What do Audiophiles like and buy for their cars?

Wharfedale EVO4.4 Speaker

Ajay Kamath

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Hi All!

Yippee!

I wished we'd have a car audio forum..and I got it! Within a few hours at that! Whew, that was fast. Thanks mods!

Anyway, since there are a number of distinguished gentlemen here (uh, prolly ladies too, not sure bout that), that have either owned or atleast heard some really fine home hi-fi gear, I was just curious to know whether their quest for good sound is extended to their automobiles too! As we all know, a lot of home audio brands of high-repute, make some outstanding car audio too. Then of course, there are all the speciality car audio brands.

What do the members here use? Which good setups you have listened to? What brands comprised these setups? Have you ever heard a car audio setup get remotely close to really smashing home hi-fi setup?

I'd be glad to pool in with some information too, since I originate from this field of work.

Regards,

Ajay
 

Absolute Phase

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Hi! Ajay,
Yesterday a client of mine showed me his GETZ with a complete FOCAL Top of the line speakers with a Blau Bremen, spent a huge sum, and the sound was just amazing.

What brands are you dealing with now?
Rgds

Prithvi
 

Ajay Kamath

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Wow! Focal Utopias!!

They're VERY expensive in India. I wouldn't regard the Bremen as a fitting head unit though. What amplification?

We're still with our old favorites for car audio..Illusion Audio, and some Audiobahn in good measure for the younger ones.

Gamut, of course, for home audio and then there's always something or the other coming by from Peerless.
 

Jasdeep Brar

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Hi,

Bremen is not a good match for Focal utopias. You need a good headunit with these speakers along with good amplifier.

I would recommend the following head units with focal utopias.

McIntosh MX-5000 / MX-4000
Clarion HX-D2 aka DRZ-9255
Panasonic CQ-TX5500 (B-tube)

I wonder what amplifier and cables he is using.
 

neo

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Has any one hear or reviewed a denon car cd player? Is it possible to get one in india? how would you rate them against the other top car cd palyers?
 

Jasdeep Brar

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Denon head units are not that great and are expensive. I have used DCT-100 and Z1 but Mcintosh and Clarion sounds way better and beats Denon hands down.
 

neo

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Denon head units are not that great and are expensive. I have used DCT-100 and Z1 but Mcintosh and Clarion sounds way better and beats Denon hands down.

Hmm ! Thanks for the reply. what would you say about the new panasonic 5500 model with the tube amp? Is it really worth while even if you are goin to install a four channel amp? What is the aprox price for the mac & clarion head units? are they available in india?
 

Jasdeep Brar

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Panasonic is a very nice Head Unit. Very warm and lush sound, good midbass with sweet highs. Classic japanese hi fi design with VU meters, Amber Illumination and Champagne finish. Very hard to find now as it is discontinued. And also the tube is only for preamplification so called built in amplifier of the head unit for four speakers is solidstate. But best results can be achieved only if you use it with external amplifier.

MCintosh is not available in India, I bought it from abroad 2 years back for USD 2000. However we have got a lot of DRZ-9255 (again import) usually costs us Rs. 55-60K.
 

Sujit

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YAY... Excellent! Our own lil nook of the world!!..Great Initiative!

HI Ajay, Gunbir,JB, Prithviraj! :D

I am hardly an Audiophile but my install will be done soon... will put up the pics soon - along with detials!
 
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neo

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Thanks! jasdeep for your insight & sorry to keep on probing but what would be a good car cd player for 20-30G. Thanks again.
 

Jasdeep Brar

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Hi Neo,

Following are the two units I recommend in that price range.

Kenwood K CD01 : simple unit with bass, mid, treble tone controls, K Grade Burr Brown DA convertors excellent sound quality. Only made for Asian market and Oceania.

http://www.kenwood.com/j/products/car_audio/emotional/k-cd01.html
http://www.kenwoodaudio.com/thailand/prodDetails.asp?Cat=Car%20Entertainment&SubCat=K-series&Model=K-CD01

Pioneer P 80RS : excellent SQ with Burr Brown DAC, good looks vey good value for money.

http://www.pioneer.com.sg/storefront/ProductDetail/default.asp?ProductId=349&CatId=2,24,32

Can't think of any other good unit in this price range :rolleyes:
 

neo

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Hi Neo,

Following are the two units I recommend in that price range.

Kenwood K CD01 : simple unit with bass, mid, treble tone controls, K Grade Burr Brown DA convertors excellent sound quality. Only made for Asian market and Oceania.

http://www.kenwood.com/j/products/car_audio/emotional/k-cd01.html
http://www.kenwoodaudio.com/thailand/prodDetails.asp?Cat=Car%20Entertainment&SubCat=K-series&Model=K-CD01

Pioneer P 80RS : excellent SQ with Burr Brown DAC, good looks vey good value for money.

http://www.pioneer.com.sg/storefront/ProductDetail/default.asp?ProductId=349&CatId=2,24,32

Can't think of any other good unit in this price range :rolleyes:

Thanks mate! i really appreciate your input.Cheers
 

avexplorer

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Wow! This is interesting...My Car (The Getz with the Focal) has already been introduced to this forum before I have been...Thanks Prithvi...For some of you who were curious about the amp I used , it is a pair of MTX.

Something I wanted to comment about w.r.t using Bremen as a head unit:

I certainly beleive that there ain't any Absolute "Yes and No" in music. Bremen, to me is an exceptional headunit...the most important here being the 2 words "to me". It can be different for u or Jaswinder, or Mohammed or any body else for that matter.

There were 3 primary reasons for me to choose Bremen over anything else. I had tried other top of the line units from Alpine, RF, Panasonic, and Clarion. Apart from pristine disc play I also was paranoid about exceptional radio reception. Where Bremen scored over everything else was in radio reception. There was also one more very important aspect of Bremen that one would not find in any other model.

Car audio systems often tend to sound very bright and boomy. I am not particularly a great fan of the "dhik chik" that most car audios are so capable of. Now in order for me to cut down on that and enhance the music in terms of how I like it to be I, needed phenomenal control over the various frequecies. The Bremen, for those who are not aware of is equipped with a 27 band parametric equalizer per channel. Now no other head unit did give me that.

The third, I didnt want a subwoofer to eat up all the boot space in my small car. I wanted to use a pair of components to acheive extremely tight but powerful bass...and hence the combination of Utopia and K2 Power.

I am extremely happy with the setup as it lets me hear music the way I want it. There can be nothing thats more satisfying than that...

But here's the anti-climax...I have recently invested in a HT setup that makes my car sound average...Prithvi...we got the combination spot-on....

So for all you car audio enthsiasts ... evaluate your priorities and trust your own ears. ..
 
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Jasdeep Brar

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What Panasonic and Clarion HU's did you compare Bremen with?

Which components are you using from Focal Utopia and K2 power line.

You can have subwoofers in the boot which can play in very small box and barely take up the space. Also using midbass driver for bass reproduction will be very tough on them.
 

avexplorer

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I use a combination of Focal Utopia N6 and 165 K2P. When it comes to comparing with Bremen I had a Clarion DXZ958RMC earlier which I now use it in another car. While I would say the clarion was very good, but I find the Bremen better especially when it comes to radio reception. I dont remember the panasonic model, but I remember it was their top most in line 18 months back. I had just tried it on but again was never really impressed. I do not really count on the japs when it comes to music...be it car audio or home audio.
 

Ajay Kamath

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avexplorer said:
Wow! This is interesting...My Car (The Getz with the Focal) has already been introduced to this forum before I have been...Thanks Prithvi...For some of you who were curious about the amp I used , it is a pair of MTX.

Good amps, although not very very highly recommended for SQ applications.

avexplorer said:
I certainly beleive that there ain't any Absolute "Yes and No" in music. Bremen, to me is an exceptional headunit...the most important here being the 2 words "to me". It can be different for u or Jaswinder, or Mohammed or any body else for that matter.

Very right, glad to hear that you are well entertained by the setup. Certainly matters the most.

avexplorer said:
There were 3 primary reasons for me to choose Bremen over anything else. I had tried other top of the line units from Alpine, RF, Panasonic, and Clarion. Apart from pristine disc play I also was paranoid about exceptional radio reception. Where Bremen scored over everything else was in radio reception. There was also one more very important aspect of Bremen that one would not find in any other model.

Hmm, haven't listened to radio on a Bremen. Although I haven't listened to radio on much else either. :D

avexplorer said:
Car audio systems often tend to sound very bright and boomy. I am not particularly a great fan of the "dhik chik" that most car audios are so capable of. Now in order for me to cut down on that and enhance the music in terms of how I like it to be I, needed phenomenal control over the various frequecies. The Bremen, for those who are not aware of is equipped with a 27 band parametric equalizer per channel. Now no other head unit did give me that.

Hmm, I'm a bit of a no-equalizer freak though. I wouldn't expect good quality car audio of the kinds that you describe to go dhik-chik actually, but I'm sure you can fine tune intricately with that equalizer.

avexplorer said:
The third, I didnt want a subwoofer to eat up all the boot space in my small car. I wanted to use a pair of components to acheive extremely tight but powerful bass...and hence the combination of Utopia and K2 Power.

Are all 4 speakers playing full range? No bass cut on any of the speakers? Or are only the rears playing full range? And if so what are the rears, Utopia or K2? Don't they rattle a bit of the doors and the door panels when playing bass? Who installed the setup?

avexplorer said:
But here's the anti-climax...I have recently invested in a HT setup that makes my car sound average...Prithvi...we got the combination spot-on....

Can trust Prithvi to pull off something like that, surely. :)
 
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