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Old 12th May 2009, 15:25   #1
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Question Logan ICE - speaker and HU options

I have a DLS model that comes with the factory Blaupunkt HU and stock speakers. The whole thing is begging to be replaced with a decent SQ setup.

I dove into the ICE section but Logan specific threads were scarce.

Key areas I need to look at -
  • Would a high(er) end blaupunkt HU be a direct plug and play replacement with the existing wiring harness?
  • How are blaupunkt HU's SQ wise (compared to say an equally priced Alpine or Clarion) ?
  • Front components - 6-1/2" or 5-1/4" - What fits the Logan better? Which specific brands/series have the best midbass ?
  • Rear coaxils - in the doors or in the stock location/plank (and what size)?

I've done several HU upgrades on my other cars in the past. Went from Sony to Pioneer 6xxx (wanted 3 pre-outs) and then to Alpine 98xx (wanted time alignment). I'd like to avoid those pitfalls this time around and pick a HU that's got all the pre-outs,TA and 24-bit Burr-Brown DAC's (bluetooth would be good to have). What HU fits the bill ?

The budget is 25K is for the HU and the comps and the rears - I'm ok with underpowering them (by running them off the HU) initially and a 4 channel amplifier will be added later.

Thanks for all your inputs. Any pictures of a component speaker setup on the logan's front doors would be a boon - I couldn't find any.
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Old 12th May 2009, 16:12   #2
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If you were not considering an amplifier at a later stage, I would have simply recommended that you chuck the factory speakers and replace with some nice ones.

That said, I'd like to tell you that unless you change the speakers on the Logan, it is truly pointless to change that HU.

So now - speakers. Without doubt I recommend you install 6" component speakers in the front. Commonly suggested options on this forum include Alpine, Blaupunkt, GZ, Rainbow, Illusion, JBL and more. Try and listen to them at a car accessory/audio store before you decide what you like.

If you drive yourself, then the rear is not so important. If on a budget you can even leave the factory rear speakers. If not, you should simply buy any 5.25" speaker from the above brands. Same brand would be better for tonal matching, but it is not critical.

As far as HUs are concerned, there is no a plethora of models and brands to choose from and a small selection of HUs that come with 3 pre outs. Some even have TA.

Sorry I cannot help you with photos of components in a Logan's front door.
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Old 12th May 2009, 16:17   #3
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Do we need to say more.

25k is a good amount.
Go for a good set of 6" compos up front.
Go for a good 6x9 to suffice for the absence of sub at the moment.
Brands again as Sam said, preferably from the same as the fronts.

A Good suggestion for the HU could be getting the Clarion 785(the now very famous T-bhp favourite HU). Its much better than the usuals.

Do look at some Alpines too. for around 12-14. You can get some really good ones (I think so)
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Old 12th May 2009, 17:04   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.gupta88 View Post
Go for a good 6x9 to suffice for the absence of sub at the moment.
Do 6x9's match components/coaxils in terms of SQ? (not just looking at bass - I can live without it till I get a sub)

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.gupta88 View Post
A Good suggestion for the HU could be getting the Clarion 785(the now very famous T-bhp favourite HU). Its much better than the usuals.

Do look at some Alpines too. for around 12-14. You can get some really good ones (I think so)
I'm guessing that a different (non blaupunkt) HU would mean that the existing wiring harness will be ripped out and the wires will have to be spliced to fit the harness for the new HU. So, I'd prefer a Blaupunkt HU if it can give me the features I need.

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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
If you were not considering an amplifier at a later stage, I would have simply recommended that you chuck the factory speakers and replace with some nice ones.
I would have loved to add an amp right away (by getting an entry level HU with preouts) but then it would just be the start of something like the "frankmehta needs" series . Frankmehta - No offense intended, your posts have been highly educational and fun to read.

So, I'm trying to to build it up bit by bit. I want to get a good HU and comps that won't have me looking for an upgrade anytime soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
As far as HUs are concerned, there is no a plethora of models and brands to choose from and a small selection of HUs that come with 3 pre outs. Some even have TA.

Sorry I cannot help you with photos of components in a Logan's front door.
Does the thought of sticking to Blaupunkt for the HU have any merit or can I get better SQ by looking at other brands (i.e. Do any Blau's have TA and 24bit DAC's) ?

Your thread on the DYI tweeter placement for front doors was awesome - got me worked up to look for ways to do a not so ordinary install. So I'm trying to find out what the average comp install in a logan looks like.

What are the pros/cons of an in door install for the rear speakers when compared to the rear plank installation?
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Old 12th May 2009, 17:51   #5
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Quote:
Do 6x9's match components/coaxils in terms of SQ? (not just looking at bass - I can live without it till I get a sub)
you are thinking in the right direction. the coaxials are of NO match for a good pair of components. you can add a sub later.
Quote:

I'm guessing that a different (non blaupunkt) HU would mean that the existing wiring harness will be ripped out and the wires will have to be spliced to fit the harness for the new HU. So, I'd prefer a Blaupunkt HU if it can give me the features I need.
considering how easy it is to get a wiring harness to match your new head unit in the market, it makes sense to go for something better than a Blau. IMHO they are expensive (since not available much in Grey) and hence they cannot match the price: performance ratio of many other head units in that range. If you want Bluetooth, TA and the usual fare, be prepared to shell out atleast 15-18k (depending on the model)
Or else, pitch for the Clarion DXZ785 as Abhinav mentioned, and get a bluetooth adapter for it. Will still work out to about 16k with the bluetooth adapter.


Quote:
I would have loved to add an amp right away (by getting an entry level HU with preouts) but then it would just be the start of something like the "frankmehta needs" series . Frankmehta - No offense intended, your posts have been highly educational and fun to read.
i shall take that as a compliment . totally.
the frankmehta needs a... series has been copyrighted though. and you cannot start a frankmehta needs a... thread for yourself without my express permission. even if you need to upgrade desperately!



Quote:
Does the thought of sticking to Blaupunkt for the HU have any merit or can I get better SQ by looking at other brands (i.e. Do any Blau's have TA and 24bit DAC's) ?
balus with 24 bit DACs and TA will cost above 20k in India, easily!

Quote:
What are the pros/cons of an in door install for the rear speakers when compared to the rear plank installation?
the doors, if they have the cutouts for speakers, must be preferred over the rear plank.
music emanating from 'around' you is better (even for the people at the rear: no discrimination please!) that it coming from the rear.
well, if you dont care much about rear passengers, then please save up and avoid rear fills. that money can be used elsewhere!

please make a list of what you intend to have, and your final budget.
we have some 'retarded' accountants here (like me) who might help you double your budget and still not be satisfied. hence it would be cool to mention something (be prepared to double it soon )

Last edited by frankmehta : 12th May 2009 at 17:54.
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Old 13th May 2009, 12:13   #6
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Default Clarion's "amp canceller" - gimmick or boon ?

Clarion's product literature says they have the ability to switch off the internal amplifier -

"Amp Canceller: If you choose to connect the receiver to external amplifiers, you can turn off the built-in amplifier for better sound quality"
Source: product description on crutchfield


This has me confused - aren't pre-outs on all HU's by default un-amplified ?

How does the internal HU amplifier come into the picture if you are using the pre-outs and not the line level signal?

Do they mean to say that electrical interference is cut because the internal amplifier is switched off when the line level outputs are not in use? I would expect any half decent HU to do just that - So what makes this something worth mentioning on a Clarion? Just trying to see past all the "marketing talk" and reading all the HU threads I can find.


Also, what is the typical install location for the tweeters in case of comps in the rear ?

A) if the drivers are mounted in the door ?
B) if the drivers are mounted in the rear tray ?
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Old 13th May 2009, 12:20   #7
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good question.
pre outs themselves are unamplified by default, but the reason why there is an option to cancel the inbuilt amp, is to garner maximum voltage and pass it through the preouts, rather than 'waste' that voltage in powering the internal amp, which might not be in use, if you are only using the preouts.
also, it has been said (i myself havent found a difference) that there is less noise, when the internal amplification is off (presumably by more voltage going to the preouts. more preout voltage=less noise)

tweeter position is something that has quite arbitrary. and has to be decided at the spot of install. and how you like it. technically the midbass and tweeters have to be as close to each other as possible.
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Old 13th May 2009, 13:08   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrackedHead View Post
Clarion's product literature says they have the ability to switch off the internal amplifier -

"Amp Canceller: If you choose to connect the receiver to external amplifiers, you can turn off the built-in amplifier for better sound quality"
Source: product description on crutchfield


This has me confused - aren't pre-outs on all HU's by default un-amplified ?

How does the internal HU amplifier come into the picture if you are using the pre-outs and not the line level signal?

Do they mean to say that electrical interference is cut because the internal amplifier is switched off when the line level outputs are not in use? I would expect any half decent HU to do just that - So what makes this something worth mentioning on a Clarion? Just trying to see past all the "marketing talk" and reading all the HU threads I can find.
Many good quality Head units have this feature. It is supposed to reduce running load, prevent cross-talk and other features (I won't bore you) that can ONLY be heard in extremely critical listening.

Extremely critical listening is difficult in a car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmehta View Post
good question.
pre outs themselves are unamplified by default, but the reason why there is an option to cancel the inbuilt amp, is to garner maximum voltage and pass it through the preouts, rather than 'waste' that voltage in powering the internal amp, which might not be in use, if you are only using the preouts.
also, it has been said (i myself havent found a difference) that there is less noise, when the internal amplification is off (presumably by more voltage going to the preouts. more preout voltage=less noise)
.
Frank you are confusing load voltage with pre-out voltage.

The power amplifier runs on the DC voltage supplied by the battery, along with every other circuit in the HU.

The voltage that is being discussed that comes out of the pre-amplifier is AC. It increases by increasing or decreasing the pre-amplifier using the volume control. Not by switching the power amp on or off. That has no effect on the pre-out peak-to-peak voltage.
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Old 13th May 2009, 13:12   #9
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thanks sam. that was super informative!
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Old 13th May 2009, 13:47   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Many good quality Head units have this feature. It is supposed to reduce running load, prevent cross-talk and other features (I won't bore you) that can ONLY be heard in extremely critical listening.
Sam, can we have some more details . I'm trying to understand how the internals of a high end HU differ in operation from the average HU.

My understanding is that the D/A converter converts the binary stream from the CD into an analogue voltage signal (that goes to the pre-outs) and the inbuilt amplifier is responsible for amplifying this signal to drive whatever load is presented to the line level outputs of the HU.

This might ofcourse be an overly simplistic view - but I don't see why every HU can't simply detect that it has no load connected to the line level outputs and switch off its internal amplifier - what makes this so special to Clarion ?

Does the pre-out signal (different brands have their own voltages for this) also go thru some level of amplification ?
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Old 13th May 2009, 14:24   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrackedHead View Post
My understanding is that the D/A converter converts the binary stream from the CD into an analogue voltage signal (that goes to the pre-outs) and the inbuilt amplifier is responsible for amplifying this signal to drive whatever load is presented to the line level outputs of the HU.

This might ofcourse be an overly simplistic view - but I don't see why every HU can't simply detect that it has no load connected to the line level outputs and switch off its internal amplifier - what makes this so special to Clarion ?

Does the pre-out signal (different brands have their own voltages for this) also go thru some level of amplification ?
Your view is a clear simplistic view to any Head Unit, regardless of brand, however you have made a mistake. The load is not presented to the line-level. Line level loads range in KΩ. The load is presented to the speaker-level and in the car audio scenario, that is typically 4Ω.

ΩΩΩΩΩΩ God I love that sign.

Depending on the kind/grade/class of amplifier used, there will always be a current draw from the power amplifier circuit. Of course this draw will increase, the minute you apply a resistive or inductive load across the output terminals.

It can be engineered to switch off the supply to the power amplifier on detection of no load but that is another chain that can go wrong.

Also, some head units have no pre-outs. In this case a simple voltage divider is used to convert the power output down to a pre-level. This simple voltage divider may be detected as a no-load and if the supply is cut off to the amplifier, there will be no output.

Also I would imagine that the speaker output wires would be dangling free (most HU's have wires for terminals) the chances of them shorting and therefore destroying the BTL amplifiers inside the HU. By switching the amps off, that danger is also cleared.

I am not discussing the audio aspect of this operation as it is debatable. I myself use a headunit that has a switchable output section and I have been totally unable to hear any difference from the pre-out section. Maybe some audio afficionados do hear that difference, I don't claim to.


As far as the pre-out voltage is concerned - remember that it is a peak-to-peak audio AC signal. So if a HU claims to have a 4V pre-out, this doesn't mean that the pre-out is always 4V. This means that the peak-to-peak sine wave audio can reach upto 4 volts. If the volume control is set low, the output voltage is probably a few millivolts.

Basically in a nutshell, a HU with a higher voltage rating on a pre-out can basically go louder, since the pre-out is higher. It does not mean better sound quality, but as someone pointed out, if the signal is stronger, the signal-to-noise ratio is improved.

The feature of switching the supply to the power amplifier is not unique to Clarion, however it is not a feature that generally accompanies low end units.


Wow - this post was just like the old days... Navin will be proud.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 13th May 2009 at 14:28.
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Old 13th May 2009, 14:47   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Also, some head units have no pre-outs. In this case a simple voltage divider is used to convert the power output down to a pre-level. This simple voltage divider may be detected as a no-load and if the supply is cut off to the amplifier, there will be no output.

Also I would imagine that the speaker output wires would be dangling free (most HU's have wires for terminals) the chances of them shorting and therefore destroying the BTL amplifiers inside the HU. By switching the amps off, that danger is also cleared.

Wow - this post was just like the old days... Navin will be proud.
Thanks Sam, that cleared it up. That should stop me from trying to "design" HU's for now . Back to the joys of having to pick one.

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Originally Posted by frankmehta View Post
please make a list of what you intend to have, and your final budget.
we have some 'retarded' accountants here (like me) who might help you double your budget and still not be satisfied. hence it would be cool to mention something (be prepared to double it soon )


I'm well aware of that aspect. The prime culprit (charged with aiding and abetting) when/if I do break the bank might just be one of those things on your signature. It seems that the Eclipse CD7200 mk II can now be purchased for anywhere between 400-550 USD if bought online (and it has no internal amp to switch off). The only -ve feedback seems to be about a not so good menu/interface - your comments ?

Last edited by CrackedHead : 13th May 2009 at 14:49. Reason: clarity
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Old 27th August 2009, 12:35   #13
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Guy's need advise on another thing - which SQ oriented 4 channel amplifier do you suggest on a 15K budget. Will be used to power front comps and a 12" sub (temporarily, until I get a mono).
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Old 27th August 2009, 13:38   #14
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Infinity's 475 or 5350a should be available for 15K.

Last edited by navin : 27th August 2009 at 13:40.
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Old 27th August 2009, 14:14   #15
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Thanks, would one of these be a better choice than say a JBL GTO 1004 ?

Also, are "signal to noise ratio" numbers a good indicator of how SQ oriented an amplifier is?

(I'm almost sure that the answer is going to be a No) Some enlightenment please.
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