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Old 8th July 2022, 21:43   #1
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Budget DSP + Budget ICE for the Fiat Linea

After much delay, I finally got around to upgrading the audio on my Fiat Linea. The setup is as below -


Head Unit -Stock

Front Speakers - Helix L62C
Cost : Rs 7.5K

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Rear Speakers - Polk DB652
Cost : Rs 5K

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All 4 speakers

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DSP+AMP - Sony GS6DSP

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Audio Source - Apple Ipod Touch, Apple Iphone 6, BT


I had picked up the Sony DSP Amp in a flash sale on Flipkart at around Rs.14K. The speakers were picked up on Motorogue - Their prices are extremely competitive and so is their service. The install was done at High Definition Cars on Bannerghatta Road.

Mandatory Speaker Comparison Pics

Front Stock vs Helix Components

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Rear Stock Speaker vs Polk Coaxials

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Rain Guard
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Amp Mounted on the Rear Seat backside
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Install Pics
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The Sony DSP amp is the most complicated piece of the puzzle. At first the installers assistant drew all the 4 speaker connections to the High-level input of the Amp - I had to later point it out that it is not how it is to be done. Once that was sorted - the speaker connections were then given.

This is where we ran into a problem. The amp would cut off once we dial the volume up. No matter what settings we used the amp would cut off intermittently. This was turning out to be a big, big problem. Connecting the Phone via BT to the amp directly had no such issues. Later got to know that such a problem is standard with Linea HU and a fellow fiat owner told me that he listens to only BT audio and the HU is not used. This was a bummer as the audio output from the HU (CD or Ipod) was far far superior to the BT output.

The next option was to use a hi-lo convertor and then plug in to the signal input of the amp. Here there was no audio at all. We were following the manual yet there was no audio. We tried multiple convertors that my installer had and there was no audio. Nothing. Double bummer.

We called it a day and went home at around 11PM. Next day started to google around this and finally found one obscure link in which they had spoken about the solution.
Budget DSP + Budget ICE for the Fiat Linea-whatsapp-image-20220624-11.58.47-am.jpeg


It so happens that when giving a signal level input we also need to add a second remote line in from the high-level input for the amp to start working. This is mentioned in another part of the manual. Once this was done the amp started doing its thing and how!


Why Stock HU?
I have always believed that the HU in the Fiats isnít that bad - provided you play off a CD or an Apple Device. Why apple you might ask. I use an Apple Ipod Touch and this is connected via the stock blue and me USB port to the HU. This set up to me has always delivered clean audio with warm HIs and MIDs off the stock speakers. As far as the lows were concerned, they were non-existent. The purpose behind the install was to take this level of audio a notch higher and introduce the low frequencies to this mix.

And this is exactly what I got. The sony amp can go on powering the speakers with neither of them breaking a sweat. The helix up front and the polks in the rear do a nice job complementing each other. I have plans for a sub in the future but not in the near future. However, what I might need to add is Damping and plans are afoot for the same.

I waited for quite a long time to get this upgrade done. Though in terms of budgets and components this is a very humble system, the satisfaction of getting a system to do what you intended to achieve is immense.

A shout to the Vijay Kumar of High Definition cars (ICE, Accessories, Detailing and other services - High Definition Cars (Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore)). He was equally invested in making sure we got the Sony DSP to work as intended.

As usual - no commercial interests with any of the businesses mentioned above.
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Old 8th July 2022, 21:55   #2
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Re: Budget DSP + Budget ICE for the Fiat Linea

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Originally Posted by sai_ace View Post
Why Stock HU?
I have always believed that the HU in the Fiats isnít that bad - provided you play off a CD or an Apple Device.
Do consider swapping it with an aftermarket unit at least for a trial. I ran with the stock HU and an upgraded setup for a few years, but when the blue&me failed and I changed the HU, it felt like a revelation.

Just with that one change - the system sounded multiple times better.
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Old 11th July 2022, 07:22   #3
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Re: Budget DSP + Budget ICE for the Fiat Linea

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the ICE section. Thanks for sharing!

Going to our homepage today
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Old 11th July 2022, 11:21   #4
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Re: Budget DSP + Budget ICE for the Fiat Linea

Congratulations on the ICE upgrade. It sure would have bumped up decibel level quite significantly when 20w (rms/max.) speakers are replaced by the 100w RMS ones. Also, silk tweeters are known to produce smooth highs and must be sweet sounding.

Regarding amplifier, Sony GS6 is surely a complicated product and always throws tantrum in each install. It being a class D amplifier is another bummer. Also, please give some insights as to how did you tune the DSP and sound imaging.

Also, any specific reason why did you mix Helix with Polk audio speakers when components and co-axials of the same product series are available. Also, how do they sound compared to each other.

Some specification details about wiring like gauge/thickness, materials (copper/CCA/OFC), fuse ratings and speaker wiring details would be nice. Iíve learnt it the hard way that wiring is the most important factor driving car audio quality and can make day and night difference between speaker sound output.
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Old 11th July 2022, 12:02   #5
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Re: Budget DSP + Budget ICE for the Fiat Linea

How is the midbass of these things without the subwoofer? The drivers seem to be very well built for the price!
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Old 11th July 2022, 12:32   #6
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Re: Budget DSP + Budget ICE for the Fiat Linea

I am also planning to embark on a similar upgrade.The car in question is Honda City with famous HU Digipad1.0:Cheering.Have shortlisted Infinity components for the front and Coaxial speakers for the back.Yet to decide on the Amplifier given there are too many options in the market and little confused at this moment.Also would replace the HU eventually and have decided on Hypersonic 4GB,64GB model with Apple car play option.
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Old 11th July 2022, 16:20   #7
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Re: Budget DSP + Budget ICE for the Fiat Linea

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarav100 View Post

Regarding amplifier, Sony GS6 is surely a complicated product and always throws tantrum in each install. It being a class D amplifier is another bummer. Also, please give some insights as to how did you tune the DSP and sound imaging.......

....Some specification details about wiring like gauge/thickness, materials (copper/CCA/OFC), fuse ratings and speaker wiring details would be nice. Iíve learnt it the hard way that wiring is the most important factor driving car audio quality and can make day and night difference between speaker sound output.
Could you let me know a recommended budget DSP? I intend to upgrade speakers on my Vento, but dont want to change the HU. Adding a DSP may help in that situation I thought.

Also you mentioned that wiring is important. Are there any specific brands that one should insist upon?
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Old 11th July 2022, 19:56   #8
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Re: Budget DSP + Budget ICE for the Fiat Linea

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Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Do consider swapping it with an aftermarket unit ...... one change - the system sounded multiple times better.
Thanks for the suggestion CD. I might eventually consider adding a single DIN but floating display HU. Currently they are priced at a premium esp for the capacitive screen ones. So will keep a lookout.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarav100 View Post
Congratulations on the ICE upgrade.

Regarding amplifier, Sony GS6 is surely a complicated product and always throws tantrum in each install. It being a class D amplifier is another bummer. Also, please give some insights as to how did you tune the DSP and sound imaging.

Also, any specific reason why did you mix Helix with Polk audio speakers .

Some specification details about wiring like gauge/thickness, materials (copper/CCA/OFC), fuse ratings and speaker wiring details would be nice.
Thank you for your kind words. The power bump up is definitely felt - and city driving is something I will look forward to.

The speakers were chosen for specific reasons. I was gravitating towards the Alpine S65C with silk tweeters - but i was told by the motorogue guys that the Helix sound warmer. I have always found the Polks to be punchy and thats why they went in the rear doors. Between the two the Helix sounds more sophisticated. That said the Helix is clearly better built.

The SONY amp is notorious but you need to understand it. It has got its limitations and when you play within them, then you appreciate it. The power is nice and clean, and the 45W RMS is plenty for my needs. The added BT streaming also helps as my car has neither BT music streaming or AUX. But dont forget it gets BT Telephony and voice activated commands

I dont immediately have the specs for the accessories - but I will get these from my installer and share it here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketscience View Post
How is the midbass of these things without the subwoofer? The drivers seem to be very well built for the price!
The Midbass is fulfilling. The speakers are solidly built for the price and the Helix more so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadistan View Post
I am also planning to embark on a similar upgrade.The car in question is Honda City with famous HU Digipad1.0:Cheering.Have shortlisted Infinity components for the front and Coaxial speakers for the back.Yet to decide on the Amplifier given there are too many options in the market and little confused at this moment.Also would replace the HU eventually and have decided on Hypersonic 4GB,64GB model with Apple car play option.
Infiniy speakers are also bang for buck. Do check out the offers on Motorogue - and talk to them over WA, they advice well. With an android HU do consider a DSP - should clean up your audio. Also my installer was recommending Nakamichi DSP+Amp. Good quality, good sound and flexible.
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Old 2nd January 2023, 21:00   #9
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Re: Budget DSP + Budget ICE for the Fiat Linea

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Originally Posted by sai_ace View Post
After much delay .... businesses mentioned above.
Hi! The upgrade seems nice. However, I upgraded the speakers as well but the bass is not non existent/very less. Would you know why? Also, the stock HU does not have output for amp or sub, yes? And how did you pull the power for the amp? Awaiting your response.

Regards
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Old 3rd January 2023, 12:48   #10
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Re: Budget DSP + Budget ICE for the Fiat Linea

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Originally Posted by Naparajito View Post
Hi! The upgrade seems nice. However, I upgraded the speakers as well but the bass is not non existent/very less. Would you know why? Also, the stock HU does not have output for amp or sub, yes? And how did you pull the power for the amp? Awaiting your response.

Regards
Hi, thanks for the compliments.

Just to clarify, are you saying that you have only upgraded the speakers and not added anything else to the stock HU ? The Stock HU is best suited for the stock speakers. Adding only speakers might be pointless unless you add at least an amp or a dsp+amp. Not to mention that the power output is something like 16w RMS per channel.

The stock HU has no specific outputs for amp or sub. What i have done as per the sony instruction manual is that - used the front L&R outputs from the Stock HU as my basic L&R input for the amp. I have used a Hi-Lo converter for this purpose. these two channels are then processed by the DSP, amped and then fed as 4 + 2 channels to the speakers.

Stock HU->Hi-Lo Converter->Sony DSP+Amp->4 Door speakers.

At present I am only utilizing the 4 channels for my 4 door speakers. The Amp is powered from the battery and then uses a remote in to switch on whenever the HU is switched on.
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Old 3rd January 2023, 18:12   #11
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Re: Budget DSP + Budget ICE for the Fiat Linea

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Hi, thanks for the compliments.

Just to clarify, are you saying that you have only upgraded the speakers and not added anything else to the stock HU ? The Stock HU is best suited for the stock speakers. Adding only speakers might be pointless unless you add at least an amp or a dsp+amp. Not to mention that the power output is something like 16w RMS per channel.

The stock HU has no specific outputs for amp or sub. What i have done as per the sony instruction manual is that - used the front L&R outputs from the Stock HU as my basic L&R input for the amp. I have used a Hi-Lo converter for this purpose. these two channels are then processed by the DSP, amped and then fed as 4 + 2 channels to the speakers.

Stock HU->Hi-Lo Converter->Sony DSP+Amp->4 Door speakers.

At present I am only utilizing the 4 channels for my 4 door speakers. The Amp is powered from the battery and then uses a remote in to switch on whenever the HU is switched on.
Thank you. Yes, I have only added new speakers as of now.

I will get the hi-low converter. Would you mind sharing which one you are using? Also, I meant do you pull a wire from the battery? Because last time I asked a guy for the amp, he mentioned there are no places to pass the wire from the firewall. He will need to pull it from the fuse box inside the cabin with a high resistance fuse.

Regards
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