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Old 31st August 2006, 13:55   #1
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Default basic ICE - systems at various budgets -10K, 15K, 20K, 25K & 30K

This post was updated on Monday , Jan 20th, 2014.

Due to number of posts that ask for systems are vairous price points I have created a sort of short list. This is not an exhaustive excercise and can depend a lot of car and music used but it is just to be used as a starting point for newbies. If you are a veteran at ICE your views might even differ from mine.

I have kept away from mentioning specific model numbers offered by manufacturers as they change so fast that by the time people read this thread they will be outdated.

Keep in mind we are considering the fact that the car in question has NO speakers or HU installed.

1) 10K

At 10K I would consider about 4-6k for a HU and 6-4K for 2 pairs of coaxial speakers.
JVC, Sony, Pioneer, and Kenwood all make good HUs in this price range.
At 2K per pair of speakers the list is small. Co-axials are speakers that typically have a small tweeter located at the apex of the woofer's cone.
While Pioneer, JVC, Kenwood and Sony offer speakers at this price point you might be better of considering brands like JBL, Rockford Fosgate, Polk and even Alpine's SXE range.

2) 15K

I would budget about 6-7K for a HU and the rest for 4 good coaxial speakers. The HU recomendations essentially remain the same as those above.

At 3.5-4K per pair you can now afford better brands and Hertz, Bull Audio, JBL, Polk, Boston Acoustics, Ground Zero and Alpine are some speakers in this price range. It might also be worth your while to spend 2K on some damping material for the front doors (that is if you are installing speakers in the front doors). Another option that is now affordable is a rear deck made of MDF(Rs. 700-1,000). this is useful if you have a hatchback and you can afford to sacrifice some boot space. MDF is almost mandatory if you want to install 6x9" speakers in the rear deck.

3) 20K

About the price point where plethora of choices can confuse.
It depends on the music you like and the ammont of cabin/trunk space you are willing to sacrifice.

Someone who is looking for BOOM for example can...
spend 4-6K on the HU with one or more preamp outs (as above)
spend 4-6K on 4 speakers for the front and rear (as in the 10K system)
get a economical 2 ch (Sony 552 or Kenwood 1502) amplifier for about 3k and a subwoofer for 5K from Pioneer or JBL and a pair of decent RCA cable (Audison or Monster) for about 2K (total about 10K)

Someone looking for better Resolution might prefer...
Spending 8K on a HU with more features (such as Bluetooth, USB and iPod compatibility) and better sound quality and 12K on front components and rear coax speakers.
It also starts becoming essential to listen to multiple brands and combinatons before buying ICE at this price point and above.
Brands recomendations are still the same as those for 10K and 15K with the addition of the Sony and JBL amps and JBL-CS and Pioneer subwoofers. Other alternates for subwoofers are Kenwood and Rockford Fosgate (aka RF).

At this point one must consider a good amplifier kit along with better RCA wires. Such a set of wires can run about Rs. 3000. Monster, Audison, etc.. all offer such a kit. [/b]

4) 30K

Now you can afford a bit of both BOOM in Resolution or more BOOM or Resolution!

For just more BOOM get a 4 channel version of the 2 channel amplifiers mentioned above and 2 JBL, RF or Pioneer 12" subwoofers (see 20K BOOM system above). You may even decide to even stretch a bit to the Pioneer or JBL 4 channel amplifiers. These will cost about 6K each but are a definite step up from the Sony. A typical budget may look like this HU 8K, 4 coax speakers 6K, Amp 6K, and 2 subwoofers 10K.

For more Resolution consider a better HU from Pioneer, Alpine or Kenwood. For speakers with more Resolution consider Infinity, Focal, Rainbow and Hertz are some choices.

For a bit more of Resolution in the bass, consider a Ground Zero, Hertz, JBL-GTO, Infinity, JL Audio or RF-Punch subwoofer instead of the JBL-CS or Pioneer, Kenwood or RF- and consider changing the front speakers to components. Your budget will look something like this - 7K for HU, 10K for 2 component and 2 coax speakers, 13K for JBL/RF-Punch/Hertz sub and amp

5) 50K

Now we are getting serious. T this price point the least you should do is listen to your friend's systems.

You can now afford a good HU or a good subwoofer along with very decent speakers and better amplifier to amplify not only the subwoofer but also the front and rear.

In the amplifier area you have 2 options. Use either a single 5-6 channel amplifier or use a combination of a monoblock amp and a 4 channel amp. The former makes for simpler installs, the latter offers more bang for the buck.

A sample budget.
HU: 8-9K - you know the drill....Alpine, Kenwood, Pioneer....
Front and rear Speakers: 15K...yes components in the front and coax in the rear

Good 5-6 channel amplifiers cost in the range of 20K. A good monoblock (10K) and a 4 ch. (6K) can save you about 4K (maybe more) and offer you more bang for your rupee. The brands are the same familiar names mentioned above - at the lower end Pioneer, Kenwood, JBL-CS and RF etc. and as we move up Alpine, Infinity, JBL-GTO, Rainbow, Hertz etc.

6) 50K<<

If you are considering spending more than 50K on your system you need to do more research that just reading this "ready reckoner". At this price point you can consider systems that offer integration with the Vehicle's existing system via processors like Audison's Bit Ten (and the much more expensive Bit One), JBL's MS8, Alpine's PXE 650 and 800, RF 360.3, etc.. and much more.

This thread will remain closed so that it is not hijacked. If you have comments (other than edits) please use the forum (do not PM me as i get enough PMs already).

Happy listening!

Many thanks to JK Das for helping edit this. I would sure appreciate more of the same (edits can be PMed to me). I will decide what goes on this thread. Please remember this is for Newbies ONLY. No technical jargon. Lord knows I have spewed enough of that in my time.

Last edited by navin : 20th January 2014 at 15:32. Reason: Highlighted the various price points
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