Alpine ID X Series
Complete System Review
bvviously, bviously, there are a l lot t of fhi high h quality lit audio components available for our cars. Some people choose a system because it plays loud, while others may prefer tonal balance over raw SPL, but when you ask a true audiophile what they look for in a system, the answer may surprise you. Real audiophiles already expect systems to sound natural and be capable of volumes high enough to mimic the live event, so they tend to look for more subtle characteristics that are not immediately evident to a casual listener.
If we look at things from a purist's perspective, the whole reason for listening to a stereo system is to try and recreate the feel, emotion, and realism of the actual event. Audiophiles spend countless blissful hours listening to their favorite recordings, not just for the music, but for the experience of the music. That means the audio playback system not only has to be accurate and natural sounding, but it also must recreate the original soundstage in front of the listener. Granted, some recordings are better at this than others, but when h it's it' right, i ht it can be b amazing. i
This was the challenge accepted by Alpine's engineers – to attempt to recreate the original experience as perfectly as possible. To achieve this would mean a complete redesign of their sound system philosophy and present significant technical challenges. To better understand these challenges, we first have to understand the basic principles of stereo sound.
Stereo music is much more than the ability of having two different sounds coming from each channel at the same time. Everyone is probably familiar with the term “center image.” This refers to the ability of an audio system to create the illusion of the performer's voice or instrument seemingly coming from a spot in open space exactly between the two speakers. When you get a system to do this spatial imaging really well, it's pretty astonishing. The result is the ability to close your eyes and be able to “see” every performer across the width and depth of the stage, precisely where they were when the recording was made. To accomplish this, a stereo system must have the ability to very closely control the arrival time and am amplitude of every e er n nuance ance of your o rm music. If the system has errors in phase or frequency response, it can smear the stereo image and ruin the effect, preventing you from getting the most from the recording.
Enter Alpine ID, or “Image Defined.” The goal for the Alpine ID products is to produce excellent tonal balance, dynamic range, and sound quality, all while creating a highly realistic sound stage. This new focus on stereo imaging permeates the entire line of products, from amplifiers and components to coaxial speakers and subwoofers. To accomplish the goal, Alpine created a whole new series of products that are specifically designed to be used together.
The new X-Series amplifiers, speakers, and subwoofers are the first products that have been totally redesigned to meet the new Alpine ID spec. All Alpine ID-spec products are all-new designs, and should be used together for maximum performance. Alpine's other products will likely also be redesigned to Alpine ID spec in time, with the eventual goal of all the Alpine ID-spec products having a “spatial imaging DNA” identified as unmistakably Alpine.