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Old 9th May 2010, 18:05   #61
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My Alto's ICE went through a complete overhaul last Sunday.

Amp - I had a chance to audition the Kenwood 8401 and found it be much more warmer and natural sounding than the Kenwood M845. Luckily, I knew a dealer who had a few pieces of 8401 left and bought the amp eyes closed.

Amp Location - The amp was previously placed under the passenger seat which made it tough to access for tuning and other tweaks. The power and speaker cables had also started showing wear and tear due to this. Finding a place to mount the amp was a tricky one as Alto's rear seat no longer has metal sheets and contains just a few metal wires with foam pads stuffed inside. After taking a few measurements, decided that the best position to mount it would be rear-coaxial speaker box.

Wiring Kit - The fake JBL wiring kit had nothing left in it. So, the next part was sourcing a decent wiring kit. Though of getting 4AWG initially but it would have been an overkill considering I listen at moderate volumes. Finally went ahead with the Bull Audio 7AWG wiring kit. The difference in wire quality was huge.

Alto - ICE Upgrade with DLS, Kenwood, Blaupunkt. Updated pics on pg 3-img_1528.jpg

Speaker Wire - The change in amp location meant that I needed to upgrade speaker wires as well. Initial choice was the 16AWG Kicker speaker cable but every distributor I tried gave the same answer, "out-of-stock". In one of my visits to Pro-Audio shops in Chandigarh, I chanced upon Draka ProLink 16AWG speaker wire. The build quality was mind blowing. The wire had thick copper strands surrounded by PVC and yet the wire was flexible! At 100 bucks a metre, it was a steal!

Alto - ICE Upgrade with DLS, Kenwood, Blaupunkt. Updated pics on pg 3-img_1518.jpg

Head Unit - The sweetest part of the Upgrade, the Kenwood x794. I had auditioned the X693 and totally loved the neutral warm sound of the HU and the iPod integration it offered. When I found that Kenwood had just released it's successor with updates and a sleek new remote, I knew I had to go for it. A nice eBay discount made the decision even more prompt. To say it's a mighty upgrade from the Kenwood 5539 would be a huge understatement. x794 is loaded with features, and apart from great natural sound out-of-the-box offers great USB and iPod integration.

Alto - ICE Upgrade with DLS, Kenwood, Blaupunkt. Updated pics on pg 3-img_1533.jpg
Alto - ICE Upgrade with DLS, Kenwood, Blaupunkt. Updated pics on pg 3-img_1534.jpg

Installation - With all the equipment in place, it was time for installation. This time, I decided that the install has to be done by none but the best in town. Fixed an appointment on Sunday and the install started at 6:30 AM. Witnessing a Sunday morning sunrise is a rare thing for us Software Engineers.
I couldn't help but smile and appreciate the effort the installer put in. Each and every thing was done with amazing detail and precision. Using heat-shrinkable sleeves, proper terminals for EVERY connection... and so on. In the end, at 7:00PM, when we turned the system ON, it was pure Nirvana!

Alto - ICE Upgrade with DLS, Kenwood, Blaupunkt. Updated pics on pg 3-image113.jpg

Many thanks to all Chd-bhpians and specially abhibh for the guidance!


Here are a few pics of the finished install.

The Kenwood 8401. Everything hooked up properly using fork terminals and heat-shrinkable sleeves. I love the neat finish.

Alto - ICE Upgrade with DLS, Kenwood, Blaupunkt. Updated pics on pg 3-img_1536.jpg
Alto - ICE Upgrade with DLS, Kenwood, Blaupunkt. Updated pics on pg 3-img_1538.jpg
Alto - ICE Upgrade with DLS, Kenwood, Blaupunkt. Updated pics on pg 3-img_1540.jpg


Kenwood x794 in action

Alto - ICE Upgrade with DLS, Kenwood, Blaupunkt. Updated pics on pg 3-img_1547.jpg
Alto - ICE Upgrade with DLS, Kenwood, Blaupunkt. Updated pics on pg 3-img_1548.jpg
Alto - ICE Upgrade with DLS, Kenwood, Blaupunkt. Updated pics on pg 3-img_1550.jpg
Alto - ICE Upgrade with DLS, Kenwood, Blaupunkt. Updated pics on pg 3-img_1554.jpg
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Old 10th May 2010, 00:03   #62
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Hey Congrats, Can you post in the pics of boot. Interested to see how the boot will be after fitting those custom made boxes.
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Old 10th May 2010, 23:14   #63
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Thanks bro!
Check out page 1 of this thread. There are a few pics of the boot with the rear speakers and the sub-box.
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Old 11th May 2010, 14:19   #64
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Super clean install...
Do you have WIP pics where you were talking about the wires being routed correctly.
I must say - beautifully sounding system bro.
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Old 11th May 2010, 15:18   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelord View Post
Thanks abhi, let's meet tomorrow to check all the equipment before the Super Sunday install.

@chiragh
Sure, will try to upload some pics later.

@febyphilabr
Yep, got it from US via GlobalEasyBuy.
Cost ~ 12.6k (without any ebay discount vouchers)

But now I think it's available at a few stores only. Crutchfield might have a few pieces left @ 220 US$
stock is over at sonic electronix and crutchfield !!

please show me the Draka ProLink 16AWG wiring when we meet next time !!

Last edited by chiragh_bir : 11th May 2010 at 15:28.
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Old 13th May 2010, 21:22   #66
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@rohitsoni
Thanks sirji! Unfortunately, could click just one pic during the install

@chiragh
Sure, I have some speaker wire left. And yes, the HU is out of stock at many stores now. It's getting good reviews all over!
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Old 13th May 2010, 21:32   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelord View Post
@chiragh
Sure, I have some speaker wire left. And yes, the HU is out of stock at many stores now. It's getting good reviews all over!

This may help you

Kenwood Excelon KDC-X794 MP3 CD Players - In-Dash Receivers at Onlinecarstereo.com
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Old 13th May 2010, 23:33   #68
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looks very neat install. I have the same AMP too. I love the sound !

But I felt the Amp noise(humming probably from the fans) is a tad more than the JBLs..what is your experience ? I hear the noise very clearly when the cabin is completely silent and it sits under the passenger seat.
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Old 14th May 2010, 00:15   #69
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@lord and ankit
Lucky guys you two are. eXcelon series HU's

@s3va
I doubt JBL amps have a FAN.
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Old 14th May 2010, 11:16   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ankit_chd View Post

bro I said Sonic Electronix and Crutchfield not online car stereo :P .. he he !!
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Old 14th May 2010, 11:40   #71
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@s3va
That's correct bro. The cooling fan on the amp does have a sound noticeable only when the cabin is dead-silent. Wasn't a distraction anyways but now that the amp is mounted in the boot makes it hardly audible.

Cheers!
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Old 14th May 2010, 13:27   #72
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The Kenwood 8401 is active cooled?
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Old 18th May 2010, 13:35   #73
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Are the DLS happy with your getting just 60W? And didn't you promise us a video?

Last edited by jkdas : 18th May 2010 at 13:41.
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Old 18th May 2010, 20:01   #74
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@nitrous
Its active cooled by liquid nitrogen. j/k
I think most Kenwood Amps are actively cooled.

@jkdas
Yep, the DLS are more than happy with even just 60W.
The mid-bass kicks hard. I listen to music at moderate levels though and the detail produced by the R6A still surprises me.

Here is a quick video I shot. Please excuse the poor audio quality. The crappy iPod Nano camera does 'things' to audio. The sub was turned off for the video.

Cheers!

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Old 8th June 2010, 09:23   #75
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@thelord, very nice setup and hope you are enjoying the sound in your ride.

Could you please let me know where you can get the DLS components in India. I live in Chennai.
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