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Discussion Starter #1
While I am still struggling to find the "right" head unit to replace my stock system ( my cd player decided to die and rather than replace it, am going the direction of replacing the entire system ).

Question 1..... this is very UNLIKELY but if I were to replace the cd player and keep the existing head unit, how good is it sonically compared to after market products?I want the Nakamichi CD-500 as it appears to be a near perfect match to my Passat interior plus I like the simplicity ). I would be using any head unit I buy for the preamp portion only as I want ot go with a separate amp. AM leaning toward the Linear Power Series 218 ,4 channel amp, DPSQ50. Anyway, does the existing monsoon head unit offer a decent enough preamp output to sound good once the rest of the system is hooked up, or am I easily better off going to a 3rd party hea dunit? If the Nak CD500 were avaialble , I would not be asking this question but I do have a somewhat anally strong desire to keep the dash looking very similar to the factory install.

Question 2: Speaker replacement.. am leaning toward going with components in the front, probably the Focal 165K, the 165 K2 , or maybe even the 165 V2's. Rear speakers am undecided on... have read several posts here suggesting coax's in the back are sufficient, such as the Focal 165CV or CA ( but the price difference between those and the 165V2's is not that great ). SO question is, does the rear speakers make that much of a difference beyond "filler".

Also, noteworthy, is I do NOT plan to go with any subwoofers, nor do I plan to move speakers from their factory locations. Most of the music I now listen to is acoustical or jazz in nature and I just don't need the big bass sound. so the door mounted pseakers do need sufficient bass response on their own along with smooth midranges.

Queation 3... since Nak 500 is not available, are there any ohter options you know of for the head unit such that it will match up fairly closely to the factory single DIN head unit? I prefer a volum knob and also do not want silver sticking out like a sore thumb, nor do I care for tons of lights and gizmos!

Thx in advance.. my total budget for this including install is about $1500 ( I can get the Linear Power amp for approx $300)
 

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1) teh nakamichi unit will not work with the stock unit...there is not phisical way the connection from your stock head unit will connect to the nakamichi unit. you would also be better off getting another aftermarket unit. if you want the nakamichi cdplayer you must get another nakamichi headunit so you can control it. i just took a quick look on google, but i cant seem to find any real information on it. otherwise i can give you some better information

2) im installing the focal k2 all around in my car...i have done this in my buddy's s4 and they sound great...if you are not in teh rear seat...you should be fine with going coax....its just a filler for you...but if you plan to have people in back and want them to hear what you are hearing go for the coponents...in general components cost less so thats why peopel use it to "fill" the back

the k2 will give you pleanty of bass for that typoe of music...they are great speakers :) but remember to supply them with enough power...and not leave it asking for power...the k2 come alive around 80 watts

3)there are many unitis that match our interior...you are limited to what kind of stereo if you want the colors to match...

btw where are you located...if local i can help you out....

alfred
 

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jdavis37 said:
While I am still struggling to find the "right" head unit to replace my stock system ( my cd player decided to die and rather than replace it, am going the direction of replacing the entire system ).

Question 1..... this is very UNLIKELY but if I were to replace the cd player and keep the existing head unit, how good is it sonically compared to after market products?I want the Nakamichi CD-500 as it appears to be a near perfect match to my Passat interior plus I like the simplicity ). I would be using any head unit I buy for the preamp portion only as I want ot go with a separate amp. AM leaning toward the Linear Power Series 218 ,4 channel amp, DPSQ50. Anyway, does the existing monsoon head unit offer a decent enough preamp output to sound good once the rest of the system is hooked up, or am I easily better off going to a 3rd party hea dunit? If the Nak CD500 were avaialble , I would not be asking this question but I do have a somewhat anally strong desire to keep the dash looking very similar to the factory install.
Can't do it. You'll need to replace the OEM HU as well. BTW, nice pic on the LP amp. They're great amps. I used to sell them in the early and mid 90s and they're one of the few companies not making huge changes all the time.


Question 2: Speaker replacement.. am leaning toward going with components in the front, probably the Focal 165K, the 165 K2 , or maybe even the 165 V2's. Rear speakers am undecided on... have read several posts here suggesting coax's in the back are sufficient, such as the Focal 165CV or CA ( but the price difference between those and the 165V2's is not that great ). SO question is, does the rear speakers make that much of a difference beyond "filler".
That depends on you. Some people really like a strong rear fill or a "surround" type sound with it come ing from everywhere. I prefer it to sound like it's all up front. If you like a lot of fill or a surround type sound then do the components in the rear.

Also, noteworthy, is I do NOT plan to go with any subwoofers, nor do I plan to move speakers from their factory locations. Most of the music I now listen to is acoustical or jazz in nature and I just don't need the big bass sound.[/quote

Yes you do. Jazz actually has real bas below 40Hz and you WILL NOT get that without a sub, period. You could do something like the 5W sub from Focal. 4 of them will take up about 2cf of space and they are friggin' amazing.

so the door mounted pseakers do need sufficient bass response on their own along with smooth midranges.
Not one you realize the the stock rear "mids" are actuall subs. You are goin gto have a sreious bass drop off under 70-80Hz.


Queation 3... since Nak 500 is not available, are there any ohter options you know of for the head unit such that it will match up fairly closely to the factory single DIN head unit? I prefer a volum knob and also do not want silver sticking out like a sore thumb, nor do I care for tons of lights and gizmos!
Blaupunkt has some great units, one of which looks dead stock but it will replace your OEM HU so you'll need an OEM pocket for the whole.

Paul :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thx for the replies!

For achow.. I live in North Carolina, near Charlotte, and am hoping to find an installer who does work on the side to save a few $$, if possible, as long as I feel I can trust the person! I met a guy who works at Freemans near by and he "seemed" to have his act together based upon what he was doing to his own vehicle, but tha tis still down the line for now...

The Nakamichi is a head unit ( I failed to be clear on this when I wrote my firs tnote ). It came across as being just a cd player. You can't even get information on it from the Nakamichi web site but here is alink to it from onlinecarstero.com:

http://www.onlinecarstereo.com/CarAudio/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=13363

If that is not a dead match for the Passat dash I'm partially blind at best lol It also plays MP3s and is very plain in appearance which is what I prefer, plus is black. Yet, for now, it is not available in the US.

The K2's all the way around sounds like a nice setup ( more on this when I reply to your posting Pal ! ), even if a little on the pricey side. Thanks for the post and also for the help thus far.. it is appreciated!

Paul,

Thanks for your insights.. the first thing has been clarified though in that the Nak CD500 is a head unit and not a CD replacement. Do you remember which Blaupunkt head unit was the perfect match by chance? I know I am being anal on this one ( least I admit it lol ) but when done I want the car to look as near stock as possible, allowing, obviously, for the differences which simply cannot be helped. I do have a single DIN head unit now ( monsoon ) but luckily I still have the blank "slot" which came with the car!

Now, here's where I feel my brain ticking.... so thanks for getting me to think it through...

Assuming I went with 4 5w subs ( total cost though is about $525 or so it appears on line ).. first, what amp would I need to drive them and how would you configure? AM assuming this would take far less space than a larger sub which is what I dont want but can also imagine the bass would be tight and felt. Nice thing about the 4 channel LP amp is it is designed to be added on to later on ( via a line out ), so this part could be done at a later time/date if I chose because am assuming the 4 subs would require yet another amp! SO, given that I would not have considered 4 subs until you mentioned it, please let me know how you would mount them ( locations ) and what would be needed to drive them assuming the 4 channel LP amp is being used to drive the 4 sets of door speakers.

In addiiton, if I go the sub route, is that more indication that coax's in the rear would be sufficient for fill? Or maybe the V2 focals which are about $130 per pair less expensive than the K2's As achow said, I realize some like the sound all upfront , others like surround.. I tend to enjoy some level of surround but then am using a stock monsoon system so with good components my tastes may well change.

I like the idea of going with the system witout subwoofers at first to save the $$ but also like fact it appears the LP amp may well allow for easy upgrade later if i feel the bass is way too light. Sometimes what we dont know we are missing is a blessing! I'm about 75-80% acoustical in my listening habits, 10% classic rock, 10% jazz these days.

I had not realized that the stock rears were subs though, so the bass drop off may be realy noticed by me.. am intrigued by using the smaller subs though, dpeending upon how they are mounted, etc in conjunction with the components!

Thanks again!
 

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J - The 5Ws want to be in ported enclosures so that's the route I'd take. I would make a box that fits under the rear deck and face the subs and the ports into the interior. That's going t be the most practical option by far.

The Blau HU name escapes me but a quick Blau search here should bring the thread with it in there. It also has a sub output so you won't need to use the throughput on the LP50, you'll be able to feed it a signal AND control the sub volume from the HU and independantly of the rest of the system so you can tailer the bass response.

I'd look at the LP 2.2HV to dive the subs. The 3.2HV has way more power than you need and the DPS200 is a bit light for sub duty.

If you like it so you can tell the rears are in there, go with the components.


Paul :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Paul,

Thx again for the feedback. I'll probably see what is in Charlotte car stereo store wise that carries Blaupunkt.. I think it was the Miami that i have seen posted here but the Blau web site doesn't make it very daylight flattering.. still, worth looking into though I know it doesn't play MP3's, which in big scheme of things is only so so in importance but the thought of 100 or so songs on a single CD to cruise with is appealing ( I'm an older guy with bills to pay lol so going for an MP3 player, etc really doesn't fit the equation ).

Anyway, thanks again.. the sub thing is going a bit beyond what i had hoped for as I dont want to lose any trunk space. Again, goes back to having an 8 year old who has friends, and the need to buy groceries and all that wonderful stuff.. so hopefully the components in the doors will offer enough bass to keep me happy as well as my wallet. If there are differences between the focals ( in price range Ive mentioned and say JL Audios, etc I'd be curious to know, especially if running a system without subs. I really don't need deep bass but do like tight accurate bass response ( my home system is using older KEF 104.2 reference speakers and they are not bass heavy but are bass accurate.

It's all about reasonable compromises and based upon having to build enclosures, etc my system constraints will be more limited by what the car will hold without losing cargo space, which is already somewhat limiting for me.

Maybe as my son ages I will consider adding the subs but for now I really need a car that can function as a car and sometimes part time truck ( ie Home Depot and Lowes runs lol )! Thx again!
 

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Jay - A 2CF box will take up almost no real space in your trunk. The box for my IDMAX12 is almost 4cf externally and I can still get 10 or 12 bags of groceries in there.

I do understand the finance part though. I still haven't even decided on my amps!

Paul :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Paul,

It's that delicate balance at times:) If i heard the subs I'd probably NOT live without them.. on ohter hand, as long as I don't listen to such a system, and also relaizing I have been mostly ok with my stock monsoon system as it is, a LP driven system with 4 focal componets going around would HAVE to sound noticeably crisper at the very least, and i MAY be happy as an ignorant lark lol

I have too many hobbies, the most notable being digital photography and it's a real $$$ thing but oh so fun.. and because of handling 7 Megabyte files before turning them into huge tiff files I also now need more horsepower under my pooter hood.

But, it does sound like the size of a smaller box might work if I go down that path, but adding another $1000 to the system at this point is suicide.. thats the 100-400mm zoom I've been dying to get my hands on! Now, just need to make sure I do not actually listen to such a sub setup.. sounds like a GREAT idea though and very tempting... oh geesh :)) Your input is apreciated and is being taken very seriously.. who knows the lottery may happen here soon :)
 

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Have you looked at the Kenwood headunit? I don't know what the model number is, but it is designed to match our interior perfectly. The blue background and red letters and such match the colors of the gauges. I don't know if it is a very good headunit though, I just stumbled across it looking for a cd player for myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Paul,

Many years ago I might have placed the steroe first as well.. but as time has had it, this past Fall I sold my SUmo Amp and Pre Amp in home to buy a 1 system doe sit all deal.. home theater and stereo. I just wasn't doing the critical listening anymore and "settled" for an Outlaw system. It rocks for home theater and isn't bad for home stereo , though it doesn't offer the warmth my SUmo gear had. Still, for me now, it was a reasonable compromise and is nice having a single system to deal with.

So, the car stereo upgrade needs to be a similar level of compromise and i am hoping a new set of components ( speakers )all the way around plus LP amp and , after finding a suitable head unit ( Gosh I had my heart set on that Nakamichi lol ), am hoping to have a really crisp clean system, much more so than the often muddled monsoon system, even if it ends up being a little " bass light".

Ryan, I think the model you are referring to is the KDC-2025, and from what i saw the colors do match very closely to the stock Passat head unit. I havne't researched it too far because I was told it doesn't play mp3's (although I can live without that ) but that it only has 1 preamp output, etc etc and fader control would be lost when using an external amp. It certainly merits a look though , especially if the appearance is important to you as it is to me. I really was excited about the Nakamichi CD-500 as it had all the features I wanted plus was truly very simple in it's layout, and the lighting appeared to be dead on as well ( plus it plays mp3's ). I'm still hoping it will be like the "new" Alpine units which are currently being advertised but probably won't be in the stores until August ( meaning i am hoping that Nak DOES plan on releasing the unit in the US at some later point in time ). I can wait that long if I need to.. my cd player actually played for a while today! Then hit a couple highway bumps, it skipped and got "stuck" and then finally ejected the disc again. My other option is to buy a used single din VW cd player off ebay and just replace the one I have now as the problems are more than likely cd player related ( although the monsoon head unit does keep looking for the Magazine and I do not have a changer ). Thx again :)
 

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Clarion VrX630 head unit replacement for factory Monsoon

For less than $700.00 online. The Clarion VRX630 in dash monitor with am/fm tuner, cd changer and audio planet dvd/cd/mp3 player is a best choice for replacing the factory unit. You will notice the color on the display color matches that of the interior (red/blue) of the vw passat. To include the units whole faceplate is detachable which is perfect for antitheft purposes. see pics :D

http://images.snapfish.com/33:5784723232fp54=ot>232<=834=93:=XROQDF>23234<;<:7295ot1lsi

http://images.snapfish.com/33:5784723232fp54=ot>232<=834=93:=XROQDF>23234<;<:7299ot1lsi

http://images.snapfish.com/33:5784723232fp54=ot>232<=834=93:=XROQDF>23234<;<:7298ot1lsi

http://images.snapfish.com/33:5784723232fp54=ot>232<=834=93:=XROQDF>23234<;<:7297ot1lsi
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the Clarion tip though the comnbo is a little more than I had planned on spending but is still "doable". I'm curiouos as to what you like/dislike about the Clarion unit, and why you went with the cd/mp3/dvd player that you chose say versus the Clarion VS735. I really had not considered adding video to my car in terms of dvd playback, etc but considering how well the unit matches the dash colors it may be worth considering. Thanks for the information and I'll be doing some reading tonight :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Elvis, one more question... did you/were you able to hook your unit up so the video would play while the car was moving. I realize the safety implications with this question and the reasons for the parking brake lockout. However, my girlfriend has borrowed friend's portable dvd player sin the past during trips and the road noise has a verya dverse effect on her ability to hear, etc.. just not sure what the major benefit to a dvd player/screen in the car if a passenger cannot watch a movie, etc. And for what it's worth, I always use a headset if talking on cel phone in the car lol I DO try to be safe :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yet another left field question.. but Paul you had said things might be " bass light " if I dont add any subs and replace the monsoon system due to the rear drivers currently behaving more sub like than mids. I"m not sure I will miss the bass to be honest BUT did want to ask a question regarding 6 x 9 speakers and doing things the old fashioned way by going inot the rear deck. Please no hearty laughter lol I"m surprised I'm even asking as I can tell not many make 6 x 9 speakers these days though the Focal 690 CV appear to have some promise and aren't entirely cheap. Was asking due to the potential for an increase in bass response versus going back into the rear doors with components which is what I am still leaning toward doing. But, was a thought! Thx
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I realize speaker specifications usually mean very littl eif anything at all regarding what the drivers will actually do in the real world. But i was just reading about OZ Audio 180CS , and they seem to be fairly highly rated and just based on their specs seem to offer decent bass response. Of course, the specs could be +/- 20 db as far as I know! But does anyone have any experience with the Oz product line? Thx
 

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Oz speakers have always been stellar performers. For really good bass response the ID Chameleons are really nice as are the Alpine SPX-177As. The new PG Ti series is supposed to have awesome bass response but I have no firsthand experience with them.

I would NOT use a 6x9. If you're going to cut a hole in your rear dech you might as well get a real sub designed for infinite baffle as the bass response will be LOADS better in every respect.


Paul :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Paul,

Ijust did a little research on the ID line and am assuming you are referring to the CSX series. From user reviews it seems many are quite happy with them, and ebay seems also to be an "option" though Ebay is certainly full of interesting twists at times.

But, here's my next onslaught of questions...

One, they come in both 2 Ohm and 4 Ohm versions. Assuming i am using a 4 channel LP amp (DPSQ50), are there any advantages to either version? A speaking of the CSX62 and CSX64.

Two, will they fit inside the stock speaker locations of the 2000 Passat? I really prefer for the car to look as "factory" as i can when this project is complete.

Three, and lastly, how would you describe thier sound in general? My home system is using KEF 104.2 Reference speakers which I would describe as very neutral, accurate but not in your face bass and smooth midranges, etc.. some mihgt call them almost flat but once you get used to them there is no listening fatigue at all.

I am very curious now about the ID's and the Oz speakers. NOt ruling the Focals out by any means but these two seem to pack some nice mid bass down to a 45 Hz cutoff point, and for my compromise system that might work really well, assuming the installation will go well and they will actually fit without doing too much change to the car.

I'm seeking local car stereo places who mihgt carry these lines so hopefully I cna listen with my own ears and music! Thx in advance!
 

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If KEFs are your benchmark you'll probably like the IDs better than anything else on the market. After my KEF KAR Q130s got ripped off (man, I really miss those) nothing I listened to compared until I heard the IDs, period. You'll have to mount them as a coax since they use a 1.25" tweeter which won't fit in the stock tweeter location. While this will help with the system phasing and imaging it MAY may the system a bit dull so you might have to turn the tweeter up a bit on the crossover to compensate.

I see no advantage to running the 2 ohm versions since with the LP you aren't going to get a huge increase in power.

I'm not going to say the CX64s are going to be hard to install, but the mid is friggin' huge so be prepared to make some very hefty baffles to mount them on and to space them out a bit to get the necessary depth. I would suggest finding a local ID dealer and looking at them to get a feel for the size.

The CX64s should play down to 45Hz with ease especially if you use the HPF on the LP and keep the really low stuff out of them. If, after you're done, it sounds like you aren't getting enough ow end extension it could be a couple of different things, but it's NOT the speakers, trust me. :wink:



Paul :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Paul,

I havent had any luck yet finding an ID dealer in the Charlotte NC area but did find a new OZ dealer and will check things out there on friday, though I know they don't have any of the "Elite" series in stock.. yet :) But, it's a start and they seemed to know alitlte something, though he did advise to add at least a free air sub in the rear deck if I am oposed to a box.. will see.. just not that worried about the low end bass YET :)
 
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