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Old 05-12-2019, 09:16 AM   #1
ghost321
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Default review of 4 different etunes

I just wanted to give my take on torqued performance, phatbotti, Bren and Ambot tuning. I just wanted to try them all and give my take on how it went.
My car is stock so this is a stage 1 etune.

Torqued Performance
I started with torqued performance and it was a 9 revision process. From the beginning the car ran great with increased power everywhere. Overall it was a good process and I have zero complaints about this tune.

Brentuning
Next I went with Bren. I'm sure some have great results but I didn't. Right off the bat the tuner told me his first revision is 90% right and all he'd have to to adjust is is for 6000 rpm and higher. After the 2nd revision I noticed when I'd punch it the boost would hit 24 psi and the car would hesitate and not rev until I backed off. I sent him the logs and he said my clutch was slipping. I took it to my mechanic and he said its definitely not clutch slip since the rpms don't increase. I contacted the tuner and he continued to say the same thing when I sent him logs but did send me a boost test file which limited the boost to 17 psi max and then settled at 14 psi. The car ran fine but the power was just not there. At that point I felt like it was over-boosting by a lot. Tuner still said clutch slip. I contacted Brendan directly and his exact response was "tuner says clutch slip so I can't do anything". Neither seemed to understand that if the clutch was slipping then the engine should rev and not just sit there. I even asked Brendan if it could be bad gas and if we could do a 91 tune. At this point they just didn't seem to care so I ended up filing with my bank to get my money back. Once he saw that he emailed and said he was going to have to refund this order. I don't think I can ever go back after this experience. This process took 2 revisions and still didn't run correctly.

Phatbotti
Next I tried Phatbotti. This was a pretty good process and the car made really good power past 4000 rpm. Anything below that and it seemed to be lacking in the power department. I messaged Ron and he said if I did the egr unplug it would fix that so I did. He was right the power down low had increased drastically but I had a lot of noises around 2500 rpm. It almost sounded like the ticking noise from direct injection but 10 times louder. I brought this to Ron's attention and he said it shouldn't sound any different. At that point I plugged the egr back in and the noise went away. Overall I can't complain because he was right on everything he told me. This process took 5 revision.

Ambot Tuning
And last I tried Ambot tuning. So far I am most happy with this tune. I did have 1 check engine light that showed "Rear o2 sensor stuck lean". He immediately fixed on the 2nd revision. If I look and power between the 4 this one seemed the best overall. It had great hp/torque between 2500-4000 and amazing hp/torque from 4000 to 6000. This process took 3 revisions.

The one thing I appreciated the most about Ambot Tuning is the communication. After ever revision he would ask for details about how the car ran and what I thought unlike the others who seemed to only go by the logs. Any question I asked he took the time to answer in a way that I can understand. With the others it would just be a short answer if any. If there is one thing I think they should do differently it is more advertising. They give a great product and great customer service.

On the Bren tune I just don't think the boost was set correctly. It was constantly hitting 24 psi and sitting there until I let off the throttle. With the other 3 tunes the boost never goes over 20 psi and tapers down from there.

Having said all of that if I had to recommend 1 etuner it would have to be Ambot by a mile.

I hope this helps anyone trying to decide which tuner to use. If you have any questions about my experiences I have much more to say on each. I just didn't want to write a book. LOL
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Last edited by ghost321; 05-12-2019 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:30 AM   #2
Jersey Man10
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Thanks for the review. I was on the fence for awhile and went with Eric at torqued performance. I've had no issues at all and its been more than a year. I even got retuned for an intake a no extra cost. Guess I made a good choice lol.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:46 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jersey Man10 View Post
Thanks for the review. I was on the fence for awhile and went with Eric at torqued performance. I've had no issues at all and its been more than a year. I even got retuned for an intake a no extra cost. Guess I made a good choice lol.
Yeah I had zero issues with torqued performance. His customer service is really good and he would send the revisions as fast as I would send the logs.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:21 AM   #4
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I was first timer looking for a tuner 6 months ago. I went with Torqued Performance.
Super quick response.
Revisions that showed obvious correction to a problem.
The car runs great and I'm on my 5th revision.

Just gotta put this out there, my car has 302k miles. I'm so impressed with it every day.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jersey Man10 View Post
Thanks for the review. I was on the fence for awhile and went with Eric at torqued performance. I've had no issues at all and its been more than a year. I even got retuned for an intake a no extra cost. Guess I made a good choice lol.
Just thought I should probably put this out there for Eric and the rest of the tuners. When I have posted about my tunes or even when recommending Eric to others I have always tried (I'll admit I've done it but realized what I'm trying to say so I don't anymore) not to mention any prices.

That way if somebody is a pain in the ass or the tuner doesn't like the setup or whatever, he can charge what he wants without other people saying BS like "I even got retuned for an intake for free".....because I paid $75 for my retune, with nothing more than an spt intake, not to mention I gave him a tip of $50 to $100 (I can't remember now) without so much as a thank you!

That way nobody gets butthurt like I just did lol.

It's good to know about Anthony Ambot and his communication skills.

From what I've heard they all started out this way and just grow too much, with too many customers and run out of time and/or patience to continue it.

I do have a lot of respect for what them and how they're able to handle all the ignorant people but I hate how bad it has killed it for the rest of us!

I would happily pay probably double what I paid Eric for more/better communication but I do believe my next tune will be a base map only from Eric followed by breaking in the new motor and a dyno tune just because of the amount of money I've spent and I feel it will be safer with the tuner in person.

Despite the above, I would still highly recommend any of the tuners you mentioned as well as a few others I would recommend like Junior, Corbin, and Mikey.

As for Bren I have no personal experience with him but I have definitely heard more bad about him then all the other etuners combined.

Don't worry about your book, I wrote it for you! Sorry about that!
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:34 PM   #6
Jersey Man10
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Well, Eric includes different maps with the Stage 1 and Stage 2 tunes (depending what you buy).

They include stock airbox and different intakes and fuel trims.

All that included for a one time fee isn't bad at all especially with the free revisions.

What's bs is paying for an e-tune that only allows revisions within 30 days of purchase. What if you end up wanting an intake or hell trying a different one? "That'll be another $200 BRO."

Uh yeah no.
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:42 PM   #7
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Phatbotti and brentuning have tons of experience with tuning fa20's. They are extremely popular, and have LOTS of positive reviews. That being said, communication will definitely lack when they have 100's of e-tunes to go through daily. That could be a business issue, but from what I've read/heard they are on point with tunes.

You never mentioned what year car? any other mods? If you have catless downpipe, that could be where the boost spike is.
Not sure why they would think the clutch is slipping for an over boost issue.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:21 PM   #8
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Prob should have run the car with a different map back to back on the same day, same tank of fuel to see how they are with the same temp condition and same road...
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by vlad11591 View Post
Phatbotti and brentuning have tons of experience with tuning fa20's. They are extremely popular, and have LOTS of positive reviews. That being said, communication will definitely lack when they have 100's of e-tunes to go through daily. That could be a business issue, but from what I've read/heard they are on point with tunes.

You never mentioned what year car? any other mods? If you have catless downpipe, that could be where the boost spike is.
Not sure why they would think the clutch is slipping for an over boost issue.
Sorry about that the car is all stock 2019 wrx 6 speed

Last edited by ghost321; 05-15-2019 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:50 PM   #10
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Prob should have run the car with a different map back to back on the same day, same tank of fuel to see how they are with the same temp condition and same road...
Yeah I did that. Used Bren tune and logged then switched to torqued performance tune without the issue. They didnít seem to care even though I showed the logs. But Iím over it now. I got my money back lol
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghost321 View Post
Yeah I did that. Used Bren tune and logged then switched to torqued performance tune without the issue. They didnít seem to care even though I showed the logs. But Iím over it now. I got my money back lol
If you still have one of those bren logs you should post it
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:30 AM   #12
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Yeah I did that. Used Bren tune and logged then switched to torqued performance tune without the issue. They didnít seem to care even though I showed the logs. But Iím over it now. I got my money back lol
I think he meant back to back to back after they were completed. To see how you feel when compared back to back. Could be wrong but thatís what would make for best comparison.
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:49 PM   #13
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If you still have one of those bren logs you should post it
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sPS...ew?usp=sharing

Sorry for the short log. When it sounds like you are releasing pressure from a compressor tank but louder then I'm not going to keep pushing it

Last edited by ghost321; 05-16-2019 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:56 PM   #14
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I think he meant back to back to back after they were completed. To see how you feel when compared back to back. Could be wrong but thatís what would make for best comparison.

No after a few times of it doing that on different occasions I gave up especially when it sounded like i was releasing pressure from an air compressor but louder when it was hitting 24 psi
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:59 PM   #15
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No after a few times of it doing that on different occasions I gave up especially when it sounded like i was releasing pressure from an air compressor but louder when it was hitting 24 psi
How about Torqued then Phatbotti then Ambot? Its not a trick question or suggestion. Forget bren. Why not do back to back to back on same day and same road and conditions.

If you hadnt compared them like that perhaps you should and still can no?
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:45 PM   #16
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How about Torqued then Phatbotti then Ambot? Its not a trick question or suggestion. Forget bren. Why not do back to back to back on same day and same road and conditions.

If you hadnt compared them like that perhaps you should and still can no?
I just did this through virtual dyno. All 3 were on the same stretch of road within 10 minutes of eachother.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pr9...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:56 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ghost321 View Post
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sPS...ew?usp=sharing

Sorry for the short log. When it sounds like you are releasing pressure from a compressor tank but louder then I'm not going to keep pushing it
Damn look how rich that is lol...not to mention the huge jump in boost.
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:37 AM   #18
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I just did this through virtual dyno. All 3 were on the same stretch of road within 10 minutes of eachother.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pr9...ew?usp=sharing
What order did you do it in? Was it the lowest power 1st and middle power 2nd, highest 3rd?

I would have expected the 3 to be closer or within the same couple of percent of each other but it looks like a little bigger spread than that?

Is the highest power Ambot tune the most timing or boost?

Torqued the most moderate?

This is cool to see compared but kind of useless without knowing a little more.

Do y'all think if you took the best tuners in the world and had them tune the same car the power difference would be this big or the that the tunes would be much different in power vs life of the engine?

I always thought the best would be very close and the rest would be the difference in how conservative or not the customer expressed wanting the tune?

Maybe that was interpreted differently between these 3?
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:45 AM   #19
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What order did you do it in? Was it the lowest power 1st and middle power 2nd, highest 3rd?

I would have expected the 3 to be closer or within the same couple of percent of each other but it looks like a little bigger spread than that?

Is the highest power Ambot tune the most timing or boost?

Torqued the most moderate?

This is cool to see compared but kind of useless without knowing a little more.

Do y'all think if you took the best tuners in the world and had them tune the same car the power difference would be this big or the that the tunes would be much different in power vs life of the engine?

I always thought the best would be very close and the rest would be the difference in how conservative or not the customer expressed wanting the tune?

Maybe that was interpreted differently between these 3?
So I did it in the order I purchased the tunes which was.....

Torqued Performance
Phatbotti
Ambot

On the final Revision from ambot he turned up the boost so it would peak at 21 then settle at 19.

On torqued performance it would peak at 20 and settle around 18.5

Phatbotti was the same as torqued.

I will redo the logs in a different order and post the whole log shortly
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:49 AM   #20
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So I did it in the order I purchased the tunes which was.....

Torqued Performance
Phatbotti
Ambot

On the final Revision from ambot he turned up the boost so it would peak at 21 then settle at 19.

On torqued performance it would peak at 20 and settle around 18.5

Phatbotti was the same as torqued.

I will redo the logs in a different order and post the whole log shortly
Thank you. I hope youíre having fun doing this. I wish i could afford to compare 4 tunes. Im living vicariously through you.
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:56 AM   #21
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Thank you. I hope you’re having fun doing this. I wish i could afford to compare 4 tunes. Im living vicariously through you.
I did the TP tune first then Ambot. When I went to flash my Phatbotti tune it would get to 60% and get stuck so I wasn't able to run it. Also the temps were 13 degrees higher today.

Torqued Performance....

https://drive.google.com/file/d/12f6...ew?usp=sharing


Ambot Tuning....

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1A_0...ew?usp=sharing


Numbers from virtual dyno....

Ambot - 258/286
TP - 218/251

Last edited by ghost321; 05-17-2019 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 05-18-2019, 03:31 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Crispy 1 View Post
Do y'all think if you took the best tuners in the world and had them tune the same car the power difference would be this big or the that the tunes would be much different in power vs life of the engine?

I always thought the best would be very close and the rest would be the difference in how conservative or not the customer expressed wanting the tune?

Maybe that was interpreted differently between these 3?
These are important points that most people don't think about when comparing tunes. Every tuner has their own tolerance for risk and it's likely that these three tuners have different tolerances. Nobody will really know how different they are unless you sit all three of them in a room and watch them work.

Ron is known to be more on the conservative side with his tunes and will typically leave power on the table, so to speak, unless you specifically ask him for a kill/"send it" map. I can't comment on the other two as I've never used them. But I think it's safe to say that some tuners will be more willing to push the envelope than others.

Long-term reviews of tunes are something that we don't see very often. It would be interesting to compare different tunes after they've been driven on for years and tens of thousands of miles. If you're comparing to the stock tune, then almost any custom tune will feel amazing in comparison, but how they perform down the line will be more telling.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:10 PM   #23
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These are important points that most people don't think about when comparing tunes. Every tuner has their own tolerance for risk and it's likely that these three tuners have different tolerances. Nobody will really know how different they are unless you sit all three of them in a room and watch them work.

Ron is known to be more on the conservative side with his tunes and will typically leave power on the table, so to speak, unless you specifically ask him for a kill/"send it" map. I can't comment on the other two as I've never used them. But I think it's safe to say that some tuners will be more willing to push the envelope than others.

Long-term reviews of tunes are something that we don't see very often. It would be interesting to compare different tunes after they've been driven on for years and tens of thousands of miles. If you're comparing to the stock tune, then almost any custom tune will feel amazing in comparison, but how they perform down the line will be more telling.

Iím not good at understanding the logs and know if the numbers are good or bad. If you are what do you think of the ambot log?
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