Originally Posted by Erich H Just curious what you're thinking would be gained by switching out the CD's?
The 360 wouldn't be an upgrade to the 205. They just have different power ratings and one can be crossed over lower. Switching out compression drivers in the certain speakers wouldn't be an upgrade or make them better. The compression drivers were chosen to go with that specific design and changing them out would actually make the speaker worse without a full rework of the crossover. So even if you were willing to pay more, there's no benefit to using a 360 over a 205 in those designs.
If you get one of the 8" models and listen to it, you'll see that the compression driver has PLENTY of power for the speaker and sounds very good. You won't even get close to it's maximum power handling. Also, some people would say the 205 with it's Mylar diaphragm sounds smoother.
Actually, I think I understand the thinking, because Mr. Geek is wondering what a lot of us are wondering. "if the DNA 205 is good for $32, then the 350 for only $20 more must be better. And if the 360 is better for only $20 more, then I want the 360 instead of the 350 because it's only a few more bucks." The logic is correct, but as my logic teacher said in college, "logic has NOTHING to do with reality."
I ordered a couple of different SEOS kits six months ago, and ended up with a pair of DNA-205's and a pair of DNA-360's. I was able to A/B them in open air and experiment with them.
Both were in 12" SEOS waveguides. I listened to the drivers with their own XO's, I interchanged them with the 205 on the 360's XO. and vice-versa. I even listened to them with the 205 hooked up to the left channel, and the 360 in the right channel. My "ear" conclusions were surprising. What is not surprising, is that as usual, Erich is right.
At moderate/loud listening levels and below, there was VERY little difference in the sound quality and timbre, so close to the same sound I can't even quantify how they are different. And as Erich suggested, the 205's were very smooth, very pleasant to listen to, whether using their own XO's or the XO to the 360 (from the Cheap Thrills build). I'll tell you how they sounded best, but nobody in their right mind would do this. When I had the 205 in the left channel, and the 360 in the right channel, they sounded better together than either one did when matched with the same model! I think each one probably "filled" the sound the other didn't, but I offer that as testimony as to how close these CD's sounded to each other.
The 205 has a much smaller diameter magnet and weighs less then the 360, and costs $32 vs $76 for the 360. If you conducted a blind test, I think you would find they both sound almost exactly the same, and both were pleasant (not harsh) to listen to. I would guess that someone could do a much more demanding stress test and expose the differences, but my general conclusion is that they are very well matched to each other.
I would think the 360's might do well in fronts with a larger design that required more power handling, and the 205's would be a PERFECT timbre match for surrounds in whatever box they were in, and whether used for fronts or surrounds.