Monsoon Stereo

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Thread: Monsoon Stereo

  1. #1
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    Monsoon Stereo

    I have a 2002 Passat GLS. After a week of ownership the system would not turn on. I pulled the fuse and put it back in and it seemed to work ok again.

    Now I have very poor FM reception. Any suggestions of what may be wrong? Could it be related to the first incident of the radio simply not turning on?

    Also, could you tell me who manufactures this stereo? Thanks a lot!


    2002 GLS, 1.8T, Automatic, Silverstone Grey

    <![CDATA[I have a 2002 Passat GLS. After a week of ownership the system would not turn on. I pulled the fuse and put it back in and it seemed to work ok again.

    Now I have very poor FM reception. Any suggestions of what may be wrong? Could it be related to the first incident of the radio simply not turning on?

    Also, could you tell me who manufactures this stereo? Thanks a lot!


    2002 GLS, 1.8T, Automatic, Silverstone Grey

    [Modified by DChristian, 5:54 PM 8/3/2002]

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DChristian)

    same problem with mine. Have them change it out because it's still unde warranty.
    Rick

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DChristian)

    Monsoon. they're pretty good. I know that some GMC's and Chevy's use them

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DChristian)

    Thanks for the replies. I will take the back to the dealership when I get my oil changed and see about getting a replacement radio. CD's sound great, but the FM quality is really bad and I live in a metro area. Thanks again for the responses.

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (OmegaOnne)

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>Monsoon. they're pretty good. I know that some GMC's and Chevy's use them<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Not everyone agrees:

    http://www.petitiononline.com/VWofA/

  8. #6
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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DanoP)

    Get it swapped. Had mine done in 10 minutes!

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (Pil)

    The Passats appear to be unaffected by the wire swap....it's been switched back and forth by my dealer. It's a horrible sounding system....far too bright and harsh. It hurts my ears....but no more. The bugger has been ripped out along with the speakers.

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DanoP)

    it's true that no everyone agrees, but when if you were to compare other systems in cars around our price, 25,000. +/-, you would have to agree that the stock sound system of the passat is way better. ie. such as the ones found in a camery, or civic.
    Rick

    just change the unit. you could probably get a really good one for 200.00

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (OmegaOnne)

    Put on music that includes a good bit of bass....turn your balance control all the way to the left...then to the right....do this a few times. Notice something odd? Next, turn your fader control back and forth to the limits...again, notice something odd?

    I won't tell you what you'll hear. I'll let you discover that for yourself. Not only does the Monsoon system sound worse than any stock system, it is defective.

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DanoP)

    We get it, you dont like it. Personally, I think it's fine for a stock system.

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (mnelson)

    We can go back and forth all day on how well/badly it sounds. Do the test.....if you dare.

    By the way, if you own a 2002 Jetta/Golf and haven't done the wire switch per VWoA's technical service bulletin, your front left midrange speaker is operating 180 degrees out of phase.

    Quick edit.....my comments regarding Monsoon applies only to 2002 systems (which include D-Din HUs).


    <![CDATA[We can go back and forth all day on how well/badly it sounds. Do the test.....if you dare.

    By the way, if you own a 2002 Jetta/Golf and haven't done the wire switch per VWoA's technical service bulletin, your front left midrange speaker is operating 180 degrees out of phase.

    Quick edit.....my comments regarding Monsoon applies only to 2002 systems (which include D-Din HUs).


    [Modified by DanoP, 2:48 PM 8/5/2002]

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DanoP)

    I'm quite happy with the cd quality reproduction. It's just the FM reception that basically sounds like AM. It seems as though it's broadcasting in mono. But I'm satisfied with the cd quality sound. My auto was produced in April, 2002. It sounds as though there have been some problems with this radio system.

    Thanks for the input.

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DChristian)

    You're not going to do the balance and fader test that I am suggesting? Ok, let me clue you in. The VW rep for my region listened to my 2002 Passat (playing a variety of CDs) and found that there was 'a severe tonal imbalance' between the left and right side of the vehicle....his words. My words.....the left side of the vehicle has no bass....that's what I'm getting at with the balance test. The fader test.....fader only operates between 10 and 2 oclock. These are clear defects that has prompted over 100 people to sign the online petition to VWoA. It has prompted over 800 messages and 41,000 pages views in one thread in the vwvortex forum.

    This lack of bass on one side of the vehicle creates a rather steep, upward sloping response curve (frequency vs. amplitude). It has been described as bright, blare-y, strident.....if you are happy with this sound then your ears are more hardy than mine. BTW, I bought my Passat literally 'off the boat' in May.

    Apologies for steering the thread in a direction unintended by the author. Getting back to the original question, the system is regarded as a 'Monsoon' sound system but the head unit is manufacturered by Panasonic, I believe. The HU pushes 12v to an amplified antenna....it is possible that your poor reception is connected somehow either to the amplifier which lies at the base of the antenna or problems internal to the HU which pushes that 12v out.


    <![CDATA[You're not going to do the balance and fader test that I am suggesting? Ok, let me clue you in. The VW rep for my region listened to my 2002 Passat (playing a variety of CDs) and found that there was 'a severe tonal imbalance' between the left and right side of the vehicle....his words. My words.....the left side of the vehicle has no bass....that's what I'm getting at with the balance test. The fader test.....fader only operates between 10 and 2 oclock. These are clear defects that has prompted over 100 people to sign the online petition to VWoA. It has prompted over 800 messages and 41,000 pages views in one thread in the vwvortex forum.

    This lack of bass on one side of the vehicle creates a rather steep, upward sloping response curve (frequency vs. amplitude). It has been described as bright, blare-y, strident.....if you are happy with this sound then your ears are more hardy than mine. BTW, I bought my Passat literally 'off the boat' in May.

    Apologies for steering the thread in a direction unintended by the author. Getting back to the original question, the system is regarded as a 'Monsoon' sound system but the head unit is manufacturered by Panasonic, I believe. The HU pushes 12v to an amplified antenna....it is possible that your poor reception is connected somehow either to the amplifier which lies at the base of the antenna or problems internal to the HU which pushes that 12v out.


    [Modified by DanoP, 8:02 AM 8/6/2002]

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DanoP)

    I did the balance and fader test. The left side of my system also has very little to no bass. My fader also only works between 10 and 2 o'clock as well. I'll see what the dealer can do. If I'm not satisified with the resolution. I'll go on and sign the petition. I've read it and it clearly states the significant problems I feel the system has. My specific unit also has FM reception that fades in and out. I live in a metro area of 400,000 and have never had any problems with any vehicle regarding FM reception. Thanks for your help on this issue DanoP. I appreciate it.

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DChristian)

    As far as I know, VWoA does not have a solution to this. They certainly tried....they replaced the HU and checked the wiring (when I installed an aftermarket Kenwood, I saw that they cut up all the wiring leading to the HU). Perhaps you'll have more luck. The only way I could make my system sound decent was to replace the HU (Kenwood MP919), front speakers (Kicker Resolutions), and wire the HU to the front and let the Monsoon amp drive the rears. Sounds pretty good now.

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DanoP)

    Hmm... I just tried this myself and definately noticed a less bass on the left (drivers) side and a limited fader dial range... though I doubt i would have noticed it had I not been told to listen for it as this is actually the first time i've ever adjusted the balance/fader and the sound quality to me hasn't been horrible.

    I will however, sign the petition as I'm getting to the point were the 'little' things are starting to show up with nohting being done about them. (The good 'little' things are acceptable, of course! )

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (jamis)

    I wouldn't have noticed those things either had I not been made aware of them....but I *did* notice how badly the system sounded (to my ears anyway). Far, far too bright to the point of hurting my ears. I go to concerts on a regular basis (acoustic, usually symphonic) and it doesn't matter if I sit in row 5 or row 30, real music doesn't sound this bright....Monsoon badly skews the spectral balance of sound. Alot of people like this kind of balance....I'm not one of them.

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DChristian)

    I didn't get the Monsoon option, but I have exactly the same problem. My auto was produced in May 02. The CD sounds fine, but the FM sounds dull and the channel separation is practically nonexistant. Hmmm, and I thought that it was just me.

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DanoP)

    I have an appointment 8/21/2002 with the VW Service Department here in Des Moines. I talked to them about my concerns.....Service Manager said they will most likely replace the head unit. I think pulling the fuse out periodically to ge the system operational is a bit much on a new car. I hope this makes some difference, especially with the FM reception and the lack of bass from the left side. I'm guessing from previous feedback, the overall sound quality will most likely not improve. I had a 1999 Honda Accord with a factory unit and it sounded A LOT better than this system. I agree with DanoP. I knew the system did not sound good, but just could not figure out why! Anyway, I'm hoping for the best and will report back next week!

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DChristian)

    They replaced my HU and it didn't change anything....but that was two months ago....maybe the newer stock HUs are manufactured differently, but I doubt it. If this is a priority for you, you might want to start shopping for aftermarket HUs. I don't know of anyone who was dissatisfied with an aftermarket HU. Alpines, Clarions, Pioneers and Kenwoods seem to be the popular choices though there are others, of course. I've got a Kenwood MP919 (plays MP3s ) and Kicker Resolutions in front. The HU was wired to the front speakers and I kept the Monsoon amp to drive the back. FM and CDs now sound great. BTW, I agree that FM seems to be muffled in the stock system, which is strange since CD sound has a much brighter spectral balance. Unfortunately, the stock HU amplifies the antenna adapter....aftermarket HUs don't do this and no one makes an aftermarket antenna adapter that works for the 2002s. However, GTakacs (in the VWVortex audio forum) sells modified adapters that work very well.....I have one in my setup.

    <![CDATA[They replaced my HU and it didn't change anything....but that was two months ago....maybe the newer stock HUs are manufactured differently, but I doubt it. If this is a priority for you, you might want to start shopping for aftermarket HUs. I don't know of anyone who was dissatisfied with an aftermarket HU. Alpines, Clarions, Pioneers and Kenwoods seem to be the popular choices though there are others, of course. I've got a Kenwood MP919 (plays MP3s ) and Kicker Resolutions in front. The HU was wired to the front speakers and I kept the Monsoon amp to drive the back. FM and CDs now sound great. BTW, I agree that FM seems to be muffled in the stock system, which is strange since CD sound has a much brighter spectral balance. Unfortunately, the stock HU amplifies the antenna adapter....aftermarket HUs don't do this and no one makes an aftermarket antenna adapter that works for the 2002s. However, GTakacs (in the VWVortex audio forum) sells modified adapters that work very well.....I have one in my setup.

    [Modified by DanoP, 8:52 PM 8/14/2002]

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DanoP)

    Are the 2003s coming with this defective HU? The brochures and VW.com seem to show a single-din HU. The single-dins don't have the problem, right? I have a 2000 GTI with the single-din and no problems, but my brother's 2002 GTI with the double-din has the exact problems described above.

    I have a 2003 on order, with Monsoon. If they are still coming with the double-din crappy sounding HU I will change my order. Thanks for the imformative posts so far.



    <![CDATA[Are the 2003s coming with this defective HU? The brochures and VW.com seem to show a single-din HU. The single-dins don't have the problem, right? I have a 2000 GTI with the single-din and no problems, but my brother's 2002 GTI with the double-din has the exact problems described above.

    I have a 2003 on order, with Monsoon. If they are still coming with the double-din crappy sounding HU I will change my order. Thanks for the imformative posts so far.



    [Modified by Analog kid, 2:58 PM 8/15/2002]

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (Analog kid)

    just outta curiousity why would you move your balance to one side...at that point you would be eliminating a stereo set up and running in Mono would you not?

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (Z28Driver)

    just to let you folks know i did the balance and fade test today and did not have the results you folks describe...this could explain why i think so highly of my monsoon vs you folks that dont

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (Z28Driver)

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>just to let you folks know i did the balance and fade test today and did not have the results you folks describe...this could explain why i think so highly of my monsoon vs you folks that dont<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Same, no problems at all woth mine. Very pleased with seeing both mirrors vibrating while playing Comfrotably Numb (CD) or many other FM songs at a high volume

    I am not an audiophile, however I am very happy with the Monsoon (2001.5). FM reception is weak sometimes, however it usually is quite clear and well balanced.



    <![CDATA[<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>just to let you folks know i did the balance and fade test today and did not have the results you folks describe...this could explain why i think so highly of my monsoon vs you folks that dont<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Same, no problems at all woth mine. Very pleased with seeing both mirrors vibrating while playing Comfrotably Numb (CD) or many other FM songs at a high volume

    I am not an audiophile, however I am very happy with the Monsoon (2001.5). FM reception is weak sometimes, however it usually is quite clear and well balanced.



    [Modified by Stats, 2:50 PM 8/16/2002]

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (Stats)

    It's because you own a 2001.5....consider yourself fortunate. BTW, I don't know what vibrating mirrors have anything to do with the sound quality of a sound system. Just stay outta my neighborhood, k?

    <![CDATA[It's because you own a 2001.5....consider yourself fortunate. BTW, I don't know what vibrating mirrors have anything to do with the sound quality of a sound system. Just stay outta my neighborhood, k?

    [Modified by DanoP, 5:23 PM 8/16/2002]

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DanoP)

    Found some interesting information on Edmunds.com. The Monsoon stereo system in the VW Passat listed as one of the 10 best OEM! The head unit is manufactured by Delphonics, a divison of General Motors. The unit pictured is a single din version, presumable from a 2001.5 or earlier. Thus a potential reason for the controversial reviews of the system. Anway, I am indeed going to pray that the unit I get on Wednesday is better. If it would even bring in FM reception without fading in and out....that would be a big improvement!

    2002 1.8T, Automatic, Luxury Package, Cold Weather Package, Monsoon

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DChristian)

    the GM tie is true hence why they also have Monsoon setups in their vehicles...basically its just a parts supplier that both manufacturers use

    As i said i have played with my stereo comprehensively and cannot duplicate what you folks are suggesting

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    Re: Monsoon Stereo (DChristian)

    Yes, I saw that info quite some time ago.....it's a different HU than the one used in the 2002s. The 2002s use a HU manufactured by Panasonic. Very obviously, the 2002 HUs are a major source of the problem as many have been satisfied with an aftermarket replacement.

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    I see this is a old post. It did answer two things. One the base of the antenna has the pre-amp. My AM works a short time and then goes away unless I am close to the AM station. The FM side works very well. I have the monsoon radio in my 2001 Passat. The one with the casset player. I also restored one from the junk yard,2002, that also worked the same way. I do not have the amp in the trunk. BUT, I installed new speakers and the system sounds wonderful. Left and right side. Front to back. I guess I have no amp. But at least I know where to look for the antenna amp.

  32. #30
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    good you got it fixed! Doesn't there have to be an amp somewhere?

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