They just ask you what: year, model, trans and any modifications you have made to your vehicle and they program a memcal to suit your vehicle as best they can.
They conservatively report a 10-12Kw gain with the Manual VR V6 model. I can definately feel a huge difference in power, but particularly the incredible (un-holden like) smoothness of power throughout the entire rev-range.
I also bought a CAI to suit and the difference from stock (well actually from a Pod) is Fantastic.
The CAI does not effect speeds below about 75Km/h, but has significantly increased the pulling power in the 80-140Km/h Range.
The Memcal was: $165.00 (with an optional $40.00 rebate to send your stock chip back to them.) and took literally 6mins to install.
CAI was $59.00 and took about 15mins to install because you make the air box intake hole larger.
Total = $224.00 & 21mins - No doubt, The best $224.00 i have spent
There's a lot of reports about Blackstar tunes running far too rich and being a bit conservative, word is that a Greenfoam tune makes more power and wastes less fuel.
I did buy a CAI from Blackstar though, because they wanted less than Holden themselves. Nice cheap mod - not sure that there's any more real power, but there's a definite increase in torque that has me leaving it in 4th in places where I'd have shifted down to third.
theseekerr - yeah i can imagine that some purchasers of Blackstar memcals would get a richer result: i think that would be because when they're programming the memcal they are programming it based on the information you provide them, Rather than being able to real-time tune on a dyno, which undoubtably would allow you to get a more accurate (i.e. efficient/powerful) result. Better to be Rich than a Lean mix (Lean is the Damage and Heat Causer)
This greenfoam business sounds interesting, i'll have to check it out.
Yes i bought the CAI from Blackstar7000. it's identical to the SS inductions ones, without the label $$$ and a different sticker. Great Mod.
GUN346 - I've spoken with some of the team at Blackstar7000 about the changes that might be required if i mod my car further.. they definately sound like they know what they're doing, i am very happy.
Greenfoam is a member here, or you can find him as "nicefrog" on ebay. Cheaper than Blackstar, too.
As for your comments on tuning by remote - yeah, it's less likely to be perfect, but if the car is close to stock (and I'm guessing most people buying mail order tunes fall in that category) one car behaves very much like another. Anyway, word around here is that Doctor Bob (Rob's Creative Calibrations) or Greenfoam tunes are the way to go, and those that have compared them reckon they do a very similar job. Greenfoam's cheaper than Rob, though.