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Old 12th November 2013, 23:57   #31
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Default Re: The Downside of High-End Audio Installs

Pretty interesting thread. I am expecting lot of emotional outbursts and heads will roll.
Now my humble admission.
I am a moderate audiophile(was a bit cocky until i joined team-bhp and saw other installations) with aftermarket HU, coax, amp, sub etc. This is what I think of ICE.

+ Sound Quality : Good headphones can not replace the realistic sound of an actual speaker system especially the bass punch. A car audio system sounds better (costs more) than that of a equivalent home audio. The primary factor is that small size of the car makes up for the fundamental sound quality issues of home audio like room acoustics and reflections.

+ Joy in riding : If you are not chauffeur driven just imagine Rafi, Mukesh songs in bumper to bumper traffic, Yanni and Santana on long open roads and JayZ/Eminem hip hop on a late night weekend drive. Sounding real and best of their form. Works equally well on rriving pleasure traffic pain.

- Cost factor : All good things in life usually cost money (well almost).
- Installation wooes, complexity, space constraints, security : Real issues

Positives are out numbered by drawbacks in my case. But there is one silver bullet. At home with kids, oldder members and better half chances are very less that you can listen tracks or volume levels as per your wishes. With 50% of time me driving alone I will go for a High End audio install.
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Old 13th November 2013, 00:33   #32
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Default Re: The Downside of High-End Audio Installs

Excellent thread GTO!

I had installed a music system worth 20k in my Estilo and have a 35k worth system in my Vento. To me they both sound kickass. However something I learnt while selling the Estilo is that no one gives a damn as to what music system you have! The only question they asked me was if it has a player! It might as well have been a cheap radio. I was well and truly disappointed and only managed to salvage the amplifier from the Estilo. With the Vento i do plan on selling it by replacing the existing system with the stock system that I have kept somewhere but the problem would be that if all goes well I will upgrade to a D segment car and will not be able to carry the system there since most cars come with a pretty elaborate audio system.

Hence the money spent on an audio install depreciates the fastest and probably has zero salvage value while selling.
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Old 13th November 2013, 00:57   #33
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Default Re: The Downside of High-End Audio Installs

When I drive my car, there're a lot of things that simultaneously come into play.

If it's a good road, with a nice view, and awesome weather, I love listening to a certain kind of music. If it's just 2/3 of these points, and combined with it I'm in a jolly mood, there's a certain kind of music I still like.
If my audio system is good (better still, kick a$$) it just enhances the feel.

For me, a good audio system is worth the trouble. And with human ears being tuned the way they are, road noise or not, clarity is achievable. And not necessarily with a six figure budget.

I don't like noise. If my system is good, it cuts out the noise, and enhances the feel of the music.
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Old 13th November 2013, 08:47   #34
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Default Re: The Downside of High-End Audio Installs

Great post GTO, practical and sensible as always. I've always been a strong believer of factory fitting myself. I don't want to chase after accessory guys and spend time customising. If ever I do need something I ask the company guys while dropping for service and stick with what they recommend. It is called 'factory fit' for a reason, most of the accessories may not be as good as premium brands available outside but they are built with a delicate balance. I've no complaints with factory built audio, I just ensure my CD files are 128kbps onwards (which to me seems fine). I've heard of many cases where ill-fitting is done, with scratches on the door pads and even cracked mounting points which is improvised. Not to mention short-circuits if wiring is done wrong, battery drain in case of big subwoofers and added weight, loss of bootspace.

While I love music on the road, I am not an audio expert as is obvious. But I've seen that 'certain' people with huge speakers do not enjoy their music, they just want to be heard by others (bass that travels over 10 meters outside the car), which to me is not only a strain on the car, but is quite unncessary, its pointless to dictate ones music preference so far outside when most people will only think of the owner as a nut. Its also disturbing when it happens in a residential locality. My reference is to only 'certain' people on the road as written above, and not to genuine audio aficionados who just want great sound inside the car. Personally I vote for factory fit. Harman Kardon and Bang&Olufsen are better off in BMW as they are defaults in some models.
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Old 13th November 2013, 10:01   #35
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Default Re: The Downside of High-End Audio Installs

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Originally Posted by miharbe View Post
However something I learnt while selling the Estilo is that no one gives a damn as to what music system you have! The only question they asked me was if it has a player! It might as well have been a cheap radio. I was well and truly disappointed and only managed to salvage the amplifier from the Estilo.
Hence the money spent on an audio install depreciates the fastest and probably has zero salvage value while selling.
Quite true. I cant install the focals/DLS/Polk that I've been using in my Innova/Fortuner in my Laura... So there it simply lies at home.

ICE upgrades should only be considered if you're going to use the vehicle for 7 years and above.
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Old 13th November 2013, 10:37   #36
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Default Re: The Downside of High-End Audio Installs

I'd just like to add a small point. For me, ICE upgrading is causing more fuel consumption!

In my little Zen I have an 800W amp, 1100W subwoofer, and 4 Kicker speakers. If I need to listen to music while waiting outside a shop or for my wife, I keep the engine running, at least for half of the time, for the fear of spoiling my battery taking all the load. This happens frequently enough to think of disconnecting the sub and keeping it at home.
And the biggest disadvantage I felt is that there's no space left in the boot now.

But for bigger cars these might not be an issue I guess.
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Old 13th November 2013, 11:04   #37
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Default Re: The Downside of High-End Audio Installs

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Would I do it all over again? Honestly, no. I'd probably restrict it to a simpler speaker upgrade, with an amp thrown in.
Exactly, that's what i did with my Swift. Installed a pair of good speakers and a decent HU. Amp? maybe later but not now. From my previous car which had a complete ICE setup i learnt that excess weight, complication, wiring isn't worth it for me.
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Old 13th November 2013, 12:58   #38
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Default Re: The Downside of High-End Audio Installs

ICE is something I don't care about. If I'm driving, the 'pleasure of driving' alone is all what I need and the note of my engine is enough to satisfy my aural senses. As a matter of fact I only have a basic single din ICE with only 2 speakers and honestly I don't remember the last time I switched it on !!
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Old 13th November 2013, 13:00   #39
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Smile Re: The Downside of High-End Audio Installs

An apt thread GTO.

All the points you mentioned are worth considering before jumping to the ICE installations.

Every time I read on the fourm about the ICE upgrade, I used to be inspired to do it for my car. But then I always pondered when would I get the time to listen to the high quality music when my entire attention is so focussed on the road in the mad mad traffic in the cities. Also I never listen to music with high volumes, it tend to make me deaf to other musical notes on the road.

The cars I owned did have a decent audio set up and I am happy about it. If I ever wanted to listen to good music, I switch on my Home theatre.
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Old 13th November 2013, 14:13   #40
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Very good article.

I have been a lifelong music lover but only invested in ICE (as defined by team bhp lol) about a year ago. Egged on by navin (who else!) I finally ICEd the Vento with front components, rear coaxials, a Morel 12" subwoofer and a nice HU from JVC that played everything I needed (phones, ipod, CD). This was my first high end install in nearly 20 years of driving!

And yet...there is a feeling of hollowness. See, my system was designed and installed (by Bass n Trouble) with purely my tastes and preferences in mind. So, while I am delighted with it playing Porcupine Tree and Megadeth at reasonably low volumes, my friends who pipe their EDM stuff through it demand to know why the bass is so subdued (my personal choice of words is "crisp and well articulated" but do they care!!). My wife who listens mostly to FM (shudder!) can't see any difference and is still wondering why we blew a small fortune on this.
Bottomline...whatever you spend on ICE will NOT be worth it. Firstly because you will always spend double of what you initially budget (Newton's first law of ICEing) and more importantly because sound is such a personal experience you will find it very hard to impress someone with your setup unless your tastes significantly overlap with theirs. I still love my ICE setup but worry about the day when I sell my car and won't get enough realization for all my hard work!
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Old 13th November 2013, 14:43   #41
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Default Re: The Downside of High-End Audio Installs

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
I still love my ICE setup but worry about the day when I sell my car and won't get enough realization for all my hard work!
You always have the option of transferring the existing ICE to your new car, unless of course, your new car would be something that comes with an equally kickass OEM system.

And who might those friends of yours be.. Hmm? I wonder.
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Old 13th November 2013, 17:09   #42
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Default Re: The Downside of High-End Audio Installs

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Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
Quite true. I cant install the focals/DLS/Polk that I've been using in my Innova/Fortuner in my Laura... So there it simply lies at home.
You got two options here Bose babu!
Do some research and hire a carpenter. You can make proper wooden/MDF enclosures and create a bookself or floor standing spaker system. I am sure SQ of focals/DLS/Polk speakers will beat the S@#t out of usual Sonodyne/Jamo/JBL home theatre systems.
Alternatively rather than gathering dust and eventually not working, better to get some bucks out of it. Post them on tbhp classifieds. I have seen countless threads of folks using preowned ICE equipment and prices are decent too.

Last edited by Ohh!Oxygen : 13th November 2013 at 17:10.
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Old 13th November 2013, 17:22   #43
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Default Re: The Downside of High-End Audio Installs

I just installed a Sony Xplod when I bought the car. I thought it was pretty cool when I installed it! Now I know better! I was very much aware of home audio systems and costs, but thought for a car this would suffice. I saw "Sony" and looked no further.

But I mostly tune in to an FM channel while driving and very rarely listen to recorded music, so this is Ok. For the latter I have a walkman MP3 player with nice headphones, and tend to agree with GTO about their sound quality Vs speakers.

Even for this, I have to detach the HU when I leave it for service. I don't want to remove it and put back every time, but the SAs insist on it.
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Old 13th November 2013, 22:19   #44
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Default Re: The Downside of High-End Audio Installs

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And how I believe this! My player (or is it known as head unit these days?) doesn't have any option for connecting any external source. I still play original CD's. At 10th year after installing whatever I could have then.. It still sounds good to me.
You don't face any problems like skipping of tracks or the music completely getting stopped when you go on speed-breakers or potholes?
Even I have a nine year old Head-Unit which plays only CDs and I face that problem. But when the car is stationary, the sound quality is really good.
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Old 13th November 2013, 22:26   #45
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Default Re: The Downside of High-End Audio Installs

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Originally Posted by Car_Freak_911 View Post
You don't face any problems like skipping of tracks or the music completely getting stopped when you go on speed-breakers or potholes?
No, I don't. It only happens if the CD is defective.
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