View Full Version : Head Unit Comparison
09-09-2003, 03:31 PM
I currently have the Pioneer Deh-P8400 head unit. I love this unit but everyone I know is buying it and I'm the type of guy who likes to have things my friends don't... long story. Anywho I think I'm gonna give the 8400 to my girlfriend and buy a new one. I'm looking at the Alpine CDA-7995, I don't have a lot of personal experience with the newer Alpine decks and I'm just wondering if they are similarly equipped to the 8400. Which would all of you prefer? Any info would be great. Thanks
09-09-2003, 04:40 PM
im not sure about the exact model...but how much are you willing to spend?
09-09-2003, 05:02 PM
Well this model is on sale in Crutchfield for 299. I did a comparison on Crutchfield.com and they are almost identical in features... the only real difference is that the 8400 has a 3 band EQ and the 7995 doesn't.
I'd rather not spend over $300 online/Ebay.
09-09-2003, 05:23 PM
check out www.onlinecarstereo.com
they usually have the cheapest prices
i know onlinecarstereo carries warranty
not sure about the other 2
i dont have time right now or else id look up some models for you myself
alpine and pioneer are both good brands...i have a pioneer...i love it
some ppl swear by alpine
eclipse makes very good head units
so does nakamichi(spelling?), theyre not as "snazzy" as the pioneers/alpines...but hey, it might keep it from getting stolen too...
09-09-2003, 06:17 PM
Yeah I've got the 8400 now, and I love it, but my girlfriend has been begging me to give it to her, and if I could save some money on this Alpine and get roughly the same features/sound quality out of it, then I would go ahead and buy it.
09-09-2003, 07:24 PM
Personally i'd take an eclipse over the alpine... the Eclipse CD8443 is supposed to have incredible sound quality and if you want to spend a little more you can add the "commander advance" to your system... voice controlled car... sweet... talk about having something that none of your friends will have ;D
check it out at
Good huntin :D
09-09-2003, 07:54 PM
I know less about the Eclipse than either of the other two, and the website kinda leaves it up in the air. Are there a lot of controls on the Eclipse to fine tune my sound? I like to have that instead of just Bass, Treble, fade and balance.
09-09-2003, 09:12 PM
again, not sure about the individual unit, but eclipse units are BAD ASS
my brother has an old model one in his truck
and its nice
they have GREAT sound quality
better than that of alpine and pioneer
well...their higher end units are
but they are really sweet decks
but again i love pioneer...i have the 940MP and its sweet too
i stil dont know how to use all the options though...which is good and bad
nice to know i can...but a lot of ppl dont have time to mess with it
one day ill get the book in sit in the truck for a couple of hours and get everything adjusted
09-09-2003, 09:16 PM
Dude i'd go with the eclipse that i mentioned. I'm working on a Very high SQ system and i'm either getting the deck i mentioned previously or the next one up. the controlls are more extensive than the 8400 if i remember correctly and while it may have less options than the pioneer 9400 i know many people who say that the eclipse gets better sound. that and it's got non clipping 8v outputs... can we say power??? btw if you have amps make sure that they can handle an 8v input before you get the deck outherwise you'll fry the amps :( bad very bad :(
09-10-2003, 02:13 PM
Do you happen to know where I could get an Eclipse deck online? I believe there is one shop here in town that deals in them, but I don't want to pay retail as I'd imagine the 8443 or 8503 are expensive units.
09-10-2003, 02:51 PM
From what dealers have told me, Eclipse does not sell online whatsoever. It is against their company policy to sell online. Other companies, like Nakamichi, have similar policies, but can be found online. If you find an Eclipse deck, it will certainly not have the warranty from the company. So just be careful.
09-10-2003, 03:39 PM
that is probably true...as I don't recall any website selling eclipse online
09-10-2003, 04:01 PM
Yeah I found that the retail is over $500 on that deck and I really don't wanna spend that. So it looks like it will be back between the Alpine and the Pioneer I already have. Tough call... should I be a stingy ******* and just keep my Pioneer or give it to my gf and buy the Alpine... decisions decisions... lol
09-10-2003, 09:51 PM
dude try and talk them down i have a shop in fortwayne that'll sell me that deck for 429+tax. if it's a small shop and they're charging retail they're being dumbasses, that's why so many small shops go under when all they have is high priced high end equip.
09-11-2003, 02:48 AM
end of story.
u want the best deck around that's in a halfway reasonable price range -- that's it.
09-12-2003, 03:15 PM
OK PBD, you say the 9815 is the best around for that price. It looks like I'm gonna be purchasing the Eclipse 8443... how do you compare the 9815 and the 8443? I've heard a lot of good things from Cody and MTX on the Eclipse and would like your opinion too if you don't mind.
What am I saying... of course you don't mind! lol
09-12-2003, 03:19 PM
Hey MTX... If it's possible could I get the name of that shop? I might try to use that as some leverage. My shop will match any price I bring to them from another dealer. I'd appreciate it.
09-12-2003, 08:54 PM
cman -- i've got no idea dude -- i never owned or played with an eclipse deck - closest i got was looking at one in a store a year or two ago ... the couple i've seen in other people's vehicles (few and far between since most people are cheap / poor / ghetto, and eclipse is not cheap, nor is it for the ghetto types) didnt impress me any.
if cody says its good, its probably good, he's fairly picky.
for me however, any deck without a level adjustable BBE processor is worthless (unless i bought an outboard 12 band EQ or something like that)... hence why id stick to the pioneer high end stuff and the alpine, as they ahve those features.
the only exception would be kenwood, as i've been able to "dick around" with their sys-eq settings well enough to make me happy... but if i really hadda put a deck in my truck today - it'd be the 9815 or the pio that cody has.
09-12-2003, 09:07 PM
the 9815 is a very good model
im not really sure about any of the individual units from eclipse...but i know eclipse is a damn good brand
i would go with the 9815 considering your price range
and the eclipse has 8volt pre outs
while that is awesome...if your amp isnt meant to handle it...bad things happen
you wont go wrong with either head unit
if you want the eclipse though...YOU MUST CALL AND CHECK IF YOUR AMPS CAN HANDLE IT
09-13-2003, 04:02 AM
Oh believe me, that was the first call I made. I'm not about to fry my amps for a head unit that probably won't improve my sound all that much if at all. I'm going to see if there is a way I can mess around with an Eclipse at my dealer tomorrow. Last time I checked they didn't even put them in the wall. Where I live there is not a high demand for them (everyone here is into Alpine, Kenwood and Pioneer). I'll let you know what I decide to do.
Thanks for everything guys.
09-13-2003, 02:21 PM
thats the way it is everywhere...eclipse imho is one of the higher grade models over pioneer and alpine etc...the only reason i got my pioneer over an eclipse was b/c it suited my needs better, had more options to get my sound right
i wish it didnt come with an internal amp, but you cant have it all i guess
09-15-2003, 03:25 AM
Well I got the 8443... Nice unit. I think I've got a loose connection somewhere. At low volumes it sounds like you're listening to a record... also when volume is at zero you can still hear the beat of the song coming from my sub. But I will say, I haven't adjusted anything on the EQ yet and when you turn the volume up it sounds very good already. My highs the way it sits right now sound better than with the Pioneer, but I seem to have lost a little bass... I'm gonna fix the connection and probably swap my old ass RCA's out tomorrow. Let you know how it works out.
09-15-2003, 07:35 PM
new high quality RCA's can make all the difference in the world if your old ones are low end
09-15-2003, 08:15 PM
I was thinking the same thing. My sub RCA seem a little bit low end to me.. but my other RCA's are Stinger Pro. I was just thinking that they are probably a few years old and they might not be able to handle the 8 volt pre outs. But do you think swapping RCA's could get rid of the turn on thump?
09-15-2003, 09:19 PM
you mean that little rumble when the system comes on and when you change tracks??? most systems that i've done have had that so i'm not realy sure if it's something that you even can get rid of... I'd be glad for advice on this too
09-15-2003, 10:42 PM
On this one it only does it when switching sources. And every once in a while it does it so loud my whole car shakes and it scares the **** out of me. My local shop told me to adjust the gains on the amp since it's 8 volts instead of 4. I don't know if that would get rid of that problem but hopefully it will. He's sure it will get rid of the bass when the volume is down.
I don't know, when I turn it on and switch sources it does the thump, which it never did with my Pioneer, and sometimes my front speakers crackle a little. I think the hiss from the front speakers is probably because the RCA's aren't the greatest and probably can't handle the 8 volts. I just really don't know about the turn on "boom"
09-15-2003, 10:57 PM
ya got me i have no clue... Maybe PBD will have some ideas...
09-16-2003, 05:02 PM
Well just an update. I turned the gains WAY down today and it seems to have gotten rid of the problem. Sounds awesome so far. The gains on my front amp are less than a quarter of the way up... actually about an eighth of the way up... and my sub amp is between a quarter and a third. Hits harder than the Pioneer. I think I could have turned the gain up a little higher but I couldn't see my knobs anymore... lol. Plus I still have the sub setting in the deck only about half way up.
My highs sound a little dull right now, but I haven't even had the opportunity to adjust any of the EQ's built into the deck yet. I messed with them a little yesterday and they brightened the highs up, but I turned them off today to adjust the amp. So far so good. Seems to have fixe the problem.
09-16-2003, 05:19 PM
glad you like it
ive had my pioneer about 5 months and i still havent had time to adjust everything
ive adjusted a little...but thats about it
and i dont have my subs working now anyways
i got my amps in today though!
im going to hook up one today if i have time and all goes well
ill hook up the other when i get my other capacitor which should be in a couple days hopefully
09-16-2003, 06:06 PM
Sweet... If I'm not mistaken you got two of the 550s'? I'm looking for an amp for my girlfriend to run my two IDQ 10's and I'm thinking about one of those.
09-16-2003, 07:51 PM
two idq 10's ... that's what i SHOULDA got my gf. stupid me. by the time i got done w/ the dx10's i was up to like 200 bucks --- prolly coulda got idq 10's for that on sale if i really hounded the right people.
but i like the dx's - so i should stop bitching -- dx's are built "tougher" too and the way she beats on stuff that's important. (throwing things around in trunk and such).
... I would try to get like 350 watts available to each woofer -- you may not use all of it, but they should take well over their rms, and they should also have a nice dynamic ability (to take slight peaks that normally would not fall within the woofer's call of duty and would also require an amp that had some good headroom).
Long story short I'd be looking at a 700 watt 2 channel -- even the old RF Punch 700S -- i was lookin at that one a while ago - somebody had it for 200 bucks and i was gonna jump on it but it wont fit in her trunk on the amp rack i built for the 302 and 204.
... now -- as far as the thump and ****... deal with it. everything thumps --- its ambient **** in the line/amp circuit caused by the switching source removing the source input to the amp (or reapplying it) which basically causes a short "lack of ground" and then a short "burning off any capacitance in the line (line being the actual line or the amp's circuit)" thing which you've noticed is amped up by the gain.
keep hte gain reasonable and it wont hit you so hard.
if its thumping that loud - the gain is probably way too high.. and as u said - it got less annoying when u lowered it.
as far as your sub out on the deck -- you should dial that all the wya up... put the gain on your sub amp at like zero and dial the output on the head up to full... set the volume for tuning then adjust the gain on the amp.
reason being - why "waste" the effort of the amp? and besides -- tell me which -- which is clearer ??? a 4x6 photo that is blown up to poster size.... or a 12 x 18 that is blown up to poster size -- the 12 x 18 -- since there is less expanding to do and thus less distortion.
so the less amplifying you make your amp do the better.
not that a 4 v out is bad -- hell thats what most of us have -- but an 8 v is pimp -- use it -- dont waste it.
if you can't put the sub dial up to full because the amp is pumpin out too much juice (even w/ the gain at zero) - then zero the gain and dial down the sub dial on the head unit its "tuned" where u like it.
as far as getting rid of thump though -- i've found only one way... toggle switches on the remote lines (also helps why trying to tune one amp at a time - have a separate toggle for each amp's remmy lead)... when u switch sources, dial down the volume to like something reasonable, flip the toggle off -- switch -- when the source kicks in - toggle on and you'll see no thump -- same goes for turning the head on and off (turnin car on and off).
09-16-2003, 08:39 PM
Thanks PBD. It pretty much eliminated the thump. I was only complaining because it would thump so hard it would hurt your head. Like I said the gain is really low now and it sounds great. I don't mind a turn on noise, but if you heard it you'd definately know why I was bitching. :)
As for the IDQ's, I had like 900 watts on them for well over a year with no problems. I know what they can do. Awesome subs. I was actually looking at the 700s yesterday and the guy told me it was a joke compared to the Crossfire 600D he recommended. He didn't even tell me the price on it. I'm not exactly sure what year it is... It looks like the 2002 model but it seems like they have been in there for a long time. I'm going to look at some Soundstream amps today also for her. Specifically the Picasso 2.880. It's an entry level amp, but I know Soundstream makes good stuff, should be good for the gf.
09-17-2003, 12:46 AM
unless its the 2000 watt class D crossfire that can be had for about 700 bucks online -- then i wouldn't buy a crossfire.
and wouldn't the 600D crossfire be like whatever power at 2 ohms? if you've got a pair of dual 4's how the hell could u do that anyway?
700S isn't a joke -- it'll do 700... wont do more than 700 but it'll do 700. and its a simpler build than the power series RF.
09-17-2003, 01:10 AM
600 watts at 1 ohm on the Crossfire. I got the price on the 700s and they want 499. I know that amp isn't a joke, I just didn't wanna stand around there and argue with the dude, so I just left. I started looking for it online but haven't found a price in her budget yet. I'm starting to look at some lower cost options now like the Profile CA1200 I listed in another post. I don't know what the hell I wanna get her. She won't spend a lot of money but I really don't want to get her something that will cause more headache than good.
09-17-2003, 01:25 AM
you could always do that blue thunder 150.2 i found on www.mitekfactoryoutlet.com ... it'll get up to a smidge over 500 x 1 at 4 ohms bridged and they seem to never break down.
i think it was 250 or 200 or something.
its less power than yo'ud want, but i run two DX10's off like 230 each and it slams the living **** out of the car... but i'm pushing the amp to its utter limits of operation... gain is like 75%... that's not good. but it keeps me happy.
I'd be leanin toward the 1200 if you cant find the 700S for cheap.. i'll check on it for ya...
09-17-2003, 01:41 AM
my bad -- the 150.2 is only $150 bucks !! at that price u can afford to buy her something leather as well -- wink wink nudge nudge...
there's an old 500D for only 300 bucks -- too bad u cant get the ohms right -- that sucker does 800 x 1 or more.
looked for the 700S couldn't find it...
here's what i get the gold star for though....
Hifonics Zeus ZX7500
1000 x 1 at 4 ohms bridged rms.
$350 after instant rebate.
sounddomain also has a deal...
mtx 942 -- 940 x 1 bridged into 4 ohms rms...
$475 after rebate and sale but not only do you get the amp but you get a complete 0 gauge wiring kit for it.
same deal on the RF 851S
also - the mtx 942 can be had brand new in box on ebay for $290 bucks
for 290 bucks i'd be buying htat mtx -- that's a big ass honkin amp there. case is the same size as the 81000d and it draws as much current.
09-17-2003, 03:36 AM
As always PBD, you are the man! I appreciate it.
Same to the rest of yas.
Hey guys, I'm a newbie, But I'm reading through this head unit comparison thread & I looked at the Eclipse web site. Per the site the only way to get MP3 playback is by purchasing the Commander Advance device??? Someone clear this up for me please?
Right now, the HU I'm looking at is the Alpine CDA-7998. I still have the Pioneer 9400 pulling at me (because I loved my 735R from back in 1998) but disappointed in the SNR being 94db & that is the rating for the Premier series also. The Alpine is 105db... I will post what I'm planning for the rest of my set up, for hopefully my 04 Mercury Marauder (Hoping b4 Memorial Weekend) that I want to get.
Thanks in advance for your assistance...
BUMP. I know this thread is old, but help me out here...
01-22-2004, 11:47 AM
Lets see, first off, you posted your first response at 10 minutes to 2 am. Most people are either in bed or not concerned with a forum that early in the morning. Secondly, your "bump" post was unecessary because you post only fell two or three posts down on the board.
Why don't you settle down and wait for someone to respond? Patience is a virtue.
If you wanted a higher profile post, you should have started a new thread instead of digging up a thread that is almost 6 months old.
As far as suggestions, you haven't posted much of what you want suggestions on. You are concerned with only one specification between an Alpine and a Pioneer head unit and even then you have not specified what signal to noise ratio you are reffering to. Given what you have posted, without going out and doing my own research, it is clear that the Alpine is the better choice if it has such favorable numbers over the Pioneer in the only specification you listed.
As far as your issue with Eclipse, I would think that Eclipse's own website would be the authority on Eclipse gear. I don't think they would lie to the customer. If you are unclear on what thier website says then I think calling a customer service number for Eclipse would be a better bet than asking questions about Eclipse's website on an internet forum unrelated to Eclipse. If you want definte answers about a manufacturer's website then it'd be best to go to the manufacturer themselves.
01-22-2004, 10:46 PM
ya - i'm kind of confused on what you're asking as well...
IF you are asking "are there any decks that play mp3's without adding a module or anythign extra?" then my answer would be "yup" -- alpine / kenwood / pioneer / panasonic / clarion ... etc etc etc... personally - i'd take an alpine or kenwood.
as far as eclipse -- i haven't the foggiest idea -- call them up and see if they can help you out -- i've never used one of their head units.
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