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Dilema - RNS-E VS Aftermarket Head Unit

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Pii, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. Pii
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    Pii Member

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    [Apr 5, 2010]
    Hi Guys

    I have been thinking of upgrading from a Symphony to an RNS-E or an aftermarket H.U. for quite some time now. Despite my attempts of researching through google and ASN I seem to be getting more confused and nowhere nearer to a decision. So here I am, seeking advice from the masses.

    My set up:
    - Symphony Doubledin
    - Bose
    - 56 plate, Jan '07 S3

    What I want:
    - Andymac stealth sub
    - Control over Multi-fuctional Steering Wheel
    - Bluetooth
    - Sat Nav
    - DVD
    - Better sound if possible!

    I have my eye on the Kenwood DNX-9240BT as it seems to have many features including Parrot and Garmin for BT and Sat-Nav. Here is a picture of the unit:
    [​IMG]

    As it is an aftermarket H.U. the fitment will not be flush like the RNS-E and I think there are no ways around this. I have found the below image to show the end result of an A3 with a different Kenwood installed (just to get a feel of how it looks):
    [​IMG]

    The facia adapter seems to be available from most places. I have been on a site called justkenwood.co.uk and have seen the below:
    [​IMG]
    This has been labelled as part CAW1321-06 Double DIN fascia fitting kit (http://www.justkenwood.co.uk/car-audio.aspx/caw1321-06-adaptor). Does anyone know if this facia matches the audi interiror? If not, are there better alternatives?

    Steering Wheel Control - Here is where I start getting confused! Can anyone tell me if a Jan '07 S3 uses ISO, CAN-BUS or QUADLOCK. From this website it appears an adapter can be purchased to allow the MFSW control of the H.U. The only thing is there are only 2 types and I am not sure if any of these wil fit (see http://www.justkenwood.co.uk/remote-control-adaptors.aspx?id=15). I am guessing the PC910-X81 Kenwood OEM remote control adaptor is the best chance but the desctiption says this is for cars from Oct 1996 to Sept 2006 which is outside me range. Any recommendations?

    As I am not good with these kind of things I am wondering if anyone can recommend a good place to have this set up or is this something that can be managed by non-technical people?

    Also ,I like my boot space I want to install the AndyMac Stealth so will this be impacted by an aftermarket H.U?

    I have been told that fitting aftermarket with BOSE can be problematic. Does anyone know if BOSE and Kenwood are a definate NO NO? What are the potential risks and what can I do to counter or mitigate them? Would I see any improvement to sound if I upgraded to a Kenwood?

    Apologies for the questions but I have hit a wall in this quest for upgrading the H.U and any help would be appreciated! Any pictures from members that have installed an aftermarket would be very welcome and comments around how you feel the end-result is would also be great!

    As my posts says, I am between minds as this seems beyond me at the moment. Is this a worthwhile excercise or should I can the idea and just get an RNSE to replace the Symphony H.U. :faint:

    By the way, please tell me if I have forgetten anything else that is required to install an aftermarket.

    Thanks for reading.
    Pii
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
    #1
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  3. PH1L
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    PH1L Gievf Buckets VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 6, 2010]
    all i can tell you is i went aftermarket, though it is good i hated it and in less than 3 months down the line i now have rns-e and im a happy bunny
    #2
  4. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 6, 2010]
    RNS-E all day long
    #3
  5. Spin140
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    Spin140 Active Member

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    [Apr 6, 2010]
    RNSE, some of the aftermarket ones still look pretty good but they will never match the quality of the OEM look, I also think an aftermrket unit may be a thief magnet.
    #4
  6. smudge_don
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    smudge_don Active Member

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    [Apr 6, 2010]
    I was considering an Alpine unit over the RNS-E, but changed my mind as i wanted to keep OEM and i'm glad i did

    OK the Alpine might have sounded a bit better when i finally uprate my speakers and put a small sub in, but the RNS-E is the best of the best, never had any problems
    #5
  7. Pii
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    Pii Member

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    [Apr 6, 2010]
    Yes you have the all singing and dancing solution! I was extremely impressed and that was what made me think OEM in the first place!! I blame you :motz:

    Have to accept that nothing looks as tidy as OEM. For me it's just trying to weight up the effort and time in both solutions. Absolutely agree with theif magnet which is something that puts me off the aftermarket solutions :faint:

    This is 100% the answer I expected from you N8! Suprised there was no bucket seat comment slipped in :)

    What made you take it out? Did you have BOSE by the way and if so did it give you any trouble?
    #6
  8. smudge_don
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    smudge_don Active Member

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    [Apr 6, 2010]
    :happy:
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  9. PH1L
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    PH1L Gievf Buckets VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 6, 2010]
    the aftermarket was a dynavin and i changed cars so i was running non bose now im running bose, but the dynavin unit does support bose and i had no problems with the unit whatsoever just didnt feel right to me
    #8
  10. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 6, 2010]
    You asked about headunits not seats you breast.
    #9
  11. Pii
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    [Apr 6, 2010]
    Any old pics of this?
    #10
  12. Pii
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    [Apr 6, 2010]
    :salute:
    #11
  13. redbutcher
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    redbutcher Member

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    [Apr 6, 2010]
    RNS-E is great - hint take a look in my sig :sly:
    #12
  14. PH1L
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    PH1L Gievf Buckets VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    erm yeah i postedd the pics in another thread about aftermarket or rnse it should still pay shown on page one of this sect, at work so i cant get into my photobucket to dump it here
    #13
  15. Pii
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    Pii Member

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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    Thanks red! If I go OEM then it would have to be with Chrome Buttons. Thank anyway and sorry to see you go :icon_thumright:
    #14
  16. PH1L
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    PH1L Gievf Buckets VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    you can add the chome buttons fyi
    #15
  17. jungleman
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    jungleman Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    how... is it just a case of pull them off and push on the new ones? lol
    #16
  18. redbutcher
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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    LOL - if only - quite a complex process - NHN is the best man to speak to as I know he's done quite a few units from here.....
    #17
  19. PH1L
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    PH1L Gievf Buckets VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    yeah something like that someone will be along to confirm how its done, but its a cheap mod and entriely possible
    #18
  20. Brett Butler
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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    Sorry for my ignorance, RNS-E? what does it stand for

    I am thinking of adding a Sat Nav head unit, I have Symphony Radio, and the bose speaker upgrade, but cannot find out anything about it. what will work and not etc. Rather Frustrating.
    I want the SAT NAV to be able to add speed camera data bases, and be updated, and the OEM units cannot, though I suspect some messing with the DVD's etc.
    Would like some help here, really miss a sat nav screen in the centre.

    Just a side note, Kenwood, are suppose to be replacing their top of the range unit as well in the near future
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
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  21. jungleman
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    jungleman Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    haha it can wait then, other bit of goodness need doing to the S3 first lol :icon_thumright:
    #20
    dobbysline likes this.
  22. Pii
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    Pii Member

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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    So I have read but nah that requires further work off other people ( I am non capable of mechanics and such).

    I'm already waiting for some guys here to get back to me but it seems like they are too busy. I'd rather not have to wait for more people to be free if I decide on what to to. It's almost wrong to keep bugging someone who you are asking for help and I find myself doing that alot. Think I'll have go myself it it's an RNS-E..... this upgrading business might gut my pockets!
    #21
  23. Pii
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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    NHN is just the man :superman:
    #22
  24. PH1L
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    PH1L Gievf Buckets VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    yes theres a company that is doing that, however theres no audible warnings yet
    Just a side note, Kenwood, are suppose to be replacing their top of the range unit as well in the near future
    #23
  25. Pii
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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    So the RNS-E (not sure what it stands for) will not support camera databases. I read somewhere that some guys are working on this but who knows if and when it will be done. For now you have to take it as a NO NO!
    This was one of the reasons for me considering the Kenwood choice as Garmin are a pretty respectable company and i presume cameras are ok. The Kenwood solution would be the lazy man's option for me but I have also heard that BOSE can cause issues. These are the things I am not sure about to be honest.

    In terms of a new model, the 9240BT seems to do all I want and more so this would be ideal EXPECT the non-OEM look which might or might not bug me in the end....
    #24
  26. Pii
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    Pii Member

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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    Sadly my 'bits' list isn't as exciting as sounds!! I'm quite new to doing any upgrades and frankly am not the best man for the job. Basic cosmentics changes seem to take me forever to acheive :crying:

    Would rather allow the experts to do the job right with some reward but can't expect people to put their lives on hold to help you :sadlike:

    NHN where are you...... :bye:
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
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  27. jungleman
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    jungleman Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    im the same, id much rather pay someone to fiddle with the car than do it myself, as im really not technically minded and dont want to much something up which will cost me more to put right than paying someone in the first place!!
    #26
  28. jungleman
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    jungleman Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    it is a shame that there is no cam database on the RNS-E but if u have an iPhone then there is an app on there that has all the cam locations across europe and is updated monthy so another way round it till that compmany (i forget their names) sort out a hack for it :)
    #27
  29. Pii
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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    Yup - we are the amongst the top ten hated type of drivers:motz:

    Things is though there are some guys here who REALLY go beyond the challenge and their innovation spawns interest!! Major bummer when you can't do it.....

    Just today I was contacting a site for LED's (based on other threads) and was told these wouldnt fit my car. Pretty sure most people used those on the thread! What a shame.....
    #28
  30. Pii
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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    Which kind of negates the Sat Nav on really doesn't it. There is no clear cut solution to me at the moment as I don't have the answers I want.... hence this thread.
    #29
  31. jungleman
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    jungleman Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 7, 2010]

    i think its a case of you can make most things work, if your willing to put the time and effort in and have some basic knowledge, which will grow fast... i however just dont have the time as uni work takes up 95% of my time and what free time i like to spend with the gf oh and finding the odd good road to enjoy the car on lol :)
    #30
  32. jungleman
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    jungleman Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    well it does and doesnt, the only time i have the satnav running as in guidance mode is when im going somewhere i dont know, so dont really know where the cameras are, rest of the time i know where they are... well generally
    but still true still no clear solution yet, but fingers crossed someone will sort out a solution and im very sure they will have many many audi drivers biting their hands off for their product!!
    #31
  33. Pii
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    Pii Member

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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    Uni?!? You kids have money nowadays !!!

    If you think you have no time now, just wait until you are actually working! Don't get me wrong, Uni isn't easy; it's just that FT work is a different calibre!
    #32
  34. jungleman
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    jungleman Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    haha i have money, i was a good boy when i worked and saved :p

    haha u say that, but last year when i was doing my years experience (part of the course), i had soo much more free time, 9-5.30 mon-fri, now im back at uni im doing 17-20 hours a day 6.5 days a week, architecture diploma is a killer!!! just got to make it through the next 18 months and my 7 years of studying is done!!
    #33
  35. Pii
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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    Mate I take my hats of to you for working hard and being dedicated and focused:hi:
    See the problem with working in your 20's is that you are working for.... well money really. Many things change but that's all for you to find out years down the line!

    For now, do you what you doing because you are in a far better position than I was at Uni!!

    You could take your car to a audio specialist and see what they recommend?
    #34
  36. jungleman
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    jungleman Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 7, 2010]
    you got to do what u got to do, its something that i want and im really headstrong, almost to a bad point at times, but its getting me there, but it took me a long time to really realise what i wanted, so before all this i did a whole load of other things, but mainly work, which is why i managed to save some money.
    yea totally know things will change down the line, suff like kids, mortgage, which is why i got the car now, as if i was to wait, then it would be a long time before i was in the situation to be able to do it again, just glad i have a really understanding gf.... who also likes cars haha!!
    well as far as the audio in the car is im pretty happy with it, as the RNS-E is a fantastic headunit, the BOSE is fantastic quality, which really just leaves working out what iPod interface im going to go with, but think ive finally decided.... decisions decisions :)
    think with yours, you just need to have a play with a load of different set-ups and see which one feels most natural
    #35
  37. Boydie
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    Boydie Boycie VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 8, 2010]
    Without evening reading the thread, RNS-E with bluetooth upgrade all the way

    I have done the aftermarket unit thing before, loved it but since getting RNS-E, I am so glad I went down this route! Much better OEM looking and adds more interest to the car!
    #36
  38. pillboy88
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    [Apr 9, 2010]
    Is there any difference between the chrome version and the non chrome version of the RNS-E? Is it purely aesthetic or there are functional differences?

    I'm also thinking about this as my car coming in July will be a stock Concert model. It seems JVC also makes a nasty unit which can play AVIs as well through the USB interface and that's very tempting. But like everyone else here says RNS-E will look much more stock and "fits" the other interior styling...
    #37
  39. Ash187
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    Ash187 Audi-Retrofits.co.uk Site Sponsor

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    [Apr 9, 2010]
    Hi Guys,

    I am in the same boat here... stuck on what to do about the Audio in the car.
    I too am thinking of an Aftermarket system... probably the Pioneer P4200DVD with the Bluetooth and iPod upgrades, and maybe a rear view camera added on as well. Now i know that the RNS-E is capable of these things but the cost difference is huge! I do like the whole look and functionality of the RNS-E but i cannot afford to go down a £2000 upgrade to get the RNS-e with bluetooth, iPod and rear view camera, not to mention the video in-motion upgrade which is done easily on the aftermarket systems.

    I also have the Bose upgrade so i am thinking about the Andy Mac Sub as it will increase the sound quality without loosing boot space, but also thinking about the effect of the Bose on the Pioneer system... help us indecisive people.:think:
    #38
  40. Boydie
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    Boydie Boycie VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 9, 2010]
    Difference is only aesthetic
    #39

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