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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have just taken delivery of a spec'd up T30 Kombi that comes with a factory radio that has Bluetooth phone but no DAB or Sat Nav. So I want to upgrade to the Kenwood unit but can't work out a) what integrates and b) what bits I need to add on. The original system comes with the phone mike already in the overhead and integrates with the MFD and park sensors. I didn't bother with the multifunction steering wheel but the dash display and stalks still do stuff.

From VW or Kenwood I can't make head nor tail or what works and what is required. Do I need any of the Kenwood interfaces to make;
a) The park sensors to work on the display.
b) The original phone mike work.
c) The MFD to work with audio and phones.
d) Dab radio ariel work.

The the is the question of speakers. The VW ones aren't great especially when driven and I also want a couple of 125mm units in the rear when it gets converted to a campervan. What possibilities do I have with this head unit and the original front units?

Then what happens about updates? The Kenwood I have in my work Vito updates from a front micro SD but I am reading that the 521 has to be updated from the rear?

Technology wise this is all very now. We will use iPod for audio and iPhone for phone. On the other hand this motor is intended as long term keeper so we presume all this technology will need a refresh very 5 or so years.

One final point is this a DIY install or does it need a pro?
 

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I have just taken delivery of a spec'd up T30 Kombi that comes with a factory radio that has Bluetooth phone but no DAB or Sat Nav. So I want to upgrade to the Kenwood unit but can't work out a) what integrates and b) what bits I need to add on. The original system comes with the phone mike already in the overhead and integrates with the MFD and park sensors. I didn't bother with the multifunction steering wheel but the dash display and stalks still do stuff.

From VW or Kenwood I can't make head nor tail or what works and what is required. Do I need any of the Kenwood interfaces to make;
a) The park sensors to work on the display.
b) The original phone mike work.
c) The MFD to work with audio and phones.
d) Dab radio ariel work.

The the is the question of speakers. The VW ones aren't great especially when driven and I also want a couple of 125mm units in the rear when it gets converted to a campervan. What possibilities do I have with this head unit and the original front units?

Then what happens about updates? The Kenwood I have in my work Vito updates from a front micro SD but I am reading that the 521 has to be updated from the rear?

Technology wise this is all very now. We will use iPod for audio and iPhone for phone. On the other hand this motor is intended as long term keeper so we presume all this technology will need a refresh very 5 or so years.

One final point is this a DIY install or does it need a pro?
The Kenwood is quiet a simple upgrade, the only parts needed are a Dab aerial but some sellers include it, like us, the Kenwood will plug straight in, with no mods needed, the mic supplied will be needed to be installed, as your van is not DAB prepped you need to install the aerial to the front windscreen.

The parking information will automatically be displayed on the Kenwood display and it will put out basic info on the dash display.

The updates are done with the rear USB, but it is on a cable which allows you to install it in the glovebox etc.

Regarding speakers I recommend you upgrade the fronts with Pioneer TS-H1703 component speakers which comes with a separate tweeter to fit under the dash grills and pop some 165mm Pioneers co-ax speakers in the rear sides or door

Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #4

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So it does all the VAG integration?

Yes it does, and its a great unit, except the Kenwood is a direct fit so looks factory where the Pioneer requires a facia trim to fit,

The Kenwood has a7" screen and the Pioneer has a 6.1" but what ever one you decide both are very good...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hadn't considered the Pioneer before as did not see integration but features look good.

Am used to Garmin mapping - who do Pioneer use and how good?

How do they compare price wise?

How naff is the surround - in black and not antique sideboard?

BTW Would really like to avoid door pilar mike. Central overhead factory one (locationwise) is nice, discreet and is useable for both driver and passenger.
 

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Hadn't considered the Pioneer before as did not see integration but features look good.

Am used to Garmin mapping - who do Pioneer use and how good?

How do they compare price wise?

How naff is the surround - in black and not antique sideboard?

BTW Would really like to avoid door pilar mike. Central overhead factory one (locationwise) is nice, discreet and is useable for both driver and passenger.
Pioneer does have some nice features which you don't notice until you use it, it's quick and uses Navteq maps ( Navteq supplies some others with there maps so good)
The surround fits perfectly but the Kenwood brings the buttons right to the edge..the microphone can go where you like, we always install in the centre so both can talk, people only put it on the pillar for ease of install...

Price wise are similiar...




Top one is Kenwood, Pioneer is installed in a T5 pre face lift...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Why not carry on using the original factory Bluetooth rather than that on the Kenwood unit?
No Sat Nav, poor sound quality, no DAB, no DVD, no iPod integration ......

And before you say it we have tried our portable sat nav stuck to the screen. Can't read it when the sun shines on it, small screen difficult to see that far away and dangerous to manipulate from driving position.

Finally dangling wires ofend me when we are spending so much to get the motore right.
 

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No Sat Nav, poor sound quality, no DAB, no DVD, no iPod integration ......

And before you say it we have tried our portable sat nav stuck to the screen. Can't read it when the sun shines on it, small screen difficult to see that far away and dangerous to manipulate from driving position.

Finally dangling wires ofend me when we are spending so much to get the motore right.
I just took delivery of a new Highline with bluetooth and had hoped I could use my Pioneer AVIC 9310BT for the nav and radio and still use the factory bluetooth as it still connects even when the RCD310 has been removed. Turns out it doesn't work though. :(

That Kenwood looks very nice, how much do they cost?
 

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I spoke to Stephen at Swissvantek.com
I didnt realize how popular the 521DAB still is
Its actually selling about same numbers as new
Pioneer
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That Kenwood looks very nice, how much do they cost?
I am going to stick with my original plan and go for the Kenwood. On their own they go for round £900.

TBH the install looks neater, the screen is bigger and the volume is a knob rather than stabbing for buttons in the dark.

Also I am used to Garmin n have an account for several other GPRS devices.

Jason at AbsoluteT5 is doing it for me later this week. I am sure he will be looking for a good feedback so I'll post a report ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Paid a visit to Jason at Absolut5 / AbsoluteAudio in Amesbury on Thursday to get my DNX521 installed along with a front speaker upgrade and provison for rear speakers when the camper conversion is done.

Ordinarily Amesbury would be a 250 mile round trip for me and would probably be worth it to get a pukka job. AbsoluteAudio's place is easy to find next to the A303 junction. On this occasion it was made easier as we were holidaying in Christchurch just an hour away. Perhaps just as well as glitch developed that necessitated a revisit today, Saturday.

10 out of 10 though to Jason and Noel for neat and tidy job. You wouldn't know they had been there but I saw the great job they did of the new door speakers.

As for the Kenwwod - just superb. I have anoth older FM version in a Vito and while it too sounds good this one, with its speaker upgrade and DAB, sounds awesome - especially when the speakers are driven. So far DAB reception is brilliant even in places where FM is non existent. Sat Nav update wih junction images is a great new feature.

If I have a criticism after a couple of days it is of VW because the position and angle of the screen, regardless of the make and model of head unit, is such that it is often in the sun and almost impossible to see.
 

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Paid a visit to Jason at Absolut5 / AbsoluteAudio in Amesbury on Thursday to get my DNX521 installed along with a front speaker upgrade and provison for rear speakers when the camper conversion is done.

Ordinarily Amesbury would be a 250 mile round trip for me and would probably be worth it to get a pukka job. AbsoluteAudio's place is easy to find next to the A303 junction. On this occasion it was made easier as we were holidaying in Christchurch just an hour away. Perhaps just as well as glitch developed that necessitated a revisit today, Saturday.

10 out of 10 though to Jason and Noel for neat and tidy job. You wouldn't know they had been there but I saw the great job they did of the new door speakers.

As for the Kenwwod - just superb. I have anoth older FM version in a Vito and while it too sounds good this one, with its speaker upgrade and DAB, sounds awesome - especially when the speakers are driven. So far DAB reception is brilliant even in places where FM is non existent. Sat Nav update wih junction images is a great new feature.

If I have a criticism after a couple of days it is of VW because the position and angle of the screen, regardless of the make and model of head unit, is such that it is often in the sun and almost impossible to see.
Many thanks for your nice comments.

Excellent feedback for others on how well DAB is working, and I'm glad you seen how much work goes into install speakers correctly.

Nice T5 tooT:
 
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