Monday, December 10, 2007

Alpine Type-X: Upgrade or Absurd?

Alpine announced last week it would begin shipping the newest upgrade to their mobile speaker lineup, the Type-X Pro and Reference Speakers. Alpine’s combination of high output fiberglass cones and ring radiator tweeters, on the Pro series, are aural assassins of the highest caliber. Even so, the price jump is a bit hefty from its predecessor with an MSRP of $650 (but we'll have them for way less). This, Type-X, upgrade includes smaller neodymium magnets. So, if you’re shelling out multiple Benjamins for these fancy cans, anyway, you don’t to have to drop a bunch more cash on car interior customization just to fit them in your ride.

Type-X Pro
One thing you might want to customize is the speaker tuning. The included interchangeable ‘Phase Link’ modules are setup to cope with the most popular speaker placements, and ring radiator tweeters allow the tweeters to swivel around giving more precise control over the direction of the sound.

The SPX-17 Pro boasts 100W max and 300W peak handling power. The SPX-13 Pro holds it down with 80W max and 240W peak. Because of the size difference, SPX-13 Pro has slightly less frequency response than its bigger brother.

As the name and price indicate, these component speakers are not really for the audio enthusiast. These are for those freakish audiophiles that are a bit obsessed with perfect unabated sound reproduction or, to put it nicely, audio connoisseurs.

Type-X Reference
If the Type-X Pro series seems a bit much to you, then the Type-X Reference speakers maybe more to your liking. Type-X Reference speakers are a very slight step down, somewhat in tweeter performance, but mostly in watts pushed. You’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between dome tweeters, which the Type-X Ref uses, and ring radiator tweeters that adorn the Type-X Pro. Dome tweeters have less moving parts, and less that can brake. Plus, you’re already installing the tweeters in such a way as to focus the sound where you want, more control is overkill.

Another nice thing about the Type-X Ref speakers is, you can convert this component speaker system into a coaxial system, adding to the installation options. The wattage of these cans is a bit diminished when compared to the Pro Series. The SPX-17 REF pushes 75W max and 225W peak, its partner in thumping, the SPX-13 REF, has a respectable 60W max and 180W peak. Being the low-end of these high-end speakers the SPX-13 REF has the lowest frequency response range of the four new offerings but at an MSRP of $400 they should both be mind altering.

Are They For Real

The price for this new Alpine upgrade is, as with any product, a combination real value and branded value. The trick is figuring out which is the reason the price is…what it is. These speakers offer some impressive features, but Alpine’s pricing it out of range for many in their loyal demographic. Most people spend $50-$60 dollars on a set of car speakers, and are perfectly happy with their performance. The new Alpine Type-X is cutting edge, but taking into account the fact that you can get the current model for $200, what makes these worth the extra bucks?

..via Audio Junkies..Press Release