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Old 12th June 2014, 21:15   #1
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Default Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install

Hello Guys

I want to share with you all the ICE build log of my Tata Safari Storme which I recently purchased.

As we are all aware now TATA motors does not provide ICE for any trim of Safari Storme, deciding on an ICE install and a good installer in Bangalore was a real task for me.

With a Head unit of JVC KD x80 BT, all the equipment installed were from German Brand - HELIX. My overall ICE install can be divided in to 3 stages.

Stage I: This was after i immediately purchased my car. Since i was not much audio freak when it comes to car i wanted a budget install with a ceiling of maximum Rs.40000/- So just decided on entry level Helix BLUE - Front components and amplifier and mid level Helix espirit Co-axials.

Stage II: In the process of becoming an Audiophile, felt the need of adding Sub Woofer to the install

Stage III: Became a true audiophile and within completion of Stage II install, upgraded my front component speakers from Basic Helix Blue to Helix Precision.

Some Specifications:

Head Unit: JVC KD x80 BT

Front Component speakers: Stage I - Helix Blue B62C 6.5" components, Stage III: Swapped Helix Blue 6.5" components with Helix Precision 6.5" components with 2 way crossover

Co-axials: Helix Espirit 6.5"

Four Channel Amplifier: Helix B4 Blue

Sub-woofer: E12W - Esprit 12" Dual Voice Coil Sub-woofer

Now the detailed log:

I bought Tata Safari Storme on 2nd May 2014. Even before i got the delivery of the vehicle my discussion with Harmonixx Audio Inc. on the details of the equipment already started and took me about a week to finalize the equipment and have it ordered from Harmonixx Audio Inc. I finally chose Sunday 4th May for starting the install and we began work at a little past 12pm. Enough Said - Now let some pictures do the talking:

Stage I Install:

Door pads removed to lay the cabling.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-1.jpg

Speaker wires being installed on the rear doors.
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Laying cables for the HU.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-3.jpg

The metal on the Storme seems pretty nice, something that is expected from the TATAs! The plastics however are so so! We decided to test the setup without damping as there was no sub and these mids don't pound very hard or go low. If we found the need for damping after firing up the speakers, we figured we'd do it then and there. Idea was to keep the costs down to as low as possible!

Disclaimers:
1. All the pics posted here belongs to the installer Harmonixx Audio Inc., borrowed from him and posted here with his permission
2. I do not have in anyway commercial gain or interest from Harmonixx Inc. I am just a happy customer who got a great deal and professional install

Special Thanks to Harmonixx Audio Inc. proprietor Rahul Kodidini, @blueraven316 aka Satya and Topgear audio for efforts in installation

Last edited by navin : 13th June 2014 at 16:59.
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Old 12th June 2014, 21:45   #2
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Default Re: Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install by Harmonixx Audio Inc, Bangalor

Found the JVC KD-R80BT going for a STEAL on SnapDeal. MRP of the HU is 12999, but on SnapDeal they were selling it for 9342 after 15% Cashback + 10% discount.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-4.jpg

Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-5.jpg

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Keeping the budget in mind, it was finally decided that the best bang for the buck in this segment would be the Helix Blue series components. So for the fronts it was the Helix B62C.

The Helix B62C exude good build quality:

Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-7a.jpg

Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-7.jpg

Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-8.jpg

Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-9.jpg

Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-10.jpg

Paired with a simple looking XO.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-11.jpg

The rear co-axials chosen were the Helix Esprit E6X. They are not only well built but also sound a class apart for that segment.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-12.jpg

The amp chosen was a Helix Blue B4
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-16.jpg

For it's size, the amp is pretty decent. The sound signature is on the neutral side for the most part! It is the entry level speakers that did't match up (Hence the need for Stage III install/upgrade).
The fronts are powered off Ch1 & Ch2 while the rear co-axials are powered from Ch3 & Ch4.

Specs of the amp:
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-fullscreen-capture-07may14-24019-pm.jpg

Last edited by lazybrain : 12th June 2014 at 21:47.
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Old 12th June 2014, 23:04   #3
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Default Re: Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install by Harmonixx Audio Inc, Bangalor

This is the stock tweeter location on the sail panel.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-14.jpg

The tweeter exterior ring was taken out so that it would fit snugly in the OE location. The tweeter edges were later covered in a little bit of glue to keep it from falling out.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-15.jpg

The final stock looking product.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-image.jpg

Mid-bass fitted into the doors with 2 MDF rings on each side.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-13.jpg

Once the front door pads were put back.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-image_11.jpg

Rear door pads put back in place.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-image_12.jpg

This is as stock as it can look
This is how the HU looks once we were done. Snug fit with no panel gaps.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-17.jpg

A pic of the complete dash. Sorry the lighting was low and hence only could manage this.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-image_10.jpg

Exactly as i briefed my requirements to Harmonixx Audio Inc. - no OE wires were cut into or spliced. Neither were any panels on the car chopped. Or a single clip broken. Except the HU that is visible when you get inside the car, the install looks so stock that no one would even know that there is something hidden behind those sail panels and doors that will start playing once the volume is cranked up!

The HU plays WAV via USB and that is the biggest boon! Although I did find the UI a little unintuitive and the usage of the buttons a bit confusing.

A matter of few weeks and i started feeling the lack of bass and that is when i felt the need to add Sub woofer to my current install, since i was in the process of becoming an audiophile by now.

Stage II install details, to be continued.....
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Old 13th June 2014, 21:00   #4
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Default Re: Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install

Continuing from where i left...

The reason i was skeptical about high end ICE install was not just budget:
  • The feeling that it was unnecessary. The feeling also that when i could manage with less than basic install (just 2 front speakers and 2 coaxial's with Sony Xplod Aux-in functionality HU) on my previous car Wagon R with the same install for almost 7.5 years right from buying to selling the car, high end install on Safari Storme is just about overdoing things without any purpose. More so when i already have a decent 5.1 home theatre system at home why spend too much on a car audio! I was so wrong,I was already badly missing true bass in spite of a good install - the moment when i realized I am getting transformed in to an audiophile and a need for a decent Sub-woofer
  • The other reason was since last more than 4 years i always take my pet labrador on all long drives and installing a Sub-woofer would mean occupying extra space in the 3rd row Safari plus generally dogs wont appreciate the frequencies emitted from Sub-woofer's and that would lead to my dog destroying the equipment

A true Audiophile in making i duly called up the installer and briefed on my requirements and here we go:

Stage II Install:

Something I refused the installer to do during Stage I install was damping. Now that i made up my mind to install a sub-woofer damping was absolutely essential.

First, the outer skin of the door was damped with 1 layer of Dampmat.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-5_1.jpg

1 more layer of dampmat on the inner skin of the door.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-4_1.jpg

The door pads were also damped in a similar fashion.

As previously mentioned, reason for Stage II upgrade was just sub woofer.

In goes a shallow mount Helix E12W
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-1_1.jpg

Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-3_1.jpg

This picture should show you the depth of the sub. It's just slightly bigger than a 6.5" component.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-2_1.jpg

The shallow mount sub enabled installer to play with the enclosure size to ensure that all my priorities viz; "least space occupied in the 3rd row should my Labrador travels with us during holidays"and "provision to install a strong grill to protect the sub-woofer from my Labrador (Just in case)" were taken care off.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-6_1.jpg

Speak-On Connector for the subwoofer to detach subwoofer from car completely if i decide to take my labrador along with us on long drives and would like to compromise on SQ at the cost of Dog comfort
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-9_1.jpg

Enclosure wrapped with beige carpet to match the interiors. A sturdy subwoofer grill attached so that the dog doesn't destroy the sub.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-7_1.jpg

Jumper seat pulled down to test snug-fit of subwoofer box.
Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install-8_1.jpg

So, the installer did finally end up succeeding in making an enclosure that takes up very little space, can be removed easily while the need arises and should I decide to keep the sub in the car while my dog is in it, it would be hard for the dog to destroy the sub.

Experience with subwoofer: The sub is just the way I wanted. Not too loud, nor boomy! The way it integrates with the mid-bass is very nice! One can feel the subwoofer frequencies adding to the music, but it's almost impossible to locate the sub. Personally, I wish the sub had a little more power from the amp!

About the damping: The pleasant surprise was difference the damping made not only in terms of better acoustics, but also it helped in reducing the engine and road noise quite a lot.

Stage III install coming up shortly. Stay tuned for more....

Last edited by lazybrain : 13th June 2014 at 21:05.
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Old 14th June 2014, 04:11   #5
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Default Re: Tata Safari Storme gets Helix'd - My ICE Install

Very nicely done. Clean install. How is the SQ?
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Old 14th June 2014, 10:31   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piyush_Vroom View Post
Very nicely done. Clean install. How is the SQ?

Until the time I completed stage II install, I felt the SQ was good but not extraordinary. Realised that the culprit was entry level helix blue front components. Hence felt the need to upgrade the front components to something better. Will post more about this this weekend as a part of stage III upgrade when I find time.
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