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Old 1st August 2012, 10:23   #1
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Default ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries

Over the years however, I came to discover that good music does the trick for me. It makes my commutes and trips pleasurable; performing the role of a mood upper and puts me in a happy place overall.

Being someone who operates on a budget that can sometimes stretch to being razor thin, has always prevented me from any sort of performance mods. So, other than (unsuccessful) attempts to get a free-flow exhaust in my previous car, there were zilch amount of other mods to be pursued.

ICE on the other hand has been a different affair. My journey this far is for some other time. What’s to be shared is my ICEventures with the Figo. The roots of this tale trace their origins back to a couple of years prior. Without a doubt, the ICE situation in Europe and USA are miles better than down in India. The Official purchase channels price good products at such stratospheric prices that even if I were to sell an arm, leg and my kidney, I still wouldn’t be able to afford stuff.

The unofficial channels on the other hand, are only interested in the lower end of the spectrum. The segment where colours, lights, flash and other stuff is more important than things like quality of the music being played back. It is also a segment that I quickly outgrew. I like my treble to be smooth and mellow, the vocals to be warm and the bass as crisp as possible. Now, with each component there are compromises. Almost everything is ruled by budget and you usually get what you pay for.

No offense to anyone in particular or in general. These are just my reflections on a topic that's quite close to my heart.

And thus, the ICEventures begin

ROUND 1
– Bass & Trouble (B&T)/ Ajay Kamath/ AtoZ Audio, 4 Seasons, Tardeo Mumbai

Ajay Kamath perhaps needs no introduction in the Bombay circle of ICE enthusiasts. I’d first met him some years prior to this build and had seen his work from close quarters. His team comprising of Shafiq, Mohan & Shafiq’s younger brother is a talented bunch of people who can work night and day to get things done. So it was in their able hands that the Figo went under the ICE knife. But before we go about the build-off, here’s a dekko at the main components of this build.


Building Blocks of the System:

Head Unit (Step 1 - OEM):
The first thing in the Figo that I swapped was the OEM Player. Unfortunately, being a family car, I was only permitted to swap it for the OEM Player in the higher version. It’s a decision that I hated initially, but it could prove to be a blessing in the future.

Head Unit (Step 2 – Aftermarket):
The OEM head unit may have sated the general consumer, but it failed to get mine to ring. Even after the swap (which added USB playback), it was best as a signal providing unit. In the meantime, I’d met up with B&T aka Ajay Kamath. A consult on the build plan later, it was decided that a Double DIN touch screen unit would best suit my needs. Besides the usual playback options of CD/USB/iPod, I was also looking at Navigation readiness and reverse cam capabilities. There were a few options from Sony, Kenwood & JVC that were in my intended price-bracket. But the JVC 836 was decided upon as it did all of the above. The one thing that tipped the scales in its favour was its Detachable Faceplate ability – a huge advantage considering how tempting these gadgets are to prying eyes.

Front Stage: I’d blind purchased a pair of pre-owned Illusion Audio Llucent Series 6” Components. Unfortunately, one of them turned out to be still-born and couldn’t be rescued. So, based on Ajay’s recommendations, a pair of Focal Polyglass 165VB components was drafted in to do duty.

Rear:
Since the car was to be self-driven, it was decided to continue with the OEM speakers at the back.

Subwoofer: The JL Audio 12W1v2-4 was called in to handle the low frequencies. It won the honours for its price to performance delivery & compact size.

The Amp:
Way back in my earlier ICE-life, I’d come to the conclusion that I would need is beefy amplification. A minimum of six channels if I were to go front stage active and eight if I’d wish to go 3 way active up front. Lady luck threw me a winner when it sent a pre-worshipped Audison VRx 6.420 Chrome Shadow edition my way. So I grabbed the blessing with open arms and decided to bring the beast home.

Damping:
All four doors, the hatch and the boot floor including the wheel-well were damped with Noise Kill

Cabling:
The RCA’s were carried over from the previous install, while the power kit was a B&T recommended 4AWG one. The Speaker cables were Illusion Audio 16AWG cables.

To be continued -
Attached Thumbnails
ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-dsc00500.jpg  


Last edited by St. Anger : 4th August 2012 at 09:18. Reason: Updating post with Image
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Old 6th August 2012, 12:34   #2
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Default Re: ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the ICE Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 6th August 2012, 12:58   #3
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Default Re: ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries

Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Anger View Post
Being someone who operates on a budget that can sometimes stretch to being razor thin, has always prevented me from any sort of performance mods.

ICE on the other hand has been a different affair.

I like my treble to be smooth and mellow, the vocals to be warm and the bass as crisp as possible. Now, with each component there are compromises.

Almost everything is ruled by budget and you usually get what you pay for.

To be continued -
It is hard to see folks who take time out for writing up their experiences. Thanks for yours.

The 'budget' word usage interested me(a VFM maniac). I am no audiophile(technically), but I definitely can sense 'bad' rendering from 'better'.

Looking forward to your updates. Do throw in some more pictures !
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Old 6th August 2012, 16:39   #4
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Default Re: ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the ICE Section. Thanks for sharing!
@GTO, thanks for the quick move

Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselDon View Post
It is hard to see folks who take time out for writing up their experiences. Thanks for yours.

The 'budget' word usage interested me(a VFM maniac). I am no audiophile(technically), but I definitely can sense 'bad' rendering from 'better'.

Looking forward to your updates. Do throw in some more pictures !
@DieselDon,
Thanks for your encouragement. I had been wanting to share my experience, but other commitments meant that this had to be delayed. A lot of people have helped me along in my journey and this thread is also a tribute to them all.

'Budget' resonates differently in each individual, depending upon their preferences and the monies in their wallet. For example, in one of my early experiments, i have used a PVC pipe, sealed at one end and filled with fiber stuffing as crude enclosures for 4" co-axials in a Santro. That was budget for me, for it only cost me about 150 Rs. and made the difference between no-bass and some bass.

The rest is for another thread that should be loosely titled 'the misadventures of...'

For now, i'm working on the next installment in the tale and yes, i shall be including some build pictures as well.

Cheers :-)
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Old 20th August 2012, 11:37   #5
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Default Re: ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries (The Build-off Stage I)

The Build-Off: Stage 1

Spread over 3 days,

Day 1 was dedicated to stripping down the brand new car. A step that’s not for the fainthearted but it was all for a good cause. Plus I knew that the team was capable of handling things. So it was cool.

With the car all stripped down, it was time to move on to the next-prep; Damping. Yes, 'Damping'. Over the years, i have become something of a damping evangelist. With cars becoming lighter and lighter, the importance of damping is only going to grow in the minds of those that seek to follow the sound.

Having wished for Dynamat Extreme, the wallet sadly decided to play dictator. It sent out a message that chasing Dynamat would only serve to have a damped, but no ICE car. And so, it was decided to go in for a wallet friendly option - Noise Kill.

As the heavy roll was spooled out, sheets and pieces were harvested as necessary. Off they went, finding their way into the doors and hatch, then making their way onto the wheel well and boot floor. I’d have loved to cover the floor but it was decided to have been enough.

The sun rose on Day 2 and the first half was immediately dedicated to the sub enclosure preparation. My requirements were very specific. The usability of the boot-space was to be kept intact to the best degree possible. Additionally, the ICE equipment in the boot too had to be kept away from prying eyes. Yep, it was to be a stealth install, through and through.

Thankfully, the dimensions of the Figo's Boot are quite ICE friendly. The original boot carpet lining is quite thick and the boot itself is quite deep as well.

And so, it was decided to go in for a Sub Woofer in the Wheel Well (SWWW) setup. The amp placement too was finalized and everything was designed to be such that the spare wheel too could be accessed when needed.

The second half was devoted to routing the cabling and wiring and soon, those shiny, long things were snaking their way all round the car. Everything was aligned along the floor and care was taken to avoid ground looping.

Day 3 was to be in inevitable ''furious activity'' mode.
The boot enclosure was test fitted, checked for clearance and finalized. The amp connections were terminated. The Grounding was completed. When the HU finally went it, it was a feeling of having achieved the next level of ICE nirvana.

With the night well and truly underway, it was time for B&T to take over and wave his magic tuning wand. About 20 odd minutes and we were done. It was time to thank everyone and drive home.

In the weeks that followed, time was devoted for the components to break in. The sub improved and the confusing amp settings were tweaked notch by notch.

All this was a dream come true. For someone who could only manage to spare a few thousands a month for his run down vehicles, getting this install in a brand new family car was surreal, to say the least. It had cost me a fortune, but I felt that it had been worth it. Sure there were a few loose ends but it was up there, and running.

Couldn't manage a step-by-step pictorial of the build, but am sharing the key elements that i captured. So, this is end of
Attached Thumbnails
ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-1-damping-spare-wheel-well.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-2-close-up-spare-wheel-well-cavity.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-3-pretaping-sub-enclosure-wip-2.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-4-pretaping-sub-enclosure-wip-3.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-5-test-fitting-false-boot-amp-placement.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-6-fibreglassing-sub-enclosure-wip-1.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-7-fibreglassing-sub-enclosure-wip-2.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-8-fibreglassing-sub-enclosure-wip-3.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-9-fibreglassing-sub-enclosure-wip-4.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-10-test-fitting-jl-audio-subwoofer-enclosure-wip-1.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-11-test-fitting-jl-audio-subwoofer-enclosure-wip-2.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-12-subwoofer-enclosure-top-plate-test-fitted.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-13-sub-enclosure-checked-incar-fitment.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-14-subwoofer-dropped-into-enclosure.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-15-protective-metal-grille-fitted-over-subwoofer.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-16-some-carpeting-magic-invisible-sub.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-17-oem-speakers.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-18-fuse-power-cable.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-19-inner-layer-damping-rear-rhs-door-wip.jpg  

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-20-two-layer-damping-rear-rhs-door.jpg  


Last edited by GTO : 21st August 2012 at 15:19. Reason: Quoted post deleted
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Old 20th August 2012, 16:47   #6
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Default Re: ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries

There is an annular space around the sub, between the lower FG moulding holding the sub and the top plate. What is that for?

Excellent work on the SWSE (Spare Wheel-well Sub Enclosure) :

Last edited by DerAlte : 20th August 2012 at 16:49.
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Old 20th August 2012, 16:59   #7
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Default Re: ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries

Hi I just have one question, did you refit the spare wheel? cause as per my observation in my car i have noticed that the wheel is fitted the other way around.
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Old 21st August 2012, 14:27   #8
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Default Re: ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries

Really Nice install. Please post some pictures of the HU too.
P.S how much has the damping affected the noise coming inside the car? ( I own an alto and am desperately searching for options to reduce noise inside the car. )
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Old 22nd August 2012, 13:26   #9
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Default Re: ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
There is an annular space around the sub, between the lower FG moulding holding the sub and the top plate. What is that for?

Excellent work on the SWSE (Spare Wheel-well Sub Enclosure) :
Thanks DerAlte, Ajay's team did execute it well. I don't exactly know the exact reason for the annular space, maybe B&T could throw some light on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by desideep View Post
Hi I just have one question, did you refit the spare wheel? cause as per my observation in my car i have noticed that the wheel is fitted the other way around.
Hi desideep,
yes, the spare wheel was inverted to make way for the sub-woofer cavity. It did come fitted the other way round from the factory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tupai View Post
Really Nice install. Please post some pictures of the HU too.
P.S how much has the damping affected the noise coming inside the car? ( I own an alto and am desperately searching for options to reduce noise inside the car. )
Thanks for the appreciation Tupai. It really is a simple, 2DIN HU. Has most of the important connectivity options and features barring Time Alignment. Haven't really clicked snaps of the HU as i felt it had already been covered elsewhere on the forum.

Damping the doors and boot have had a noticeable reduction in the road noise. Having said this, i would love to damp the entire floor of the passenger section as well as the firewall someday. This i believe, would really reduce the road noise levels significantly.
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Old 22nd August 2012, 23:49   #10
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Default Re: ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries

Nice install. Do you have more snaps? WIP and/or post install.

What are the other options of placing tweeters in the Figo, other than the sail panel?
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Old 24th August 2012, 11:21   #11
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Default Re: ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries

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Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
There is an annular space around the sub, between the lower FG moulding holding the sub and the top plate. What is that for?
Its just what coincidentally remains after moulding over the spare wheel and building the front baffle. Forms a part of the enclosure, and helps increase the overall volume.
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Old 24th August 2012, 12:03   #12
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... Forms a part of the enclosure, and helps increase the overall volume.
From the pics it looks like the FG extension is part of the baffle, and the annular volume has no pneumatic connection with the 'box' - the volume behind the sub. Would have been different had the sub been mounted on the top plate, and there was a ring seal between the top plate and the FG below.

The hole in the top plate is too big to be a port , otherwise in the current form this would be a neat bandpass arrangement! Or maybe it is acting like the BP's resonator.
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Old 24th August 2012, 13:07   #13
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Default Re: ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries

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Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
From the pics it looks like the FG extension is part of the baffle, and the annular volume has no pneumatic connection with the 'box' - the volume behind the sub. Would have been different had the sub been mounted on the top plate, and there was a ring seal between the top plate and the FG below.
Umm, the pics are a bit deceptive. The part that is perhaps throwing you off is the fact that some of the "trial" pics show the subwoofer sitting in the bottom moulded part without the ring or the front baffle even being constructed. That was in order to ascertain the height at which the ring has to be put in place so that it becomes flush with the top surface. Also, the sub is reasonably sunk into the front baffle so that the grill surface becomes flush with the top.

There is a gap in the part indicated with the arrow in the image below, which is basically open into the annular ring you are pointing out.

ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries-dsc00148.jpg   <div style=
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Old 24th August 2012, 13:18   #14
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Umm, the pics are a bit deceptive. The part that is perhaps throwing you off is the fact that some of the "trial" pics ...
That's what I was expecting, but for the pic in which the sub was sitting in the FG bucket, and the one in which the top plate seems to sit 'over' the sub.

If it had been the way I saw it earlier, I would have used it as a convenient tool storage!!!
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Old 24th August 2012, 15:04   #15
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Default Re: ICEventures of St. Anger: The Figo TDCi Diaries

That's a nice way to have a SUB and not waste any space. My Figo has a Sub which takes 40% of the space.
Now where is the Jack(when the spare tyres are inverted).
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