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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Having failed to add a 3.5mm jack to my standard head unit here I'm now looking at aftermarket options but need some advice.

I mainly want something with a 3.5mm audio-in but while I'm at it I fancy getting one with DAB as well. Ideally I want something that will suit the interior of the facelift 156, but silver head units seem to have disappeared off the planet so grey will have to do, although red LEDs still seem to be around. I also want to still be able to use the steering wheel controls.

I've seen 2 headunits that seem to fit the bill, a Kenwood and a JVC;
I think I need the following extras;
  1. Facia adaptor - eg Option 1, Option 2
  2. Alfa to ISO adapter - eg, Option 1
  3. Stereo to ISO adaptor - Kenwood, JVC
  4. Aerial to Alfa Aerial adaptor - eg Option 1
  5. DAB Aerial - eg. Kenwood, JVC
Both head units seem much of a muchness, but I'm leaning towards the Kenwood as the DAB aerial for it is cheaper.
  • Do any of you have experience or opinions of the 2 I've chosen?
With regards to the extra items;
  • Do I need all of those bits?
  • Are there any bits I've missed?
  • Is one of those 2 facias a better match for the facelift 156 than the other?
  • Do I definitely need the aerial to Alfa adaptor?
  • Do I definitely need a DAB aerial or can the normal one be split and used?
  • That's £57 of extra bits and bobs :wow: is there a cheaper way?
Cheers,

Ecnarfi
 

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All the accessories are required if you want all those features: steering control, DAB, etc. So you don't have to have them; up to you.

Overall, whilst it's a bit of money, in the scheme of ICE, it's not much. You might find them cheaper if you search, search, and search; maybe ebay. It may not be worth your time to save a few quid.

Most new headunits come with an aerial adaptor, so you probably don't need to buy that.

And rather than search online, you could visit a specialist ICE store. You might find a discontinued model on special, they should do a package deal, and they may throw in parts for free, like the aerial adaptor if needed.

You seem to have done most of the research, so you are on the right track. :thumbs: In Australia, DAB is very rare and yet to be widely adopted, so I've no experience with it. Most brands don't often a DAB option here.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the comments.

I've since been to Halfords (I know, I know... But it's the only place near work with head units on display) and had a look at them in the flesh. I'm now looking at the JVC instead, the display is much nicer than the Kenwood one.

I've done a bit of shopping around and managed to find the whole lot for about £165. I'll head up to a local ICE store at the weekend and see what they can do.

Cheers,
Ian
 

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I have a Blaupunkt Victoria SD48 headunit I used in my 2005 156 if you're interested. It doesn't have DAB but meets all your other requirements:
Blaupunkt Victoria SD48

I have the silver 156 fascia adapter which hides that black surround shown in the above photo.

I also have the adapter to allow the steering wheel controls to be used.

The headunit has a 3.5mm line-in on the front as well as an SD card slot. It has a USB connector to but this is on the back (?) and you have to plug a cable in it to provide a USB connector to your dash somewhere. The screen colour also has 4000 different colours so I was able to adjust it so the tint was similar to the rest of the dash lighting.

Anyway, let me know if you're interested and I can send you some photos.
 

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I have fitted the JVC unit to my 1997 Spider and I'm very pleased, DAB Radio, playing music using the 3.5" socket, USB or streaming via Bluetooth from my Android phone all work very well, also the USB port charges the phone!

So to answer your questions:

Extras:

Facia adaptor - I cant comment on your car

Alfa to ISO adapter - Sorry again I cant comment, the Spider does not have remote control

Stereo to ISO adaptor - Ditto, the JVC unit comes with a adaptor for standard ISO connectors, but not for the remote

Aerial to Alfa Aerial adaptor/ DAB Aerial - Instead of a new Aerial I bought a splitter from eBay , so I didn't need the adaptor or a new aerial see
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Car-DAB-Aerial-Splitter-Sony-JVC-Car-headunit-/170744996209?pt=UK_In_Car_Technology&hash=item27c131e171

I fitted the mobile phone blutooth control unit
JVC Mobile In-Car Entertainment, Car Stereo, Audio Car Stereos, Car HiFi Systems, In-Car Hi-Fi, In-Car DVD, Car Hi Fi Amps & Speakers, Extreme ICE
It also controls music when I stream from the phone over blutooth

Cheers Rich :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Johnnygal, thanks for the offer, but I think I'm going to go for a DAB one after all, also I want to be able to play the occasional CD.

Rich_wookey, thanks very much for the info.
- I like the sound of that aerial splitter, I'd not heard of those. Seems a much better idea than something I'd have to stick to the windscreen, plus running wires up the A-pillar past the air-bag didn't sound too appealing :)
- My phone's android, so it's handy to know that it'll keep it charged for me!
- I'd spotted that Bluetooth adaptor and was thinking it'd be a nice upgrade a few months down the line (aka, once Xmas is paid for!)

Cheers,
Ecnarfi
 

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Johnnygal, thanks for the offer, but I think I'm going to go for a DAB one after all, also I want to be able to play the occasional CD.


Cheers,
Ecnarfi
No problem. Keep us upto date on how you get on with the DAB - I've often thought it would be nice to have DAB stations available in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It seems that the DAB/FM aerial splitter is only for cars that don't have an amplified aerial, which, from Googling around, I think the 156 SW does...

I've found quite a good deal for the head-unit bundled with the JVC aerial, so think I'll go for that, and try to neatly run the DAB aerial wire behind the dash and up the A-pillar... (any tips for doing that?)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Having had a think about it last night I've decided to just go with a non-DAB head-unit.

The prospect of neatly running a DAB aerial behind the dash and up the A-pillar without disrupting the airbag in the pillar doesn't appeal... Also I don't want to go to all the effort and expense only to find the aerial's forever falling off the window or reception is terrible.

I have an unlimited data contract on my phone so I think I'll just use that to stream internet radio via the aux-in of a non-DAB stereo instead. I've been doing that for a while with a flaky FM Transmitter so I know it's doable, and losing the FM Transmitter will make it much more straightforward to do :)

I'm now looking at a JVC headunit with bluetooth (link) instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Santa was persuaded :)

It's all hooked up and working. Being able to stream content from my phone with it still in my pocket is ace :)

In case it helps anyone in the future, my adventures with the wiring are here and the bits I bought were;
- JVC KD-R521 with the Bluetooth dongle KS-BTA100
- Alfa to ISO leads CTSAR001
- Alfa to JVC steering wheel controls adaptor CTJVC2LEAD
- Dash fascia adaptor CT24AR11
- Alfa Aerial ISO to DIN adaptor

I'll not pretend it looks as nice in the dash as the factory fitted one, but it's not terrible.

Cosmetic pluses:
- The head unit has red LEDs and allows you to change their brightness so it can more closely match those on the dash.
- That model has a big silver dial which is similar to those of the climate control
Cosmetic minuses:
- The fascia could be a much better fit than it is.
- Why oh why doesn't anyone make silver headunits any more!?!


All in, I'm happy to have the advanced features of a modern head unit over the looks of the standard fit :)

Cheers,
Ecnarfi
 
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I have a Blaupunkt Victoria SD48 headunit I used in my 2005 156 if you're interested. It doesn't have DAB but meets all your other requirements:
Blaupunkt Victoria SD48

I have the silver 156 fascia adapter which hides that black surround shown in the above photo.

I also have the adapter to allow the steering wheel controls to be used.

The headunit has a 3.5mm line-in on the front as well as an SD card slot. It has a USB connector to but this is on the back (?) and you have to plug a cable in it to provide a USB connector to your dash somewhere. The screen colour also has 4000 different colours so I was able to adjust it so the tint was similar to the rest of the dash lighting.

Anyway, let me know if you're interested and I can send you some photos.


If you still have it can you send ME some photos? ;)

I can't send PMs but I can receive them so if you include your email address that would be awesome lol.
 
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