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UM's K03 vs GIAC's Stage 2 -- Which one to choose?

Sarudo

Ready to race!
Hello. I'm looking into tuning my Mk6 GTI and am stuck between United Motorsport and GIAC. I'd include APR, but the highest they now offer for the stock IHI/K03 turbo is a Stage 1+ tune. I've already got a full turboback exhaust so I'm not inclined to source an APR downpipe just to go Stage 2 with them. UM has a K03 ECU/TCU combo for $900, while GIAC's Stage 2 is $1100 (I intend to go to a shop that offers all three of these tuners). I've heard of UM's success in making one of the more powerful tunes for the Mk6 R's and one user (a GTI I believe) claiming that they beat all other Stage 2 tunes they've come up against via UM's K03 tune, and I also know of GIAC's 1/4 mile times posted here on this thread as well as their "Clutchbuster" tune, but that $200 price difference has me undecided on whom to choose. Has anyone had experience with both, and what would you recommend?
 

torga

Autocross Champion
If you're gonna be spending $1k on a tune, I say forget both options and buy a Cobb Accessport and a Stratified Pro Tune. It'll be right around the same amount of money and a much better tune. Plus, if you go for a K04 down the line, it'll only be an extra $150 for Stratified to re-tune for the new hardware.

FWIW, I have a GIAC Stage 2 tune and I feel like it's one of the more underpowered tunes. I'm looking at going the Cobb/Stratified route myself soon, just taking care of other things first.
 

Sarudo

Ready to race!
I never really gave custom tuning a thought up until some time ago lol. I had convinced myself of the "set it and forget it" mindset, but now that you've stated all of that, I'll go ahead with a ProTune and CTS's K04 that they offer. I have some minor things to do before then, but yeah, Stratified will be my choice now.

Do they offer DSG tunes as well, or should I opt for a DSG tune from APR/UM/GIAC?
 

torga

Autocross Champion
I'm not sure if they have DSG tuning available.

If you'd really like set and forget, I've heard many times that Unitronic makes a great tune. $650 out the door for Stage 2, and there are fairly frequent 10% off sales. APR's Stage 2 was also highly regarded, but alas...
 

Sarudo

Ready to race!
Yeah, EPA crackdown. No worries. I checked their website and they're sold out of DSG tunes. I'll do some searching to see what our fellow Mk6-ers went with. I can't wait lol.
 

GolNat

Autocross Champion
Unitronic or Stratified tune…
 
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