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Old 21st October 2010, 17:06   #1
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Default Bought an Alpine m500 and Type R sub, need advice on an all Alpine SQL setup.

After spending almost 2 weeks on the Teambhp ICE section and DIYMA, it's time to step into this quicksand world of ICE upgrades. I have done my homework and have nearly finalized all the equipment, just having last minute jitters and would like some advice from those who have been there and done that.

Objective of this ICE upgrade:

SQL. I need the best of both worlds. My choice of music is quite versatile. Tom Waits, Floyd, Leonard Cohen, JJ Cale, Dylan, BB King, Coltrane, Hooker, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Nusrat Khan, Kishore Kumar, Hemant Kumar, Rammstein, Townes van zandt, Bhimsen Joshi, Springsteen, basically everything except Rap, Hip hop and House.

Most of the time I listen to my music at soft/ sane levels. At these times, I'd like Clarity and balance. I should be able to hear the nuances of the music. The sound should be balanced. All the instruments as well as the vocals should be clearly audible. And a bit of bass too. Not thumping, just a bit of a punch. Sometimes I listen to Rammstein. Or Anthrax. And I like to hear them loud. Real loud. The problem with my existing sony xplod amp + blaupunkt basstube setup is that while it gets loud, it gets cacophonic. Like a public address system. I'd like to have a setup that is crisp and clear even at loud volumes. Since I don't listen to hip hop or house, I am not looking for a setup that goes very low, I prefer bass that is tight and clean. I don't like that over powering boom I get from my basstube which dominates the music. I'd like to listen to the drum rolls loud and clear. Or the sound of the finger as it slaps a note on a bass guitar.

Why an all Alpine setup?

I really don't know. Maybe I too am a victim of branding. Or maybe most reviews I read (and I read quite a few of them), and a few set ups I heard convinced me that it's a good place to start for a novice like me.

I will be sourcing the stuff via ebay global, unless I can get the same stuff here for the same price (or lower). I have just bought the following-

Alpine mrp-m500 (10,500 Rs.)
Alpine Electronics of America, Inc.
Alpine SWR-1243D (11,400 Rs.)
Alpine Electronics of America, Inc.

Now I need advice on the remaining equipment.

1. Head Unit: I mostly listen to mp3s. I have a huge collection of flac files which I could convert to ALAC and play these via my ipod. These are the 3 units I am looking at-
CDA-105
Alpine Electronics of America, Inc.
ida-x303
Alpine Electronics of America, Inc.
CDA-9886
Alpine Electronics of America, Inc.

I wanted to know if there is actually any difference in the quality of their sound or just in functions and features? What would you recommend keeping in mind a versatile music taste?

2. Speakers: I have a budget of approx. 15-17,000 rs. for speakers. Should I split it between a good component set for the front and decent coaxials at the back? Or should I spend it all on better front components (and no rear coaxials)? There are rarely any passengers in the car so I don't really mind budget coaxials at the back unless they are going to spoil the overall sound quality. In that case I can live with just comps in the front. These are the 2 options I am looking at-
Option 1: SPR-13S (front) + SPS-609 (rear)
Option 2: SPX-13REF (front)
Alpine Electronics of America, Inc.
Alpine Electronics of America, Inc.
Alpine Electronics of America, Inc.

BTW, the ikon front door speaker size is 4". Is it possible to shoehorn a 5.25" or even a larger 6.5" component speaker in that space by using spacers?

3. 4/2 channel amplifier: Needless to say, it's going to be an F300 (10,300 Rs.)
Alpine Electronics of America, Inc.

However, my budget has already crossed initial estimates by quite a margin and I would like to know if it's a sacrilege to even suggest powering the comps with my existing sony xplod amp ( at least for now). I mean, how crappy the xplod amp really is? Will the f300 be substantially better than the xplod amp? If so I will certainly upgrade the amp as well.

4. Sub Enclosure: Sealed or ported? I heard that type r subs perform great with ported boxes (almost twice the loudness as compared to sealed ones). I'd like it to be loud. But I don't like the boom that comes from ported boxes, I like the bass to be tight and hard hitting. What is the best type of enclosure for type r subs? Also how much would a custom made ported box for this sub cost?

5. Wiring: While I was tempted to order one of those expensive wiring kits in funky packages, I read on one of the tbhp threads that finolex cables or similar good quality wires are just as good. From what i understand, I will need the following-

4 gauge finolex wires for power and grounding
Good quality wires for speakers/ remote lead
2 distribution boxes (for power and ground)
1 fuse holder with a 90-100 amp fuse
2/3 good quality RCA patch cables
Good quality O rings and Spade rings

Any idea how much would these cost here? An equivalent kit from the US is going to cost me approx. 9000 Rs.

6. Damping: Is it sufficient to damp the front doors and the boot lid? Or should I damp all the 4 doors (even though there will be no speakers in the back doors) as well as the entire boot?
I have heard favorable reviews about wurth/ wuerth on this forum and I believe it is quite cheaper than dynamat. Should I go in for wurth then?

Thanks to all.

Last edited by Astleviz : 21st October 2010 at 17:11.
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Old 23rd October 2010, 23:46   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astleviz View Post
... Why an all Alpine setup?
I really don't know. Maybe I too am a victim of branding. ...
Nothing wrong with that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astleviz View Post
... 1. Head Unit: I mostly listen to mp3s. ...
Unless you have your stuff on CDs, you could go with the models without a drive. If TA is present that would be a bonus - it will make the sound stage very coherent.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astleviz View Post
... 2. Speakers: ... Should I split it between a good component set for the front and decent coaxials at the back? ...
Option 1: SPR-13S (front) + SPS-609 (rear)
Option 2: SPX-13REF (front) ...
Go for the SPX-13REF - much better than the SPR. You can avoid 6x9 since you already have a sub, and put in round coaxes in the rear doors. If ever you have passengers, they will not be appreciative of your system without an image at the back!

BTW, are you sure it is 4" and not 5x7? That will queer the pitch if so. You could always get FG pods made to mount the speakers on the door pad - that way 5.25" or even 6.5" will go in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astleviz View Post
... 3. 4/2 channel amplifier: Needless to say, it's going to be an F300 (10,300 Rs.)
... I would like to know if it's a sacrilege to even suggest powering the comps with my existing sony xplod amp ( at least for now). I mean, how crappy the xplod amp really is? ...
You could, but with the amp and sub that you have procured already, it will be very difficult to tune the system well with the xplod amp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astleviz View Post
... 4. Sub Enclosure: Sealed or ported? ... I'd like it to be loud. But I don't like the boom that comes from ported boxes, I ... Also how much would a custom made ported box for this sub cost? ...
This is the most difficult part. From your choice of music, one would immediately say Sealed - even for Rammstein!!! None of the others listed really need bass to be loud (imagine loud bass with Bhimsen Joshi, Kishore Kumar or Hemant Kumar - sacrilege!). For a good Ported box you need to experiment patiently like our Sir LBM does - to get tight bass you need to get the box size and the port right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astleviz View Post
... 5. Wiring: ...
4 gauge finolex wires for power and grounding
Good quality wires for speakers/ remote lead
2 distribution boxes (for power and ground)
1 fuse holder with a 90-100 amp fuse
2/3 good quality RCA patch cables
Good quality O rings and Spade rings...
You are on the right track. You need only one Distribution box - ground is always to the nearest bolt on the chassis, not distributed from battery -ive. And it is not an O or Spade ring, it is a crimp lug. You can ask @Bass&Trouble to send you good RCA cables from Mumbai.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astleviz View Post
... 6. Damping: Is it sufficient to damp the front doors and the boot lid? Or should I damp all the 4 doors ...
Wuerth should be good. It is better to get everything damped - you wouldn't want rattles & buzzes from the rear doors taking away the pleasure of the music, now would you?
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