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  1. #1

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    Default How to tune the SR's

    After 4 years with my beloved SR's and 3 years competing in SQ competitions with both the SR5250 and 6500, Ive learned a lot about them and thought Id share some of the tidbits Ive come across in the way of tuning these beauties......plus Im bored and this will kill a good 20 minutes.

    If youre going to separate the tweeter from the mid, wire them out of phase. In both my truck and my car, they blended in and the image pulled up higher a ton with them out of phase. Having them wired in phase with each other also caused some cancellation at the crossover point.

    The SR5250's will play well passed 5 KHz at 90 degrees off axis but I found 5 K to be the best crossover point for them with the mids low and the tweeters high in the car. Any higher than 5 and things thinned out a little too much. I also found using shallow slopes like 12 db worked well. I found a 12 db cutoff slope on both mid and tweet made them blend in very well and kept my stage nice and high.

    The SR6500's will play sky high for a 6.5. They dont start rolling off til passed 6.5 KHz @ 90 degrees off axis but they dont "play well" higher than 4. For these speakers I believe 4 KHz is the best crossover point. This was the case in my big Dodge Ram and in my little Honda Accord. 3.2 KHz got a little "thicker" and 5 KHz got too "thin" but 4 KHz was the most realistic. However, unlike the 5250's Ive found a steeper slope works better here. Ive got mine cutoff at 24 db/octave. I tried them at 12 db like the 5.25's but it gave the midrange a little too much "reverby" sound and I never could dial it out.

    As sweet as the ring radiator tweeters are, theyre a BITCH to tune in a car. Theyre very directional and can give you fits cause theyll play some frequencies louder on one side of the car than the other. For instance, 10 KHz is 4 db louder from the left tweeter but 12 KHz is 3 db louder from the right tweeter and so on. This doesnt necessarily affect the SQ from them but does wreak havoc on your imaging. The upside is that once theyre dialed in they sound awesome! Very clean and smooth. They dont play down low very well so forget about crossing them over anywhere near 2.5 K or even 3. While theyll get that low, they wont play with enough balls to blend in properly with the mids.

    Since the tweeters are so directional, the best place to mount them is up high. The A pillars are my favorite, but you can also use the dash. These tweeters are very smooth and even firing off the windshield, they wont be harsh so long as theyre attenuated.

    Speaking of which, turn em down! If you dont have a crossover with a level on it then use the one on the passive crossover and cut em the full 3 db. Mine are at -8 right now.

    The SR5250's have excellent midbass for a speaker as small as they are. I never got dinged for weak midbass when I ran them in '07. That being said, dont run them too low. 50 Hz is the absolute lowest I would go. They will play much lower but they wont sound good. They get sloppy below 50.

    The 6500's have weird midbass. They have a lot of energy but they dont have great "punch". They seem to dip around 63 Hz which is where the punch is. However, they are pretty boomy at 80 Hz so youll want to cut that frequency a bit especially if youre listening to jazz or music with a stand up bass guitar in it.

    The 6500's have a double edged sword thing going on with their low end response. While theyll play down to 40 Hz all day long AND sound good doing it, frequencies below 63 Hz will cause them to bottom out pretty quick if you crank em up too much. If you listen to your music at a fairly low to moderate level then cut them puppies off at 40 Hz and enjoy all that wonderful up front bass. But if you listen at pretty stout volumes then youre gonna want to cut em at 63 Hz and let the sub handle everything below that.

    As for midrange, both the 6500 and 5250 are near perfect at it. All youre gonna have to do is cut whatever frequencies the car's interior is causing to peak and then let the SR's do the rest. This is a huge benefit in tuning cause getting a realistic midrange dialed in aint easy. Luckily the Polk engineers did all the legwork.

    The SR mids are just stupid off axis. Impressive enough the 6500 will do 5 KHz while still being able to hit 40 Hz but the 5250 will play up to 8 freaking-KHz at 90 degrees off axis before rolling off and that is just insane! It also means that you can mount these babies pretty much anywhere and not have to worry about getting them on axis which makes them easier to mount in the kicks if you want to and not have to worry about taking up leg room.

    I have noticed the 6500s have a little peak around 800 Hz. The 5250s didnt have this but the 6500's do both in my old Ram and in my Accord so youre gonna want to doctor this frequency range up some.

    The 6500's are gonna give you some problems in focusing up the imaging. For some reason the midrange focus in the 630-1200 Hz range seems to want to smear to the right. This was true in my Ram and Accord. I cant get it figured out. I do know that seating position affects it. With my seat leaned way back, this problem is gone - with it in a driving position, its there so when installing yours, take that into consideration. The 5250's didnt have this problem.

    Dont enclose the SR's! They work best in free air.

    Well thats all I can think of off the top of my head. If I think of any other wonderful tidbits Ill pass em on.
    Last edited by MacLeod; 09-18-2008 at 06:08 PM.
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  2. #2

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    hey mac, did you balance both sides? meaning if the right side was 3db higher @ 5khz did you cut the right side by 3db? i used my rta to take a measurement of the right side alone and then the left side alone. then i balanced both side so i was getting equal energy at all frequencies. this seemed to help keep the image stable. any other tips you can give us? thanks for the info.
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    Yup. I cant afford an RTA so I do it the old fashioned way. I use a Radio Shack SPL meter and 1/3 octave filtered pink noise. Play each frequency once on left channel then on right channel, measure and adjust til theyre both equal.
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    After 4 years with my beloved SR's and 3 years competing in SQ competitions with both the SR5250 and 6500, Ive learned a lot about them and thought Id share some of the tidbits Ive come across in the way of tuning these beauties......plus Im bored and this will kill a good 20 minutes.

    If youre going to separate the tweeter from the mid, wire them out of phase. In both my truck and my car, they blended in and the image pulled up higher a ton with them out of phase. Having them wired in phase with each other also caused some cancellation at the crossover point.

    The SR5250's will play well passed 5 KHz at 90 degrees off axis but I found 5 K to be the best crossover point for them with the mids low and the tweeters high in the car. Any higher than 5 and things thinned out a little too much. I also found using shallow slopes like 12 db worked well. I found a 12 db cutoff slope on both mid and tweet made them blend in very well and kept my stage nice and high.

    The SR6500's will play sky high for a 6.5. They dont start rolling off til passed 6.5 KHz @ 90 degrees off axis but they dont "play well" higher than 4. For these speakers I believe 4 KHz is the best crossover point. This was the case in my big Dodge Ram and in my little Honda Accord. 3.2 KHz got a little "thicker" and 5 KHz got too "thin" but 4 KHz was the most realistic. However, unlike the 5250's Ive found a steeper slope works better here. Ive got mine cutoff at 24 db/octave. I tried them at 12 db like the 5.25's but it gave the midrange a little too much "reverby" sound and I never could dial it out.

    As sweet as the ring radiator tweeters are, theyre a BITCH to tune in a car. Theyre very directional and can give you fits cause theyll play some frequencies louder on one side of the car than the other. For instance, 10 KHz is 4 db louder from the left tweeter but 12 KHz is 3 db louder from the right tweeter and so on. This doesnt necessarily affect the SQ from them but does wreak havoc on your imaging. The upside is that once theyre dialed in they sound awesome! Very clean and smooth. They dont play down low very well so forget about crossing them over anywhere near 2.5 K or even 3. While theyll get that low, they wont play with enough balls to blend in properly with the mids.

    Since the tweeters are so directional, the best place to mount them is up high. The A pillars are my favorite, but you can also use the dash. These tweeters are very smooth and even firing off the windshield, they wont be harsh so long as theyre attenuated.

    Speaking of which, turn em down! If you dont have a crossover with a level on it then use the one on the passive crossover and cut em the full 3 db. Mine are at -8 right now.

    The SR5250's have excellent midbass for a speaker as small as they are. I never got dinged for weak midbass when I ran them in '07. That being said, dont run them too low. 50 Hz is the absolute lowest I would go. They will play much lower but they wont sound good. They get sloppy below 50.

    The 6500's have weird midbass. They have a lot of energy but they dont have great "punch". They seem to dip around 63 Hz which is where the punch is. However, they are pretty boomy at 80 Hz so youll want to cut that frequency a bit especially if youre listening to jazz or music with a stand up bass guitar in it.

    The 6500's have a double edged sword thing going on with their low end response. While theyll play down to 40 Hz all day long AND sound good doing it, frequencies below 63 Hz will cause them to bottom out pretty quick if you crank em up too much. If you listen to your music at a fairly low to moderate level then cut them puppies off at 40 Hz and enjoy all that wonderful up front bass. But if you listen at pretty stout volumes then youre gonna want to cut em at 63 Hz and let the sub handle everything below that.

    As for midrange, both the 6500 and 5250 are near perfect at it. All youre gonna have to do is cut whatever frequencies the car's interior is causing to peak and then let the SR's do the rest. This is a huge benefit in tuning cause getting a realistic midrange dialed in aint easy. Luckily the Polk engineers did all the legwork.

    The SR mids are just stupid off axis. Impressive enough the 6500 will do 5 KHz while still being able to hit 40 Hz but the 5250 will play up to 8 freaking-KHz at 90 degrees off axis before rolling off and that is just insane! It also means that you can mount these babies pretty much anywhere and not have to worry about getting them on axis which makes them easier to mount in the kicks if you want to and not have to worry about taking up leg room.

    I have noticed the 6500s have a little peak around 800 Hz. The 5250s didnt have this but the 6500's do both in my old Ram and in my Accord so youre gonna want to doctor this frequency range up some.

    The 6500's are gonna give you some problems in focusing up the imaging. For some reason the midrange focus in the 630-1200 Hz range seems to want to smear to the right. This was true in my Ram and Accord. I cant get it figured out. I do know that seating position affects it. With my seat leaned way back, this problem is gone - with it in a driving position, its there so when installing yours, take that into consideration. The 5250's didnt have this problem.

    Dont enclose the SR's! They work best in free air.

    Well thats all I can think of off the top of my head. If I think of any other wonderful tidbits Ill pass em on.
    I too have played around with the SR6500 and your observations are spot on. I've tuned mine with a RTA and you're right there is a tiny peak at 800 Hz. I also crossover my system at 63 Hz. Great minds think alike! :)
    -Eric
    -Polk Audio

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Wong View Post
    I too have played around with the SR6500 and your observations are spot on. I've tuned mine with a RTA and you're right there is a tiny peak at 800 Hz. I also crossover my system at 63 Hz. Great minds think alike! :)
    Don't patronize him, he just likes to see himself type.

    It probably took him a solid week to get all that out.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  6. #6

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    lol :p
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    Thanks for all that info, mac. When I eventually get a processor I will definitely be referring to this thread again. I agree with what you said about the tweeter being louder on one side. Its really annoying me and there isn't much I can do about it except play with the fader... but that doesn't work very well since it fades the drivers as well.

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    Excellent write-up bud :). What about the SR subs - any tuning thoughts on those?

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    Quote Originally Posted by black magic View Post
    Thanks for all that info, mac. When I eventually get a processor I will definitely be referring to this thread again. I agree with what you said about the tweeter being louder on one side. Its really annoying me and there isn't much I can do about it except play with the fader... but that doesn't work very well since it fades the drivers as well.
    Its weird. Its not necessarily that one tweeter is playing louder, its only playing some frequencies louder. If I remember right, 2, 2.5 and 3 are louder on the left side but 4 and 5 are the same then 8 and 10 are louder on the right, then 12 is louder on the left but 16 is louder on the right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Topper View Post
    Excellent write-up bud :). What about the SR subs - any tuning thoughts on those?
    Ya dont really need much. These things play damn near ruler flat. Basically all youre going to have to do with these is level match them with the front stage.
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    woow thanks a lot, this is very very helpful
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    I have heard of amplifiers playing louder on one side but not speakers. In fact that one of the advantages of buying a better amp is you don't have that difference in volume.
    Anyway I love my SR components but my 6.5's cause my door panels to rattle. Its an old truck with plastic door panels so for now I run my 5250's down to 80hz and I have turned the 6.5 SR6501's off.

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    yeah, my door panels vibrate too. you can hear buzzing when I turn it up.

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    Its not really that the speaker is playing louder on one side, but rather the frequencies interacting with the car. If I were to sit in the middle of the car everything would be equal. All my comments were based on what the speakers are doing in my car with me sitting in the drivers seat.
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    excellent post. i noted you chose full active over the supplied (expensive, impressive) x-overs. that's a thing a LOT of SQ fans do. keep it up man.

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    Mac

    i did have that problem, that some times it feels like the right tweet is higher, but just in some songs.

    but i have the Imprint processor, do you know how can i tune it with this processor?

    also, is it a good idea to buy the PXA-H701 ? or I should stick to the Imprint.
    i have good results with the imprint, and i can say im happy with it.

    also if i buy the PXA-H701, how can i tune it with out buying a RUX-C701, or a IVA head unit?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinetic View Post
    also if i buy the PXA-H701, how can i tune it with out buying a RUX-C701, or a IVA head unit?
    If you want the H701 processor you will either need the control unit for it (the RUX-C701) or you'll need an alpine head unit that has control over the processor via the Ai-NET cable such as the DVA-9861. Not all of Alpine's headunits have the ability to control that processor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinetic View Post
    Mac

    i did have that problem, that some times it feels like the right tweet is higher, but just in some songs.

    but i have the Imprint processor, do you know how can i tune it with this processor?

    also, is it a good idea to buy the PXA-H701 ? or I should stick to the Imprint.
    i have good results with the imprint, and i can say im happy with it.

    also if i buy the PXA-H701, how can i tune it with out buying a RUX-C701, or a IVA head unit?
    The best way to use the 701 is with the remote. It is SO much easier to tune with.

    As for ditching the Imprint, if youre happy with it, then stay with it. If it aint broke, dont break it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    If it aint broke, dont break it.
    you are absolutley right, and also i dont know how to tune the H701, and im getting close to the perfection on tuning the Imprint module, and Alpine tech guys have been so nice making a data base on tuning the imprint.

    its such a nice processor, if you tune it right.


    also how much RMS, can the woofers and tweeters can handle

    i have right now my bi amping with 50-70RMS on the tweets and 75-100RMS on the woofers aprox
    Last edited by Kinetic; 09-23-2008 at 08:55 PM.
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    Thanks MacLeod, I have had my 6500 for over 2yrs now and I hope you don't mind if I give some of my opinions here.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post

    If youre going to separate the tweeter from the mid, wire them out of phase. In both my truck and my car, they blended in and the image pulled up higher a ton with them out of phase. Having them wired in phase with each other also caused some cancellation at the crossover point.

    Depends on vehicle. I have tried them in the sails, corner of the dash and currently above the mids in the door, just under the dash. I do agree try them out of phase but I have also found good results other ways.

    Try just one of the tweeters out of phase to see what sounds best. If it sounds better with one tweeter out of phase switch both tweeters so the other is now out of phase to see if there is an improvement.




    Since the tweeters are so directional, the best place to mount them is up high. The A pillars are my favorite, but you can also use the dash. These tweeters are very smooth and even firing off the windshield, they wont be harsh so long as theyre attenuated.

    The best location I have found is above the mid just under the dash. I have not lost stage height and everything else improved imaging, tonality etc.

    In the other locations I just couldn't get to where I'm at now. Each location was on axis and I tuned for over six months every time.


    Speaking of which, turn em down! If you dont have a crossover with a level on it then use the one on the passive crossover and cut em the full 3 db. Mine are at -8 right now.

    Agree, but again experiment to see what sounds best.


    The 6500's have weird midbass. They have a lot of energy but they dont have great "punch". They seem to dip around 63 Hz which is where the punch is. However, they are pretty boomy at 80 Hz so youll want to cut that frequency a bit especially if youre listening to jazz or music with a stand up bass guitar in it.

    The 6500's have a double edged sword thing going on with their low end response. While theyll play down to 40 Hz all day long AND sound good doing it, frequencies below 63 Hz will cause them to bottom out pretty quick if you crank em up too much. If you listen to your music at a fairly low to moderate level then cut them puppies off at 40 Hz and enjoy all that wonderful up front bass. But if you listen at pretty stout volumes then youre gonna want to cut em at 63 Hz and let the sub handle everything below that.

    IMO 40 is way too low and 63 is pushing it. I have had the best results with 80. For me lower than 80 I couldn't crank up the volume and the doors started to rattle. (I have sealed and deadened my doors) The 6500 just sounded like it was loosing clarity. No sense in having your sub only play a small portion of the frequency range.



    I have noticed the 6500s have a little peak around 800 Hz. The 5250s didnt have this but the 6500's do both in my old Ram and in my Accord so youre gonna want to doctor this frequency range up some.

    When using test tones as a crude RTA I thought 800 was a bit peaky too. Just don't cut it too much like I first did. After listening I had to raise it up some.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirthog View Post
    Thanks MacLeod, I have had my 6500 for over 2yrs now and I hope you don't mind if I give some of my opinions here.

    .....IMO 40 is way too low and 63 is pushing it. I have had the best results with 80. For me lower than 80 I couldn't crank up the volume and the doors started to rattle. (I have sealed and deadened my doors) The 6500 just sounded like it was loosing clarity. No sense in having your sub only play a small portion of the frequency range.
    I agree that the sub does a much better job of reproducing sub bass than a midrange speaker can, but Im coming from the perspective of achieving the most accurate soundstage that I can reproduce and since my sub is in the rear as is the case for most people, having it play as low as possible is the best way to keep everything front and center as anything much above 63 Hz starts to become much easier to localize. If you dont care about an accurate soundstage and just want the best tonality possible then youre right on the money by having the sub crossed over higher. But you still have to be careful because anything much over 80 Hz and the sub can become way too boomy and unrealistic.

    Depends on vehicle. I have tried them in the sails, corner of the dash and currently above the mids in the door, just under the dash. I do agree try them out of phase but I have also found good results other ways.

    Try just one of the tweeters out of phase to see what sounds best. If it sounds better with one tweeter out of phase switch both tweeters so the other is now out of phase to see if there is an improvement.
    I dunno bro. Ive had them in 2 different cars (full size truck and mid size sedan) and in 2 different locations in each car and in every instance, they worked better wired out of phase.
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    Maybe I missed it, but what do you have the tweeters crossed over at?
    -Cody

    (btw, have you got a chance to send that tweeter mount yet?)
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

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    4 KHz @ 24db/octave
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    Quote Originally Posted by exalted512 View Post
    Maybe I missed it, but what do you have the tweeters crossed over at?
    -Cody

    (btw, have you got a chance to send that tweeter mount yet?)
    I have mine at 4 KHz @ 12 slope.

    Mid lowpass at 3.1 KHz @ 18 slope. At 4 KHz its too full for me and sibilance starts to be a bit much.

    Mid highpass at 80 Hz @ 12 slope.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    I agree that the sub does a much better job of reproducing sub bass than a midrange speaker can, but I'm coming from the perspective of achieving the most accurate soundstage that I can reproduce and since my sub is in the rear as is the case for most people, having it play as low as possible is the best way to keep everything front and center as anything much above 63 Hz starts to become much easier to localize. If you dont care about an accurate soundstage and just want the best tonality possible then youre right on the money by having the sub crossed over higher. But you still have to be careful because anything much over 80 Hz and the sub can become way too boomy and unrealistic.
    For me the best soundstage is with the mids crossed at 80 Hz. Lower than that and it starts to get muddy and depth is lost. I don't have an eq for 63 Hz (50Hz & 80Hz) so I use the crossover instead.

    The SR sub definitely starts to get boomy around 80 Hz, but I think I need a bigger box. I currently have it cross at 50 Hz @ 18. Above that and it gets too boomy for me and again loose depth.


    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    I dunno bro. Ive had them in 2 different cars (full size truck and mid size sedan) and in 2 different locations in each car and in every instance, they worked better wired out of phase.
    I wasn't disagreeing with you. That maybe the best sounding in both of your cases but that doesn't mean it will for all others.

    I tried both out of phase when the tweeters where in the sails and it sounded better than in phase. I then tried just one tweeter out of phase and got better results.

    What I'm really saying is try everything to see what works best, every install, car application is different.

    I like talking "SR" because some of the other sites I'm on not too many people have them.
    HU: 880PRS
    Front: SR6500
    Amp: Alpine MRV-F545
    Sub: SR124-DVC
    Amp: Alpine MRD-M1005

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    i have 2 sr 124 dvc i want this to bang hard!! what do u guys recommend? sealed or ported? how much airspace for both ported and sealed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jalilig35 View Post
    i have 2 sr 124 dvc i want this to bang hard!! what do u guys recommend? sealed or ported? how much airspace for both ported and sealed?
    I don't recommend that you buy those subs if you're going to use them for SPL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by black magic View Post
    I don't recommend that you buy those subs if you're going to use them for SPL.
    Agreed, but it sounds like you already have them. Sealed they aren't recommended for ported.
    HU: 880PRS
    Front: SR6500
    Amp: Alpine MRV-F545
    Sub: SR124-DVC
    Amp: Alpine MRD-M1005

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirthog View Post
    Agreed, but it sounds like you already have them. Sealed they aren't recommended for ported.
    Yep. if you already have them, just throw them in a sealed enclosure at 1.2 sqaure ft per chamber and you'll be happy with the way these woofers reproduce low frequencies. :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirthog View Post
    Agreed, but it sounds like you already have them. Sealed they aren't recommended for ported.
    You can use them ported. They just need a relatively large box with a large slot vent.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/caraudio/su...ments=standard

    You're right though- if max SPL is the goal, there's better choices out there. SR's main goal was SQ, not SPL.
    -Eric
    -Polk Audio

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    Are the SR6500's better on or off axis? I'm designing my door panels and would like to set this up properly. i assume they are better on axis and currently have them in the stock locations off axis in the doors. Based on the first post, I'm wondering how different they will be on axis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by keith89 View Post
    Are the SR6500's better on or off axis? I'm designing my door panels and would like to set this up properly. i assume they are better on axis and currently have them in the stock locations off axis in the doors. Based on the first post, I'm wondering how different they will be on axis.
    I can see why you'd think that the SR's would be better on-axis as most components are, but the truth is that the SR's have amazing off-axis response as well! ...just make sure you wire the tweeters out of phase if you set them up off axis as recommended. If possible, I would still think that it would be better to have the components set up on axis, but that can be difficult to do in a car.

    In any case, good luck and let us know how it goes.

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