Cheap 4200 CD Changer replacement - the Yatour YT-MT 06 - My experience

Corranga

Member
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882
The Yatour YT-MT 06 is a device that replaces a CD changer. Basically, it plugs into the stereo / head unit in exactly the same way, and 'pretends' to be a CD changer, so the head unit functions as normal, except instead of spinning disks, it plays from an SD card / USB stick / aux port.
I bought one of these for my Panda 100HP about 18 months ago, and briefly tried it in the Maserati before fitting the wires down the back of the dash in the Panda and it worked. 17 months later, I got around to ordering one for the Maserati, and it's now seen some use on my recent NC500 trip, so I thought I'd post my experiences.

Buying:
It's cheap, and Chinese, so many will just ignore it. They cost somewhere around 50 or 60 quid from eBay / AliExpress. You get a few different versions. There is an iPod version, usually cheaper, but it only works with an old iPod / iPhone wide connector. There are then versions for different cars (same unit, with different connectors). The one that works with the 4200 Maserati is the FA one - Fiat Alfa.

What do you get:
It's a small metal cased box, slightly smaller than a box of cigarettes (I think, I've never smoked, but you get the idea!)
The cable feels decent quality, and screws into the back like a VGA monitor cable. The other end of the loom is the Blaupunkt adapter.
You also get a cardboard box, and a user manual with some Chinglish in there to recycle.
There is an optional bluetooth module for another 50 or 60 quid, but I've no interest, so no idea how it works. Being installed in the boot might be problematic for this though. Not even sure if it does calls, or just playing music tbh.

Fitting:
I'm fitting to a 2004 4200 with the blaupunkt disk changer factory fitted in the boot on the left.
This is easy. Remove the CD changer, unplug it, plug in the Yatour. Done.
I also had to plug the 2 earthing wires on the Yatour loom together as the CD changer multi-plug supplies earth, though I believe other cars might not.

Music / Storage Set up:
This is where is gets a bit trickier, and needs a bit of time spent with a PC.
Music files must be in folders named CD01, CD02, CD03 etc.
The advice seemed to be to put no more than 99 songs in each folder, so I stuck to that, and had no issues, though some people online suggested more may work.
The device plays the music files in chronological order, which is really stupid but you can get around that using the mp3DirSorter app from here:
http://www.ycarlink.com/pd_13014_How-to-play-songs-in-alphabetical-order-on-Yatour-YT-M06-.htm
Basically, stick the files on the SD card, then drag and drop the folders onto that app and it changes the create times to be 1 minute apart, ordering alphabetically.
For this, I renamed the files in the order I wanted, 01 through 99, or by putting an album number in front of the track number, e.g. 0101 is album 1 track 1, 0102 album 1 track 2..... 0611 is album 6 track 11, then they all go into CD01 up to 99 songs, then you start a CD02 etc...

Using:
Also easy. If you can use the CD changer, you can use this, it's exactly the same. The up and down arrow buttons change disc, the left and right buttons change tracks.
The audio off button pauses, and the pause/play button starts the disc again.
Since you basically now have many albums on 1 'disc' you might need to use the skip button to get to another album, so arrange them sensibly. I tend to group similar artists, or many albums from 1 artist together.

Support:
It'll play MP3 files, but not Apple M4A files. It doesn't seem to like VBR MP3. The albums I put on mine are a mixture of what I had laying around (so stuff downloaded from Amazon music, iTunes (as mp3) and some new CDs I sampled in iTunes with 320kbps MP3 no variable bitrate options.
I have half of the Genesis back catalogue in mine too, and it seems happy with the 23 minutes that is Supper's Ready.
I'm using an 8Gb Micro SD card in a full size SD card adapter, and it works fine. The manual states 8gb is the maximum size. I use 2GB in the Fiat, never tried any more.
As mentioned above, folders CD01, CD02 etc... I have a CD07 on my SD and the head unit will happily play it despite the original CDC only having 6 (or 5?) slots.

I haven't used a USB stick as I prefer the flush fit of the SD card. The manual says SD card is preferred.
I also haven't used the Aux input in the Maserati since the unit is in the boot. It works in the Fiat, but you need to pop the SD card out first.

Reliability:
Well.. I'll give it 6 or 7/10 here.
My CDC would maybe get 0.25/10 though! My CDC sometimes played, sometimes didn't. It had a full set of CDs in, including 1 that was brand new, put straight into the CDC. It often needed discs ejected or the whole unit unplugged to operate - basically, it was broken!
My experience of using the Yatour in both the Fiat for 18 months and the Maserati is that it works 98% of the time, though sometimes doesn't quite do what you want.

As the 4200 always did, it starts the song over rather than continuing from half way through.
There is a bit of a delay in playing anything after you start the car - sometimes 15 seconds, sometimes longer. I'm not sure if it had failed, or if I was too hasty in pressing the play button, but sometimes I ended up back at track one on the disc. Other times, it happily started playing from track 64 again.
I also had it randomly play a song out of order when I started the car, but it then went back to the correct song.
In the Fiat, it cuts the first second of some songs off, but the Maserati doesn't seem to do this. I guess you can specify a 1 second delay on the mp3 file with a PC to resolve, I've never bothered.
I've also had it fail completely in the Fiat a few times, with the head unit saying 'CD Changer Error' or similar, but it's always worked again after restarting the car - and remember this is in a daily commute car used every day.

In Summary:
I like it. It's cheap and cheerful, and better than a broken CD changer, or even a functioning one.
You can easily much, much more music on there and it'll never skip.
It's smaller, and feels quite nicely built.
You don't have to fit anything ugly to your car, or drill holes, in fact you can even Velcro it to the top of the (unplugged) CDC in the boot and the car would look 100% factory.
There is no messing around connecting phones, or selecting what music to play on an other device.
The delay / random song choice bug doesn't really bother me, it's still playing music I like.

I'd recommend it, providing you're happy with the above compromises.

Chris
 

Corranga

Member
Messages
882
I also meant to post the generic photo, and say, I have no connections to Yatour, I don't sell them etc.
Oh and finally, if you buy direct from China (I bought my 2nd from AliExpress) there is obviously a customs fee risk. Mine came with a £15 ticket from Royal Mail, but was only £42.51 in the first place.

s-l1600.jpg
 

Gooner

Centenary Club
Messages
89
I’ve just installed the latest version of this in my Spyder. My one is the Yatour YT-BTA (the Fiat/Alfa version) which has Bluetooth and an extension microphone for hands free calling once your phone has connected via Bluetooth. I wanted Bluetooth as all my music is Spotify or digital streaming radio, so SD cards etc. are not any use to me. Quite a bit included for £80 all in. I bought on Amazon but eBay is a bit cheaper.

Installation was incredibly easy. I followed the instructions on this thread to remove the armrest tray and lid (all you need to do).

The blue CD plug isn’t easy to see but I used my phone camera to get a better view. Remember you have to press in the little catch on the side of the plug, then it comes out very easily. The new one took a bit of locating but then slotted in easily with a firm push at the end so it latched.

It all worked first time. I had to connect one of the little black leads coming out of the blue plug to the CD player casing as an earth, as I’d had an odd clicking every second at first, which went away once the unit was earthed.

I mounted the unit with some double sides tape like this.


The two cables run between the tray and the lid without too much trouble. The unit has a USB phone charging socket and an aux input, so worth doing I think rather than hiding it away. I have a powered phone mount on my dash but a passenger could charge their phone in the armrest this way. Might have to get a cover for it though :).

The mic lead is about 2m long so would easily run to the dash. I wanted my mic mounted on the door pillar as near to my head as possible. I bought a female-male 3.5mm extension lead and ran the mic from the door pillar, hidden under the rubber trim which lifts very easily. I ran it along the door sill and then behind the driver’s seat - it tucks under the bulkhead trim panel very easily. I then poked it up under the base of the armrest unit. There is a bit of flex in the carpet so it was easy enough. Then up an over the armrest hinge as you can see above. It is now completely hidden.

The mic looks OK to me, it’s much smaller than it looks in the picture. Calling works pretty well, not the most sensitive mic but plenty good enough.



The music quality I think is great, way ahead of the FM transmitter I was using before. Coupled with the recently upgraded Focal front speakers it’s all sounding good. I can skip tracks, pause etc. using the dashboard CD controls, and the music mutes automatically if a call comes in or you make one.

I expect Loudlink owners probably are used to having all this, but this unit seemed a bit simpler to me and also a lot cheaper. I’m glad I gave it a go after four years of ownership.

I just need to swap out the rear speakers for Focals as well and I think I’ll be done. It sounds good enough that I doubt I’ll bother with an active sub-woofer.
 

doodlebug

Member
Messages
283
Thanks for the write up chaps.
I've got the Loudlink version with Bluetooth. Maybe it is the way I format the tracks on the SD card, but I struggle to get the SD card to work.. The Bluetooth works well and I generally now only listen to Spotify or internet radio so not a big problem. The Yatour seems quite a bit cheaper than the Loudlink and has a lot of the same limitations, so I think it is worth a punt for those without a functioning CD changer.
 

Gooner

Centenary Club
Messages
89
To be honest, if you only use streaming like I do, I can’t see many limitations. It’s years since I ever played a CD on anything. I only ever use a computer at work so making SD cards wouldn’t be convenient either (and couldn’t be played on my particular Yatour anyway).

I guess it would be nice if the dash screen showed something more than a time counter, but the iPhone on my dash has the track name, artist and a picture of the album cover and I’m supposed to be looking at the road anyway :).
 

TimR

Member
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1,064
To be honest, if you only use streaming like I do, I can’t see many limitations. It’s years since I ever played a CD on anything.
Have I understood then; this allows streaming from a smartphone via Bluetooth pairing to the Yatour....?
 

Gooner

Centenary Club
Messages
89
Have I understood then; this allows streaming from a smartphone via Bluetooth pairing to the Yatour....?
Absolutely. It works seamlessly, even to the extent that next time you get in the car, it will start playing where it left off when you turned the ignition off. Incoming calls will pause the stream then start it automatically when the call finishes.

It is one of those rare gadgets that actually seems to do exactly what I hoped it would.
 

Gooner

Centenary Club
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89
Would it work with the Becker in a 3200?

Dave
Do you know what kind of CD connector it has? That seems to be the main factor. They make a fair range for different manufacturers but I think only the plugs vary.


Edit: It seems to work with the Becker in an Alfa 166 so I’d be hopeful, but worth checking all the details of the pins and plugs etc.

Maserati isn’t listed so I spent ages comparing the Alfa/Fiat blue plugs with the 4200 one.
 
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TimR

Member
Messages
1,064
Absolutely. It works seamlessly, even to the extent that next time you get in the car, it will start playing where it left off when you turned the ignition off. Incoming calls will pause the stream then start it automatically when the call finishes.

It is one of those rare gadgets that actually seems to do exactly what I hoped it would.
Not sure how it can if you're streaming with an app..Id hope the data stream is controlled at the app...
Im going to find out anyway, as I ve bought one !
 

FIFTY

Member
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1,716
Not sure how it can if you're streaming with an app..Id hope the data stream is controlled at the app...
Im going to find out anyway, as I ve bought one !
If it is the same as the loudlink you can skip tracks and pause by using the buttons on the NIT for the music app on your phone or spotify/etc. When the car is off and loudlink disconnects and the app i.e. spotify pauses the music on your phone. Car back on and loudlink connects to the phone the music will resume... limitations? If you close spotify app on your phone it might not resume until you open it again

Probably the main difference between this and the loudlink is reliability as it works nearly 100% and maybe support(?) as they are regularly releasing firmware updates on their website which irons out bugs and enables new features such as paring two phones at once
 

Gooner

Centenary Club
Messages
89
@FIFTY yes, that’s pretty much it. Just the same as a headset or some bluetooth speakers.

I don’t want to oversell the Yatour, just pleasantly surprised how good it is. I suppose time will tell how reliable they are.
 

gillis

Junior Member
Messages
52
What if you have no cd changer in the trunk?
As far as I know I only have something underneath the arm rest.
 

Gooner

Centenary Club
Messages
89
What if you have no cd changer in the trunk?
As far as I know I only have something underneath the arm rest.
The NIT in the arm rest will have the same blue CD connector socket even if there isn’t a cable from a CD changer plugged into it I think.
 

gillis

Junior Member
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52

doodlebug

Member
Messages
283
The NIT in the arm rest will have the same blue CD connector socket even if there isn’t a cable from a CD changer plugged into it I think.
From memory, I think you may have to have the CD changer enabled in the NIT for it to be recognised if there isn't already one fitted. This requires access to the NIT software which you may be able to find on-line or someone here may be able to help.
 

TimR

Member
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1,064
From memory, I think you may have to have the CD changer enabled in the NIT for it to be recognised if there isn't already one fitted. This requires access to the NIT software which you may be able to find on-line or someone here may be able to help.
Thats boring- I changed my NIT cos it was faulty. Typical...:(
 

TimR

Member
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1,064
Not wishing to shoot the messenger here, in my brief exposure to Maserati, Id be very surprised if it was that easy.
Something for nothing and all that .....;)

edit ; officially more than conjecture and despondency. It doesnt work to enable the CD changer....!:(
 
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