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Old 20th November 2012, 20:12   #1
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Default Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!

I have been complaining about how awful the stock ICE on my Vento is for a looong time.

Finally got off my behind and did something about it. It all started with fellow mod Navin announcing that he was giving away some stuff to clear out his cupboards.

Now normally someone says that, you go "Oh yeahhh? Probably wants to get rid of some old walkman he has" and ignore it. But Navin is different.

Navin once advised me not to opt for cheap phono stage (just a turntable, pretty much) for a home audio set-up. Pressed to elucidate, he defined "cheap" as under $2000.

So you can imagine I was intrigued when he announced that he had gear he wanted to get rid of. UNUSED gear, no less. Called dibs on it even before I knew what it was.

Some rummaging about, a few anxious calls and emails exchanged and the happy discovery that he worked in the same lane that my mom in law resides in...and I was the proud owner of a Blaupunkt amp and a set of components. His driver kindly dropped them off at MIL's doorstep during lunch break. Navin didn't fail to inform me that these weren't just ANY Blaupunkts but original imported stuff that is no longer available in the Indian market.

I am a yuppie- I fall for such spiel.

Some more research followed. I'd had a prior email exchange with Ajay (Bass & Trouble) on some Focal offer he was running, so decided to resurrect it, only this time with only half the moolah needing to be spent. Nice!

To cut a long story short, we finalized the following setup:
  • Components up front
  • Rear coaxials to replace the OE door speakers. I am not a big fan of parcel trays
  • A woofer with a custom fibreglass enclosure in the boot
  • Wiring, damping, RCA outs etc. etc. Navin said to go whole hog on these!
  • 4ch amp
  • Head unit for good SQ, preferably with TA

One hurdle I had to overcome: my wife loves the look of the Vento OE HU. She once threatened me with dire consequences if I so much even dreamed of replacing it with some clunky metallic monstrosity. Tried convincing her that it only looked nice but did nothing else: no pre-outs, USB, no aux-in, no track name display, no bluetooth, nothing!

She looks at me and says, "But it's so pretty!!!"

I cannot tell a lie. Pretty it is. The refreshed Ventos get HUs with better functionality but they do not look anywhere as nice as the 2011 cars with their big round buttons and soothing blue ambience.

Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!-dsc04153.jpg

So it was a stalemate. There were tons of expenses piling up anyway, with a house move planned, so I didn't push too hard. At the back of my mind was the fact that VW would probably use any excuse to void my 2-year warranty and I was probably pushing my luck with any ICE change.

Then in September, I got my 30,000 km service done and discovered that my entire HV AC unit required replacement. Not cool, quite literally. They made me wait, they did, but finally it got done along with new tyres for my car was sliding around on the worn OE Apollo Aceleres like a novice ballerina.

By this time, any thoughts of curtailing expenses had been thrown out of the window. The human mind is a funny thing- once you start going down the spending path, you say to yourself, hey! I can spend some more, since I already have exceeded my planned budget for the year. So I bravely told the missus I was going ahead and changing the music system in the Vento.

Must have caught her at a good time. She seemed cool with it. But wanted to know why.

So I made a very good "business case" (even if it say so myself). Told her that I spend on average 2 hours a day alone in the car and it is more or less the only time I get to spend listening to my favourite music. I told her how ashamed I feel when ICE aficionados spot my FM transmitter with USB/aux (borrowed from dot) in which is the only way I can play my i-pod and phone music. And painted a wonderful picture of top-notch SQ with gentle bass pounding out of a box in the boot and bluetooth integrated so that we could be connected anytime anywhere (I don't answer my phone while driving).

Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!-img00147.jpg

She says, "Yeah whatever". I took that as a Yes.

And so, my Vento got ICEd.

Last edited by noopster : 21st November 2012 at 14:23.
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Old 21st November 2012, 11:29   #2
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Default The Gear

Having decided the set-up, it was down to brands and specifics. B&T recommended Focal Integration 6" for the rear coaxes instead of the JBL I had proposed. I agreed.

For the woofer I had a budget of 15-18K and finally went with the Morel 12" in a custom fibreglass enclosure.

HU was the last thing to be decided. I have driven myself crazy over the past year, swinging wildly between a "multi-functional" unit that included DVD playback, reverse cam integration, TPMS integration, GPS navigation, etc. etc. and a simple 1DIN HU that delivered straight SQ. The more I read up on it, the more they seemed mutually exclusive. The MF HUs were all Chinese brands like Caska, Motevo,Witson- though they looked nice and integrated well with the OE look, I was not really happy with the compromise on SQ. Also some fellow members who had installed it reported weird bugs- subodh's Motevo, for example, cuts off the first 3 seconds of every song

I decided to stick to the tried and trusted. B&T recommended JVC 900BT, which was apparently the only 2DIN system easily available with time alignment and bluetooth integrated. That or the 90BT, which is the single DIN equivalent. There is a 700BT model that doesn't have TA.

The front components are Blaupunkt 5 1/4" and the 4-channel amp a Blaupunkt GTA 450.

We were set!

Last edited by noopster : 21st November 2012 at 18:20.
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Old 21st November 2012, 13:13   #3
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Default The Install

I planned to drive up to Bombay and drop the car at B&T's Tardeo shop to get the install done. Since he is closed on Sunday, he asked me to drop it off on a Friday so that everything could be complete by Saturday evening.

One weekend I was supposed to come over, there was an illness in the home. So plan cancelled.

A week later was my kiddo's PTM- why on earth do they schedule those on Saturday morning?

I was getting desperate. The FM transmitter seemed to mock me every time I connected my USB pen drive to it.

Finally out of the blue, the Friday after Diwali I found myself in the metrop. Called up and said I was on my way to drop the car. The trip was iffy from the outset because of the failing health of the leading local luminary, but Friday passed with nothing untoward happening.

I hung around for a while as they proceeded to strip my car of its OE stuff.

Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!-stripped_doors.jpg

Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!-install.jpg

Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!-damping.jpg

Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!-masking_woofer.jpg

The OE stuff removed from the car: the HU is actually a 1DIN, I realised to my chagrin!

Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!-oe_speakers.jpg

Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!-oe_hu.jpg

Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!-oe_hu_side.jpg

Last edited by noopster : 21st November 2012 at 17:51.
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Old 21st November 2012, 16:45   #4
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Default Delivery Time!

Saturday was tense with the city abuzz with rumours of the Tiger's passing. But nothing was confirmed till 3:30 pm at which time, blissfully unaware, I was on board a local train to Bombay Central, closest station to where my car was being ICEd. By the time I reached, the news had spread and shops were already closing down. The city was on the run!

I quickly checked the setup, Ajay walked me through the basic functions and then we needed to leave. Bummer: I had a flat tyre! No fault of the shop guys: turned out later it was a rim puncture.

They filled it up but it was still losing air. No petrol pump was open and puncturewalas had fled for the day. Ajay kindly hung around and then suggested I head for home- his guess was that there was enough air in there to get me to where I was staying that night.

So I braved it, and went ahead. Traffic was thick till Haji Ali junction. But drivers were disciplined and there was mercifully no honking and screaming. After that it was a smooth run.

I was so worried about the tyre issue (one tyre losing air and the spare underinflated, with no place open to top it up!) that I didn't even get a good look at my new setup or indeed audition it till after the weekend. Monday morning I headed out, found a puncturewala open, got it repaired & the spare tyre topped up and finally breathed a sigh of relief.

All that trouble for new ICE.

So what's new eh?

Last edited by noopster : 21st November 2012 at 17:58.
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Old 21st November 2012, 17:08   #5
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Default Re: noopster's Vento gets ICEd!

Back on the open road, homeward-bound, I finally got a chance to open her up and test the new ICE.

Sheer bliss. The bass is tight, clearly articulated without being boom-boom. The highs are crystal clear. I was worried that opting for a lower size in front than stock (Vento comes with 6 inchers in all doors) would be problematic but the rear Focal coaxials more than make up for it.

Listened to a lot of my favourite stuff over the past few days: Megadeth, Alice In Chains- it sounded fantastic. Listened to whatever pop I had on my i-pod: Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, ABBA- it sounds good.

Heck, even FM sounds awesome. Wish the Vento came with a better antenna, though: the same setup would have absolutely KILLED on my Swift, radio-wise.

But who cares about FM? My i-pod has tracks collected from various sources. The stuff I ripped off my own CDs at 392 kbps sounds awesome. As for the rest, I gotta let it go and replace with PURE stuff

Will let the pics do the talking now.

Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!-ampwoofer-boot.jpg

Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!-amp_cloeup.jpg

Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!-woofer.jpg

Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!-tweeter_pods.jpg

Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!-dayshot_hu.jpg

Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!-nightshot_ice.jpg

Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!-closeup_hu.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!-hu_box.jpg  


Last edited by noopster : 21st November 2012 at 18:24.
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Old 21st November 2012, 17:49   #6
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Default Re: noopster's Vento gets ICEd!

Set-Up Summary:
  • Head Unit: JVC 90BT CD receiver with bluetooth for phone & playback, i-pod2 connectivity, Aux-in and AM/FM
  • Blaupunkt GTA 450 4-channel amp, powering subwoofer and front components
  • Blaupunkt Velocity 51/4" components for front
  • Focal Integration 6" coaxials in rear doors
  • Morel 12" subwoofer in the boot

Installed at: 4S Audio, Tardeo

Installed on: 16-17 November 2012

Installer Positives:
  • Very professional, delivered as per commitment on time and budget
  • Excellent pricing and flexible payment options: cash/cheque/online banking
  • Recommends for audiophile rather than from margin considerations
  • No hidden costs or surprises: WYSIWYG
  • Open channel of communication with management on mobile, email and SMS- prompt and responsive to queries

Installer Negatives:
  • There was some grease/grime on the central armrest on delivery: could have been cleaned better
  • The tweeter pods were not fastened to the dash. Realised this at the shop but since everyone was in a hurry, they requested I use double-sided tape and do it myself. Will get it re-fixed next time.
  • BT900 (2 DIN) was unavailable, but they installed a BT90 (identical 1DIN equivalent). Will swap this as soon as it is in stock.
  • Aux-In cable was not set up. Actually I hadn't carried my cable with me but the 900BT has this in front so they assumed the same for 90BT. Will get this done during the swap.

Minor things really. Overall, a nice clean and professional job. A big shout out to B&T and Navin for patiently bearing with my silly questions over the past several months.

Final Word:
Truth be told I was worried that such a big expense would leave me feeling dissatisfied and underwhelmed.But the fact is that as I headed home after a tiring day at work last night, the music soothed and revived me, as it never had before. That itself tells me it's money well-spent!

Last edited by noopster : 21st November 2012 at 18:25.
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Old 21st November 2012, 18:31   #7
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Default Re: noopster's Vento gets ICEd!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Sound off & Show off Section.
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Old 21st November 2012, 18:42   #8
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Default Re: noopster's Vento gets ICEd!

Congrats, Noop!

When I looked at the JVC unit, I was like Good thing you're getting the 2DIN.

I guess an audition is in store soon for us Hinjewadiites. Especially with SwanandInamdar's homecoming approaching soon!

Cheers!
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Old 21st November 2012, 18:51   #9
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Default Re: noopster's Vento gets ICEd!

Wow.

Didn't even read all that text. Just one question - when can we have the demo? Pity I have moved out of Hinjewadi - else would have landed up outside your office the next day itself!

Plisss to share meeting-plan details.
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Old 21st November 2012, 19:14   #10
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Default Re: noopster's Vento gets ICEd!


Congrats Noops Sir. So now its time for some "Dhik-chik, Dhik-chik" and "hanky-panky" stuff in your car.
So, can you put a audio (video) of the music? My bro-in-law is contemplating an ICE for his fiesta and I was thinking on the same lines (Blaupunkt and similar config), so would be nice if we could hear a test song "dhik-chik, dhik-chik".
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Old 21st November 2012, 19:27   #11
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Default Re: noopster's Vento gets ICEd!

Way to go, noopster! That helps in pumping me up with some motivation to tweak with ICE on a European.

Your ICE setup is simple, neat and packs the punch you are looking for.

I also see you have some dynamats installed.

I remember the Vento had provision to accomodate the tweeters in the A-pillar. Was there a reason why you skipped that?
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Old 21st November 2012, 19:58   #12
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Default Re: noopster's Vento gets ICEd!

Congratulations, as Navin would say, you are now cursed with Good Audio, you will now cringe while listening to anything which does not have TA, tight bass & good sound production
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Old 21st November 2012, 20:13   #13
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Default Re: noopster's Vento gets ICEd!

Congrats! The biggest pain of having a good music system is downloading all your songs in 328kbps Otherwise it just doesn't sound good.

Looked at that amp and recognized it in a second, I used to have that on my Baleno a while ago. It was pretty powerful and never gave any problems in 4 years of owning the car.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 10:41   #14
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Default Re: noopster's Vento gets ICEd!

Congrats noop! So, when do we get a demo? And me being me, a small 1-2 songs demo just wont cut it! I need a looooong demo.. Say like a drive to Mahbi, with only our favorite tracks playing!

Just a question: Kitne ka kharcha? Would be better if you could add a breakup. If you arent keen on disclosing that, drop me an email. You know why i ask. Dont think I need to elaborate on that!
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Old 22nd November 2012, 11:18   #15
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Default Re: Noopster's Vento gets ICEd!

Congrats Sir!
Nice setup.
I almost have the similar setup - only brands vary (infinity co-axials- front + rear, helix bass tube, kenwood 2-din, sony xplod 4-channel)
Now thinking of getting a mono-block powering only the woofer and the damping done. I'll visit 4S Audio soon.

As akshay mentioned, all the songs should be 300+ kbps!
I'm also waiting for a demo! (I'll get mine too)

Last edited by mikon : 22nd November 2012 at 11:31.
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