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Calling Alpine head unit owners


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I've just recently bought a 2014 Mk7 R. I knew at the time  that it was MIB1 and not capable of Carplay, so was always intending to upgrade to MIB2. 

 

Now I've had the car for a few weeks and I'm really not that happy with the stock sound quality. This has led me to exploring the Pioneer and Alpine Mk7 car-specific head units. The Pioneer unit has now been discontinued, so that only leaves the Alpine X903D-G7 or I902D-G7.

 

Do any members here have this head unit installed? Can you confirm that the driving mode button in the centre console continues to function properly? From looking at some YouTube videos it seem that this function might be buried inside several button presses and menus.

If someone could uploaded a screenshot of the menu screen that would be really really helpful.

 

Appreciate any info.

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Figured I would update this topic as I finally got around to purchasing an i902d-G7R. This video was a lifesaver for the installation. Managed to get the whole thing done in about two hours with not a

I looked into this option but decided to stick with the oem head unit in the end. Just changing the head unit alone will not give you a great sound stage. The speakers and amp are weak items in the standard setup. I think you will be left high and dry with the alpine head unit if you have problems later as not many people are using it so support on here or forums generally will be limited.

There are other ways people have improved the sound and your probably better off going down those paths.

 

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You're probably right. I don't want anything crazy, but have had great success in the past with a decent head unit and properly tuning it to the car's standard speakers. I don't need volume, just a somewhat decent frequency response. The alpine unit would at least bypass the crappy stock amp and give me plenty of tuning options.

17 hours ago, delboy01 said:

 

There are other ways people have improved the sound and your probably better off going down those paths.

 

What would you suggest? I also want to add CarPlay to the car so that's major factor in the equation. If I went MIB1 to MIB2, then I'd already be about £500-600 down and the sound would be no different. Would still leave roughly £400 for an amp I guess.

 

What did you ending up doing for sound?
 

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3 hours ago, UltimoPi said:

You're probably right. I don't want anything crazy, but have had great success in the past with a decent head unit and properly tuning it to the car's standard speakers. I don't need volume, just a somewhat decent frequency response. The alpine unit would at least bypass the crappy stock amp and give me plenty of tuning options.

What would you suggest? I also want to add CarPlay to the car so that's major factor in the equation. If I went MIB1 to MIB2, then I'd already be about £500-600 down and the sound would be no different. Would still leave roughly £400 for an amp I guess.

 

What did you ending up doing for sound?
 


If you really want CarPlay MIB2 is the way to go. Unfortunately the vw head units alter the frequency response of the sound as you adjust the volume, bass, treble etc so you’ll probably need a dsp to give you some control over the frequency response

if you also want to add an amp.

 

The simplest and cheapest option is probably one of the prepackaged solutions like the audison system.

https://studioincar.co.uk/products/audison-prima-apsp-g7-complete-package-golf-mk7

 

might be worth trying to find somewhere you can get a system demo to see if it works for you.

 

As to my own install everything was replaced as I had some equipment from a previous car install that was 

reinstalled in the golf.

 

I’ve got two old school soundstream amps.

An audison dsp.

vibe speakers all round.

modified dynaudio sub under boot floor.

I think it all sounds great but it would be expensive

to do again from scratch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks and very interesting! But I'm not prepared to pay anything like that figure for new amps and speakers. The Alpine would essentially give me a new amp, DSP and CarPlay all-in-one for a grand, but a gamble as I can't find anyone that owns one.

 

How does the Audison DSP work with MIB? It ignores the variable frequency resins from the volume knob you mentioned before? Might be able to get away with just a MIB2 and decent DSP if that's the case.

 

 

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, UltimoPi said:

Thanks and very interesting! But I'm not prepared to pay anything like that figure for new amps and speakers. The Alpine would essentially give me a new amp, DSP and CarPlay all-in-one for a grand, but a gamble as I can't find anyone that owns one.

 

How does the Audison DSP work with MIB? It ignores the variable frequency resins from the volume knob you mentioned before? Might be able to get away with just a MIB2 and decent DSP if that's the case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sounds like you need to talk to a specialist car audio shop. 

These cars are not cheap to retrofit good sounds that's why dynaudio from 

the factory is a popular option.

The MIB units are an integral part of the cars user interface.

I'm not sure how well alpine have replicated the cars control functions into their

unit. Also the coding of the car is all part of the MIB unit i think and you could have 

issues if Alpine haven't got it right or up to date with how VW do things.

 

Unless your using external amps you can't use a dsp with MIB.

The unclean signal comes out of the MIB and goes into the DSP that you can use to tidy 

it up then pass it to the amps.

You can't pass the signal back into the MIB after the DSP has cleaned it because the MIB unit 

has no inputs for that. Even the factory fit Dynaudio system using MIB has an external amp.

 

There's probably a good reason you can't find many using the Alpine system. 

Please post the results of your efforts if you do go for the Alpine as it might help

someone else who's sitting on the fence regarding its use.

 

      

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1 hour ago, delboy01 said:

 

There's probably a good reason you can't find many using the Alpine system. 

Please post the results of your efforts if you do go for the Alpine as it might help

someone else who's sitting on the fence regarding its use.

 

      

Will do, and I appreciate your help. Seen a few old posts from you in other threads as well that have been useful.

As it stands, I'm going to explore some dedicated DSPs first and see if I can stay with the MIB2. At a quick glance there are a few very reasonably priced options available. Coding is only an issue with the VW OE hardware, so Alpine wouldn't be an issue here, it's mainly how the vehicle information (driving modes etc) function. I can't find any proper screenshots of the menu interface online. But the fact no one here seems to really have it, doesn't sound good.

But I also didn't realise that the Helix plug-and-play sub actually DSP's the whole system as well as adding the sub. This might well be sufficient for me and certainly is within budget.

 

Definitely food for thought.

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Is there anyone in the south east running the Helix plug and play system that I could maybe visit to give it a listen? That and a MIB 2 upgrade is the cheap and obvious solution, but I'm just not sure the audio quality is going to be there. I see comments online from existing helix users that are less then impressed, and seeing as the helix system still uses the stock amp, I'm not surprised.

 

If not, I think I'm going to gamble with the Alpine. 

 

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I had Helix in mine. I very much enjoyed what it did for the standard system (2018 Golf R) but had two reservations:

1) Each notch on the volume wheel was a large increase in sound and I often wanted a level in-between. Partially solved by setting a flat but lower EQ in Spotify

2) Having just 3 sliders in the EQ made it hard to set things the way I wanted.

 

In the end, I simply stuck to things like blues rock (where it was really good) and skipped things like symphonic metal. I didn't play much club music in it but it was awesome for it!

 

When I CBA to do so, it will be up for sale. It's not listing it, it's the thought of trying to box it up that's stopped me 😂

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On 30/06/2021 at 15:46, JonSW said:

I had Helix in mine. I very much enjoyed what it did for the standard system (2018 Golf R) but had two reservations:

1) Each notch on the volume wheel was a large increase in sound and I often wanted a level in-between. Partially solved by setting a flat but lower EQ in Spotify

2) Having just 3 sliders in the EQ made it hard to set things the way I wanted.

 

In the end, I simply stuck to things like blues rock (where it was really good) and skipped things like symphonic metal. I didn't play much club music in it but it was awesome for it!

 

When I CBA to do so, it will be up for sale. It's not listing it, it's the thought of trying to box it up that's stopped me 😂

Thanks Jon, appreciate the extra opinions.

I've kind of resigned myself to the fact that the Helix system won't do the job for me. I don't supposed you are fairly local (Kent/Sussex) so I could come and give your setup a little listen?

My second choice option was the Kicker DSP amp. I like these because you can auto eq and time align everything using a measurement mic. Still would come to nearly a grand though for an MIB2 conversion + additional amp/DSP.

So...I'm 99% sure I'm going to buy the Alpine. 50w per-channel, massive 9-inch screen, CarPlay and all the typical Alpine audio tuning. If everything works out with the way the driving modes function, I'll be well happy with that setup.

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15 minutes ago, UltimoPi said:

Thanks Jon, appreciate the extra opinions.

I've kind of resigned myself to the fact that the Helix system won't do the job for me. I don't supposed you are fairly local (Kent/Sussex) so I could come and give your setup a little listen?

My second choice option was the Kicker DSP amp. I like these because you can auto eq and time align everything using a measurement mic. Still would come to nearly a grand though for an MIB2 conversion + additional amp/DSP.

So...I'm 99% sure I'm going to buy the Alpine. 50w per-channel, massive 9-inch screen, CarPlay and all the typical Alpine audio tuning. If everything works out with the way the driving modes function, I'll be well happy with that setup.

 

I don't live there and the car is sold so, sorry but no. The Helix is great for what it is. I don't regret buying it but I know a 3rd party amp and speakers setup would have sounded better (and cost more!). I'd start with the Alpine first and try that. You may want some upgraded speakers to finish the package. I've just put a 50W per channel Pioneer in the old Audi A3 I'm using and am very impressed how it sounds (old Audi = better quality speakers than we get nowadays!)

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1 hour ago, JonSW said:

 

I don't live there and the car is sold so, sorry but no. The Helix is great for what it is. I don't regret buying it but I know a 3rd party amp and speakers setup would have sounded better (and cost more!). I'd start with the Alpine first and try that. You may want some upgraded speakers to finish the package. I've just put a 50W per channel Pioneer in the old Audi A3 I'm using and am very impressed how it sounds (old Audi = better quality speakers than we get nowadays!)

I posted this and then stumbled on your post that you'd sold the car. Regretting it yet?

 

I'm deffo gonna try the Alpine I think and then document the process for anyone else that is interested in the future. Found a European one for just £700 quid but the facia will be wrong 😕

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6 hours ago, UltimoPi said:

I posted this and then stumbled on your post that you'd sold the car. Regretting it yet?

 

No. I really liked the car but what I needed was a 'beater'. A not perfect car that can pound motorways and carry all sorts of stuff whilst being parked anywhere. This 2005 A3 Sportback does exactly that. Relaxing, quick enough, decent stereo and can be parked without a backwards glance. Now my Elise feels special again! 

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Yeah, that's fair. I've not taken my car on the motorway yet but I think it's gonna be noisy! Heading up North for a few days later this week. Do I really need to be worried about the car getting nicked?

But back to the topic at hand....I found the following 3 year old comment on a random YouTube video last night and it's sealed the deal.

"Comparing to the Original MIB2 or MIB2.5 system. It has no Driving Mode Integration, steering wheel control is not 100% working, no voice input, like "Enter Post Code", "Guide me Home", No internal Hard Disk, No proximity sensor, no gesture control(available in MIB2.5), no FLAC play back, no carplay, no android auto, no mirrorlink, no realtime traffic, no google, no siri, no waze, no spotify, no google music, No panels for other paterns, does not support the virtual cockpit, etc. Basicly, it is like a generic head unit with slower processor, by adding some CABUS reading the aircon and turn on/off signal and a few other signals only. Once you install, you will be facing a lot of issue, which factory can not solve, Especially for those car has TMPS, Driving Mode Selection, and other CAR functions related to the head unit. A bit disappointing product for nowaday in car infortainment system. But it might be the best aftermarket unit so far for Golf 7."

 

Glad I found this before purchasing. Looks like I'll now do a MIB1 to MIB2.5 conversation instead and then buy either the Kicker or Audison DSP. The lying bastards at Alpine assured me the driving mode functionality would still work, even though they couldn't send me a screenshot of the menu.

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I have the:

 

https://www.alpine.co.uk/p/Products/SingleView/i902D-G7

 

and 2 pairs (front and rear) of these:

 

https://www.eton-gmbh.com/en/products/car-hifi/upgrade-audio/vw-upgrade/product/ug-vw-golf-7-2-1/

 

Along with some additional sound proofing in the doors in a 2014 Golf R

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