Year / Model Reviewed: 2004 5WS / 5-3/8" Sub woofer
Strengths: -Small size
-Clean and hard hitting
-Only choice for replacing an OEM sub woofer of this size
Summary: I have one of these sub woofers in my 1991 Toyota MR2. MR2's with the "premium sound" system came with a 5-1/4" sub from the factory located behind the drivers seat. I wanted to put some real bass in the car, but I wanted it to remain stock looking. I also did not want to add much, if any weight. I considerd the JL Audio 6W0, but the added size wasn't going to work for me being I wanted to use the stock MR2 speaker enclosure.
I installed the sub and ran it off of a SoundStream Rub-Angina amplifier. This is a very small amp which put out about 100x1 @ 4ohms if I remember correctly. The source unit was an 2003 model Alpine, the CDA-9811.
My initial thoughts were that it was very good. It is built of the highest quality materials. It looks the part, but more importantly the looks are simply form following function. The layer / composite used for the cone is particularly interesting. Everyone sees the top part which is that grey/specled, hard and smooth material. But on the underside is this semi-clear thin layer of what looks to be some kind of pressed foam. The cone experiences nearly no flex so this material is obviously another manufacturing approach to the "light yet rigid cone".
It could hit certain frequencies well, but others just made for the sound of air. This being because the stock MR2 box in ported. Although the Focal is meant to be in a ported box, I didn't built one to spec's. Rather, I just used the stock one. As stated, certain frequencies were about 1 part bass and 3 parts air whisping through the port and heard as a resonating sound. As long as it was better than the stock sub I was going to be happy.
On the frequencies that it could hit well, it hit very well. You know it is not a large sub just by the way it behaves. No one is going to mistake it for a 10"...over even a 8" for that matter. But it is very good if you only want to add some bass and not a ton.
***Ok, now note that everything said above was while I was using the Alpine CDA-9811. Well, I tweaked and tested with that unit, on and on, and I never felt that it really sounded that good. Initially I had just wanted a very good head unit, but I didn't want to break the bank. Step to the present and just a few days ago I switched up the Alpine for the brand new Kenwood Excelon KDC-X979...Excelon's highest offering. With this new unit in place the sub sounds VASTLY different. It hits almost all frequencies cleanly and much harder. It is pounding out lows now that I didn't think it was able to. In all honesty it sounds almost (not quite) like I added another 5WS into the system. It is that much cleaner, louder and more dynamic.
Using the new head unit I have a whole new attitude to the Focal 5WS. Now I can honestly say that it is not a good, but rather a great speaker. I have sat in my car the past few days tweaking things and am just completely in awe of the difference the head unit made and how great this speaker now sounds.
So in closing, the Focal 5WS is an excellent speaker overall. But as is with any system, the source of your signal as well as its processing are critical to the end result sounding right.
Similar Products Used: -There is no other sub in this size range
Rating Reviewed by: Tk Reed(Unregistered User)
Review Date August 10, 2003
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Value Rating 5 of 5
Used product for Less than 1 month
Visitors rate this review 5.00 of 5,
Review 2 of 3
, from Honolulu Hawaii
Year / Model Reviewed: 2002 Focal 5WS
Strengths: BOOOM ! Bad Ass Bass ! And you keep all your space with out a big box with out a box at all . very small
Summary: Loud, Clear, I mean Clear quality sound with the thump you want I put them in my back door they vibrate the car and my ass.
Similar Products Used: none no one no where can compare to the lil guys
Rating Reviewed by: Doug(Unregistered User)
Review Date February 27, 2001
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Value Rating 4 of 5
Used product for 6 months to 1 year
Visitors rate this review 4.76 of 5,
Review 3 of 3
, from Colorado
Strengths: Good, solid bass for its size. Excellent alternative when you dont have room for a 10"-15" sub.
Summary: I needed to add a sub to my Acura, but with a two seat sportscar, there wasn't room for a 10"-15" sub but I needed more bass. I stumbled upon Focal's 5WS. A 5 3/8" subwoofer! Built like a tank, it's part of Focal's top of the line Utopia series. I had it installed right below the glove box facing down. For it's size, it really thumps, though it wont shake the foundation like a 12" or 15". This wont appeal to the hip hop crowd, but if you're looking for a very high quality subwoofer and space is limited, you might check it out. At $200 each, it's not cheap but IMO, it's definitely worth it.
Similar Products Used: JL Audio microsub, Kicker Solobaric