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Old 24th December 2012, 13:14   #11866
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Default Re: Car Audio Advice from the Audio Gurus: Use "Search thread" before posting a new Q

Hi navin,

Thank you for your response. I understand the idea that as the prices go up, the quality of equipment also goes up, but what I had wanted to know was how one can measure the kind of power a particular amplifier is putting out. Basically, any sort of a guage (is it a multimeter or something) or non-elaborate equipment (that can be commonly found with ICE installers or electricians) that can be used for this purpose?

Nevertheless, I think I am almost decided on the Kenwood KAC-9105D, since its from a decent company, puts out decent power, is a class D circuit, is CEA-2006 compliant & comes at a decent price.

However, I have a few more questions pertaining to this particular amplifier model & otherwise.

1. I have learnt that Kenwood has stopped manufacturing this amplifier (i.e. KAC-9105D) & so, should I be worried about anything? If not, then would you be able to give any idea on the pricing & if I can expect any discounts in the market since the model is now discontinued (just like in case of cars)? The current quote is for about 13K, which I find a little high, what do you think?

2. I am planning to use the car's stock stereo (the car being a Ford Figo) for now & thus, do you think its best to use the speaker level inputs or should I get a Hi-Low converter? The primary objective behind this question is to ascertain the quality & sound definition in the two approaches. I would prefer the one in which the sound has more clarity & depth. (The Kenwood M845 as well as 9105D can accept speaker level inputs).

3. I am still confused about the alternator rating part & the electrical load. Assuming the Figo has a 60A alternator, one would effectively have about 720 watts (i.e. 12V * 60A) if I have understood correctly. Now, the setup I am planning is 2 sub-woofers, each with 400W RMS capacity & then a pair of front components & rear speakers with about 140W RMS. So, the effective power requirement only for the ICE is 940W RMS. Should I keep only one sub-woofer & maybe buy the 8105D instead?

4. What guage of subwoofer & speaker wires should I be using? I have heard that the sub should use about 12 guage, while the speakers can do with 14-16 guage. Please also suggest some decent options within an affordable price range & how much approx would be used in a Figo in terms of meters?

Lastly, I would await your response on the Polycab power cables on Wednesday. Please do let me know what type I should look for. Also, I spoke with one of Kenwood's technical guys & he said that I should get a 2 guage power cable with the 9105D for better results/output; just thought I should let you know.

Drive safe.


Quote:
Originally Posted by navin View Post
As long you use good power cables I would not worry about the alternator ratings.

The more expensive mono amplifiers usually have better protection, better current delivery, and are stable to 1 and even 0.5 ohms. I have however never pushed an amplifier below 1 ohms load.

I believe., the Hertz amp equivalent in power output to the Kenwood would be considerably more expensive (around 15-20k. I do not think the Kicker would outperform the Kenwood by a large margin. Kenwood makes some pretty decent amps for the money.

I do not have Polycab's catalog with me so can only answer this on Wednesday when I get back to my office.

Using 2 amps (one for each coil) can be done but I do not recommend it. Maybe each coil induces a small voltage in the other coil and if the 2 amps are not perfectly in phase ( an almost impossible condition unless we use a closed loop control system - aka phase locked loop) you might have some trouble. The one time I tried it nothing was damaged but the results were not pleasant. I would assume the same would apply for 2 bridged channels of the 845.

Last edited by blackfire_9 : 24th December 2012 at 13:15.
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Old 24th December 2012, 14:44   #11867
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Default The ICE bug bites again..!!

Few months back, I had upgraded my ICE setup. Or as someone on the forum (Navin, I suppose?) has already said, I was "cursed with good audio". After the upgrade, my current setup was as follows:
  • HU - Pioneer MVH 1490 UB - 1 RCA
  • HU - Xenos DVD 150 - 2 RCA
  • Front - Illusion Electra 4" Components
  • Rear - MTX XT693 6x9 CoAxials
  • Amp - JBL X424 2 Channel
  • Sub - Rockford Fosgate P112S4 - 12"
  • Screen - Xenos 7" TFT Visor Monitor

Out of these, the Pioneer HU, front comps, amp and sub were added recently. The Xenos HU and MTX rear speakers are carried over from previous setup. The front had JBL CS4, which are currently available for sale.

The car is Maruti Alto VXi.

The setup was pretty decent, and I was quite satisfied with it. Until...

I had close to a 100 km drive today with my friend in the morning, during which we played some nice techno with significant bass, and ended up discussing the level of output the system is producing. This discussion stayed on my mind after I dropped him, and on the way home I just dropped into one of the auto accessories stores for a new freshener. I met the owner of the store who is a good friend of mine, and inevitably we ended up discussing my ICE setup. I was planning to remove the Xenos HU since I don't use it much, and put in a storage area there. I asked him to take a look. Remember, a freshener and a storage area is ALL I WANTED.

I don't need to narrate the next 10 minutes of the conversation, but by the end of it, we both were totally convinced that I ABSOLUTELY NEEDED an upgrade. Ring some bells, anyone??

After another 10 mins of discussion, this is what we had in mind.

Remove both HUs and sell them, and get a new HU with 2 RCA.
Sell the 2ch JBL amp and get a new 4ch amp for sub and comps.

He suggested Pioneer DEH-X3590UI, which he said is a 2013 model, and is 2 RCA, sufficient for a 4ch amp. It has a 5 band EQ and LPF/HPF, with MixTrax. Can anyone tell me the proper rate for this one? I think with a little negotiation I can get this for under 6k from him. Good price?

For amp, he suggested Pioneer GM 6500F, which has RMS 85W x 4 at 2 ohm, and 60W x 4 at 4 ohm. However, I am also considering Hertz HE4, which has 100W x 4 at 2 ohm, and 75W x 4 at 4 ohm.

He quoted 7.2k for the Pioneer, while the Hertz can be had for a few hundred more. Kindly suggest me which one would be better out of these two.

With this upgrade, the changes wouldn't be a lot. The new amp can come in place of the previous one, thus all power cables and sub connection would remain the same. Only additional wiring would be a 2nd RCA cable and connection to the front comps. Wiring for rear coax would be unchanged.

We had originally also considered the idea of keeping the existing 2ch and adding another 4ch, but I suspect this would put additional load on the electrical system. I am already running 100/90W headlamps. Hence a replacement.

He offered to help me in selling the existing parts, but I am yet to discuss the prices of all of them with him.

So, here is my final plan:
  • Sell the Xenos HU, Pioneer HU and JBL amp
  • Get a new Pioneer HU and Pioneer/Hertz 4ch amp

I would dearly like the opinions of other members on this upgrade, and any alterations that would be better than what I have currently planned.

Also, if anybody could mention some approximate prices that I can expect to sell my existing parts for, that would be great..!!

Last edited by GTO : 26th December 2012 at 10:36. Reason: As requested
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Old 25th December 2012, 11:35   #11868
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Default Re: Car Audio Advice from the Audio Gurus: Use "Search thread" before posting a new Q

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Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Got it ! Brand new face plate with the carry box. I was wondering if the box is also included and indeed it is. So Alpine India HU users, we have a ray of hope. ...
Hi Jaggu, I have Pioneer FH6050UB and tending to change it to Alpine 103ebt. How is the set compared to Pioneer? A dealer whom I know in Koramangala says there is no supply for Alpine but I get it on JC Road for around 13K. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks
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Old 26th December 2012, 00:17   #11869
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Default Re: Car Audio Advice from the Audio Gurus: Use "Search thread" before posting a new Q

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Originally Posted by yogeshnaik View Post
Hi Jaggu, I have Pioneer FH6050UB and tending to change it to Alpine 103ebt. How is the set compared to Pioneer? A dealer whom I know in Koramangala says there is no supply for Alpine but I get it on JC Road for around 13K. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks
Its pretty decent and VFM if you ask me, i have an amp set up in my car so works brilliantly. Sounds a little brighter compared to the Pioneer's but sounds just right with tones at 0.

Bluetooth integration is the best part and now with google map app on my iPhone, it gives turn by turn directions on the speakers without having to keep an eye on the map.
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Old 26th December 2012, 00:56   #11870
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Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Its pretty decent and VFM if you ask me, i have an amp set up in my car so works brilliantly. Sounds a little brighter compared to the Pioneer's but sounds just right with tones at 0.

Bluetooth integration is the best part and now with google map app on my iPhone, it gives turn by turn directions on the speakers without having to keep an eye on the map.
I have two options 1. Alpine 103ebt, 2. Pioneer DEH X-8550BT new model, Alpines are great always, as Pioneer gives 5 band equalizers, Alpine has bass-treble control, did you feel the equalizer missing? Does 103ebt has 24bit DAC? I used 2 Pioneers, want some more premium sound quality as I feel my Pioneer sounds like the frequencies come out from a tube. Does Alpines 2V RCA Preout matter in front of Pioneer's high volt RCA?

I used to have Blaupunkt earlier, but no such Head Units in current market. Many dealers are not having Alpine, but I have belief in that brand. Thanks!
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Old 26th December 2012, 03:07   #11871
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Originally Posted by yogeshnaik View Post
I have two options 1. Alpine 103ebt, 2. Pioneer DEH X-8550BT new model, Alpines are great always, as Pioneer gives 5 band equalizers, Alpine has bass-treble control, did you feel the equalizer missing? Does 103ebt has 24bit DAC? I used 2 Pioneers, want some more premium sound quality as I feel my Pioneer sounds like the frequencies come out from a tube. Does Alpines 2V RCA Preout matter in front of Pioneer's high volt RCA?

I used to have Blaupunkt earlier, but no such Head Units in current market. Many dealers are not having Alpine, but I have belief in that brand. Thanks!
Alpines are much much smoother compared to Pioneer HUs.
Don't worry about the 2V pre-out. It doesn't matter as much and you can adjust the gains on the amp to counter it.
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Old 26th December 2012, 11:48   #11872
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Originally Posted by blackfire_9 View Post
Nevertheless, I think I am almost decided on the Kenwood KAC-9105D, since its from a decent company, puts out decent power, is a class D circuit, is CEA-2006 compliant & comes at a decent price.

1. I have learnt that Kenwood has stopped manufacturing this amplifier (i.e. KAC-9105D) & so, should I be worried about anything?

2. I am planning to use the car's stock stereo (the car being a Ford Figo) for now & thus, do you think its best to use the speaker level inputs or should I get a Hi-Low converter?

3. I am still confused about the alternator rating part

4. What guage of subwoofer & speaker wires should I be using?

I should get a 2 guage power cable with the 9105D for better results/output; just thought I should let you know.
Blackfire,

a. Amplifier costs often have to do with SUBJECTIVE sound quality than OBJECTIVE measurements.

b. If you can get the 9105 I would not worry if it is discontinued. Most products receive service even when they are discontinued.

c. I would first try the speaker level inputs but tell your installer to keep a good set of hi-lo converters handy as usually noise creeps in through the speaker level inputs. if the speaker level inputs work for you then great, but fi they dont then at least you have the hi-lo converters available.

d. Dont worry about alternator rating. The battery will compensate for this. Just make sure the battery is healthy. Occasionally we come across complex issues like fellow moderator GTO had with his Civic (see GTO's thread on his Civic) but these instances are rare.

e. For speaker wire there are plenty of options. I car audio, gauge is not so much of a concern as flexibility. 2.5mm sq. will more more than adequate for the subwoofer and 1.5mm for the speakers.

f. Sure 2 GA is better than 4 GA and if you can afford it go for it. Remember to get flame retardant cables. I did go through the catalog but could not find the cables I have used. I am sure a good electrical shop which carries ISI cables will have good electrical cables. Polycab is just one brand, there are others.

Lastly, dont take everything you see here as gospel truth. Experiement and post your observations. Sound is sujective. A little bit of common sense and a bit of faith in one's own ears goes a long way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swarnava.m View Post
  • HU - Pioneer MVH 1490 UB - 1 RCA
  • HU - Xenos DVD 150 - 2 RCA
  • Front - Illusion Electra 4" Components
  • Rear - MTX XT693 6x9 CoAxials
  • Amp - JBL X424 2 Channel
  • Sub - Rockford Fosgate P112S4 - 12"
  • Screen - Xenos 7" TFT Visor Monitor

Remove both HUs and sell them, and get a new HU with 2 RCA.
Sell the 2ch JBL amp and get a new 4ch amp for sub and comps.

He suggested Pioneer DEH-X3590UI,

For amp, he suggested Pioneer GM 6500F...Hertz HE4

Swarnava,

You seem to have dones your homework well. Unless you are sure you will never use an amplifier for the rear speakers get the 3590.

I would get the Hertz HE4 over the 6500.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yogeshnaik View Post
I have two options 1. Alpine 103ebt, 2. Pioneer DEH X-8550BT new model, Alpines are great always, as Pioneer gives 5 band equalizers, Alpine has bass-treble control, did you feel the equalizer missing? Does 103ebt has 24bit DAC? I used 2 Pioneers, want some more premium sound quality as I feel my Pioneer sounds like the frequencies come out from a tube. Does Alpines 2V RCA Preout matter in front of Pioneer's high volt RCA?

I used to have Blaupunkt earlier, but no such Head Units in current market. Many dealers are not having Alpine, but I have belief in that brand. Thanks!
Yogesh, I would get the Alpine but why not listen to both?

Last edited by navin : 26th December 2012 at 11:51.
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Old 26th December 2012, 14:40   #11873
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Originally Posted by navin View Post
Swarnava,

You seem to have dones your homework well. Unless you are sure you will never use an amplifier for the rear speakers get the 3590.

I would get the Hertz HE4 over the 6500.
Actually I did consider getting a 6ch amp so that I could accommodate the rear speakers as well, but I am really pondering over whether it would be worth it or would it be just overkill. Also, I am again afraid of overloading the battery/alternator for a small car like Alto. I am no expert on this though. Any thoughts?

As for the amp, yes, I have almost finalised the HE4. However, if I do decide to get a 6ch, could you suggest any model and an approx price?

Last edited by swarnava.m : 26th December 2012 at 14:48.
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Old 26th December 2012, 14:59   #11874
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Originally Posted by swarnava.m View Post
Actually I did consider getting a 6ch amp so that I could accommodate the rear speakers as well...
You could get a 5 channel amp as well. Many like the Kenwood KAC-X5, Alpine V70, Hertz HDP5 or JBL GTO 5E have 1 subwoofer channel and 4 fullrange channels. Keep in mind such amplifiers usually share one power supply for all 5 channels and hence dont play as loud as a comparable 4ch+monoblock combination. Howevr they do offer a nice compact install that is easy on the eye.

http://india.kenwood.com/products/ca...x5d/index.html

http://www.alpine-asia.com/product/Amplifier/MRX-V70
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Old 26th December 2012, 15:42   #11875
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Originally Posted by navin View Post
You could get a 5 channel amp as well. Many like the Kenwood KAC-X5, Alpine V70, Hertz HDP5 or JBL GTO 5E have 1 subwoofer channel and 4 fullrange channels. Keep in mind such amplifiers usually share one power supply for all 5 channels and hence dont play as loud as a comparable 4ch+monoblock combination. Howevr they do offer a nice compact install that is easy on the eye.

http://india.kenwood.com/products/ca...x5d/index.html

http://www.alpine-asia.com/product/Amplifier/MRX-V70
Thanks, that's helpful.

For this amp I would require 3 RCA right?
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Old 27th December 2012, 00:47   #11876
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Sorry for back to back posts. I have been surfing around all day looking for HU and Amp models, and now am back with the the following idea:
  • Get a new HU with 3 RCA (probably Pio or Kenwood)
  • Retain the JBL 2ch amp and use it to drive the front components. The comps have RMS rating of 50W and the JBL puts out 45W at 4 ohm. So that should be pretty fine.
  • Get a new 4ch amp (probably Hertz HE4) and power the sub and the rear 6x9 coaxes with that.

While this only stretches my budget by a little bit (it is anyways an unplanned expenditure ), what I am apprehensive about is installing two amps in my car. Some people that I have spoken to are of the opinion that it will put additional load on the alternator/battery, as well as affect FE (since the alternator needs more energy to charge).

I would dearly like forum members' opinions regarding this. For a small car like Alto, how feasible is the option of installing two amps? Or am I being too bothered about something that is actually a non-issue?

PS. Navin, thanks for the suggestion about 5ch amps, but I checked out a few models and they seem pretty out of budget.
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Old 27th December 2012, 09:37   #11877
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While this only stretches my budget by a little bit (it is anyways an unplanned expenditure ), what I am apprehensive about is installing two amps in my car. Some people that I have spoken to are of the opinion that it will put additional load on the alternator/battery, as well as affect FE (since the alternator needs more energy to charge).
I would use the Hertz amp for the front comps and subwoofer and the older 2 ch. amp for the rears.

Most cars can easily accomodate the power requirements of 2 amplifiers.
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Old 28th December 2012, 11:17   #11878
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Hi Navin,
Looking for help on upgrading my Fortuner audio. I would like to keep HU as original and rest want to replace. Kindly help in getting better audio setup with 2 TFT screen on headrest. Can shell out 50K.
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Old 29th December 2012, 01:11   #11879
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Hi navin,

Thank you once again for the responses. Well, I went ahead & got the installation done. I had done a little more research on the 9105D & found that it probably wasn't worth the money. And it was during this research that I found about some offers on Digital Designs (from BBW Distributors), which led me to increase my budget in order to get an amplifier that seemed better (at least the build quality). The model I purchased is the SS1B (class D monoblock); do let me know your comments.

As for the power cables, I ended up getting a 2 guage kit since the industrial wires were becoming too much of a hassle. Basically, I couldn't spare so much time to actually delve deeper into what could & what could not be used; fearing the worse, I chose to go the safer albeit costlier route. The wiring kit used was from Bull Audio (again due to a reasonable offer).

And about the HU, well you may have gotten the hint by now Yes, I got a new HU, but this didn't happen until the very last moment; ran into some issues due to which a new HU was needed (it's another long story) & had to make a quick decision. I ended up getting the JVC-R90BT & my initial observation is that it's not quite there in terms of the audio clarity; it's good no doubt & maybe it's just me, but it feels lacking something (it's actually hard to explain in words). As far as the looks & build quality goes, its good for the price; just that the remote control is a joke. See it for yourself if you get a chance. By the way, personally, the Kenwood 8016BT sounded the exact same to me. How do I know? Was out shopping with a friend today who also wanted a new HU & that's when we tried the JVC & Kenwood at the same time in his car. Had also thought of the Clarion CZ702A, but when the distributor price-list was checked, the 702A wasn't mentioned.

For the speaker wires, used the Rockford Fosgate 16AWG OFC wire to power the front components & my old JBL 5mm sq. OFC wire for the subwoofers.

Lastly, for the alternator, I did some more research & found that the Figo's alternator is 120A (only for the TDCi) & the 1.5dCi (in its 68bhp avatar) also uses the same alternator from Bosch. Also, based on the power output of the two amplifiers, I calculated the average current consumption as below:
Mono - 600W at 2ohms at 14.2V - 43A ~ considered 55A for further calculations
M845 (using only two channels) - 120W at 4ohms at 14.2V - 9A ~ considered 11A for further calculations

Now, both amplifiers are class D & the efficiency (for the worst case) has been taken as 65%. Therefore, total current draw is about 99A & for music, I believe the standard is to consider 50% as the average draw by the system. 50% is approx. 50A, but again choosing to leave slack, I believe the average current draw shouldn't be more than about 55A. The Figo's battery is 50A.

Do let me know your thoughts & correct me if I have am wrong somewhere in my calculations above.

Drive safe.


Quote:
Originally Posted by navin View Post
Blackfire,


b. If you can get the 9105 I would not worry if it is discontinued. Most products receive service even when they are discontinued.

c. I would first try the speaker level inputs but tell your installer to keep a good set of hi-lo converters handy as usually noise creeps in through the speaker level inputs. if the speaker level inputs work for you then great, but fi they dont then at least you have the hi-lo converters available.

d. Dont worry about alternator rating. The battery will compensate for this. Just make sure the battery is healthy. Occasionally we come across complex issues like fellow moderator GTO had with his Civic (see GTO's thread on his Civic) but these instances are rare.

e. For speaker wire there are plenty of options. I car audio, gauge is not so much of a concern as flexibility. 2.5mm sq. will more more than adequate for the subwoofer and 1.5mm for the speakers.

f. Sure 2 GA is better than 4 GA and if you can afford it go for it. Remember to get flame retardant cables. I did go through the catalog but could not find the cables I have used. I am sure a good electrical shop which carries ISI cables will have good electrical cables. Polycab is just one brand, there are others.

Lastly, dont take everything you see here as gospel truth. Experiement and post your observations. Sound is sujective. A little bit of common sense and a bit of faith in one's own ears goes a long way.

Last edited by blackfire_9 : 29th December 2012 at 01:30.
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Old 30th December 2012, 02:20   #11880
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Originally Posted by nitrous View Post

Alpines are much much smoother compared to Pioneer HUs.
Don't worry about the 2V pre-out. It doesn't matter as much and you can adjust the gains on the amp to counter it.
Finally, I got my Alpine CDE-134ebt installed. My cousin, an experimental Audio Enthusiast suggested for Alpine CDE-103ebt but this was not having MID control. Although, saying old is gold with respect to Alpines is a myth, the latest entrants are equally good as its predecessors. First of all, Pioneer when compared with Alpine, the sound harmonics are different. In common terms it is also called as "sound signature". All harmonics are reproduced in detail by Alpine just like valve tube amplifier radio having great dynamic behaviour. Alpine CDE-134ebt has 3-band parametric equalizer which allows to control MID apart from BASS and TREBLE. Pre-out of 2V was a boon as it solved my problem of slight pop noise from speakers after amp turns off. Apart from Alpine, I saw Pioneer DEH-6590bt, did not like the build quality but has almost all the features, can be called as value for money.

Alpine does reproduce old music either Indian or Western music flawlessly and remains premium. "If Car Audio is a religion, then Alpine is a GOD of it".

Last edited by yogeshnaik : 30th December 2012 at 02:29.
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