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Discussion Starter #1
...and I must say it's simply great. I was never impressed by the sound quality of the Symphony Bose system and the RNS-E is much, much better. I ripped a couple of songs (192k) onto SD card and it works like a dream. I first had some concerns to go without CD changer but I must say that I don't see the need anymore. On a small 512M SD card I hard the six CDs which were in my Symphony before and it's flawless to change tracks or "CDs" now (and faster too, no more CD changing). I'm going to get a 2GB SD card (ordered today) to see if it works. If not I have more space for my camera and if it does I should get about 20-25 CD ripped with 192k on a 2GB SD card, makes 40-50 CDs on 2 of them.

The DIS is working fine but I must say now I really want one of those color DIS (glad that I'm not in performance mods, this way I can spend my money on such upgrades). I don't know if it's only me, or the EU RNS-E in a US car, but sometimes the DIS doesn't show navigation instructions until I power the RNS-E off and back on. Has anybody else seen this?

The patched US map works fine, even smallest streets in Chicagoland are included. I have seen though that one of the Interstates is only partly shown on the map. Maybe a bug with patched the US map used in the EU unit. I'm going to test the same route using my original US DVD in a US unit to see if it's the map or the unit.

While navigating, radio or MP3 gets muted a little to better understand the lady with the British accent. However, it seems that GALA (or AudioPilot with the newer Bose systems) is only working for the music, not for navigation instructions. At least that was my impression while driving when the music was getting much louder than the navigation voice.

The installation was pretty straight forward using the Kufatec adapters. Justin's Allroad upgrade pictures in mind I removed my Symphony, removed the plastic housing from the diversity Fakra connector, inserted the diversity plug into the Kufatec antenna adapter and connected the ISO plug with the HF antenna. The ISO connectors for audio, power, etc. worked fine as well as the GPS antenna. I was lazy and put the GPS antenna on my dashboard for now, between windshield and center speaker. The biggest problem was to get everything back in that little double DIN slot. In the B6 there is some space left between the A/C controller and the radio but getting the cables to stay there was a little tricky. Anyway, it fits now and looks great.

One very nice feature of the EU unit is the fact that it stays on until you remove the ingition key. I was used to that from driving Audis in Germany and was looking for a way to tell the US Symphony in my US A4 to do the same. I hate when I wait for someone and turn the engine off, I have to turn the radio back on because it turns off with the ignition. I don't know if the US unit does the same but I think it will also turn off with the ignition and not when removing the ignition key.

I have spend about 3 months researching RNS-E upgrade options. There is plenty of information on German boards (they are about one year ahead of the US because the RNS-E is available over there since early 2004) but there is only very little information about the US unit, US maps and differences between the US and the EU unit. I never used my XM receiver, neither did I care if OnStar would continue to work after the upgrade. I don't have a handsfree set for my mobile phone and I don't have an iPod or DVD/MP3 player in my car. That made it easier to go and get the EU unit.

Based on what I have seen and confirmed working so far, those who want to upgrade have two options: get the US unit or the EU unit.
If you are interested in XM/Sirius, if you don't know how to edit a 2.8GB text file or create a dual-layer DVD, if you don't plan to watch a DVD in your car but would like to connect your PhatBox or iPod and don't mind to spend up to $4k for this upgrade, then I would recommend to get the US unit from your trusted dealer.
If you are more adventures, don't use XM or Sirius or AM, if you have an idea what it means to edit large text files and create a dual layer DVD, if you want to connect a DVD player or game console and if you want to spend no more than $2k for this upgrade, then the EU unit might be an option.

I hope this little summary helps to make a decision. Good luck with your upgrade...
 

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Nice review! I am particularly interested in the sound of the RNS-E. Can you expand a little on what you like about it over the Bose? I have the Bose symphony I in my S4. Do you have the Symphony II in your A6?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I had the Symphony II in my A4 B6 Avant and was never really satisfied with the sound, mostly the bass. I think the RNS-E sound, especially the bass sound, is much cleaner. It's hard to explain for me, but the sound quality together with SD card / MP3 support was reason enough to do the upgrade.
 

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I second that !

The RNS-E sounds much cleaner not so muddy as the Symphonie. Also the Symphonie has a very auditable limiter, which gives you a very pumpy sound... sounds like overcompressed music. The RNS-E stay linier and goes much louder without distotion or limiting IMO.

Rgs,
Dave
 

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Europe or US

Great write up, which would you recommend for someone with a Phatbox? I would like the titles to come through the screen if possible. You mention Dual DVD, what is this?

Thanks in advance
Jesse

[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There has been a lot progress since April and most of your questions will be answered once you took the time to read through the Quick Links. And if you search for the word Phatbox you will find a lot topics on current issues or success stories from others who have installed both.
 
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