Any car audio experts here?
I’m no expert but have gone through the boy racer/silly audio system upgrade fad in my younger years. I’d got for better speakers first before a head unit upgrade. Its generally speakers in cars that are pants. If you can add a subwoofer anywhere to then that would improve the sound immeasurably.Posted 3 years ago
I generally know my stuff when it comes to studio sound but not as clued up with car stereo stuff so hoping someone can help me out. I bought a Golf MK6 a few weeks ago and tbh the stock audio system is pretty terrible. I came from a Fiesta with technology pack which had aux in, bluetooth connectivity and the stock speakers actually sounded good enough. In comparison the basic spec Golf sounds really artificial with harsh highs and a very scooped hollow sound. I had looked into getting the next VW unit up but they seem really expensive new and 2nd hand ones require an unlock code or something? Seems more hassle than it’s worth. Plus all the other models take up a double din slot.
I have the low end RCD 210 model head unit which I want to upgrade first as I want aux and bluetooth connectivity again. Am I right in thinking I can just get one of these fascia panels and use any standard DIN stereo? What about wiring looms etc? And generally will a new head unit automatically turn on/off with the ignition? My fiesta was all integrated/stock so I haven’t used a “normal” head unit for years, can see me forgetting to turn things off and batteries being drained etc as I have done in the past..
This is the head unit I’m looking at. Any experience or indeed any reason I should steer clear of this particular brand or model?
Next up will be speaker upgrades when I can afford it, I think I just have the two small ones near the mirrors and two door speakers, nothing in the rear at the minute. Do they all have standard mounting points or is each manufacturer different just to be annoying?Posted 3 years agotimberMember
Could look at add on units. Predominantly for DAB, but most will have an Aux, some a USB, rarely BT though (but could possibly be done through USB and another add-on?) This way everything inside will look stock as although the fascia plates do the job, they never quite match seamlessly if the aesthetics is important to you.
Harnesses available for all sorts, as it is VAG, will probably need to swap the red and yellow power feeds for it to work right.
Edit: used dabonwheels for bits and they have a reasonable selection of add-onsPosted 3 years agotimberMember
just bunged up a link on edit
they are generally hidden units installed behind the dash/footwells and integrate with current systems.
Although for the cost of some, may just be cheaper to get a higher spec VAG unit unlocked. Ask local dealer for unlock cost, always used to be £10-20 for Fords and all the easier because the head unit won’t be in the car when you buy it.Posted 3 years ago
I’ve just about finished fitting my new sound system in my a3 (same kind of thing) just changing the speakers won’t make much difference really. A new head unit will make one of biggest differences as an aftermarket one will have 3 times the power of the stock unit for powering the speakers, a new head unit will mean you have the option of a sub of some sort, that way you can use the head unit to power the speakers only and turn off the bass from the speakers and use the sub for bass, giving a cleaner sound. My head unit has bluetooth and USB with a microphone that was run Into the oem position (map light area). Biggest pain for me was finding the right adaptor for all the speakers to work, you may have to run a switched live to the stereo tooPosted 3 years agoCountZeroMember
If you can do without BlueTooth, this JVC DAB unit will fit directly into your car dash:Posted 3 years ago
There are more expensive Double-DIN DAB units around, but this one looks to have most of what you actually need.
Most modern units will hook straight into the car audio loom, sometimes with an additional bit of wiring, and you usually have the unit wired to turn off with the ignition, this is pretty much SOP.
Most speaker manufacturers offer a range which fit pretty much all production cars, sometimes there are special units to fit less common cars, but yours will probably have 6″ door units, and those can vary in sophistication, going from single cone full-range to three-way units with woofer, mid-range and tweeter.
The ones in the pillars by the mirrors will be specific tune-up tweeters, which can be obtained from many manufacturers.
The rear doors, if yours is a four-door, may have small speakers like your mirror ones; my Octavia does, and probably a small pair of possibly 3.5-4″ on the back edges where the parcel shelf goes.
I would say that it may well be worth getting the speakers first, the difference they can make can be quite startling, plus the new head-unit could easily have a lot more poke, and could cause the speakers to ‘pop’ if there’s a bit too much bass, which will burn out the voice coils.
If you’ve got rear shelf speakers, you could leave those till last, they’ll be more of a rear tune-up, the bigger door speakers will give the bass.
There can be issues with various speakers: I bought a pair of speakers for the lower doors of my Octy, then found that the bigger magnets fouled the bottom of the electric windows!
A mate who was fitting them for me had to fabricate MDF rings to raise them away from the doors, to let the windows drop fully.
Infinity Kappa speakers are excellent, and tend to be a bit flatter and shallower, but have a great sound; my old Puma had 5.5″ in the door tops in the front, and 6×9″ ellipticals in the back, mounted in sealed speaker boxes under the trim, with a Gemini amp.
Sounded fantastic, had to let them go with the car. 🙁
Infinity, Pioneer, Kenwood, all make excellent speakers, and there are many other speaker manufacturers out there.
Worth looking around to see if you have someone local who specialises in car audio installations, just don’t go to Halfords; they will cock it up. 😉
Heres a whole bunch of DAB head-units, DIN and double-DIN, from cheap to 😯
This kit is a complete replacement for the entire speaker system, looks to be pretty decent components:
There are a couple of speaker upgrade kits made for the golfPosted 3 years ago
We have the same sort of kit in our golfgeoffjSubscriber
I’ve done a couple, my BMW most recently. You will probably need an iso connector converter to plug the aftermarket stereo into the VW loom.
If the golf has steering wheel controls, you will probably need another lead too.
You can buy the full kit here – http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Volkswagen-VW-Golf-MK6-Double-Din-Car-CD-Stereo-Fitting-Kit-Fascia-Stalk-Control-/400662885713Posted 3 years agoMilkieMember
I would definately upgrade your headunit first, then speakers (even £30 ones will be better tho), then fit a sub.
When making your headunit decision, get one that has sub woofer crossover and hi pass filtering on the speakers, it will make a world of difference to the soundstage. Checkout the Pioneer Reference Series.
Then sit down and start tinkering with all the faders and balances to get the soundstage just right. I generally use more front speaker than rear (rears are only for fill) and set the crossover around 100Hz, but it all changes with different cars.
As above, you will need a couple of ISO harnesses, makes it plug and play. 😉
I wouldn’t worry about DAB, really quite bad quality.Posted 3 years ago
Thanks again 🙂 I don’t think my car even has rear speakers at the minute, not sure if I can be bothered to go to the hassle of fitting them but if they make that much difference then maybe. I don’t want to give up much boot space with a sub either, don’t need that much low end in a car anyway 😆 I think I may take it somewhere to get it fitted up properly if I’m gonna mess around with a DAB aerial etc. I don’t really fancy messing up the car I’ve just spunked a load of cash on hahaPosted 3 years ago
I changed the standard unit in my Passat which was an RCD300. It wasn’t the best quality, however I had worse luck with a Pioneer unit I replaced it with. The Pioneer sounded far better when stationary but when moving I couldn’t get a sound I liked. The original unit *seems* to have been matched to the speakers and possibly the car, because the strangely prominent upper bass range when stationary seems to make it just right when driving. I put it back in and sold the Pioneer.
Re bluetooth – with the standard VW units you only get bluetooth ‘preparedness’ and you have to buy another unit to get it to actually work.
You can get adapters from Connects2 that will read the car’s information from the canbus and let you wire in the speed-sensitive volume, the fascia lights, steering wheel controls etc etc. There’s also a bit of a job to get the FM/AM aerial working properly, cos VW do something funny with it. If you have two fakra connectors for an aerial then you cna’t use the standard connector.Posted 3 years ago
Or just get this and an earpiece for your phone:Posted 3 years agonickdaviesSubscriber
Why not just drop in one of the OEM knock off’s on ebay?
I.e. something like http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ES7086VGB-7-Car-head-unit-DVD-GPS-sat-nav-IPOD-DVR-CanBus-VW-PASSAT-SKODA-SEAT-/131035822608?pt=UK_In_Car_Technology&hash=item1e8257fa10
You’ll find one for the Mk6 golf, it’ll look OEM, sound good, give you the connectivity you want and you’ll get sat nav. They’re not perfect but for less than £200 they’re great value.Posted 3 years ago
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