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Old 2nd September 2010, 08:00   #1
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Default Clarion VX400 for Ford Fiesta?

Hi,
I've booked a Ford Fiesta that comes with a stock 2-DIN player.
I'd like to swap this one out for a 2-DIN player that supports Bluetooth and USB input.

I enquired with Ford (Metro Ford, Bangy) if they could replace the Fiesta's HU with the one that comes in the top-end Figo, but they told me the Figo's HU is not a 2-DIN unit, only the faceplate is 2-DIN. They recommended I shop aftermarket.

If I go aftermarket, my requirements are:
  • 2-DIN HU
  • Good quality & large colour screen - that supports album art
  • Bluetooth support - for calls & audio streaming
  • USB input
  • Nice to have: reverse cam input

I've been looking around and have narrowed down my choice to the Clarion VX400 (Clarion U.S.A. | VX400).
This is available via 20north.com for 31.5k.

Questions:
  1. Any feedback/ownership review on this particular choice of HU?
  2. Is 20north.com the best way to source this?
  3. Is there any way I can buy this in Bangalore with B&W?
  4. Is the "Scosche FD1426B Double ISO DIN Kit for 2004-Up Ford" the correct dash mounting kit to use for a Fiesta? (Car Audio Accessories Dash Kits 2004 - up Ford Double ISO DIN Kit)

My HU budget tops out at 40k.
I'm a SQ kind of guy, SPL is not my aim.
For now, I'm staying with the stock Fiesta speakers, with a speaker upgrade a few months down the line.

Last edited by arunphilip : 2nd September 2010 at 08:02.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 09:06   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
[*]Is the "Scosche FD1426B Double ISO DIN Kit for 2004-Up Ford" the correct dash mounting kit to use for a Fiesta?
2 DIN dash kit for the Fiesta is available at all Ford service centers. It costs 250 bucks.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 09:06   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
If I go aftermarket, my requirements are:
  • 2-DIN HU
  • Good quality & large colour screen - that supports album art
  • Bluetooth support - for calls & audio streaming
  • USB input
  • Nice to have: reverse cam input
Questions:
My HU budget tops out at 40k.
I'm a SQ kind of guy, SPL is not my aim.
For now, I'm staying with the stock Fiesta speakers, with a speaker upgrade a few months down the line.
The clarion is a nice unit indeed and will easily fit the double din slot in the fiesta with an after-market dash-kit (scosche should be good) or you can buy it directly from any Ford A**. For the HU, I suggest you also look at the JVC 836 and pioneer 4250dvd Hu's. The jvc has bluetooth built-in the unit whereas the pioneer supports bluetooth with a simple addition of an additional Pionner BT unit. The pioneer and jvc are full touchscreen units owing to which they have a 7" display against the the 6.5" of the clarion. Most touch screen dvd units these days support reverse camera and steering mounted remote and the above mentioned units are no exception.

Both pioneer and jvc are easily available in the accessories market for around 24-25k in grey and 30k with b&w.

You can also look at the Kenwood double-din touchscreen dvd Hu's. They are renowned for making SQ double-dins and it should be available within your budget.

cheers

Last edited by prince85 : 2nd September 2010 at 09:16.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 14:50   #4
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Do check Ebay Global Easy Buy as well. I find their prices more reliable, delivery fast and efficient and overall more confidence inspiring. + With their 10-15% discount coupons, you might get a better deal.

EDIT - This listing at 25.7k is a steal compared to 20north.com!!

http://orders.ebay.in/ws/eBayISAPI.d...d=290467258624

Last edited by nishantgandhi : 2nd September 2010 at 14:56.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 15:34   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prince85 View Post
The clarion is a nice unit indeed and will easily fit the double din slot in the fiesta with an after-market dash-kit (scosche should be good) or you can buy it directly from any Ford A**. For the HU, I suggest you also look at the JVC 836 and pioneer 4250dvd Hu's. The jvc has bluetooth built-in the unit whereas the pioneer supports bluetooth with a simple addition of an additional Pionner BT unit. The pioneer and jvc are full touchscreen units owing to which they have a 7" display against the the 6.5" of the clarion. Most touch screen dvd units these days support reverse camera and steering mounted remote and the above mentioned units are no exception.

Both pioneer and jvc are easily available in the accessories market for around 24-25k in grey and 30k with b&w.

You can also look at the Kenwood double-din touchscreen dvd Hu's. They are renowned for making SQ double-dins and it should be available within your budget.

cheers
@Prince, the Clarion HUs offer excellent SQ compared to the JVC/Pioneer HU. JVC/Pioneer usually lacks the sharpness when it comes to output but offer excellent features for the price.

Clarion VX400 provides almost the same features as any JVC/Pioneer product.

@Arun, I feel the VX400 is an excellent choice!
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Old 2nd September 2010, 16:16   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronix View Post
@Prince, the Clarion HUs offer excellent SQ compared to the JVC/Pioneer HU. JVC/Pioneer usually lacks the sharpness when it comes to output but offer excellent features for the price.

Clarion VX400 provides almost the same features as any JVC/Pioneer product.
Completely agree with you bro that the clarion is definately better than the jvc/pionner Hu in question in terms of SQ and in my original post i have appreciated the Clarion to be a very nice HU coz of its excellent SQ capabilities among other things.

I suggested arun to also have a look at the pioneer/jvc as options because of its ease of availability and service. Another thing i noticed in arun's requirement apart from top SQ is that he wishes to have a good quality large colour screen. The pioneer/jvc have a 7" display compared to the 6.5" of the clarion. I know its not much of a difference though. BT is standard on the clarion and the JVC but you need an optional BT unit for the pioneer.

Arun, in the end all the above three units are very good for the price they command. Each have certain advantages/disadvantages over the other. If SQ is your primary requirement then Clarion all the way. If a bigger display/motorized face kind of gizmos attract you then look at the pioneer/jvc.

If i were you with 40k for a HU, i would buy neither of the 3 mentioned above. Kenwood 8036BT all the way. Its got a lovely 7" display and integrated BT and amazing SQ as well.

cheers

Last edited by prince85 : 2nd September 2010 at 16:22.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 07:22   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nishantgandhi View Post
Do check Ebay Global Easy Buy as well.
EDIT - This listing at 25.7k is a steal compared to 20north.com!!
Nishant - thanks a ton for that link, it definitely appears that GEB is the better deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prince85 View Post
If i were you with 40k for a HU, i would buy neither of the 3 mentioned above. Kenwood 8036BT all the way.
Prince - thank you for that suggestion - I've written to Kenwood India's distributor to find an approved reseller in Bangy.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 08:22   #8
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A question around a phased upgrade - as mentioned, I'm intending to change the stock HU first, then speakers. This is because I really want a BT/USB enabled HU as quickly as possible.
  1. I'd like to know whether I should upgrade my speaker wiring when I do my HU or when I do the speakers themselves?
    • What do I need to watch out for in wire quality?
    • I will be requesting the installer to ensure no cutting occurs, only tap outs.
  2. Will adding an amplifier for just the speakers help in sound quality?
    • How can I mix and match - can I drive all 4 speakers and 2 tweeters off the amp, or do I drive some of the HU?
  3. Can I upgrade the tweeter in its stock location on a Fiesta? I've seen some people (Frank Mehta, satee46) place the tweeter outside.

    And the most contentious questions... (drumroll)...
  4. How important is a sub for sound quality? I don't want a seat-rattling sub, but I would like clear and crisp bass.
  5. I don't want to sacrifice boot space, so what options are there for a compact and SQ-oriented sub?
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Old 3rd September 2010, 10:28   #9
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1. Upgrade your speaker wiring when you are adding an amp (leave the stock wiring as is when you do). Till then, just connect the new speakers to stock wiring
2. Yes, it will enhance the listening experience significantly if you have heard the same speakers driven by the HU
3. Sure you can use the stock location (if there is one) for the tweeter. If you meant the same door location as the 5x7 speakers, that will not be possible
4 & 5. Sub is essential for the complete listening experience. If you don't want to lose the boot space, use one side of the boot (away from the petrol inlet) with a custom fiber-glass enclosure, and use a JBL, Infinity etc. 12" sub. You will need to get a 4-channel amp. Drive the front components and sub with the amp, the rear speakers off the HU
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Old 4th September 2010, 06:57   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
You will need to get a 4-channel amp. Drive the front components and sub with the amp, the rear speakers off the HU
Thank you for your input, DerAlte.

That suggestion of driving the speakers & sub off a 4ch amp is also useful - I wasn't too keen on fitting two amps, and I couldn't seem to find any 5ch amps in India (like the Infinity Kappa Five).
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Old 4th September 2010, 10:13   #11
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Yes, 5-channels are very rare in India. You need to ask around if you want one. or import one.
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Old 5th September 2010, 17:01   #12
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Default Tentative Equipment List: Update 1

So - this is what my equipment list is shaping up to be:
  1. Head unit: Kenwood DDX-616
  2. Amp: Alpine PDX-5 (5-ch, 75W x 4 + 300W x 1)
  3. Front speakers: Alpine SPX-13REF (5.25" components)
  4. Rear speakers: Alpine SPS-507 (5x7 coaxial)
  5. Sub: not yet chosen, but will be a shallow-mount sealed enclosure (I'm looking at the Rockford Fosgate P3L-S10 which has a terrifying price tag)
  6. RCA wiring: not yet chosen
  7. Speaker wiring: not yet chosen
  8. Power wiring: not yet chosen, probably Sam Kapasi-approved Finolex
  9. Damping: not yet chosen

Why did I change my choice of HU?
  • Because the Kenwood has a higher-res screen than the Clarion and equivalent/better SQ. I did look at the Alpine HUs (keeping in mind my amp choice) but found them quite expensive.
  • Kenwood has nice integration with mapmyindia GPS units, which is a consideration for the future.
  • The presence of a physical volume button. I've heard from users (and come to think of it makes a lot of sense) that there's nothing beats a rotary volume knob.

As always, a few more questions:
  1. What are the pros/cons of either putting the amp and crossover boxes on the firewall itself behind the dash, or under the seat, as opposed to the boot?
  2. If I fit these in the boot (plank on the seat back, for example), how safe are they when luggage is loaded?
  3. Is there any benefit in putting component speakers at the rear also, for a self-driven car?
  4. What about components in the rear where the tweeter is mounted on top of the woofer itself (using a mounting bracket that some components ship with)? Will that basically just devolve it into coaxials?

Last edited by arunphilip : 5th September 2010 at 17:06.
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Old 6th September 2010, 13:13   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post

As always, a few more questions:
  1. What are the pros/cons of either putting the amp and crossover boxes on the firewall itself behind the dash, or under the seat, as opposed to the boot?
  2. If I fit these in the boot (plank on the seat back, for example), how safe are they when luggage is loaded?
  3. Is there any benefit in putting component speakers at the rear also, for a self-driven car?
  4. What about components in the rear where the tweeter is mounted on top of the woofer itself (using a mounting bracket that some components ship with)? Will that basically just devolve it into coaxials?
1. access. if you need to access anything it is easier in the boot. also the boot is less likely to be affected if your car is ever flooded
2. Usually very safe. Many of us (including myself) have the XOs and amps in the boot and carry bags regularly.
3. No. But a pair of coaxes will help with ambience.
4. If you are using components in the rear ensure that the rear tweeter is not close to the front passenger's ear.
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Old 6th September 2010, 23:38   #14
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Navinji - thank you for your response, that was very useful.

Quote:
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if you need to access anything it is easier in the boot. also the boot is less likely to be affected if your car is ever flooded
Two factors that I had not anticipated! Come to think of it, tuning the amp & crossovers behind the firewall would be a complete pain!
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Old 6th September 2010, 23:49   #15
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Heads up!
This Clarion VX/VZ/CZ are rebadged no-name brand head units.
Beware and research well.
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