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Old 25th February 2008, 01:09   #1
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Thumbs up My long ordeal with my car's ICE

Friends,

I was planning to write this post for a long time now. It’s about my long ordeal with my car’s ICE set up. This is going to be a long boring post but I have to write this one and I cannot make it shorter then this.

First Leg:
Vendor: Hi Tech Cars, JC Road
Date: Sometime in October 2005
HU – Blaupunkt Bermuda (MP35)
Front Speakers – JBL GTO527
Rear Speakers – JBL GTO936
Amplifier – Sony Xplod 2 Channel Amp powering the rear speakers
Amount Paid – 17k

Second Leg: (First Upgrade)
Vendor: Super Carz, JC Road
Date: Sometime in October 2006
Reason for upgrade: to improve bass
Amplifier changed to JBL CS60.4
Added JBL Sub (I don’t remember the model number)
Wiring upgrade
Amount Paid (after exchange for Sony Amp) – 8k

Third Leg: (Second Upgrade)
Vendor: Kumar’s, JC Road
Date: Sometime in May 2007
Reason for upgrade: to improve front stage
HU changed to Alpine 9881
Front speakers changed to Polk DB components
Added JBL CS60.2Amplifier to drive the components
Amount Paid (after exchange for Blaupunkt HU) – 23k

I start feeling that I have just achieved the sound I want. For one month I enjoyed every moment that I spent in my car listening the renewed clarity from the front components in my latest set up.

It was summer vacation of 2007. I have lot of relatives in my house in Bangalore. One of them happen to buy a new car very recently and the car had no stereo. He likes the system in my car so much so that he decides to buy entirely similar set up. One weekend we leave with the money to buy the components (the relative is from Ajmer). Although we know we have to buy a similar set up, we want to explore options. So we decide we will not go to Kumar’s or any other shop on JC road. We land up at Car Shringar (near Garuda Mall). We demo a lot of speakers/amps and finally select the same that were in my car. However the guy at Car Shringar demo Bass Fx boxes for my JBL GTO936 6x9. And we can feel the difference. The 6x9 were sounding better in the Bass Fx boxes. So box upgrade.

Box Upgrade
Vendor: Car Shringar
Date: Sometime in June 2007
The 6x9 and Sub woofer boxes changed to Bass Fx
Amount Paid (after exchange for existing Sub box) – 3k

While coming back home, I feel that the Sub has lost all its power. No matter how much I try to boost, it will still sound very lame. I don’t know what has happened. The new Bass Fx box was supposed to give better sound. It gave for my 6x9. I don’t know what’s wrong. But that day at Car Shringar, I realized that there is so much to ICE and I was not even 0.1% there. In my quest to start learning, I hit google. I found team-bhp interesting. When I tried to create a login for myself, I realized that I am already a member. May be I became member when I was reading a lot of car reviews in mid 2005 to purchase my first car.

Oh boy, team-bhp changed my whole outlook toward ICE. Suddenly I am in midst of so much ICE verbiage, I felt lost. Ignorance was bliss. But ignorance with money to spend is even worse. I spent money without knowing a penny about the equipment that’s going in my car as well as without being sure of what I want. I just had a vague notion that I want best sound. But I had no idea about what is that best sound for me.

I kept reading about ICE for two months. Sometimes 12 hours continuously (of course on weekends). I had a longer learning curve because I am naturally averse to science. And than my biggest ICE upgrade…

Fourth Leg: (Third Upgrade)
Vendor: Car Shringar
Date: Sometime in August 2007
Reason for upgrade: I wanted to put to use my new found wisdom about ICE
Front speakers changed to Polk Momo MMC 6500 components
Rear 6x9 changed to Polk Momo MMC 691 coaxial
Sub changed to RF P212D4
All JBL CS series amplifiers are out
Three new amplifiers added – two RF P450.2 and one RF P300.1
Wiring upgrade – all wiring changed to Monster
Amount Paid (after exchanging Polk DB 5250, JBL CS 60.4, JBL CS 60.2, JBL GTO 936) – 78k

After the upgrade the sound was great but I was not completely satisfied with the sound. I can feel pockets of sound. I tried, to best of my abilities, to tune the system but couldn’t achieve desirable results. I decided to meet Satya and take his feedback. Satya suggested to get rid of the Bass Fx boxes for the 6x9 and instead get them installed in custom made parcel tray. In couple of days the custom tray is ready and Satya calls me to have a look. We discuss a few color combination and design changes. The tray is again ready in three days.

Parcel Tray Upgrade
Vendor: Satya (blueraven)
Date: Sometime in November 2007
Amount Paid – 2.5k

There was remarkable improvement in the SQ. The sound smoothened and the sound pockets were reduced to a large extent. After the custom tray install, Satya informed me that the power cable gauge used is not adequate for the amplifiers that I have. I realize that during my last upgrade I had personally chosen configuration of each the equipments. But I had not done any reading on the cabling requirements. I had insisted on Monster because I knew that it is one of the better brands. When I reviewed with the amplifier manual, all the amplifiers recommend 4 AWG cable for power and grounding. I was running all the three amplifiers on 8 AWG cable with a fuse distribution block.

Meanwhile, I had not gone for HU upgrade as I thought I will get my HU from US. Fortunately one of my friends was going on a month long trip to US. I did some reading and chose Eclipse CD 7100. My friend comes back from US and hands over the HU to me in December 1st week. I paid 599 USD to purchase the unit. I had to pay 2k rupees for getting it repaired as it had a defective IC.

HU Upgrade
Vendor: Auto Fusion
Date: 1st week of February 2008
Alpine 9881 removed
Eclipse CD 7100 installed
Amount Paid – 500 rupees
Power Cable Upgrade
Vendor: Evo
Date: 9th February 2008
8 AWG power removed
2 4 AWG Kicker power cable installed; one running the mono block & the other running the 2 amplifiers for front and rear speakers
Amount Paid – 5.5k

I am sure most of you may not read this post past first paragraph. Many of you who actually have the time to read thru this post would be saying – hey, I have lost the count of upgrades and am not sure what’s actually their.

HU - Eclipse CD7100
Front components - Polk Momo MMC6500
Rear 6x9 - Polk Momo MMC690
Sub-woofer - RF P212D4
1 RF P450.2 amp driving front components
1 RF P450.2 amp driving rear 6x9
1 RF P300.1 amp driving the sub

Next upgrade
-Is not happening for another year or so (no money left)
-Fiber glass casing for the front components
-Permanent fiber glass fixture for the sub
-Boot and front doors damping

Note:
-The system sounded sweet at every stage. Even the first set up was quite good in its own way.
-None of the equipments were upgraded because they were bad (except wiring that was upgraded because it was sometimes sub-standard and sometimes inadequate) but because the new component finding its way in was believed to deliver better performance when compared to the older one.

Last edited by akbaree : 25th February 2008 at 01:15.
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Old 25th February 2008, 01:29   #2
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Default About the current set up

Some pictures of the install:












So what do I feel about the present set up?

Tuning this set up was one of the toughest jobs I have ever done. After each round of tuning I will seek feedback from whoever I can lay my hands on (of-course whom I think can give constructive feedback) – my father, my friends, my office colleagues, my wife – all are a bit jinxed. I will tune the system with some audio CD’s and when I play a new CD, I will feel the tuning is not correct and things like that.

But finally I got it all in right place. The sound is just awesome. Not 100% perfect but just a tad less than 100% perfect. I am feeling extremely satisfied with the set up. I feel like it’s a dream come true. The fidelity of the sound is just out of the world.

What do I feel about the equipments?
  • Eclipse CD7100
    This is a monster HU. It changed the complete sound dynamics in my car. You have a lot of control over the sound.
Apart from the great sound that the HU produces, the features that I liked the most are
X Over
All the amplifiers are in All Pass mode. This HU gives you control to set up the cross over settings for front, rear and sub woofer pre outs. Additionally you can choose the crossover slope. The present settings in my car are…
Sub crossing at 80 Hz with a slope of 24 db/octave
Rear speakers crossing at 80 Hz with a slope of 18 db/octave
Front speakers crossing at 80 Hz with a slope of 24 db/octave
Time Alignment
What can I say? This feature is rocking. I was able to set the sound stage as if the orchestra is playing in front of me and still enjoy smallest of the stereophonic effects.7 band PEQ.
If you have Polk speakers, you need this badly. I have found this feature giving immense help in tuning mid bass and mid range.
Display
Well this feature is a bonus. One can create wallpapers, slideshows, motion pictures and import (thru USB or CD) into the HU. I imported my two month old son’s picture as a background image.
The HU has various display options. Some buttons feel cheap but with all other advantages, I would just ignore that fact. On many online forums I read the interface of the system is not very user friendly. However I had to read the manual for half an hour and then 15 minutes of playing around with the controls on the HU to verify. In my opinion the interface is very straight forward and easy to use but not very intuitive. The MP3/USB search mode is really fantastic. However, I do miss some features that were on my Alpine 9881. The sound from this HU can only be muted. Muting abruptly stops all sound and while turning mute off, all the sound comes back with a sudden bang if you were playing loud. I really liked the attenuate function of Alpine 9881.
  • Rockford Fosgate P212D4
    The subwoofer is beautifully engineered and even looks beautiful. It is just a tad slower then I would like my subwoofer to be. But with TA, this is not a problem. It may feel that it is slow because recommended sealed box volume for this sub is 0.85 cubic feet and the Bass Fx sealed box presently doing the duty is around 1.0 cubit feet. I will try to reduce the volume of the box and experiment if the response is any faster. I feel this subwoofer will not appeal to folks who are looking for SPL set up. However please don’t mistake it to be any less powerful. This subwoofer produces max power of 250 RMS at 2 ohms. My car is a big booted car. Still, my car recorded Sound Pressure Level of 129.9 decibels. The sound pressure level never felt so high. I believe, Hi Fidelity at work.
  • Rockford Fosgate P450.2 and P300.1 amplifiers
    These amplifiers are in their own league. They produce earth shattering power and to that clean power. If Eclipse HU is the brain, these amplifiers are at the heart of my system.
    4. Polk Momo MMC 6500
    These components produce excellent natural sound. The mid bass is also very good. And they are powerful. I am crossing them over at 80 Hz and they show no sign of fatigue. There has been a lot of discussion on bright and laid back nature of various speakers. I don’t feel this component speaker is bright. I feel that they produce extremely natural sound. In my opinion, if the set up has an ability to control mid range frequencies, one can extract the best out of these speakers. Many people have told me that the sound has smoothened after changing over to Eclipse HU. I agree HU has made a definite difference but what I have done is, thru my PEQ, I am reducing the mid range frequencies.
  • Polk Momo MMC 690
    If anyone is looking for a powerful 6x9 speakers, look no further. These speakers are very (one more very) powerful at being 6x9. I am pumping power into them thru P450.2 amplifier and these speakers take it all. They also have the capability of going as low as 63 Hz without showing any cracks in sound quality. Great. In my opinion, the sound is very natural but like its component brother, they also need some control over mid range to get best out of them.
Last but not the least

So this is what I feel about the equipment in my car and the present set up. I hope you enjoyed the post. I have been enjoying posts from many of the fellow team-bhpians over past 6 months or so. I owe my ICE set up to the team-bhp community. They have shared a wealth of knowledge on this forum.

I had no serious hobbies in my life except software programming and my work. But I have started feeling passionate enough to make audio as my first serious hobby. I feel I now know 0.1%. But I have a large list of books lined up for reading. I just need to find some time. I still remain averse to science but audio has a lot of art as well. And I want to thank the team-bhp forum for giving me my first serious hobby.

Last edited by akbaree : 25th February 2008 at 01:34.
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Old 25th February 2008, 01:30   #3
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Man your a nut for Audio!
I can only imagine what what i would upgrade in my car for that kind of money!!!
Seats, rims, tyres, exhaust, interiors, body kits, and more!
All within how much you spent.


Then again, to each, his own Its all about the dominant sense.
Im happy with basic audio as long as it sounds pleasing to my ears. Some people have very sensitive ears which need high quality and i guess these people are most interested in Audio. Me, i pay attention to my eyes.

EDIT: Just totalled - 1,37,000/- ONE LAKH THIRTY SEVEN THOUSAND Wait a minute, id spend on all the before mentioned things and still have money left over!

Last edited by Xehaust : 25th February 2008 at 01:33.
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Old 25th February 2008, 01:36   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xehaust View Post
EDIT: Just totalled - 1,37,000/- ONE LAKH THIRTY SEVEN THOUSAND Wait a minute, id spend on all the before mentioned things and still have money left over!
I think you missed adding 599 USD and the 2k for the repair.

Last edited by akbaree : 25th February 2008 at 01:38.
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Old 25th February 2008, 01:36   #5
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Congrats on getting what you want, finally! I was talking to Satya, and he was raving about your HU. I know precious little about audio, but if a guru like him can be impressed by your equipment, I'm sure you've made some good choices.
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Old 25th February 2008, 01:44   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akbaree View Post
I think you missed adding 599 USD and the 2k for the repair.
I think im gonna faint
Why isnt this damn browser shutting!!! hehe
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Old 25th February 2008, 09:59   #7
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Xehaust,
Bad of you to call him a 'nuts' for audio. He is more than that!!!! (Just kidding, akbaree).

For 1.5+laks, you could have modified your vehicle itself! Man, you could have got a Nano!!!

Seems like you new love has got you by the <you know what>. enjoy mate. I can never think of spending so much on ICE; have a basic audio setup which throws out some sound - enough to keep the rattling sound out! But, to each his own :-)

mmm... and akbaree, on which car was this miracle done?
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Old 25th February 2008, 10:47   #8
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Congratulations, @akbaree! May your journey to perfection be lined with good music.
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Old 25th February 2008, 10:54   #9
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These estates have different requirements when it comes to Audio set-ups. With the Marina, it is pathetic - Tata has provided placement for a couple of puny 4"-ers above the rear shocks. Hope Fiat hasnt done the same.

It sure is hell of a lot of money spent on the Audio set-up. But hopefully, you are enjoying the SQ now.
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Old 25th February 2008, 11:11   #10
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Where are you put up In Bangalore pal ?

Could i see your ride?
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Old 25th February 2008, 11:15   #11
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I had the pleasure of listening on a slightly extended session involving different genre's, that HU is brilliant.

Also with the amount of tuning and passion that has gone into the setup, the Polk's surprised me.

Highly recommended that everyone takes an audition
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Old 25th February 2008, 23:38   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Congratulations, @akbaree! May your journey to perfection be lined with good music.
Quote:
Originally Posted by v1p3r View Post
Congrats on getting what you want, finally!
Thanks @DerAlte and @v1p3r

Last edited by akbaree : 25th February 2008 at 23:41.
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Old 25th February 2008, 23:39   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nripin View Post
Where are you put up In Bangalore pal ?

Could i see your ride?
My office is near Dairy Circle. You are welcome.
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Old 25th February 2008, 23:57   #14
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Awesome ICE akabaree. Very well done and in stages. The install is clean and looks absolutely stock.

1.5L=Turbo
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Old 26th February 2008, 00:54   #15
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Congrats on the setup. An may you keep upgrading

Quote:
Originally Posted by akbaree View Post
X Over
All the amplifiers are in All Pass mode. This HU gives you control to set up the cross over settings for front, rear and sub woofer pre outs. Additionally you can choose the crossover slope. The present settings in my car are…
Sub crossing at 80 Hz with a slope of 24 db/octave
Rear speakers crossing at 80 Hz with a slope of 18 db/octave
Front speakers crossing at 80 Hz with a slope of 24 db/octave
How did you choose the 24 db/octave slopes. Any particular reason behind it ?
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