Mobile Fidelity

I love gadgets and car hi fi system is one of them. So what's stopping me from upgrading my Toyota Avanza's sound system?

Being poor (ahem) is one of them and for those that are into ICE (In Car Entertainment) sound system, they will understand my hesitation as upgrades will be an endless affair. ie. It's a damn expensive hobby! Choices and new gadgets comes out every now and then, just like mobile phones and computers models! So if you are on a budget constraint, don't even think about this.

It ain't broken! Avanza stock sound system is fine as it is and it come with a standard single CD player with radio receiver and four 6.5" 2 way paper cone speakers. They are nothing to shout about and there is nothing to complain about it either. However, the head unit (HU) is interesting, OEM branded as Toyota, it's manufactured by Fujitsu Ten which produces the Eclipse brand that has long been known to car sound enthusiasts. And it is not surprising that the sound quality from this HU is far better than any entry level HU such as pioneer, kenwood, sony etc.

Being me, I couldn't resist the temptation and went ahead with my mini plan despite knowing the difference between need and want.

Firstly I did a little sound proofing project on the 4 doors. Dynamat Extreme sheet were used on each door. Installation were done on the inner door and another layer was used to cover the outer door. Expensive I know but it was worth every cent spent especially when I hear the bass improvement even with the paper cone speakers. Sound from outside were reduced dramatically and it made closing the door more luxurious, just like those heavy high end class cars. I also bought a roll of bitumen strips 3" x 10m (used in roof sealing) and used it as a sound dampener under the wheels. However the results were not as good as the dynamat on the doors. So I guess the saying "you get what you pay for" holds very true in this aspect. As for the floor board, I am still planning on what material to use at the moment (basically I am broke!)

A few months later, in goes a Pegasus Amp. The 1562 is a four channel amplifier with 50w rating which I used to power up the front speakers. I got my tuner to connect the rear speakers to the amp and tune it down to act as a filler for the back seat passenger. Yeah I know, for the hardcore user, its unconventional to power rear speakers... Monster cables were used for the connections and I had to purchase 2 set of Hi to Low RCA as the stock head unit doesn't have any output for them. (another reason for me to upgrade the HU?)

Fast forward to yesterday. After recuperating from the heavy wallet onslaughts, I initially planned to have an active sub woofer install. Occupying roughly 1/3 of the rear boot space, its a definitely tempting as it save plenty of space. I tested a few units (Vifa, Steelmate, Alpine) and I must say the sound from the ready made enclosed sub is pretty good despite all the the negative reviews I have been hearing. I wouldn't go for the under the seat sub as the bass quality is poor despite being able to fit snuggly under the seat. Its tempting but I bet I will great it later.

And being calculative as I am, the sub woofer project was dropped (or rather put on hold) on the last minute as I needed the rear space for loading stuff and most importantly, my golf bag! Instead, I upgrade the front speakers to component speakers.

So which speakers are better? A silly question I must say as it all depends on how much you are willing to spend. To get a decent pair, be prepare to cough out 1k or more. I got myself a RS 6.5" component speakers which are awesome stuff as it real suit my pegasus amp. The other half of the battle is to get a knowledgeable and competent installer which I managed to find. Trust me, installation and tuning make a huge difference.

Next project, sub woofer. *Scream for help....


Anonymous said…
basket!!! RS components... memang sah u damn kaya sialllllll!!!

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