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Old 11th April 2011, 20:57   #1
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Default Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT

On this Gudi Padwa (4th April 2011), I gave my family a big surprise - a brand-spanking-new SX4 ZXi VVT (Azure Grey). I will be opening an initial ownership thread soon to narrate that story soon. This thread, though, is to narrate the (short first leg of a hopefully longer and more exciting ) story of the ICE setup in said car. So, here goes -

The search, obviously, started here on team-bhp. For weeks (while I was waiting for the delivery of the car and even before that), I went through numerous threads in this haven of ICE information to find out the best combination, for me, of the following -

Head Unit
- double DIN HU with 3 pre-outs (preferably 5V)
- MUST have ergonomic controls and remote
- should be easily configurable to my eclectic tastes in music (anything from metal to ghazals to bollywood tracks to hip-hop to rock and everything in between)
- good file format support
- rear USB (don't like too many dangling wires and can reuse SX4's USB port that way), rear Aux-in (nice-to-have since my primary source would be USB) and Bluetooth compulsory
- touch screen nice-to-have, although wifey absolutely despises touch screens and neither of us can imagine watching movies in the car though; budget is another constraint
- sound quality and ergonomics of higher importance than bling factor
- steering wheel interface compatible

Even after much research, I did not find the perfect HU for me till the very last minute. Had shortlisted 2 touch screen ones (just for the heck) - JVC AVX830 and Pioneer 4200DVD which I planned to source from US (around Rs.19K) if finalized. Also shortlisted a few non-touch-screen ones - JVC XR810 (perfect except that it had 2.5V pre-outs) and Clarion CX501 (not-so-good ergonomics, no rear USB), Pioneer FH-P8000BT (really bad ergonomics).
Almost settled for the JVC XR810 when I read about the XR816 (specific to Asian markets, I think) which had 5V pre-outs and all the other goodness of the XR810. I've had a very good experience with a single-din JVC (don't remember the model) in my older Palio. So, the XR816 became an obvious choice.

Speakers
- 6.5" components in the front door; 6.5" coaxials in the rear door; no parcel-tray speakers
- to be installed in stock locations (doors)
- sub is not a must provided speakers provides good, clean bass
- nothing too bright or shrill; I like my music laid back and non-fatiguing
- punchy, non-muddy bass; don't really need to go really really low but should not leave me wanting either
- clear, natural sounding vocals
- should mate well with my old Pioneer amp (see below)

I had read about the Morel speakers in the forums and imagined them to be excellent speakers for the price (which I confirmed after a demo at a local car accessories shop - CarAX). At the same shop, I also heard a pair of Helix components, the Pioneer db651 and a few others which I don't recollect. The sound signature of the Morels was distinctly different (in a good way). The laid-back nature of the sound was perfect for my tastes. The price was good too. I saved myself any further confusion (or effort :-P) and made my decision to purchase the Morel Maximo 6.5" components and 6.5" coaxials.

Amping, Damping etc.
- had a perfectly adequate 4-channel Pioneer amplifier (GM-6200F) from my old Palio (60wx4@4ohms, 150wx2@4ohms) which would be reused
- damping of front doors to be done; rear doors on need basis and if budget permits
- wiring kit of a good quality

Total budget (for everything) in mind - 30K +/- 2K

I live in Balewadi area and there are a few car accessory shops around my house (CarAX, Power N Pro and Car Cupid). I spoke to all 3 and asked for quotes for the various parts of the proposed ICE setup -
- JVC AVX XR816
- Morel Maximo 6.5" components
- Morel Maximo 6.5" coaxials
- Damping and Wiring kit

Power N Pro never reverted back. CarAx was a little pricey and did not have the XR816 when I enquired. Car Cupid did not have the speakers in stock but gave me a better price and promised delivery the next day. I had heard good things about both CarAx and Car Cupid. I finally decided to go ahead with Car Cupid.

The installation date was to happen on 7th April and I reached the shop 5:00 p.m. The speakers were "on their way" but the installation process started 20 minutes later nonetheless. The head unit looked good in person too and was "peti"-packed. The Scosche wiring kit (8 gauge) that I was offered seemed to be genuine and of a good quality too. The damping sheet, although pricey (to me) at Rs. 300/- per sq.ft, seemed good (no prior experience with damping). With everything except the speakers in place, I gave the nod ahead for the install to begin.

The JVC XR816 head unit -
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_005.jpg
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_012.jpg

Stock head unit removed -
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_007.jpg

Really cheap quality stock speakers (the black cone in the center is literally a thin sheet of paper and the cone surrounds are anything but rubber) -
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_008.jpg

Further progress on removing stuff. The SX4 center console is extremely "empty" -
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_009.jpg

Door panels removed -
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_010.jpg

The PAC steering wheel interface which I had already sourced from the US. The model that is compatible with the JVC players is the "PAC SWI JACK v1" -
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_013.jpg

Damping sheets cut to size and shape and stuck onto the doors -
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_018.jpg
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_019.jpg
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_020.jpg
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_021.jpg

Rear seat removed for wiring -
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_024.jpg

By this point, the Morel Maximos FINALLY arrive .. But alas, just the coaxials. The components are supposedly stuck in octroi problems. Disappointed but there was nothing I could do -
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_025.jpg
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_026.jpg
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_027.jpg

We decide to keep the front speakers stock for another day and the installation of the rear speakers begins, attached to the doors with BassFx MDF spacers -
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_030.jpg
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_037.jpg

The wiring is laid and the location of the Pioneer amplifier is to be decided. But, there's a dilemma. Unlike in my old Palio, the "back" of the rear seats is not a sturdy plank of metal. In fact, it's a VERY flimsy plastic . You can see me bending it with one finger here -
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_023.jpg

After discarding a few options like attaching an MDF ply by drilling the cross-bars behind the seat (definitely a hit to the structural integrity of the car), decided to affix the MDF plank to the right side in the boot -
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_028.jpg
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_031.jpg
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_040.jpg

Some snaps of the wiring -
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_034.jpg
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_041.jpg

The head unit was connected along with a 2-din adapter (harness?) for the SX4 -
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110407_033.jpg
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110411_005.jpg

The seats, front panel and door panels were all attached back and the testing of the setup was done to check up and configure stuff -
- checked that all media sources work fine - USB, AUX-in, FM, CD, Bluetooth audio
- checked the bluetooth calling works fine (the mic is positioned in the diver-side A-pillar)
- set the color of the head unit display+buttons (the JVC model has 30K color options; for both, the buttons and the display) to EXACTLY the same as the backlight color of the other dials in the SX4 (orange) see photo below
- checked the fader/balance and "ProEQ" 3-band parametric equalizer
- checked that the fit and finish of the components did not leave any rattles
- listened to a few tracks here and there


The perfectly-color-matched JVC unit -
Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT-20110411_008.jpg

Detailed tuning would obviously be done once the front components were installed. For now, everything else seemed to be in place. Paid up for everything except the components and left the shop a happy man.

I will post the detailed cost breakup, snaps of the front components and my take on the entire setup in a follow up post sometime tomorrow (that's when the comps will be installed).

Last edited by etchemkay : 11th April 2011 at 22:31.
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Old 12th April 2011, 08:24   #2
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Default Re: Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT

Neat setup. How would you rate Morel maximo against Helix component. I heard Helix using silk dome tweeter.
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Old 12th April 2011, 10:29   #3
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Default Re: Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT

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Originally Posted by vijaycool View Post
Neat setup. How would you rate Morel maximo against Helix component. I heard Helix using silk dome tweeter.
Thanks. I vaguely recollect the Helix components (don't know which model) to have sounded bright to me. I had double checked that all the HU EQ settings were on FLAT, but don't know what the amp or HPF/LPF settings were.
Anyways, I did not know anything about the Helix comps so did not really pay much attention.

Also, I forgot to mention in my earlier post - the steering wheel interface was "new" to the installers and they did not know how to work with it. Also, the user manual did not help much. So, the SWI has not yet been installed.
I have now procured more detailed instructions for the installation and will be getting that done today too. I will post comments on that too once everything is in place.
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Old 12th April 2011, 13:22   #4
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Default Re: Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT

damping 300 RS per sq feet ?????? it looks like noisekill and you have charged more than double for it..
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Old 12th April 2011, 13:39   #5
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Default Re: Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT

Hi etchemkay, Congratulations on the new car and the ICE. I was about to purchase Morel Maximo Coax and components for my Civic from Cochin last December. Infact had a chat with @navin and @bass&trouble regarding Morels. However audition was not possible there, so didnt execute the purchase finally. Would like to have an audition of your setup sometime, maybe at a TBHP meet hopefully! In the meanwhile, congrats again and enjoy the ride.
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Old 13th April 2011, 10:38   #6
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Default Re: Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT

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Originally Posted by chiragh_bir View Post
damping 300 RS per sq feet ?????? it looks like noisekill and you have charged more than double for it..
He did mention that this was noisekill. I wasn't educated about the prices of damping and he told me that he usually sells it for 450 per sq. ft. and he's giving this to me as a "special" rate . I intend to speak to him on this matter today. By the way, here is the rough (as much as I recollect) pricing of the various components that he's charged me -

Head Unit - Rs.14100
Damping - Rs.300 per.sq.ft. x 8.2 sq.ft = Rs. 2460
Wiring Kit (Scosche 8ga) - Rs. 2500
Maximo 6.5" coax - Rs. 4000
Maximo 6.5" comps - Rs. 5700

Everything else look okay price wise? I've already paid for everything except the front components so I still have a "hand" in the deal. Appreciate the help. Thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dot View Post
Hi etchemkay, Congratulations on the new car and the ICE. I was about to purchase Morel Maximo Coax and components for my Civic from Cochin last December. Infact had a chat with @navin and @bass&trouble regarding Morels. However audition was not possible there, so didnt execute the purchase finally. Would like to have an audition of your setup sometime, maybe at a TBHP meet hopefully! In the meanwhile, congrats again and enjoy the ride.
Anytime brother! I'm actually looking forward to the next Pune meetup - haven't been to one in a long time. If you want to meet up regardless of a meetup, PM me. I live and work in Baner/Balewadi, by the way.
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Old 13th April 2011, 12:47   #7
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Default Re: Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT

damping price shouldn't be more than 1500 bucks!!

prices for rest of the equipment looks okay
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Old 13th April 2011, 13:44   #8
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Default Re: Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT

Congrats etchemkay on a neat ICE set-up! Love the way the colour co-ordinates with the rest of your SX4.

I've had a decent experience with Car Cupid- got my leathers done there. Sumit knows his stuff- BTW he sems to plug this HU to everyone- when I first visited this was the one he showed me, with a demo in a Swift that had come for installation of teh same one

I am thinking of getting a decent GPS-enabled HU for my Vento now. CC is quoting 32K for the Caska which is much better than what the "official" price is. Don't want to touch the speakers etc. for now. Still in 2 minds...
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Old 13th April 2011, 14:47   #9
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Default Re: Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiragh_bir View Post
damping price shouldn't be more than 1500 bucks!!

prices for rest of the equipment looks okay
Okay .. I'll talk to him and see what can be done. I'm thinking of showing him a noisekill damping quotation from 1 or 2 other car accessories shop. I hope he agrees to reduce the pricing because I've had a good experience with car Cupid regarding everything so far and hope to work with them in the future for my ICE needs too.

Thanks for confirming the pricing of the equipment, chiragh_bir.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Congrats etchemkay on a neat ICE set-up! Love the way the colour co-ordinates with the rest of your SX4.

I've had a decent experience with Car Cupid- got my leathers done there. Sumit knows his stuff- BTW he sems to plug this HU to everyone- when I first visited this was the one he showed me, with a demo in a Swift that had come for installation of teh same one
Thanks noopster. I prefer as non-distracting a view within the car as possible. So, this HU was perfect for me. Sumit is a great guy - friendly and frank. No complaints there. And in my case, it was I who made the demand for the XR816 - Sumit didn't mention it at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster
I am thinking of getting a decent GPS-enabled HU for my Vento now. CC is quoting 32K for the Caska which is much better than what the "official" price is. Don't want to touch the speakers etc. for now. Still in 2 minds...
Nice. I've heard great things about the Caskas. Good luck for the ICE upgrade .. will wait for the thread.



By the way guys, any knowledgeable ICE gurus/guys in Pune who can help me tune the setup well? I know only the very basics and would greatly appreciate any help in furthering my education of how to move an ICE setup from good-sounding to "aaaah .. now that's more like it". In the meanwhile, I will definitely fiddle around and learn on my own.

Last edited by etchemkay : 13th April 2011 at 14:51.
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Old 13th April 2011, 15:36   #10
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Default Re: Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT

I really like how it blends perfectly with the sx4 dial colour.
This way it truly looks OEM. Just like in the civic everything is blue. This setup has that wonderful orange glow all over the dash even with the new HU. Look forward to hearing your setup at one of the pune meets.
Drive safe!
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Old 13th April 2011, 18:46   #11
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Default Re: Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT

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Originally Posted by mdsaab View Post
I really like how it blends perfectly with the sx4 dial colour.
This way it truly looks OEM. Just like in the civic everything is blue. This setup has that wonderful orange glow all over the dash even with the new HU. Look forward to hearing your setup at one of the pune meets.
Drive safe!
On the forums, I've read of at least one more HU that supports this kind of a functionality - here's the thread - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/sound-...a-sxi-ice.html
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Old 14th April 2011, 14:00   #12
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Default Re: Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT

Took a look at the link. While nice, from personal viewpoint. I like your setup.
Its really cool though that many of these HU's are supporting so many colours. Which makes it easy to match with your OE lighting. Also if in the mood one can change the colour to give a different look and feel to the cabin.
Real neat.
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Old 14th April 2011, 19:48   #13
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Default Re: Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT

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Originally Posted by mdsaab View Post
Took a look at the link. While nice, from personal viewpoint. I like your setup.

Real neat.
+2 to this. I like the JVC HU, personal taste perhaps.

A friend of mine is going for the same HU for his upcoming Etios. This particular thread helped him today. He thought that the HU can change upto three colors. Looks like it is not three, but thirty thousand!
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Old 14th April 2011, 20:27   #14
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Default Updates ...

A quick update .. Got the front Morel Maximo 6.5" components installed yesterday. A couple of things that anyone else planning to install components in an SX4 should keep in mind -
- The position where I chose to get the crossovers installed (see snaps below) has one drawback - the rod that makes the doors open in "notches" (don't know what it's called) travels inward when the door is closed. If the crossovers are set "deep" into that gap, then that rod will bump into the crossover. Either do a shallow install or choose another spot in the door
- I imagine that the stock tweeter slot in the door would be small for most after-market tweeters. We tried a lot to get the tweeter installed there but it was too small. I had to install the tweeter on the black triangular plastic piece which hides the wires for the electric ORVMs Because the tweeters are black in color, it doesn't look bad though

Here are the snaps .. I did not click snaps after the install was done completely. I will post those in the next couple of days as I have to visit back to get the steering wheel interface done (didn't have enough time yesterday).

The components were well packages with adequate documentation and adapters, screws etc
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The speakers themselves are of a great build quality
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The location of the crossovers
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Overall picture location-wise
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Passanger side
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I'm still in the middle of learning the various tuning settings and tweaking them. I will post a review of how the setup sounds to me shortly. First impressions say that I'm going to love the setup overall.
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Old 14th April 2011, 20:49   #15
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Default Re: Morel+JVC+Pioneer - budget ICE setup in my SX4 ZXi VVT

Quote:
Originally Posted by dot View Post
+2 to this. I like the JVC HU, personal taste perhaps.

A friend of mine is going for the same HU for his upcoming Etios. This particular thread helped him today. He thought that the HU can change upto three colors. Looks like it is not three, but thirty thousand!
I'm glad this thread helped. And yes, there's an RGB (red-green-blue) selection menu where you can mix and match and get upto 30K different colors. That, in addition to a plethora of "preset" colors - the one matching the SX4 dial colors is "Color 16"

Actually, the HU (apart from the color trick) is pretty neat too. Very easy to use, large buttons, most-used buttons readily available, menu system is mostly logically grouped, good build quality and looks good too. My only minor gripe with it is that the text display area (for track name) is kinda small. But, given that the smallish display needs to show all kinds of info - current media mode, current eq mode, loud on/off, phone's battery & range info and some more stuff, I can understand the reason behind that.

Last edited by etchemkay : 14th April 2011 at 20:54.
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