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Old 30th April 2010, 13:09   #1
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Default Half-nirvana attained, Amp & Sub remain

Off from a short trip thru world's electronics mecca, i managed to grab a couple of things to replace my SX4 zxi setup.

As the saying goes, the best way to determine the best audio for your car is to hear it out, i decided to audition most of the stuff before buying. When researched, there were quite a few local shops that had demo boards, which had me making trips thru out the LA county and listen to whatever is available. The brands that were available in stores were JL Audio, Focal, R. Fosgate & Alpine (for speakers). Few of the shops were signature dealers for JL audio & Focal (liked these ones - Al & Ed's Autosound - Car Audio Systems including Car Speakers, Subwoofers, Amps, HD Radio, Satellite Radio, GPS Navigation Systems, Car Alarm and more Car Stereo Equipment at Al & Ed's Autosound)

Finally after playing my usb drive off their setups for a dozen times, i narrowed upon Focal 165A1 and JL Audio c2-650 (both were almost within my budget). Just the facts that i *liked* the sound of JL more than focal, and JL's co-axials (c2-650x) had almost zero high-volume distortion (unlike focal's), sealed on them.

My shopping basket ended up as following:

HU: Kenwood Excelon x994 (Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X994 CD/AM/FM/USB in-Dash CD Receiver with Built-in Bluetooth) [The store guys told me this one came out just in March 10. Plus its a upgrade from highly popular x993]
Front components: JL Audio C2-650 (JL Audio C2650 6.5" Evolution™ C2 2-Way Component Car Speakers)
Rear co-axials: JL Audio C2-650x (JL Audio C2650X 6.5" Evolution™ C2 2-Way Coaxial Car Speakers)

After all deal-talk, total came out to be 599$ + exorbitant california taxes!

Am rather sure that couldn't have got a better deal back in india, plus am satisfied with the fact that I bought everything that i liked listening with B&W. Packed everything and here i am, unpacking it to the pleasure of my eyes (not yet ears)

Wanted to just drive off to an installer and get this hooked, but am wondering about doing a complete setup in one go. Thus looking to add in a sub and an amp. After going thru a zillion threads, few queries remain:

- Which sub? 10" or 12"? Sealed box or ported? I like sweet thud, the kind of bass that doesnt feel like big hammer. And though sx4 boot is pretty large, but still I dont wanna go for something that takes half of it.

- Which Amp for this sub and JL speakers? Have read good words bout JBL 1004 but its bit costly for me now (after JL took much of my money already). Any option around 7k which can drive off the sub and front comps?

- Lastly, since I just wanna add one Amp, is a 4-channel amp right for my needs? 2 channels bridged will power the sub which is fine, and remaining 2 will drive components. So in this setup, wont the rear door co-axials remain underpowered and might not gel as good with the rest of the setup??

Gurus, pls do some enlightenment this time.

Thanks.

P.S. Some of above stuff might be deemed fit for "sound off & show off" section; but call it undercurrent of excitement, cudn't resist writing!
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Old 2nd May 2010, 19:04   #2
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Nice buy. I like the HU you bought. Infact i am too looking to buy the same HU. Do get the instal done quickly and let us know the quality of the HU.
As for the Sub, you can look at Bull audio. You can get them under 5-7K. As for the Amp, buy the JBL or Kenwood. I dont remember the model numbers for them, but you can ask the install guy to show you the one which is cheaper than JBL 1004.
You dont need to buy 2 amps to run your setup. Best would be to power the front comps and the sub with Amp and run the rear with HU. This is the best way to go. You will get the frontstage setup.
Do remember to get the doors and boot Damped as it will be a must as Maruti needs damping (loads of it).
By the way, from where are you geting the install done?
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Old 2nd May 2010, 21:05   #3
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Good choice of equipment mate!!

I too am looking to get the younger sibling of the 994!

BTW, for the sub go with a Bull Audio SW-12 as nitin mentioned. Its a good VFM product for 5-5.5k. And get an enclosure made for bout 1k!

Now coming to the amp. I think to do full justice to the price you paid for the compos and the HU, get the JBL GTO1004.You can get it for about 10k or slightly cheaper. So by paying about 3k more than your current budget for the amp, you can juice the compos and the sub!!

Else get two of the Sony XM-ZR1252 from Dubai, if possible. Its available at the Sony dealers in UAE, Jumbo Electronics. Here's the link to the product. They have listed the price as AED 389 = Rs4000, i.e. 2x4000 = Rs 8000 (1k above your budget).You might be able to get the same from local ICE shops in UAE for a much cheaper price!!

Or another option is the Sony XM-ZR4A from Dubai. Its price is listed as AED 510 = Rs. 5200, at Jumbo. However it would only put in 60W RMS to the front JL compos!!

Post your final install details!!
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Old 2nd May 2010, 22:54   #4
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Well i just auditioned the X794 (younger brother of X994)

Overall a very nice looking. Nice display / buttons and a very warm & lively sounding HU. Overall build is nice too.

Last edited by abhibh : 2nd May 2010 at 22:58.
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Old 2nd May 2010, 23:28   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhibh View Post
Well i just auditioned the X794 (younger brother of X994)

Overall a very nice looking. Nice display / buttons and a very warm & lively sounding HU. Overall build is nice too.
How do you compare the sound quality of Kenny with Alpine 9887?
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Old 3rd May 2010, 00:01   #6
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Originally Posted by nitinralli View Post
How do you compare the sound quality of Kenny with Alpine 9887?
I have always rated Kenny eXcelon above 9887 and this one is no exception. The reason is simple. With Alpine the midrange was "electronic" sounding. Now i know its not the speakers because same speakers sounds good on Pio 8650 and 8850. Tuning is not an issue as its being used with passive crossovers and everything was off from Alpine HU.

If you have a budget for 9887 rather go for P80 otherwise x794 is a good HU to put your money on.

Another thing i liked about X794 was fast reading USB and nice menu.

P.S. Also there is no such problem with X794 regarding reading USB devices etc.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 00:34   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhibh View Post
I have always rated Kenny eXcelon above 9887 and this one is no exception. The reason is simple. With Alpine the midrange was "electronic" sounding. Now i know its not the speakers because same speakers sounds good on Pio 8650 and 8850. Tuning is not an issue as its being used with passive crossovers and everything was off from Alpine HU.

If you have a budget for 9887 rather go for P80 otherwise x794 is a good HU to put your money on.

Another thing i liked about X794 was fast reading USB and nice menu.

P.S. Also there is no such problem with X794 regarding reading USB devices etc.
Sorry for asking this but can you please explain what do you mean by "Electronic" sounding?
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Old 3rd May 2010, 01:08   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinralli View Post
Sorry for asking this but can you please explain what do you mean by "Electronic" sounding?
Can't really describe it but i'll try. Ever heard electronic music ? The midrange was more exaggerated. Alpine HU was adding artificial WoW SRS effects sort
Also with Alpine 9887 there was a listening fatigue.

I am not saying Alpine HU is bad but for the same price you can get something better (P80).
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Old 3rd May 2010, 01:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhibh View Post
Can't really describe it but i'll try. Ever heard electronic music ? The midrange was more exaggerated. Alpine HU was adding artificial WoW SRS effects sort
Also with Alpine 9887 there was a listening fatigue.

I am not saying Alpine HU is bad but for the same price you can get something better (P80).
Well talking about Electronic music, i only listen to that, infact i create one too in my free time as i am a DJ too.
If you have to compare Alpine with Kenny only related to good midbass, then who would you rate the best?
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Old 3rd May 2010, 07:20   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinralli View Post
Sorry for asking this but can you please explain what do you mean by "Electronic" sounding?
Nitin, since you are a DJ, to understand the difference between Electronic sound, play a Casio keyboard and a Yamaha keyboard!! You will see that the Yamaha seems to produce more of an Electronic-ish tone!!

Better still would be comparing the tonal differences between a proper old Grand Piano and any decent electronic keyboard!!
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Old 3rd May 2010, 07:41   #11
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Hey. Thats a nice setup for your SX4. Last time I saw your car, it was fresh out of dealership ( noida meet @ cafe 18) . I am glad to see that you are having a gala time building up your ICE. Let me know when you are done because I would love to get a audition

Nishant
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Old 4th May 2010, 15:36   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinralli View Post
Nice buy. I like the HU you bought. Infact i am too looking to buy the same HU. Do get the instal done quickly and let us know the quality of the HU.
As for the Sub, you can look at Bull audio. You can get them under 5-7K. As for the Amp, buy the JBL or Kenwood. I dont remember the model numbers for them, but you can ask the install guy to show you the one which is cheaper than JBL 1004.
You dont need to buy 2 amps to run your setup. Best would be to power the front comps and the sub with Amp and run the rear with HU. This is the best way to go. You will get the frontstage setup.
Do remember to get the doors and boot Damped as it will be a must as Maruti needs damping (loads of it).
By the way, from where are you geting the install done?
Thanks dude. Got it installed from Gyro this sunday. Without the Amp & sub right now (couldnt wait ). Neat & professional installation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhibh View Post
I have always rated Kenny eXcelon above 9887 and this one is no exception. The reason is simple. With Alpine the midrange was "electronic" sounding. Now i know its not the speakers because same speakers sounds good on Pio 8650 and 8850. Tuning is not an issue as its being used with passive crossovers and everything was off from Alpine HU.

If you have a budget for 9887 rather go for P80 otherwise x794 is a good HU to put your money on.

Another thing i liked about X794 was fast reading USB and nice menu.

P.S. Also there is no such problem with X794 regarding reading USB devices etc.
Spot on. No probs what-so-ever with x994 as well. And i could compare it with Pio and Alpine. It rocks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by febyphilabr View Post
Good choice of equipment mate!!

I too am looking to get the younger sibling of the 994!

BTW, for the sub go with a Bull Audio SW-12 as nitin mentioned. Its a good VFM product for 5-5.5k. And get an enclosure made for bout 1k!

Now coming to the amp. I think to do full justice to the price you paid for the compos and the HU, get the JBL GTO1004.You can get it for about 10k or slightly cheaper. So by paying about 3k more than your current budget for the amp, you can juice the compos and the sub!!

Else get two of the Sony XM-ZR1252 from Dubai, if possible. Its available at the Sony dealers in UAE, Jumbo Electronics. Here's the link to the product. They have listed the price as AED 389 = Rs4000, i.e. 2x4000 = Rs 8000 (1k above your budget).You might be able to get the same from local ICE shops in UAE for a much cheaper price!!

Or another option is the Sony XM-ZR4A from Dubai. Its price is listed as AED 510 = Rs. 5200, at Jumbo. However it would only put in 60W RMS to the front JL compos!!

Post your final install details!!
No dubai trip planned as of now. But am certainly going to audition Bull Audio. Can you tell me where I can do that?

Also,heard that GTO 1004 is being discontinued. Is it a good idea to go for it? Gyro suggested Kenwood 845. Anyone has experience with that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nishant B View Post
Hey. Thats a nice setup for your SX4. Last time I saw your car, it was fresh out of dealership ( noida meet @ cafe 18) . I am glad to see that you are having a gala time building up your ICE. Let me know when you are done because I would love to get a audition

Nishant
Thanks mate. Sure we will plan something shortly.

All said and done, to my and probably all of your surprises, I am *thinking* (in those wild dreams, where u think of doing things which defy gravitational logic) of changing the HU. Kenwood looks nice, Sound is phenomenal, features are abundant, then why? Well I will try to explain below:

The VVT SX4 i got had a company-fitted double din HU. To replace that, I needed a MGA console frame which will fit in kenwood HU and a plastic pocket container below it. Now, after final fit, the HU fits perfect BUT there is a half-inch gap left between the console frame and the bottom pocket, that doesn't look good. And maruti has no solution to it. Installer said that a double-din HU will resolve this issue. PLUS, as per plans to fit in a rear camera, I will have to get a LCD screen that will take space on windshield. The way to counter both these problems is to get a double-din HU with an LCD on it. I was wondering bout Pio P3200bt (with dvd & BT) earlier but somehow due to its non-detachable nature, didnt go for it. But now, maybe I should change my mind. Its been one-&-a-half days since I got kenwood fitted, and am pretty happy with the whole setup, but somehow, something inside my mind wants me to for big screen way . Now will I resign to the altruistic calls of replacing, or will I resist, time will tell.

Hence for next couple of days, am in decision making mode - plus am trying to see which of my buddies is returning from states, as the Pio is going for <400$.

Hope the better sense prevails!
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Old 4th May 2010, 15:57   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickzCar View Post

The VVT SX4 i got had a company-fitted double din HU. To replace that, I needed a MGA console frame which will fit in kenwood HU and a plastic pocket container below it. Now, after final fit, the HU fits perfect BUT there is a half-inch gap left between the console frame and the bottom pocket, that doesn't look good. And maruti has no solution to it. Installer said that a double-din HU will resolve this issue. PLUS, as per plans to fit in a rear camera, I will have to get a LCD screen that will take space on windshield. The way to counter both these problems is to get a double-din HU with an LCD on it. I was wondering bout Pio P3200bt (with dvd & BT) earlier but somehow due to its non-detachable nature, didnt go for it. But now, maybe I should change my mind. Its been one-&-a-half days since I got kenwood fitted, and am pretty happy with the whole setup, but somehow, something inside my mind wants me to for big screen way . Now will I resign to the altruistic calls of replacing, or will I resist, time will tell.

Hence for next couple of days, am in decision making mode - plus am trying to see which of my buddies is returning from states, as the Pio is going for <400$.

Hope the better sense prevails!
congrats on the install bro. why dont you try another dashkit? The ones made by scosche which for the sx4 sells for around 2.5k and it gives a pretty decent fit with single din HU's in the sx4 like the pioneer unit in this pic which i got from somewhere in this forum.
Half-nirvana attained, Amp & Sub remain-image005.jpg

Half-nirvana attained, Amp & Sub remain-image052.jpg

Pretty decent fit and no gaps in this case, isn't it?

By the way bro have you managed to get your steering wheel audio remote working with this HU? If not then i suggest you install a PAC or similar module which will retain your steering wheel remote even with an aftermarket HU. I am sure gyro will help you on that front..

And finally plz put up some pics bro.

cheers

Last edited by prince85 : 4th May 2010 at 15:59.
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Old 4th May 2010, 16:25   #14
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Originally Posted by maverickzCar View Post
Thanks dude. Got it installed from Gyro this sunday. Without the Amp & sub right now (couldnt wait). Neat & professional installation.
Pictures mate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickzCar View Post
No dubai trip planned as of now. But am certainly going to audition Bull Audio. Can you tell me where I can do that?
Ask at Gyro itself. They might be able to arrange the Bull subs for you to audition! Else ask them where in Noida can you audition Bull?

Better still, search T-BHP for folks from Noida with Bull Subs!!

Regarding the Sony XM-ZR1252 amp, search the local ICE shops for this amp, if Dubai ain't a feasible option!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickzCar View Post
Also,heard that GTO 1004 is being discontinued. Is it a good idea to go for it? Gyro suggested Kenwood 845. Anyone has experience with that?
Never heard this myself, but saw a theard over here, where this is mentioned and our JBL man, Sam has rubbished this!! Sam could you please clarify this once more?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickzCar View Post
All said and done, to my and probably all of your surprises, I am *thinking* (in those wild dreams, where u think of doing things which defy gravitational logic) of changing the HU...
What the Fish?? Brother, before jumping into hasty decisions check out Prince's post!!

If you're anyhow going ahead, whats the asking price for the 994??

Last edited by febyphilabr : 4th May 2010 at 16:29. Reason: Added more info
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Old 4th May 2010, 19:57   #15
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Some pics post install are at the bottom of this post

Quote:
Originally Posted by prince85 View Post
congrats on the install bro. why dont you try another dashkit? The ones made by scosche which for the sx4 sells for around 2.5k and it gives a pretty decent fit with single din HU's in the sx4 like the pioneer unit in this pic which i got from somewhere in this forum.

Pretty decent fit and no gaps in this case, isn't it?
Well MGA also fits in snugly, only issue is with the bottom pocket which is causing trouble.

Quote:

By the way bro have you managed to get your steering wheel audio remote working with this HU? If not then i suggest you install a PAC or similar module which will retain your steering wheel remote even with an aftermarket HU. I am sure gyro will help you on that front..

And finally plz put up some pics bro.

cheers
Yup PAC kit is on its way. Though ppl complain that it has some lag. Can someone verify?

Quote:
Originally Posted by febyphilabr View Post
Pictures mate?



Ask at Gyro itself. They might be able to arrange the Bull subs for you to audition! Else ask them where in Noida can you audition Bull?
Auditioned ID ctx 12" there. Will see if they have Bull audio.

Quote:
Regarding the Sony XM-ZR1252 amp, search the local ICE shops for this amp, if Dubai ain't a feasible option!!
Honestly speaking, I never heard the alphabets s-o-n-y together when reading bout quality ICE on this forum! But let me google this a bit.


Quote:
Never heard this myself, but saw a theard over here, where this is mentioned and our JBL man, Sam has rubbished this!! Sam could you please clarify this once more?
My source of information on this one was Gyro.

Quote:
What the Fish?? Brother, before jumping into hasty decisions check out Prince's post!!
No Fish. No Shoot. Just contemplating, owing to the reasons that 1) Difficult to stand the look current dash kit is imposing and 2) Got the car a month back and started driving mainly after coming back. Finding it bit adventurous to park without eyes at the back. Thus, I am seriously thinking of drilling few holes on the rear bumper :( & get sensors and rear camera done. Will need an LCD in the front to view.

However...none of the issues is a showstopper, hence the word - contemplating!

Quote:
If you're anyhow going ahead, whats the asking price for the 994??
Paid 300 bucks (incl taxes to arnold schwarzenegger) for this. Hope to keep the transaction loss-less
Attached Thumbnails
Half-nirvana attained, Amp & Sub remain-img_1436.jpg  

Half-nirvana attained, Amp & Sub remain-img_1426.jpg  


Last edited by maverickzCar : 4th May 2010 at 20:01.
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