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Old 23rd February 2023, 15:33   #1
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The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny

Good morning / Good afternoon / Good evening my fellow BHPians!!

I own a Nissan Sunny Diesel XV Special edition (I fondly call it Saviour) since June 2019. First and foremost, I am mighty satisfied with my Car. It provides an excellent and comfortable ride with acres of space inside as well as in the boot.

I love driving and the drive is inseparable from music. I cannot drive if there is no music, so good fidelity means a lot to me. My saviour came with factory-fitted Blaupunkt San Marino 330 with Nippon speakers. Even though the quality of the sound was adequate I always felt that the quality of the output could have been better as per the audiophile in me. Despite it, I did not want to modify the factory-fitted system.

The factory fitted Blaupunkt San Marino 330

The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny-20190621_143719.jpg

The stock Nippon speakers

The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny-20210807_123815.jpg

Fast forward to June 2022, after the third anniversary of my saviour, I decided it was time to upgrade the San Marino 330 since I was missing the android auto features. Even though San Marino 330 was a very good music system, it supported only phonelink which was again disabled in android phones after 2020 and hence I was never able to connect my phone to the system. I was connecting the phone only via Bluetooth to stream audio from my phone. I was missing the integrated features of android auto.

When I started looking for an upgrade, I was very specific not to opt for music systems running on Android instead wanted only dedicated music systems with android auto. IMHO I was rather happy to use the android features of my phone through android auto than use an android music system and use its features. Secondly, pure music systems offer much better fidelity than android-based systems. The difference majorly being the in-built DSP, pre-amps, etc. And so, the hunt began. I shortlisted the following systems.
  1. Sony XAV-AX7000
  2. Pioneer DMH-Z5290BT
  3. Blaupunkt New York 750

Then came the D-Day in November 2022. I have been hearing a lot of good news about VV Cars at Semmacheri which is one of the excellent car accessories shops with knowledgeable staff and a wide variety of products. I also previously had a seamless experience in replacing a broken ORVM at VV Cars. On our way back from our visit to a nearby temple, decided to drive in and check the options.

Initially one of the employees was showing some of the existing systems including the ones I was looking for. The employee was pretty focused on selling an android-based system which I was against to. I requested to talk to someone higher up and that’s when I got introduced to Mr. Vadivel, owner of VV cars, who was on his way to the shop and requested me to wait. I never knew at that time that he is going to completely change my perception of the brands and the audio quality. It was one of the most scintillating conversations I had about car systems with an owner of a car accessories shop.

The moment he reached and we got acquainted, we both immediately identified the car enthusiast in each other and the remaining conversation was all about our mutual admiration for cars. He personally suggested the Alpine brand understanding my requirements for sound quality. Based on my budget suggested the Alpine iLX-W650E. I was always of the opinion that the alpine sets were in a very higher range and out of my affordability due to the quality of sound they had to offer. But was sweetly surprised to know that it was not too far from my budget. I just had to extend my budget only by a few thousand for the Alpine one.

The Alpine iLX-W650E was frozen after reading about the same on the internet for some time. Immediately asked him to install it and ……. VOILA.... It was a perfect fit without any new panel changes!

Alpine iLX-W650E

The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny-20221206_165633.jpg

The scratches are on the protective film after the usage of 3 months

The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny-20230223_121413.jpg

The boot up pretty fast. ~10 secs

The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny-20230223_121428.jpg

The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny-20230223_121441.jpg

The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny-20230223_121448.jpg

The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny-20221102_100555.jpg

The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny-20221102_100605.jpg

The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny-20221113_185023.jpg

The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny-20230223_121731.jpg

The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny-20230223_121750.jpg

The cable from the system for wired android auto

The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny-20230223_121503.jpg

Mind you, I still had the same stock Nippon speakers that came with my Saviour.

I was blown away by the gain and the superior fidelity and clarity. The integration to the existing rear camera was also seamless. The only downside was that the Alpine systems require a steering wheel control module to be purchased separately. Considering the quality of the sound I was getting on the existing stock speakers it did not appear to be a deal breaker. The Guys at VV cars did a fabulous job with the installation. All in all, I was very satisfied.

After using the new audio system over the stock speakers for some time, I felt that I was doing an injustice to the capabilities of the new system…. So vrrrroooooooommmmm… next visit to VV cars on December 2022 for speakers upgrade. By this time my trust in Mr. Vadivel has grown leaps and bounds and hence straight away went with his recommendation, even though it was a little up north of my budget. So chose the following.
  1. Audison Prima APK 165 2-way Component system for front

    The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny-20221206_121535.jpg

  2. Audison Prima APX 6.5 2-way Concentrix coaxial for the rear


    The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny-20221206_121529.jpg

After installation (sorry, did not take pics of the other speakers before the doorpad was fitted again)

The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny-20230223_094439.jpg

I was left speechless with the quality of sound with the combination of Alpine and Audison. Just fell in love with my car even more after that.

The next planned work will be sound dampening. Hoping to complete it in the forthcoming months.

A special mention to Mr. Vadivelu and VV cars for the quality of work offered. Highly recommend them.

Note:- I am in no way connected to VV Cars or Mr. Vadivelu. This is purely based on my experience with VV Cars.

Cost Involved

Alpine iLX-W650E - Rs. 37,000 (including Installation and the steering wheel module)
Speakers - Rs. 25,400 (including installation)

Total - Rs. 62,400

Last edited by jasonbourne : 23rd February 2023 at 18:30. Reason: Corrected the Cost
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Old 24th February 2023, 05:10   #2
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re: The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 24th February 2023, 23:26   #3
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Re: The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny

Hi,
I am also planning to upgrade to a non-android HU for my Nexon with a budget of ₹40k.
I am planning to get Blaupunkt San Andreas 970.
Is there any reason why you did not consider this or can you give me some small heads-up on Blaupunkt quality.
It’s costing around ₹41k including HU, Wiring, Canbus, frame and installation. Is it worth it ??

Thanks in Advance.
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Old 25th February 2023, 01:39   #4
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Re: The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramprakashram View Post
Hi,
I am also planning to upgrade to a non-android HU for my Nexon with a budget of ₹40k.
I am planning to get Blaupunkt San Andreas 970.
Is there any reason why you did not consider this or can you give me some small heads-up on Blaupunkt quality.
Itís costing around ₹41k including HU, Wiring, Canbus, frame and installation. Is it worth it ??

Thanks in Advance.
First, all the very best for your planned Upgrade. Have an awesome music experience in your car! The SA 970 is a good selection, and the cost works out pretty reasonable too.

The reason why I did not consider the SA 970 was due to the fact that it was WIRELESS. Have been reading a lot about frequent disconnections of wireless Android Auto / Apple Car play. Hence stayed away from it. Also, the guys at VV cars did a good work in hiding the dangling USB cable from plain sight by placing it right at the bottom of the console. So wired was ok with me.

The sound quality in the San Marino 330 that I was using before Alpine was pretty good. The system was of good quality and sturdy. Hallmarks of a German Build. However, after hearing the sound quality of Alpine I am now a bit skeptical to recommend Blaupunkt (for no fault of Blaupunkt)


In Favour of SA 970
  1. SA 970 is wireless
  2. 2 USBs in Blaupunkt San Andreas 970 (1 USB-C)
  3. No need to buy additional SWC Module in Blaupunkt San Andreas 970
  4. 9 inch screen is pretty big with the resolution provided but might require a new panel

In Favour of Alpine
  1. unbeatable audio quality for its price
  2. almost zero lag
  3. 2 x camera input (front / rear) in alpine
  4. 2 preouts with 2V output in Blaupunkt San Andreas 970 vs 3 preouts with 4V in Alpine iLX-W650E
  5. Alpine comes with 4-channel KTA-450 Amplifier

And the Verdict - If you consider wireless as a key feature then SA 970 its. If a dangling USB port (but well hidden) is acceptable, then Alpine it is.

IMHO, I will always go for a wired one (especially if it Alpine) since the Wireless is a bit dodgy (till a better integration comes out)

I know that I am little biased towards Alpine
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Old 28th February 2023, 06:37   #5
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Re: The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny

Hey- I am also looking for a replacement non android stereo for my Micra but not able to find the frame to fit one. Yours look like a nice fitment. Was it all part of the stereo or the frame was bought separately?
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Old 28th February 2023, 13:59   #6
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Re: The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickoo View Post
Hey- I am also looking for a replacement non android stereo for my Micra but not able to find the frame to fit one. Yours look like a nice fitment. Was it all part of the stereo or the frame was bought separately?
The Alpine HU did not come with a frame. I never had to buy any additional frame to fit. The Head Unit was a perfect fit to the existing frame of San Marino 330 without any modifications.
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Old 28th February 2023, 14:03   #7
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Re: The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonbourne View Post

I know that I am little biased towards Alpine
Thanks a lot for your much detailed explanation.
I will check with some shops near me whether i can get Alpine or some other reputed brand (like Pioneer or Sony) which can give good sound quality. I personally love quality sound over features. Will keep you posted.
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Old 28th February 2023, 15:35   #8
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Re: The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny

Your post comes at a time when I have been researching audio upgrade options for my Nissan Sunny XL with the stock audio unit. I was considering a Woodman Xtreme 4.0 unit that claimed to ship with the frame and coupler, so as to keep the installation neat.

I am now reconsidering and looking at the Alpine iLX-W650E as an alternative. The question remains though - seeing as your car already came with a 6in double DIN unit, the fit and finish post upgrade look neat. I'm unsure if I can source a suitable frame to replicate the same in my vehicle with the basic radio/CD unit. I need to do some research w.r.t this aspect of the upgrade.

Thank you, though... You shared a lot of valuable information and I hope to see more posts from others owning a Nissan Sunny who have done, or, are exploring a similar upgrade.

Last edited by arnieshwartz : 28th February 2023 at 15:36. Reason: Grammar
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Old 28th February 2023, 15:48   #9
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Re: The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnieshwartz View Post
Your post comes at a time when I have been researching audio upgrade options for my Nissan Sunny XL with the stock audio unit. I was considering a Woodman Xtreme 4.0 unit that claimed to ship with the frame and coupler, so as to keep the installation neat.

I am now reconsidering and looking at the Alpine iLX-W650E as an alternative. The question remains though - seeing as your car already came with a 6in double DIN unit, the fit and finish post upgrade look neat. I'm unsure if I can source a suitable frame to replicate the same in my vehicle with the basic radio/CD unit. I need to do some research w.r.t this aspect of the upgrade.

Thank you, though... You shared a lot of valuable information and I hope to see more posts from others owning a Nissan Sunny who have done, or, are exploring a similar upgrade.

Happy to know that the right information reached you at the right time

You can probably check with the Nissan service centre if they can order this frame alone for your car (even though not for your model but they still order). It would be better to get the manufacturer frame for the best fit. If they can get it for you then makes your life easier.
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Old 7th March 2023, 20:04   #10
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Re: The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramprakashram View Post
Thanks a lot for your much detailed explanation.
I will check with some shops near me whether i can get Alpine or some other reputed brand (like Pioneer or Sony) which can give good sound quality. I personally love quality sound over features. Will keep you posted.
Have you upgraded your Headunit?
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Old 10th March 2023, 12:36   #11
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Re: The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny

It’s great that you love your car audio and that for you it’s an integral part of the driving experience. It’s the same for me, and I’ve spent so much time and money trying to get a good audio set up. Thing with audio is you never know what you are missing until you hear the difference.

Service centers know nothing about audio upgrades and the science behind sound. However enthusiastic, they have limited understanding and knowledge about car audio and the dynamics of car audio.

If you really want to experience great car audio, and also harness the true power of your HU, do make a visit to Speedfreaks in Chennai. He is possibly the very best for car audio in India, and I am not just saying that. We are very lucky to have him in Chennai!

As I have learnt, it’s not brands that make a difference - it’s the tuning that is the most important thing!

Also, wireless is no longer dodgy at all. Days of just BT wireless are gone. With wireless CarPlay and Android auto which connect using both Wi-Fi and BT, there is absolutely no loss of quality when you play even High Fidelity Flac files.

Last edited by thirdmainroad : 10th March 2023 at 12:47.
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Old 14th March 2023, 10:48   #12
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Re: The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonbourne View Post
Have you upgraded your Headunit?
Yes Jason, I just got it installed yesterday along with steering mount. I will post an brief detail about it shortly.
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Old 18th March 2023, 07:55   #13
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Re: The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny

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Originally Posted by thirdmainroad View Post
Itís great that you love your car audio and that for you itís an integral part of the driving experience. Itís the same for me, and Iíve spent so much time and money trying to get a good audio set up. Thing with audio is you never know what you are missing until you hear the difference.

Service centers know nothing about audio upgrades and the science behind sound. However enthusiastic, they have limited understanding and knowledge about car audio and the dynamics of car audio.

If you really want to experience great car audio, and also harness the true power of your HU, do make a visit to Speedfreaks in Chennai. He is possibly the very best for car audio in India, and I am not just saying that. We are very lucky to have him in Chennai!

As I have learnt, itís not brands that make a difference - itís the tuning that is the most important thing!

Also, wireless is no longer dodgy at all. Days of just BT wireless are gone. With wireless CarPlay and Android auto which connect using both Wi-Fi and BT, there is absolutely no loss of quality when you play even High Fidelity Flac files.
Even I have heard a lot about speedfreaks in this forum. They have been highly recommened by lot of people who have used their services. But they are way too far from the place i live in.


However, even though I agree with some of your points but differ in some. There is absolutely no question about the quality of streaming while connecting wirelessly. The issue comes due to disconnects that happen specifically in Android Auto which is still widespread even for the best of HUs. I do not like the disconnects and hence went for wired HU.
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Old 18th March 2023, 21:06   #14
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Re: The Alpine Audison Combination | ICE Upgrade in my Nissan Sunny

Not sure about Android Auto as I’ve never had a droid! But I do have a friend who is an audiophile and he uses Droid Auto. Haven’t heard this complaint from him!

As far as CarPlay wireless audio - I’ve done expressive tests to check if there is a perceptible loss of quality - wired and wireless. Have tested on different systems ranging from about 3 Lakhs to close to 15 lakhs, even in an Audison demo car. I really don’t think there’s a difference in wireless and wired CarPlay when it comes to quality. There’s a perceptible difference when you use Apple Music - YouTube - Spotify, with Apple Music having the highest sound quality, and YouTube the lowest (test done with lossless / HD streaming on)

Of course the very best sound quality comes from playing Flac files via a wired/usb connection, but it’s not half as easy as Apple Music with playlists etc

I too live far away - the other end of Chennai from Speedfreaks - I live in Uthandi, and they are in Ambattur now. :( But the drive is worth the visit!!

Last edited by thirdmainroad : 18th March 2023 at 21:09.
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