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A3 8P aftermarket HU/Changer

Discussion in 'In-Car Entertainment' started by little_wing, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. little_wing
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    little_wing Member

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    Hi,

    Got my A3 sportback on order with the basic concert stereo as judging by the posts here, the Audi stuff is nothing to write home about.

    I'm considering initially upgrading the HU and installing a changer, and thought the Alpine 9812RR and CHA-S634 would be a good starting point to give me MP3 playback at reasonable quality. I'm not looking for an audophile setup, just something with a bit more class than the standard Audi offerings. Speaker upgrades would be next on the list in terms of ICE upgrades, but may not happen for 6 months+.

    My initial question is what leads/adapters would I need to fit this setup, and how much butchering would be required to fit the changer into the glovebox? With the car not being here yet, measurement of the glovebox is a little tricky.

    Any thoughts/alternatives to the kit mentioned would be gratefully received too.

    tia,

    -Lou
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    I put an Alpine HU into my A3 recently, and in so doing have invalidated the vehicle warranty, allegedly. The line is that if the HU isn't standard Audi kit but connects to standard Audi wiring, then anything that connects to the same wiring is no longer covered... since the electrical system is pretty interconnected it's likely that all electrics are now not covered. Sigh.

    On the other hand, the new HU is one heck of a lot better than the old Concert unit I had in there, and I kept the same speakers. With better speakers the sound would be awesome.

    As for CD changer - can't help you there. As an alternative I attached an Alpine KCA-420i adapter and plugged in my iPod which now lives in the glove box. I would seriously recommend this over a CD changer any day - far more flexible, much more music and no fiddling about with discs and cartridges, etc. If you then use audio which is higher quality than MP3 you get a much better sound, too. Plus, it all fits in easily enough.

    So - I still have the Concert HU, and will be thinking about putting it back in the Audi if I need a warranty repair, only to remove it after and put back the Alpine unit. A lot of fiddling around, I guess, but what cost of repair otherwise?
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  3. Mcgough
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    Mcgough Member

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    think logically though, most the wiring are inputs or not used, so on after market head units the only outputs from a non standard oem head unit are to the speakers! so really should/can invailidate them!
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  4. richy
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    richy Member

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    to be fair.. when i had my A3 (8P) 3.2

    i had it chipped
    air filter
    exhaust
    and full ICE setup

    and have warrenty work and service work carried out with no problems..
    #4
  5. little_wing
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    little_wing Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I guess this is now off topic - the original question was about CD changers and I waded in with doom and gloom about warranties and using an iPod instead (still a good option, IMO)...

    I'd be delighted to be wrong about the warranty issue, mind you.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Well, I don't mind going off topic if the info is useful and its always good to know about possible warranty issues.

    Hadn't really considered going the iPod route as I don't own one /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif - but all things considered, this might be the ideal opportunity to justify the purchase to the missus /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    Did you need to make wiring modifications or use an adapter to fit the Alpine to the Audi loom?

    ta,

    -Lou
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    [ QUOTE ]

    Hadn't really considered going the iPod route as I don't own one /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif - but all things considered, this might be the ideal opportunity to justify the purchase to the missus /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    Did you need to make wiring modifications or use an adapter to fit the Alpine to the Audi loom?


    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'd definitely recommend one!

    I had the HU fitted for me - it is a 1Din sat nav job. having pulled it out to look at what has been done, no - there isn't anything spectacular that's been done, as far as I can see. There are a couple of extra plug blocks which go right into the existing loom, and one set of RCA outs (there are three) for amps goes off to the rear...

    I am not at all familiar with wiring at any level, so am probably not the best person to ask, I'm afraid. The HU connects also to a KCA420i iPod adapter using the Ai-NET port, and the iPod simply plugs into that. The only thing that doesn't happen is there is no radio station or CD info display on the DIS anymore (hardly surprising) and the audi phone kit doesn't play through the speakers - I'm still looking for an adapter for that bit. All else works fine - including phone number appearing in the DIS when a call comes in (as it used to).

    I do have the ElsWin system on disc here and looking at the wiring for the A3 is a bit of a mystery... there appears to be several control boxes at various locations around the car which deal with the various functions. As I said - I am no good with wires!

    The only other thing you might consider is the Dension iPod adapter. This plugs right in to the standard HU and works pretty well. I have one sitting doing nothing right now, since I used to use it before I got the Alpine. Again, you'd need to persuade 'she who must be obeyed' that you *need* an iPod, but I reckon if you bought her an iPod mini as well she wouldn't complain too loudly /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
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  7. little_wing
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    little_wing Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I am not at all familiar with wiring at any level, so am probably not the best person to ask, I'm afraid. The HU connects also to a KCA420i iPod adapter using the Ai-NET port, and the iPod simply plugs into that. The only thing that doesn't happen is there is no radio station or CD info display on the DIS anymore (hardly surprising) and the audi phone kit doesn't play through the speakers - I'm still looking for an adapter for that bit. All else works fine - including phone number appearing in the DIS when a call comes in (as it used to).

    [/ QUOTE ]

    So does anyone know whether Alpine's vehicle display system (e.g. on a 9847R) is compatible with the Audi DIS? That would be quite nice.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Again, you'd need to persuade 'she who must be obeyed' that you *need* an iPod, but I reckon if you bought her an iPod mini as well she wouldn't complain too loudly /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    She just said "so, I'm buying you an iPod too, I see." Happy days... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif

    PS - Forgot to mention she's buying the kit as my birthday present, despite the fact she doesn't earn any money. How does that work then?
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  8. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Unfortunately no aftermarket radio's are compatible with Audi DIS. Not exactly a great loss.
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  9. little_wing
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    little_wing Member

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    Ah, that's a shame, but as you say, no great loss. Cheers for that.
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  10. little_wing
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    little_wing Member

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    ok, so putting together a shopping list:

    Alpine 9847R HU
    Alpine KCA420i iPod interface
    iPod
    Fascia adapters

    then either:

    wiring adapter RCA input
    or
    wiring adapter speaker input

    which? does it make a big difference?

    and anything else I've missed? Aerial adaptor? I did a quick search, but couldn't find whether this is required in the new A3 (non-Bose).

    Thanks all for your help /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    -Lou
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  11. little_wing
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    little_wing Member

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    Sorry for bumping this, but I'm still not clear whether I need the RCA or speaker input wiring adapter, or whether the aerial adapter is required. Please help, I'm a real noob when it comes to this sort of stuff...

    Ta,

    -Lou
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  12. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The RCA input adapter feeds a purer (unamplified) signal to the rear amp/sub however the Alpine kicks out 4v+ on the pre-outs so they recommend using the speaker input method. This gives a less pure signal as it is running through the Alpine onboard amp then being taken back down to a pre-out level before being fed to the Audi amp.
    Using the RCA input adapter can result in a nasty pop from the rear speakers when changing CD's or turning the unit on, so the speaker input is a better option. The best option is to rewire the rear speakers directly to the HU speaker outs, and fit a proper sub with a seperate amp as I've tried various options on the old A3 and you can't get decent sound without replacing the sub (even if you upgrade the cabin speakers).
    Yes, you will need the antenna amp.
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  13. little_wing
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    little_wing Member

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    Thanks for that Andy. Would it make a difference if the pre-out were 2v (specs on the 9847r say the pre-outs are 2v, not 4v), or would the pop still happen?

    I'll have to investigate rewiring the rear speakers direct later, don't fancy pulling the car apart right away - something always rattles when I've put it back together /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif
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  14. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You'll still get the pop but it probably won't be quite so loud, but still really annoying. It's caused by the stupid way Audi have designed the input stage to the rear amp. I think they've done this to get round interference problems caused by their mickey-mouse wiring.
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  15. little_wing
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    little_wing Member

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    lol gotcha. I'll go with the speaker adapter until I can install my own Minnie Mouse wiring direct from the rear speakers to the HU.

    Cheers for the help mate.

    -Lou
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  16. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Unfortunately that's the more expensive adapter as it includes a line level converter.
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  17. little_wing
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    little_wing Member

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    £15 difference isn't gonna kill me. Especially as this one's on the missus /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
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