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Old 26th May 2013, 04:06   #1
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Default ICE Advice for a Grand Vitara

Just purchased a Grand Vitara and the first thing that has to go is the stock HU - just cannot do without my lossless collection on a Rockboxed-IPod 80GB player. I'd like to keep the stock look as far as possible - so have the following options that I'm aware of:
  1. Caska unit for the Grand Vitara - I like the Caska unit but I loathe the UI so its very low on my list right now
  2. MMI OEM unit for the Grand Vitara - I think this might be a re-badged Caska, but the very limited pictures show a much better looking UI. Any one knows if its true?
  3. 2-DIN Adapter kit - the 2-DIN adapter will give me the best range of options but then I lose the OEM look
  4. AUX adapter for MP3 players -The last is the best option for retaining the OEM look but also the lowest on features (which means I might have to look at a MMI+BT unit separately)

Can the gurus tell me if I'm missing any other option? DVD playback is an absolutely useless option that I'm not interested in. Also, any ICE installers in New Delhi that can be recommended? I'd like to go and audition a few systems, so that I can have some options finalized when I go onto the next step of upgrading the OEM speakers and sub in the car.
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Old 26th May 2013, 10:10   #2
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Default Re: ICE Advice for a Grand Vitara

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydave View Post
Just purchased a Grand Vitara and the first thing that has to go is the stock HU - just cannot do without my lossless collection on a Rockboxed-IPod 80GB player. I'd like to keep the stock look as far as possible - so have the following options that I'm aware of:
  1. Caska unit for the Grand Vitara - I like the Caska unit but I loathe the UI so its very low on my list right now
  2. MMI OEM unit for the Grand Vitara - I think this might be a re-badged Caska, but the very limited pictures show a much better looking UI. Any one knows if its true?
  3. 2-DIN Adapter kit - the 2-DIN adapter will give me the best range of options but then I lose the OEM look
  4. AUX adapter for MP3 players -The last is the best option for retaining the OEM look but also the lowest on features (which means I might have to look at a MMI+BT unit separately)

Can the gurus tell me if I'm missing any other option? DVD playback is an absolutely useless option that I'm not interested in. Also, any ICE installers in New Delhi that can be recommended? I'd like to go and audition a few systems, so that I can have some options finalized when I go onto the next step of upgrading the OEM speakers and sub in the car.
Because the DVD option is useless to you can use a good quality high to low level convertor and add good quality amps and speakers, also a sub if required. Another option to retain the stock look is to go for an amp that accept speaker level(or high level!) inputs.
But with both these options the catch is that because the HU is not of a very good quality(almost all OEMs are bad) the SQ will not be good, because no matter how expensive and high end the amp is, if it is given unclean signals it can not do much for the SQ.

I will not talk about the other options because they are not to my liking.
To me the best bet is to buy a dash kit and put in a good quality 2 DIN HU. Once you've done this, the sky is the limit, you can audition and choose whatever brands of Amps, Speakers, and Sub you like.

In Delhi, I have read a lot about Driven and Motor Concepts, though they've both had their share of disasters, which are logged in a few forums, they are better than most dealers and their installs are clean.

Also the Vitara being a non-European, you will need some damping, more is always better.
Do talk about your budget, if comfortable, will suggest a few neat set-ups. I am no guru, but I understand ICE!
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Old 26th May 2013, 12:29   #3
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Default Re: ICE Advice for a Grand Vitara

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... just cannot do without my lossless collection on a Rockboxed-IPod 80GB player. ...
Err... You want the fidelity of lossless, yet you are bringing in considerations which go completely against getting good reproduction? *Shaking head* Can't understand that!

* Lossless media played through headphones directly is a far cry from playing it back through pedestrian-quality ICE in a car

* You haven't talked about replacing speakers. If the OE HU goes, the OE speakers will sound terrible on *any* replacement HU. That is because of the built-in equalization in the OE HU to make the combination sound 'good'

* OE looks and good reproduction are difficult to match - any replacement HU will make it look different. All that Caska or similar are doing is putting a 2DIN adapter kit for their unit. Caska, Motevo etc. have the same pedestrian sound quality as in a laptop, and that is because of the components they use

* As far as MMI is concerned, the less said the better. No, they sell units similar to Caska / Motevo (there are more than a dozen clones in China). MMI is a map vendor, and has no clue about what a decent HU should be. Like any other 'Indian' vendor, their A.S.S. competence - especially for hardware imported from China - is suspect at best

* The Aux-in connection in the OE unit is unlikely to give you any better sound - since the limitation would be the OE HU + speaker combination

* DVD is incidental. Having it doesn't increase price substantially. Removing it if you don't want (probably expecting lower cost) is not an option and doesn't reduce the price

If you want 'good sound' and navigation, the way to go is higher end Kenwood (with KNA-G630; their DNX7xxx series have it built-in, but they don't seem to sell it in India), Clarion NX702A, JVC (with an MMI BX100 box) or Pioneer (with an MMI BX200 box) 2DIN HUs, with a 2DIN adapter, *along with* replacing the OE speakers. These cost a bit lesser than the Caska, Motevo etc.! And yes, use an external amp to drive good speakers as well as a sub.
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Old 26th May 2013, 12:35   #4
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Default Re: ICE Advice for a Grand Vitara

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Originally Posted by 599gto View Post
To me the best bet is to buy a dash kit and put in a good quality 2 DIN HU. Once you've done this, the sky is the limit, you can audition and choose whatever brands of Amps, Speakers, and Sub you like.
Thanks for the input 599gto! Any recommendations then on 2 DIN HUs? I'm interested in BT-handsfree integration, FLAC/lossless support, IPod support, reversing camera and builtin GPS. I have no use for CDs/DVDs.

Quote:
In Delhi, I have read a lot about Driven and Motor Concepts, though they've both had their share of disasters, which are logged in a few forums, they are better than most dealers and their installs are clean.
Thanks will check them out. Are they there on the TBHP directory by any chance?

Quote:
Also the Vitara being a non-European, you will need some damping, more is always better.
Actually the Vitara being a CBU is quite heavily damped. Easily upto Skoda/VW levels judging by the thud on closing the doors. Will check if additional damping is required anyways. Also need to check out if there is resonance in the car with the current damping in the car

Quote:
Do talk about your budget, if comfortable, will suggest a few neat set-ups. I am no guru, but I understand ICE!
Thanks! My budget is 50K - for HU with features as mentioned above and replacements for the stock 4 x 6.5" OEM speakers and builtin subwoofer (below the front passenger seat). Speaker brands that I'd like to consider are Rainbow, JL Audio, Hertz, Crescendo Audio and Focal. I'm not interested in thumping bass as most of the music I listen to is mid-based, so maybe a good 2 x 6" setup under the front seats would be sufficient? My key requirement is that it be a stealth install as far as possible with zero to minimum displacement of boot/passenger space

Thanks for your help again!
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Old 26th May 2013, 12:43   #5
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Default Re: ICE Advice for a Grand Vitara

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Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Err... You want the fidelity of lossless, yet you are bringing in considerations which go completely against getting good reproduction? *Shaking head* Can't understand that!

* Lossless media played through headphones directly is a far cry from playing it back through pedestrian-quality ICE in a car

* You haven't talked about replacing speakers. If the OE HU goes, the OE speakers will sound terrible on *any* replacement HU. That is because of the built-in equalization in the OE HU to make the combination sound 'good'
I was actually looking to do the upgrade in steps, starting with the HU, but am now looking for speaker upgrade as well, within a budget of 50K (amps+speakers+HU) and ensuring that it does not interfere with the OEM look as far as possible (the HU cannot be helped!). And I completely understand your point about the need for lossless in a car audio environment but the idea was to improve the input signal quality as far as possible to reduce the effect of environmental noise distortions! Which is why I'm planning to have an Audison processor as the next step in my audio upgrade process

Quote:
If you want 'good sound' and navigation, the way to go is higher end Kenwood (with KNA-G630; their DNX7xxx series have it built-in, but they don't seem to sell it in India), Clarion NX702A, JVC (with an MMI BX100 box) or Pioneer (with an MMI BX200 box) 2DIN HUs, with a 2DIN adapter, *along with* replacing the OE speakers. These cost a bit lesser than the Caska, Motevo etc.!
Thanks for all the HU suggestions. Going to go over all of them right now!!
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Old 26th May 2013, 12:56   #6
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Default Re: ICE Advice for a Grand Vitara

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... the effect of environmental noise distortions! ...
Negligible.

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... Which is why I'm planning to have an Audison processor as the next step in my audio upgrade process ...
Sure, that's the way to go IF you are retaining the OE HU. Strip the built-in equalization, and amplify the processor's output to drive good speakers.

Actually, you should do a cost comparison - conventional HU + 2DIN Adapter + Amp + speakers v/s Processor + Amp + speakers + independent Nav Unit.
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Old 26th May 2013, 13:08   #7
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Default Re: ICE Advice for a Grand Vitara

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Actually, you should do a cost comparison - conventional HU + 2DIN Adapter + Amp + speakers v/s Processor + Amp + speakers + independent Nav Unit.
I will do that! Thanks! Interesting to see the Clarion has built-in time alignment as well. Didnt know that HUs were available with this feature - thought this was always outsourced to an external processor. Any idea on damages for the Clarion in India?
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Old 26th May 2013, 13:31   #8
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Default Re: ICE Advice for a Grand Vitara

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Originally Posted by crazydave View Post
Thanks for the input 599gto! Any recommendations then on 2 DIN HUs? I'm interested in BT-handsfree integration, FLAC/lossless support, IPod support, reversing camera and builtin GPS. I have no use for CDs/DVDs.


Thanks will check them out. Are they there on the TBHP directory by any chance?


Actually the Vitara being a CBU is quite heavily damped. Easily upto Skoda/VW levels judging by the thud on closing the doors. Will check if additional damping is required anyways. Also need to check out if there is resonance in the car with the current damping in the car


Thanks! My budget is 50K - for HU with features as mentioned above and replacements for the stock 4 x 6.5" OEM speakers and builtin subwoofer (below the front passenger seat). Speaker brands that I'd like to consider are Rainbow, JL Audio, Hertz, Crescendo Audio and Focal. I'm not interested in thumping bass as most of the music I listen to is mid-based, so maybe a good 2 x 6" setup under the front seats would be sufficient? My key requirement is that it be a stealth install as far as possible with zero to minimum displacement of boot/passenger space

Thanks for your help again!
I have really never been interested in 2 DIN HUs, so cant really guide on specific models and variants, if you want a good SQ single din I can surely help you out!
Next comes the front stage, I have been experimenting with Focal, and I would suggest you the Focal PS 165, that's my next buy and its an excellent set, brilliant crossover, and can be bi-amped very very easily.
For the rear stage I would suggest Co-axials from the same series, same size, Focal PC 165 to be precise.
Both, the front components and rear co-axials should set you back by around 25k.

Now comes the amp, I have a Focal Solid 4, and am extremely satisfied, but that is an outdated product now. It has been replaced by FPP 4100. It has an MRP of 29,999/- but street prices are much much cheaper, should be around 21-22k. You can still source a Solid 4 for around 14-15k rupees, but having the latest product is always fun.

Yes I know the budget is almost over, but that's the catch in this part of the forum, in fact its a common issue at al ICE forums, they never let you stick to the budget.

For your kind of music preference you really don't need an underseat active sub, they are very expensive and very less bang for the buck. I have zero knowledge about them, because they don't sound significant enough to me. Though too many brands have at least one such product in that line-up.

I am in no ways connected to Focal, but ive been using Focal for long and I like their sound signature, though the tweeters need proper placement otherwise they sound bright. And with the correct Amp, Focal mid-basses kick real hard and sound very nice.

We in Pune don't have too many options, but in a place like Delhi, there are a lot of brands available.
You can try Rainbow too, but it has become too expensive off-late.
Or you can also look at brands like, Digital Designs, HAT, Celestra and Mosconi for Amps, Gladen audio and the list goes on, and be prepared to murder the budget even more brutally once you listen to these.
I wouldn't suggest Hertz, I have heard a few set ups, though they sound good, the speakers in this budget are built real bad to last long.

About the damping, no car sold in India (at least under 30 lakh!) comes with damping, I would suggest go for some basic damping at least, I know the Vitara is a CBU but Japs can never match the Europeans when it comes to build quality, and Damping would greatly enhance the experience.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydave View Post
....... I'm planning to have an Audison processor as the next step in my audio upgrade process


Thanks for all the HU suggestions. Going to go over all of them right now!!
I don't think you would need a Digital Sound Processor unless you really want to go the active route and want a true Audiophile set up. Though having a processor like the Audison BIT ONE, BIT ten or BIT ten D is always bonus at an added cost of course.
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Old 26th May 2013, 13:33   #9
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Default Re: ICE Advice for a Grand Vitara

Why don't you also throw in the Blaupunkt (Made in Germany) New York 800 HU into contention, with built in navigation. I had inquired about it for my Fortuner. Details here - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...ml#post3126503 (The Millennium Falcon - Toyota Fortuner - The Raptor that is built to last) . It has MMI maps on sd card and costs just 31.5K with original wiring harness for steering controls (at least for my Fortuner).
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Old 26th May 2013, 18:46   #10
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Default Re: ICE Advice for a Grand Vitara

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... built-in time alignment ... thought this was always outsourced to an external processor.
No, there are many HUs that have time alignment - Kenwood, Clarion, Pioneer etc. The 1DIN HUs with TA cost upwards of 12K, and 2DIN upwards of 22K.

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... Any idea on damages for the Clarion in India?
Never checked, but I would expect it to be ballpark 35-40K - with TA, BT and navigation.

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... no car sold in India (at least under 30 lakh!) comes with damping ...
Some have less, some have more, but ALL cars come with damping, including the Nano. That is why their NVH is what it is. Without damping they would sound like empty tin cans. The car manufacturers never aim for NVH good enough for a quiet cabin for listening to music at a low volume. Whoever wants it that way is expected to add it themselves.

GV has good damping, unless one wants to play bass loud. The most irksome thing, when there is a sub, are the loose cables rattling against the nearest metal or plastic surface. The least one should do when putting in a sub is to make sure any and every loose cable length is wrapped with closed cell foam, and stayed down with duct tape or hot-melt glue. Ditto the rear number plate - a few short lengths of double-sided tape takes care of the rattling possibilities.
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Old 26th May 2013, 19:00   #11
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No, there are many HUs that have time alignment - Kenwood, Clarion, Pioneer etc. The 1DIN HUs with TA cost upwards of 12K, and 2DIN upwards of 22K.

Never checked, but I would expect it to be ballpark 35-40K - with TA, BT and navigation.

Some have less, some have more, but ALL cars come with damping, including the Nano. That is why their NVH is what it is. Without damping they would sound like empty tin cans. The car manufacturers never aim for NVH good enough for a quiet cabin for listening to music at a low volume. Whoever wants it that way is expected to add it themselves.

GV has good damping, unless one wants to play bass loud. The most irksome thing, when there is a sub, are the loose cables rattling against the nearest metal or plastic surface. The least one should do when putting in a sub is to make sure any and every loose cable length is wrapped with closed cell foam, and stayed down with duct tape or hot-melt glue. Ditto the rear number plate - a few short lengths of double-sided tape takes care of the rattling possibilities.
With all due respect sir, the damping I meant was the damping sheets that we use for ICE like dynamat extreme, dampmat, stinger etc! And correct me if I am wrong the only damping I see is a thin sheet of translucent polythene. Because I have seen a lot of door panels being opened, but have hardly noticed any sort of damping. A picture would help!

And as it has been often discussed proper damping has always helped the set up, and when spending more than 50k on ICE, it doesn't make sense to curtail on damping.

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Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
Why don't you also throw in the Blaupunkt (Made in Germany) New York 800 HU into contention, with built in navigation. I had inquired about it for my Fortuner. Details here - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...ml#post3126503 (The Millennium Falcon - Toyota Fortuner - The Raptor that is built to last) . It has MMI maps on sd card and costs just 31.5K with original wiring harness for steering controls (at least for my Fortuner).
Might be good with navigation and I am sure it'll have decent sound quality, but there are a lot of HUs with better SQ available at that price point, I doubt if this HU has audiophile grade functions like high voltage RCAs, crossovers, 16 band equaliser, time alignment, subwoofer phase shift and control and the whole shebang! Please correct me if I am wrong.

Last edited by DerAlte : 26th May 2013 at 19:36. Reason: Back to back posts - merged
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Old 26th May 2013, 20:08   #12
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Default Re: ICE Advice for a Grand Vitara

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... I meant was the damping sheets that we use for ICE like dynamat extreme, dampmat, stinger etc! ...
I also meant the same, if you re-read my post. Damping, please understand, is not limited to well-known brands and known materials. A simple fold in the metal or a strengthening bead also acts as a damper, as does good old tar-mica-jute sheets.

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... And correct me if I am wrong the only damping I see is a thin sheet of translucent polythene. ...
Sir, that is the vapor barrier that prevents moisture ingress into the cabin. It is not damping at all.

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... Because I have seen a lot of door panels being opened, but have hardly noticed any sort of damping. ...
The next time you come across a car door with doorpad open, please look carefully at the inner side of the outer panel. Also, lift the floor carpets and look underneath.

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Originally Posted by 599gto View Post
... proper damping has always helped the set up, and when spending more than 50k on ICE, it doesn't make sense to curtail on damping. ...
Correct, even for setups costing 15K. You said cars don't come with damping, which is incorrect. It is not enough, we need to add to it.

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... I doubt if this HU has audiophile grade functions like high voltage RCAs, crossovers, 16 band equaliser, time alignment, subwoofer phase shift and control and the whole shebang! ...
Please don't be prejudiced - it is easy to check on the net: Blaupunkt New York 800. And those features are not 'audiophile' as you put it, they are good to have features. Good if they are present, not a serious problem if they aren't. There is no TA or Sub phase shift (most HUs don't have that, some have Sub polarity reversal or 180deg phase shift) BUT ...
* 3 band equalizer (a good system doesn't rely on EQ, and 3-band is not bad)
* HPF, Mid-pass and LPF (what you are calling as crossovers)
* 3x 2V pre-outs, incl. a dedicated Sub output with its individual gain and frequency control. 2V output needs amp gain to be turned up, so? Amps usually handle inputs 0.6-8V!

@dkaile, how much did this cost you? Incidentally, Kenwood has 2DIN HUs specifically for Toyota (don't need an adapter, IIRC).
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Old 27th May 2013, 09:44   #13
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Default Re: ICE Advice for a Grand Vitara

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
Why don't you also throw in the Blaupunkt (Made in Germany) New York 800 HU into contention, with built in navigation. I had inquired about it for my Fortuner. Details here - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...ml#post3126503 (The Millennium Falcon - Toyota Fortuner - The Raptor that is built to last) . It has MMI maps on sd card and costs just 31.5K with original wiring harness for steering controls (at least for my Fortuner).
Thanks, this looks like a very good HU for the price. Will definitely look into it closely!
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Old 27th May 2013, 09:48   #14
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@dkaile, how much did this cost you? Incidentally, Kenwood has 2DIN HUs specifically for Toyota (don't need an adapter, IIRC).
I am still in the process of finalising the HU. Blaupunkt Area Manager has offered it to me for 31.5K (MRP is 40k). Let me know the Kenwood's model number so I can survey that too. Thanks...
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Old 27th May 2013, 09:50   #15
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@dkaile, how much did this cost you? Incidentally, Kenwood has 2DIN HUs specifically for Toyota (don't need an adapter, IIRC).
Thanks DerAlte and 599GTO, am getting a good education on ICE basics from both of you. DerAlte, the Blaupunkt New York 800 HU is costing @dkaile 31500, which is a good price for a 2-DIN with BT+GPS. Would you have recommendations on good ICE shops in NCR?

I've decided to drop the under-seat sub idea for now. I think the HU with features I need + 2 comps + 2 co-axs + amp + labour + damping will already cross my 50K budget. I'll make sure to have some provision/plan for underseat subs ready for the next upgrade however!
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