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Old 6th August 2018, 23:53   #1
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Default Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass

Last year, I had thought of upgrading the speakers in the EcoSport. Didn't want to spend too much on the speakers thinking that it will be a decent upgrade.

I first got just the speakers changed from the OE ones to Focal Auditor components in front and coaxials at the back. After a few months, I wasn't too happy. The bass had actually come down and the only thing that really did improve, was the soundstage as the components had tweeters higher up vs the stock full range speakers.

Last couple of months, post the Code6 remap, the itch to update the ICE was getting bigger. The car was enjoyable to drive but I was sorely unhappy with the ICE. I didn't want to spend a bomb with a crazy setup. My requirements were simple:

1. Clean sounding not too bright
2. Good bass so sub was a must
3. Cleanest possible install with minimal modifications to the car and stealth.

I figured at first, I would leave the speakers as is and get a 4 channel amp and subwoofer. I was looking at an Infinity shallow mount 12-inch sub and a Pioneer class D amp. Contacted our in house audio guru moderator Navin for suggestions on these. He suggested not to consider shallow subs as the space advantage in a small EcoSport boot would not be much and besides, I had a Corolla for luggage duties, so I might as well go for a full-fledged sub. The Pioneer class D amp looks impressive on paper, but being a class D might not be the best in SQ and class D amps are known to have some whine sometimes.

The reason I was looking at class D was size. I wanted an amp that would comfortably fit below the front passenger seat. I did not want the amp to be in the boot with wires going till the boot and then back to front doors. On top of that eat up more space and may foul with the seat folding if attached to seat back. Class D amps were tiny for 4 channel units and were easy fit below the seat. On top of that, their ratings were really good vs the Class AB. The class AB with similar power, wouldn't fit below the seat.

Somewhere along, looking at brands like Gladen, DLS, Digital Designs and Alpine, Navin suggested checking with member Bass & Trouble. B&T suggested Morel Maximo Ultra 602 components, Morel Primo 124 sub and Helix D4 4 channel amp.

I had a quick look at the amp specs, mainly the size and I was sold. The amp was an easy fit below the seat. The components and sub had excellent reviews as well internationally. With B&T and Navin's ears approving, there was nothing else to see. B&T even arranged to send over the components, sub and amp from Mumbai, which I readily agreed to as I wasn't sure where to get it installed yet.

List of stuff:
1. Morel Maximo Ultra 602 components
2. Morel Primo 124 12-inch sub
3. Helix D4 amplifier
4. Dampmat sheets (10 sheets)

Unboxing the Stuff:

The Morel Maximo Ultra. These are a step up from the entry level Maximo range:
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-whatsapp-image-20180730-20.33.44.jpeg

The mid bass as well as tweeter is upgraded vs the Ultra:
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-whatsapp-image-20180730-20.35.09.jpeg

A look at the magnet shows the 90W RMS rating:
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-whatsapp-image-20180730-20.35.20-1.jpeg

Next was the Primo 124 sub. I actually wanted the 10-inch version of this sub, since the reviews I read claimed the 10" has tighter bass. Besides I am not really a bass head, who needs so much bass that everything (IVRMs, OVRMs, etc.) in the car is shaking. Unfortunately, the 10-inch isn't available in India and the only choice was between a 8" or 12". Hence, opted for the 12":
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-whatsapp-image-20180730-20.35.52.jpeg

Primo is an entry-level sub. Spend a little more and you can get the Ultimo.
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-whatsapp-image-20180730-20.36.57.jpeg

This sub has some really beefy surrounds:
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-whatsapp-image-20180730-20.38.55.jpeg

The Helix D-4 4channel Class AB amplifier. 4 x 65W of power at 4 ohms or 2 x 180W at 4 ohms when run in bridged mode for the sub. Not a super powerful amp, but more than enough for my needs:
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-whatsapp-image-20180730-20.42.25.jpeg

What I really really liked about this amp was that it had a high-level input, which meant no need to buy a separate high low converter. More than anything, one component lesser, making it simpler and cleaner to install:
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-whatsapp-image-20180730-20.42.41.jpeg

The plan was to power the front speakers and sub from the amp and let the rear speakers remain off the head unit. The front channels of the head unit would go to amp and the amp would be configured in 2 channel mode, wherein the input from 2 channels would go to 4 output channels of the amp. 2 output channels would go to front doors and other 2 channels would be bridged and go to sub woofer.

Links for all the products:
https://www.audiotec-fischer.de/en/h...lifiers/d-four
https://www.morelhifi.com/product/ma...ra-2-way-coax/
https://www.morelhifi.com/product/primo-subwoofer/

Last edited by navin : 7th August 2018 at 11:36. Reason: typos
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Old 7th August 2018, 00:19   #2
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Default re: Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass

Once I got the stuff, the dilemma was where to get everything installed. I knew of 3 ICE installers in Bangalore and all 3 were well known to me. Fellow member Nikhil also suggested his tuner Venkat (Blackworks).

Finally, I just decided to go with Top Gear, run by Anwar. Anwar had done my Alto ICE 11 years back and I had not met him ever since. Luckily, he remembered me as well. Told him my requirements and he was happy with the stuff I got and said, all 3 are really good choices. I would need a sub enclosure, wiring and some minor damping for the plastic door pads. Scheduled an appointment and as soon as I reached, his guys got to work. One guy was their fabricator for the MDF speaker rings, one guy for electricals, one guy for damping and removing panels and one guy for the subwoofer enclosure. The entire process took around half a day and they even had some device for polarity check with a test tone playing through the speakers.

After removing the old speakers, they got to damping the doors. The metal part was damped with damp mat, whereas the door pad inside was lined with felt glued on.

Before the damping. The EcoSport has heavy doors and I had one small damping sheet already:
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-img_20180803_121614.jpg

After the damping, the door closes with an even more solid thunk and the way it feels when you tap is unreal. The sound from outside has reduced by a huge amount now when you close the doors:
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-whatsapp-image-20180803-13.39.01.jpeg

Once the damping and the crossover wiring was done, it was time to fit the tweeter. Unfortunately, the Morel tweeters were bigger than the earlier Focal ones and didn't fit into the tweeter housing in the door. Had to drill a hole and fit them in front of the door handle. A side benefit was that they were better positioned here and closer to the mid bass:
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-whatsapp-image-20180803-16.07.53.jpeg

The doors were the easy part. The amp is where I knew would have a lot of challenges. First hurdle was space below the seat and luckily there was just enough for it to fit without even coming close to the passengers touching it with their feet:
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-img_20180801_205916.jpg

I was expecting the biggest challenge would be the wiring and I was right. Ford has connectors in the doors that connect to the body, so the wire doesn't go from the door speaker to the head unit, it goes to the door connector that plugs into the body. This basically means, you can't route a new wire from the amp to door. The only way was to tap the wire behind the head unit, send it to the amp and then from the amp have it come back to the head unit and connect to the OE Ford speaker wires. This meant the connecter had to be cut and there was no other choice:
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-whatsapp-image-20180803-16.08.25.jpeg

The amp with partial wiring complete. The black cable on the left of the amp is the airbag connector for the passenger seat. You need to remove the connector when removing the seat:
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-whatsapp-image-20180803-17.35.36.jpeg

For routing the wire cleanly, all plastic mouldings around the front door and passenger footwell had to be removed. I also didn't want the amp to be screwed to the floor of the car. The thought of a screw going through the body was too scary. Hence, the amp was screwed to a felt-lined MDF plate and was Velcroed to the carpet floor, so it doesn't move around:
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-whatsapp-image-20180803-17.42.34.jpeg

Here you can see the new speaker wires. They were nicely wrapped in heat shrink and inserted into the high-level input of the amp. Notice that only 2 channels are used (A/B). This is because the only the front channel is amped going to the front speakers and subwoofer. The rear remains powered by head unit:
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-img_20180805_220239.jpg

The subwoofer was chosen as a ported box, which Anwar had made using his boys and not a readymade one. It was connected to the amp using a very nice connector vs the banana plugs. No chance of reverse polarity or loose connection. It works like inserting a lighter in the car cigarette lighter port with a small locking mechanism. It's easy to remove the sub when not needed:
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-whatsapp-image-20180803-18.06.34.jpeg

After the install, the only visible thing in the car is the subwoofer in the boot (OK and the small tweeter in the front door):
Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass-img_20180803_180604.jpg

Last edited by navin : 7th August 2018 at 11:39. Reason: typos
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Old 7th August 2018, 00:51   #3
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Default re: Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass

Morel speakers require some time to burn in. Right now, the gain is not even close to 1/4th, bass boost is 0 dB for the sub and the sound is pretty awesome. After a few weeks, if any tuning needs to be done, Anwar said drop in and he will tune it accordingly. Plus, if I wasn't happy with the bass from ported box, he would change it to a sealed one.

The sub hits hard and low and I know it can go even more. The front speakers have made a huge difference. The soundstage now sounds like the person singing is right in front of the windshield. I can hear instruments which I have never heard before in some songs - the guitar strings, the cymbal, the triangle.

As a result, my driving style has also changed. I am now driving slower and less in a rush - just cranking up the sound and enjoying the music.

I don't have a full breakup of the install, but the total came to 55K, which included the damping sheets, sub, components, amp, wiring, sub enclosure and labour. It was well worth it. Another plus side is that all the rattles from the doors have disappeared.

Last edited by Aditya : 7th August 2018 at 10:10.
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Old 7th August 2018, 10:13   #4
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Default Re: Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass

Note from Mod: Moved to ICE section. Thanks for sharing


Nice, look forward to hearing it. On a lighter note, you will have one dilemma less as you have no reason to change this car now. Focus on a co-pilot to bump and grind to the music with!
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Old 7th August 2018, 13:01   #5
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Default Re: Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
The soundstage now sounds like the person singing is right in front of the windshield.
Ecosport is rumoured to have one of the best soundstage among cars in the Indian market, if staged and time aligned properly. Another popular ICE forum has a Bangalore based tuner who worked on one Ecosport, only to go ahead and purchase one for himself just for the soundstage.

Let the speakers burn in properly and spend some quality time with the tuning. Do not blindly trust the ears of these installers please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Focus on a co-pilot to bump and grind to the music with!
Subtle, yet direct.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 7th August 2018 at 13:05.
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Old 7th August 2018, 13:34   #6
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Default Re: Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Ecosport is rumoured to have one of the best soundstage among cars in the Indian market, if staged and time aligned properly. Another popular ICE forum has a Bangalore based tuner who worked on one Ecosport, only to go ahead and purchase one for himself just for the soundstage.
Please can you share the details with me, I have burnt my hands installing fake JBLs on my car.
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Old 7th August 2018, 14:50   #7
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Default Re: Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass

Wow that's a brilliant install. Makes me wanna do something similar for my ride back home. I'm not very well versed with the brand and model details as you but can sure use this thread to understand and choose. I'm from Kerala and have a feeling the above brands might be over priced here. Can you give me the contact of the guys who had sent this across to you?
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Old 7th August 2018, 14:52   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aabhimanyu04 View Post
Please can you share the details with me, I have burnt my hands installing fake JBLs on my car.
What details do you actually want? Did not understand your query.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosh_aveo1.4 View Post
Wow that's a brilliant install. Makes me wanna do something similar for my ride back home. I'm not very well versed with the brand and model details as you but can sure use this thread to understand and choose. I'm from Kerala and have a feeling the above brands might be over priced here. Can you give me the contact of the guys who had sent this across to you?
I got the stuff from Mumbai courtesy forum member BASS&Trouble (+91 93204 47654). He doesn't do a lot of car audio installs but is into home and pro audio. However he has been around ICE section here from a long time.

Last edited by Vid6639 : 7th August 2018 at 15:11.
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Old 7th August 2018, 15:18   #9
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Default Re: Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass

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What details do you actually want? Did not understand your query.
Oops, apologies, I wanted to know about the Bangalore based tuner who can work on my ICE.
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Old 7th August 2018, 15:20   #10
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Default Re: Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass

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Originally Posted by aabhimanyu04 View Post
Oops, apologies, I wanted to know about the Bangalore based tuner who can work on my ICE.
Same as the one I went to. Top Gear run by Anwar +91 98800 37737.

The other one Crazy_driver is talking about is Harmonixx audio run by an Ex-Team-BHP member. However Harmonixx do all of their installs with Anwar at his workshop in Koramangla.
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Old 7th August 2018, 17:56   #11
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Default Re: Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass

Can you please share details on the AMP power wiring part , how is the amplifier switched on .
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Old 7th August 2018, 18:03   #12
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Originally Posted by ranjithrnair View Post
Can you please share details on the AMP power wiring part , how is the amplifier switched on .
Not using the trigger from the amp as the in-built hi-lo converter was triggering it.

I remember you mentioned this on another post. Is there anything that needs to be taken care of?
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Old 7th August 2018, 18:20   #13
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Default Re: Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass

Nice thread with good upgrades for the EcoSport. Didn't know it was difficult to pull wires from cabin to doors. Would like to audition your car if I do get a chance in the near future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Not using the trigger from the amp as the in-built hi-lo converter was triggering it.
So is the 'REM' part on the amplifier empty?

So the amplifier is turning ON automatically when it senses signal on the speaker level input. Correct?
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Old 7th August 2018, 18:27   #14
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Default Re: Ford EcoSport ICE upgrade with Morel and Helix: The need for Bass

Congrats on the install and good choice of equipment.

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It works like inserting a lighter in the car cigarette lighter port with a small locking mechanism. It's easy to remove the sub when not needed:
It's called speakON connector.
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Old 8th August 2018, 00:08   #15
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Not using the trigger from the amp as the in-built hi-lo converter was triggering it.



I remember you mentioned this on another post. Is there anything that needs to be taken care of?

When I tried similar sort of upgrade few years back , it was observed that the moment you unlock car , there is some sort of speaker output from headunit even if it's not turned on and that was triggering the amplifier to switch ON.
This was causing issues with sub and Amp getting powered ON unnecessarily.
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