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Old 19th May 2023, 23:09   #1
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DIY approach to a 3-Way Active Sound System in an Ignis

The year was 2022 when I had to look for a new car (My 2022 Maruti Ignis | Stiffer suspension, OZ racing wheels, Sundown audio & more).

The new car had to have a music system inside! What's life without some Old School Rock and Nusrat Sahab to make drives more pleasurable?

The biggest hurdle in a good music system in this case was me! As over the years, I have become a bit of a speaker Nazi- where my casual listening also happens on Monitor speakers. Initially, the plan was to carry forward the system of my previous car- with one glitch! That system had room for improvement. There began my quest with the idea of an upgrade. Once the bug gets hit, its a bit late for sensibilities to take control. Thus began my quest to look for options in brands, and boy! I did try 'em all. The biggest hurdle that I found was, for some unknown reason, most of the so called demo cars were not playing clean. The instruments sounded a bit tweaked, where the highs of the tabla felt a little too shrill, or there was a reverb in the bass that I have not heard elsewhere! Now, I was in a fix! My excitement to upgrade had made me sell off my existing setup, and all I was left with, were lofty dreams, and music in my head.

This frustration in me, made me go to the one person who has always given me genuine advice- Anubhav Gupta, from Hype Audio (Official Importers and Distributors for Sundown Audio India). While chatting with him, I heard a few of his setups and was blown away by the clarity of the speakers. That is when this realization hit me- I may get the close to cleanest speakers, it finally boils down to the tuner! Mind you, my quest for Audio did get me to the doors of some fancy installers, where I heard their so called SQ setups- Apologies, as I still get clueless with the parlance thrown around when it comes to Car Audio.

Sundown Audio it was then! Three way was my itch. Acquisition of the loot began.

A pair of Sundown E-6.5 CS with the SA-2.75 V2 would take care of the whole frequency range, I prefer only front stage; so the speakers were done.
The power to these would be given by Sundown SFB-200.4D. I got 2 of these, as the plan was to go active. why not a 6 Channel? They weren't available at that point in time.
The Subwoofer would be a Sundown E-10 V4 (500 RMS). This, as per Anubhav would be sufficient for my sort of listening- and that is precisely why I respect the man. I was keen on upgrading, and going for something fancier. His simple reply was- You want to spend unnecessary- be my guest!
To power the Subwoofer, initially I had gotten something from Hammertech, as Sundown Mono amps were not available at that time. The build got so delayed that I moved to a Sundown Audio SFB 600D (600 RMS Monoblock)

As the plans were to go active, I went ahead and got myself a SoundMagus MP12 DSP with DWC-03 Touch Screen Control. As the DSP can play Hi Res files through a USB and has Bluetooth connectivity, I decided to by pass a HeadUnit completely.

Now the hunt for a good installer began....

Last edited by Intelsingh : 26th May 2023 at 03:30.
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Old 26th May 2023, 01:49   #2
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re: DIY approach to a 3-Way Active Sound System in an Ignis

Looking for an installer needs to have a few pre requisites:

1. You should trust the installer completely. The moment you get into the nuances of which cables and RCA's and all the things that go into a build- That my friend is a space where doubts start to creep in.

2. Patience. Some Installers would tell you straight up that the work on your car will start post a few days, and rightly so because of prior commitments. In my case- as I was going 3 way- the other time consuming factor was making new pods. Some installers gave me a ball park of the time taken, where my car would be parked for a few days with them.

3. Cross check the financials, and leave room for extras. Again, there will be times where the quote given would be very different from the actual bill, as a few miscellaneous items would be added later, or a few bits upgraded.

Yours truly was lacking in all the above aspects. Something that Home Audio has taught me- is that cables can make a lot of difference. Thus, when some esteemed installers were giving me Blaupunkt, Connect or some other Chinese brands as Amp kit options. I found myself cringing internally. There were some installers that gave me a ballpark quote on the max side, to later tell me that some odd 5-7 items have not been added!
The quote for speaker pods (midrange only) was ranging from 7k to 25k! This saga continued for over a month.

Frustrated, I took a decision to go ahead and take the DIY approach.

Another call to Anubhav was made to seek help in procuring the remaining bits. Now the additions made were as follows:

Speaker Cables: Sundown Audio 16AWG OFC Cables.
RCA's: Sundown Audio SAZ Series OFC RCA's
Power Cables: Shok Industries 0AWG and 4AWG
Power Distribution Box: Monster Audio 1x4 Distribution Block
Fuse: Sundown Audio 1/0 ANL Waterproof Holder
Damping Sheets: CTK
Heat Shrink: Sundown Audio
Terminals and connectors: Procured locally

Now I had my arsenal ready, and started thinking of the how's of this challenge.

The first order of business was to dampen the car, and the Japs need a lot of Dampening Sheets.


DIY approach to a 3-Way Active Sound System in an Ignis-20220409_163356.jpg


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So a few hours of the day were dedicated to opening bits and pieces of the car, applying the sheets and rolling them away for a good arm workout. The other bits that needed attention were the layout of the amps- since its recommended to have the speaker amps at a reasonable distance from the main power cables, and other technical stuff that I made notes of during the build.

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I was quite skeptical of my skills in making pods for the midrange. Pondered over wood, fiber and clay as options to place on the dash in a non intrusive way, with a double sided tape. PVC pipes and their caps won for sheer convenience of the material.

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Now most of the planning was done, I chose to go for an exposed amp setup this time. Ease made me choose good quality boards to be placed behind the rear seat. I added bigger nuts and washers so that the speaker cables are on one side of the board, while the power cables are on the other.

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Now, that the build was giving me confidence, I chose to drill holes on the board, wherever wires need to pass through. The RCA's and speaker cables were going behind the board for most part. Oh, and since my bread and butter is visual arts, I decided to go wild with the wood. By this time, the Hammertech procured before was replaced by a Sundown Mono Amp, so I took the dimensions of the internet, and made an elevated platform for the mono, to aid the wire movement.


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All the speaker wires were labelled in 3-4 places to avoid and expensive mistake!

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Some more close ups of the work in progress. I decided to have the Power cable come in from the left hand side of the vehicle. The cables powering the right side went from the right side of the vehicle, and all the left side cables were routed through the center of the vehicle. This also included the remote wire powering the DSP and the remote of the DSP.

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Wedges from wood were made to be placed under the pods for the Mid range and the tweeters. Everything started looking quite good, thanks to all the help I could get from my trusty mechanic, carpenter and friends who gave their time for a Red Bull, or two.

We were all tripping, and high from the Energy drinks, black coffee, and the joy of making something. One excited friend of mine just couldn't wait. He is extremely knowledgeable of Amp settings and all. Something I have zero idea about. He left his work and wanted to start the system. Start we did! Then we could sense that something was off. All the joy came crashing like the crash of adrenaline and caffeine crash. The tweeters, the small sensitive creatures decided to die on me. No crossovers, and no DSP settings had this coming!

After a lot of pleading, crying and trying tantrums of all sorts- relief was in sight. This is when I got hold of CDT Audio Tweeters (New stock of Sundown would take a few months to arrive from the amreekas!). Now this expensive accident became a blessing in disguise. Sundown tweeters were great- now suddenly I was in the realm of Divine. Oh, and this time, Anubhav tuned the whole thing before I let any one lay hands on my car. Sundown Audio for me was a brand for the kind of bass I never listen to. Now that I listen to it everyday, I feel they are quite capable in the clarity, or what is known as the SQ department in car audio. I just hope they get the credit they deserve.


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This whole process of setting up the music system got me connected to the car. Now I know exactly where the plastic is not as hard as in other places. I feel like I know my car inside and out. Once you pry open the roof liner, and the carpet, and everything in between; there is hardly anything that you are not aware of in the cabin area. The whole bit of "build not bought" has a new meaning for me.

Last edited by Intelsingh : 26th May 2023 at 03:13.
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Old 27th May 2023, 14:32   #3
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Re: DIY approach to a 3-Way Active Sound System in an Ignis

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

Going to our homepage tomorrow
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