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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently picked up a low mileage 2012 GTI to use as a fun commuter so as to keep mileage off of my two other cars.

My commute is about 60 miles each way, with my commute to work having a bit of traffic towards the end, so a bit of time is spent in this car daily.

I like to listen to alternative/rock (Taking Back Sunday, Greta Van Fleet, Incubus, etc) and some hip hop (Nas, Mobb Deep, etc.)

Right away I felt like I needed to upgrade the stock stereo system, it sounded like I was in a 25 year old car.

One of my other vehicles is a 2016 F150 XLT with the base audio system which I ‘upgraded’ by adding the Kicker VSS plug-n-play system that is specific to my truck. It utilizes an 8” sub and an additional amp that adds oomph to the stock speakers. This system has sounded great to me and is exactly what I’m looking for in this new commuter.

My GTI has the RCD510 head unit which I’ve been told can be very underpowered for the stock speakers.

Seeing some deals, I picked up a Kicker Key 200.4 mini-amp and (4) Kicker KS 6.5” speakers. After install I have NOT been impressed, the bass is ok’ish and they sound very bright and turning the volume up is ear scorching, NOT in a good way.

Utilizing the Kicker Key 200.4 mic really did not help at all and the stock head-unit EQ has me adjusting all over the place, I can NOT get it to sound right.

Now I’m not sure what to do…
Add a powered sub to the current set-up?
Leave the Key 200.4 installed and swap the stock speakers back in?
Add a powered sub to the stock speakers?

I did a full system years ago on a Grand Cherokee that I had and felt like it was a big waste of money, it never impressed me and I’d rather not go down another rabbit hole like that.

I do not want to spend a ton on this car as it is my beater commuter. But, I DO love the Kicker VSS plug-n-play system in my F-150.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You need to get your hands on a Vagcom tool and recode the OEM head unit. The OEM head unit has some processing going on that you'll want to turn off, and you'll need the scan tool to do that.

Are the new Kicker speakers coax or component? If coax, are you still running the OEM tweeters?

Describe the issues that you're having in the best detail you can. Even if the new amp and speakers are working well, you won't get nearly enough bass to be satisfied unless you add a sub, especially since the OEM head unit is filtering out some bass to protect the OEM speakers.

Also, if you haven't already, make sure you check to see if the car has the updated timing chain tensioner. If you have the old tensioner the engine will fail, you need it updated yesterday.
Thanks for all of the pointers

I do not have VAGCOM, but I do have OBDeleven Pro, can I ‘fix’ the head unit signal with this?

The Kicker KS’s are coaxial, stock tweeters are disconnected

I have 63k miles and do NOT have the updated tensioner, I was planning on doing that in the spring

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all of the info, some of which may be further than I’d like to delve in to with this car.

Looking at the Eonon GA9453B and it seems VERY promising.

I wanted to stick to the stock RCD510 head-unit for aesthetics (even though it looks very dated) and it’s smooth functioning, but this Eonon unit could look ‘updated stock’ in the car.

My thought is picking up the Eonon GA9453B
and running these Kicker KS 6.5’s off of that, returning the Kicker Key200.4 and possibly adding a powered sub.

What are everyone’s thoughts on the Eonon GA9453B?
Is it glitchy at all?
Will all of my steering wheel controls still function as normal?
Should I add the powered sub under the passenger seat, spare tire area or side of the rear hitch area tucked away?
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