Inner Voice (Toyota Harrier)

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Our monthly dose of in-car tech leads us on to yet another SUV. This comes as no surprise as SUVs are furnished with spades of space. Although we can argue that sedans have arguably more in-cabin volume, headrooms for SUVs are typically more forgiving, and that could sometimes assist in-car entertainment (ICE) installers to tune customised setups with more intricacy.

The Totoya Harrier ticks all the right boxes for drivers who double as audiophiles. It has the refinement to be well on par with European rivals, along with the appropriate capacity to install and customise ICE projects. Crossovers might be more “in trend” in recent years, but SUVs like Toyota’s Harrier will always have its fair share of fans with its functional appeal.

This Harrier is managed by Foon Audio Garage, undoubtedly one of the more popular ICE installers in Singapore. The team is known to fabricate cutomised projects, and has been consistently priased for achieving beautiful craftsmanship of wood work.. Situated in Kaki Bukit at Synergy@KB building #01-53, its convenient location paves the way for audiophiles to learn about the shop’s project as well!

The Harrier achieved a recent win in EMMA Singapore’s Master OEM category. This category means that all work and modification done in the passenger compartment must maintain in the original location. For this project, all speakers are installed in the original location from the factory. This is a great example for car audio lovers, who wants everything hidden from sight, but still crave for exemplary sound quality for the entire range of the sound spectrum.

Starting from the source unit, we will be greeted with the Alpine X009, a high-end integrated 9-inch touch screen multimedia source unit made just for the Toyota Harrier. The custom made control panel with its function buttons comes direct from the Alpine Factory. This level of detail is something we are highly interested in, as it seperates good products from the very best. This source unit is connected to the Alpine PXA-H008 signal processor, giving it state-of-the-art digital sound processing functions like Time alignment and Equalisation.

The system is powered by 3 Harmotech T series amplifiers, T4 – a 4 channel amplifier powers the Hi & Mid drivers with 80 Watts RMS. T2 is a 2 channel amplifier powering the Midbass with 160 Watts RMS, and T1 powers the Sub-woofer with a mono 300 Watts RMS. The T4 and T2 uses Tube technology while T1 utilises Class A/B.

The drivers in the front are from Flux Reference series, sitting in the dashboard location is the HT29R tweeter with a 28mm V/C with a special hand-coated silk dome. The M80R Midrange has a 4-layer cone with a 25mm V/C. Taking the door panel position is the T160 R3, which uses an aluminium basket and copper dust cap, and the sub-woofer that sits in a custom enclosure is Flux’s NEX 10.4. The damping materials are from STP, and the cables are from Tchernov – tried-and-tested Made in Russia products that have found their way in countless ICE projects.

The excellent craftsmanship of Foon Audio Garage can be seen clearly. This is made all the more challenging because of the need to retain modifications at the original location (in order to quality for EMMA Singapore’s Master OEM category). A short listen was more then sufficient to realise the unlimited potential of the project, seamlessly engineered to yield the best possible sound quality!

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