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Old 8th February 2014, 14:40   #1
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Default Skoda Laura: Speaker or Headunit Upgrade?

Hey everyone,

Needed some help.

I have a Laura TSI with the Skoda Swing HU. I find the sound pretty decent till now, but wouldnt mind tweaking it a little bit to get some more clarity and bass.

I'm not a really hardcore audiophile so was thinking on the lines of a speaker upgrade - 4 tweeters and 4 6.5inch speakers, if I'm right.

Then, I happened to come across this HU - http://chaitanyaenterprises.co/index...e-3d-maps.html - which is actually more tempting than the speaker upgrade: with the Bluetooth, USB and Navigation features.

Then, I came across the component sets available on SnapDeal and Ebay, where JBL components (such as these - http://www.snapdeal.com/product/jbl-...67217?pos=2;67 are available for a pretty fair price) and where Kicker (http://www.ebay.in/itm/Kicker-CSS674...ht_1361wt_1275) components are a bit more expensive.

What do you think is the way out of this? I can either upgrade the HU OR the speakers, not both at this point in time. I'm also assuming I will have to spring for a amp if I upgrade the speakers (4 channel or 6 channel??) - so that's an added cost as well.

Of course, issues of warranty do come up with me having 3 years of Skoda Shield left - so will have to check with my service advisor - but until then, am open to suggestions.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 10th February 2014, 11:12   #2
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Default re: Skoda Laura: Speaker or Headunit Upgrade?

Ok, just another update - the HU is not CANBUS compatible - I know there is an issues with bulbs etc., but does the same error pop up with HUs as well. Hoping someone out there can help me out this!
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Old 10th February 2014, 11:21   #3
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Default re: Skoda Laura: Speaker or Headunit Upgrade?

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Originally Posted by anantnehru View Post
Ok, just another update - the HU is not CANBUS compatible - I know there is an issues with bulbs etc., but does the same error pop up with HUs as well. Hoping someone out there can help me out this!
If the HU is not CANBUS compatible, there are known issues of battery drain. CAN bus connections would turn the HU on and off with the ignition.

I would look at easier options available from VW family of stereos that would be a direct swap. If you have the money to spend, look at buying a Blaupunkt Philadelphia 835.

That said, a mere headunit upgrade won't give better sound quality. Buy a pair of components for the front as well.
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Old 10th February 2014, 11:33   #4
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Default re: Skoda Laura: Speaker or Headunit Upgrade?

The mentioned HU may not be canbus compatible. You need to specifically check on this. As mentioned by moralfibre, this would cause battery drain, errors in the canbus system and finally what would you do for climate control, parking distance display and steering controls?

This HU also looks like some of the Chinese makes and I have a feeling these are rebranded Witson HU..

In VAG cars, installing any hardware requires recognition by the BCM module, coding using VAS/VCDS, required stock cabling etc.

A blaupunkt Philadelphia would be great if you're looking for a navigation system. Else you can definitely get a RCD 510 HU (Bolero). Do not opt for Chinese branded HU either. The Bolero could be purchased for about INR 26K.

Last edited by nitinbose : 10th February 2014 at 11:37.
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Old 10th February 2014, 11:43   #5
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Default re: Skoda Laura: Speaker or Headunit Upgrade?

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Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
If the HU is not CANBUS compatible, there are known issues of battery drain. CAN bus connections would turn the HU on and off with the ignition.

I would look at easier options available from VW family of stereos that would be a direct swap. If you have the money to spend, look at buying a Blaupunkt Philadelphia 835.

That said, a mere headunit upgrade won't give better sound quality. Buy a pair of components for the front as well.
The Blaupunkt is a bit out of the budget for now, IIRC it's for about ~40k? Am wondering if I should just get the speakers to begin with and take it from there. Any suggestions from the front components and rear speakers - I'm quite a JBL fan hence looked them up online.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
The mentioned HU may not be canbus compatible. You need to specifically check on this. As mentioned by moralfibre, this would cause battery drain, errors in the canbus system and finally what would you do for climate control, parking distance display and steering controls?

This HU also looks like some of the Chinese makes and I have a feeling these are rebranded Witson HU..

In VAG cars, installing any hardware requires recognition by the BCM module, coding using VAS/VCDS, required stock cabling etc.

A blaupunkt Philadelphia would be great if you're looking for a navigation system. Else you can definitely get a RCD 510 HU (Bolero). Do not opt for Chinese branded HU either. The Bolero could be purchased for about INR 26K.
The HU is a Chinese one, read an Irish guy installed it in his Skoda on another Skoda forum. Though he seemed pretty happy with it. Parking distance display is compatible with this HU, I dont have steering controls or climate control so that isn't a problem. Am thinking of changing the speakers to begin with for now - or would a HU upgrade to Bolero (if I can find one) be a better bet?
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Old 10th February 2014, 22:27   #6
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Default re: Skoda Laura: Speaker or Headunit Upgrade?

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Originally Posted by anantnehru View Post
Am thinking of changing the speakers to begin with for now - or would a HU upgrade to Bolero (if I can find one) be a better bet?
Bolero would be a good choice any day! You may then upgrade the speakers. The overall result would surely be good!
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Old 10th February 2014, 23:02   #7
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Default re: Skoda Laura: Speaker or Headunit Upgrade?

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Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
Bolero would be a good choice any day! You may then upgrade the speakers. The overall result would surely be good!
Got it thanks. Incidentally, found a Bolero unit for 18k. Will speak to the seller soon and take a call then. Thanks for your help!
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Old 19th October 2014, 21:57   #8
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Question Skoda Laura : swap stock HU while retaining the stock AMP/change to compatible AMP?

Hi all

After sitting on the fence for a long time, I decided to change the stock head unit of my 2006 Skoda Laura L&K to something more modern which offers GPS and SD card support (the stock head unit in my car does not even have aux, so you can imagine ). The stock unit comprises of an Audience head unit with an in dash 6-CD changer connected to an amplifier located underneath the passenger seat which feeds 12 speakers (2 speakers+1 tweeter for each door).

I love the sound offered by the stock setup and don't want to change the amps and speakers. Here is where the problem arises - I zeroed in on a Chinese HU which runs android and offers compatibility with the vehicle systems (steering wheel controls, display of car door opening, park sensor display when reversing etc). When the unit was connected to the car, there was no sound coming from the speakers. Further searching online revealed that the stock amplifier only works with the stock HU and some other OEM head units. The reason being that the stock HU sends a signal to the amp telling it when to turn on. As per my understanding, this signal is CAN based and aftermarket HUs cannot communicate with the stock AMP.

Now there are only two options in front of me: connect the speakers directly to the head unit (which, no doubt would result in a drop in quality) or get another amplifier which can be used with the new unit. Another option is to somehow make the stock amp work with the new HU - I read somewhere that there was a device which can send the CAN signal to the stock AMP thereby making it able to work with any aftermarket HU - however I could not find more details on such a device, if it exists.

Can the experts please guide me on which amp to get for my car? Please bear with me as I'm a novice in the area of car audio. The amp that I prefer would be one which can accept the stock connectors in the car (if this is even possible?) or one that can be made to accept the connections with least modifications? Here is a picture of the connectors in the car:

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All your inputs and suggestions are valuable to me!
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Old 20th October 2014, 18:39   #9
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Default Re: Skoda Laura : swap stock HU while retaining the stock AMP/change to compatible AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Games Goblin View Post
... The reason being that the stock HU sends a signal to the amp telling it when to turn on. As per my understanding, this signal is CAN based and aftermarket HUs cannot communicate with the stock AMP. ...
Check the pinout diagram of the HU. It will have the old style Remote Turn-on output, which is used to remotely turn-on motorized antennas and amplifiers. You only need to wire this. This should be available in the harness, and should be available at the Amp as Remote Turn-on INPUT. If the wire is not in the harness, it is easy to draw a wire to the stock amp. Perhaps this was not wired when the installer mounted the new HU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajaypjayaraj View Post
... there is option within the settings menu to use the built in amp of the Dynavin HU or the car's amplifier. ...
The problem, unfortunately, is not related to your solution.

Last edited by DerAlte : 20th October 2014 at 18:41.
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Old 20th October 2014, 19:58   #10
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Post Re: Skoda Laura: Speaker or Headunit Upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Check the pinout diagram of the HU. It will have the old style Remote Turn-on output, which is used to remotely turn-on motorized antennas and amplifiers. You only need to wire this.
Thanks for your input! Here is the pinout diagram from the stock Audience head unit:

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Does it have a output pin for amplifier turn on? Forgive me, but I'm not good at reading it

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajaypjayaraj View Post
Do check out Dynavin N6 VW HU
Thanks for your suggestion! Yes, I did consider the Dynavin - I saw your review and it's an excellent unit, I particularly liked the parktronic integration. The problem was that I couldn't accommodate it into my budget - since my Laura is a bit old, I needed to budget in a CAN gateway change as the gateway in old cars is known to cause battery drain issues with aftermarket HUs. In addition, I need a new radio trim and reverse camera. Also, I think the Dynavin is Windows CE based, am I correct? I had a Windows CE GPS device and I found it difficult to get maps for it, as mapmyindia does not seem to sell their maps for 3rd party hardware. This is one of the reasons I chose android as navigation software can easily be bought for it.
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Old 22nd October 2014, 20:18   #11
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Check the pinout diagram of the HU. It will have the old style Remote Turn-on output, which is used to remotely turn-on motorized antennas and amplifiers. You only need to wire this. This should be available in the harness, and should be available at the Amp as Remote Turn-on INPUT. If the wire is not in the harness, it is easy to draw a wire to the stock amp. Perhaps this was not wired when the installer mounted the new HU.

The problem, unfortunately, is not related to your solution.

That's a CAN BUS amp which does not work by hooking up a signal wire the conventional way like after market amplifiers do. You need a CAN BUS compatible HU which can communicate with CECM just like the amp does.

If anyone has managed to fire up the CAN BUS amp which comes in the L&K Laura by this simple method of tracing the signal wire and hooking it up, kindly share your knowledge. May be I'm missing something.
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Old 23rd October 2014, 10:16   #12
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Default Re: Skoda Laura: Speaker or Headunit Upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Games Goblin View Post
Thanks for your input! Here is the pinout diagram from the stock Audience head unit: ...
It has 2:
- the pin between "IN" and "R" (top row), meant for an external CD changer
- the bottom left pin "RAD ON +"

Does the amp have a similar pinout diagram? You will need to look at that pinout diagram, as well as the pinout of the new HU. On the new HU one would expect the pin to be called "Remote turn-on" conventionally.
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Old 4th September 2015, 12:14   #13
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Default Better head unit for Skoda Laura

Hi,

I have a Skoda Laura MY2013. The stock headunit is the Bolero one. I want to upgrade this to a better unit for the following reasons:

1. USB support
2. Navigation support
3. Better sound quality

I was looking at some of the older threads here and looks like people have had success with the following units.

1. Pioneer F60BT
2. Dynavin unit

I understand the Pio unit needs a Canbus adaptor in order to work with steering mounted controls and other stuff whereas the Dynavin unit is compatible out of the box. The Pio unit comes with mapmyindia maps which I guess is better than the one supplied in the Dynavin.

I'm inclined towards the Pio simply because I've had good experience with Pio units in my previous car. Could people who've had a chance to sample both please help?
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Old 4th September 2015, 13:01   #14
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Default Re: Better head unit for Skoda Laura

Which trim is this? Elegance, VRS or L&K?

For a perfect integration and reliability the best option would be the Skoda columbus. You may also want to look at adding an MDI unit which would take care of the USB support.

The sound quality of the Bolero is pretty good, you might want to add a Skoda/VW amp to enhance the sound effects.

Dynavin is also pretty good just that some users have been complaining of some firmware related bugs which though get solved with the subsequent updates.
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Old 4th September 2015, 14:01   #15
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Default Re: Better head unit for Skoda Laura

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
Which trim is this? Elegance, VRS or L&K?

For a perfect integration and reliability the best option would be the Skoda columbus. You may also want to look at adding an MDI unit which would take care of the USB support.

The sound quality of the Bolero is pretty good, you might want to add a Skoda/VW amp to enhance the sound effects.

Dynavin is also pretty good just that some users have been complaining of some firmware related bugs which though get solved with the subsequent updates.
Thanks nitinbose.

Mine is the Ambition TDi/DSG variant, but since it was manufactured in 2013, it came with the Bolero unit with steering mounted controls & blue tooth support. I was looking for navigation support which is where the search started. I had looked a the Columbus unit but unfortunately they do not supply maps for India. Or I don't know how easy it is to make it do so. Plus it was expensive the last time I had looked.
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