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Old 12th June 2009, 12:58   #1
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Default Completed Level 1 ICE for 2004 Corolla

Beginning with a huge thanks to folks at Team-BHP for their guidance, just wanted to share the first level of decent ICE, which I think I have in my Corolla.

I will add the pics later today, as the camera batteries are being charged as I write.

Its taken me about 6 months, and an outlay of about INR 35,000 to get it done and it sounds like a charm, to my ears at least. So some elements might be useful for folks looking for a very nice-sounding setup within a medium budget.

Headunit: The stock 2-DIN HU is a couple of inches wider than the aftermarket HU's available, so needed to buy a DIN adapter. I hated paying that amount initially, but now when I hear my car rock and roll, its been worth every penny. I went in for the Pioneer 6050 UB 2-DIN, primarily due to the following reasons:
  • Nice colour scheme (Blue EL lighting, my car is blue too)
  • Predisposition to Pioneer
Though today I might have gone in for a similar Kenwood HU, which has 3 pre-outs. Anyways, even the Pioneer is giving me very good sound.

Rear Speakers: I had got JBL GTO937's a year back and run them on the stock HU, so I still them

Front Components: One day after buying the Pioneer HU, I decided to go in for component speakers as well to enhance the overall sound. In the budget I was looking for, the options were JBL and Bull Audio. Having an affinity to laid-back sound I went in for Bull Audio 6.5" components, along with Kicker speaker wiring going into the HU. The folks at GYRO did an excellent job, and educated me quite a lot on the latest in ICE.

2 months -> Used this setup for a couple of months. Loved the sound, but something was missing. So next came the amplifier.

Amplifier: This is where it started getting confusing. Being a management consultant in the middle of deep economic recession globally, budgetary constraints can get scary. Wanted the Kenwood 8401 in grey market, but couldnt get hold of one. JBL 75.4 and 1004 were all 9000 +, which was out of budget. So I went to a local Gurgaon shop and got the reliable, value for money Blaupunkt GTA4 Mk II. Connected the front compos and rears to the amplifier.

Amplifier wiring: The Gurgaon installer did an okay job (nothing great), put SoundQuest wiring and RCA's. Apparently they were the best he had. I wanted to go to GYRO or Driven but I had hurt my foot badly and was plain lazy to drive to Delhi from Gurgaon.

1 month -> For one month after installation, the amplifier gave the music a much cleaner, fuller feel. Though there was a bit of jarring in the front compos at 50 HPF, which disappeared at 80 HPF I still kept at 50 because the bass effect was good. I knew I had to get a subwoofer, for which I consulted with LBM paaji, Ajay and the gurus on T-BHP. A big thanks to all for the help. The verdict was that though my Blaupunkt amp is a bit under-powered to drive the sub, it will suffice for an entry-level subwoofer in a ported box. Shortlisted to entry-level JBL, GZ 30T, Bull Audio SW-12. I could not manage to cull out the time to go and audition systems, so decision kept hanging.

Then I made a trip to visit my parents in Amritsar and met a college friend who shuttles between Europe and Punjab. We both have same tastes in music (Trance, Euphoric, Uplifting). He had got a BULL Audio subwoofer from Europe himself and installed it in his Hyundai Accent, in a sealed box and powered from the same Blaupunkt GTA amplifier. It sounded excellent - amazing clarity, punch and crisp bass. Coupled with front Blaupunkt components, it sounded very nice.

Subwoofer: Coming back to Delhi, I went to Nehru Place for some work and made a trip to Driven in East of Kailash. Decided on Bull Audio in a sealed box. Pramod did an excellent job, which included changing the entire speaker wiring to Kicker and adding a Scosche RCA cable. Tuned it to perfection and boy ! It was like a totally different experience.

Here are the amounts I spent:
  • HU Pioneer 6050 2 DIN - INR 9600 (Gray)
  • Corolla DIN Adapter - INR 3250 (B&W)
  • Bull Audio 6.5" Components - INR 6000 (B&W)
  • Blaupunkt GTA4 MkII Amp - INR 5300 (B&W)
  • SoundQuest Amp wiring - INR 1800
  • Bull Audio Sub - INR 4600 (B&W)
  • Sealed Box - INR 1600
  • Kicker wiring + RCA's - INR 2400
  • Intallation etc - INR 1000
Total - approx INR 35,500


Result: Thanks to proper tuning, good wiring and use of high quality 320 kbps MP3's the sound quality is very nice. Extremely clean, low distortion and no evidence of clipping at even high volumes.

The subwoofer in the sealed box is, I admit, a tad underplayed and 'reserved'. Being a sedan, I expected it to be and thats the way I like it, to add just that level of warmness to the music and make the soundstage holistic. In the end I am glad I didnt go for the ported one because the sealed is much better for my ears and my tasted of music. I am sure there are other genres of music for which a ported sub beats the sealed hands-down !

The power cable for the amp is sufficiently good, but will change it to Kicker/BULL Audio etc when (and if) I think of upgrading the amplifier.

Thanks again, everyone for the help and guidance. Any fellow BHP-ians in or around Gurgaon are more than welcome to audition the setup.

Cheers
Abhishek

PS: Pics coming soon. Not too many during the install, but many of the finished product !
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Old 12th June 2009, 13:45   #2
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Dude some, no we want alot of pics
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Old 12th June 2009, 14:34   #3
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Congrats man. Enjoy the music and every bit till you think of upgrading.
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Old 12th June 2009, 15:32   #4
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Default A few pics attached

Attached are a few pics, showing the HU in the console, and the comparison of component midbass and the poor stock paper cone speaker
Attached Images
   
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Old 12th June 2009, 17:45   #5
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Default Nice Setup and Installs

Quote:
Originally Posted by shreyasma View Post
Congrats man. Enjoy the music and every bit till you think of upgrading.
+1 to that, before the bug bites you again

Congrats Abhishek!!! Nice write-up too. It'll certainly help me deciding the upgrades that would be happening soon and a Wait for six months to get the sound you want is great.

Enjoy the Bass and Beats!!!
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Old 12th June 2009, 18:29   #6
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Congrats buddy.
HU is placed neatly and looks quite good.
Waiting for the rest of the pics now.
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Old 12th June 2009, 19:00   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek3030 View Post
Thanks again, everyone for the help and guidance. Any fellow BHP-ians in or around Gurgaon are more than welcome to audition the setup.
I would like to audtion your setup as i want to see how Bull Comps sounds. I work in Gurgaon so i can meet you. Let me know when i can meet you (likely time would be in the evening.)
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Old 12th June 2009, 20:14   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinralli View Post
I would like to audtion your setup as i want to see how Bull Comps sounds. I work in Gurgaon so i can meet you. Let me know when i can meet you (likely time would be in the evening.)
Anytime, Nitin. What about Tuesday evening next week? I will PM you my mobile number, and we can speak and fix a time. Cheers
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Old 12th June 2009, 21:01   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek3030 View Post
Anytime, Nitin. What about Tuesday evening next week? I will PM you my mobile number, and we can speak and fix a time. Cheers
Cool, Tuesday evening would be fine. Thanks.
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Old 12th June 2009, 21:08   #10
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Nice looking HU, congrats on the upgrade !
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Old 13th June 2009, 01:18   #11
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Dude the HU looks really worth it. Show some WIP pics also, also show the complete install.
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Old 13th June 2009, 09:24   #12
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Default More pics !

Sorry folks, couldnt find the few pics I clicked during the install. I lost the stick drive where I had stored them...but here are some pics of the finished product !
Attached Thumbnails
Completed Level 1 ICE for 2004 Corolla-hu-lights-3.jpg  

Completed Level 1 ICE for 2004 Corolla-rearfill.jpg  

Completed Level 1 ICE for 2004 Corolla-subwoofer-2.jpg  

Completed Level 1 ICE for 2004 Corolla-tweeter.jpg  

Attached Images
    
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Old 13th June 2009, 12:20   #13
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looks very very good man. i like the bull compos and sub the most
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Old 13th June 2009, 12:46   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shreyasma View Post
looks very very good man. i like the bull compos and sub the most
Thanks Shreyas - it sounds pretty good as well. Have kept all EQ, S retriever, BB settings to zero. Delivers pure music

Next up is the change to a more powerful amplifier, but at least 5-6 months away. Frankly am not sure how much a higher wattage amp will help.
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Old 13th June 2009, 16:56   #15
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Congrats abhishek. Good choice of equipment. Bull comps are VFM.
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