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Old 14th June 2007, 05:48   #1
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Wink Should I spend for serious ICE ?

My family plans to buy a new sedan within 6-8 months and I have fixed my ICE budget at 25-30K which includes sub, amplifiers & damping.... But, now I'm stuck in a rut whether to spend that much for the ICE or be content with a basic HU & Co-axials.

The root cause of my dilemma is that I'm having a collection of about 16 GB of Indian MP3 music which I've collected for the last 6 years. And the 99% of the MP3's are encoded in 128 kbps CBR. And, I'm having only 10 Audio CD's at my disposal and I rarely lend my ear to anything except Indian music.

Since my collection involves mostly MP3 which is a lossy format, is it a waste of money to invest that much for ICE ?

OR

Should I stick on to a basic ICE system ?

ICE Gurus, please provide me some valuable advice !!!

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Old 14th June 2007, 06:40   #2
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Well, Mithun, if you're having to ask yourself and us, I think the answer is easily no. If you really needed a 30K music system, if you really needed to enjoy the music that well, you wouldn't have to ask. You'll want to, automatically. You'll probably be happy with a basic HU + 2 pairs of good speakers.

Keep a budget of say:

Fronts: 5K (JBLCS2165c)
Rears:4K (JBL CS series Ovals)
HU: 5K (Pio2950/Basic KenwoodHU)

And be flexible by about 2K.

Also do listen to your music in a car with a reasonably good system and with a basic system, and see if you like the first car better.

I really think you will be happy with a basic system: Not because of the rip quality of the music you already have (that can be remedied), but because you yourself really don't feel you need it.
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Old 14th June 2007, 07:15   #3
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See, ICE gurus don't always make you spend more Good advice, hydrashok.
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Old 14th June 2007, 07:23   #4
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Really well said, Hydra!

Mithun, music is more of a state of mind unconnected with economics. "Where there is a will there is a way" is more valid for music than anything else. As Hydra said, it all depends on what you will, and currently you "won't"!

The best part is that sometimes basic systems make you enjoy the music more than a system costing tens of thousands - similar to enjoying the idea presented by the humour writer instead of doing a semantic / syntactic analysis of the language.

That said, the state of mind changes with time, as does affordability and will. Give it some time, may be you will see your situation differently. With 16GB you are more of a serious listener than most.
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Old 14th June 2007, 09:48   #5
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The quality of your 16GB worth of rips can only be improved if you have the original files they were ripped from. You cannot imrove your existing 128CBR mp3 no matter what you do.

But someday you may have better rips. Buy decent speakers and a decent MP3 HU.

I fully agree with hydra in one thing. The very fact that you're thinking if you should get a serious ICE system or not, means you don't NEED one. Just buy a nice MP3 player (I can also suggest panasonic and JVC apart from the obvious pioneer kenwood), component speakers for the front (Wht not, like I said, you may get better rips) and a apair of coax in the rear.

Enjoy.
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Old 14th June 2007, 13:41   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
The quality of your 16GB worth of rips can only be improved if you have the original files they were ripped from. You cannot imrove your existing 128CBR mp3 no matter what you do.
Whoops! I didn't mean this when I said "can be remedied" [but it could easily have been read this way ] I meant that nowadays it is not too difficult to get better quality copies of the same tracks

Thanks for the nice words folks

@Mithun, we Kochi folks will most likely be getting together this weekend. Why don't you come over too with some of your music? (PM me and I'll give you details of when & where once that is fixed). You can check out your music on close to every level of system. Should help you get an idea about what you can expect.
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Old 14th June 2007, 14:11   #7
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D se hota hai Disco.. I se hota hai ICE..

Just messing. Good luck with the ICE, mithunda.
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Old 14th June 2007, 14:30   #8
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The definite answer for a person who asks: Should I spend for serious ICE? is NO!

It all depends on one's listening tastes and for many, 30K ICE is basic. For some, serious ICE is 15K. So, where do you want to put yourself in?
It is better if you spend some time listening to some good installs and figure out yourselves.

Last edited by speedzak : 14th June 2007 at 14:34.
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Old 14th June 2007, 17:24   #9
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1) first chose a car!
2) then book the car
3) get the car
--------------------
1 year by now?

cool. now when you chose a car chose one with good ICE , I mean one that comes with speakers atleast and hence will save you some money.

and lastly, ICE for you or for us or for the people???
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Old 14th June 2007, 21:43   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
The quality of your 16GB worth of rips can only be improved if you have the original files they were ripped from. You cannot imrove your existing 128CBR mp3 no matter what you do.

But someday you may have better rips. Buy decent speakers and a decent MP3 HU.
Ya i am waiting for that day when something can fix my 11k songs ...

You can get almost everything in 25 - 30k ice budget and it depends upon you how much u want to spend and what u like to listen. If you want to listen yourself then max 15 - 20K will be fine but if u want people to know what you are playing then that extra 10K might help you good
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Old 16th June 2007, 06:15   #11
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Seems to be like that the ICE Gurus have mis-understood or mis-interpreted my post !!!

Anyway, I've put up this question solely because some of my friends told me that I won't get music clarity with my 128 kbps CBR MP3 songs on an expensive system and my investment will surely go down the drain. And with my 128 kbps CBR MP3 songs, the sound reproduction of the 30K ICE system can't never ever be exploited fully. But almost all of my MP3 songs are free from noise & other distortions.

Hope everything is crystal clear !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedzak
The definite answer for a person who asks: Should I spend for serious ICE? is NO!

It all depends on one's listening tastes and for many, 30K ICE is basic. For some, serious ICE is 15K. So, where do you want to put yourself in?
I know that relative comparison is not fair and will not get me anywhere. But FYI, 30K is the maximum ICE budget for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas
1) first chose a car!
2) then book the car
3) get the car
--------------------
1 year by now?
Don't be soooo rude. And please don't try to show-off as an omniscient fellow. I don't need your crash course to select & buy a car !!!
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Old 16th June 2007, 08:33   #12
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@Mithun, it does look like we have misinterpreted your post.

I'm sure JKDas wasn't being rude or showing off, buddy. He's not that kind of a guy, and has never posted rudely before. He was only trying to help. Chill!

OK, now 128kbps will not sound thaaaaaat bad on a 30K system, esp. if the music is more or less free from clicks & pops. But higher bitrates will surely sound better. If you make sure your new music comes in better rip quality it is ok, isn't it?

Now, when I said "128kbps will not sound thaaaaaat bad on a 30K system", that depends on how seriously you listen to music. The more serious you are, the worse it is likely to sound. If you need music just to get you from point A to point B with some ambient sound in the car, no problemo. But if you're the kind (like most of us are here) that frets all the time about how the system is not bringing out the rough edges of the singer's voice or about how the system is making the snare drums sound like some other drums etc., you will not be happy. The better your ears (and taste of music) are, the higher the budget. And the unhappier you will stay. Most people fall between these 2 extremes, so if you know more or less where you stand, you'll be able to decide.

The problem is "how good something sounds" is very very subjective in the case of music. What sounds good to me may sound like crap to you, and vice versa.

I think that if you upgrade in stages, you will be able find the level of system you want, and stop when you are happy.

1). If the car comes with a music system, upgrade the speakers to some good speakers first. Spend 10K to 12K on the speakers (front & back). Get 6.5" comps in front and coaxials in back. USe the stock locations itself. DONT' buy SONY.

2) If you want more, upgrade the HU. Keep a 5K to 8K budget, depending on what features you want.

3). Want more? Goood. Get a 4-ch amp and amp the speakers. 8K budget.

4). Still more? Not enough bass. Goooooood. Get a sub. Use the rear channels of the amp to drive the sub. 6K budget.

5). Stop here. Or go into addiction mode and start emptying your bank balance. From here on, the sky is the limit

And as I said in my earlier post, if you want to get first hand idea of how your music sounds in different levels of install, get together with us Kochi TBHPians sometime. Or try colleagues' cars. Or try the stock music system in the car you plan to buy. You have some time to take the decision, right?
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Old 16th June 2007, 08:44   #13
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128 KBps sometimes sounds as good as a 256KBps rip. It depends a lot on the software that is used to rip them. If i were you, i wouldn't bother about such things & go ahead & build a system from scratch so that you will know what to invest on. First upgrade speakers like hydra has said. Yuo might be surprised that you do like the sound of that. Don't build your system to satisfy others, satisfy yourself.
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Old 16th June 2007, 08:59   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mithun View Post
Hope everything is crystal clear !!!


I know that relative comparison is not fair and will not get me anywhere. But FYI, 30K is the maximum ICE budget for me.


Don't be soooo rude. And please don't try to show-off as an omniscient fellow. I don't need your crash course to select & buy a car !!!
Hey, hey, Mithun, that's a lot of misunderstanding both ways, buddy. The possible ambiguities in English can make Chinese whispers out of even written language. On a forum, everyone's attempts at advising others is also subject to the same risk. No one on T-BHP means ill of others, and though some expressions can be construed abrasive, they originate as jest, not slur.

30K is enough and more for a REALLY decent ICE, by majority standards (there will always be some whose sense of excellence and acceptance of spending will be exceptionally high).

From what I have learnt from the learned and the experienced on T-BHP, the application of funds should be planned, in order of effectiveness:
1. Damping the car (5K min.) - a must to prevent more noise than in the songs
2. Good HU (5-12K) - depends on the features you want
3. Components in front (7-9K)
4. Co-axes or ellipticals at the back (4-5K)
5. Amp (or amps, depending on whether you want a woofer or not) (7-22K)
6. Wiring (1-4K, depending on what you are putting in; as Navin says: DON'T USE BOSS, even Finolex et al are better)
7. Woofer (anywhere from 3K on parcel tray to 12K boxes)

Since the choice is WIDE, it all depends on
- what car
- your searching, selection and bargaining abilities
- your perceptions, tastes and needs

As far as technicalities of your tracks are concerned, sometime ignorance is bliss. If you were to ignore the relative merits and demerits of the bit rates, you will be able to enjoy music from low bit rates also as long as there is no noise and clicks. And there, dear Mithun, you already have the stuff AND the knowledge, right?
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Old 16th June 2007, 09:04   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mithun View Post
Anyway, I've put up this question solely because some of my friends told me that I won't get music clarity with my 128 kbps CBR MP3 songs on an expensive system and my investment will surely go down the drain.
Not really a guru, but here is my opinion: with 128kbps mp3s, treble is more compromised on quality than bass/midbass/midrange. At lower bitrates, even midrange etc is also significantly affected, but bass is not affected much. So, I would personally prefer a good system with sub even if all my collection was to be mp3s. Regarding quality of the system, it depends more on what kind of Indian music you listen to. If it is oldies all the time then many of the recordings might be lacking in bass and noisy in terms of treble. If you have really good system, most likely these songs will sound noisy, and depending on bass settings it may be boomy too. Crappy systems can actually sound more enjoyable in this case! On the other hand if you listen to modern songs (within last 2-3 decades), then just take "mp3" part out of the equation. Go for as good system as you would go if everything was in the form of original CDs. In other words, difference between recording of oldies versus new songs is much bigger factor than mp3 versus CD.... just my opinion!

Quote:
Don't be soooo rude. And please don't try to show-off as an omniscient fellow. I don't need your crash course to select & buy a car !!!
ICE section has rather high sense of humor, don't be upset! ... after a while you will get used to it
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