Just want to correct some erroneous assumptions...
Originally Posted by sohlman
I have read many posts on here and the general conceses is to keep the OEM head unit. While for interior looks this is prefereable, it is my understanding that upgrading the sound systems on these cars can be easy and without problems.
Keeping the OEM makes adding amplifiers difficult with both Base and Logic requiring recoding as a minimum.
Not neccessarily so, but the right path IMO
But ultimately you need to add a DSP of some sort and these units are not cheap £250 - £600.
Depends on the path chosen, for HiFi --> not necessary (or for L7 with a MOST pre-amp) (caveat: unless its DSP that you are after)
The OEM speakers are poor quality, non standard size 3 mounting holes. 10cm's and very shallow in mounting depth. Not all cars have tweeter (base) and the subs vary from 6.5" - 8" and are very narrow making adding aditional speakers difficult.
The OEM amplifiers are underpowered.
All true, but you still have a great platform to upgrade, and even though the choices are limited, they are still plenty.
The head unit is not easy or cheap to add Ipod control, Bluetooth if you don't have it etc.
For $300 there is an OEM HU that does both.
The main benefit of keeping the head unit beyond asthetics is that you keep your gongs and parking sensors and steering wheel controls and you can code the car as you require it which can't be done with an aftermarket unit
Additionally, SQ is generally considered to be as good as other comparable aftermarket options, for HiFi-> comparable to any other analog HU, for L7/MOST, as good as it gets (unless you are talking DSP, which can be done internal or external to HU)
As my car has heated seats i would have to spend £200 just on mounting hardware to get a double din unit so i am sticking with a single din option which is around £80 cheaper. Plus double din units are more exspensive once you go past the entry level models.
There is also option of climate control with integrated heated seat button
The benefits of aftermarket Head units is that you have a far superior source as far as the source quality, the OEM HU is comparable to aftermarket peers, not inferiorwhich can have built in Dacs' digital sound processors true here, if you want integrated DSP, but there is also DSP downstream of HU which is what many have elected hereand such like for far less outleight then a DSP. Adding amplifiers is far easier via RCA leadsThe technic harness which is cheap for what you are getting, makes adding amps to OEM HU as easy if not easier than any aftermarket HU and there is far less chance of ground loops and buzzes on the system. Dependes on installation quality, and possiblity exists with either OEM or aftermarket options, in fact, the Balanced Diff outputs of HiFi system are generally better at noise rejection that traditional common ground topologies The sound quality from MP3's should be massivly improved for example with this route.Depends what you are talking about...comparing what to what
The only was of getting good bass is to fit a subwoofer in the bootDepends on goals, you can get great midbass drivers which play deeply (Jehnert) in the underseats, but the boots on these cars are so well sealed that you need something very powerfull to get into the car. I ran a ID10 on 300w with no issues on bass levelThen you have a problem with vibrations etc. Plus you then loose a large chunk of boot space.Musicar NW corner enclosure
So my upgrade route is going to be as follows: -
Good Luck, not knocking any of your plans, but you've made A LOT of erroneous or misinformed assumptions. From my research the Pioneer is a great HU.