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Old 2nd April 2008, 19:47   #1
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Smile Upgrade my Zen's Sony ICE setup

I have the following ICE setup in my 2006 Zen VXi.

Sony R3300 MP3 HU
Sony 6x9" ovals in the rear, in boxes (I do not recall the model number, but I paid 3,500 for the pair in 2006)
Sony 4" in the front doors. (again no model, cost about Rs. 500 for the pair)
Sony XM-552ZR 2 Channel Stereo Amplifier bridged to power a single sub.
Sony L121P5 12" Sub Woofer in a sealed box

I was not very familiar with the options available 2 years ago and even though I spent more than the average guy, I am not at all satisfied by the sound. I just went with everything 'Sony' then, as I had a (mis)conception that Sony being a respected brand in video will also have a good car audio range. After spending some time in the ICE section on Team-BHP, I realized that Sony is the least preferred brand by the Gurus for car audio.

The Sony 6x9 ovals are hopeless, and even after fitting them in boxes, I did not get good bass response. The Sony subwoofer does not have a tight bass at all, though I tried different LPF settings on the amp as well as the HU. The less I talk about the Sony 4" in the door, the better. The ICE setup lacks tight bass, which I like, and has no high frequency response and the overall sound is muddy and not bright.

Now my questions are:

1.
What can I do to better the sound quality? Will it make a huge difference, if I just changed the Sony 6x9 to some other brand, eg. Pioneer or JBL.

2. What are my options for a good quality 4" speakers for the door? The Zen front doors can only accomodate 4" speakers.

3. Will changing the Sony HU to a Pioneer improve the sound?

4. Is it necessary to have tweeters in the front/on the dash for better high frequency response OR do they spoil the sound. I do not want 'Jhankaar' type of sound, if you know what I mean.

My budget for the entire upgrade is Rs. 10,000.

Thank you for your suggestions.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 20:36   #2
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hey dude. i have faced almost a similar kind of problem. i changed each and everything till i got satisfied. emptied all my last months budget .
i would suggest you the following step by step upgrade so that atleast you dont do the foolishness which i did:

1. Keep your head unit intact.Dont change it for time being.
2. Change your rear ovals. i know those sonys suck a big time. go for JBL GTO 937 ovals as u want brightness along with tight bass. VERY GOOD VFM.
3. if possible go for component speakers in the front. u can get the door trim shaved and accommodate a 6" components. if not GTO 427 are good coaxials.
4. If you are satisfied with this setup well and good. still if u need more bass and tight punches u need to change both , ur sony amp as well as the sub, because sony doesnt have much power to drive an average sub. i have tried almost all subs on my sony 2 channel amp before selling it. but then the budget will jump well over 10k.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 20:59   #3
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Thanks for the response amit. I too would like to take this step-by-step and see the difference in sound quality.

What is the price range for the JBL GTO 937. Any suggestions for a good 2 channel amp to drive a 12" sub? And finally which 12" sub would you suggest with the 2 channel amp?
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Old 2nd April 2008, 23:10   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newcoolgadgets View Post
Thanks for the response amit. I too would like to take this step-by-step and see the difference in sound quality.

What is the price range for the JBL GTO 937. Any suggestions for a good 2 channel amp to drive a 12" sub? And finally which 12" sub would you suggest with the 2 channel amp?
the price range is between 2250-2750rs for grey and 3800-4490rs for official bill with warranty. there are no duplicates in JBL like pio and sony. i got them for 2450rs with dealers warranty in pune.
frankly speaking the normal budget 2 channel amps give a max of 180 watts RMS. i went for jbl 75.4 which gives me 284 watts rms. it can drive almost any sub.
refer the threads below
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/ask-gu...-8401-amp.html
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/ask-gu...ance-subs.html
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/ask-gu...zr602-amp.html
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Old 2nd April 2008, 23:40   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newcoolgadgets View Post
I have the following ICE setup in my 2006 Zen VXi.

Sony R3300 MP3 HU
Sony 6x9" ovals in the rear, in boxes (I do not recall the model number, but I paid 3,500 for the pair in 2006)
Sony 4" in the front doors. (again no model, cost about Rs. 500 for the pair)
Sony XM-552ZR 2 Channel Stereo Amplifier bridged to power a single sub.
Sony L121P5 12" Sub Woofer in a sealed box

I was not very familiar with the options available 2 years ago and even though I spent more than the average guy, I am not at all satisfied by the sound. I just went with everything 'Sony' then, as I had a (mis)conception that Sony being a respected brand in video will also have a good car audio range. After spending some time in the ICE section on Team-BHP, I realized that Sony is the least preferred brand by the Gurus for car audio.

The Sony 6x9 ovals are hopeless, and even after fitting them in boxes, I did not get good bass response. The Sony subwoofer does not have a tight bass at all, though I tried different LPF settings on the amp as well as the HU. The less I talk about the Sony 4" in the door, the better. The ICE setup lacks tight bass, which I like, and has no high frequency response and the overall sound is muddy and not bright.

Now my questions are:

1.
What can I do to better the sound quality? Will it make a huge difference, if I just changed the Sony 6x9 to some other brand, eg. Pioneer or JBL.

2. What are my options for a good quality 4" speakers for the door? The Zen front doors can only accomodate 4" speakers.

3. Will changing the Sony HU to a Pioneer improve the sound?

4. Is it necessary to have tweeters in the front/on the dash for better high frequency response OR do they spoil the sound. I do not want 'Jhankaar' type of sound, if you know what I mean.

My budget for the entire upgrade is Rs. 10,000.

Thank you for your suggestions.
1. Keep your HU for now. Get some JBL 6x9s

2. Cut the door panel and put 5"- 6" components of your choice.

3. Will changing the Sony HU to a Pioneer improve the sound?
It would but not with your 10k budget for now.

4. Buying a good component set from JBL / Polk Audio etc would solve your problem. comes with a tweeter which will not shrill unnecessarily like the cheap rip off T20 Pioneer duplicates around.

Just change your speakers for now. Save up 5k for a decent Pio HeadUnit
Or up budget to about 14k and change the HU as well.
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Old 3rd April 2008, 07:22   #6
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IronWolf, amit, thank you for your valuable inputs. I think I will start by upgrading the speakers to JBL for now, and see the difference. I will check out the prices today. Any ideas where I can find JBL in Nagpur?

My budget is not really limited, I just do not want to spend too much too soon, and feel that upgrading one component at a time will be the smarter thing to do. I will keep you posted on my quest for better sound.

On another note, is it necessary to have the fuse near the battery for the amplifier power cable. I was having contact problems with the fuse yesterday (the power to the amp was going on and off), so my installer just removed the fuse and connected the amp power cable directly to the battery. His contention was, there is a fuse in the amp anyway. Is this the right thing to do, or should I get a new fuse? Please advise.
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Old 3rd April 2008, 10:53   #7
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newcoolgadgets: I believe there is someone by the name of Harshal in Nagpur who is know to do decent low to mid-fi installs. Know him by any chance? Maybe he could help you.
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Old 3rd April 2008, 11:05   #8
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Thanks for the info B&T. I don't know Harshal but I will be looking around for the JBL ovals today. My current ICE was fitted by a guy called Ashish who has his workshop behind Vijay Talkies in Nagpur. There is another guy, Qazi, who does low and mid-fi installs and repairs in the Electronics Market near 'Loha Pul' (Railway Bridge near station). This guy Qazi is actually very knowledgeable and good with HU repairs and I have used his services quite a few times for repair jobs on my various home audio equipment.

Thanks for the info though.
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Old 3rd April 2008, 12:32   #9
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Once you are done with upgrading the 4 speakers save about 7K for a good ch. amp and 5-6K for a good 12" sub. Use the sony 552 for the 6x9s. and the 4 ch. amp for the sub and front speakers.

BTW hope your HU has atleast 2 sets of pre outs.
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Old 12th April 2008, 19:01   #10
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Thank you Navin and everyone else for your suggestions. I bought the JBL GTO 937, 6x9's today. Paid Rs. 4500 (with bill and warranty) for them. I got them from Marvel in Poonam Chambers at Nagpur. For the benefit of other members from Nagpur, Marvel has JBL, Infinity, Polk and Earthquake, apart from all the latest Pioneer HU's. The SQ has improved a LOT over the Sony speakers that I had. The bass is tight and the treble is crisp. Exactly what I wanted. I am very pleased with the sound. I did not get the GTO 427 for the front as they were unavailable, and after hearing the 937's I have decided that I do not need to improve the front sound stage at all. So I am continuing with the Sony 4" in front. But for my next car (maybe later this year), I know what I have to get, thanks to Team-BHP!

Upon removing the Sony 6x9 speakers, I found that they were Xplod XS-GT6947X - rated at 100 W RMS / 400 Watt PMPO, which I think was one of their better models 2 years ago. In hindsight, I think adding a good tweeter in the rear would have improved the SQ a lot, but would not have improved the bass however.

Mods may close this thread as my quest for better SQ is complete (for now atleast)!
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