crossover point, and horn geometry, the whole system can be elegantly simple. Simple is inexpensive. Don't get me wrong, you still want a full high-pass / low-pass passive crossover to keep impedance flat and uniform, and to prevent output overlap between the mid and the horn, but with proper driver selection, a crossover is easy with minimal parts count. More of the magic, (okay not real magic, but it sounds good here ) in the KM6500.2's is Kicker's use of a Tractrix horn geometry. For all points along the length of the horn, there are no parallel surfaces, and no sections of constant area. The flare is full and mathematically complete; you don't get that in a coaxial design for the size range we are talking. With no parallel walls, and no constant area, the horn has no ringing, and therefore no need for EQ to correct frequency resposne abberations. Another key feature is the midrange. REmoving the horn from the mid allows entire area inside the suspension to make sound; there is no hole in the middle of the mid. Being sealed, there is no opening to the inside of the enclosure allowing pressure and sound to get out.

    As for controlled environment, and just for fun, let's all take a moment to realize that as "perfect environments" go, sitting quiet with no motor running in party cove is by acoustic engineering definitions just about as perfect as you can get. In a room you have reflections, standing waves, peaks, cancellations, all from the barriers that affect the sound we hear, (walls, floor and ceiling). The ideal place to measure AND listen to a speaker is outdoors, free of boundaries and surfaces that can color measurement and perception... On a boat, the only real boundary that affects things is the surface of the water....

    That was just an aside by the way, I will take my engineer geek hat back off now...


    Quote Originally Posted by Brianinpdx View Post
    Heck, in my 25 years or so now in the 12v world, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve legitimately been asked why speaker A doesn’t sound as bright as speaker B. And much of the time…. The consumer really thinks that bright is better.
    "Brighter is better...." Man I know about that one! As an engineer for a major electronics manufacturer in Chicago back in the day, we had to make sure that the marketing department got their "marketing curve" into the loudspeakers we designed. We engineers used to call it "one-mile-sound" because the speakers were so bright they sounded artifically good. For about a mile. After that the complaints started to roll in, and ears started bleeding. Our ear-brain mechanism willl usually pick something with a perceived louder volume difference as better. That is super easy to do with the upper midrange response region of a loudspeaker, and that is why some speakers just seem to jump off of the demo board and into the shopping cart. It is an illusion though. When you remove the level bias and remove the "one-mile" response bump, the ear-brain mechanism can better focus on quality and accuracy. I always hated putting that high midrange bump in the speakers I designed back then... It wasn't for the sound, it was for sales.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brianinpdx View Post
    I don’t mean at all to down play the Kicker HLCD offerings… I think it especially shines for guys that already have empty cans that need re-speakering (is that a word?) It is extremely flexible.. Just thought I’d clarify where I was coming from in my use of the word typical.

    Downplay? I'll PM ya! You are no doubt right. For every boat owner that has a factory coax in a can, I will show you half, (or more) of them that want an upgrade. The KM6500.2 is an easy upgrade for that guy. Let's not forget the DIY guy though... Seems there has been a lot of noise about DIY lately, right? How cool is it that a guy considering adding tower speakers can go choose a can, one that is a color he likes, with a clamp or plate that fits his tower and then put HLCD components in them? That to me is pretty darned cool! Just like a guy can go pick a sub brand he likes, and drive it with an amp brand he likes, while playing tunes from the head unit he likes. I see it as freedom of choice, both for the guy who already has cans, AND the guy who is looking to get some!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brianinpdx View Post
    Out of curiosity, on your home speakers, are you using the stock crossovers that ship with the tower speakers? Or are you doing something upgraded with custom parts to tailor it to the home environment? Photo’s look nice btw.

    -Brian
    Exile Audio

    All stock baby! The wires go into the back of the enclosures, straight to the stock crossovers... No tweaking necessary. I wonder why one would think it were necessary... Thanks for the photos compliment by the way! When you have a component set that is designed to be sonically flat from the beginning, you don't have to "tweak it" for the particular environment. Indoors, outdoors, with background noise or without, the only difference is how far you crank the volume control....

    Phil
    Kicker
    Last edited by philwsailz; 01-10-2011 at 02:45 PM.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    180

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    Wow, lots of information here. I'll admit that while I've spent a majority of my life tinkering in mechanical repairs I've never had any experience in anything audio. I just want some good tunes while I'm wakeboarding

    My boat is used 80% of the time for boarding and I typically don't have more than 3 passengers. I just bought a quad set of Kicker (KM6500.2) 6.5" HLCD's. I have two open channels on my Sony amp that have 150w each. Should I be fine to hook each can (two in each can) to those channels?

    The inside of my boat has 4 Polk db's and a Kenwood 12" sub.
    2005 Air Nautique SV211 Team Edition
    99 Moomba Boomerang- Sold

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
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    310

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    Quote Originally Posted by cham View Post
    Wow, lots of information here. I'll admit that while I've spent a majority of my life tinkering in mechanical repairs I've never had any experience in anything audio. I just want some good tunes while I'm wakeboarding

    My boat is used 80% of the time for boarding and I typically don't have more than 3 passengers. I just bought a quad set of Kicker (KM6500.2) 6.5" HLCD's. I have two open channels on my Sony amp that have 150w each. Should I be fine to hook each can (two in each can) to those channels?

    The inside of my boat has 4 Polk db's and a Kenwood 12" sub.
    Cham-

    If your amp will deliver 150 watts RMS into 4-ohms, that will be almost perfect. You can pour more power to the KM6500.2's but 150 will lite them up pretty good. Yeah, you will have a mid can and a horn can for each side. Take a mid and a horn and connnect them to 1 channel of the amp. Then take your other mid and horn and connect them to the other.

    Be sure any bass boost is set to off for these two channels, and set your crossover for the two channels to hi-pass. Se the frequency to about 100 and you will be good to go.

    Understand the mid is 4-ohms and the horn is 4-ohms, but when you parallel them you do not get 2 ohms like paralleling a pair of coax speakers. The reason is that the crossovers for the horns and mids split up the frequencies, (low and high) so that the mid only "shows" 4-ohms down low, and the horn only "shows" 4-ohms up high.

    If your amp only delivers 150 watts max, or 150 watts into two ohms, know that you will probably want to consider a larger amp either now or in the near future. Be looking for an amp that will deliver 150 - 200 watts RMS into 4-ohms per channel. The Kicker ZXM450.2 is one example.

    You can go hot-rod like a few guys are contemplating and go up to about 250 watts per channel. I am running 250 watts per side on my boat, and so far all is well. The amp I am using is a Kicker IX500.4, in bridge mode. Yeah guys, I normally recommend against bridging since most full range speakers are lower than 4-ohms, but we designed the KM6500.2's to be EXACTLY 4-ohms, with no impedance dips that would cause amplifier shut-down problems if used with a bridged amp.

    Fire it up and let us know!

    Phil
    Kikcker
    Last edited by philwsailz; 01-12-2011 at 09:13 AM.

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