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Old 4th July 2008, 23:20   #1
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Default Audio set up on my new Spark

Disclaimer: All the stuff put forth in this review is based on personal opinion and nothing more. I do not claim to be a technical audio expert but I am passionate about my music and do wear the badge of “audiophile” with some well earned pride. That being said, lets get on with it:
Right, so the initial idea was to get the best I could into my run of the mill Chevy Spark given a budget of around 25 grand. The standard components – amp – woofer combo was what I had in mind but we soon ran into a problem. The doors of the Spark (model SPK) aren’t roomy enough to accommodate the 6” components that were available. The same went for the stock front speaker slots. I toyed with the idea of getting them fitted on the rear door but that plan was summarily dismissed on the advice of the very competent staff at “Driven”. On Gunbir’s advice I decided to get over my component fixation and instead opt for a pair of good co-axials instead. Cue the Rainbow 4 inchers. These babies pushed my budget a little but there was not much in terms of options at that point. The amp of choice was a Kenwood KAC 8401 so was the mouth piece (Kenwood KDC MP5038U). For the woofer, I decided on the Bull (frankly I hadn’t even heard of em before). The wiring/power cabling was courtsey Audison. This alone cost a fair chunk of change but years of messing with computer / hi fi speakers at home did teach me to NEVER compromise on wiring. All in all, the entire set up cost about 32,000 Rs.
After everything was neatly fitted in, Gunbir very patiently tweaked the setting on the amp and console before letting me test it out. To say that I was impressed would be an understatement. I was pretty much blown away. The speakers don’t sound like co axials at all and the bass was enough to shake the wax out of my ears. All frequencies were well represented with no distortion of any sort. One of the things that I was very happy with was how even during a bass/ low frequency predominant track, the mid/high range sounds were not drowned out. (I should probably mention here that I usually listen to a lot of rock/metal/industrial stuff so its important that I get to hear every mid/high range string pluck).
I later tested it out on a range of tracks to put the set up through its paces:
1)Burn – Nine inch nails (mp3 320 kbps)– Three different bass ranges with distortion heavy vocals and strings. It’s easy to see why NiN has always been a favourite “tester” for me. The speakers performed terrifically and the woofer was spot on.
2)Hysteria – Def Leppard (mp3 192 kbps VBR) – Perfect strings, the mid range delivery stood out.
3)John the revelator – Depeche Mode (mp3 192 kbps) – Bass, bass, bass baby! Though the mid range did disappoint at times here, I suspect its got more to do with the poor encoding than anything else.
4)Vivaldi – Four seasons (wave) – had to tune the settings a bit to prevent the high end from shrieking a little but perfect from there on.
5)Last resort – Papa roach (mp3 160 kbps VBR)– Spot on, no complaints
6)Shout – Tears for fears (wave) – ditto
7)Music Reach – prodigy- (wave) I don’t know if it was the way the CD was produced or what but I really had to mess with the settings on the console to get the balance right. My guess is that since its an uncompressed format thats got a lot of high end and bass heavy sounds and is different to everything else (technically) that I tested, it required some generous tweaking. The end result was still spectacular though.

Big up to Gunbir for taking the time and putting in the effort to tweak everything to a tee. Without his expertise Im sure I’d still be struggling to get things just the way I like em.
Hope this helps any Spark owners out there.
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Old 4th July 2008, 23:44   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheus666 View Post
The doors of the Spark (model SPK) aren’t roomy enough to accommodate the 6” components that were available.
1. congrats on you install, you seem to be very happy but...
2. we'd love to see pics of the install.
3. shallow 6" woofers do exist some have shallow baskets and some have their magnets in front of the cone (like the tweeter in a coax) and all things being equal few 4" can produce as much bass as an equal 6".
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Old 5th July 2008, 07:57   #3
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can you confirm what is the exact size of the rear stock location in spark?

and what did you get for the rears ?
and do post pics
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Old 5th July 2008, 10:12   #4
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Morpheus666

congratulations on the install, i am thinking this is one of those time when some one has had a install in the budget well almost kind of in the budget according to Tbhp Ice! hehe say what guys?

well any way please put up the pictures of the install! that would really show the effort gone in to the install.
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Old 5th July 2008, 12:35   #5
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@ morpheus : Congrats for the ICE set up buddy. happy to know you liked it. well where are the pics???? waiting for you to update.
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Old 5th July 2008, 15:37   #6
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I would congratulate you, but I can't read your post. Please use line breaks and paragraphs!! And yes, pics would be superb!
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Old 5th July 2008, 17:02   #7
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Thnx for the comments guys.
Ok, here are some pics that I did manage to save.
I should probably mention that I wasn't looking to install any speakers at the rear, not that Chevy makes it easy, one would have to put a board to serve as a platform and I hate those things.
The amp is screwed on to the back seat, putting it under the front seats wasn't a viable option.
The problem with the door is 2 fold a) that stupid bottle holder makes the entire surface concave which means even shallow 6 inchers are impossible to install. b) The lack of power windows (yes, yes embarrassing I know) ensure that what precious surface was left has been taken over by the wind up handle.
(Im not averse to getting power windows if it ensures enough space for decent components. If any Spark owners have taken that route for the sake of audio, I'd appreciate the input.)
The rainbow co axials are a dream and fit snugly in the stock forward speaker cavity.
Audison cabling, a lil pricey but worth every penny. Connection to the battery is perfect.
Also, I forgot to mention that the total cost includes about a 900 bucks worth of damping in the hatch. My bad for not taking pictures of that.
Attached Thumbnails
Audio set up on my new Spark-image830.jpg  

Audio set up on my new Spark-image832.jpg  

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Audio set up on my new Spark-05072008003.jpg  

Audio set up on my new Spark-05072008002.jpg  

Audio set up on my new Spark-image831.jpg  

Audio set up on my new Spark-image833.jpg  

Audio set up on my new Spark-05072008004.jpg  

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Old 5th July 2008, 17:07   #8
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@vebmetal. Erm... sorry dude, but the native formatting here is rudimentary at best. I had typed the whole thing in word but the editor doesnt seem to accept all the formatting I did.
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Old 5th July 2008, 18:43   #9
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@Morpheus : Howz the performance of bull audio Sub buddy???
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Old 5th July 2008, 19:21   #10
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I've been gettin some pm's asking about the break up of the entire install so here is the damage report:

Mouth piece- Kenwood KDC MP5038U – Rs 4500
Amp – Kenwood KAC 8401 –Rs 6200
Sub – Bull audio – Rs 6500
Cabling – Audison – Rs 5200
Speakers – Rainbow 4” co axials – Rs 9000
Damping – Rs 900
Grand total Rs 32,300


PS: @mnhegde ,the bull sub is a revelation. The bass this thing pumps out is enough to jarr the marrow in my bones. I love it.
@Navin ,maybe Im wrong but wouldnt a shallow basket limit the frequency range or the output in anyway?
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Old 6th July 2008, 01:29   #11
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Default bull audio sub

ok i was there with morpheus when he was getting his ICE set up.

at 1st i was a bit skeptical about the bull audio sub since i thought it would be overkill for our needs, since we mostly listen to rock and this sort of music is different from the conventional stuff people usually use such humongous subs for....anyways the sound of this sub is simple mind blowing.....the thump coming from it is loud enough to wake the dead! yet its as crisp as it could be

all in all an awesome setup there. and i congratulate morph for getting his hands on it....

rock on

\m/
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Old 6th July 2008, 01:47   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheus666 View Post
I've been gettin some pm's asking about the break up of the entire install so here is the damage report:

Mouth piece- Kenwood KDC MP5038U – Rs 4500
Amp – Kenwood KAC 8401 –Rs 6200
Sub – Bull audio – Rs 6500
Cabling – Audison – Rs 5200
Speakers – Rainbow 4” co axials – Rs 9000
Damping – Rs 900
Grand total Rs 32,300


PS: @mnhegde ,the bull sub is a revelation. The bass this thing pumps out is enough to jarr the marrow in my bones. I love it.
@Navin ,maybe Im wrong but wouldnt a shallow basket limit the frequency range or the output in anyway?
congratulations and the boot pic looks real good with the bull audio sub, if possible put up a few pics of the damping.
with all that cash gone in how does the setup sound now? wicked i suppose!
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Old 6th July 2008, 03:30   #13
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AAh!!finally you posted a review,was looking forward to it.
And yes it sounds damn nice.Your next upgrade should be the car, which can at least accommodate components.
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Old 7th July 2008, 09:01   #14
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nice setup morpheus!!
How does the bull perform??
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Old 7th July 2008, 09:31   #15
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The sub box looks neat.

Are the front co-ax powered from the amp? It sure is pricey for a 4inch co-ax
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