One Word: AMAZING
This all started when a friend and myself were working toward putting together a high-quality sound system for my truck. I don't mind spending the money to get the good stuff, but even with the big names in speakers, we were shopping around.
We decide to make a trip to Ft Collins, CO which is a much larger town than where I live, and swing by Car Toys and Ultimate Electronics. Both of these stores have nice sealed rooms with all kinds of HU's, components, amps and subs for you to play with. While this platform is quite different than a car, you can still get a good feel for the match and feel of the system components.
I had pretty much settled my mind on a set of Infinity Kappa component speakers for the front of my truck. I want to upgrade the stock HU, add components, then add two subs behind the rear seat, and of course amps to run it all. Let's just say that all changed when we got to the second store, Ultimate Electronics.
We had a CD we had taken that would give components a good workout, it had a wide array of instruments, effects and vocals. We chose to focus on one key part of a song, and see how that changed and see how different things were accentuated with different components.
They had the Infinity Kappa's on the board right next to some Diamond Audio components. We noticed that they had one set of Diamond's that were $1299 /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif We had never heard of them, but figured there must be something special.
Ok, on to the shootout
The Kappa's were number 3 on the switchboard and the Diamonds were number 4, so they were very easy to switch on the fly, were at the same relative height, ran by the same amp and HU etc. We were testing the Diamond D3's, which are their lowest end speakers, and still were $50 more than the Infinity Kappa's. We started out with the Kappa's and really liked the sound. The highs were crisp and clear, and you could make them VERY loud and keep good quality sound. The Kappa's, especially the more we listened to them, became somewhat edgy, and sharp. The screaming highs were awesome for a while, but began to hurt your ears after a few minutes.
Enter the diamonds, when the salesperson switched over to the Diamonds the difference was incredible. It was hard to figure out at first, but the more we listened, and switched back and forth, it became evident.
The Diamonds give you the sensation that the person is standing right beside you, singing, and playing. It's like you are face to face with the music, not just listening to it. Balance and Precision are great words to describe how these speakers are tuned. We switched back and forth no less than 25-30 times and the sound of the Diamonds just got better, contrasting with the now crisp and raspy sound of the Kappas.
My buddy got sold on them right there and decided to swap them in for a set of MB Quarts in his Escalade. His ride has a $5000+ stereo/video system consisting of a Panasonic DVD HU, 6 component speakers filling the cabin, 4 JL Audio 10" subs, and 2 Rockford Fosgate Amps pushing 1000 and 800 watts resectively. He commented that his front speakers sounded a little worn and were getting rattley sounding at higher volume levels. He wanted to be able to push the system to the max and get some better sound quality; the MB Quarts were 2 yrs old.
The only difference with the install of the Diamonds were that the tweeter was moved to the door panel and facing up toward the driver/passenger, and there was a very small section of Dynamat added behind each speaker to eliminate any rattles etc.
The difference was astounding. After some fine tuning we have them set to run the system at 95% max power with NO distortion. The HU has 40 volume positions and it will run @ 39 all day long and sounds beautiful. In the car I have to say they just got better, of course they were complimented with Bass, but we turned the subs off and just listened to the components primarily to listen for differences.
The music came alive more than I have ever heard with a set of component speakers. You could suddenly hear backup rythms, singers taking breaths, even the body of an acoustic guitar reverberating. All these little suttleties didn't jump out and slap you though, much like they do with the Kappa's, they're just there, balanced and part of the music.
The biggest difference on these speakers is the mid, they have awesome dynamic mid range. They highs aren't pearcing, but definitely clear and discernable in a way not possible with 3-way speakers. The mid fills in all the gaps, highlighting the singers voice or lead instrument and making the music sound 'bigger' in every way. We again had the feeling, just like in the store, that the singers and musicians were right there beside us, in the car, offering us a special encore performance.
As you can probably tell by the verbose article, I'm really excited about these speakers. They are quite simply the most dynamic, balanced, and 'best' speakers I've ever heard in car audio. I purposely avoided the word Audiophile in this write up beacause if its overuse, but if you consider yourself to be one, you will be in heaven with a set of Diamonds.
Check them out at http://diamondaudio.com