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Old 10th March 2016, 10:54   #1
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Default ICE - Long term reviews & reliability

Generally we buy judging solely by sound quality & reliability, but I feel that we have neglected reliability in general. while for a lot of people, its not a big deal as they switch cars every three years or so, and the ice goes with it, for some of us who invest in a proper ICE setup, and gradually upgrade it (even though the cars change) this might be of some value

Issues that are common include voice coil rubbing/distortion, Rust, and dead drivers.

I had one of my hertz coaxes develop voice coil rubbing in 5 years.
My alpine HU had the transport's loading mechanism grow weak and had trouble swallowing CD's after 4 years, servicing it helped only marginally.
Recently was helping a friend rewire his speakers, and his blaupunkt speakers, despite being caked with over a decade of dust, performed flawlessly
Another friend i had talked into buying a pair of bull audio comps found his bass reduced over the course of a year. after opening it up, we found that they had rusted solid. Thankfully they're not available in the market any more

We used to discourage folks from sony HU's because they were supposedly unreliable - wonder how other brands do in terms of reliability
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Old 14th March 2016, 16:47   #2
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Default Re: ICE - Long term reviews & reliability

Nice topic .

I've usually seen head-units & speakers lasting the car's lifetime. Only bought Pioneer head-units and they've never required repair (except in the Jeep where offroading led to water accumulation). Even my speakers & subwoofers have lasted the 7 - 10 years that I usually keep my cars for.

On the other hand, the amplifiers I've bought have always had some issues cropping up every 2 - 3 years. The Pioneer 944 amp (big daddy of its time) in my 1st-gen City Vtec had issues with its circuitry. The amps in my Civic also had a lot of problems. First, the original choice wouldn't work properly (link to thread) and the replacement Stegs always required some servicing or the other.

My Civic had the best ICE I've had, but the audio equipment required way too much upkeep. It put me off high-end installs for good - related thread (The Downside of High-End Audio Installs).

If I do upgrade the ICE in the future, it'll only be speakers & a single amplifier. Nothing else.
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Old 24th March 2016, 16:57   #3
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Default Re: ICE - Long term reviews & reliability

I was looking for the answer to reliability of ICEs and I found right thread.

I had a factory fitted front speakers and head unit in my Dad's 2001 Santro. I never had problem with it for like 10 years and suddenly one day I found that cassettes were out dated and I needed to replace the ICE. Speakers were also cracking and I felt that may be because they have aged. And this was the time before I came to Team-BHP. I was so novice that I even didn't know where ICE is to be bought or installed. I was totally ignorant about getting help from Internet.

I somehow found out that music systems are bought at Car Decors 0r whatever they are called so. I located one shop and I asked the guy to check my factory fitted speakers and head unit. He didn't even care to check it and told me that's it old and out dated and immediately removed them and replaced it with some new front speakers and a near head unit.

From the experience I feel that ICE has no reliability issues and its the people involved in the business of installing ICE are not reliable and many times they are misguiding the buyers. And I am sure many of these guys so called "Electricians" are not at all qualified for the job. In fact the guy who sold me pioneer head unit couldn't even tell me instantly how to set clock in it.

I have still kept that factory fitted speakers and head unit with me as I am sure they don't have any problem. May be I need right person who can check the fuses or speakers and do proper servicing. And I am going to install them again!
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Old 25th March 2016, 00:02   #4
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Default Re: ICE - Long term reviews & reliability

the time taken to service a speaker/car stereo issue is almost the same as it would take for them to install a new one, and guess which pays them more, so they'll end up trying to sell a new one every time.

I recently had an issue with my hella horn, and the electrician was adamant that the horns are dead, and they can't be serviced, but roots can. I later found out that roots has a very heavy presence around here, and consequently, everybody is trying to sell roots stuff.

in the end it turned out that my fuse was blown, but I noticed that only after i was conned into buying a set of roots horns, but I suppose will be more careful the next time.

for speakers, checking is easy - hook them up to a working stereo, and you'll know right away. Car stereos - I know a dude in chennai who works only on car audio electronics, so he's the one I go to for this sort of queries
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Old 29th March 2016, 20:54   #5
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Default Re: ICE - Long term reviews & reliability

I had a Pioneer DVH-P5950MP which I bought with my car in 2007 along with Blaupunkt BGx Series Coaxials.

Recently the HU started giving trouble (occasional shutdowns for no reason) and since it didn't have most modern features (read USB and Front Panel Aux) I had to replace it with a Sony DSX A35U last month. But audio quality wise the Pioneer was just superb compared with the Sony.

As far the Blaupunkt's go one of the rear 6X9's has begun to lose output (lesser output compared to its peer). But otherwise the speakers are still very good, just that the Sony doesn't quite match the nearly 10 year old Pioneer for output quality.
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Old 29th March 2016, 23:09   #6
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Default Re: ICE - Long term reviews & reliability

I've had my Sony xplod system for over 5 yrs now, and have had no issues so far, the speakers are Boston, non components, I'm happy with the sound since I wanted a flatter sound to begin with, I use equalisation to make changes to the sound.

Recently the front left door speaker is acting up and the right door speaker has very low output, no highs at all and only lows and mid lows is all I can hear, the left front door is intermittent but works fine when it does.

I have no sub or amplifier in my car, other than the amplification from the head unit itself.

I won't call it a very good system (I'm spoilt by some amazing systems at studios) but my car system does the job. Been reliable so far.

I'm a music freak and play guitar and keyboard, so audio to me is really important. I cannot drive without songs rolling on.

Why I didn't upgrade my car speakers? The units sold today are great, are digital as we all know, but then mass produced, mostly in china, with SMD components that are tough to fix. Hnce these dealers never bother to fix, replacing works out cheaper really wih these units.

For the speakers, again the cone material, magnet, resistance, impedance matters a lot to get a good match wih the head unit.

I prefer analog systems only for audio, they have the warmth that you can never expect from a DSP based unit.

I would when I upgrade my car go for an amp that I'd built and with a head unit that has a good DAC, (analog devices or something similar) i may sound like a cork sniffer, but that is really important to me, as these things then turn reliable when there less in it, meaning not many bells and whistles and only what is needed.

I wish cassettes were back.

My 2 cents would be to go for the minimalistic HU, good speakers with large magnets and preferably something not made in the PRC (will be expensive), an amplifier that is analog (non DSP), some good fibre wool door insulation and rubber grommets to mount the speakers to avoid vibrations. Low capacitance cables to run the wiring.

That would last you a very good time and will have a good audio quality too.
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