Here's a past review on the MB Quart DSC-216/USX-2100 amp installed in my 350Z track model:
Pros: An excellent and innovative design at a reasonable cost.
Cons: Lack of crossover adjustability. Always better speakers out there!
MB Quart is well known in audiophile circles for producing some of the best high-end car speakers in the industry. If money is no object, than have they got some speakers for you! Well, my objective wasn't to spend a lot of green to upgrade the stereo in my 2003 Nissan 350Z track model. However, I was pleased to find that the famed German manufacturer makes a set of component speakers for the budget minded among us. What makes the DSC-216 special is the way that certain elements from the higher speaker lines end up in what is, admittedly, their entry-level speakers.
One example of this is the 13mm titanium tweeter. It is surrounded by some of the latest materials available in 2003: a neodymium magnet structure within a specially designed metal cooling housing. This design is found in MB Quart's higher speaker lines and helps to remove excess energy generated inside the tweeter's magnet and voice coil assembly to improve power handling and reliability. The tweeter, which is also protected by a sealed crossover (no adjustability), really shines in recreating the higher notes. Some have found highs too "bright" in this speaker line, but I found them just right in cutting through the usual background noise of a sportscar. Another plus is the tweeters size: small enough to be mounted anywhere and adaptability. It comes with plastic housings and metal grills to allow for a variety of mountings: angled, flush-mounted or, in my case, mounted in the door sail panels of the 350Z.
How much bass can a relatively small 6.5" speaker produce? In the DSC-216, it's easily enough to rock my car! While I'm not looking to impress anybody in the car next to me, the pounding bass is enough to make the doors move on some of my favorite cuts. Credit a unique design, of which MB Quart propaganda states: "...made from polyamide ABS composite reinforced with extremely short glass fibers to form the basket. Similar to our Premium and Reference Line baskets, our new design will withstand temperature and humidity extremes with little, if any, reaction. The magnetic motor assembly is attached via a metal flange that acts both as a cooling element and as a protective covering to seal out dirt, humidity and temperature fluctuations. Because the basket is non-metallic, non-magnetic and resonance-free, it becomes one of the most ideal designs for automotive loudspeaker application. The cones of the drivers are made of a special mineral-based polypropylene. This material is far superior to a conventional paper cone. This applies to both its acoustical properties and its resistance to humidity, temperature fluctuations and UV radiation. The result is pure listening pleasure, year after year." I hope this last part is true, as I've had the pleasure of listening to these speakers for over a month with no drop-off in performance.
These speakers need a lot of clean, pure power to sound their best. Rated at between 90-150 watts, I matched them with a two channel USX-2100 amp (see "More Punch for the Buck" epinions review under U.S. Acoustics for more details) supplying 100 watts at 12.9 volts. I'm constantly delighted with the sound clarity and warmth that this combination generates. I'm sure there is a lot more technical information that I could stick in here, but that's relevant only if I can explain why it works! The point is that by retaining the stock head unit (together with the rear stock speakers to provide some "rear fill" sound) and using a separate amp for the DSC-216s, you can create a detailed front soundstage- ideal for a car like the 350Z. Cost is reasonable and, due to the adaptability of this product, the speakers have an additional benefit of being virtually invisible to thieves.
2007 Update: In the years since I published this review, I continue to marvel at how good the MB Quarts continue to make my 350Z sound! I recognize that advances in speaker technology have continued and that my upgraded system is just that. But my ears tell me that the crisp sound--the distinctive highs and strong base--have endured throughout thousands of miles. All the things I reported in this review continue to be true and I continue to believe that this was some of the best money I have ever spent!
2013 update: This year will be the 11th anniversary for my 350Z and the MB Quart DSC 216s that were installed so long ago. They've been rock solid over the years and continue to be a prime source of aural pleasure in my vehicle. Combined with the USX-2100 amp, these speakers have consistently turned music into a revelation every time I get in. The crystal clear highs continue to amaze me, and while this simple upgrade won't deafen, the volume is still enough to satisfy.
2016 update: this amp/speaker combo continues to be rock-solid in my Z. I'm constantly amazed how good and durable this system is. It was worth buying and installing good quality components the first time!