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RNS-E

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by scottmachine, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. scottmachine

    scottmachine New Member

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    How does the RNS-E compare to aftermarket stereos? It seems you get more for your money with the likes of Sony's XAV-601BT and Pioneers AVIC-F940BT, anyone have these in their cars? I'm not that bothered about keeping it original.

    Thanks
    Scott
     
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  3. PH1L

    PH1L Gievf Buckets
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    Pros

    it looks better
    ties in with can system

    cons
    every additonal feature costs a hell of a lot more


    I have an RNS-e cause im a fussy bugger but if something else was more oem and tied in with the can system i might change
     
  4. scottmachine

    scottmachine New Member

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    Anyone got any experience with the Zenec rns-e equivalent?
     
  5. voorhees

    voorhees Moderator
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  6. scottmachine

    scottmachine New Member

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    Thanks for that
     
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  7. chris1988brown

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    ive got a alpine ive-w530bt in mine, nice unit, good features built in parrot bluetooth , however im selling it due to it interfearing slightly with my bose system , i will be changing to the rns-e however i like the look of my alpine better
     
  8. ziggyx1

    ziggyx1 New Member

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    I have the navigation plus in my 55 plate a3 as well. Im considering going for something after market. The ONLY thing stopping me from doing this is the RNS-e looks really smart in the car. I might regret changing it !!
     
  9. manusportback

    manusportback New Member

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    Hi

    Hi have had the RNS-E fitted to my A3 and although it has fewer features than most aftermarket units, it looks great in the dash. Nothing really beats OEM. After market units probably have better features for example, touch screen capability but I prefer the original look. I suppose it is personal preference at the end of the day....

    manu
     
  10. scottmachine

    scottmachine New Member

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  11. NHN

    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat
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    They're 949 euros, not exactly cheap, but tbh depends on your car year & setup which denotes oem prices, ping me a pm for an oem price/solution :)
     
  12. soulsurfer

    soulsurfer Member

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    Hi NHN,
    Have you received any of the messages I've sent, I'm looking for this solution to bring integrated iPod and Bluetooth, the Zenec is £770, but if OEM is similar with RNSE then happy days...

    http://www.incarhandsfree.co.uk/oem...av-navigation-cd-dvd-bluetooth-6.2-lcd-stereo
     
  13. NHN

    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat
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    Sorry I have been out of action due to illness, I will deal with them shortly.

    That unit is still £900 fitted, doesn't specify if adapters are needed or supplied etc, so beware.

    It looks good, but its a clone of other similar units, others installing similar units haven't been that impressed, although firmware updates may resolve any issues they may or may not have, its your risk.
     
  14. ny tdi

    ny tdi New Member

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    I bought a North American 2013 A3 8P eight months ago, and it came w/o bose, and no nav. I quickly bought a brand new RNS-E 193 from a company in california for $1100. This included the new RNS-E, new 2012/2013 Audi Maps, GPS antenna, and all mounting hardware.

    I just sold the RNS-E this month, and I'm looking to replace it with a unit from Zenec. Here are a list of Pros/Cons for RNS-E 2010+ vs Zenec, plus my personal impressions for both.

    RNS-E Pros:
    -Possible Audi support
    -OEM Fit and Finish
    -OEM Software
    -Tons of dedicated buttons
    -Listen to music w/ screen completely off (many touch screen radios can not do this: The Volkswagen RCD-510 comes to mind.) -
    -Keeps OEM bluetooth (OEM voice dialing is AMAZING! Cars honking, the A/C blasting, Windows open: still works, WOW!)
    -Keep steering wheel controls
    -Keeps Sirius
    -Keeps CD changer and OEM iPod interface (important to some...)
    -DIS displays Navigation information
    -Screen looks fantastic (Truly, really, an absolute improvement over the MK1 unit. I mean, seriously. The difference is dramatic.)
    -Free Traffic (works well on long road trips, not so well around town)
    -Support for Standard SD Cards (That's important to me. Long story involving car accidents and front view cameras...)
    -Great for RHD countries
    -Can be DIY installed

    RNS-E Cons:
    -New maps are very expensive (I paid $210 extra for the OEM maps. And that was with a 25% discount, and tax free)
    -Can't use copies (DVD copies of maps over-works the laser, and things start to overheat inside)
    -No Video support of any kind in the USA (so no iPod video, no reverse camera, no dvd playback, no codec support at all)
    -Unit is Expensive (before buying from an Audi dealer, take your money out of your wallet and burn it. That would be cheaper)
    -Sucks for LHD countries (The control knobs are a bit of a reach, and I prefer buttons to Audi's steering wheel jog dials)
    ​-Installation requires VCDS software and vag-com cable ($250 from Ross-Tech)

    RNS-E Impressions:
    Software is fast, especially the sat-nav. Loads up quickly, and recalculates instantly. The Sat-Nav PIP is great for turn directions whenever you're not facing north (e.g. Map screen oriented north, you are headed south, blue-line curves to the left, PIP arrow pints to the right. Got all that? Cool!). RNS-E is easy to use, with dedicated hardware buttons for most features, so no digging through menus. Consistent look/feel to the user interface (unlike most aftermarket units where every function is a different kink of ugly!). I actually like that it's not touch screen, things stay clean and tidy, and there's no need to windex every other day. In the end, the lack of A/V support caused me to sell the unit. Having owned an MK VI GTI w/ factory RNS-510 Navigation, I found the RNS-E MK2 to be very limiting in terms of Video/DVD support. On a personal note, I've actually had to have my Audi dealer replace one of the knobs from this RNS-E (just broke off one day). Since my car is relatively new, still under factory warranty, and has VERY few miles, I made an appointment with my local Audi service advisor, and had the knob replaced for free. The advisor didn't ask where the RNS-E came from, and I certainly didn't tell him, but the knob is good as new, and I wasn't charged for the service.


    Briefly indulge me while I compare Audi's RNS-E to VW's RNS-510. The main difference between the two (besides on the RNS-510 being a touch screen), is that you could do pretty much anything with the VW unit, it so long as you were willing to pay for OEM add-ons (expensive), or deal with firmware trickery (time consuming), or install 3rd party solutions (trial/error). But if you were willing to put up with any of those, the RNS-510 could do pretty much anything. Conversely, Audi's North American mk2 RNS-E won't play nice, at any price. You get what you get, and that's that. BTW, I know what you're asking yourself, and the answer is no: VW's RNS-510 doesn't work in Audi's A3 8P. Bummer...


    ZENEC
    OK, and now for the Zenec part of the evening. It costs about $1300, on Amazon and Ebay. Comes everything you need for installation, including iPod cable, harness, radio antenna adapter, GPS antenna, Can-bus card, and SD card for UK maps. USA maps are not included, and neither are radio removal keys.

    Pros for NC3131D:
    -OEM Fit and Finish
    -Consistant Software (every menu looks like it was designed by the same person)
    -Classic look to UI (not distracting, or juvenile)
    -Tons of dedicated buttons (including one that is user-programmable)
    -Listen to music w/ screen completely off (w/ dedicated button. NICE!)
    -DIS displays Navigation information
    -Keep steering wheel controls
    -Screen looks just as sharp as MK2 RNS-E
    -Free TMC traffic
    -Support for Standard SD Cards
    -Great for LHD (USA FTW!)
    -Rear View Camera compatible
    -Displays info from OEM Parking Assist when RVC not installed
    -Plays video files from iPod/SD cards
    -Plays DVD movies
    -Has integrated bluetooth Mic (so no need to run new wires)
    -Can be truly DIY installed

    NC3131D Cons:
    Doesn't Keep OEM bluetooth (bummer, I'll miss that lady saying "the number, please?")
    Say goodbye to Satellite Radio (unless you buy a portable unit)
    No support for CD Changer in the Glovebox
    Audi Fanboys will know that it's not a factory installed component (I am an Audi Fanboy!)
    Even more expensive than buying a new RNS-E from Ebay
    USA maps are not included, they are $70
    USA traffic camera data is an extra $20
    The process for downloading new maps is a PIA
    Tech support is in Europe (heaven help you if you ever have to make a warranty claim)


    A few things about the Zenec:
    It's fast, very fast, and responds almost instantly to touch. The menus look very consistent through all the menus, and the UI seems very tasteful and grown up. It has dedicated button for most of the functions, and the rest seem easy to navigate to. It's fully Can-bus compatible so you keep your steering wheel controls, and full DIS support. This means FM, Mp3, and Navigation info all show up on the DIS between the Tach and the Speedo. Overall, the unit looks very fully featured, very grown up, and very impressive. I've yet to take the plunge to buy one, but after doing a quite a bit of research, I've been able to confirm that all of the noted features actually work as promised. I've emailed vendors on Ebay and Amazon, and they've both confirmed that the feature set is as stated. I've also looked up the user manuals from Zenec's site, and all the above features are explained there. I've also compiled a list of websites and youtube videos that support Zenec's claims. I'll paste said list below so that members here can have a chance to do their own research and see how they feel about the Zenec unit.

    Like I said, its the most expensive option currently available, and it does have a few downsides, but I'm really considering pulling the trigger as it has most of the things that I enjoyed about the RNS-E (fast, easy, good software, OEM look, DYI capable), but few of the drawbacks (ability to play DVD, RVC compatibility, iPod Video). I'll certainly post again once I buy/install, but until then, here's what I've found on Zenec's NC3131D so far:



    -There seem to be several models-
    Depending on the region where it's sold (NC3131D-ELS, NC3131D-FEU, etc.). All Zenec units seem to come with region-free dvd players (so says the user manual), so the only difference seems to be the maps that come pre-loaded. The FEU units come preloaded with maps for the European Union, for example. There is no Zenec version that is specific for North America, so you'll have to shell out another $70 for US maps, no matter which version of the NC3131D you get.


    -Website confirming Navigation info on DIS-
    Zenec ZE-NC3131D - Audi A3 Car AV Navigation CD DVD Bluetooth 6.2

    -Website confirming the 4 differenrt models for different regions-
    Zenec - Touch another World : Update-Navigation

    -Zenec Brochure showing all features, confirming Nav directions on DIS-
    http://www.zenec.com/uploads/media/ZE-NC3131D_leaflet_EN.pdf

    -Zenec User Manual, confirming dedicated 'ALT' hard-button for Standby Mode, (screen off while playing music)-
    http://www.zenec.com/uploads/media/ZE-NC3131D_UserManual_EN_DE_02.pdf

    -Zenec support site, confirming access to North American maps/features for purchase-
    https://zenec.naviextras.com/shop/portal/chooseDevice
    Note: click "Continue as Guest", then click the orange "Zenec", then chose Zenec ELS models, then click continue. You'll now be taken to a screen where you can choose which map regions to buy. The USA maps are $70. That sucks!

    -Zenec availability at Amazon.com-
    Amazon.com: Zenec ZE-NC3131D - Audi A3 Car AV Navigation CD DVD Bluetooth 6.2" LCD Stereo: Everything Else

    -Zenec Demo confirming Navi info appearing on DIS/FIS. Video also confirms ALT button Standby Mode (listening to music with the screen off).
    Navegador zenec NC3131 - YouTube
    Note: Video is in Spanish, but confirms DIS function for Bluetooth Caller ID, as well as Navigation Directions.
    ALT button demo at 4:40, DIS/FIS explanation at 5:40

    -Park Distance Control Integration (shown on MKVI GTI)-
    ZENEC ZE-NC2011D Genel Özellikler Tanıtım Videosu - YouTube
    Note: Jump to 8:40

    -Demo of Bluetooth Caller ID appearing on DIS
    ZENEC ZE-NC3131D Bluetooth Tanıtım Videosu - YouTube
    NOTE: Jump to 1:00

    Ok, it's bed time. ZZzzzz (drool...)
     
    #13 ny tdi, Feb 13, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
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  15. NHN

    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat
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    Do you work for Zenec by any chance :p
     
  16. JoeS3

    JoeS3 Member

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    Hi NHN, i sent you a PM a few weeks ago.

    let me know if you've received it please

    thanks
    Joe
     
  17. NHN

    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat
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    Sorry Joe, I'm well behind on comms as I've been unwell for a while, still battling & its taking me ages to catch up, but I've tracked it down now & will reply shortly.
     
  18. JoeS3

    JoeS3 Member

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    hope all is well mate.

    thanks for getting back to me
     
  19. ny tdi

    ny tdi New Member

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    Hi NHN,

    LOL. No, I'm not affiliated. I just wished I had more information about them when I originally bought my RNS-E.
     
  20. mister.c.

    mister.c. Active Member

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    For those who have experience of both...
    Does the RSN-E provide much better audio quality versus the concert?
    Thanks
     
  21. Sayam

    Sayam Well-Known Member

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    If you put a gun to my head I would say yes. But there are lots of caveats to that.

    One thing the RNS-E deffo did is increase input 'volume' into the factory Bose amp in my car, the system got noticeably louder when the RNS-E was fitted.
     
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  23. mister.c.

    mister.c. Active Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts. No gun here mind!
    I'm currently thinking about how best to move from a concert radio non Bose set up, to one with better audio. In my old car (Seat Leon) I did it simply by changing the head unit (to a Becker). I don't expect amazing sound, just a fair bit better. Without the radio quality getting worse. Which to be fair to the concert is its (main/ only?!) strong point!

    Many searches later and I'm still a bit unclear - as I don't care for certain functions (e.g. Apple or Android compatibility) and most options as you mention have +ve's and negatives.
     
  24. Sayam

    Sayam Well-Known Member

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    I can help you with that.

    What is your budget? You could keep the Concert and upgrade the speakers which will give you better quality sound for less money than it would cost to install the RNS-E.
     
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  25. mister.c.

    mister.c. Active Member

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    Cheers mate. I hadn't thought about that but wouldn't necessarily have a problem. The main concern I have with pulling bits of the car apart would be to try to minimise that, for fear of rattles etc. I've only upgraded once and happy to get the experts into help. I used Source Sounds in Sheffield the last time (who came recommended and did a good job) - I was going to give them a call about head units.

    Thinking about it, I could then keep my USB stick in the glovebox working, so it definitely has potential. I wouldn't have a problem paying say £400 to give the car a good boost in the audio department. I appreciate a chunk of that will be labour but also I don't want a huge bombastic rig that wakes all the neighbourhood and needs two batteries to power!
     
  26. Sayam

    Sayam Well-Known Member

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    You won't go far wrong with Source in Sheffield buddy, they are really good!

    Nah you don't need something that needs its own sub-station to run. Maybe enquire about a small four channel amp like the Hertz HCP4 and some better door speakers like the Hertz Energy range. They will match up nicely with those amps and give you louder, better quality sound without breaking the bank.

    To be honest for £400 you may struggle to get the amp and speakers but for £400 you could buy the speakers, run them off the factory amp/wiring already in the car. After buying the speakers the remainder should be spent on sound deadening the doors, a decent set of speaker collars and the rest will be labour.
     
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  27. mister.c.

    mister.c. Active Member

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    Thanks again. I'll have another think / do some research over the Easter holidays & then speak to Source. I'd pay a bit more - say £500 but don't want to run away too much with the costs. Sound deadening seems very sensible. As do the other things you suggest. I'd hope with £500 then a good solution can be found. Thing I found with Source as well, is that I just have to say what I want (e.g. better sound) and how much to spend, and I'd hope to get appropriately guided. Already your thoughts have helped me feel less of a numpty in terms of knowledge of what is out there to answer those questions.
     
  28. Sayam

    Sayam Well-Known Member

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    Never feel like a numpty... I've been in car audio since before I could drive and I'm 25 now, that's a fair amount of time.

    Only thing that bothers me is people who cba to use the search but that doesn't apply to you

    If you car were mine I would go with speaker collars, deadening and some Hertz Energy speakers

    That would be a good stage one leaving the door open for the future if you wanted. If not it would make a really clear, crisp sounding setup.

    One thing with hertz - you may find the tweeter a bit harsh on the ear when new. That will go as they bed in so don't let that put you off
     
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  29. Alva78

    Alva78 Member

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    I had the standard oem Concert and when i upgraded to RNS-e the sound quality was amazing.It also looks really good but as i have seen on this forum they are a great way of getting your car broken into.Luckily it has not happend to me .....yet.The nav is fast as stated before but you cannot put the full post code in unless you get it upgraded by a specialist retrofitter.Also the extras are very very expensive ie mobile phone prep etc.But overall i am well pleased with my £360 upgrade .
     
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  30. mister.c.

    mister.c. Active Member

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    Thanks again. Have read a little bit more and there are many positives about the sound deadening. To quote one fella on amazon
    'I fitted in all four doors this afternoon and the difference is astounding, I actually have bass tones from the crappy factory fit speakers in my C4 Picasso'.

    Sayam - would you go with upgrading only the front door speakers? And if I was to stretch to something in addition to that/ what you say, the addition of a HCP 4 sub would be the way to go.
    Hertz Energy start from £80 so seem good value.

    Alva - definitely agreed on the increased chance of getting the car broken into, from what I read on here! Like you I like the look of the Sat Nav but number 1 thoughts is to increase the sound quality and I'm thinking speaker upgrade is probably more bang for my buck so to speak. For less than £400 what you did seems an excellent upgrade.

    Cheers
     
  31. mister.c.

    mister.c. Active Member

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    Just for information, found via some searching. AndyMac mentioned that 'the fronts are 4" components with 1" tweeters. The rears are 6.5" coaxials'. He also mentioned 'The fronts can be replaced with 5.25" components but depth is limited to approx 55-60mm'.
    A couple of other people, via google searching seem to think the speakers are blaupunkt. I didnt find it particularly easy to find out how many speakers/ what speakers my A3 has!
     
  32. Sayam

    Sayam Well-Known Member

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    My starting point would be changing to Hertz Energy speakers (fitted correctly - sound deadening the door/collars etc). Then I would amplify them with a HCP 4 or HCP 4D if I could stretch. Next would be a 12" Hertz energy sub in a sealed box.

    I'd leave the rear as factory just for some rear fill sound.

    What year/model/spec is your car?
     
  33. mister.c.

    mister.c. Active Member

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    Cheers (again!) Sayam. My car is a 2009 A3 S-line 3 door with the standard system.
     
  34. Sayam

    Sayam Well-Known Member

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    I could be wrong but you have 6.5" mid in the door and tweeter in the sail panel

    Regardless of what you have, the installer will have to make adapters to accommodate the depth of new speakers.

    Don't need to worry about the rear speakers as they are just for rear fill
     
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  35. mister.c.

    mister.c. Active Member

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    Visited Source today. Ended up spending an hour asking questions, listening to their advice and also playing with a bit of their kit. Time well spent, although sometimes too much information in an area you know little about can be over-wealming. But not too much in this case.

    The first few minutes was spent explaining requirements but also that I wanted to keep the head unit, which the chap needed a bit of convincing shall we say! On the basis they felt that would hold back the speakers. But I have no desire for Sat Nav/ droid and apple connectivity or something that reminds me of my ghetto blaster half my life ago! They were helpful and listened to my thoughts. Sayam - the information / advice you gave helped me understand more of what they said than if you hadn't so thanks for your time.

    Upshot is I have one decision to make - do I go for or not go for an amplifier. A given is the (Hertz Energy) speakers and the sound deadening. With all necessary cables etc, fitted that comes to around £340. Add an amplifier fitted with all that is necessary (Rainbow Dream suggested) and it creeps over £600. Obviously its not a once in a lifetime opportunity so I could go without the amp and then see what the sound is like. However I'm erring on the side of doing it all. You only live once after all..
     
  36. Sayam

    Sayam Well-Known Member

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    No problem at all, that's the whole point of this forum.

    If I were in your shoes I'd get it done now. Saves potential for paying labour twice if they are removing/refitting certain trim panels in the car anyway.

    To be fair, I understand why he needed some convincing to agree to keeping the factory head unit. It does leave a lot to be desired but then again people have to work within the customer's requirements.

    If you're using Source you must be local to me, whereabouts are you based?
     
  37. mister.c.

    mister.c. Active Member

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    Well once I was able to explain to him what I wanted (e.g. better sound, didn't want a sat navigation or Apple/Android integration, or a Head Unit that didn't look out of place/OEM or full of bright lights) then I think he started to get it. I had to stress this a couple of times to snap him out of the head unit needs changing focus or to actually sell that as a solution to me then offer me a head unit that meets my requirements. It took him a few minutes to step back from his enthusiasm to convey his knowledge and to allow me to state all my requirements. In part my fault in asking an opening question of I want better sound and was thinking to do x and y, but in part he needed to listen a bit more. But he was a good guy and has good knowledge of A3 installs so I was trying to gather his knowledge too.

    I'm based in West Yorkshire now, originally from Donny and used them about 8 years ago to fit a Becker unit including BT and they were fine, so the 45 minute journey isn't really a problem when they seem to be well know and come recommended.
     
  38. Sayam

    Sayam Well-Known Member

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    Cool, I'm in West Yorks too...if there any local meets or BBQ or anything I'll give you a shout!
     
  39. mister.c.

    mister.c. Active Member

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    Still not got round to booking this! What with work taking a lot of time and £600 being much better spent elsewhere at the moment (and Rtech remap next month being priority on car spend) then I'm happy to wait a bit. May just go for the speaker upgrade. £600+ was a little more than I was aiming for but I don't think it was too overpriced for what it is. Though I've seen the alpine bbx t600 amp at £60 new on Ebay which would know £90 off the cost if Source would fit, which might be a plan. Happy to wait a bit and make my mind up.
     
  40. mister.c.

    mister.c. Active Member

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    Off to Source on Thursday for them to fit the Energy, with sound deadening. For me I think that will be sufficient an upgrade in the audio department. Thanks for your help.
    Should be a good week next week. Also visiting R-Tech on tuesday for some horses!
     
  41. Spiezels

    Spiezels Member

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    Is it possible to get a decent unit that has sat nav etc for about £250/300. I went down the Chinese eBay route and it's a piece of ****, am in the process of trying to get some money back but may not happen.

    Ideally don't want to smash £500/£600 as i already feel like I've wasted cash.

    Nice one.
     
  42. mister.c.

    mister.c. Active Member

    Joined:
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