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Old 05-02-2011, 09:38 AM   #1
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Pioneer Avic-Z130BT Review

I installed a new Avic-Z130BT over the weekend and here's my review after a few days of use...these are just my opinions...

I did extensive research into a double din system. I had the factory Becker220 (with the useless cupholders above). I was looking for a touchscreen at least 6", bluetooth, navi, hd radio, xm (sirius) and one that would work well with my iphone 4. I finally settled on the z130bt as it had all the options (except xm) built in.

I bought the z130bt and iphone cable from Amazon (make sure its the pioneer 51V), and the double din install kit from Euro Motorspeed. I also wanted to upgrade to rear speakers, and ordered the rear speaker upgrade kit from Harvey on eBay. I also ordered cuphoders from Ultimate Cupholders as I was going to remove the factory cupholders (if that's what you want to call them).

Finally, I had everything installed at a local installer. They've been in business for more than 20 years, and had worked on Boxsters.

It took them about 4 hours to install everything. The Euro Motorspeed double din bezel makes it look almost factory! The match is amazing. I had them install the BT mic on the a pillar, and the GPS antenna is mounted under the dash, right behind the alarm sensor. They said the rear speaker kit from Harvey was perfect to install, and the instructions were clear (they followed them exactly). Everything is run through the factory amp. I also had them run the iphone cable to the middle arm rest console. MAKE SURE they run the cable that came with the radio all the way to the console so you can plug other USB devices in! Needless to say, you don't see one wire, cable, or anything that would make you think this wasn't a factory install.

Sound Quality:

A 1000% improvement. The sound is crisp and clear, and the back speakers make a HUGE difference. Not disappointed at all. I've heard complaints that the BT quality is horrible, but I've had no problems. Everyone says they can hear me clearly (I'll try it with the top down if it ever stops raining here in Cleveland). Completely different driving experience. 9 out of 10.

Interface:

The z130bt is simple to use. The audio interface to the ipod is by far the best I've ever owned (I have a BMW, and a new Ford Touch as well). It's what I think an ipod interface should be...easy to search, find songs, artist, etc. The Pandora interface is top notch, and I found that I'm using it quite a bit. The input to the navigation is easy (as it can be) and has had no problem finding addresses and POI. The maps seem to be clear and correct. The phone interface is also incredibly easy. The VR isn't a problem, and it has understood every command I've given it (it does take a while to load the VR the first time). HERE IS THE GIGANTIC DRAWBACK...The radio presets can ONLY be saved as Preset 1, 2, 3, etc. It doesn't rename the preset! This makes the HD radio VERY HARD to use (unless you remember the presets). It's so bad, I'm knocking the total interface score down a few pegs! Also, if you don't do the bypass (which I will this weekend), you can't input a new destination while driving, which is CRAZY! I understand the no video while driving, but you can surf the ipod, pandora, aha, etc...you have to stop and put the parking brake on to switch destinations!! 7 out of 10. (If they fix the 2 complaints, I'd give it a 9 out of 10)

Overall

Overall, I'm extremely happy with the unit. As I said, the sound is a HUGE improvement, and outside of the 2 huge cons I have listed, the user experience is good (great if they'd update the preset snafu). I'd recommend the z130bt to anyone looking to upgrade their system. Overall score 8 out of 10.
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:59 AM   #2
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Great review!

Just a couple of questions:

I am surprised you can't alter destinations while moving that is crazy! What is the bypass fix you speak of?

Is sirrus built in....if not how can one incorporate it?

Can you choose control lighting? Is there red to match the rest of the car?

What is the nature of the harvey kit; did you have existing stock rear speakers?
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:29 AM   #3
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Check out Avic411.com. There, you can find answers to all your Avic questions and hack/mods to allow for video in motion, etc. My Avic F90BT is modded out the wazoo.
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:50 AM   #4
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JayKay,

I agree. Avic411.com has all the answers and was an incredible resource for me, but to answer your questions specifically...

Yes, it's INSANE that you can't input addresses or destinations while moving (or even edit it - all you can do is cancel the navigation - a clear oversight on their part). The bypass is a parking brake bypass (basically grounding the PB, and a few other wires). You can find it everywhere by just searching for "z130bt bypass" (there a several videos)...

Sirius is NOT build in. They sell a separate module for that.

Yes. You can customize it in any color and customized splash screen (the splash screen on mine I got from avic411).

The kit from Harvey came COMPLETE. Search "Boxster rear speaker upgrade" on ebay. I didn't have any rear speakers, BUT I had the storage bin (which you need).

Rick
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Old 05-02-2011, 12:07 PM   #5
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Also, I forgot to mention. I opted NOT to get sirius/xm. With my iphone (ipod), and the pandora app, which is absolutely fantastic (you can set stations by genre (classic rock, rap, etc.) - I really don't see the need for satellite (unless you're a howard stern fan, which I am).

Yes - the Pandora app is THAT good...

Rick
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Old 05-02-2011, 12:28 PM   #6
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Thanks I will have a look.....so I assume that you checked out kenwoods dnx 7160 and found the avic to be better???
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:04 PM   #7
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Jay,

Yes, I looked at the Kenwood (I think it's a 7180 now) and I just liked the way the z130bt interfaced with my iPhone better, but the Kenwood is a good unit. Just a personal preference since I'm an iPhone addict.

Also, I believe the Kenwood requires a separate module for HD radio...

Rick
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:02 PM   #8
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thanks. awesome. i want one too. how much was installation?
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rfromet
JayKay,

The kit from Harvey came COMPLETE. Search "Boxster rear speaker upgrade" on ebay. I didn't have any rear speakers, BUT I had the storage bin (which you need).

Rick
did a search but didn't see anything on this.. have a specific link you could share?
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rfromet
Jay,

Yes, I looked at the Kenwood (I think it's a 7180 now) and I just liked the way the z130bt interfaced with my iPhone better, but the Kenwood is a good unit. Just a personal preference since I'm an iPhone addict.

Also, I believe the Kenwood requires a separate module for HD radio...

Rick
I see I hope that these modules are mounted internally....yes I am on an ip4 now! I will have to get a demo on both
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:58 AM   #11
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Oh and I guess hd has superceded sat
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:09 AM   #12
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SoK,

[url]http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Porsche-Boxster-Rear-Speaker-Kit-1997-2009-Upgrade-/320685583391#ht_3197wt_1167[url]

Tuan,

Installation was $400.00 total...

Rick
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:43 AM   #13
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Rick, as another iPhone heavy user here, how is the unit interaction with it? I ask you because on my other car, a Pioneer 710BT came as a factory installed option (I even called the manufacturer to confirm and they indeed OEM the unit from Pioneer) and compared to the unit my wife has (another factory option) on her Jeep and the little Parrot thing I use on the Boxster for now, the Pioneer comes short BIG time. Indeed my unit is an older model so I am wondering how the new ones compare.
My main griefs with the Pioneer (and probably if the new ones suffer from the same, this will be a show stopper for me):
- When I am on the phone using the Pioneer bluetooth integration, if I turn off the car, the call drops, it does NOT 'transfer' the call back to the iPhone automatically.
- When transferring contacts from the iPhone it is an ALL or NOTHING deal. I cannot select which contacts I want on the Pioneer unit. For someone with thousands of contacts this is a major issue. Plus the Pioneer receives then as LASTNAME FIRSTNAME and I cannot change that. Plus if I then want to call you I need to say 'Call Fromet Rick' what is stupid IMHO.
- When I receive a call the stupid Pioneer unit does NOT pause the song playing. It mutes the music of course but once the call is done, you are probably several songs down on your list.
- Voice control: a major PITA. On the Parrot when I press the button to make a call it fires up the iPhone Voice control that works extremely well and at that stage I can obviously say 'Call Rick Fromet' and it works flawlessly. The current Pioneer unit does NOT allow me to fire up the Voice Control on the iPhone itself for calls. It fires up its own thing and then I have the issue above (the LASTNAME FIRSTNAME thing).

Does the new units suffer from the same flaws as the old ones?
I do not care which unit I get at the end and the pricepoint but iPhone integration, especially the phone part of it, must be flawless.
Also do the new units support A2DP (so I can send the music on the iPhone directly to the unit over bluetooth, eliminating the need for cables)?

Cheers!

CR
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:36 AM   #14
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Crod,

- When I am on the phone using the Pioneer bluetooth integration, if I turn off the car, the call drops, it does NOT 'transfer' the call back to the iPhone automatically.

Still does this, BUT that's a function of the phone, not the Avic. When you turn your car off, if the radio goes off, the phone thinks the call has ended. You can wire the unit so it stays on when the car is off (wire the power to the same fuse as the lighter). I believe there is a jailbreak for the iphone to correct this via cydia.

- When transferring contacts from the iPhone it is an ALL or NOTHING deal. I cannot select which contacts I want on the Pioneer unit. For someone with thousands of contacts this is a major issue. Plus the Pioneer receives then as LASTNAME FIRSTNAME and I cannot change that. Plus if I then want to call you I need to say 'Call Fromet Rick' what is stupid IMHO.

It still transfers all contacts, but you have the option of FIRSTNAME LASTNAME, OR LASTNAME FIRSTNAME. (I too have 1000 contacts, but it transfers them REALLY quickly).

- When I receive a call the stupid Pioneer unit does NOT pause the song playing. It mutes the music of course but once the call is done, you are probably several songs down on your list.

I'm not sure - I have to test this. I THINK it pauses the song because I haven't noticed this. I know that when you disconnect your iphone, and reconnect it, it starts up where you left off...

- Voice control: a major PITA. On the Parrot when I press the button to make a call it fires up the iPhone Voice control that works extremely well and at that stage I can obviously say 'Call Rick Fromet' and it works flawlessly. The current Pioneer unit does NOT allow me to fire up the Voice Control on the iPhone itself for calls. It fires up its own thing and then I have the issue above (the LASTNAME FIRSTNAME thing).

It uses its own thing, BUT it's WAY WAY WAY better recognition. I've had no problem at all just speaking normally (ie. "call Rick Fromet mobile").

The integration with the ipod side on this unit is AMAZING. It's how it should be on all devices...

Hope this helps!

Forgot to mention, the unit is A2DP, but ONLY with an iphone4, but you lose most of the search functionality. Basically, you control everything from your iphone in bluetooth audio mode (again, that's a function of the phone).

Rick
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Last edited by Rfromet; 05-04-2011 at 05:38 AM.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:32 AM   #15
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Oh I see. On the first issue, here is the deal. If I go to the iPhone and then select the audio source for the call to be the iPhone so the call is now on the phone and I then turn off the car, the Pioneer still drops the call, even though the call WAS transferred to the phone. The thing is my other car and the Parrot unit do NOT do that at all. This is for me a major PITA and honestly a bug on the Pioneer unit. If the call is already on the phone why the hell does it have to drop it once I turn the car off???

For the contacts, well if they did not fix that, another show stopper. I cannot simply have all the contacts on the car, period. I definitely want to be able to transfer the ones I want and not the whole list. I know someone came up with an utility to do that. From what I know the unit I have runs Windows CE so you can boot it off the SD card and then copy the contacts database to the card and edit it on your PC. I can live with that. But the issue with the call, I do not know if I can bear it. It has been like that for the past two years and I honestly started to hate the unit.

Thanks for the feedback Rick, appreciated.

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