Product Review|November 7, 2011 6:00 pm

OEM replacement with Double Din – (How to lose business!)

How to lose business?

PIONEER DOUBLE DIN HEAD UNIT

Hi chaps, maybe my comments won’t be relevant to most of you who are mostly into fast-earning profitable phone and reversing kit installs? Although I have done the odd install (14.5kW – 24 subs) I see things mostly as a punter, and if I had a head unit fitted with a sh*tty bit of plastic trim around the outside, I would be a little p*ssed-off…

The question is, do installers lose business due to the bit of plastic that fits between an aftermarket head unit and the fascia plate? I dropped a Sony double-dinner into my car and the finishing touch was the bit of trim mentioned.

For some strange reason Sony supply a trim in the box with the head unit which doesn’t fit the frikkin’ head unit! The gap between the front edge of the unit and the trim is so big that I could actually see the mounting sleeve. If I was a punter, it would make me think twice about having a head unit fitted ever again!

I bought an off-the-shelf piece of thin black plastic trim which didn’t match either the finish of the head unit or the fascia and it was so thin that it was also naturally wavy and so looked sh*t! Again, if this was fitted, would a customer ever come back again???

My next move was to think about using some 6mm Corian plastic (used for working surfaces). The smallest sheet however, was about £200 so this idea was abandoned.

I then remembered a guy, Paul Godden who used to do a natty line of MDF replica parcel shelves who also used to laser-cut plastic using a highly accurate CNC machine. He offers a variety of thicknesses – I went for 5mm piano black which also had a carbon fibre finish on the reverse side and, after emailing the exact dimensions down to half a millimeter, the trim arrived a couple of days later.

There is a curve on the top of the aperture which would be difficult to measure properly but the difference between the max height and the corners is only about a millimetre so it was easy to lightly file the edges to achieve a perfect fit. In the picture, the trim is concave on the verticals because it was too tight and still needed some filing. It might also need a small filler behind the centre of the vertical section to get a slight outward curve, but the bottom line is a trim which looks better than any commercial items normally available.

I would be interested to hear from any installers who believe I am wrong in thinking that most items available on the market are aesthetically so-so and might discourage punters to come back for more. I am ready to publish your comments!

In the meantime, Paul can be contacted on 01403 823628 or by email to sales@cnc-it.co.uk if you are interested in his service.

Article by Martyn Williams of Mobile Electronics News.

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