GOING OVAL: ALPINEâ€™S X-SERIES
HIDDEN TREASURES DAILY DRIVERS WITH KILLER KIT INSIDE
RE SV8 OMMODO HOLDEN C
EUROPEAN IMAGIN G SOUND ASSOCIATION AND
SEE ALL THE INCAR WINNERS INSIDE!
HEAD UP, PRICES DOWN! NAVDY ADDS AFFORDABLE BOLT-ON AUGMENTED REALITY TO YOUR CAR
MORE REVIEWS: CERWIN VEGA /// CLARION /// PHILIPS
INTRODUCING THE ALL-NEW X-SERIES
X-SERIES SPEAKERS HIGH-RESOLUTION PRECISION SPEAKERS
Alpine introduces the all-new X-Series high grade speakers engineered and tuned to perfectly match with the X-Series amplifiers for extraordinary dynamic, realistic sound reproduction and a spatial sound impression. The X-Series Speakers employ an all new motor design which uses a very powerful neodymium ring magnet, ensuring a very compact basket and motor assembly, while achieving very high power handling and dynamic sound. Designed and built to handle massive amounts of power, even at high volumes the X-Series sound is always clear—making these speakers perfect for use with the powerful X-Series amps.
AUDIOPHILE SOUND EXPERIENCE
X-SERIES 6-1/2” COMPONENT SPEAKERS • 360W PEAK POWER • 120W RMS POWER • FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 60HZ-40KHZ
Designed to deliver highest dynamic and sound quality, Alpine’s new flagship speakers reach their full potential when paired with the all-new X-Series ultra-high-resolution digital amplifiers for pure hi-fidelity sound.
GRAPHITE DOME TWEETER
X-SERIES 6-1/2” COAXIAL SPEAKERS
Instead of using a regular silk dome tweeter, Alpine chose an all-new carbon graphite hard dome tweeter design. This lightweight tweeter dome features improved high range response up to 40kHz to deliver highest sound detail.
• 360W PEAK POWER • 110W RMS POWER • FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 60HZ-40KHZ
X-S69C X-SERIES 6X9” COMPONENT SPEAKERS
NANO-FIBRE WOOFER CONE
• 330W PEAK POWER • 120W RMS POWER • FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 60HZ-40KHZ
The woofer cone consists of an all new nano-fibre material to achieve a very fast response speed and dynamic, while keep high clarity and realistic sound reproduction.
X-SERIES SUBWOOFERS HIGH PERFORMANCE SUBWOOFERS
The all-new X-Series Subwoofers have been engineered to perfection, boasting supreme build quality and excellent performance. The massive power handling achieves cleaner and deeper bass extension, faster and more accurate transients and greater output capability.
X-SERIES 12” SUBWOOFER
X-SERIES 10” SUBWOOFER
• 2700W PEAK POWER • 900W RMS POWER • FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 22HZ-200HZ
• 2700W PEAK POWER • 900W RMS POWER • FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 24HZ-200HZ
X-SERIES DIGITAL AMPLIFIERS DIGITAL AUDIOPHILE AMPLIFIERS
Introducing the all-new X-Series, these small amplifiers produce an unbelievable amount of power and incredible sound quality. Alpine sets industry benchmark in achieving new levels of operational efficiency by employing an all-new advanced digital amplification technology. Reliability is an important feature of the X-Series amplifiers, generating almost virtually zero distortion to maintain the highest sound quality, whilst producing very little heat to ensure long periods of operation without the fear of a power shutdown. Designed to suit any installation requirements, the X-Series amplifiers can even be stacked vertically to save space without sacrificing power. The fully redesigned speaker terminal connectors, maintain the amps compact design, allowing clean and simple installation with lossless connectivity. The new design also makes advanced system expansion much easier. The all-new X-Series amplifiers set a new standard for sound quality performance and power output in a very compact design. What’s more, X-Series amps are designed for true Hi-Res Audio playback, featuring ultra-low distortion and a wide frequency range.
4 CHANNEL + MONO AMPLIFIER
4/3/2 CHANNEL AMPLIFIER
• 100W RMS x 4 + 500W x 1 [2Ω@14.4V] • 75W RMS x 4 + 300W x 1 [4Ω@14.4V] • BASS KNOB CONTROL READY
• 175W RMS x 4 [2Ω@14.4V] • 120W RMS x 4 [4Ω@14.4V]
• 900W RMS x 1 [2Ω@14.4V] • 600W RMS x 1 [4Ω@14.4V] • BASS KNOB CONTROL READY
Introducing a device of many talents
KIMBERLEY 941 www.blaupunkt.com
6.75” Vehicle Entertainment System Integration between your Android or iOS device on the Kimberley 941 is simple. With PhoneLink, mirror your iOS device and mirror and control your Android smartphone via USB on the large 6.75” crystal clear touchscreen. The built-in WAZE Navigation APP, gets you to your destination quickly by using your smartphone as a hotspot to get live information from other users to avoid heavy traffic, accidents and speed traps. If you prefer to use satellite navigation, the Kimberley 941 is also iGo Primo NAV ready. Built-in Wi-Fi also enables you to surf the internet to catch up with the latest sport, news, weather and a wide range of entertainment.
ENTER NOW FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!
DYNAMAT PACK GIVEAWAY!
TELL US IN 25 WORDS OR LESS WHY YOU THINK DYNAMAT IS THE WORLDâ€™S NO. 1 AUTOMOTIVE SOUND DEADENING MATERIAL AND YOU COULD WIN AN EXCLUSIVE DYNAMAT PACK*
VALUED AT OVER $600.00! HOW DO I ENTER?
1. SCAN THE QR CODE 2. TELL US YOUR ANSWER 3. SEND US THE EMAIL
*GIVEAWAY PACK INCLUDES: 1 x DYNAMAT BULK PACK 1 x DYNAMAT TRUNK KIT 1 x 12 PIECE REMOVAL KIT Scan the code or email: email@example.com 1 x APPLICATION ROLLER 1 x TRIMMING KNIFE 1 x DYNAMAT CAP COMPETITION CLOSES 30TH NOVEMBER 2017. 1 x DYNAMAT T-SHIRT WINNER WILL BE NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL 1/12/17.
CONTENTS Contributors Jez Ford, Scott Campbell, Stephen Dawson, Shane Dixon,
Damon Greenwood, Ben Hoskins, Ed Kramer, Marty Price, Tony Rabbitte, Jun Sawa Artist Paul Saint Group Art Director Kristian Hagen Technical Editor Greg Borrowman Advertising Traffic Diane Preece firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (02) 9901 6100 National Advertising Sales & Divisional Manager Jim Preece email@example.com Advertising Sales Manager Lewis Preece firstname.lastname@example.org Group/Acting Editor Jez Ford Production Manager Peter Ryman Circulation Director Carole Jones
sonal information. If you provide personal information through your participation in any competitions, surveys or offers featured in this issue of Australian InCar magazine, this will be used to provide the products or services that you have requested and to improve the content of our magazines. Your details may be provided to third parties who assist us in this purpose. In the event of organisations providing prizes or offers to our readers, we may pass your details on to them. From time to time, we may use the information you provide us to inform you of other products, services and events our company has to offer. We may also give your information to other organisations which may use it to inform you about their products, services and events, unless you tell us not to do so. You are welcome to access the information that we hold about you by getting in touch with our privacy officer, who can be contacted at nextmedia, Locked Bag 5555, St Leonards, NSW 1590.
Level 6, 207 Pacific Highway, St Leonards, NSW 2065 Locked Bag 5555, St Leonards NSW 1590 Tel: (02) 9901 6100 www.nextmedia.com.au David Gardiner Chief Executive Officer Bruce Duncan Commercial Director
INCAR ON THE INTERWEBS: AVHUB.COM.AU Delightfully digital as this issue may be, we’ve long been posting our best bits at AVHub.com.au, so for the very latest news in mobile entertainment, cars and features, visit AVHub and subcribe to the newsletter, which will alert you to future digital issues direct to your inbox. Audio, AV, photography and guitary bits are also up there on AVHub.
AUDITIONS 62 CERWIN VEGA B51
Single-channel amplifier It’s the monoblock from Cerwin Vega’s esteemed new Stealth Bomber series — smart-looking, compact, and a bargain.
EUROPEAN IMAGING AND SOUND ASSOCIATION
64 CLARION VX807AUS
Multimedia head unit Even come the day we’re all streaming wirelessly via surgical implants, the Clarion VX807AU will be remembered for the solidity of its build and the quality of its sound.
30 DARK HORSE WORKHORSE
Exotic cars are one thing, but if you truly want to show off your skills as installer and system designer, you need to practise your art on an Aussie workhorse. Callum Martin’s 2002 SV8 Holden Commodore presents just such a showcase.
The Golf R stirs memories of the old-school ‘Hot Hatch Rabbit’ and their owners’ passion for taking things to the extreme. So what to do when you find yourself the owner of such a fleet-footed and noble machine?
15 EISA AWARDS 2017/8
Australian Incar is now a member of EISA, and we’re delighted to present all the incar winners from the Expert Panel of international judges!
INCAR HEAD UNIT
INCAR HD PLAYER
INCAR SMART UPGRADE
INCAR ACTIVE SUBWOOFER
INCAR SPEAKER SYSTEM
AND THERE’S MORE...
66 NAVDY NVD100-EN
Interactive display module Something genuinely new — a Head Up Display for far more than navigation, with gesture and voice control. It’s a wow moment.
68 ALPINE X-S69C
2-way component speakers We review the top model in the company’s X Series range of speakers, with oval nano-fibre woofer cones, no less.
52 ITALIA 500
The Fiat 500 — rather cosy for a whole heap of audio kit? Not at all... find out how this compact but perfectly formed Italian fits in the fun while still allowing day-to-day driving in this issue’s drive from the archive...
Latest news including Alpine and Pioneer smart head units, Kenwood’s Japansourced ‘high-res’ speakers, plenty of navigation and dashcam options, and Cygnett’s neat portable jump starter...
70 PHILIPS CED1910BT
multimedia head unit Plenty of features and connectivity here from Philips, but in particular a natural presentation which lets the music flood out. www.avhub.com.au
PIONEERING CONNECTIVITY Pioneer has introduced its largest – and most affordable – range of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto solutions in Australia. All five new AVH-Z series Pioneer head units are designed to complement the smartphone with continuous connectivity and access to a variety of
entertainment options. Apple CarPlay, Dual Bluetooth connection and Spotify Connect are featured in each new model, and Android Auto is additionally supported on three of the five. This includes the first fold-out, single DIN solution to become available in Australia with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the $1000 AVH-Z7050BT (pictured left). There is also DAB+ digital radio support on two of the new models for the cities where it is available. Apple CarPlay allows smart and safe control of your iPhone in the car. It’s activated by pressing the Pioneer touch-screen or voice recognition button, and then allows you to make calls, navigate with Apple Maps, and listen to music, along with sending and receiving SMS messages. Android Auto is similarly activated and also enables the making of calls, the sending or receiving of SMS messages and listening to music plus navigation with Google Maps. The head units also enable the simultaneous connection and control of two smartphones via Bluetooth. An auto connection function automatically pairs the two
specified phones so that incoming calls can be picked up from either. Bluetooth Audio Streaming (A2DP, AVRCP 1.6) makes it possible to display information embedded in songs. It’s now also possible to directly control and play music from the Spotify app on your iPhone or Android smartphone. Play, pause and skip tracks, or browse playlists, albums and radio stations can be done using the Pioneer controls. Spotify premium users (this requires a monthly paid subscription) can access ad-free music even when there is no internet connection via prior syncing. “Pioneer continues to offer popular smartphone and music services at a more consumer-friendly price point,” says Paul Petrakis, the General Manager of sales and marketing for Pioneer Electronics Australia. “We’re fortunate to be in a market-leading position, whereby our latest in-vehicle solutions embrace Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Australia’s biggest music streaming services, like Spotify and iTunes Music. Pioneer AVH-Z2050BT/AVH-Z7050BT Multi Media Head Units Price: from AVH-Z2050BT $650 to AVH-Z7050BT $1000 Contact: Pioneer Australia Pty Ltd Link: www.pioneer.com.au
CAM WELCOMES POWERTEC Car Audio Masters (CAM) has announced it has signed a Preferred Distributor agreement with Powertec Telecommunications Pty Ltd (Powertec) for the promotion and installation of the company’s telecommunication antennas and legal repeaters for vehicles in Australia. Based in Southport in Queensland, Powertec is a leading supplier of mobile signal repeaters, cellular antennas, broadband routers, industrial modems and Wi-Fi access points, as well as the associated cables and connectors for these and other systems.
“Car Audio Masters is delighted to partner with Powertec,” says Lucas de Lorme, CAM’s General Manager. “Its recently launched in-
vehicle repeaters – designed to improve mobile coverage – along with their cellular antenna offerings are a perfect complement to the automotive specialist stores of Car Audio Masters. Powertec is the Australian leader in mobile communications enhancement solutions and brings with it an expertise in mobile phone signal improvement which can successfully leverage CAM’s nationwide installation services backed by a lifetime installation warranty.” Car Audio Masters (CAM) www.cam.net.au
HOT FROM JAPAN
KENWOOD HIGH-RES XS Australian car audio fans will now be able to enjoy the pinnacle of Kenwood’s automotive speaker range, the XS Series, which aims at “Studio Master” quality reproduction, including reaching to the frequencies required to deliver high-res audio. “These are conventionally only sold in the Japanese domestic market,” Jason Johnson from JVCKenwood Australia tells Australian Incar. “But with the high-res support on the DMX7, DDX9, DNX5 and DNX9 units, we’ve decided that these would prove to be a perfect companion for our Kenwood Android Auto and CarPlay flagship units.” Yet the incoming KFC-XS1703 package is no bank breaker, going to retail here in Australia at $549. This includes two tweeter pods using 25mm soft-dome tweeters, and the two bass drivers with 17cm high-rigidity glass-fibre cones mounted in high rigidity aluminum frames. The tweeter is an entirely new design, from its magnetic circuit to the diaphragm material, its signal fed via a high-pass filter using an audiophile-level film capacitor which has almost zero electrical loss, connected directly to the
tweeter. Its pod design corresponds to many existing vehicles, says Kenwood, allowing installation of the tweeter to the original position in many cases. Its upper frequency response extends to 48kHz at -10dB, so that in combination with a head unit capable of high-res audio output, it can deliver pretty much all that a 96kHz high-res source file can deliver. In addition to their light-weight high-strength glass-fibre cones and high-rigidity aluminium baskets which minimise vibration even when used at high volume, the woofers in the KFCXS1703 package include a dual-radiused profile combining two curves with different diameters at the edge, to achieve improved amplitude linearity, while a patented AFC+Tornado damper dispersing the stress applied to the damper, again aiding linearity of response. The rear
magnet cover and assembly has been optimised for smooth flux flow to reduce unnecessary distortions, while the magnet cover allows optimum control of air flow and back pressure from the diaphragm, and its 66.5mm depth maintains easy installability. On top of all that, it’s a looker too! Kenwood KFC-XS1703 2-way 2-speaker system Price: $549 Contact: JVCKenwood Link: www.kenwood.com.au
NEW NAVMAN DASH CAMS DELIVER MORE DETAIL Navman’s new MiVue730 dash cam and MiVue800 dual cam system both feature built-in GPS tracking — so they’re able to provide you with specific details in the unfortunate event of an accident, including the location and direction in which the crash occurred, as well as the speed you were travelling at the time. This can be viewed on your computer via the MiVue Manager – Navman’s desktop software. Optimised day and night recording also means that the footage should remain bright and clear even when driving at night or in bad weather conditions. The MiVue800 Dual Cam system includes a second HD camera for the rear of your car to capture any incidents or crashes that happen from behind. Both the cameras record in 1080p video via all-glass lenses to provide better quality footage in all lighting conditions, including at night. A wide 130-degree angle-ofview takes in surroundings including the lanes on either side of the car. A 3-axis G sensor indicates which direction the impact came from, again via the MiVue Manager software.
There are useful additional safety features on both models, such as a headlight reminder which prompts you to turn on your lights when the surroundings start to become darker, and a driver fatigue alert which warns when you have been driving for over two hours. Furthermore, a Parking Mode is available in conjunction with the MiVue Smartbox (which is an additional purchase), enabling the recording of what’s going on around the car to continue when it is left unattended. “As dash cams increase in popularity, it’s more important than ever to own one, because if an incident occurs, and you don’t have one,
another party may be able to present stronger evidence about the event compared to you,” comments Wendy Hammond, Managing Director of Navman Australia. “It’s also vital to purchase a device that does more than just record. Even though we don’t like to think about being involved in an accident, if one does occur there is no point having a dash cam if it doesn’t provide as much quality footage as possible to help you build a strong case for the police and insurance companies.” The Navman MiVue730 has a 2.0-inch (5.1 cm) screen while the MiVue800 Dual Cam is supplied with a 2.7-inch (6.8 cm) screen. Other key features found on both devices include The MiVue730 and MiVue 800 Dual Cam are compatible with microSD cards up to 128 GB in storage capacity and both devices are backed by a one year warranty. Navman Dash Cams Price: MiVue730 $159, MiVue800 Dual Cam for $269 Contact: Navman Australia Link: www.navman.com.au
FRONT AXIS, REAR AXIS… You can record any incidents — front or rear —or simply document the joy of the journey with the latest Axis DVR1768K kit. The DVR1768K comprises a large 6.8-inch (17.2 cm) LCD display screen with a 1080p front camera which gives an expansive 150-degrees
angle-of-view. The kit also includes a 480p rear camera, so you can have equal peace of mind with any unexpected rear action. The system supports microSD memory cards up to 30GB in capacity, and can even be set to stay recording even when your vehicle is unattended.
Axis DVR1768K dual DVR mirror/ camera kit Price: Kit system $129 Contact: AudioXtra Australia Link: www.axisaustralia.com.au
ALPINE’S ADVANCED AUTO-MATION Alpine has introduced its first premium AV head unit equipped with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The new iLX-702D provides dash-displayed smartphone apps such as navigation, phone calls, messages and a near-infinite choice of music, all commanded with Siri and voice control. With its smartphone-like user interface, the iLX-702D allows you to play DAB+ digital radio when within range of these urban broadcasts, plus USB video and music, iPod or iPhone sources, HDMI-connected devices and even 192kHz/24-bit high-resolution FLAC music. Apple CarPlay enables the display of iPhone functions via the Alpine unit’s 7.0-inch (17.8cm) touchscreen display which obviously include Apple Maps. Android Auto provides Google Maps, various apps and voice control. The iLX702D includes a precision GPS antenna which ensures accurate navigation when using either Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Voice control enables you to set your destination and start driving via spoken commands. Built-in Bluetooth enables
wireless connection of a mobile phone for the convenience and safety of hands-free phone and audio streaming. Additionally, you can use voice control through either the built-in microphone or an external mic. DAB+ provides access to the digitallybroadcast radio stations and can be searched by name. Where available, DAB+ offers noisefree sound and potentially improved reception. The Alpine iLX-702D also provides both HDMI and USB connectivity, and there’s the option to add a reversing camera via its RCA input or direct camera ports. CAN-UART
databus support provides connection to a vehicle-specific interface for displays of climate information, park assist and steering wheel controls. Customisation of the opening screen lets you set your own opening display such as a car make or model logo. In the audio department there’s a 4 x 50W power amplifier, nine-band parametric equaliser/crossover, six-channel digital time correction and advanced sound processing features such as Bass Engine SQ and Media Xpander HD. Alpine iLX-702D Premium AV Head Unit Contact: Alpine Electronics Australia Price $999 Link: www.alpine.com.au
JUMPING CYGNETT There’s nothing worse than a flat car, motorbike or boat battery to spoil your fun, but you can be always ready for this eventuality with the ChargeUp Auto 12V Jump Starter from Cygnett. This is a highly compact unit suitable for vehicles with petrol engines up to 5.0 litres in size or diesels up to 2.5 litres capacity. It provides up to 20 jump starts per charge and incorporates both dual USB ports
and a built-in LED torch. The USB ports mean the ChargeUp can also be used to power up a wide range of digital devices, including smartphones, cameras and loudspeakers plus outdoor equipment such as portables fridges, cookers, tools and torches. The Charge Up Auto 12V is provided in a handy, portable protective carry case which
includes the Jump-Start 12,000mAh device, battery clamps with solid copper jaws and an ‘Ultra Safe Relay’, 12-volt female socket, microUSB cable, wall charger and car charger. The ChargeUp Auto also features Cygnett’s ‘Spark Proof Protection’ technology. Cygnett also offers an even smaller model, the ChargeUp Auto 7.5V, which can be used to jump start petrol engines up to 3.0 litres in size or diesels up to 1.7 litres. It provides up to ten jump starts per charge and also incorporates the dual USB ports and built-in, multi-functional LED torch. Cygnett ChargeUp Auto 12V Jump Starter Price: Auto 12V is $199.95 and ChargeUp Auto 7.5V $129.95 Contact: Cygnett Link: www.cygnett.com
NAVMAN’S DRIVE DUO
Less clutter on your car windscreen is always a good thing, and for those wanting to add a dash-cam but not yet having the delights of built-in navigation, Navman has created the Drive Duo. It combines both GPS navigation and a dash cam in the one compact device. The Drive Duo has a 5.0-inch (12.7 cm) touchscreen, with Australian and New Zealand ‘lifetime’ maps, and also pre-loaded with a selection of languages including Greek, Turkish, Italian and Chinese. There is also a mileage reporter (especially handy for parents teaching children to drive), while multi-stop trip optimisation can make it easier to plan side-trips during a journey. In addition, the
Zomato Restaurant Guide provides reviews and recommendations of dining options, pubs and bars around. Other GPS features include 3D junction views with real signage imagery and lane guidance, so you’ll never miss an important turn-off. Bluetooth Hands-Free allows you to
answer your smartphone safely while driving, as well as providing continued guidance even when travelling through tunnels. The Drive Duo’s dash cam delivers 140-degrees viewing, plus a 3-axis G sensor which registers the direction of an impact (using Navman’s MiVue Manager software). The Advanced Driver Systems (ADAS) safety features include a lane departure alert, a front collision alert and a front departure warning which warns if the car in front has moved off without you noticing. Optimised day and night recording aims for bright and clear footage regardless of the weather conditions or when driving at night. Navman Drive Duo GPS Unit with Dash Cam Price: $279 Contact: Navman Australia Link:www.navman.com.au
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY PROTUNES CAR AUDIO & ACCESSORIES MITCHELL 5/56 Heffernan Street
0421 633 118
NEW SOUTH WALES A-1 AUTO ELECTRICAL & AIR CONDITIONING MOREE 414 Frome St AAV AUTOMOTIVE AUDIO VISUAL TWEED HEADS SOUTH 4/70-74 Industry Drive AUDIO INDULGENCE EAST MAITLAND 9 Alfred Close BALLINA CAR SOUND BALLINA 38 De Havilland Cres C&A MOBILE SOUND & COMMUNICATIONS SMEATON GRANGE 5/24 Anzac Ave CARBON CAR SYSTEMS BLACKTOWN 21/47 Third Ave CRONULLA CAR SOUND & SECURITY KIRRAWEE 8/555 Princes Highway DRIVEN MOBILE SOLUTIONS DUBBO 149a Cobra Street DRUERY INCAR TECHNOLOGY DEE WHY 1/267 Harbord Rd ELITE CAR AUDIO CAMPBELLTOWN 33 Queen St FHRX STUDIOS CARINGBAH 11/70-72 Captain Cook Drv GEM CAR SOUND & AUTO ELECTRONICS COFFS HARBOUR 37 Grafton St GLOBAL TYRES & MECHANICAL CASINO 6 Graham Place HIGH LIFE KUSTOMZ RAYMOND TERRACE 40 Port Stevens St HIGH VOLTAGE CAR AUDIO & RV BROADMEADOWS 24 Broadmeadows Rd INCAR INSTALLATIONS FAIRY MEADOW 1/85 Princes Highway METROSOUND ARTARMON 36 Dickson Ave MC CAR SECURITY MOOREBANK Unit 2, 1 Field Close MONSTER CAR AUDIO ERINA 2/221 The Entrance Rd TUGGERAH Unit 5/168 Pacific Hwy OAK FLATS ELECTRONICS OAK FLATS 49 Central Ave OTECH ELECTRONICS NARRABRI 51 Cooma Rd R & B AUTO ELECTRICS BEGA 117 Gipps St SINGLETON SOUND SOLUTIONS SINGLETON 75 John St STAGE CO. PENRITH 8/61 Regentville Rd STEVE FATTORE SOUND & VISION GRIFFITH 69 Jondaryan Ave STIEGER ELECTRONICS & COMMUNICATIONS INVERELL 3E Swanbrook Rd TIMMAYS CAR AUDIO & 4WD ACCESSORIES LISMORE 5/75 Conway St TOTALLY EQUIPPED 4WD BATEMANS BAY 36 Princes Hwy WAGGA CAR RADIO & HI-FI WAGGA WAGGA 379 Edward St WESTEND SOUND ARMIDALE 13 Wright St
02 6752 1290 07 5524 1600 02 4933 0099
02 9938 3988 02 4626 6766
0417 686 671
AUTO ADDICTION LAUNCESTON 267 Wellington St AUTO ADDICTION MOONAH 46 Main Rd
02 4648 5553 02 9831 3288 02 9545 5577 02 6882 2557
02 6652 3016 02 6662 1000 02 4983 2626 02 4089 4509 02 4226 1655 02 9436 1995 02 9601 0110 02 4365 2466 02 4353 6677 02 4256 6120 02 6792 3190 02 6492 1099 02 6571 5155 02 4731 2499 02 6964 2444 02 6722 3555 0421 759 110 02 4472 5260 02 6925 6111 02 6772 6099
08 8941 8800
QUEENSLAND AIR SOUND & VISION CAIRNS 44 McLeod St AUDIO INSANE HARVEY BAY Shop 6/64 Boat Harbour Drv COMPLETE CAR SOUND ENOGGERA 100 Pickering St DRIVESOUND MOOROOKA 7 COLEBROOK AVE GOLD COAST CAR AUDIO SOUTHPORT 57 Johnston St GOLD COAST CAR SOUND BUNDALL 9 Strathaird Rd HARLAND AUTO ELECTRICS GLADSTONE 100 Hanson Rd LIVING ENTERTAINMENT-CABOOLTURE CABOOLTURE Shop 5/110 Morayfield Rd MAROOCHY CAR SOUND MAROOCHYDORE Cnr Maud St & Comstar Ave MOTOR VISION TOOWOOMBA 165A Herries St NORTHFIELD CAR SOUND MACGREGOR Unit 17/547 Kessels Rd NUNDAH 1527 Sandgate Rd RACE AUTOMOTIVE SOUND & VISION SLACKS CREEK 54 Moss St
AUTO ADDICTION BENDIGO 49 King St AUTOMOTIVE INTEGRATION MOORABBIN 47 Capella Cres BAIRNSDALE ELECTRICS SALES & SERVICE BAIRNSDALE 259 Main St BALLARAT AUTO SOUND SPECIALISTS BALLARAT 8 Eastwood St FREEWAY CAR AUDIO DANDENONG 95 Lonsdale St GL PRO SOUND TULLAMARINE U1/2 Tullamarine Park Rd IGNITION ASV ECHUCA 11 Murray Valley Hwy SHEPPARTON 159 Vaughan St INCAR SOUND & VISION BURWOOD 93a Highbury Rd LEN DAY CAR RADIO GEELONG 249 Moorabool St NO LIMIT CAR SOUND & VISION SOUTH MELBOURNE 580 City Rd OVRDUN KUSTOMS MORWELL 110C AIrlie Bank Rd PATTISON CAR SOUND BUNDOORA 14 The Concord PHILLIPS AUTO SOUND & ELECTRICS RINGWOOD 6/401 Maroondah Hwy SOUND OBSESSION SEAFORD 29 Wells Rd STEALTHTECH MILDURA 97 Seventh St STREET SOUND AND VISION THOMASTOWN 209 Settlement Rd STYLYN CAR AUDIO BORONIA 268 Dorset Rd SWANTRONICS SWAN HILL 45 Campbell St TOWER AUDIO MOORABBIN 439 Warrigal Rd WARRAGUL AUDIOWORKZ WARRAGUL 28 Normanby St WESTERN AUSTRALIA
0420 492 253
ALBANY CAR STEREO ALBANY 35 Sanford Rd ALBERTS CAR STEREO ROCKINGHAM 6/8 Pickard Ave AUDIO PRECISION COCKBURN 87 Armadale Rd AUTOTAINMENT VICTORIA PARK U2/5 Milford St East CAR STEREO SHOP PERTH 334 Beaufort St FREE DB CAR STEREO FREMANTLE 140 South Tce GRANTS CAR STEREO MORLEY 61 Russell St MIDLAND CAR AUDIO & SAFETY MIDVALE 321A Great Eastern Hwy PROGRESSIVE AUDIO ROCKINGHAM 6 Commodore Dr SOUNDWAVE BUNBURY 4/185 Blair St
07 3892 2555 07 5532 1896 07 5592 1515 07 4972 3427 07 5499 3788 07 5443 5984 07 4632 5453 07 3849 4006 07 3266 7366 07 3290 0018
07 5476 2899 07 5442 4833 07 4681 0681 07 4952 6510
08 7226 8446 08 8362 1099 08 8586 5600 08 8123 2492 08 7230 1088 08 8354 1622 08 8723 0499
03 6344 2727 03 6278 7464
07 4051 4822
07 3355 1509
07 4926 6256
SOUTH AUSTRALIA AV-DC PTY LTD PANORAMA 1/30 Eliza Plc PROLINK VEHICLE SOLUTIONS NORWOOD U1/16 King St RIVERLAND ELECTRONICS RENMARK 113 Renmark Ave SA AUTO INSTALLS ENFIELD 281 Main North Rd ST MORRIS 453 Magill Rd TONKINâ€™S INCAR SOLUTIONS MILE END 12 Sir Donald Bradman Drv MT GAMBIER 97 Commercial St East
02 6686 8877
NORTHERN TERRITORY CARCOM INSTALLATIONS STUART PARK 14 Bishop St
QUEENSLAND CONT. ROCKHAMPTON CAR SOUND NORTH ROCKHAMPTON 1/251 Ford St SOUND IN MOTION NAMBOUR Shop 1/27 Coronation Ave NOOSAVILLE 3/10 Venture Dr TOP BEAT ENTERTAINMENT STANTHORPE 119 High St VIKING MECHANICAL MACKAY 17 Ginger St Paget
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CAM SPECIALISTS VENTURE WHERE OTHER STORES DONâ€™T DARE. WHEN IT COMES TO INTEGRATED ENTERTAINMENT, COMMUNICATION, SECURITY AND DRIVER ASSISTANCE. OUR SPECIALISTS WILL ALWAYS GO THE EXTRA MILE.
BRING YOUR PORSCHE HOME.
You demand great sound and outstanding style from your car’s custom audio system. Now you can bring that performance home. The GRAVITY ONE Bluetooth speaker delivers pure minimalism with 360° listen-anywhere sound. Designed by the renowned Studio F. A. Porsche, the GRAVITY ONE incorporates KEF’s signature Uni-Q technology in a winged design crafted from a single piece of aluminium.
THE SPEED OF SOUND
EISA AWARDS 2017-2018
EUROPEAN IMAGING AND SOUND ASSOCIATION
ustralian Incar was this year invited to join EISA, the European Imaging and Sound Association, as part of its move to become a global organisation. We’re proud to have joined this unique collaboration of 50+ special interest magazines that cover all aspects of audio, video, home theatre, in-car, photographic and mobile technologies. Through its annual Awards, EISA has been celebrating the very best consumer electronics products for over 30 years, selecting those new products that combine the most advanced technology and desirable features with classleading performance. The EISA Awards extend from the most affordable, high value products to the most aspirational expressions of modern consumer electronics. Award categories change from year to year, reflecting the evolution of product design and connectivity, but every EISA Award winner remains the very best in its class. The sheer strength-in-depth of EISA’s members ensures the EISA Awards logo carries tremendous weight with all informed consumers. With the exception of products nominated purely for innovation or design, all candidates for EISA Award nomination must have been tested by at least five member magazines from the appropriate Expert Group before the EISA AGM and available for sale before 1st October 2017.
Now, Australian Incar can’t claim to have had input into the awards this year, given we joined when the process was nearly complete. So we credit our European colleagues for their work in delivering the winners list that follows. From here on, however, there will be Australian input into the process, as we look forward to communing with our like-minded colleagues overseas. Please enjoy, then, the in-car winners from the EISA Awards 2017-2018!
EISA AWARDS 2017-2018
ffering way more features than it has any right to at the price, this head unit boasts Bluetooth connectivity for wireless audio streaming and handsfree calls alongside Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for easy smartphone operation. Your choice of music comes via either the DAB+ digital radio receiver or streaming using Spotify Connect. It can play your own hi-res FLAC files too. Voice control ensures the driver can keep their hands on the wheel while flicking through their favourite tracks, and with additional upgrade options including a compatible dashcam and rear camera, the DMX7017DABS has all bases covered.
EISA AWARDS 2017-2018
aking pride of place at the top of Clarion’s range, this HD player is streets ahead of the competition when it comes to in-car entertainment. Compatibility with Apple’s CarPlay enables integration with your phone, so you can make calls, get directions, send and receive messages and access music. It boasts a 15-band graphic equaliser and provides a 96kHz/24-bit optical digital output to feed an offboard digital audio processor of your choice. You can also partner those sounds with pictures, thanks to the NX807E’s compatibility with an optional digital tuner for TV.
EISA AWARDS 2017-2018
hen it comes to being in control, few systems can compare to this – putting operation of your Mosconi GLADEN DSP with the original OEM system controls at your fingertips. Thanks to its CAN-BUS integration, the volume of different DSP sources is accessible via the original headunit knob and steering wheel controls, while the original ‘Aux’ button is also on hand for switching sources. The result is that there’s no need for any additional external controls if the music needs to be reduced or muted before receiving incoming calls, or if audible parking sensors need to be heard.
EISA AWARDS 2017-2018
he fact that itâ€™s specially designed for compact cabinets does little to deter this excellent subwoofer when it comes to delivering that all-important low-frequency performance. The newly developed, high-tech composite cone comes with a special coating to maintain high rigidity while keeping weight low. Combined with its large-diameter long-throw voice coil, for high power handling, and powerful magnet assembly, the result is a very pure, low distortion sound. The protection grille that seamlessly fits through specially designed slots in the basket flange delivers a final touch of elegance.
EISA AWARDS 2017-2018
t’s easy to produce a subwoofer that shakes a car to its core, but ensuring it retains the purity of your music is an art, and one at which Pioneer excels. The fact this active sub achieves such performance from an ultra-slim chassis (just 97mm high) is impressive, and it can be slotted in the car boot with minimal loss of space. This is all possible thanks to its two 6.5in speakers and Class D amplifier with Digital Bass Control. Sound modes include the rich bass of ‘Deep’ for modern music and accurate, clear ‘Dynamic’ bass for jazz and classical.
EISA AWARDS 2017-2018
eating at the heart of this processor, Helix’s latest core boasts a cutting-edge 32-bit audio DSP with breath-taking processing power. The result is a beast that’s capable of controlling an eight-channel system without breaking into a sweat, while its wide input voltage range ensures excellent flexibility for integration into even the most complex of OEM systems. But the fun doesn’t stop there, for the DSP.2 also accommodates optional extension cards supporting Bluetooth audio, hi-res music streaming via USB and real-time frequency analysis with an external microphone.
EISA AWARDS 2017-2018
his debut amp from Mosconiâ€™s new PRO series suggests more good things are still to come from the brand. Boasting five independent channels of power â€“ the first stereo pair provides 85W, the second pair 170W while the final channel uses a Class D amp to pipe a substantial 600W to the subwoofer. Maximum flexibility is ensured thanks to the inclusion of separate active crossovers in all channels or, alternatively, all crossovers can be bypassed to adapt the input parameter for use with Mosconiâ€™s DSP.
EISA AWARDS 2017-2018
he DSP to beat all rivals, the H8 will automatically re-equalise any OEM system to transform the in-car audio experience from the mundane to the fabulous, creating the most highly-specâ€™d and flexible entertainment system, with single high-level inputs, that money can buy. The H8 DSP includes a logic-switched User Control Set that allows for a highly personalised entertainment setup â€“ it can even be automated using the seat belt sensors if desired. The processor accepts hi-res audio files up to 96kHz/24-bit via its optical digital input and is also perfectly suited for integration with OEM systems fitted with high-level inputs.
EISA AWARDS 2017-2018
f the goal of a decent speaker system is to reproduce music with clarity and punch, then Vibe Audio ticks every box, providing a coherent and clear performance that comes into its own with vocals, pop and electronic music. The combination of high-quality materials and smart engineering starts with the 165mm woofer that includes a 90mm-diameter magnet, Conex spider and linear butyl rubber suspension. This driver blends beautifully with the high excursion tweeter whose response extends right down into the midrange. One further benefit is that a complex, power-sapping crossover is not required inside the CVEN62C-V4 which is supplied with a single Mundorf capacitor.
EISA AWARDS 2017-2018
EUROPEAN IMAGING AND SOUND ASSOCIATION
nd there’s more... with EISA’s Awards covering all aspects of audio, video, home theatre, photographic and mobile technologies, as well as incar, two of our sister publications here in Australia have also joined EISA, and will be carrying the sections of the Awards relevant to them. Indeed you can read these in full online right now... So, for the full listing and judges’ comments on the winners voted by EISA’s Hi-Fi Expert Group, visit Australian Hi-Fi’s EISA announcement here: www.avhub.com.au/EISAhifi For the full listing and judges’ comments on the winners voted by EISA’s Home Theatre Audio and Home Theatre Display & Video Expert Groups, winners, visit Sound+Image’s EISA announcement here: www.avhub.com.au/EISAsi There’s plenty more too — awards for photographic and mobile devices, and indeed all the category winners are live at EISA’s own website, offering perhaps the most widely-voted awards in the world, and an ultimate buying guide for all realms of consumer technology. Visit EISA’s website at www.eisa.eu
NEO – A NEW BENCHMARK
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Mono Class-D technology 750 watts with 1-ohm capability Sub-sonic filters & Bass Boost Remote dash bass control included Amphibious grade PCB coating for exceptional reliability & durability
NEO 4 INCAR AMPLIFIER OF THE YEAR UNDER $500
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Please see our website for more details www.dbdrive.net.au or call 02 9482 4444
4WD OFF-ROAD MAPS
Be thrilled from the moment you start your car with Alpine’s premium solutions, seamlessly integrated into your factory dashboard. The 9” premium infotainment system for the all-new 200 Series LandCruiser lets you experience a whole new level of entertainment with premium sound quality and a built-in state-of-the-art navigation system. The massive 9” high-resolution display allows for
outstanding picture clarity, contrast and resolution from DVD and HDMI, while the touch-screen provides seamless control of the system and sources such as Bluetooth and USB connected smartphones. Additionally, the navigation features 3D off-road maps, 3D landmarks and a comprehensive map database with ﬁxed camera alerts, live trafﬁc and 3 years of free map updates.
The off-road and exploration capabilities of Alpine’s Navigation Station admirably compliments your Toyota 200 Series. Included is the impressive 4WD off-road point-to-point navigation with 3D terrain and turn-byturn guidance. This makes orientation a breeze when exploring off-road or trying to navigate to your favourite camp ground; or alternatively utilize the comprehensive points of interest database to ﬁnd a new one nearby!
ADVANCED 8” PRIMO NAVIGATION SYSTEM
The very latest and most advanced navigation system ever is at your ﬁngertips with Alpine’s new 8” platform. The large 8” capacitive display delivers ultra sharp images and a smartphone like user interface to control sources such as USB HD videos, DAB+ Digital Radio, Bluetooth, HDMI and the all-new Primo 3.0 navigation.
When Alpine set out to study the Hilux driver’s car life, they had only one goal in mind: to create a high-end infotainment system that exceeds all expectations a Hilux owner may have. The result is a premium infotainment system that perfectly integrates into the all-new Toyota Hilux to bring the latest media compatibility, cutting-edge navigation technology and audiophile sound quality to your vehicle. With an unbreakable reputation,
Alpine’s huge 9” Multimedia Navigation Station is as reliable and hard working as your Toyota Hilux. Premium navigation will guide you every step of the way, while the built-in Bluetooth provides hands free phone and audio streaming. Whether you’re driving around town on a job or heading offroad for the weekend, this advanced navigation system has you covered with an abundance of features to ensure you travel safely.
STEERING WHEEL CONTROL RETENTION Seamless integration technology ensures that all of the Hilux solutions are compatible with the factory equipped steering wheel audio functions, as well as phone answer and hang up with Alpine’s built-in Bluetooth connectivity.
7” AND 6.1” INTEGRATION
Sporting high performance multimedia connectivity, Alpine’s range of 7” and 6.1” navigation systems harmonise beautifully with your all-new 2016 Toyota Hilux. Cutting edge technology allows your smartphone to be integrated with superb sound quality, plus access to a large array of the latest sources is provided via the high-resolution touch-screen.
2002 HOLDEN COMMODORE SV8 FEATURE CAR
Exotic cars are one thing, but if you truly want to show off your skills as installer and system designer, you need to practise your art on an Aussie workhorse. Callum Martinâ€™s 2002 SV8 Holden Commodore presents just such a showcase. Story Damon Greenwood Images Shane Dixon
2002 HOLDEN COMMODORE SV8 FEATURE CAR
philosophy of antiquity extolls the virtue of picking one thing and then mastering that one thing absolutely, before attempting anything else. This mindset shines through in Callum’s Commodore. Serious attention has been lavished on every part of this car from the ground up, through some very special tweeter treatment, all the way up to sound deadening the roof. As a style, it might be described as ‘Subtle Awesome’. Because there is nothing pretentious or ‘look-at-me’ with this car. There is no one thing that stands out — and it’s meant to be that way. Yet when one inspects the car and the system closely, the hours of planning and dedication are clear to see. Every facet of the car, system and build are testament to getting that one thing perfect before the next one thing is attempted. And the audio system is where the ‘Subtle Awesome’ philosophy really shines through. In terms of the structure, it doesn’t get much simpler: one pair of 6.5-inch components in the front receiving big clean power, complemented by two 10-inch subs also running huge power, in a custom sealed enclosure — decently large, so promising a nicely even, flat bass response.
TECH SPECS owner: Callum Martin vehicle: 2002 Holden Commodore SV8 engine: 5.7L LS1, textured satin black covers induction: naturally aspirated intake: alloy otr (over the radiator) air intake internals: stock controllers: stock, tuned exhaust: Hurricane 4-1 extractors, Redback twin 2.5â€? exhaust transmission: 4l60e automatic, upgraded cooler suspension: kyb shock absorbers, nolathane bushes, factory optional strut brace fitted brakes: hsv c5 (clubsport) 330mm front, 315mm rear body kit: factory option hbd (Holden by design) lip kit wheels: 18x8â€? HBD j series alloys tyres: 235x45x18 Kuhmo ecsta ku22
SYSTEM source: Pioneer DEH-80prs (active crossovers, equalisation, time alignment etc; high-Resolution music playback) front speakers: DLS RZ6.2; 6.5-inch midbass, 2-inch fibreglass cone wideband driver; actively amplified subwoofers: DLS Nordica 10i x 2; 1.8 cubic feet / 64 litre sealed fibreglass enclosure front amplifiers: DLS CC-4 x 2 (2 x 140W bridged each; 560W total) sub amplifiers: DLS CC-500 x 2 (1000W total) wiring: Streetwires 0, 4 & 8 gauge; streetwires battery terminals & main fuse; stinger fused distribution blocks battery: Optima d35 Yellowtop Deep Cycle lighting: complete dash lighting led conversion from green to warm white & red; warm white led lighting in cabin; warm white & red led edge lighting in boot install sound deadening: Standartplast (stp) gold, Soundskins total system power (12V/4ohms): 1560W configured power (as wired): 1560W total system component cost: $6600 at current RRP sponsor: Designer Listening Solutions, South Australia installed by: av-dc pty ltd total build time: six months overall highest score: expert class (105 /130 points) credits: Designer Listening Solutions Davide Feltrin www.dlsaudio.com.au R&N Motorbodies - Tore Rovere randnmotorbodies.com.au Jarrow auto service - Steve Rowe (08) 8374 1014
2002 HOLDEN COMMODORE SV8 FEATURE CAR
2002 HOLDEN COMMODORE SV8 FEATURE CAR
“THERE IS NOTHING PRETENTIOUS WITH THIS CAR — NO ONE THING THAT STANDS OUT. AND IT’S MEANT TO BE THAT WAY.”
“AS A STYLE, IT MIGHT BE DESCRIBED AS ‘SUBTLE AWESOME’. ..” 36
The head unit is Pioneer’s DEH-80PRS, and from there a high quality signal is fed to two DLS CC-4 (4 × 70W RMS) amplifiers which are bridged down to 2 × 140W RMS. Now this is where it gets interesting campers. The speakers that are connected to said amps are from the DLS Reference Series — the RZ 6.2. These are the mid-range of the Swedish company’s
speaker offering (the Ultimate series goes higher). There’s no pretence at space-age materialism here — in the quest for faithful sound the materials are more of the tried-and-tested variety. Again simple, yet done properly. So the mid-bass driver cones are made from pressed paper ,and controlled with a double roll rubber surround. Natural materials like this will
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tend to yield a smooth, un-fussed natural sound; their Tech Sheet even details how to install them on a baffle properly so that they can breathe and reproduce maximum mid-bass. The tweeters impress even more — they can be high-passed at 1500Hz with only a 12dB crossover! This is almost unheard-of in-car audio and rare even in home audio. The cone is two inches wide — yes, two inches! And there’s more – the Tech Sheet actually recommends an enclosure of up to a full litre for a flat response all the way down to 1500Hz. The only downside to such an awesome piece is that since it covers so much of the musical spectrum,
correct alignment and installation will be critical. Get it right, though, and wow — and this is an installation that hasn’t put a step wrong. Far down below, twin 10-inch DLS Nordica subwoofers reside in a custom symmetrical 64-litre enclosure of layered MDF construction, with the subs firing upwards. The boot floor has only been raised 70mm, while frosted acrylic has been utilised to allow for edge lighting. A three-piece
boot mat from Castle Trim allow the bo0t install to be hidden away — vital considering the car is a daily driver. Combine all of this with the requisite body deadening, advanced routing techniques, stylish LED upgrades, elegant use of leather and piano-gloss-black appointments, and you end up with the embodiment of our “Subtle Awesome”. Time-consuming work, this, frustrating even at times, we reckon. But thoroughly rewarding.
2002 HOLDEN COMMODORE SV8 FEATURE CAR
DRIVER PROFILE Name: Callum Martin Car: 2002 Holden Commodore SV8
1. What got you into car electronics? A lifelong love of music combined with the freedom of a driverâ€™s licence. 2. Occupation? Business owner/ automotive electronic technician (five years in business, ten years installing). 3. Favourite music for testing audio gear? London Grammar, Dire Straits, Rage Against the Machine, Regina Spektor. 4. Dream car? Aston Martin DBS! 5. Other hobbies/interests? My 1973 Toyota Corolla. 6. Where to next? My next car and next sound system, and to continue to grow my business.
exhilRa Story Damon Greenwood Images Ben Hoskins
2015 VW GOLF R FEATURE CAR
The Golf R stirs memories of the old-school ‘Hot Hatch Rabbit’ and their owners’ passion for taking things to the extreme. So what to do when you find yourself the owner of such a fleet-footed and noble machine? www.avhub.com.au
2015 VW GOLF R FEATURE CAR
hen I think of the term ‘VW’ I think of two cars — the “Thing” (look it up people), and the Rabbit, which I remember from my youth. Over the years I have grown to revere and respect the Golf (through several unfortunate meetings on the street if you, ahem, get my drift). In particular the Golf R stirs memories of the old-school Hot Hatch Rabbit and the passion of their owners for taking things to the extreme. So what to do when you find yourself the owner of such a fleet-footed and noble machine? I’m sure all our Incar readers will have the answer to this question — you fill it with the best car audio gear possible and then install it so well that even the cars designers themselves would be impressed! Introducing: Alex Martin’s 2015 Golf R. Where to begin? Let’s go nuts and start at the beginning, where every quality audio system should start — the bones. These consist of all of the ancillary items necessary to get the most out of the high-end goodies producing the tunes. And dem bones be very good indeed in this vehicle — Optima Yellow Top battery, RF cable throughout, Dynamat sound deadening throughout, and a Rockford 10-farad capacitor to feed the hungry Audison amps with clean, instant power. Form and function are equally standout qualities immediately apparent here — from the dash right through to the boot. The Alpine Perfect Fit 9-inch kit (this was the first one installed in Australia) looks like it was born there, along
pact? Q: Why the Focal 4.400 SQ Com d A: Simple, itâ€™s a Class AB dedicate azing sound quality amplifier at the am low price of $599
THE VERSATILE TOP PERFORMER Focal FPS 4.400
THE COMPACT AMP FOR TOP MUSICAL PERFORMANCE
THE FPX 4.400 SQ is the compact 4-channel amplifier with the power of a 4 x 70 watts RMS at 4 Ohms. Offering a 4 or 2 â€“channel mode, stable at 2 Ohms and equipped with an active crossover for each pair of channels, makes the FPX 4.400 SQ very versatile and suitable for a range of system designs. Thanks to its high power, this is the ideal amplifier for powering front and rear speaker drivers or for hi-fi installations with a 2-way kit in the front plus a subwoofer. The 2/4-channel input modes ensure compatibility with head units equipped with only a pair of input lines. The high power and musicality of this amplifier will ensure you get the highest quality performance from your high-end speakers. CONTACT www.focalaustralia.com.au phone 02 9724 6070
DIMENSIONS 314mm x 175mm x 57mm
“IT’S NO SURPRISE TO FIND ALL-AUDISON AMPLIFIERS IN THIS INSTALL; FROM SOURCE THROUGH TO THE AMPLIFIER OUTPUT STAGES THE SIGNAL STAYS DIGITAL..”
2015 VW GOLF R FEATURE CAR
TECH SPECS owner: Alex Martin vehicle: 2015 VW Golf R engine: 2L petrol turbo intake: Apr carbon intake controllers: Apr stage 2 tune exhaust: Milltek downpipe and Milltek non-resonated rear box body kit: Osir carbon fibre rear spoiler and wing mirror covers wheels: Black R type 19” wheels
SYSTEM source: Alpine perfect fit 9” kit, dve5300 and Audison bit play hd front amplifiers: Audison av quattro rear amplifiers: Audison av quattro sub amplifiers: Audison av uno front speakers: Focal 165w-rc active utopia 2-way rear speakers: Focal 165w-rc active utopia 2-way subwoofers: Focal 11kx 27kx 11” k2 subwoofer capacitor: Rockford Fosgate 10 farad hybrid capicator wiring: Rockford Fosgate 0ga power wire, Rockford Fosgate 4ga power wire battery: Yellowtop Optima 034 sound deadening: Dynamat inner and outer skin other system components: Audison av bit in x3 total system power (12v/4ohms): 2300w rms configured power (as wired): 2260w rms installed by: Lifestyle Store total build time: five days big-ups: The team at Life Style Store; European autotec tor the tuning and exhaust system; Rennenhaus for the spoiler and covers. photography by Shane Dixon Ignition Images
2015 VW GOLF R FEATURE CAR
with the DVE5300 handsomely installed OEMstyle in the glovebox. From here the signal goes to the Audison Bit Play HD, which allows for pretty much any type of audio file known to man and enhances connectivity. From here the Audison Bit One takes over; and a very impressive piece of kit it is. All incoming digital signals are processed with precision and timing that pushes sound quality to the utmost. Sound adjustment is near to infinite, with all possible crossover types possible: low pass, high pass and band pass, even the configuration is selectable between Linkwitz and Butterworth. There are 70 crossover points from 10Hz to 20kHz,
and adjustable slopes between 6 and 48dB per octave. Time alignment of each individual driver is achievable in the fully active system — very handy when tweaking for perfect sound stage. But the cat’s meow is the 31-band EQ — not just for the eight output channels but for each individual input channel. This means that if your iPhone tends to output music that is a little flat yet your CDs emerge bass heavy, then no problem; even it out with the EQ assigned to that specific source input. There’s versatility for you. It’s no surprise to find all-Audison amplifiers in this install; the only way to do it, really, so that from source and right through to the amplifier
output stages the signal stays digital. Indeed the whole music path is entirely digital — crossovers, time alignment and equalisation all in the digital realm, thus avoiding the issues of analogue EQ in terms of phase reeponse and noise. Only at the very end of the path is the signal converted and then amplified to drive the speakers. In addition, there is the benefit of brand synergy — products designed to work with each other, maintaining signal purity through the component chain. The amplifiers have been chosen to swing clean power in bulk virtually instantly — the keystone for dynamic sound. Most of the time, of course, these amps will be idling on playback, but
2015 VW GOLF R FEATURE CAR
INSTALLER PROFILE Store: Life Style Store, Parramatta
1. What got you into car electronics? My passion for music. 2. How long for? Twenty years. 3. Occupation? Workshop foreman. 4. Favourite music for testing audio gear? R‘n’B. 5. Dream car? Porsche GT2 in silver. 5. Other hobbies/interests? Modifying vehicles.
when the music becomes more complex and demanding, these amps have the power to produce eye-blinking transients with the utmost precision, allowing the drivers to turn on a dime. The front and rear Focal 165W-RC Utopia drivers have impedance of only two ohms for this very reason — to maximise the available amplifier power (700W RMS to each corner) while still retaining enough resistance for the amplifier to control cone movement. When mounted in the doors solidly and with the tweeters directed properly, their sound is impressive indeed. Finally the subwoofer — a Focal K2 Power 27 KX 11-inch subwoofer rounds out the sound with the all-important bass. A further 700W RMS is fed into the sub, in its custom enclosure and firing rearward to maximise horn loading. Finally, it would be remiss of me to neglect the installation prowess of the lads at Life Style Paramatta. Have a squizz through the images and you’ll see what I mean — attention to detail, quality materials throughout and many man-hours for a car that has you saying to yourself “Just one more song...” as you find yourself sitting in the car half an hour after you’ve arrived home from work...
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
KENWOOD VEHICLE INTEGRATION SOLUTIONS WORKING WITH STINGER AUSTRALIA
Nearly all today’s new vehicles are supplied with a decent entertainment/ audio system, but is decent enough for you? Upgrading your vehicles factory-fitted audio/navigation system has never been easier and whether your car is brand spankers or a little long in the tooth then no worries - Vehicle Integration Solutions® by KENWOOD Electronics includes a dedicated range of multi-media units that can be seamlessly installed into your vehicle with custom accessories supplied by Stinger Australia. You can choose from models that incorporate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, or even a built-in Garmin navigation system. And of course each accessory kit comes with a complete set of easy-to-read, illustrated instructions for the do-ityourself installation.
Why be satisfied with an ordinary factory-fitted system when for a bit extra you can enjoy the benefits of listening to your favourite music the way it was meant to sound by choosing a multi-media model from the award winning Kenwood range.
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
• Built-in Wi-Fi® • 7inch WVGA Capacitive Touch Screen AV Receiver • Advanced full-feature package with built-in Garmin Navigation engine
• Built-in Wi-Fi® • 7inch WVGA Capacitive Touch Screen AV Receiver
DDX917WS • Built-in Wi-Fi® • 7inch WVGA Capacitive Touch Screen AV Receiver
INTEGRATION OPTIONS FOR YOUR CAR
Below is a list of all currently available Kenwood Vehicle Integration Solution Options: Ford Ranger
2011 – 2015
2007 – 2013
2005 – 2013
2012 – 2016
2014 – 2016
2005 – 2013
2012 – 2016
Toyoto Land Cruiser
2001 – 2008
VW Golf/ GTI
2014 – 2016
2012 – 2016
Toyoto Land Cruiser
2008 – 2012
2005 – 2015
Toyota Avensis Verso
2005 – 2010
2011 – 2013
2015 – 2016
2002 – 2006
Toyoto Prius C
2012 – 2014
2005 – 2015
2000 – 2005
2001 – 2005
2010 – 2014
2003 – 2009
2006 – 2011
2008 – 2014
2009 – 2012
2012 – 2013
2007 – 2016
2000 – 2004
2010 – 2011
2010 – 2015
2005 – 2006
2005 – 2011
VW Transporter T5
2015 – 2016
2005 – 2016
2012 – 2014
1997 – 2004
2014 – 2016
2005 – 2010
2011 – 2014
2011 – 2013
2015 – 2016
2013 – 2014
2005 – 2011
2015 – 2016
2005 – 2015
2005 – 2006
2012 – 2014
CMOS-320 Dash Camera
To find out more visit http://www.kenwood.com/au/car/
ITALIA O The Fiat 500 â€” rather cosy for a whole heap of audio kit? Not at all... find out how this compact but perfectly formed Italian fits in the fun while still allowing day-to-day driving in this issueâ€™s drive from the archive... Story Ed Kramer Images Jun Sawa
2008 FIAT 500 FEATURE CAR
2008 FIAT 500 FEATURE CAR
ny which way you look at it, the Italians have given us some thrilling cars. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati — hushed tones of admiration and glances of envy they inspire. But also at the other end of the scale, where mere mortals live, there are interesting options. Think Lancia, Alfa and the diminutive yet eye-catching Fiat brand, with its colourful and noteworthy history. Here we have Julian Gligorov’s Fiat 500 — Julian approached us asking us whether his pride-and-joy was featureworthy. Our answer? A resounding si! So here we’re bringing it back for a second look-see.
2008 FIAT 500 FEATURE CAR
TECH SPECS owner: Julian Gligorov vehicle: 2008 Fiat 500 engine: 1.4L Multi-Jet induction: BMC Air transmission: 6-speed manual exhaust: Custom Exhaust with stainless tips suspension: Eibach Pro-Kit brakes: EBC Rotors, front slotted, EBC red stuff pads wheels: Factory optioned 16-inch tyres: 195/45R16 Bridgestone Potenza
SYSTEM source: Factory MP3, USB connectivity front speakers: Audison AVX6.5 6.5-inch front splits rear speakers: Audison AVK6 splits subwoofers: 2 x Audison Voce 12-inch subwoofers front & rear amplifiers: Audison SR4 4-channel amplifier subwoofer amplifiers: Audison SR1DKJ stereo amplifier wiring: 0-gauge lighting: Custom footwell and boot lighting sound deadening: Throughout boot installed by: Sound Obsession Seaford total build time: Three days credits: Sound Obsession for a top install, Globeres Signs for the great decals, my parents and mates who put up with the car install
2008 FIAT 500 FEATURE CAR
BIG SOUND, SMALL SPACES Considering the size of the Fiat, the system Julian specified is fit for any car and features powerful subs and amplification. The story starts with the competent-enough factory head unit which accepts MP3s and offers a USB input. From there things get a whole lot more serious with amplification from Audison by way of its SR4 4-channel amplifier powering the front and rear speakers. A further Audison amplifier, this time the stereo SR 1DKJ handles the subwoofer duties. Now the speakers are kept within the same family and are Audison’s AV X6.5 165mm splits in the front while the rear speakers are Audison AV K6 165mm component numbers. All the speakers have been placed in factory positions in order to keep the Fiat’s interior looking nice and factoryclean while the amplifiers have been set out of
the way underneath the seats. The subwoofers are, of course, nicely installed in custom enclosures in the Fiat’s hatch – or boot – which has been extensively sound deadened. Here, Julian used two Audison Voce AV 12 12-inch subwoofers. The custom enclosures have been lined with red vinyl in order to match the rest of the colour scheme within the Fiat’s interior. All is hooked up via 0-gauge cable and an Audison Bass Controller has been installed to adjust subwoofer level. With the boot’s install of the subwoofers, Julian’s mandate was that it would be a removable feature in order to allow the car to be practical in terms of every day usage. This can be easily done by Julian in a matter of minutes while still allowing good sound for his enjoyment via the excellent Audison speakers in the cabin.
Oh, and by the way, Julian wanted to build a system for sound quality, which he has achieved, and although he hasn’t entered SQ competitions as yet, he has achieved an SPL maximum of 138dB. Well done! Extensive use of LEDs has been applied to highlight the boot install at shows and in the footwells for interior ambience. Overall, the installation is classy and the good people at Sound Obsession are to be commended.
ITALIAN LEATHER The Fiat’s interior is rather attractive too. Julian specified the full leather treatment from Fiat at the time of purchasing and this allowed a red and cream theme to be applied throughout the interior. So the dash is Fiat cream which is carried across to the instrument cluster shade
The ultimate experience all-new state-of-the-art Thomastown showroom.
209 Settlement Rd Thomastown Ph: 9464 4373
14 Translink Drive Keilor Park Ph: 9336 0188 www.streetsoundvision.com.au
474 Whitehorse Road Mitcham Ph: 9874 5678
2008 FIAT 500 FEATURE CAR
DRIVER PROFILE Name: Julian Gligorov Car: 2008 Fiat 500
1.What got you into car electronics? Always loved a decent quality system that you can hear coming down the street. 2.How long have you been into it for? I’ve had the car for seven years, the install for four years. 3.Occupation? Owner of Juelz Plumbing. 4.Favourite music for testing audio gear? Pretty much anything. Remixes, R&B, Techno, Bass. Songs wiith a combination of lyrics & bass. 5.Dream car? Nissan 370Z, BMW Z4. 6.Other hobbies/interests? 4WDriving, hunting, fishing, wakeboarding, motorbike riding, going to the beach with mates. 7.Where to next? Just started my own plumbing business, Juelz Plumbing. New coilovers for the Fiat. Other than that, I’d love a Z4 with leather, massive system, etc. And keep my Fiat and maybe fit it with an Albarth engine.
and the leather steering wheel while the seats are red leather – which is also used on the door trims – with cream leather headrests for accent. Red leather is also used on the gear stick cowl. So by installing the speakers the factory locations, the interior has been kept beautifully simple. The Italians, even when designing with simplicity in mind, can still create an eyecatching interior style. Similarly, the Fiat’s exterior is elegantly simple. So the cream colour scheme is carried to the outside and the car is enhanced via custom Italian stripes (Italian flag red, green and white across the roof ) and decals. The 500 sports a factory moonroof, a fully-optioned chrome kit, red callipers and ‘Abarth’ (the performance and sporty branch of Fiat) rim centre capos on the factory-optioned 16-inch alloys.
CONCLUSION Simple elegance and classy style; that’s what the Italians are known for. Oh, and pretty freaking awesome cars too. Here in Julian’s neat Fiat 500 that Latin flavour is in plentiful supply. This is an elegantly-appointed car with a fresh, airy and gorgeous interior and equal style in its exterior. And, of course, the choice of Audison audio hardware ties it all back to the Italian roots. Bellissimo!
CERWIN VEGA B51 AMPLIFIER CLASS D ONE-CHANNEL AMPLIFIER
AUDITION REVIEWER MARTY PRICE
THE LITTLE AMPLIFIER THAT CAN. (AND DOES.) One of the original pillars of car audio worldwide, rising predominantly to fame during the 1980s and 1990s, Americanborn Cerwin Vega is a vastly experienced company with an extensive heritage spanning well over half a century. The company has grown synonymous with good quality but affordable equipment, and although its amplifier stable includes some of the mightiest components the car audio arena has ever seen, the Company also produces a range of smaller amplifiers,which cater for those of us not wanting or able to set either the world or their bank account on fire. Monoblocks don’t always need to resemble office blocks in order to achieve their goal. Of
course there will be reaers keen to retort that smaller monoblocks inevitably yield smaller power output and hence “less control”. But consider this. Just as a Hayabusa doesn’t require the 7000hp motor of an opencut mining truck to get moving, if you inject a little forethought into your subwoofer selection you won’t require quite so many thousands of watts in order to have its motor structure moving fluidly. I’ve learnt this from experience and, clearly, so has Cerwin Vega. And of course the flipside of the equation is space. Not everyone wants to sacrifice half their boot in order to garner decent sub-bass. And with the rise of Class D amplification, this mindset has borne witness to the rise of a new
genre of compact digital amplifiers, a genre that’s recently taken off like a veritable rocket.
NO HEAT OVERLOAD So, this B51 is the monoblock from the esteemed new Stealth Bomber series from our American friends. It’s a high current digital class-D design, with the output channel being rated to produce over 175 watts continuously when presented with a four-ohm load, or 300 watts when faced with a two-ohm load. Loading it down further doesn’t compromise operations either; it just ups its power output to 500 watts continuous to face the challenge and continues right on its merry way. Compared with some, that might not sound too
stratospheric, however just look at its merits — an insignificant footprint of 195mm x 100mm, height of just 35mm, and weight of a mere couple of kilograms. So given its size its power output is quite simply astounding. The secret lies within the topology. Class-D amplifiers utilise very powerful transistors that are controlled digitally, switched between either fully on or fully off, as opposed to an analogue voltage tracking the input, as would be the case with a class AB design. This system yields high efficiency — leagues ahead of analogue counterparts. When the switches are open, all of the power supplied to them is delivered to the load and none converted into heat. On the other hand when they’re off they have full supply voltage standing across
ability to look right at home virtually anywhere, although given their size they’re likely to be unseen anyway! The outer case is primarily aluminium extrusion anodised in black, while the bottom plate is stamped steel. The shock-resistant plastic end caps serve to protect the controls and connection blocks. Along one end reside all the physical power connections, including 8AWG power and earth input terminals, and dual speaker output terminals so you can run multiple subwoofers if you so choose. Along the other end are the remainding connections, starting with high- or low-level inputs. You simply plumb either your RCA or speaker level into the plug provided. Also here is a remote port for a bass level controller,
“the B51 represents the epitome of what new-age mini power amplifiers should be — smart-looking, and smart-sounding.”
BOLD, NOT BULKY Appearance wise it’s fair to say Cerwin Vega amplifiers have always looked, well, typically American. They’re often large, bulky and covered in heat-sinks (a look which I’ll confess I actually have no bones with). The Stealth Bomber units, though, are the antonym of this trend. They’re small, anything but bulky, and the designers have spruced up the outward appearance a little by combining the overall black case with some very stylish looking silver end caps and side bars. This gives them the
while located adjacent are the aural controls. Aside from 10V–0.2V sensitivity these include a 10Hz–55Hz subsonic filter, a 40Hz–400Hz low pass crossover and a 0dB–12dB bass boost. There’s no phase controller included. Initially this appears to be quite an oversight because the ability to change phase can be critical to getting the subwoofer blending neatly with your front stage. However Cerwin Vega has method in its madness here, as swapping phase is as simple as switching the wires around — you’ll only do it once, during set-up. So to omit this is actually fiscally wise; it allows for the manufacturing costs to come down just that little bit more. Dismantling the unit for inspection is as straightforward as removing four cap screws and sliding the bottom plate off. Revealed thereby is a busy electronic landscape, intelligently laid out, and quality components too, appropriate for handling high current demands, all robustly mounted upon a solid red glass circuit board. A quadruplet of 1000uF /25V Samwha stiffening capacitors smooth the current before it’s transferred across to a large air core transformer for voltage ascension. From here the higher voltage is transported to twelve 470uF/50V Samwha power capacitors for storage until needed, at which point it’s then distributed across to ten audiophilegrade MOSFETS. These transistors deliver power aplenty when called upon, and are lined strategically along either side of the heatsink, carefully placed to allow for maximum thermal dissipation when things start getting a little warm. Cerwin Vega has paid careful attention to where the signal handling components reside, for heat aside they must also be kept well clear of the current handling areas lest they induce whine. Not as easy task with a physical design this small.
Included in the box are mounting screws, tools, multilingual instructions, a bass-level remote and an input plug with RCAs plumbed in. Finding real estate for the unit is, of course, a non-event, with it fitting just about anywhere larger than an ash tray. I had it installed within 15 minutes and began by setting the gains against my oscilloscope. Despite its diminutive proportions the output waveform doesn’t reveal significant signs of deterioration until well into the output range, which is a good sign for those a little concerned that the small unit might struggle. As aforementioned, subwoofer choice is an important decision when using an amplifier of this ilk; you’re don’t want to be hooking up a row of Cerwin Vega Strokers here... I settled on testing with a single highly efficient 12-inch subwoofer running in a sealed 35-litre test enclosure. Starting out with softer genres such as acoustic, jazz and classical the amplifier proved clean and smooth, reproducing any and all low-end notes, with consistency to boot. Taking it from there I stepped up the genres to the more dynamic electronic music before finally landing at the hardest of genres for amplifiers to reproduce: rock and well-engineered heavy metal. When handling these demands the B51 remained in impressively complete control, even during the fast double-bass blast-beats of thrash and industrial-style metal, and to a surprisingly frightening volume! That said I must also add the disclaimer that you shouldn’t go harbouring any unrealistic expectations either. The B51 is not a titanic-sized amplifier, ergo there comes a point beyond which you cannot push it. Nonetheless it’ll provide more than enough bass to satisfy those not aiming to bounce along the road in a wild SPL display. In conclusion, then, the B51 represents the epitome of what new-age mini power amplifiers should encompass. Its smart-looking, smart-sounding and given its meagre price tag of $449, it’s beyond a bargain.
CERWIN VEGA B51 AMPLIFIER TYPE: Class D one-channel amplifier FEATURES: Adjustable crossover and subsonic filter, bass boost, subsonic filter, high and low level inputs CONTINUOUS POWER RATING: 1 x 175 / 300 / 500 @ 4 / 2 / 1 ohm COST: $449 CONTACT: Cerwin Vega Australia WEB: www.cerwinvega.com.au • Bold but not bulky • Smart and solid for its price • Big sub arrays will need more
them but no current flowing, so again zero heat is dissipated. The darned laws of physics do get involved, sadly, so perfection remains an unattainable state, but the Class-D design can return an efficiency hovering around the 90% region, with the remaining energy converted to heat (energy cannot be eradicated but only converted). Distortion levels also remain inherently a little higher within this class of amplifiers because the output waveform is built using a square wave blocks. That said, the E51 does return an impressive total harmonic distortion of 0.5%. Frequency response is a suitable 10Hz– 350Hz, and the signal-to-noise ratio is 85dBA at 1 watt, or 101.1 dBA at full tilt. Alongside the distortion, of course, is the other spec critical to subwoofers: damping facto — in plain English the amplifier’s ability to control the subwoofer’s motor movement, both acceleration and the perhaps more crucial deceleration to the zero point before it begins the opposing side of the sinusoidal wave. This is of utmost importance if you desire sharp and accurate sub-bass reproduction. Calculated nominally by dividing the subwoofer’s impedance by the output impedance of the amplifier, the B51 boasts a damping factor of over 250.
FITS JUST ABOUT ANYWHERE
CLARION VX807AU MULTIMEDIA HEAD UNIT
AUDITION REVIEWER SCOTT CAMPBELL
FEEL THE DIFFERENCE. I’m not kidding with this headline — you can actually feel, as well as hear the quality, from the very first time you play this beauty. As far as head units go, today’s necessity for a big touch-screen has meant that they’re all starting to look the same, to a degree. They all feature the latest and greatest functions, multiple connections in and out, Apple Car Play along with Android connectivity and ‘app’-style operation. So what’s left to separate one model from the next, apart from cost? In fact, that’s a simple question to answer. Quality. Quality of manufacture, quality of operation. Most importantly, quality of sound.
CRYSTAL-CLEAR SCREEN So from the fascia at least, the Clarion VX807AU doesn’t appear much different to many another multimedia head unit. A large 7inch screen dominates the fascia; it flips down at the touch of a button to reveal the CD sisc slot. There’s a row of small buttons along the
lower front edge, below the screen and these “touch points”, to borrow a phrase from the car manufacturers, have received some attention. They are smoothly tactile and very ‘definite’ in their operation. They don’t rock from side to side in their sockets like some examples. They are clearly illuminated and you can easily identify them by feel — that’s important while driving, particularly at night. But of course, you really don’t even need to use the buttons a lot of the time. The large screen is also touch-enabled and, even better, it has a “Flick” or swipe function with much the same feel to it as on your smartphone. Functionality (of which there is plenty) is logical and clear, with no weird menu layouts or options. It took me all of about 10 minutes to become familiar with it. The graphics quality of this screen deserves a mention here also, with colours rich and vibrant and icons that are easy to recognise and clear even in direct sunlight. The 800 x 480 pixel resolution aside, video playback is as good as anything you’ll get on your smartphone or tablet.
Connections — brother, have we got some connections here! All the usual suspects are in place with three separate RCA outputs for additional amplifier/processor connections, plus there’s an optical output to go straight to your DSP device, or to Clarion’s own Full Digital Sound System. (This alleviates the need for an external DAC and means the signal stays completely in the digital domain.) USB is equally well catered for, with 2 x rear USB fly leads (included) and HDMI for video inputs, which will play H.264 video, while from USB you can play MP4 and AVI video files and MP3, WMA AAC, and FLAC audio. There’s a handy option to split multiple sources between front and rear passenger zones, which may save you from hearing The Wiggles playing on the rear screen video output! The Clarion VX807AU features several options for sound tailoring, with both Hi-Pass and Low-Pass filter options, very useful for adjusting additional sources to work with external amplification and drivers. A built-in
15-band equaliser means you can tune each individual source to your liking, and then save the settings so they’re applied automatically when you switch to that source. The navigation function does require an additional cost option, but this then allows 3D mapping, which often seems easier to read and comprehend when trying to find your way. Given the sheer number of options on offer here, along with such a broad range of adjustments and functionality, the VX807AU is a champion in a crowded segment. Even the most “tech savvy” of users will be hard pressed to run out of things to do with this one! But conversely, it can be configured to focus on the most often used features for convenience and playback.
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN Has Clarion ever made a terrible sounding head unit? I can’t really think of one — perhaps some that didn’t grab you quite as much as others. But they’ve all sounded good in most
ways. The Clarion VX807AU proves no exception to this rule, and in some areas is a different beast to the other offerings currently vying for your hard-earned pay check. Features and functions to the nth degree, yet, but without Clarion losing sight of what’s really important for a head unit — quality of sound reproduction. Whether it be via Bluetooth, USB, CD or any other format, the VX807 impressed with its sound quality across a wide range of material. Even playing AM talkback radio while working on the bench, I found myself impressed with the vocal clarity on offer via my junky old workshop speakers. It’s not a cheap device. But we reckon it’ll last you. Even come the day we’re all streaming wirelessly via surgical implants, the Clarion VX807AU will be remembered for the quality of its build and the quality of its sound reproduction.
CLARION VX8O7AU MULTIMEDIA HEAD UNIT TYPE: 2-din multimedia head unit SCREEN: 7-inch 800 x 480 touchscreen INPUTS: AM/FM tuner, Bluetooth, HDMI; dual rear USB; rear composite AV; rearview camera; radio antanna, GPS antenna; DAB404E module input (separate option); remote control OUTPUTS: speakers out; 6-channel preamp outputs (2-volt front, rear, subwoofer); composite a/v output; digital optical output WARRANTY: 1 year COST: $1099 CONTACT: Clarion Australia on 03 8558 1115 WEB: www.clarion.com.au
• Great sound • Plenty of connections and EQ options • Nothing much to knock here
You’d be forgiven for thinking the VX807AU was all about the tech, but you’d be wrong. You can hear it’s a Clarion; indeed this is where the VX807AU really shines. Installed in the test vehicle, a 2002 Nissan Stagea wagon, it was paired with the resident Alpine DLX-F17S splits, which should need no introduction for regular readers (reviewed right here in Australian In-Car issue 3-2017). While the VX807AU was only temporarily mounted for this review, the Alpines are well and truly locked in, with 500+ hours of run time. No external amplifiers or subs were used in this review and all tracks were played from CD or via Bluetooth from an iPhone 5S. Bluetooth should be chosen only for convenience — in fact a wired input via the USB resulted in superior quality of sound. (Clarion’s Bluetooth spec notes only A2DP, so presumably defaults to the SBC codec, which would explain the superior wired results.) First track up was from Bruce Cockburn’s “Slice of Life”, his live solo album recorded in 2008. Now, this album was recorded for me by a longterm friend in Tasmania, copied from a master in his home studio, then digitally cleaned and re-burned onto a specially-treated blank disc. I’ve found these recordings are among the cleanest, most dynamic and purest I’ve ever come across. (Just exactly what he does is a closely guarded secret; I have but the barest idea of the process. And I should note he only gives them away to a few friends.) Anyway, the track in question, number 3, is Lovers in a Dangerous Time. Cockburn’s voice ranges from guttural to soaring, and is a difficult one to capture accurately. Having heard it numerous times on high-end domestic systems, I had my doubts as to what to expect from an in-car environment. “Pleasantly surprised”, my notes say, along with “dynamic” and “realistic”. The VX807AU captured the main essence of the performance, including, surprisingly, a lot of the spacial cues of the
recording venue. These are not something I’ve come to expect from in-car systems, being hard to reproduce in a vehicle, especially a wagon, and especially on the move. The track had great rhythm and very, very little distortion or compression I could hear, even at higher volumes. Speaking of level, the VX807AU seems to punch well above its rating, which is variably quoted as 4 x 25W (website), 4 x 50W (maximum into 4 ohms, in the manual); whatever the measurement standard, I never felt that the Clarion came close to its limits in my use with the Alpines. And of course the line outputs allow amplification upgrading if you do need more. Ray Wylie Hubbard’s 1994 album “Loco Gringo’s Lament” has one particular track on it that gets regular play chez Campbell and that’s Number 4, Little Angel Comes a Walkin’. It’s well recorded, well mixed and really gets along with great pace and timing. Hubbard’s voice can be both raw and soulful ,and while I’m not a huge fan of Progressive Country music, this is a particularly enjoyable track. Driving with the VX807AU, this song had me toe-tapping and drumming fingers on the wheel. Lifting things several notches, I’ve long been a fan of the Foo’ies and recently picked up their “One by One” album, their 2002 fourth studio release and the first to feature new guitarist Chris Shiflett. Come Back is a dark and brooding lament, possibly reflecting the band’s internal troubles of the period, but a a satisfying song nonetheless, with real balls in the recording. It needs to be played loudly to sound its best! The VX807AU obliged handsomely. All the growling angst of the track was captured and pumped out nicely, proving beyond doubt that this Clarion unit has what it takes, across a wide range of genres and musical tastes.
NVD100-EN INTERACTIVE DISPLAY MODULE
HEAD UP EVERYTHING. THIS IS THE FUTURE. REVIEWER MARTY PRICE
Not that I like talking about age, but over my many years of reviewing electronic equipment hitherto, the vast bulk of it has been primarily straightforward audiovisual gear — the likes of receivers, amplifiers and speakers. But every so often fate sends me something that departs from this norm. Which is always interesting, though seldom earth-shattering. It is a rarity indeed when a new design lands on my desk which is not only practical but borders on downright ingenious. Well, friends, we have one such right here — Navdy’s NVD100-EN interactive display module. It is engineering acumen personified. In brief, then, the Navdy NVD100-EN is an interactive information system which is centred on a head-up display module — i.e. the display is projected onto the windscreen so you can
keep your ‘head up’, rather than peering down at the dash. You’ll most likely have seen this in operation in upmarket (often very upmarket vehicles, and for navigation in particular it allows for safe and easy reading of the maps. But the Navdy system goes much further, branching out to encompass everything from musical and telephonic duties through to various elements of the host car’s information. indeed there’s quite a bit to get one’s head around when first tinkering with it; it’s after a day or two of familiarisation that you begin to appreciate this little gem. So much so that I’m going to boldly proclaim that devices of this ilk will soon be mandatory in all new vehicles. Open the smartly finish box and you’re presented with a whole host of neatly packaged goodies, all of which are constructed
from robust UV and shock-resistant black polyplastics. Aside from the unit itself there are three different fundamental mounting systems for low, mid and high dash heights, a steeringwheel-mounted controller, various cables and cable management clips, OBD-II interface plug, cleaning tools plus multiple quick start guides. I’m rarely enthusiastic about quick start guides, and the remaining instructional information resides on the Navdy website in the guise of mini-paragraphs and short videos. Save the trees though this may, I’d rather have a full instruction booklet right in front of me to reference while in the car. [End moan.] With the physical components installed and plugged into your ODB-II port, you can then pay a quick visit to either the App Store or Google Play depending on your operating
system of choice. Just be aware that when downloading and installing the Navdy app that it requires the latest operating system installed on your smartphone, so check this in advance! L learnt the hard way. Then upon opening the app it prompts you to answer a few preliminary questions before running through the installation process, including the pairing of both the steering wheel controller and your phone to the main command module. From there you simply navigate the system’s menus with the steering-wheel controller, using a logical combination of the dial and pressing of the button for different lengths of time to access and activate different features.
GOOGLE MAP SMARTS The navigation uses Google Maps via your phone, not only navigating hopefully seamlessly and safely to your destination but also providing all the abilities intrinsic to Google Maps, from the exhaustive points-of-interest database through to offering current traffic and weather-related information in addition to the basics such as time, date and compass direction. Much of this can be searched via the steering wheel controller. The system can reroute based on criteria such as traffic
SWIPE THEM AWAY Staying with the telephony-related functionality for a moment, when a phone call comes in, the unit displays (head up) all available information about that individual, including a photo of
three-dimensional configuration gave a scope of depth in addition to width and height. And this is where the Navdy is superior to much of the competition. While the HUD concept is nothing new, most on the market today (including many OEM ones) are simply two-dimensional projectors displaying information on the windscreen with a flat monochromatic appearance. This often suffers from translucent ghosting where there’s an ever-present background tinge to the information zone, making it difficult to read in certain lights. The Navdy delivers a vivid, full-colour three-dimensional image when displaying navigation maps and other ancillary information, even facial features, and all on a virtually transparent background. Not only does this generate a superior depth perception to what might otherwise be bland information, it’s also crystal clear, with zero anti-aliasing issues. This is also conducive to fewer headaches, as your eyes don’t have to strain to recognise information — which might not sound overly
important short-term, but once you’ve spent a day navigating around the complex back lanes of Sydney in bright sunlight, arriving home minus a migraine is a big bonus. Speaking of bright sunlight, the display adjusts brightness to match the environment automatically, ranging from dimming down at night to being approximately 40 times brighter than your average smartphone during peak brightness periods, like high noon.
MULTI-TASKER Finally, there is the vehicle information link. Besides obtaining power from the ODB-II connection the Navdy can also communicate with nearly all modern cars to offer up such information as tachometer, speedometer, fuel consumption and the like, in addition to alerting to you when the car needs fuel. Basically, when you initially set up the app on your phone, you tell it what make, model and year your car is. The Navdy will thenceforth configure itself to communicate with your car, displaying all available information before you. It’s a proactive system too, whereby if there’s an issue such as being low on petrol, the Navdy will automatically calculate the shortest route to your preferred petrol station to fill up. Friendly! If you drive your car once a month, this may all be an unnecessary luxury. However, if you’re like me and spend more time in your car than anywhere else, the Navdy rapidly becomes a necessity. Even if you reckon you sdon’t spend much time peering down at the binnacle, with this unit installed, that distraction is entirely removed. It’s not only safer, it’s downright fun. Even setting all that aside, the greatest genius of this device is that it’s entirely portable. If you’re alighting from your daily driver to head down the coast in your weekend rocket ship, you simply unplug it from your ODB-II port, move it across to the new vehicle and let your app know. Tell me, is that not the most practical piece of incar technology you’ve witnessed in some time?
NAVDY NVD100-EN INTERACTIVE DISPLAY MODULE TYPE: Dash mounted head-up display FEATURES: Interactivity with smartphone and cars ODB-II port allowing for navigation, Blue tooth and vehicular information to be displayed COST: $999 CONTACT: Directed (03) 8331 4800 WEB: www.directed.com.au • All manner of head up information provided • Excellent gesture and voice control • Full printed manual would be handy
congestion, and the longer you use it the more it learns about you, meaning that it can anticipate your needs to make helpful time-saving suggestions based on your habits and calendar events. Incredible accuracy is maintained thanks to the fact the GPS chip and antenna have a clear line of communication with satellites overhead as they reside within the main body of the head-up display, which by now is hopefully residing upon your dashtop. The additional resource of your phone’s facilities, advanced sensors, accelerometer and gyrometer all work in harmony to provide the system with pinpoint information pertaining to the car’s whereabouts. If the coverage drops out, in a tunnel for example, the unit does a good job of keeping you on course with offline maps.
the caller if you have such information stored on your device. You can then opt to accept or decline the phone call simply by swiping your hand in the air before the head-up display. The unit is quite smart in this regard, too — well capable of recognising the difference between a genuine hand swipe and the movements of normal everyday driving. Much of the overall functionality can be interacted with via spoken instruction too. With the radical improvements made in speech recognition recently, there is little excuse for not incorporating such a potential safety bonus in quality kit these days.. The image projected by the head-up display is deserving of a special mention simply because it’s a poster child for what a head-up display ought to be today. Head-up displays (HUDs for short) evolved from the pre-World War II reflector sights, a parallaxfree optical system in military aircraft which, in conjunction with the gyro gunsight, could offer up additional information (such as predictive movements of the intended target) based on speed, turn rates and predicted bullet trajectories — thus allowing you to ‘point and shoot’ as the term became known. Projecting information before the pilot in a
2-WAY COMPONENT SPEAKERS
AUDITION REVIEWER STEPHEN DAWSON
X HITS THE SPOT. Oval speakers, eh? They take me way back. You don’t see too many of them around, but here is a set from Alpine. Indeed, the X-S69C is the top model in the company’s X Series range of speakers. So, why oval? Basically, it’s one way to make a big speaker fit in a small, oddly shaped space. And cars are full of small, oddly shaped spaces. If you want a bigger woofer in a home speaker, you just make the box bigger. Not an option with cars. In the auto world, the speakers have to conform, not their enclosures.
EQUIPMENT The speaker cone is rated at 9 inches by 6 inches (speaker drivers are traditionally measured from their screw holes, not the size of the cone itself) — thus the X-S69C model number. It features what Alpine describes as a ‘Nano-Fibre Woofer Cone’ and its engine uses a neodymium magnet. Interpreting more of the model number, the ‘C’ stands for component. Which is to say, there’s a tweeter, but instead of being suspended in front of the cone of the larger driver,
it’s separate, and so can be placed somewhere on the dashboard. As always, you’re going to get more treble if the tweeter is facing you, the listener, than if it’s firing into your calf from the door or under the dash. The tweeter is a 25mm unit with a carbon graphite dome and neodymium magnet. It comes with its own enclosure, standing 34mm tall and 58mm in diameter. It’s designed for surface mounting. There’s also a separate crossover network, which can be put anywhere it will fit, within the range permitted by the speaker cables. Lots of mounting hardware is included. You can open up the crossover network boxes a little to change some settings, and with little careful squeezing, remove the lid completely. This discloses a PC board with two largish components: a 0.4mH coil and a 100 volt, 3.9 microfarad, 5% tolerance Bennic PMT capacitor. Alpine boasts of using ‘high grade network components’ for the crossover, without going into details. Bennic capacitors certainly have a reputation for high quality in audio applications.
We also noted that the printed circuit board is glued into the case, so it’s not likely to come loose and start rattling around over time. When you slide back the lid of the crossover, two adjustments are available. by moving little square jumpers from one set of two pins to another set. One set of adjustments is to change the level of the tweeter. As delivered it is preset to a reference 0dB, but +3dB and -3dB are available. Chances are you’ll adjust the level with the EQ in your head unit, assuming that most purchasers will have a head unit worthy of speakers like these. The other adjustment allows you to reverse the phase of the tweeter compared to the larger driver. This may help deal with crossover issues, potentially unpredictable given that Alpine has no idea how far from the main speaker you’ll be installing the tweeters. But it’s going to take a fine ear indeed to detect any such issues, so I doubt it will be widely used. You know how manufacturers routinely, if futilely, ask purchasers to retain the packaging in case of return or having to move? Less relevant with car audio of course, but there’s
no hope of that here. The cutting template for the main speakers is most of the back of the carton, which has a perforated outline, ready to push out. Unfortunately, the instructions are also on the back of the carton and you make a big hole in them when the template comes out. Keep the bits. Or take a photo before pushing out the template. The wiring diagram, which I managed to read by carefully aligning the templates I’d removed from the box, made it clear that the amplifier is wired to the larger driver, with additional wires going from it to the crossover and thence to the tweeter. Clearly the crossover does not control the range of sound delivered to the larger speaker. The necessary wires are already attached to the crossover and tweeter, but you may need to add more depending on the layout of the speakers in your vehicle. The wiring included allows up to 830mm between the woofer and the crossover, and 1.04 metres between the crossover and the tweeter. If you like what you see about the Alpine X Series, but don’t have a place for these speakers for whatever reason, there is also the X-S65 model ($649), with is a component system like this one, but the larger speaker is a round 6.5 inch unit, and the X-S65 ($549), which is somewhat like the X-S65C but with the tweeter mounted as part of the main speaker system.
TESTING I ran a few measurements of the two drivers, chiefly to see where the crossover kicked in. That was relatively easy to do given the split nature of the drivers. I just put the tweeter well away from the main speaker, and the microphone a few millimetres away from it. It was clear that the -3dB point of its output at the bottom end was at 1700 hertz, so you could call that, or perhaps 1800 hertz, the crossover point. At the top end it was still producing plenty of output at 30,000 hertz, so if you think you might get some advantage from
CONCLUSION Depth lovers may wish to factor in a subwoofer, but the Alpine X-S69C component two-way speaker system certainly produces truly high quality sound, and is well worth a listen at your local car audio retailer.
I started off my listening with some challenging material: Beyoncé’s album ‘Lemonade’. With one omission, the sound was astonishingly good. Really lovely, with great tonal balance and precision, and pretty respectable imaging. The omission was the deep bass on the first track, and there was a definite hole there because there isn’t a whole lot of mid or upper bass on that track. Get rid of the really deep stuff, and there isn’t much left. But then the next track — Hold Up — started and the character changed. This track has plenty of mid bass, and the speakers did a startlingly good job of delivering it. There was a real authority and punch, and even some respectable depth, to the bottom end in this track. Meanwhile, the vocals and some of the instrumentation was reproduced with a real sense of three dimensions. This was more high fidelity home stuff than car equipment, but there we are. I pushed the volume hard, to the point of producing some rattles in the right channel. I think the main driver was bottoming out, so I backed off a couple of decibels. Up until that point, even though it was extremely loud, the speakers remained clean and controlled, without any sense of distortion.
Switching genres radically, I played sections of the Sutherland/Pavarotti version of La Traviata. This kind of music is challenging in a car because of the dynamic range, leaving too much of the content lost in a car’s relatively high noise floor. That means the level has to be high, which means the speakers have to cope with the peaks. Unlike Beyoncé, though, there’s no really deep bass, and consequently no danger of bottoming out the large driver. And it didn’t. The speakers went loud, and the amazing Sutherland aria near the end of the first Act was delivered at a thrillingly high volume, without any sense of shriekiness, which is what lower quality speakers can sometimes produce, even when not overloaded. Instead, this Alpine system was again in complete control. Later in the same track Pavarotti lets loose, and the result is the same: controlled, powerful music, and nothing untoward. Perhaps splitting the difference between those two kinds of music, I played Billy Joel. On the opening of The Stranger the cymbals danced cleanly and precisely in space over Joel’s piano. The kick drum was hinted at by its second and third harmonics rather than the fundamentals, although the toms were fully realised. The bass guitar line, rarely strong with Joel, was discernible at around the right level. And the whole thing was nicely boppy.
high-resolution audio in a car environment, these tweeters are going to be the kind of thing you’ll want to hear. As expected, the larger driver exhibited no hint of having a low-pass filter applied in the crossover. It just does the best it can with the full range of frequencies. Measuring up close, they appeared to be dropping away by 2000 hertz, although it was hard to tell for sure because the measurement showed considerable variation which, I suspect, was due to differing path lengths given the oval rather than round cone. No matter really, I was only interested in the end points. At the other end, the output was very solid to 130 hertz, then dropped by around 12dB to a new plateau, which it maintained from around 115 hertz down to 40 hertz. Again, all that was with a close measurement. Measuring the whole thing together at a distance of a metre smoothed it all out a bit, and put the end points of the response at 28,000 hertz at the top (maybe higher given microphone limitations there), and around 100 hertz at the bottom. The roll-off below that was fairly gentle, but the output was still something like 18dB down at 45 hertz.
X-S69C 2-WAY COMPONENT SPEAKERS IMPEDANCE: 4 ohms FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 45 to 50kHz DRIVER: 1 x 24mm dome tweeter; 1 x 160 by 225mm cone bass/midrange POWER RATING: 120 watts ‘RMS’, 330 watts ‘Peak’ WEIGHT: 669g for bass/midrange; 82 grams for tweeter COST: $699 CONTACT: Alpine Electronics of Australia WEB: www.alpine.com.au
• Excellent sound • Oval shape may allow a larger cone fit in a difficult space • Installation flexibility due to component design • Woofer can bottom out if slightly overdriven
PHILIPS CED1910BT MULTIMEDIA HEAD UNIT
AUDITION REVIEWER SCOTT CAMPBELL
NATURAL ABILITY. Given that Philips launched the Compact Disc in partnership with Sony, and the DVD alongside Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba, you might consider the company to have a good insight into what an in-vehicle Multimedia Head Unit should be. Over the years, of course, the Philips brand has become spread across multiple owners — its TVs today come from TP Vision, for example, while the Philips record label is part of Unversal Music. The incar audio division is, with the rest of Philips audio, part of Gibson Innovations (formerly WOOX), and the level of quality achieved is evident from the moment you unpack the Philips CED1910BT. It’s a nicely
simple design, with a clean and elegant fascia dominated by a 6.2-inch WVGA-resolution display (800 x 480 pixels), which doubles as a touch panel. There’s no flip-down/flip-up action on the fascia; Philips has chosen a fixed fascia with the CD slot located above the screen. Given the common connections at the rear of the unit, and slots either side of the fascia for SD card and USB, there’s no real need for the screen to move; there’s still plenty of space for control buttons vertically on both sides. Like we said, neat and clean. A comprehensive little remote control is included, of the credit-card type. It provides the most commonly used functions and operates instantly and easily.
The complete package contains almost everything needed for install, along with comprehensive operating and installation instructions which are, unusually, supplied in a printed manual — refreshing in these days when we so often have to refer to a disc or a download. A printed manual is a lot easy when you’re getting down and dirty behind the dash!
MULTIFORMAT ENTERTAINMENT In addition to standard CDs and DVDs, the disc drive here can also handle discs of MP3s, and can play DivX and DivXVOD formats too (don’t be playing video when your vehicle is moving,
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Track 2, Bang Bang, features some heavy drum work by Tre Cool, and many systems reduce this to a ‘one note’ rumble. The CED1910BT had enough sheer punch and definition to allow the listener to hear exactly what was going on, retaining the pace and timing to get the most out of this track. While it might sound laid-back, nothing was dulleddown, everything was in its correct place, completely balanced and natural. You’ll thank yourself for selecting such a sound balance over truly longterm, enjoyable listening. Indeed I rarely found it necessary to engage the various additional sound options — the Philips sports Max Sound Boost and Dynamic Bass Boost, but as is often the case, playing tunes cleanly was, well, cleaner. CD was a clear winner in terms of clarity and articulation over iPhone and iPod via Bluetooth — it’s worth noting that the Bluetooth is limited to Philips’ own SBC codec, without the higher AAC or licensed aptX codecs, so a direct connection of your device via USB may deliver the best sound, along with all the convenience and speed of digital storage media.
of course!). You can load MP3s onto a USB stick if you like, or plug in your smart device to charge and play. Many will prefer to use the Bluetooth connectio, and the CED1910BT paired quickly and easily with an iPhone 5 and even with a moderately elderly iPod used in these tests. Changing between the Bluetooth sources was instant, along with reconnection when returning from out of range, something that many units don’t do so well. The Philips recognised when a previously paired device came back into range and immediately locked onto the signal. Bluetooth range proved an excellent eight metres, if not more. There’s a rear lead for video camera input, and video outputs for rear screens, along with reversing camera, external microphone and GPS antenna. A full set of line-out connections means external amplifiers and active subs for system extension are all catered for. Smart-phone connections allow integration with your phone book, along with call answering and dialling via the touch-screen. Incidentally, the touchscreen itself is one of the more responsive offerings I’ve come across — sensitive without being overly so, plus the app icons are large and legible and the operation is ‘definite’. Where some brands seem to have a very wide touch area for each app, which can lead to hitting the wrong icon at times from the driving position, not so the CED1910BT, where the screen operations weree a pleasure to use. Navigation is available via a Map Data card that must be purchased separately (see the price differences) and inserted in a slot in the front to initialise the Navigation feature.
AND IN THE END The Philips CED1910BT is clearly a mature product in a market segment striving to offer something new to differentiate each model from the next. It has all the convenience and connectivity, and most of the bells and whistles to compete, including navigation as an option (see pricing for the extra). But I found these features were not what made it stand out from the crowd — after spending time with the Philips, it was the unit’s ability to simply ‘get out of the way’ and not draw attention to itself, leaving the listener to enjoy the music. That’s the thing we liked most about the CED1910BT.
LISTEN TO THE MUSIC
PHILIPS CED1910BT MULTIMEDIA HEAD UNIT TYPE: 2-DIN multimedia head unit DISPLAY: 6.2-inch WVGA touch panel The touch-screen leads you through the CED1910BT’s many abilities with intuitive menus and prompts.
facing multiple sound systems, or for a consumer auditioning several systems, it can be easy to neglect the value of this kind of sound balance. Don’t skip over it. Longterm listening is rewarded with the realisation that a lot of attention has been paid to the quality of the sound here. Naturalness is the order of the day. Rhythm and pace are important in any musical event and are often blurred or missing in the motor vehicle environment. Not so here! A great example to demonstrate this exactly was Green Day’s 2017 album ‘Revolution Radio’.
INPUTS: CD/DVD slot, USB, SD/SDHC card, microSD for navigation; Bluetooth audio and hands-free; external mike, antenna, GPS antenna, rear-view camera, composite AV in, remote in, Smart Connect OUTPUTS: speakers out, preamp out, sub out, 2 x video out PRICE: $599 nav ready; $799 nav equipped CONTACT: DLG International for your nearest Australian dealer on +64 9571 3375 WEB: www.dlgint.co.nz • Gets out of the way & lets the music through • Plenty of connection options • Sounds laidback at first – but give it time!
The Philips CED1910BT offers the user the option of eight pre-set equaliser options for tailoring the sound, or the playback can be tuned by the user via on-screen adjustments for Bass, Middle and Treble, as well as level controls for individual sectors of the vehicle. Philips Zone Technology means listening levels can be adjusted to suit driver or passenger areas as required. At first listen, the Philips seemed a little flat-sounding — nothing drew particular attention as deficient, but the ‘wow’ factor was somewhat absent, so that Gorillaz’ Feel Good Inc emerged nice enough, but not as immediately inviting as some units around this price. But this proved one of those systems which, in fact, does it right for longer-term listening. Once some time had been spent with the system, it became clear that the CED1910BT is one of those rare audio devices that reproduces a natural sound — nothing over-emphasised, and nothing missing either. For a reviewer
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