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Old 26th November 2013, 14:57   #1
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Default ICE upgrade : Tata Safari Storme

Big Daddies of ICE, i have a queer question

I am in possession of a Safari Storme and as stocks, they have provided an Alpine HU. Now i know that Alpine is like the godfather of ICE. However, the speakers are a big question mark.

I also have a Ford Fusion which is now rarely driven and therefore to minimize the cost of speakers, i would like to swap the two. The FF speakers are 5X7 in size while the Safari Storme is probably 6" or 6.5" in size

Can i swap both the speakers. If not, on a budget footing (say Rs 10,000) what is the best form of speakers to get. I am not a bass fan (more of classic rock) and therefore i dont intend to get a sub woofer in.Can some of you help me on this. Also, let me know who would be a good person to go to for ICE upgrades in Bangalore
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Old 26th November 2013, 15:32   #2
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Default re: ICE upgrade : Tata Safari Storme

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Originally Posted by subraiyr View Post
... i would like to swap the two. The FF speakers are 5X7 in size while the Safari Storme is probably 6" or 6.5" in size

Can i swap both the speakers. If not, on a budget footing (say Rs 10,000) what is the best form of speakers to get. ...
Not recommended. It is easy to seat a 6.5" speaker in oval OE location in the Ford, but trying to put the oval speaker into the round OE location is not trivial.

You can get a pair of decent components - Infinity, JBL, Polk, RF etc. will cost ~6K, RF etc. a bit more. I am not sure of the OE mount in the Safari Storme, but it would be either 5.25" or 6.5" round. 6.5" sounds better than 5.25" (better bass). If the OE location is 5.25", one can use an adapter to mount a 6.25" - at the cost of OE looks.
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Old 27th November 2013, 17:02   #3
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Default re: ICE upgrade : Tata Safari Storme

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Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Not recommended. It is easy to seat a 6.5" speaker in oval OE location in the Ford, but trying to put the oval speaker into the round OE location is not trivial.

You can get a pair of decent components - Infinity, JBL, Polk, RF etc. will cost ~6K, RF etc. a bit more. I am not sure of the OE mount in the Safari Storme, but it would be either 5.25" or 6.5" round. 6.5" sounds better than 5.25" (better bass). If the OE location is 5.25", one can use an adapter to mount a 6.25" - at the cost of OE looks.
DerAlte,

By just changing the stock speakers to after market components for front and 3-way coaxials for rear (both JBL in my case) will the sound be better than stock OR do we necessarily have to put in a 4-channel amp as well to get an appreciable improvement?
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Old 27th November 2013, 19:30   #4
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Default re: ICE upgrade : Tata Safari Storme

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
... just changing the stock speakers to after market components for front and 3-way coaxials for rear (both JBL in my case) will the sound be better than stock OR do we necessarily have to put in a 4-channel amp as well to get an appreciable improvement?
The amp will enhance the experience, not do anything hi-funda to change the response capability.

The difference between OE and after-market speakers is palpably stark. Once you get used to the sound of after market speakers - any - you will then be able to appreciate the difference an external amp makes over the HU internal amp.
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Old 27th November 2013, 19:36   #5
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Default re: ICE upgrade : Tata Safari Storme

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Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
The amp will enhance the experience, not do anything hi-funda to change the response capability.

The difference between OE and after-market speakers is palpably stark. Once you get used to the sound of after market speakers - any - you will then be able to appreciate the difference an external amp makes over the HU internal amp.
Thanks bro. The reason I am asking is that the sound quality is definitely better over the stock speakers, but with 440W in front and 260 W at the back, I was expecting a lot more output over stock, but somehow I do not get that effect. And also no bass effect, as no subwoofer (was hoping there would be at least some more bass with the speakers + amp upgrade). And on the HU display, the volume numbers also move to only 35 like before (stock). Whereas in my Blaupunkt HU of my Baleno, with smaller speakers, no amp, it moves all the way to 55-60. Is this a function of the different HUs or is something else the issue? P.S. The amp in the Storme is 1000 W rated Sony 4-channel. The speakers ar GTO-S649C components in the front and GT6-S366 3-way coaxials at the rear.

Last edited by ebonho : 27th November 2013 at 19:38.
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Old 27th November 2013, 19:48   #6
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Default re: ICE upgrade : Tata Safari Storme

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
... with 440W in front and 260 W at the back, I was expecting a lot more output over stock, but somehow I do not get that effect. And also no bass effect, as no subwoofer (was hoping there would be at least some more bass with the speakers + amp upgrade). ...
Oh oh! Well, those are absolute max (misleading, Music) ratings, not what is pushed when you normally listen to music. In reality, what is pushed out is 1-20W RMS.
* Bass is lacking because you have 6.5" round coaxes in doors (poor in bass as compared to 6x9 coaxes) and no sub
* Perhaps you can make the system sound better if you carefully tune it, though the bass is unlikely to change significantly

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
... And on the HU display, the volume numbers also move to only 35 like before (stock). Whereas in my Blaupunkt HU of my Baleno, with smaller speakers, no amp, it moves all the way to 55-60. Is this a function of the different HUs or is something else the issue? ...
This is HU-dependent. Blau speakers just show a larger number range than say Alpine or Pio for the same physical max.
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Old 27th November 2013, 20:19   #7
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Default re: ICE upgrade : Tata Safari Storme

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Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
I am not sure of the OE mount in the Safari Storme, but it would be either 5.25" or 6.5" round.
OE is 6.5" round.

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The difference between OE and after-market speakers is palpably stark.
Esp so in case of the Storme. The OE speakers are crap.
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Old 28th November 2013, 10:50   #8
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Default re: ICE upgrade : Tata Safari Storme

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Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Oh oh! Well, those are absolute max (misleading, Music) ratings, not what is pushed when you normally listen to music. In reality, what is pushed out is 1-20W RMS.

* Bass is lacking because you have 6.5" round coaxes in doors (poor in bass as compared to 6x9 coaxes) and no sub

* Perhaps you can make the system sound better if you carefully tune it, though the bass is unlikely to change significantly

This is HU-dependent. Blau speakers just show a larger number range than say Alpine or Pio for the same physical max.
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OE is 6.5" round.

Esp so in case of the Storme. The OE speakers are crap.
DerAlte, Condor, the reason I was asking about the after market speaker upgrade without the amp was that I read on some car audio forums that the speakers that come stock with any car are designed to run directly off the car's stock HU and inbuilt amp, while all/most after market speakers are designed to perform with an external amp. So if you replace the car's stock speakers with after market speakers and do not fit an external amp, the sound quality and depth and output will actually be worse off than before with only the stock speaker setup. Hence my earlier question about would just swapping the speakers without the amp give me better music.
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Old 28th November 2013, 10:57   #9
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Default re: ICE upgrade : Tata Safari Storme

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
.. I read on some car audio forums that the speakers that come stock with any car are designed to run directly off the car's stock HU and inbuilt amp, while all/most after market speakers are designed to perform with an external amp.
Doc, while we wait for DerAlte's authoritative response, I'd like to say that the part you mentioned is not true. Output from any set of speakers should be better off the amp then off the HU itself.
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Old 28th November 2013, 12:00   #10
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Default re: ICE upgrade : Tata Safari Storme

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Doc, while we wait for DerAlte's authoritative response, I'd like to say that the part you mentioned is not true. Output from any set of speakers should be better off the amp then off the HU itself.
I agree with that, but that was not what I was referring to. What I read was that the car's stock speakers directly off the stock HU would sound better than costlier after market speaker upgrades if swapped for the stock speakers, but without an external amp as an add-on. Basically, just swapping the stock speakers for after market ones as a one for one swap, with no external amp add on, is a backward step. Hope this clarifies.
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Old 28th November 2013, 12:07   #11
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Default re: ICE upgrade : Tata Safari Storme

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
... I read on some car audio forums that the speakers that come stock with any car are designed to run directly off the car's stock HU and inbuilt amp, while all/most after market speakers are designed to perform with an external amp. So if you replace the car's stock speakers with after market speakers and do not fit an external amp, the sound quality and depth and output will actually be worse off than before with only the stock speaker setup. ...
1. OE Speakers are not designed with an amp in mind. They are designed for producing a certain response WITHIN A CERTAIN COST. That response may be acceptable to many, and totally unacceptable to anyone used to hearing a better response

* Cost is affected by materials used, and low cost materials (surround, cone material, voice coil wire thickness, flux density of magnet, magnet material) limit the response and power handling ability. To put it simply, if the OE vendor is able to produce a speaker which performs reasonably well (and this is very subjective) with the OE HU AND costs less, the Car manufacturer buys from them - else not. In reality, most OE HUs have some form of signal tailoring to overcome the response limitations of the speaker (signal tailoring is virtually free), so that overall (HU + speakers) the system sounds 'acceptable'

* Some OE speakers (there is a range of prices) coupled with the door acoustic properties produce very decent sound with an amp rated <=18W RMS. Most OE speakers fail in that too. In general, OE speakers that sound better than others usually cost higher - and hence they can be applied only in costlier cars. After-market speakers do not have such constraints, and are built to produce a good response at low power levels also

* Any speaker will perform better - as compared to it's own response with the usual 18W RMS of the internal amp of HU - with a higher power amp. That is because the higher power amp is able to push more power where it matters (usually mid-bass and some mid). Tweeters don't have much power dependency as they take <2W usually

* After-market speakers do not sound 'worse' when driven by HU internal amp. One only has to keep the volume a bit higher to push significant power where it matters

* In reality, considerations used in design and pricing are never revealed by designers / manufacturers. Marketing woo woo detracts from understanding issues - since such expressions are designed to impress an impressionable mind. If you really look behind the scenes, you will find that most such 'improvements' are meant to benefit the manufacturer (usually lower manufacturing cost -> better profits), not the user
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Old 28th November 2013, 12:09   #12
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Default re: ICE upgrade : Tata Safari Storme

No. With a decent HU, just a simple swap of the stock speakers will improve the SQ a lot.
Add an amp, and things will improve another step.

And in case of the Storme, the stock speakers are not worth keeping. Even the ICE dealer will not buy them back

Note: my responses here are esp with ref to the Storme

Last edited by condor : 28th November 2013 at 12:11.
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Old 28th November 2013, 13:19   #13
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Default re: ICE upgrade : Tata Safari Storme

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Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
* Some OE speakers (there is a range of prices) coupled with the door acoustic properties produce very decent sound with an amp rated <=18W RMS. Most OE speakers fail in that too. In general, OE speakers that sound better than others usually cost higher - and hence they can be applied only in costlier cars. After-market speakers do not have such constraints, and are built to produce a good response at low power levels also

* Any speaker will perform better - as compared to it's own response with the usual 18W RMS of the internal amp of HU - with a higher power amp. That is because the higher power amp is able to push more power where it matters (usually mid-bass and some mid). Tweeters don't have much power dependency as they take <2W usually

* After-market speakers do not sound 'worse' when driven by HU internal amp. One only has to keep the volume a bit higher to push significant power where it matters
Thanks for a fantastic post DerAlte. You've beautifully covered all the pertinent questions swirling within my untrained mind. I've quoted the most relevant (to me and my quandary) ones above here.

So let me ask you one more direct question

Choice between

(A) an amp under the driver seat (and maybe one of those "flat" subs which I could place under the co-driver seat? - don't want to eat into kiddie space of the 3rd row hence this compromise) with the OE front components and rear coaxials;
versus

(B) swapping the OE speakers to the ones I mentioned earlier, BUT with no external amp (so listen at higher volues as you have suggested).

Which option would give more punch per cost? The way I've calculated the cost of both options being near about the same. Option (A) will give me some of that bass I am currently missing, while option (B) will give better than stock quality but a little flattish (bass-wise).
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Old 28th November 2013, 13:49   #14
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Default re: ICE upgrade : Tata Safari Storme

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
... Choice between

(A) an amp under the driver seat (and maybe one of those "flat" subs which I could place under the co-driver seat? - don't want to eat into kiddie space of the 3rd row hence this compromise) with the OE front components and rear coaxials;
versus

(B) swapping the OE speakers to the ones I mentioned earlier, BUT with no external amp (so listen at higher volues as you have suggested).

Which option would give more punch per cost? The way I've calculated the cost of both options being near about the same. Option (A) will give me some of that bass I am currently missing, while option (B) will give better than stock quality but a little flattish (bass-wise).
From my p-o-v, option B is better, especially if you do a little bit of extra damping in the doors and doorpad (only the large uninterrupted areas need to be damped). Damping will cost you 3-5K if done judiciously.

Option A is sub-optimal. Amp and sub with OE speakers has 2 significant issues (I am speculating here, since I don't know the response of OE speakers for sure):
* The OE speakers are unlikely to have a good upper end. The right way is to connect an amp and check response of OE speakers. A good installer / sales person will do exactly that with temporary wiring: show you the response in your car
* Adding a sub can make the whole system sound muddy IF clarity is lacking in the OE speakers. It will sound bass heavy. Clarity is usually good upper end: higher frequencies, which should neither be deficient (dull), nor shrill and disproportionate (bright tweeters)
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Old 6th December 2013, 11:56   #15
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Default re: ICE upgrade : Tata Safari Storme

Thanks @DerAlte and @Condor

After going through all of this, i did what essential for now. HU remains as is. Speakers have been upgraded. I picked up Rockford Fosgate speaks - 45RMS Coaxial and Components. They fit into the audio bay easily. The stock grills though had to be replaced.

Tuning in progress. I have tuned it myself for now. It sounds definitely better. As discussed, i am not into thump thump base and do not want my vehicle to be a boom box. So for now i have not got into sub woofers, but i might just pick up one in about a couple of months. The store owner suggested a box which could be detached in case of high boot usage.

Dampening is still left out. I have to consider partial vs complete dampening. I will do that after a couple of weeks. The guy whom i picked it up from was most helpful in terms of picking up the right speakers. Overall good experience - @CarTrendz - Mr Avinash

As for amps, at present not required.
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