Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
We get customers every month coming into our store asking what they can do with their original range rover system which has gone wrong, whether it’s the sat nav no longer working, analogue TV tuner doesn’t work due to the digital switch over! But the most common one we see is customers saying they have lost sound to some or all of their speakers. It’s not just a case of changing the speakers and everything being ok, there is a high chance that the amplifier has packed up and these cost an absolute fortune to get a replacement from range rover. You could take the risk of buying a second hand one and replacing it but how long would that last!!
We prefer to do things differently here at the car audio centre! Remove all the dated old radio system and replace with a shiny new one. We fitted a top of the range Kenwood DNX-5230DAB unit to this customers range rover and also our highly recommended CMOS reversing camera’s. As we already knew there are no parts companies in the UK that actually sell any of the parts for this car so this job was going to be a custom installation.
Building a fascia panel was the start of the job, although the standard unit appears to be double din once removed the unit is more like a single din unit with an oversize screen, this did pose a few problems but nothing that couldn’t be resolved so we proceeded to remove any access mounts that held the original unit in place to allow enough room to fit the unit! Once that was done we had to find a new way to mount the stereo system this meant we had to build some custom brackets.
After a lot of modification at the front it was time to make it all work, this meant we needed to make a wiring loom that extend the rear wiring system to the front where the new stereo was, having already removed all of the old amplifiers, tuners and sat nav system we even managed to get the steering wheel control buttons to work with the new Kenwood!
So if you have a range rover and you want to remove all the stock stereo system and replace it with something far better quality! Then were here to help!
Nottingham Car Audio Centre
542-546 Mansfield road
Tel 0115 9422 988
Email us! Nottingham@caraudiocentre.co.uk
Wednesday, July 17th, 2013
Alpine’s universal DAB unit with ipod conectivity fitted to a Mercades Vito
Neat passive window mount antenna
cables ran neatley down the a pillar
neat installation of the screen that is also removable
Monday, July 15th, 2013
Some car are supplied with rear parking aid’s or parking sensors which are great for audible alerts, but there are so many blind spots sometimes missing posts and even kerbs. That’s where a camera comes in! a quick look behind you thinking everything is clear or misjudgement of distance is all it takes to cause an accident, no one likes having scratched or dented 99% of all aftermarket good quality AV systems have the reverse camera input which allows you to fit a camera where ever you like, so if you have a large van, truck and trailer or even an everyday hatchback car! Reversing has never been safer with a reversing camera.
There are multiple ways to fit and also use a reverse camera, they aren’t just for reversing some people use them in large cars or mini buses to be able to see their kids or people in the rear of the car. You can fit them on a switch which allows you to switch the screen over instantly to the camera view or have them attached to the reverse lighting system so when you select reverse gear the camera is activated.
There are wide selections of reverse camera’s you can choose from, as always we recommend you pick one that works! Most camera suffer in poor lighting condition so when its late and night and the street lights just aren’t bright enough and you find yourself reversing out of a car parking space most fail straight away! Claiming that they do night vision doesn’t mean they do it properly! I have found with a lot of cheap camera’s the night vision is good for about 20cm that’s just not good enough when your reversing you want to see as far and as wide as possible.
Sunlight believe it or not is also a massive downfall of most camera’s, a little bit of sun light and it’s like having someone shining a torch in your face whilst driving, the camera we recommend most are name brands i.e. Kenwood CMOS, Sony CMOS, Alpine CMOS and Pioneer CMOS cameras. These are one of the best on the market! CMOS cameras are brilliant, giving excellent quality in both day and night vision and also amazing wide angle view, it even works perfect on can bus vehicles due to its running voltage being between 9 – 16 volts means you won’t get any flickering from the camera when the vehicle is running!
This is a picture of the CMOS Camera on a KENWOOD DNX4230DAB fitted in a Volkswagen Touran:
Any questions on prices of cameras and quotations for installation on your vehicle please call us on 0115 9422 988 or visit us in store at 542-546 Mansfield Road Sherwood Nottingham NG5 2FR
Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
Did you know that the headphones ( ear buds ) & USB lead supplied with your iPhone/iPod are not really that good? Sure they look good & they match your device. They are bundled with your iPod/iPhone for a reason – cost. You pay good money for your device, hundreds of pounds & you get ear buds & worth a small fraction of that. As for the USB lead which also serves as a charger, well lets just say it’s not the best. Sure it charges your device & you can use it to play your music through your car stereo system but did you know you CAN do better. The reason why you have an iPod/iPhone in the first place is to play music right? But what about the sound quality of your music? Surely that’s important too. The first thing that most people do when they get an iPod/iPhone is to change the ear buds which is fair enough. But that’s just half the job. If you play music from your device in your car then upgrading the USB is a MUST. The only way i can describe the original lead is as follows: Imagine drinking a thick milk shake from McDonalds through a really thin straw. You get the picture. There is a solution, the Audioquest Forest High Definition USB.
AudioQuest USB Cables take everything they’ve learned about digital interconnects and applied the same technology to their line of made for iPod USB digital interconnects, starting with the Audioquest Forest USB Cable.
SOLID LONG-GRAIN COPPER CONDUCTORS (LGC): Solid conductors eliminate strand-interaction distortion. Forest’s solid Long-Grain Copper allows a smoother and clearer sound than cables using regular OFHC (Oxygen-Free High-Conductivity) copper. OFHC is a general metal industry specification regarding loss without any concern for distortion. LGC has fewer oxides within the conducting material, less impurities, less grain boundaries, and definitively better performance.
SOLID HIGH-DENSITY POLYETHYLENE INSULATION: Any solid material adjacent to a conductor is actually part of an imperfect circuit. Wire insulation and circuit board materials all absorb energy (loss). Some of this energy is stored and then later released as distortion. Solid High-Density Polyethylene Insulation ensures critical signal-pair geometry while minimizing insulation-induced phase distortion.
TERMINATIONS: Precision gold-plated plugs are carefully attached with the very best solder. Through choice of flux and metallurgy, AQ solder has been optimized to make a low-distortion connection. The difference you hear between solders is a result of connection quality. AQ solder does not have a high silver content because the more silver there is in solder, the more difficult it is to make a good connection.
UNIVERSAL SERIAL BUS DEVICE CLASS DEFINITION FOR AUDIO DEVICES: USB (Universal Serial BUS) was established by a stalwart group of companies such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft (just to name a few) in order to give the personal computing world a truly universal standard and means to connect devices such as hard drives, printers, cameras, and, more importantly to us, audio components. Included in the original description are protocols for the pristine transfer of audio over USB. Great care and sensitivity went into this. Consequently, a computer connected to a USB-enabled digital-to-analog converter can outperform the best compact disc players available today. AudioQuest is committed to contributing products that honor USB’s ability to deliver state-of-the-art performance on this new and wonderful frontier.
So, you’re still probably saying, well the white lead works pretty well, why should I upgrade? Well what I would say to that is come down to the store for a demo & hear the difference for yourselves. I was shocked – you will be too!
Tuesday, July 9th, 2013
If you’re after a new stereo system for your car and you want all the best and latest features like USB, IPod control, Bluetooth hands free and DAB digital radio but you still want a stereo with some sound quality then you’re in luck! The 3 biggest stereo companies have all made a just for you!
The lowest price unit in this comparison is the Kenwood coming in as low as £184.99 and both the alpine and pioneer units coming in for £217.99, So with that in mind the price is still rather reasonable considering the quality of the product you are buying and the features these units support
all three units have Bluetooth hands free built in which allows you to wirelessly connect your phone, giving you Bluetooth hands free as well as phone book transfer which is available now for most phones, if you’re worried about the compatibility with the phone you have all of the manufactures list phones on their websites that are or not compatible. Both Alpine and Pioneer are using Parrot Bluetooth built in while Kenwood have decided to use a Bluetooth technology designed in house at Kenwood, to some this might sound like a downside to this system but there is a reason for this. Kenwood now have access to all the code information for the Bluetooth software which means they can tweak the software more often with regular updates and better compatibility with the latest phones!
IPod Control – Other Smart Phone
We will start with the pioneer, offering USB IPod control which is on the back of the stereo so you could fit the USB connection which comes with around a 1 meter extension lead that will reach into most glove box’s or any other storage your car has. Also there is no need to buy any special cable from pioneer it has been developed to work straight from the USB iPod lead supplied with your IPod or IPhone. This unit has a compatibility chart to list what apple products it will work with. So check that out before going out and buying this unit and later on finding out it won’t work with the product you have. Pioneer also list that there unit is compatible with some Nokia smart phones but again this would need to be confirmed with the device that you have!
Alpine offer IPod control and also Nokia phones but for both there are specially designed cables from alpine that are needed to control your products these are optimised to give you the best control possible but there is a downside if they break the are not as cheap as universal leads to replace!
The Kenwood only offers full iPod control through both front and rear mounted USB terminals again Kenwood offer a Kenwood iPod lead which is ok but for the same price you can go and buy yourself a high quality audiophile lead from Audioquest! This will offer far better sound quality and will also smooth out the sound of your music coming from your IPod. I can also confirm that although Kenwood haven’t said it work with the IPhone 5 it actually does! Using the new lighting connector from apple has never been so simple just plug in your supplied lead you get when buying the IPhone 5 and that it full control and even charging.
All three units are fairly easy to use. There are ups and downsides with each one, I found that skipping track with the Pioneer was a little annoying with the chrome buttons that rotate around the volume knob, the Alpine is rather difficult to navigate through the menus with ease and finally the Kenwood having a lack of buttons means you have to use the volume knob to control most of the functions on this system.
All three units have very good sound quality offering a standard of 50 Watts per speaker! With great quality Preouts for external amplifiers the Pioneer with its 4 volt preouts x3 and a 5 band graphic equalizer. The Kenwood has 2.5 volt preouts x3 with a 13 band parametric equalizer, and the Alpine just scraping in with only 2 volt preouts x3 and a 3 band parametric equalizer so although the Pioneer has a higher voltage set of preouts the Kenwood offers the most control and adjustment
Digital Audio Broadcast
All three units offer very good DAB radio, each unit has its own built in DAB amplifier for the window or roof mounted Antenna you choose to buy, window mount Antennas are the simplest and smartest solution sticking in the front window screen without having to drill anything and working on 99% of cars available on the UK market, there are also upgraded car Antennas that can be purchased that replace your original and offer you a DAB Antenna as well but these cost a lot more and require most cars to have the roof liner to be removed to replace the original Antenna.
Each radio offers a vast range of different features or options compared to the next one, but don’t go and buy the most expensive one and assume that it’s the best one for you, In stores across the country we have helpful staff that will make sure you get the most from your car radio and point you to the right stereo system that will meet all of your consumer needs. please feel free to contact us at the Nottingham store 542-546 Mansfield Road, Sherwood, NG5 2FR.
Tel: 0115 942 2988 or email us: Nottingham@caraudiocentre.co.uk
Friday, July 5th, 2013
The Pioneer AVIC-F940BT will make your car sound and look better. On top, it will entertain front and back row passengers, connect to almost anything and navigate you through traffic thanks to the built-in TMC and pre-installed Navteq maps .
The buttons and high contrast, anti-glare screen can be adapted to your taste. A feast to watch, day & night. A password can be set, and the panel can be partially detached and taken along with you for additional security.
The Pioneer AVIC-F940BT eats anything with playback from CD, DVD, iPod, iPhone, USB, HDMI, Micro-SD and Aux-in. You can use Apps in your car and Control compatible smartphone apps directly from your car dashboard. A Bluetooth module is built-in for Phone calls, contacts & music audio streaming.
Car Audio Centre Ilford
743 Eastern Ave, Newbury Park, IG2 7RT
Sales & General Enquiries: 0208 599 2368
- or e-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, July 5th, 2013
ParkSafe PS440 sensors parking aid
The Park Safe PS440 are flush mounting sensors that come with optional ‘wedges’ to enable you to angle the sensors if you have a curved bumper at the height at which you wish to install them. The PS440 is a 4 recess parking sensor system that will cover the widest of cars giving a professional OEM finish. Included with the 4 recess sensors is a buzzer which gives audible bleeps with increasing frequency as you get closer to an obstacle.
The Parrot MKi9100 Bluetooth Hands Free Car Kit combines the latest communication technologies with a full set of services dedicated to music. Once paired with your Bluetooth mobile phone, the Parrot MKi9100 enables you to establish in a few seconds any phone conversations in your vehicle without needing to handle the telephone, even leaving it in your pocket. Connection with your mobile phone is made in a completely transparent way.
The user-independent voice recognition and voice synthesis is integrated in the Parrot MKi9100 car kit, which dramatically eases the way of using it in every situation. And all the connectors for any type of music are provided with the Parrot MKi9100 Hands-free Kit: iPod, iPhone, iTouch, USB keys, USB MP3 players, Bluetooth Stereo devices, CD players, MiniDisc, etc
Thursday, July 4th, 2013
have you got a ranger rover 3 (l322) 2002-2005 that wants a stereo upgrade? have you been turned away by other companies? struggling to find someone to help you? we had a customer who had all of the above, and after a few emails and a chat by phone and in the shop we said, “yeah, no problem, we can sort that out for you.”
the parts are available through us and took a few days to get, and once we had sorted a stereo out that fitted what our customer wanted and then some we ordered that up and booked him in.
a few hours work is involved in changing the stereo and some modifications were needed to allow the kit to fit, but once we had done it looked well. our customer left with the alpine ine-w925r with dab radio, ipod, usb, sat nav, bluetooth and more. will let the photo do the talking of how it looked.
Friday, September 16th, 2011
Thursday, September 8th, 2011
Alex is a long time customer and recently bought a new Skoda Octavia VRS so we transferred his Dynaudio components and In Phase amplifiers/box from his old BMW 3er compact to the Octavia.
The Dynaudio components are run actively (without passive crossovers) to take benefit of the full processing power of his Pioneer DEH-P88RSII stereo, which offers auto EQ and Time Alignment for the ultimate in sound quality.
He’s running two IPX1200 amplifiers, one for mids and the other for his tweeters so the stereo can actively manage the crossover frequency/slope, phase and Time alignment for each driver individually-making it possible to alter the firing of each speaker so the sound from each driver arrives at the listener’s ears at the same time. The stereo’s 16 band (L/R independant) EQ allows for very fine adjustment to truely tailor the sound and can do this automatically or be adjusted to taste.
Alex originally started out with 1x In Phase PR210 enclosure, but as he is a bit of a “bass head” he decided he wanted more so up-graded from the IPX2400 amp he had been using for bass duties to the IPA2001D-200wrms of grunt and added another PR210!
The install went smoothly, but unfortunately I was busy and unable to document it all on camera, retaining the factory look by fitting the drivers in the stock locations. The midbass are in a very poor location-just by your behind (I’ve never found one with ears!) but fortunately the DEH-P88RSII’s processor manage to make the best of the drivers in even this awful location.
Here’s a pic of the boot install, we created a false floor to house the amplifiers under and mounted the subs ontop of this:
2x PR210, false floor, IPC2.4N
This system really surpassed our expectations, due to the poor location of the midbass drivers I really thought Alex would have to go back to a passive installation and add the Dynaudio MD142 and crossovers, but this install has put a huge smile on Alex’s face and I’m sure it will continue to do so for years to come!