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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back in February & March of 2006, I had been exploring the potential of replacing the XC90's factory stereo system with an aftermarket stereo. The reasons were due to the failure of Volvo to offer a hardwired solution to iPod connectivity as well as no provision for any satellite (XM or Sirius) radio. I ultimately selected the Alpine IVA-W200. The next challenge was for Alpine to release the IVA-W200. Following is a summarization of the benefits of the Alpine IVA-W200:<p> + Navigation system integrated with head unit.<br> + iPod hardwired with full control from the head unit.<br> + XM (or Sirius) satellite radio integrated with head unit.<br> + Bluetooth communications integrated with head unit.<br> + Head unit reads CD/DVD(audio & video)/MP3 discs.<br> + Two video inputs (RSE & backup camera for example).<br> + HD radio support (requires separate tuner module).<br> + It even has support for an AUX-IN port - anyone for cassette players?<p>There are probably more benefits, but the above are what immediately occur after the first pass through the manuals that came with the system.<p>I have chosen to install the IVA-W200 with the Alpine Navigation (NVE-N872A), iPod, XM, Digital Suround Sound, Sub-woofer, and Bluetooth functions. The one thing that you need to keep in mind about an IVA-W200 install in the Volvo XC90 is that this is probably not something you want to tackle in an afternoon. Based on what I knew about the closed architecture of the XC90's stereo system, and knowing what I did not know about how to replace the factory stereo, I sent the XC90 to a professional installer. Following is a Cliff-Notes version of the install effort.<p>The first thing the installer did was try to find integration points where they could connect the IVA-W200 to the factory stereo. Guess what - there aren't any (integration points). I told them that going in, but they wanted to rule that out before going down the path of replacing the factory stereo. The next step was to remove the front seats, A-pillar trim (for routing the Bluetooth microphone), trim pieces around the D-pillar and the rear cover for the battery box. One item that emerged out of the removal of the A-pillar trim was that the left hand drain tube for the sunroof had been crushed closed from the factory - the trim piece had pressed the tube shut. Then the amplifiers (for subwoofer and surround sound) and navigation system control unit were mounted under the driver and passenger seats. The factory head unit was wrapped in foam and zip-tied out of the way. The factory CD player was removed and presently is sitting in a box. The IVA-W200 control unit (double DIN size) was mounted in the space that opened up with removal of the factory head unit and CD player. Martz makes a mounting unit for the XC90 that is presently single DIN sized, so some surgery was required to make it double DIN compatible. The one thing that could be re-cycled from the factory stereo installation was the speakers. The antennas for Navigation and XM radio were mounted on the rear part of the roof, just in front of the plastic panel at the extreme rear of the roof.<p>After everything was buttoned back together, the system really comes into its own. The iPod integration alone illustrates just how much of an embarassment the factory system really is (artist/title display, ability to control the iPod better than is available on the iPod itself, sound quality that is out of this world). Adding XM into the mix with full artist and title display was one further nail on the coffin of the Volvo factory system. The Alpine Navigation system is head and shoulders superior to what Volvo offers. This is really what Volvo SHOULD have offered. You can even play video DVDs (after putting the brakes on for safety) and connect a hitch-mounted video camera for a view where you are backing up.<p>In terms of the cost-benefit of the IVA-W200, it is competitive with a collection of dealer installed accessories (Navigation, Stereo upgrade, Bluetooth and iPod); add in the superior sound and integration and functional capabilities, and the IVA-W200 becomes a no-brainer if you are looking for a true high fidelity solution to the factory stereo system.<p>Net, net, the IVA-W200 is superior to what Volvo has offered or will offer in the future for the XC90.<p>Pictures will be following after I figure out Flicr.
 

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Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (avolvofan)

Good deal! Waiting eagerly for the pictures. I should probably stop by during my next visit to the Half Moon Bay to take a look at the upgrade. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/wink.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>Do you mind listing your configuration BEFORE the upgrade i.e. did you get premium sound system, navigation (most likely not), RSE, etc.?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (AccuView)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>AccuView</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Do you mind listing your configuration BEFORE the upgrade i.e. did you get premium sound system, navigation (most likely not), RSE, etc.?</TD></TR></TABLE><br>Premium sound system, but no RSE or Navigation. Adding RSE into the cost-benefit model would make the outcome even more in favor of the Alpine aftermarket solution.
 

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Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (avolvofan)

Awesome! Can't wait to see the pics. Very curious to see how it integrates with the dash.<p>Did you mount your antennas on the outside? I finally mounted my system (my Volneer HU-880PRS) a few weeks ago and so far so good, everything still working. I mounted my xm antenna on the rear inside ontop of the liner just beneath the forward part of that plastic roof piece and its working great from there. What did you do for an FM antenna? I've run a coax cable to the back but haven't attached anything to it yet. <p>Where did you put your ipod? Are you just putting it in the center console? My ipod adapter cable doesn't separate from the control box and it would have required a big hole plus I didn't want it getting all scratched up so for now it's under the passenger seat in a velcro'd little plastic bin next to the velcro'd XMDirect tuner box (that I can switch over to the other car for long trips). The two amps I was able to mount on either side of the battery. The remote sub volume is also just sitting under the passenger seat. Don't know if I really want to drill a hole in the transmission shifter trim piece for that remote volume control.<p>How do you like the touch screen ipod interface and access speed? I've read 50/50 split reviews that touchscreens are just not the optimal interface for music. They require too much touching over and over again. At iLounge, they reviewed the Pioneer Z-1 where they actually returned the Z-1 ipod integration box in favor of going with just an aux-in and mouting the ipod on the dash. I can turn my right knob to scroll through lists and it's pretty fast but there can be a 1-2 second delay sometimes before it redraws.<p>The new system really does make a huge difference though. I actually look forward to riding in the XC90 now. Especially now that I have access to so much more music and higher quality too. It's just awesome being able to play the music louder (and I don't mean absurdly loud either) and not having to listen to those front speakers kill themselves to reproduce the bass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (pattyweb)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>pattyweb</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Awesome! Can't wait to see the pics. Very curious to see how it integrates with the dash.</TD></TR></TABLE><br>The Metra mounting unit integrates quite nicely. The photographs will tell all.<p><TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>pattyweb</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Did you mount your antennas on the outside? I finally mounted my system (my Volneer HU-880PRS) a few weeks ago and so far so good, everything still working. I mounted my xm antenna on the rear inside ontop of the liner just beneath the forward part of that plastic roof piece and its working great from there. What did you do for an FM antenna? I've run a coax cable to the back but haven't attached anything to it yet. </TD></TR></TABLE><br>Navigation and XM antennas were mounted on the outside in the rear of the roof (just in front of the plastic trim panel at the extreme rear of the roof. The antennas need a steel base for both the magnetic mount and apparently an assist to the signal reception.<p><TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>pattyweb</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Where did you put your ipod? Are you just putting it in the center console? My ipod adapter cable doesn't separate from the control box and it would have required a big hole plus I didn't want it getting all scratched up so for now it's under the passenger seat in a velcro'd little plastic bin next to the velcro'd XMDirect tuner box (that I can switch over to the other car for long trips).<br></TD></TR></TABLE><br>iPod is in the glovebox along with the Aux-In and supplemental Video-In. Just plug the iPod into the interface cable and everything happens from the IVA-W200 head unit. And, the iPod is charged while connected to the head unit.<p><TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>pattyweb</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">The two amps I was able to mount on either side of the battery. The remote sub volume is also just sitting under the passenger seat. Don't know if I really want to drill a hole in the transmission shifter trim piece for that remote volume control.</TD></TR></TABLE><br>The installer looked at the space next to the battery mounting, but for the amps that I am using and the mounting requirements for the Navigation system control unit (pretty much horizontal mounting), the space under the seats was better. Plus, there is the output from the ventilation system that is located under the front seats to cool the amps....)<p><TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>pattyweb</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">How do you like the touch screen ipod interface and access speed? I've read 50/50 split reviews that touchscreens are just not the optimal interface for music. They require too much touching over and over again. At iLounge, they reviewed the Pioneer Z-1 where they actually returned the Z-1 ipod integration box in favor of going with just an aux-in and mouting the ipod on the dash. I can turn my right knob to scroll through lists and it's pretty fast but there can be a 1-2 second delay sometimes before it redraws.</TD></TR></TABLE><br>Speed of response is critical to the enjoyment experience. The IVA-W200 has native support for the iPod. Earlier versions (IVA-D310 for example) used a converter box that was slow like you mentioned for the Pioneer. An additional objection that I had to the Pioneer implementation was that the iPod was not recognized as an addressable device (no display of artist/title info). The IVA-W200 has immediate response: touch the iPod "button" on the touch screen and you are presented with a display of the Volumes (artists) on the iPod. Touch a Volume and you are presented with the Recordings (CDs) for the artist. Also, you can speed scroll (to get to the end of the list) by pressing and dragging (like you would with a mouse on a computer). The response is instantaneous - no waiting, just press and drag. The same speed scroll ability applies to the XM tuner: if you want to go to channel 150 from channel 1, you press and drag. It really is everything that Volvo SHOULD have provided with the factory system. Shame on Volvo!<p><TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>pattyweb</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">The new system really does make a huge difference though. I actually look forward to riding in the XC90 now. Especially now that I have access to so much more music and higher quality too. It's just awesome being able to play the music louder (and I don't mean absurdly loud either) and not having to listen to those front speakers kill themselves to reproduce the bass.</TD></TR></TABLE><br>Amen to that. I had purchased a Pioneer XM2Go box to tide me over until the Alpine IVA-W200 arrived, and it was pure torture - besides the problematic FM transmission interference, there was the problems with interference with the XM signal, and, and, and. Now, I prefer the XC90 to the S60R. In fact, the S60R may up for sale....
 

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Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (avolvofan)

Hey, if you're up for it, we'd love to publish an FAQ of what you did. Obviously, we know the installer did much of it, but part numbers, a plug for the installer, any photos of the process that you have, etc. As a fellow XC90 owner with limited audio options, I'd love to run it on the site.
 

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Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (avolvofan)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>avolvofan</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I am game for a FAQ. What do you need me to do? Do you want to IM me? Or, do I e-mail you at [email protected]? Or?</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Let's start with the pictures you promised first! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (AccuView)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>AccuView</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Let's start with the pictures you promised first! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> </TD></TR></TABLE><br>Well, if swedespeed.com is going to host them (in the FAQ that George is proposing), I don't need to put them on a third party hosting environment.
 

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Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (avolvofan)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>avolvofan</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Well, if swedespeed.com is going to host them (in the FAQ that George is proposing), I don't need to put them on a third party hosting environment.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Oh come on...stop teasing us! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/smile.gif" BORDER="0"> We all know it's going to take a few days for the FAQ to be ready. The writeup can wait till the FAQ but a few pictures of the final product now would be nice. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (AccuView)

<IMG SRC="http://www.smiliegenerator.de/s30/smilies-17852.png" BORDER="0"><p> <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>Tim <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/embeer.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (t6tim)

Well, here is a test:<p><A HREF="http://www.flickr.com/photos/acarfan/171622756" TARGET="_blank">http://www.flickr.com/photos/acarfan/171622756</A><p>If this is successful, then I will start uploading other photos. Well, this was marginally successful. If you click on the URL, you can see the photo. If anyone knows how to have the photo display in the the message body (instead of in a separate window), I would appreciate the feedback. I tried using the
 

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Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (avolvofan)

How about this?<p><IMG SRC="http://static.flickr.com/61/171622756_6d7b438078.jpg?v=0" BORDER="0"><p>The URL was obtained by right-clicking on the picture and selecting "view image". The URL is then shown right on the browser. This works with Mozilla. Don't know anything about IE (I don't use it).<p>HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (ig_mb)

Well, examining your reply (through the quote facility) shows the URL inserted between
switches (as in <IMG SRC="http://www.flickr.com/photos/acarfan/171622756" BORDER="0">). However, when I attempted that in my first post of the pic, the image was represented by a red x, which usually means that the link to the image was broken. This post has the same results (red x - broken link).<p>I think I will wait for the FAQ and let swedespeed.com sort out the image hosting issues.
 

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Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (avolvofan)

Instead of:<br>[ i m g ] h t t p://www.flickr.com/photos/acarfan/171622756 [ / i m g ]<p>Try:<p>[ i m g ] h t t p://static.flickr.com/61/171622756_6d7b438078.jpg?v=0 [ / i m g ]<p>(spaces added to prevent interpretation of the keywords and URL)<p>Basically, I used the URL to the jpeg file instead of the URL to the flickr webpage containing the jpeg file <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/smile.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (ig_mb)

ig_mb, you might be onto something there (with the jpg's properties). I think I will try one more test photo. Lets see if this one displays:<p><IMG SRC="http://static.flickr.com/77/171762408_dbc9efa65e.jpg?v=0" BORDER="0"><p>Fingers crossed, I am about to click the Submit Post button below and to the left....
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (avolvofan)

Well, we may have reached critical mass (with figuring out how to link digital pictures directly to posts). A big THANK YOU to ig_mb! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>Stay tuned for more photos. The first one (of the left rear wiring area) illustrates the initial attempt to determine whether there were any integration points to connect the Alpine units to the factory system.<p>The second photo is the work in progress for mounting the park assist speaker for the rear park assist. The benefit of putting a dedicated (as opposed to a shared) park assist speaker in the right rear quarter panel area is that you get the perception of the rear parking assist really being at the rear of the car (as opposed to the second row door). The park assist speaker was mounted on an anchor point (no drilling was done) and the trim piece was returned to its original mounting with no evidence that anything was done (except when the rear park assist kicks in).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (avolvofan)

One more photo:<p><IMG SRC="http://static.flickr.com/68/171777143_f4d9a9489b.jpg?v=0" BORDER="0"><p>This one is of the mounting location for the Navigation System control unit. It certainly looks like the location was custom-tailored for the control unit... probably because it was designed for the Volvo OEM Navigation System control unit.... <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>
 

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Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (avolvofan)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>avolvofan</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I am game for a FAQ. What do you need me to do? Do you want to IM me? Or, do I e-mail you at [email protected]? Or?</TD></TR></TABLE><p>IM sent. Let me know if you have any further questions/commments on doing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Re: Cure for Volvo's pitiful iPod capability (avolvofan)

Some more pics:<p>The first one in this series is the display screen of the head unit about to be wrapped in foam and zip-tied out of the way. Guess where? <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> (Definitely someplace where the sun doesn't shine.... <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> ) Also, the keypads can be disconnected from the head unit display and everything will still work. (Volvo, you missed an opportunity to make things maddeningly proprietary... tsk, tsk, tsk....)<p><IMG SRC="http://static.flickr.com/46/174078189_5c525d7aaa.jpg?v=0" BORDER="0"><p>The amplifier in the front part of the picture is the one that came courtesy of Volvo. Right now, all it does is drive the two auxilliary speakers that are supporting the park assist (front & rear) functions.<p>This is the finished shot of the IVA-W200 installed in the console. There is a slight difference in the color of the IVA-W200 mounting console and the color of the climate control console, but it is negligible. For those who are obsessed with perfect matching of color, there is always the option of paint to match.<p><IMG SRC="http://static.flickr.com/71/174078191_4494be0a9c.jpg?v=0" BORDER="0"><p>Next set of photos I will post will show some of the IVA-W200 control features. The more I drive the XC90, the more I enjoy the stereo system. I now refer to life B.A. (Before Alpine) and A.A. (After Alpine). Just my opinion, but it really is the state-of-the art right now.
 
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