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    Thread: Musical Nirvana- Fiesta 1.6S ICE-d

    1. #1

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      Musical Nirvana- Fiesta 1.6S ICE-d

      Musical nirvana finally attained! A detailed report will come up later. For now, these are the components that are in my car at the moment.

      Kenwood KDC-X7013U Head Unit
      JL Audio XR 650 CSi Component Speakers
      Focal Solid 4 Amplifier
      Infinity Reference 1260W Sub Woofer
      JBL GTO 948 Coaxial Speakers

      I never had plans of replacing the OE HU when the installation started this morning. The decision to get the Kenwood was made around 4 pm after hearing the stock HU. It sounded good, but something was missing. Post Kenwood and tuning, it was pure bliss and deadly SQL to say the least. The JL components are a work of art.

      Installation and tuning was done at POWER ZONE, probably one of the best ICE people in town.

      A big 'thank you' to Haresh of CHANDRU AUTO and Saravana of POWER ZONE.

      I will put up a detailed report with pics in the morning.

      Haresh: I saw your missed call rather late. I will call you in the morning.

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      Nice! So I hope we will get a demo next time we come to Chennai.

      Glad you selected JL Audio components over the others you get here in South India. And that Focal 4 is a very sweet amp at that price. What was the cost of the stuff? And where are them phickchaars?
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      Vijay I see you went ahead and picked up the infinity sub instead of the auditor. Did it impress you that much? And is the kenwood a single din, or a touchscreen as you wanted?
      While power-zones work seemed impressive, i noticed his lack of "sensitivity" towards someone who doesnt know much about car audio. Anyway I will not comment much on that since I have only met him the once. I do get the feeling that going to him means you should probably get the entire setup done. He doesnt look like one who will do a real budget install or an install where you are not getting everything done at one go.
      Can you also give a breakup of all other charges - wiring, labour etc

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      Prasana, Saravana is one of the nicest guys I have ever met. He will do the install even if you buy everything from outside. Take a look at my car to see the quality of the install.

      PS: I will PM some private details.

      Rahul: Thank you. Will upload pics tonight. A big 'thank you' to Gearheads as well as I would have not have known about Power Zone and Haresh otherwise.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Gilead View Post
      Prasana, Saravana is one of the nicest guys I have ever met. He will do the install even if you buy everything from outside. Take a look at my car to see the quality of the install.

      PS: I will PM some private details.

      Rahul: Thank you. Will upload pics tonight. A big 'thank you' to Gearheads as well as I would have not have known about Power Zone and Haresh otherwise.
      Yes thats why I'm not saying or judging anything from my initial impression. I may be wrong in what i thought.
      Looking forward to seeing and hearing your car.

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      First of all Hi, to everybody. This is my first post.

      Gilead congrats on your new ICE setup and I know how happy you would be driving around with your new ICE in your flashy car.

      I would like to say a few word here on Power Zone and Saravana. I am not promoting his shop, advertising his shop and asking everybody to do their installations in Power Zone but as a person who know him well, and as a person who had used his services more than once I feel it is a must to tell about him.

      He is a real knowledgeable guy when comes to car audio. A guy who knows his work and performs well too.

      He is a very down to earth person and never forces his thoughts over you and does what only you want to, of course he gives very good suggestions. But you are the boss.

      About budget installs, yes he even does fixing a wire that has come out of head unit in a entire setup actually done by somebody, he never says "No"

      You buy ICE products from anywhere you want get even the fuses, screws and sticking tapes too from anywhere you want and go to him just for the install, I bet he will do the best install and send you happily.

      He can do absolute tech talk in car audio terms and also talk in normal words to make any layman understand ICE.

      I can never accept that he is not sensitive to people who do not know ICE.

      When I first met him, I was not a member of Team-bhp, I did not know a jack on ICE, but he made me feel very comfortable and I actually went to him with all the products actually installed in my car by some other installer and I wanted him to fix two amps and the woofer.

      He did such a wonderful work on my car.

      I have heard, seen, spoken to and experienced a lot of ICE installers in Chennai, but I can say that Saravana- Power Zone is one of the best.

      The above are my views on him, anybody who has really worked with him will second me for sure, I know.

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      My ICE journey started way back in 2002 when I installed a Sony XPLOD Cassette Player and a gray market JBL ovals in my Indica in Bangalore. It sounded great back then and the Sony was one of the best SQ cassette players I have ever heard. Much better than Pioneer and Kenwood back in those days.

      My Indica turned out to be a bit of a lemon and I was tired of frequent visit to T.A.S.S. I got rid of the car just after the warranty got over, but I retained the ICE. The same ICE then went into my new M800 and it still sounded great.

      After a while cassettes were getting harder to find, so I replaced the Sony with a Pioneer MP3 player with USB. SQ went up by another level and I was happy with what I was hearing. The old JBLs at the back still performed flawlessly.

      Then I bought the Fiesta in 2009 and it came with one of the best OE ICE in that price segment. Superb clarity, but hardly any bass. And the 2 DIN HU was extremely basic. It did not have a USB and the sound via the Aux did not sound good at all.

      I am not an audiophile and what matters more to me is what I am hearing rather than how it sounds. But having been a drummer of a rock band, I could easily tell good sound reproduction from bad.

      Around that time, a friend of mine had installed ICE worth 1.5L in his Swift. I went to audition it and I was extremely unimpressed. The components were all pricey but they were not gelling together well and sounded rather confused. I had heard much better SQ in 25K setups.

      Then it struck me that the budget did not matter as much as getting components that were well matched and played together seamlessly to create good sound.

      Then I started some serious research. I was going to settle for something in the 25K range myself when I got some good advice from a D. I decided to up the budget and get something that would sound good and last for 10 years. A low budget set up would most probably mean I would end up upgrading again when the components started hitting their limitations.

      My initial plan was to retain the OE HU for now and get a good aftermarket HU from abroad. I wanted to put component speakers, a 4 ch amp and a sub. After some deliberation and consulting with various people, I narrowed down to the following.

      JL Audio XR 650 CSi component speakers.
      Focal 4 channel amp
      Infinity Ref sub woofer

      The install started at Power Zone on Monday morning. I had been searching for a good ICE installer for a while and Power Zone seemed the most knowledgeable and most impressive. The installation was done meticulously and high level connectors of the Focal were used as I was retaining the OE HU.

      I kept myself occupied by generally gaping, going to the 'nair shop' and reading brochures. I must say the Infinity brochure was a class apart. I was not surprised to see 'Created by Sam Kapasi, 2009' on the last page. Real classy brochure. He deserves to be a D.

      The install finished around 3 pm and we started listening to the sound. It was immediately apparent that the OE HU was a major spoilsport. Low bass was missing. The infinity was being driven only when bass came mixed with the stereo and completely missing the separate sub woofer track. When the gains on the rears were increased to drive the sub, the amp was cutting off. The installer tried all kinds of tricks including connecting a separate Scosche high level adaptor for the sub, but it did not make much of a difference.

      We were wondering what to do and the only option remaining was getting rid of the OE HU and getting an aftermarket one. Several Ks were already down the line and I did not want to go home with a system that was performing less than its best. Started looking at HU brochures again.

      The installer asked me if I wanted a bluetooth HU and I said no. The choice became obvious. It was the Kenwood KDC-X7013. What a beautiful SQ HU. Super clean is how I would describe it.

      Pr_007 had joined me by then and he was kind enough to drop me home as I had some work to do. He picked me up again around 9:30 pm when the work was over. We went there and got in the audition. We were STUNNED! We could not believe how much difference the HU and low level connectors had made. The JLs were playing to their full potential and the mid bass and vocals were rocking. The sub was blending in beautifully as well.

      I had described the kind of sound I had wanted just before I left at 4 pm and the installer had tuned it exactly how I had wanted it to sound. I was blown away. Songs from Enthiran which I had hated were sounding too good and the kind of effort that Rahman has put to create the futuristic sound was immediately apparent.

      Then we started playing some hip hop and the bass started hitting us low and hard. We were grinning like fools and I knew then I had the sound that I had always wanted. Any kind of song irrespective of whether it is Tamil , Rock, Hip Hop or Electronic now sound good to my ears. Even the GTO 948 now connected to the HU sounded perfect when playing the mids and highs. No low bass is sent to them. Peace!

      I must thank Power Zone for the wonderful install. He had to re-wire my car twice but charged me the same install price that he had quoted previously. Saravana Prabhu, you rock dude!

      Final list

      Kenwood KDC-X7013U Head Unit
      JL Audio XR 650 CSi Component Speakers
      Focal Solid 4 Amplifier
      Infinity Reference 1260W Sub Woofer
      JBL GTO 948 Coaxial Speakers (I installed these 2 months ago and they are rocking only now)


      A special word about the JL Audio components. I have never seen such a beautifully constructed speaker before and they sound just perfect. I was lucky to find them in Chennai. Thanks Pr_007 for the tip. I am particularly eager to see what my fave songs from Agni Natchathiram (80s music- Ilayaraja) sound. Looking for some high quality recordings.

      I used Cadence 4 gauge wiring and a pair of Kicker RCAs. I had a look at Scosche, Monster and another brand and the quality of the Cadence was a class apart.

      I have a pair of sexy looking metal finish Kicker stickers. I am not putting them on my car, so if anyone wants them, please PM.

      I will not be putting up the prices here, so please do not ask me questions about the 'damages'.


      The Kenwood HU. TA has be done in such a way that the front seats are in the 'center' of the music. That's the way I like it. This is probably the best HU in that price segment. Comes in exciting color schemes, but I have set it to a blue that matches my car color.

      I will upload install pics later today.

      Quote Originally Posted by Pr_007 View Post
      First of all Hi, to everybody. This is my first post.

      Gilead congrats on your new ICE setup and I know how happy you would be driving around with your new ICE in your flashy car.

      I would like to say a few word here on Power Zone and Saravana.
      Thank you for all the help Pr_007. I obviously don't know Saravana as much as you, but he did a fantastic job on my car and that's all that matters.

      Quote Originally Posted by optimus_prime View Post
      Yes thats why I'm not saying or judging anything from my initial impression. I may be wrong in what i thought.
      Looking forward to seeing and hearing your car.
      Let's catch up sometime soon.
      Last edited by Gilead; 11th Aug 2010 at 17:19.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Pr_007 View Post
      I would like to say a few word here on Power Zone and Saravana. I am not promoting his shop, advertising his shop and asking everybody to do their installations in Power Zone but as a person who know him well, and as a person who had used his services more than once I feel it is a must to tell about him.
      We welcome commercial enterprises so if you could get word across to Saravana to register on GearHeads, that would be most appreciated
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      Quote Originally Posted by hrag View Post
      We welcome commercial enterprises so if you could get word across to Saravana to register on GearHeads, that would be most appreciated
      He is already on and even created a thread.
      http://gearheads.in/showthread.php?2...h-sound-stream

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      Fantastic - hadn't noticed since I'm not into ICE
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      Jan 2007 Tata Safari 3.0 DiCOR EX 4x4 200K km

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