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Old 18th August 2018, 01:28   #1
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Default Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)

Well, how low can you go? 10k? 8k? Surely 6-8k at least for a decent sounding set up? Nope, turns out thats too much. Read on.

The Background

So I got the Chevy spark handed down to me by my sister who moved abroad. I don't have a lot of use for a car currently, but i may need it for a couple of months in my upcoming postings in my Internship. With it being a 2011 model and having developed some major clutch issues in the last couple of years, my dad isn't too intent on keeping it around for long. (He was ready to sell it off, heck even put an online ad before i told him I may need the car occasionally ). I being so attached to the car (had a lot of firsts in it ), with all my begging finally got him to keep it till at least the end of the year.

I had gotten all the mechanical issues sorted out a few months ago so I didn't see any problem with it. A few times i went out with friends and played some music on it, i Immediately saw a problem, the ICE. While it did have a decent blaupunkt HU, I was running a rear tray speaker setup only with an Old pioneer set that I got from the giveaway thread. Originally I did have the front dash speakers as well but they were shot shortly before I got the time to install the rear speakers and with the better bass output of the bigger speakers, I wasn't complaining. As time went on, the backlight of the Blaupunkt HU gave way, and I also noticed the bass of the pioneers also went down. I had issues with the AUX port on the HU and I was limited to Radio or USB to get a decent sound. Something had to be done.

The Plan

Given that I knew i wouldn't be keeping the car for a long period of time, new parts were out of the picture. Simple reason: Any car i buy next year won't necessarily have the space for a new HU or the now nearly obsolete 4 inch and 6x9 speakers.
Thus, I was looking into used options. I was thinking of getting better speakers first and then if possible getting an HU with bluetooth for the added convenience. I went to a couple of guys selling their old tray speakers on OLX but as it turned out my current speakers sounded better
New 6x9 from Sony/pioneer cost about 2.5k, so I was happy to pay about half of that if possible.

Saw a video on youtube about installing a 20$ HU from a walmart and that guy was able to drive basic Sony 6" speakers from it and they sounded better than a stock setup. Looked around for a similar option in India and I could only find chinese HUs that cost about 1800-2k online, and the 6x9 speakers weren't much cheaper close to 1500 for a pair. I thought better to go for branded ones than to experiment with such things.

Then I stumbled on to a video showing the dirt cheap Car audio options at Kashmere gate, the same HU i saw online was half the price! Then, one day when I got frustrated with another guy from OLX trying to pass broken speakers, drove straight to kashmere gate.

The HAUL
Went to a few shops and it was clear everybody had the same chinese/local stuff that was available online but for half the price here. Bought a Bluetooth HU and a set of front speakers from one shop. and then bought a pair of 6x9 speakers from another shop for a mouth wateringly low price.

Went to the Karol bagh, "radio lane" to get the stuff installed since I didn't have the required coupler to get the wiring harness installed correctly. Had a few accessories installed along like a new antenna and a white led interior light. After the install I was happy to get a good sound that finally had some bass in it. But it had an issue where sometimes the HU would refuse to turn on without cycling the car on and off, and it had no memory i.e. the clock and presets would be reset. Finally swapped the red and yellow wires and that was fixed. I was happy with it for a couple of weeks and was frankly surprised at the level of clarity and features that the system offered. Bluetooth was working flawlessly and connecting to my phone everytime I turned it on. Then one day, while playing around with the settings, I found that i was getting better bass if i played the sound off center. Looked online and team bhp helped me to diagnose that my speakers were wired out of phase. changed my wires around and put in proper crimp connectors and DANG!
Turned on the loud mode on the HU and the amount of bass from the rear speakers was Fantastic. The treble with the help of the smaller dash speakers was already pretty good and this completed the package. It sounds as goood as a basic Brand name setup that would cost around 10k. About 6k for the HU , 2.5 and 1.5 for the rear and front speakers respectively.

The COST
Head unit : 900
Front speakers: 450
Rear speakers: 750
Total : 2100

Yes, that's right my setup cost about fifth of the price of what i could find from something like Sony/Pioneer. And with a BT headunit i don't see any usability issues with it and I am very satisfied with the sound out of it.

Disclaimer
I know that this is not the kind of thread that comes around on the ICE section of the forum because most of us aren't this miser when giving our cars some TLC and ICE. I know that some of us are audiophiles and want a much better sounding and a more reliable setup than what I told about. I have a thing for audio too, I have headphones that increase the value of my spark a third when put in it but i didn't see the point in spending big money on what is frankly a beater car that i won't be keeping with me for much longer. I was skeptical about the kind of sound I would get out of such a cheap setup but I was positively surprised. So if you too have a car that has an ICE on its last legs or if you are sick of your beater car not having Bluetooth, just get this new HU

Smaller yet significant thing

The software on this HU is complete trash, it can't even display the name of the song it is streaming on BT, heck it can't even keep the clock on it for more than 5 seconds before reverting back to the Source type on its screen. But it does have a very useful feature that i don't see with most aftermarket players. You know when you turn your car from accessory to ignition and your HU restarts and your music stops playing and the BT disconnects and you have to manually restart the music again? No such problems here Turns out it has a capacitor that keeps the charge for long enough to keep it powered till I crank the car on, only the amp of the HU turns off at this time, but the screen and the rest of the board remains powered so that the connection isn't broken. A very useful feature i must say.

A few attached pictures.
Attached Thumbnails
Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)-20180817_185250.jpg  

Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)-20180817_185240.jpg  

Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)-20180817_185302.jpg  

Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)-20180817_185322.jpg  


Last edited by SDP : 18th August 2018 at 05:52. Reason: Excessive smileys
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Old 18th August 2018, 01:37   #2
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Default Basic ICE on a shoestring budget!!

Certainly a unique thread in the ICE section. I cant imagine how you could manage all that in such little money. Some good research and patience can certainly pay dividends as it did in your case. The spark as it is must be having pathetic resale. Good you decided to keep it for a few months. Should serve you well till you enter pg. cheers.
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Old 18th August 2018, 03:45   #3
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Default re: Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)

This method works if you just want a better than stock system. BUT then if you want to upgrade anything, nothing bought to do this, is worth retaining. So it will again prove almost as worthless as the stock setup was in the first place.
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Old 18th August 2018, 15:15   #4
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Default re: Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
This method works if you just want a better than stock system. BUT then if you want to upgrade anything, nothing bought to do this, is worth retaining. So it will again prove almost as worthless as the stock setup was in the first place.
The older setup was worthless to me since it didnt sound a fifth as good as this one. This new cheap setup is much more valuable to me, although doesnt cost as much. I won't be worried about keeping it aside before selling the car.
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Old 20th August 2018, 12:26   #5
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Default Re: Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by agambhandari View Post
So I got the Chevy spark handed down to me by my sister who moved abroad.
Intersting idea there. I too have a Spark handed down to me, that I just use for local trips and going to congested places. However, I definitely won't mind a cheap system in it. Currently using a JBL GO as my music system connected via phone.

Mine is a 2009 model.
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Old 20th August 2018, 17:17   #6
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Default Re: Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)

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Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
Intersting idea there. I too have a Spark handed down to me, that I just use for local trips and going to congested places. However, I definitely won't mind a cheap system in it. Currently using a JBL GO as my music system connected via phone.

Mine is a 2009 model.
Exactly the kind of usecase i'm suggesting. I've seen many people doing the same, using a portable speaker for music in car. But i feel it spoils the experience since you can really feel the music concentrated and coming from just one place.
The quality of these speakers is on par with any bluetooth speaker i've seen under 5k with the added advantage of convenience and the surround sound. And the best part? You have a proper volume knob to control the sound
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Old 20th August 2018, 19:28   #7
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Default Re: Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by agambhandari View Post
Well, how low can you go? 10k? 8k? Surely 6-8k at least for a decent sounding set up? Nope, turns out thats too much. Read on.

Yes, that's right my setup cost about fifth of the price of what i could find from something like Sony/Pioneer. And with a BT headunit i don't see any usability issues with it and I am very satisfied with the sound out of it.
Lots of logical & out of box thinking resulting in a highly satisfying result. Appreciate. Many new inventions happens like this. Way to go!!!! Keep Going.
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Old 21st August 2018, 08:10   #8
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Default Re: Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)

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Originally Posted by agambhandari View Post
The quality of these speakers is on par with any bluetooth speaker i've seen under 5k with the added advantage of convenience and the surround sound. And the best part? You have a proper volume knob to control the sound
I did this kind of experiment on my Rapid in 2014, installed single din and double din head units of DAPIC brand as and when required. These head units came with ISO type connector which was a direct fit on Rapid. I although used Harman infinity speakers, output was always great. If the requirement is to have something better than an OEM head unit, the low cost alternatives are very effective.
Attached Thumbnails
Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)-single-din-hu.jpg  

Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)-double-din-hu.jpg  

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Old 21st August 2018, 20:42   #9
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Default Re: Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)

Indian music is largely mid-range heavy especially old hindi songs. If the speaker has good mid-range its more than sufficient for car setup. Car is anyway not a setting for appreciating music. I would rather spend big on my home music system than try to reach a half good status in the car.
Great job @agambhandari ... now spend the money saved on your home system . Enjoy!!!
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Old 22nd August 2018, 15:12   #10
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Default Re: Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)

I 100% like your idea, in fact I would go one step further to say I would do this kind of thing even in a car I intend to keep for years.

I do understand that this kind of system would be generic, but nonetheless, would you mind posting some details of the brand names of the HU, the speakers, if possible any pics of the packaging material etc ?
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Old 23rd August 2018, 00:22   #11
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Default Re: Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)

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Originally Posted by //HB View Post
I 100% like your idea, in fact I would go one step further to say I would do this kind of thing even in a car I intend to keep for years.

I do understand that this kind of system would be generic, but nonetheless, would you mind posting some details of the brand names of the HU, the speakers, if possible any pics of the packaging material etc ?
I would agree with you since even my branded blaupunkt cupertino hu also lasted only about 4 years and unless one is looking for audiophile levels of quality, this setup is totally adequate just as long as it keeps working currently.

The brand of the speakers was "JagX"
And the HU had no brand name written on it since every shop actually puts any sticker on it and brands it. Almost the same HU is available on amazon so I'm putting a link to it .

Sound Boss SB-405 Bluetooth Wireless With Phone Caller ID Receiver Car Media Player (Single Din) https://www.amazon.in/dp/B01LYYKYR6/..._ecBFBbWWQ5ZZ0

As i said in my original post, online prices are nearly double of what the wholesalers are actually selling it at.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 21:56   #12
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Default Re: Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)

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Originally Posted by agambhandari View Post
Exactly the kind of usecase i'm suggesting. I've seen many people doing the same, using a portable speaker for music in car. But i feel it spoils the experience since you can really feel the music concentrated and coming from just one place.
The quality of these speakers is on par with any bluetooth speaker i've seen under 5k with the added advantage of convenience and the surround sound. And the best part? You have a proper volume knob to control the sound
This might just be what I'm looking for.

What's the sound quality on the speakers?

I don't expect Infinity or Alpine quality but some of these really tend to have a high bass, which drown out the vocals or tend to shrill even at mid-volume (aawaz fatnaa as we call it).

Are you facing such problems?
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Old 24th August 2018, 01:55   #13
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Default Re: Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)

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Originally Posted by sidpunjabi View Post
This might just be what I'm looking for.

What's the sound quality on the speakers?

I don't expect Infinity or Alpine quality but some of these really tend to have a high bass, which drown out the vocals or tend to shrill even at mid-volume (aawaz fatnaa as we call it).

Are you facing such problems?
No such issues, they're able to produce full range of sounds and are even loud enough even with the power from the puny amp in my budget HU. Infact the bass is just okay okay(as expected from entry level ones) unless you adjust the EQ or "Loud" setting on the HU. that turns it into a bass machine which suits some songs very well, so i sometimes toggle into it.

All in all, they are as good as the entry level speakers from any of the brands like Jbl/ sony/ pioneer etc.
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Old 30th August 2018, 12:10   #14
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Default Re: Basic ICE on a shoestring budget (Rs. 2100 only!)

This by far is few of the most educational thread. Spending brains over spending money has that intense self gratification that very less will understand or comprehend . Congratulations on getting a system that ticks just the right boxes for you. Spark by far was few of the cars that came after Daewoo Matiz m100 and m150 that managed to trigger a spark other than M800.
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