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Old 5th July 2019, 04:15   #1
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Default Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)

I obsess about sound. I love music. I always have. And that coupled with my love for driving and being on a highway has made me go through many different speakers and installation teams.

I've been trying to achieve near studio quality sound on a budget and that's no easy thing.

I came across Speedfreaks, Annanagar on Facebook and decided to give them a try because all my previous audio upgrades had failed to give me the quality of sound I was looking for in my car. I listen to a lot of rock and metal and I wanted a setup that would suit my listening.

I was pleasant surprised to meet Karthik, the chief of Speedfreaks. Unlike all other people I had met, Karthik is a sound engineer who has studied sound and automobiles. He is really an expert in car audio, being an internationally certified judge for car audio competitions held across the world. He has done various courses and certifications and unlike any other place I had visited, used a host of complex equipment in cars to measure sound and various other electrical parameters to be able to perfectly tune a setup in a car.

Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)-tuning-equipemt.jpeg

During the time my car was being worked on, I watched them strip a brand new just out of the showroom Mercedes Benz AMG GLE 43 - no easy task with its electronics. The owner of this beast wanted the car to retain its OE looks but wanted to really beef up the audio and ICE. He had chosen 6 lakh Morel limited edition speakers, a DSP and some super sub which he wanted to connect to the OE head unit. And the team at Speedfreaks pulled it out and how! Below are some pictures.

The Merc GLE 43 wrapped up to avoid even a tiny scratch. Well it was BRAND new!

Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)-merc-front.jpg

Everything was stripped and re done to perfection as I latter witnessed

Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)-merc-inside-being-worked-upon.jpg

Monitors being fit in the rear. I personally think they wouldn't do well in an accident!

Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)-merc-inside.jpg

The team working on the fabrication of the sub to make it look like OE

Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)-mercsubfabwork.jpg

And they achieved it. Fantastic!

Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)-merc-sub.jpg

Not only are the OE speakers in the merc worth less than $10, but the spare tyre super cheap as in all expensive cars. Why do they do this?

Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)-merctire.jpg




Watching all this I definitively wanted Karthik and his team to work on my car. And I was on a budget as well - the least amount I could spend to get near studio quality sound. Having understood my needs perfectly Karthik reused as many components he could from my existing set up, and did not push me to do anything unnecessary like fabrication of the sub – which said was more for looks and convenience and not for sound. My Pioneer Z2090 HU, Focal 4 channel amplifier and Sub were retained, and Polk DB6501 and Focal AS 165’s taken out. I let him decide on what speakers to put in my car, and he chose the Coral MK165 in the front, Coral MC165 Coaxial in rear (speakers I had not heard of before but I was confident he would chose the best suited speakers at my budget.) A monoblock Amplifier was added to power the sub. Karthik stressed on the importance professionally done sound dampening and of fabrication of the tweeters to get them in a perfect “sweet spot” and angle on the A pillar. This was done with a lot of precision and measurement using advanced audio tuning equipment, unlike almost all other installers who fabricate for looks and style and not quality of sound.

Karthik of Speedfreaks

Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)-karthi-next-wrv.jpg

Dampening being done on the WRV

Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)-wrvdampening1.jpg

Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)-wrvdampening2.jpg


The end result has blown my mind. The balance and sound stage of the notes and music is unbelievable in the car. I really can’t put in words how good the sound is. You have to experience it to believe it. If any of you are close to Neelanakarai, or passing by, you should give me a shout out and listen to the audio in my car.

Not only was the fabrication of the A pillars to accommodate the tweeter in the sweet spot extremely well done, there was a lot of science and measurement that went into this.

Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)-tweeter-1.jpg

Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)-tweeter-2.jpg

Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)-tweeter-3.jpg



If you are looking for a great quality professionally designed car audio set up, Speedfreaks is the definitive place to look up. They also do sound for homes and halls. Karthik has trained a extremely good out fitting team and they great jobs with leather seats and other car modifications – if you are looking for top notch work – give them a call, you won’t regret it.

It is better to give them a call before going in. Once anyone goes to Speedfreaks, they keep returning with their new cars or recommend others and the garage is quite busy with a host of big and small cars being worked upon - from car audio to other mods.

Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)-cars-speedfreaks.jpeg

Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)-mini-cooper.jpg

Speedfreeks is in Annanagar, Chennai. Highly recommended. Definitely one of the best, professional and scientific installation teams in India.

Their website:
https://www.speedfreaks.in

Karthiks phone number

+919840904059

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 21st January 2020 at 13:19. Reason: Typos.
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Old 17th March 2020, 21:07   #2
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Default Re: Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)

My friend and colleague went to Speedfreakz for an audio installation and requested whether I can post his experience as he got the lead from team-bhp.

Quote:
I was looking for nice audio installation. Being a swift ZDI, touchscreen head unit was not provided, I was inclined towards the android audio system.

I came across speedfreaks in Teambhp and did my research in google and other platforms where I found these guys are top-notch and deliver high quality.

As I use the car daily for only office commute around 25kms, I want some nice setup without much bass. One fine day I called karthick owner of speedfreaks to share my thoughts of what kind of setup I like (Android Audio system) and budget limitation, he patiently heard me suggest Pioneer head unit and sound magus components(no clue of the brand). He didn't push for pioneer head unit and informed he also can procure android head unit to install, but the output would not be as good as the pioneer since the android system concentrates on providing more options, whereas a pioneer is known for its sound.

Trusting on his caliber gave my car to him for installation while I was away for a 3 days on a office trip. He Informed the vehicle is ready for delivery after 3 days, I reached speedfreaks to pick up the car on the same day, and after the demo, I was blown away by the output.

The next day I found some glitches like reverse camera not working when parking lights are on and some vibration in the output when the volume is high.

He fixed these issues in my next visit.
Personally, what I like about Karthik is he doesn’t push for sales and knows the subject.
With just the head unit, component speakers and little door pad sound insulation, he made sure the output is as per my requirement.

I would say Speedfreaks is a bit expensive than others in the market but definitely worth every penny.
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Old 25th January 2021, 12:34   #3
NTO
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Default Re: Car Audio Installation : Speedfreaks (Anna Nagar, Chennai)

I had posted this audio upgrade in my ownership thread. Posting the same under the main thread of speed freaks. You can also read it on my ownership thread by clicking here (Vento Elemento - 6 years with a VW Vento 1.6 TDi)

Quote:
Audio Upgrade on my Vento TDi

One thing that I learnt in the 100+ days sitting inside the 4 walls of the house is that Corona can kill us mentally before it does physically. You can try to prevent the physical exposure of the Virus however, staying mentally strong is the need of the hour. Hope all the BHPian families are safe and enjoying quality family time and my sincere prayers who are in the wrath of this deadly virus. This will pass and we will hit back stronger than ever!

After being locked down for over 100 days, my interaction with the external world was only limited to vaccine runs for my son and checking tyre pressure of my vehicles, I had this urge to do something with my Vento. As I finished my previous post, audio upgrade with a good sound insulation was in the list of things I had planned for my Vento. I have done audio upgrades in the past for my Punto and Civic and one thing that lacked with the installers is the knowledge on sound and how to tune it to your liking.

One wise man, in this case, my audio installer said, “You can buy the most expensive speaker but, you do not know if it performs in the way it should!” This had a very deep impact in my mind as my past installs have been with the best possible audio components however, they failed to give me the satisfaction I expected.

I was going through the cons of high-end audio installs – click to read, I still decided to simply not think about it and go ahead with the audio upgrade. Also, with the financial threat Corona has put us through, I have decided to retain the Vento for another 4 years and consider upgrading only when I feel it is absolutely necessary and not budging to my whims and fancies.

This one place has always been on the back of my mind. The name suddenly came to my mind when I was thinking about the audio install. My go to validation place, Team BHP also says the same about this place. Thanks to BHPians Thirdmainroad and SwiftnFurious for sharing their reviews. The place was decided. It is none other than Speedfreaks Anna Nagar. On a lazy Sunday afternoon, I texted Mr. Karthik the owner of Speedfreaks with my requirement. He promptly replied asking a few questions.

Here are the questions from Karthik and my answers to them:
1. Utility of the car - personal or family?
90% personal use, 10% family use

2. Where you sit in the car?
I sit in the driver’s seat

3. What is the genre of music you listen?
I listen to a varied genre. From Carnatic fusion, to select few from Metallica, majorly Bollywood, a
few Punjabi (Wakhra swag, Bapu zimidar kind), coke studio, and good AR Rahman Tamil.

4. What is the source you play from?
Apple music, from iPhone mostly and Spotify

5. Define good sound according to you.
Crystal clear audio with mild bass

6. Budget?
30-50K for the audio components

Karthik said that he will revert in a while and he did with a suggested configuration. He also said that my budget will exceed for my requirement and that, a good audio installation can go a long way. I can carry it forward to any new car that I buy. With that, we fixed an appointment for the next Saturday morning.

Cut to next Saturday, I reached Speed freaks and Karthik arrives in his red Brio. After the routine temperature check and hand sanitization, we proceeded to Karthik’s office. I got two things in Karthik’s office. One is a physics lesson on sound and second is the learning that my initial planned budget was sufficient for just one component, the digital signal processor. Karthik also demoed the sound setup on his brio and I was simply blown away with the sound clarity.

At the back of my mind, I was contemplating whether should I spend so much on the audio install for a 6-year-old car. However, the excitement of the fact that my favorite place, the car’s interior, becoming even more attractive overruled all the calculations that were going on in the mind and I agreed to the installation. I paid a 30% advance and booked an appointment for Monday morning and left. I requested Karthik to also get my car sanitized once the work is over and he agreed upon to it.

This is the configuration of audio we installed in my Vento:

1. Sound Magus MP6X – 6 Channel DSP with 4 channel Amplifier

2. Mono Amplifier – Sound Magus DK-600.1

3. 6.5”component speakers from Xcelsus XU 6.2L

4. 3 layer damping on the doors

5. Source – Existing RCD 340G+ head unit

6. Rear fill – existing OEM speakers

7. 10”Hertz sub woofer ES250D

8. Weather protection for the speakers

9. Wires and connectors

10. Amplifier pads, Sub enclosure – Fabrication.

Let the pictures do a little bit of the talking

The dashboard with RCD 340G+
Vento Elemento - 6 years with a VW Vento 1.6 TDi-dashboard.jpg

Xcelsus tweeters on the A pillar
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Front left door
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Front right door
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Rear Door
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The door pads
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Amplifier pads in the boot
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Sub woofer
Vento Elemento - 6 years with a VW Vento 1.6 TDi-hertz-woofer.jpg

How much did it cost?
It cost me Rs. 1,52,000 inclusive of installation. 3X of my initial planned budget.

How is the install?
The audio is simply phenomenal. I am discovering new sounds in the audio I have listened before and I am simply loving it. I do not have any reason to step out of the house. But, just for the sake of listening to the audio, I am taking the car out for a spin every morning.

Karthik used 2 terms, Sound staging and sound imaging. Though I did not understand much about these terms, what I could feel is, sound comes from front of me, as if I was sitting in front of the stage of a concert hall. The sound is so beautiful, you should experience to understand what it is. By far the best audio I have experienced in any car I have travelled in so far. Though sound is very subjective, the audio in my car is perfect in fact, exceeds my expectation of what I want in a car audio.

In addition to the phenomenal tuning, Karthik has given me a remote with 4 presets. Driver seat focused audiophile listening, Front passenger seat focused audiophile listening, a bassy preset (for the Punjabi beats) for the driver and the passenger. Closing the eyes and listening, I can feel the sound travelling around me.

In addition to this, the damping and sound proofing has reduced the decibel levels in the car's cabin. The car runs way smoother. I would recommend speedfreaks to anyone who is not satisfied with their current car audio. They may not be the cheapest but, by far they are the best audio people I have experienced.

Karthik also gave a complimentary detailing for the car. The car just glows. If not for the pandemic, I would be on a long road trip with the car now!

Closing with a shot from a routine alignment and balancing.
Vento Elemento - 6 years with a VW Vento 1.6 TDi-closing-shot.jpg
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