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Radio Replacement - Choices/Decisions....

951 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  whb11
So, I've been wrestling around with this idea for a couple of weeks, since I got my '07 Touring 3 Hatch.

I've got the 6-CD in dash. I unlocked the fuel computer. I've gotten my Sirius hooked up for the most part (just waiting for the reciever to get here, so I can plug it in to my routed wires).

So, here's the question.

I have my Sony Xplod MP3-player (with front aux-in) still in my old car. I'm debating whether I should replace my stock head unit, and then be able to use the extra space in the head unit's console area for placement of my Sirius receiver, or not.

Basically, I keep coming to a draw when counting the pro's and con's, and wanted anyone else's opinions on what would be the best thing to do.

If I keep the stock radio:
- Maintain the steering wheel controls (which I hardly ever even use, cuz I think it's easier to just reach over and press the buttons or spin the dial.
- Keep the fuel computer and display working correctly (which I like, because it's nice to know while driving what my current MPG are, and I can adjust my speed to maximize it and it helps me remember to be more conservative in acceleration most of the time, because I don't like seeing it say '6.2 mpg' ever. lol.)
- 6 CDs is cool, and it's nice to have it in there, just because it's something special (but really, 6 CDs probably is just about equal to one MP3 CD, and my Sony's a lot easier to deal with in terms of filing through songs and albums on the CD).
- If I don't put it in the 3, I'll leave my radio in my old car for selling it, and that *should* add a good chunk of value to the selling price versus trying to sell the car with no radio at all.
- I lose the console AUX-input that would go to run my Sirius and my iPod, and instead, I would be stuck with having a wire that comes out of the front of the head unit in order to play my AUX devices through the 3.5mm.

If I replace the stock with my Sony:
- I can play all my MP3 CDs that I had from before I got this car. As stated earlier, I'd prefer this to the 6-CD feature of the stock.
- That will really open up the space in the dash where the stock radio is and give me an ideal place to put my Sirius One reciever.
- If/when I decide to put in an amp and my 2 10" subs that I have, the Sony is probably better cut out for the job (at least, I think it would be).
- The radio's mostly red, which would maintain the nice look of the red-based interior lighting of the car.
- I would lost the cool accent lighting of all the little LCDs in the current head unit, with the way they turn different ways.

So, based on these things, and any of your own experience with a similar decision, can anyone give me some advice on what they think I should do, and maybe give me any other insights or recommendations of options that I may have overseen so far?

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I would say that it solely depends on what your listening demands are. If you want a loud and customized system go for the Sony, add amps with speakers and roll. If you like your music levels "normal" I would recommend sticking with stock, adding an amp for the subs, and go from there.

As far as MP3's go, I thought 07's played MP3 encoded discs? My stock HU did. Anyways, one option to look into is buying a cheap MP3 player and loading it up with songs. Play it through the AUX jack (you may have to alternate between the SIRIUS hookup) found in the center console. Granted there is a small dropoff in sound quality; however when I did this it wasn't to bad if the MP3s were bought (and thus better quality) or burned directly from a CD.
Thanks for the response!

My listening habits are mostly encompassed by MP3s CDs, as that's what I'm used to. And for radio, where I'm at, there's no decent radio stations, so I'll probably be mostly going between my Sirius and my iPod and MP3 CDs if possible.

As it is, I'm planning on having a 3.5mm plug routed to my ash tray, where i can plug it into either my little Sirius reciever or my iPod, depending on which mood I'm in for. The thing is, I'd mostly be wanting to listen to MP3 CDs, because it's much easier (in my opinion) to navigate through artists and albums on the CD unit than the iPod while driving.

I've heard that the '07s have the option for MP3, but mine did not get that option, though I was wishing that that was a part of the deal that they hadn't mentioned. Alas, after putting in an MP3 CD, it rejected it.

I actually remember finding something someone did where they put the aftermarket in the glove box. This would almost be a viable option for me, except that one of the perks of putting in the aftermarket where the current head unit is would give me a little extra storage space for a more clean installation of my Sirius or holding place for my iPod.
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I would go with the Sony then. There is a way to keep the unlocked gas readout although it is static because there is no "SET" button to use for scrolling. I must admit though that I have absolutely no idea on how to do this because I have an aftermarket HU and the only thing I have on my LCD readout is the temperature.

When I get to buying new speakers (I still have stock) I will ask the installer to humor me and mess around a little bit.

If all of that is important to you then there is a thread in the FAQ of this specific forum area that shows how to put the stock HU in the glove box. To keep steering wheel controls to work with the Sony there is an universal PAC unit that can be bought (a walkthrough install is here too).
I just did some snooping around my head unit.
I wasn't sure of this before, because it was hard to tell in other's pictures, but there's a great little open area behind where it says "Multi Function Audio System". I saw the ones of the people putting the H/K screen in that area, but never was sure if it was open behind there. And I figured that with the 6-CD, that there would be even less room behind the face to play with.

But as it is, it looks like I can make a use of that space as the perfect mounting place for my Sirius reciever. The opening is 4.25" x 1.75", which would give me enough space to hit the buttons if i needed to, as the unit's only 0.8" tall.

Also, my Sony has a remote control, which would help to aid the use of it with it in the glove box. However, it appears that I'd have to have the glove box open in order to let the signal for it work right, which would be annoying. And I don't know of any things for my radio to hardwire a remote control type of thing to it (it's an Xplod GT200).

I've tried searching around a lot, but I've yet to find what I want, probably because it's so specific.
I want to get that little plastic peice, just the one that says "Multi Function..." and has the 2 holes for the audio controls. Basically, I'd like to have one for backup in case I make any mess-ups in altering it. Also, it'd be nice to have it in case I ever wanted to get it to look like stock again for any reason.
Anybody know of any parts places that might have just that piece? My car's an '07, and it seems like most of the past years' would be fine, but I'm not positive on that.
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