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Old 9th February 2015, 01:02   #1
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Default The Next Level: Mahindra Scorpio ICE Upgrade

Hi All,

My music tastes have gradually evolved over time, and I have, in the recent past, gravitated more and more towards Jazz, Classic Rock, and taken a deeper interest in classical music. As this change took place, it became more and more clear to me that my existing ICE set-up would just not be good enough, and that I would require a more audiophile-oriented set-up

So I spent the better part of the last 6 months reviewing Team-BHP and various other sites, in an attempt to understand my requirements and the available options. And all this research led me to contact Gunbir and Aman (Motor Concept) about a month ago, and finally got the install done on 9th Feb 2015. I took this long in research, because I absolutely did not want to repeat my past ICE mistakes, and have to go back and redo stuff.

Needless to say, the quality of the install, the professionalism, and Aman's honesty in not wanting to push something just to inflate my bill, as well as the level of interest taken by Gunbir and Jasdeep, all added to a superb experience, and one that I had sorely missed in my previous attempts at improving the quality of my ICE installs.

The kit installed is as below:
  1. Front Components: Flux Audio SC-261 replacing old Rockford Fosgate Punch Series
  2. Rainbow Audio DL X-6 replacing the old Rockford Fosgate prime series coax speakers on the middle doors
  3. Rainbow DL-S 12 replacing the old 12" Rockford Fosgate Prime Series Sub
  4. Rainbow iPaul 4.300 replacing Hertz HE4
  5. Rainbow Beat 2 replacing Arc Audio XDi804 to power the sub
  6. Pioneer 5790BT replacing the Blaupunkt Los Angeles 500

Overall, some serious kit, and the quality of sound just amazes me now.

Things I finally understand:
  • What a "laid-back audiophile signature" means, and why that's such a great thing
  • What a sound stage is (had achieved it in bits and pieces earlier, and more so in my Nano. But finally achieved in my Scorpio)
  • The importance of not having massively thumping bass, if you wish to listen to quality music
  • What constitutes a high-quality install (I really did not know until I saw this install)

First impressions of the system:
  1. Sound quality suddenly jumped several notches above where it was earlier
  2. The excessive thump from the sub is gone
  3. Every instrument is audible, and there are certain notes I hear now that I didn't know existed in certain songs
  4. I got this install primarily to cater to my jazz and classic rock tastes, but it even does a great job with music from more modern groups such as Staind etc.
  5. The HU is just great. The touch interface is extremely pleasant compared to my old Blaupunkt, and it has so many features I may never end up exploring all of them

What remains to be done:
  • I couldn't get the right grills for the speakers, because they've apparently become optional now, thanks to most cars having stock locations for speakers. Mine being a Scorpio LX, has no stock locations, and hence the speakers need grills
  • The tweeter pod offered with the Flux Audio Speakers was not really suitable. An aluminium pod has been ordered, which will be installed as soon as available. I'm wondering whether to design and build my own tweeter pod, with some sort of mesh cover, to protect the soft-dome tweeters

Pictures:
Door before it was damped again. Note the poor quality of earlier damping
The Next Level: Mahindra Scorpio ICE Upgrade-20150208_155510.jpg

Good quality cables. I really liked the feel of these cables:
The Next Level: Mahindra Scorpio ICE Upgrade-20150208_155518.jpg

The Next Level: Mahindra Scorpio ICE Upgrade-20150208_155602.jpg

Damping the inside of the outer skin of the front doors. The previous installer had not done this
The Next Level: Mahindra Scorpio ICE Upgrade-20150208_185209.jpg

Damping the inner skin
The Next Level: Mahindra Scorpio ICE Upgrade-20150208_192705.jpg

The Next Level: Mahindra Scorpio ICE Upgrade-20150208_203703.jpg


Amps going in. I didn't capture one of the iPaul unfortuantely
The Next Level: Mahindra Scorpio ICE Upgrade-20150208_190314.jpg

Pramod installing the Flux Audio speakers on the door
The Next Level: Mahindra Scorpio ICE Upgrade-20150208_210006.jpg

Wiring amps to the battery. Again, quality that I haven't ever seen in ICE installs, with cables neatly protected in conduit piping etc.
The Next Level: Mahindra Scorpio ICE Upgrade-20150208_211609.jpg

The Next Level: Mahindra Scorpio ICE Upgrade-20150208_211616.jpg

Here's a little system demo video. The SQ is highly evident even in this mobile video sample:

Last edited by HighwayofLife : 13th February 2015 at 01:50.
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Old 16th February 2015, 14:57   #2
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Default re: The Next Level: Mahindra Scorpio ICE Upgrade

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the ICE Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 19th February 2015, 01:26   #3
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Default Re: The Next Level: Mahindra Scorpio ICE Upgrade

Very nice equipment there HighwayofLife

Any particular reason you opted to go for the Flux Audio components, while I hear that the tweeter is very good and sounds sweet right out of the box, the mid bass is not the best in that price range.

Also, I think you should fiddle with your tweeter locations, are they actually firing downwards or was it the photography angle? Proper positioning of tweeters will give you a better and well defined sound stage.

Glad that you got your doors damped generously, damping does wonders to any car, specially if its a Jap or a Tata/Mahindra!

And, they say that more than the presence of the subwoofer, its absence must be felt.
A well tuned sub in a made-to-spec box should just be there to back up the mid bass drivers, not to overpower them!

Also I see the Pioneer 5790 BT there, any plans of going active anytime soon?
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Old 19th February 2015, 03:10   #4
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Originally Posted by 599gto View Post
Very nice equipment there HighwayofLife

Any particular reason you opted to go for the Flux Audio components, while I hear that the tweeter is very good and sounds sweet right out of the box, the mid bass is not the best in that price range.
Thank you!!
I was recommended Flux Audio based on my (changed) listening tastes, about a month before I did the actual upgrade. After that, I decided to check out the quality of these speakers, and naturally turned to Google, where I ran across this very interesting video:



It is of course, that of the top of the line Flux Audio RC 361 3-way Component System. But the moment I heard that sound, I was totally hooked. After that, it was basically a very impatient wait to go for the upgrade. And the SC 261, though 2-way, and though much lower priced, are still way better than anything I've heard, and certainly fulfills my requirements of great clarity without excessive brightness

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Also, I think you should fiddle with your tweeter locations, are they actually firing downwards or was it the photography angle? Proper positioning of tweeters will give you a better and well defined sound stage.
I just bought this set of 5 CDs of Jagjit Singh (Jagjit Singh - His Greatest Hits), immediately after my ICE upgrade. Today, I had to go on a very long drive through Delhi, through some of the densest traffic I've ever seen, and I ended up listening to 3 of the 5 discs in that drive, it was that addictive. Mind you, until 2 months ago, I used to find Ghazals sort of OK, but generally felt they are overly "senti" songs. What I couldn't believe was that the feeling I was getting, not while closing my eyes at a signal, but while driving, is that the sound is not coming from the speakers on the left and the right, but right from the center of the dashboard. That, based on all I've read in my research on the subject, is what a good sound stage is supposed to be like. So I haven't thought of anything other than Jagjit Singh, Eric Clapton, BB King, and Diana Krall, since this upgrade.

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Glad that you got your doors damped generously, damping does wonders to any car, specially if its a Jap or a Tata/Mahindra!
Completely agree.

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Originally Posted by 599gto View Post
And, they say that more than the presence of the subwoofer, its absence must be felt.
A well tuned sub in a made-to-spec box should just be there to back up the mid bass drivers, not to overpower them!
I actually understand what you mean. Immediately after the advice you gave me in my query in the "Ask the Gurus" section, I went and reduced the volume setting of my active sub in my Nano, and found out how true this fact is. With this install, Gunbir, Jasdeep, and Aman have taken my understanding to the next level. It's something most people don't get, because they (and I was in the same boat till 2 months ago), think that one spends all that money on the sub only to that overpowering thump

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Originally Posted by 599gto View Post
Also I see the Pioneer 5790 BT there, any plans of going active anytime soon?
I'm going to have to research what "going active" means. I read up on it, and only know it theoretically. But given the joy I'm getting from this upgrade, I don't believe I'll be trying any further upgrades. The only remaining thing I plan is to build a custom iPad holder on my dash.

Last edited by HighwayofLife : 19th February 2015 at 03:20.
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Old 19th February 2015, 13:35   #5
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Thank you!!
I was recommended Flux Audio based on my (changed) listening tastes, about a month before I did the actual upgrade.....
Cool, they will sound even better after 60-7- hours of break in time, do visit the installer once you've put in at least 80-90 hours of run time on your speakers, they would need a re-tune.
All the best on your set-up, wishing you lots of upgrades soon!


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....What I couldn't believe was that the feeling I was getting, not while closing my eyes at a signal, but while driving, is that the sound is not coming from the speakers on the left and the right, but right from the center of the dashboard....
A lot of it has to be credited to the feature rich HU you've got there, I am sure your installers have dialed in TA settings to make them sound that way. A good installer is more valuable than the equipment itself.


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.......It's something most people don't get, because they (and I was in the same boat till 2 months ago), think that one spends all that money on the sub only to that overpowering thump.....
I guess every ICE nut starts exactly from that boat, I liked that head banging bass too, but that when I was 14, 8 years down and some fiddling with ICE has helped me understand what exactly is the sub supposed to do.
That's the reason a lot of home audio enthusiasts skip the Sub stage altogether.



Quote:
Originally Posted by HighwayofLife View Post
I'm going to have to research what "going active" means. I read up on it, and only know it theoretically. But given the joy I'm getting from this upgrade, I don't believe I'll be trying any further upgrades. The only remaining thing I plan is to build a custom iPad holder on my dash.

Oh, going active isn't the easiest thing to do, an active set-up is basically not using the crossovers supplied with the components, and feeding power to the tweeters and mid basses through different channels on the amplifier, the frequencies are split using a digital crossover integrated into the HU or Amp itself, HU being the preferred option.

I hear its very easy to blow up the tweeters if one is not a pro in tuning active set ups. My set of Audison SR Amps are active capable but I am still waiting to get a Pioneer 5790 BT and then try my hand at going active with my current set of speakers before I upgrade the front stage.
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Old 19th February 2015, 17:44   #6
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I guess every ICE nut starts exactly from that boat, I liked that head banging bass too, but that when I was 14...

Oh, going active isn't the easiest thing to do....
I liked the thump too when I was 12 or 14 but that was 4 decades ago! Ok, just take me out and shoot me, I am too old to be living na? After all my contemporaries Mr. Diplodocus, Ms. Stegosaurus and Mr. Tyrannosaurus ae long extinct.

One half way point is to go 2 way active and 2 way passive for a 3 way system (not including the subwoofer). It is quite nice especially if you have one channel for the Mid and tweeter and one for the woofer.

I would active consider crossover points as 60/80Hz for the subwoofer and 250/400Hz for the woofer/mid-hf. We have already discussed the subwoofer earlier.

By crossing over at around 250-400 Hz we effectively divide the frequency spectrum between 60hz and 20kHz into about 2 equal parts (in terms of distribution of energy). A crossover in this range also allows one to use a relatively small midrange (3") without the midrange being stressed by excursion, and the mid and hf units can be kept close to each other hence TA is not much of an issue.
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Old 19th February 2015, 21:37   #7
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I liked the thump too when I was 12 or 14 but that was 4 decades ago! Ok, just take me out and shoot me, I am too old to be living na? After all my contemporaries Mr. Diplodocus, Ms. Stegosaurus and Mr. Tyrannosaurus ae long extinct.
It looks like my tastes moving towards ghazals and jazz must be a result of old age too. I didn't learn about fine sound installs in a car till I bought my third car. Talk about being clueless in this age of information, despite being a member of team-BHP. Not any more though

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One half way point is to go 2 way active and 2 way passive for a 3 way system (not including the subwoofer). It is quite nice especially if you have one channel for the Mid and tweeter and one for the woofer.
As of now, I'd like to stick with two-way components and a passive configuration, since it's providing me everything I require. May be when I buy my next car, I'll think of going three-way and active.
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Old 20th February 2015, 10:42   #8
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I liked the thump too when I was 12 or 14 but that was 4 decades ago! Ok, just take me out and shoot me, I am too old to be living na? After all my contemporaries Mr. Diplodocus, Ms. Stegosaurus and Mr. Tyrannosaurus ae long extinct.

One half way point is to go 2 way active and 2 way passive for a 3 way system (not including the subwoofer). It is quite nice especially if you have one channel for the Mid and tweeter and one for the woofer.

I would active consider crossover points as 60/80Hz for the subwoofer and 250/400Hz for the woofer/mid-hf. We have already discussed the subwoofer earlier.

By crossing over at around 250-400 Hz we effectively divide the frequency spectrum between 60hz and 20kHz into about 2 equal parts (in terms of distribution of energy). A crossover in this range also allows one to use a relatively small midrange (3") without the midrange being stressed by excursion, and the mid and hf units can be kept close to each other hence TA is not much of an issue.
Sir, it makes me very happy to see you notice my post. Old and you? I dont think so, one is never too old to be hungry for good quality music, in fact given the expenses involved, the older you are the better it is!

I read about you building your speakers yourself and that makes me think someday I will do that too. My father too, was an enthusiast, used to make speakers and speaker cabinets from whatever components he could source, he has an equilizer-amp combo and a record player (turntable!?) made by him during his college days, the turntable at least works fine till date. He had to give it all up for his entrepreneurial adventures. So I guess some of the ICE keeda runs in my blood.

My next upgrade is a 3 way+sub set up, in which I plan to run the midrange+tweeter combo through the supplied crossovers, and run the mid bass active through the HU.

I intend to do this to make proper use of TA settings and lower the risk of midrange-tweeter damage. Going 4-way active isn't exactly cheap, also, tuning active set-ups is not something I think I am too good at. Am I thinking correct sir?
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Old 20th February 2015, 11:58   #9
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My next upgrade is a 3 way+sub set up, in which I plan to run the midrange+tweeter combo through the supplied crossovers, and run the mid bass active through the HU.

I intend to do this to make proper use of TA settings and lower the risk of midrange-tweeter damage. Going 4-way active isn't exactly cheap, also, tuning active set-ups is not something I think I am too good at. Am I thinking correct sir?
Actually you are almost 100% right.

Going active is not as expensive as one makes it out to be. After all one does not have to go active for both front and rear speakers. 1 Monoblock and 2 x 4ch. amplifiers can do nicely. Of the 8 channels you can use 6 for the front and 2 for rear fill. The amps can be as cheap as Kenwood or as expensive as JL/Rainbow or even more. The rest is up to the budget.
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Old 20th February 2015, 19:28   #10
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Actually you are almost 100% right.

Going active is not as expensive as one makes it out to be. After all one does not have to go active for both front and rear speakers. 1 Monoblock and 2 x 4ch. amplifiers can do nicely. Of the 8 channels you can use 6 for the front and 2 for rear fill. The amps can be as cheap as Kenwood or as expensive as JL/Rainbow or even more. The rest is up to the budget.
Here's my question on going active. How much difference does it really make?- To quantify, Does it make as much of a difference as the upgrade I just did, or is it a barely noticeable minor difference?

If the difference is minor, is it even worth the risk? Because if the HUs settings are wiped out, say during a battery disconnect at the service center, there's a solid chance of burning out the tweeters, due to excessively high power being passed to them
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Old 23rd February 2015, 17:49   #11
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To add to the above this has also intrigued me whether the active systems really work that wonders over the tried and tested crossovers set by experts for that particular speakers. Does the sound really come that much better by going active, I havent heard any active system yet so would love to hear the gurus's verdict.
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Old 24th February 2015, 14:18   #12
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Here's my question on going active. How much difference does it really make?
I am very happy with my 3 way active and 2 way passive system - Monoblock for subwoofer and 2 x 4 ch. amps for Front and rear speakers.
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Old 24th February 2015, 14:26   #13
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I am very happy with my 3 way active and 2 way passive system - Monoblock for subwoofer and 2 x 4 ch. amps for Front and rear speakers.
What I would like to know is the quantifiable difference between an active and a passive system. The reason I ask is because of the obvious risks involved (technical knowledge of installer, tweeters blowing if settings get wiped off HU during battery disconnection and they get full power from the amp etc.), and what Invincible asked- why do speaker manufacturers provide passive crossovers, if going active is a better option

This is just idle curiosity on my part for now, though it might play a part in future installs I might do
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Old 25th February 2015, 10:23   #14
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One of the other things that crossed my mind was, how many of the active systems go with their own set of preferential setting and not use the same crossover settings which a passive crossover already comes configured with i.e. just replicating the passive crossover settings without a passive crossover and having a feel of going active justified.
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Old 25th February 2015, 12:44   #15
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HighwayofLife, a neat install, from the specs, I see that you have not installed any speakers on your backdoor, how different is the sound experience as against the speakers mounted on the backdoor?

Can you share the pics of the middle doors if possible please?

I also own a LX and am seriously thinking about doing some changes to have a good sound experience. Damping the doors is the top priority for me for now though. Too much noise creeping in through the doors

Can the price of the install be shared if possible?
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