I am not an audiophile, however, I like clear vocals, mids & highs.
BHPian AutoNoob recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
I seek your guidance and suggestions for my conundrum with the ICE upgrade in Swift (2021) ZXi+.
I am a total noob when it comes to ICE and whatever mumbo-jumbo I’ll be using below has been learnt from this forum and a couple of friends. Still can’t wrap my head around many things. So, excuse me for sharing and asking trivial things.
Last year I got Swift (2021) ZXi+ for my daily commute. It’s a competent vehicle for intra-city and occasional highway runs. Coming to the audio system, Swift’s audio setup has obviously disappointed me. It’s flat, kind of muffled. I am not an audiophile, however like clear vocals, mids & highs. Not a fan of heavy bass and believe in listening to music inside the vehicle and not making it a DJ for people outside.
Once Work-from-Home got over and the daily commute started, the music system became unbearable and I started looking for options to upgrade.
What I am looking for:
After a good amount of study here on Team-BHP and other sites, plus watching numerous videos, I gained the basics of car audio upgrade. Also, as luck may have it, a friend shared the experience of upgrading the speakers of his S-Cross. Based on all this I have shortlisted the following:
- HU: Stock (Harman Touchscreen – image below)
- Front: Morel Maximo 6 components (with crossover) ~ INR 7,500
- Rear : Morel Maximo 6C (coax) ~ INR 4,000
- Amp: Pioneer GM-D8704 (and use speaker level inputs from HU) ~ INR 15,500
- Damping: All four doors (Brand – as per availability) ~ INR 10,000
- Shielded cables/wires etc. ~ INR 3,000
- Installation ~ INR 5,000
- Sub-Woofer: Not required as of now, maybe in future
If, in future, I change the vehicle (another budget car for daily commute), these speakers and amp will be ported to it.
What is your opinion about this?
Current Stock HU:
Here’s what BHPian PaddleShifter had to say on the matter:
Your shortlisted hardware is good and appropriate. May I suggest that if you are paying up to 5k for installation, buy speakers and damping material online (e.g. Motorogue website)? Offline installers use extra damping material to inflate the bill. You can get a bulk pack of 10 sheets online for 5k. I paid 7k for damping and this was used up for front doors only. Had I got all 4 doors damped, the damping bill alone would have shot beyond 15k just for doors. I am getting these removed in the coming weeks and getting the damping material I purchased online from Motorogue.
- Avoid dumping the floor. Partial damping is not worth it anyway. Either do full floor damping or simply avoid it. Are you using stock tyres? JK, Ceat etc? You can instead switch to better tyres when they are due for replacement.
- For adding a subwoofer in future, you can either use two channels of your amp in bridge mode (and power rear speakers using stock HU) or simply add an active sub. Another option is to add a monoblock amp and micro-sized mono amps are available for this purpose that doesn’t occupy space.
P.S: I don’t use amplifiers etc as I prefer stock wiring. Do check out the specs of this compact 4-channel amplifier as well.
JBL Stage A6004-4 Channels Amplifier
Here’s what BHPian navin had to say on the matter:
You don’t need to damp the floor. Just damp the door wells. There will always be some road noise. The firewall, windows, etc offer enough avenues for that to creep in.
Your equipment choice is fine. If you need to add a subwoofer you can bridge 2 channels of the 4 channel amp to drive it and use the HU to drive the rear speakers. Alternately if the budget permits, you could get a dedicated monoblock amplifier for the subwoofer.
Here’s what BHPian viXit had to say on the matter:
I have browsed this entire thread from start to end over the past two years to pass most of my (not) free time, and the most reiterated advice has always been to do the upgrade in stages.
Your plan is perfect.
Many stock head units are inadequate for high-end applications, but the sound is highly subjective and you might just love it, you never know.
Get new speakers and dampen the doors. Make sure they use the right size speakers and good screws that do not damage the door while screwing them onto the door.
There should be ZERO changes to wiring here at this stage. You will be using existing wiring only.
This setup will be a good 50% improvement over your present setup, most important thing will be to play with the tuning options in your head unit after the new speakers installed. You might not be able to experience the full potential of your new speakers with the limited tuning options on your stock head unit.
Then IMO, you should add an AMP next. This will require a good amount of wiring
- Signal wiring from the Head unit to the amp
- Speaker wiring from amp to speakers
- Power wiring from Car Battery to amp
All that said,
The setup that has always worked for me, is to add a subwoofer in the first go.
- Change the front speakers, and power them using channels 1 & 2 on the new amplifier.
- Leave stock rear speakers as it is, they are currently powered by the head unit, let it be like that, this way you can retain fader controls too.
- Add a basic subwoofer and power it by bridging channels 3 & 4 on the amplifier.
The subwoofer has made the most difference in my setup and I love it.
Tune the crossover setting on the Amp well so that high frequencies go to the Front and low frequencies go to the subwoofer, this way, proper distribution of frequencies to the right speaker will be done, and this helps sound quality improve by leaps and bounds. The recommended crossover point is 80Hz
Since you decided to skip on the subwoofer in the first two steps, you don’t seem like someone who wants to shake the car with Bass, so a basic subwoofer should be more than enough, and the main goal is to delegate the duties of the speakers according to the frequency, once we offload the low freq. to the sub, the front components can perform really well.
This is all my experimental learning from changing a few amps, breaking a pair or two of speakers and building the sound system in my Storme myself. Hope I could help
Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.
Source: Read Full Article