Author Topic: Upgrading my audio system  (Read 269 times)

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  • au Australia
    Melbourne, Victoria
Upgrading my audio system
« July 06, 2019, 02:29:58 »
My I30 came with the GD-01. Decent unit, but lacked a few things, so I've removed it (I have it sitting here if anyone wants it for free).

I bought a Masten Android unit that I thought would be an upgrade, but it turned out to be a disaster. Despite asking the seller many questions (and not getting honest answers by the sound of it), I ended up paying $700 for a unit that is junk. The reasons why are at the end of this post. Maybe that's a tad harsh.. Let's say "It doesn't do what I asked for or want".

It allegedly came with the correct I30 wiring harness and dash fascia.

So,  questions:

1. Is the fascia universal? Could I expect to buy a different unit and take the fascia off the Masten unit and it would fit (given the same unit dimensions)?
2. How can I confirm if they sent me the correct wiring harness? It all plugs together properly, but there are a few anomalies that make me suspect it's not the correct one.
3. Anyone know of a unit available in AU, preferably in the Melbourne area that will do what I want. Budget is < $800 AUD. I can install myself. Sorry, I know that's fairly generic. I want GPS, reverse camera, MP3 player from in dash port, phone book (loaded from my cell phone). AM/FM radio is useless to me - I haven't listened to the radio in 20 years due to all the senseless banter and ads). DVD Player is a bonus, but not mandatory.

What's not right with the Masten unit...

1. Despite being wired for in dash USB (unit and hardness are wired), it doesn't work. (Retailer says it's not supposed to work)
2. Shuffle useless. Will select the same song 5 times in a row, and the same 10 songs over a couple of hundred presses. Only about 40 of the 366 songs will play on shuffle, but can be manually selected and play fine.
3. Clock can take up to 5 minutes to sync. I can drive from home to work before the clock shows the correct time (Because it uses GPS to synch instead of running off the car battery).
4. Unit will not stay powered off when turned off (Retailer says it's intentionally wired this way). Powers up every time the car is started.
5. Clock not visible when powered off
6. Audio distortion and low volume every few weeks requiring car to be turned off for long periods of time. Turning unit off for a while does not work.
7. NAV stops responding two out of three times it is used. Has to be restarted.
8. Cannot disable all NAV alerts requiring constant attention and screen taps to stop it beeping. Sometimes the beeping will not stop for several minutes with no way to stop it. Very distracting and potentially dangerous.
9. Unit takes up to 40 seconds to start up. (As opposed to a couple of seconds for the GD-01)
10. No Android or APP updates possible, so if future versions fixed the problems I am having, they can't be applied to my unit.
11. No documentation at all.
12. In video mode, colors washed out. Green displays as a grey-blue color. Thumbnails in media player are also washed out. No green.
13. Exceptionally poor touch screen response. Often have to tap several times to get something to work.
14. Randomly skips to a different song from time to time half way through a song
15. If songs are placed in sub folder by artist, album or genre, shuffle will not work at all except within the single folder.
16. It's supposed to be able to play music while GPS is in use, but I can't get it to work.

Are these issues typical of Android units? Should I bee looking at WinCE or something else?

thanks


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Re: Upgrading my audio system
« Reply #1 : July 06, 2019, 02:39:28 »
Wow! Sorry to hear that.

I can't really help with your audio questions except to say I'm 100% sure they wouldn't be normal behaviours for all Android units. I'm sure we have had other owners recommend aftermarket units that worked ok.

I would be demanding a full refund with the threat of going to the ACCC if they don't comply.  :undecided:
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Re: Upgrading my audio system
« Reply #2 : July 06, 2019, 07:48:46 »
Original stereo was a GD-01 (which should be non Navigation), why not install a GD-03 unit with Apple Carplay/Android Auto? then you're able to use the phone maps on the unit and all other requested features are there except DVD/CD player.

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Re: Upgrading my audio system
« Reply #3 : July 06, 2019, 17:25:57 »
This "Masten" unit is off eBay or they have a physical shop in Australia? I tried the same with my (now sold) FD. My unit was also one of these Chinese Android units, promising the world and delivering f*ck all. I got lucky because the screen went within days, so they sent me a replacement unit which I then sold off unopened to recover my cost. Then I went to one of the local car stereo places and bought a Kenwood unit that worked flawlessly out of the box, just didn't promise all those things... Learnt the lesson there? :D ;)

Fitmentwise, the GD units (like most) are double DIN. You would need to measure the face plate of the Masten unit and compare with whatever you end up getting. The location of the unit can be adjusted within reason (mostly in and out) so it is just a matter of filling the hole in the new facia.

Over the years one thing became evident. Anything coming from China is half baked. Starts off well , gets developed to a point but never gets to be finished and the bugs never get ironed out. Unless the company who's goods are made in China, will have a QA person in the factory that oversees the production and controls the quality. In this case stuff made in China will be as good as anything in the world.

If you want to save money (that I doubt if you coughed up $700 for a no brand head unit), you could create  your own integrated car system from an android tablet or an iPad using a replacement facia from eBay. It takes some work and you need to know your electronics but I have seen projects like that ending in a very functional and presentable unit. Google is your friend ;)
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  • au Australia
    Melbourne, Victoria
Re: Upgrading my audio system
« Reply #4 : July 07, 2019, 00:48:55 »
@CraigB one of the reasons for the upgrade was to get a larger screen for my aging eyes. As in 7" as opposed to the stock 5". After using the 7" I really don't want to go back

@Hati Yes it was from a company called "Dig Options" Which has a store in Brunswick St towards Coburg. Friendly enough guys (I understand why now), and yes they did advertise the unit on eBay - Like many retailers these days. I could have bought it from them, but eBay was offering a 10% discount which was not available from the store.

My knowledge of electronics is borderline zero. I know enough to be able to do simple things like connect stuff together, and build PCs etc, but that's it.

With the fascia I was concerned about the location of the screw holes on the brackets connected to the face plates. Don't want to be drilling holes in a new head unit ;)

I spent a year looking around. Places like Autobarn, JB Hi Fi, SupaCheap Autos - none of them were affordable. A typical decent unit was retailing for $1000 (on special) - $2000, and that didn't include the mounting kit, wiring harness or fitting labor. I emailed several people via searches on Google, most of whom never responded. The one place that did quoted me $2500 to fit a unit. Autobarn quoted me an extra $200 to connect the in dash USB.

I'm still googling but have yet to find something. TBH, I've lost faith in Android. I'm skeptical that anything Android that I buy will have the same issues.

My phone is a phone. It's used for SMS and phone calls. Everything else is disabled, blocked or uninstalled. I don't use Google Play, Microsoft Store, or whatever Apple's equivalent is. I Don't have Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts... Getting the picture :)

All this newfangled technology costs lots of money and I find it of no use. I just want to listen to music in my car, find where I'm going every now and then, and have hands free calls from time to time. If I look at the clock it should tell me the correct time. I foolishly thought that was a simple need. lol :)
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Re: Upgrading my audio system
« Reply #5 : July 07, 2019, 01:13:37 »
@CraigB one of the reasons for the upgrade was to get a larger screen for my aging eyes. As in 7" as opposed to the stock 5". After using the 7" I really don't want to go back
The GD-03 has a much larger screen than the stock GD-01 unit, 7" diagonal and it fits straight into the standard dash with no modifications.

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Re: Upgrading my audio system
« Reply #6 : July 07, 2019, 01:53:53 »
I don't know what units you were looking at @Yanta but I just replaced my son's head unit in his new to him Forrester with a Pioneer unit that has reversing camera, radio, plays video/dvd and music, bluetooth for the phone (hands free) for around $300, unit cost with camera included on sale.

You really need to tell us what you want from the unit apart of the large screen. Take the Android rubbish back and tell the guy that it doesn't do what it claims and have your money refunded.
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Re: Upgrading my audio system
« Reply #7 : July 07, 2019, 03:37:16 »
$300? That's awesome. I wish :)

You really need to tell us what you want from the unit apart of the large screen. Take the Android rubbish back and tell the guy that it doesn't do what it claims and have your money refunded.

They did offer to take it back, and if they changed their mind I can enforce it through Consumer Affairs. I'm not worried about that part. That's the easy bit. Finding a new unit that works and does what I want is more elusive than finding a Dodo bird.


OK then, here is the exhaustive list.

1. Play music from my USB thumb drive from the port in the cars dash without running cables out the back of my dash. The music player should support a shuffle/random mode that randomly selects songs from mp3's in sub folders of the drive. AKA, exactly what the GD-01 does. I should be able to use the steering wheel controls UP to pick a new song and DOWN to restart the current song - The same as the GD-01. I should be able to adjust balance left/right, front/rear, with an equalizer that I can select a preset from or manually configure. Output power standard 40w per channel. The shuffle/random mode should work. Not select the same song 5 times in a row. If there are 366 songs on the drive, all of them should be capable of being played by the shuffle mode.

2. When I turn the unit off it displays the time only. It stays off until I choose to turn it on, not turn itself on every time I start the car.

3. NAV that works and doesn't crash 2 of 3 times. Current Victorian maps with the ability to disable all alerts if I so choose. It should not pop up alternative routes every 500m (I should be able to disable alternative route suggestions). I want it to tell me where to go (be nice!), without needing me to constantly take my attention off the road to shut it up. I would like to play music even when NAV is operating if I so choose, and the directions talks over the top. That's supposed to be fairly standard on NAV systems these days. I should be able to configure it to always avoid tolls.

4. A Bluetooth phone function which can store my address book from my phone. Hands free Bluetooth phone calls.

5. A reverse camera function. I have the camera - I've just never bothered to install it.

6. A <10 second start up. Not to the 40+ seconds this android unit takes to start up.

7. A clock that displays the correct time NOW, not 19:45 for the first 5 minutes, then the correct time.

8. Audio that works all the time that doesn't require me to turn the car off for 1+ hours to reset the unit.

9. A 7" screen that is responsive to touch. The current one almost needs to be hammered to get it to respond.

10. A DVD/CD player is optional, but colors should be true to the video file being played. The resolution should be as high as possible.

11. A powerful CPU with sufficient RAM such that the unit is responsive, doesn't lag or stall. No audio stuttering or choppiness in audio or video playback or menu navigation.

12. Should support existing steering wheel controls.

13. Fit my existing console with zero modifications or holes including the correct wiring harness for the 2013 I30.


What I don't need

1. Apple Airplay (or any equivalents of)
2. AM/FM radio (Probably impossible to get one without)
3. Bluetooth Audio
4. Tyre pressure monitor
5. WiFi. I do my computing at home.
6. A Web browser or any other bloatware.
7. A Flip out screen.


Sorry... You asked :)

I'm going to do the rounds again to a bunch of stores tomorrow... see if I can find any sales
  • 2013 GD 5 door hatch 1.8L

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Re: Upgrading my audio system
« Reply #8 : July 07, 2019, 04:55:38 »
I see why you talk about a grand or two for a unit. Sat nav. That's what kicks it up that much. Everything else is available on the current crop of Pioneer/Kenwood/JVC etc low end (under $500) units. On the other hand if you get one with Android Auto or Apple Carplay, you could just use your phone to do the navigation free of charge. Or buy a stand alone GPS and be still ahead on price.
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