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Eargasm from pure SQ - The TJet's ICE Story

Discussion in 'In Car Entertainment' started by dj.nish, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. dj.nish

    dj.nish Superiore

    They say deprivation makes you realize the true worth of things. For me, this is an understatement. Since the day I took delivery of my Linea Tjet+ (actually even before that), I was dreading the stock audio. I have heard better speakers in Mumbai autorickshaws and cabs. The OEM HU leaves you so frustrated that pulling your hair out, strand by strand, also seems a small fry. No wonder then, it was relegated to play FM radio – something which it's best designed for.

    Hence I embarked on the initial research to determine the ideal system to my liking. My entire dilemma, documented step-by-step is available for your viewing pleasure here (ICE options for my TJet+).

    I was earlier hoping to retain OEM HU because of the Blue and Me and steering remote controls. That's why the inclination was to get a DSP. But as I used B&M more and more, I realized it's pathetic and I quickly decided to let go of it. So began the hunt for an ideal after-market HU. I had the Clarion DXZ 785 USB from my previous install. It is no doubt a legandary HU in terms of SQ. It also gave me an option to go active. But I really was not too keen on that. And having used it for ~2 years, I was a bit bored of the old-school looks. I wanted a HU which could play lossless files off a USB. And finally I came across the JVC KD-R 926BT and quickly purchased it.

    Next up was the amplifier dilemma. I was always keen to give adequate and clean power to my GZ sub, especially because of the kind of music I listen to (EDM & trance) and also because I felt the bridged power from the Blaupunkt GTA 4 (which was running the sub in my Getz) may not be good for a sedan setup. The Rockford Fosgate Prime R500-1 was on my wish list since long and I bit the bullet now. This also meant I could amplify all four door speakers via the Blaupunkt amp. Nice!

    Finally, the speaker decision. Here again, the original preference was to use Illusion Electra EL 6.1 from my previous install. I simply loved it's natural sound and was frankly, quite used to them. But like an average forum surfer, I naively posted a query to which I received a multitude of responses ranging from Morel Tempo to Digital Designs to Rainbow to Helix. Talk about confusion! Almost at the same time, I saw Ajay Kamath's classified for the Focal Polyglass deal and made up my mind to go for it.

    So here's the list of equipment that finally went into the car:
    • Headunit – JVC KD-R 926BT
    • Front components – Focal Polyglass Series 6.5" KIT 165VB
    • Rear coaxials - Focal Polyglass Series 6.5" Coaxial KIT 165CVX
    • Amplifier for the speakers – Blaupunkt GTA 4 Special (60w x 4 RMS)
    • Subwoofer – Ground Zero GZ TW MK2 in a ~1 cu. ft. sealed enclosure
    • Ampfilier for the sub – Rockford Fosgate Prime R500-1 (320 w x 1 RMS)
    • Wiring – 2 kits of Scosche e2 E400 8 GA amplifier kit + 1 Gladen RCA
    • Speaker Wiring - Bandridge 1.5 sq. mm.
    • Single din fascia panel sourced directly from Fiat A.S.S
    • Connects2 CTSFA0004 Steering remote interface module along with JVC2 patch lead (which did not work ultimately)
    • Damping – Noise Kill on all four doors

    Initial impressions

    In one word – Brilliant. I don't know (and don't want to pin-point too!) whether it's the Focal Polyglass speakers, or the JVC 926, or the RF amp or the GZ sub that makes the difference. I think it's the beautiful combination of all these equipments playing in perfect tandem with each other.

    Focal Polyglass are amazing speakers. The highs, mids and lows are pure, natural and balanced – just the way they should be and just the way I want them to be. You can go as low or as loud as you want, and they will deliver beyond your expectations – with ease and finesse. In hindsight, it was a good decision to power all four speakers from the Blaupunkt amp. You can't go wrong with German power! These speakers play all kind of music – EDM, Trance, Jazz, Rock, Hip-hop and Bollywood with amazing grace.

    The Ground Zero sub (again a German!), ably powered by the Rockford Fosgate amp delivers tight, deep, rich and accurate bass. I'm in awe of it's capabilities.

    JVC is a killer (and sleeper) HU. You throw a WAV file and it will reproduce what true music should be like. Each and every detail is put out clearly. You can simply close your eyes and enjoy every instrument and note in absolute bliss. However, it is ruthless too. You throw a 320 kbps MP3 and it does the job equally well, but it you can really tell that this HU was built for lossless audio only. You would feel ashamed at playing anything other than WAV on it. The display illumination is another worthy point to be mentioned here. It has an orange color which matches the interior illumination of the Linea perfectly! The other highlight of this HU is the Bluetooth functionality. Not that I would use it (remember, I hate the Blue and Me too?) but it's a nice to have. Audio gets muted automatically when a call comes in and is resumed when you finish the call. So I guess the Jabra SP700 will soon feature in the Classifieds!

    I have a few complaints with this HU though. The display option is either folder view or track view (both in scroll mode). Why could they not have both? This is a pin point especially when you want to quickly play songs across different folders. Also, the HU takes a long time to read a flash disk, especially if it has many folders. My 8 GB flash disk with about 20 folders took a good 6-8 seconds to load up!

    As if the TJet experience was not enough, it has now become impossible to get me out of the car. I'm sure fellow drivers on Mumbai roads would be amused to see me driving with a stupid smile on my face. Little do they know what bliss I'm experiencing inside! In a nutshell, I'm happy. “Eargasm” is what I'm experiencing whenever I hear my system.

    Teething troubles
    There are two niggling issues. First – a major whine in the system. This is very faint when the car is stationary and especially absent at high volumes. But in motion, one can hear a strong whine increasing with speed and it's very irritating, especially in-between songs. Need to get that checked ASAP.

    Second – the Connects2 interface did not work. I don't know whether the problem is with the black box (low chances) or the JVC Patch Lead (high chances). But I have to try my luck in getting a replacement from Dynamic Sounds. It is surprising because I before purchasing, I had emailed the JVC HU specs and link to Dynamic Sounds Technical Support and they only suggested the JCV2 Patch lead. Well, shit happens.

    Install feedback
    Due to some unavoidable personal circumstances, I had to wait a considerable amount of time for the install to happen, even though all the stuff was procured. But as they say, all's well that ends well. I finally got a slot with Ajay Kamath. The man is known for his quality installs and mine was no different. My only instructions were to ensure that no OEM wires are cut/tampered with and a stock look as far as as possible. Both were duly complied with. Work started around 11.30 am and progressed rapidly. We finally wrapped up around 8 pm and then Ajay tuned the setup. Before he came in, I tried to use the auto time alignment settings of the HU. But he scrapped them and used a measuring tape to calculate the distances and accordingly entered the TA values. The system sounds beautiful with these settings.

    There were a couple of downers though – the car wasn't washed/cleaned/vacuumed properly after completion of the work (presumably because it had got late and installers were getting impatient to leave). Also, there was a minor deviation from my install as another car came in and mine got delayed. I really wished mine could be completed sooner. Maybe the whine and cleaning problems could have been detected and corrected then and there. But it's ok.

    P.S. Pics to follow in the next post. I wanted this to be a text-only description.
    2 people like this.
  2. Phew

    Phew Esperto

    New Delhi/Mohali
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Way to goooooooooooooooooooo......pics awaited
  3. dj.nish

    dj.nish Superiore

    Pics....part 1

    Front door damping.jpg

    Left front door.jpg

    Rear door damped.jpg

    Rear door damping.jpg

    Fron door damped.jpg

    Doors Open.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  4. Herbie

    Herbie Regolare

    Grande Punto 1.4
    Congratulations! :) Post the pics of the headunit alongwith the surrounding dash( especially the auto climate control panel)....m looking for a similar upgrade..want to judge the look aswell.
  5. dj.nish

    dj.nish Superiore

    Pics - part 2

    The fuses sitting pretty

    Amps mounted diagonally next to each other on a slanted board in the boot
    Amps in boot.jpg

    Amp and Sub.jpg

    The sub (yes I know it looks like an eyesore). I'm thinking of going for a side-of-the-boot install in a custom fiberglass enclosure soon.
    The Sub.jpg

    The Focal components and coaxials
    Focal Polyglass Components.jpg

    Focal Polyglass Coaxials.jpg

    Speaker cable being routed separately (no cutting into the factory connectors)
    Speaker cable routing-1.jpg

    Speaker cable routing-2.jpg

    Bluetooth mic tastefully installed above the rear view mirror
    BT mic.jpg

    Fascia panel being installed
    Fascia panel.jpg
  6. dj.nish

    dj.nish Superiore

    The Crown Jewel - JVC KD-R926BT

    And here is the star of the show!
    JVC HU day shot-1.jpg

    JVC HU day shot-2.jpg

    JVC HU day shot-3.jpg

    JVC HU day shot-4.jpg

    JVC HU day shot-5.jpg

    JVC HU day shot-6.jpg

    JVC HU night shot.jpg
    1 person likes this.
  7. kedarbendre

    kedarbendre Esperto

    MH 12
    wow that was great stuff :) please share prices as well.
  8. Anish_A


    Wow now thats good..............I Presume it's sounding Good also...........:)

    R u by any chance from Blore???????????????? would like to know the price of the Focals speakers and the total cost of the unit.

  9. dj.nish

    dj.nish Superiore

    Thanks Anish. I'm from Mumbai. The Focal deal cost me Rs 18,600. You can get it from Ajay Kamath (Bass&Trouble on GH and TBHP).
  10. dj.nish

    dj.nish Superiore

    So I got time to visit my installer for the 2 pending jobs:

    1. Correcting the alternator whine : The funny thing is that noise comes on as soon as the HU is switched on. So even if the engine is not running but HU is on, there is whine. That made me think this is possibly not alternator whine.

    We tried every possible trick i.e. tried running new RCA cables, Re-connected the ground wire by scraping off paint under the terminal, checked the HU (for any possible fuse/circuitry issues) and also re-checked the running of the power and RCA cables (they are running on either side of the car, as expected). Nothing seems to correct the whine.

    In the end it seems that channels 3 & 4 of my Blaupunkt amp are gone. When we disconnect these and play the system, the whine almost goes away. But as soon as we connect them, whine gets back. In fact, we tried changing the speaker and RCA connections so that the whine gets 'shifted' to the rear coaxials for the time being till I can get my amp repaired.

    But the moment rear channels are connected, whine gets into all 4 speakers. Frankly, I was baffled as I've never seen this happening before. But then, if everything points to the amp, I guess I have to get that checked up now.

    2. The Connects2 kit did not work. I have got confirmation from @Italia-Linea and @Teky that the black box (code : STK 277) they supply with CTSFA004 is the wrong one and infact that is designed for Skoda.

    So the correct box code for Fiat is STK 272. If any of you is ordering from Dynamic Sounds, make sure you mention this. Else, get the Connects2 from the India dealer (Kumar's Auto, BLR) for 5k.

    BTW, are there any other steering interface models known? I bumped across Autoleads and someone mentioned 'THK' or 'THB' or something. Any info?

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