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  1. #1

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    Default Need a new Head Unit

    I need a new head unit as the one i had crapped out about 6 months ago. Really tired of driving in silence lol.
    Need a cd player for sure also would like to hook up my ipod to it from time to time.
    Any units you guys could recommend that produce some nice sound and would fit the bill. Would like to stay under 400 bucks on this.
    Thanks!!!!!
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    Im a pretty big Alpine fanboy so......

    Alpine CD player with front auxiliary and USB input. -- $240 shipped.

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    I like Kenwood, and have a DNX8120 navigation head unit in my car. However, if you don't need navi, you can probably find one in your price range. The iPod control works very well on my unit, and I use that function extensively. If you don't have anything against refurbished or used, I would just suggest going that route. Mine was a refurb that I got of eBay 3 years ago and it still works flawlessly.

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    Are you going to be running a hu+speakers install, or do you have / plan to add amps/subs into the mix?

  5. #5

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    The Alpine looks nice i'll keep it on a open tab for now.
    Do not need navi. on the unit. I was thinking about Kenwood but i've never had any units from them so wasn't sure on the quality of the units.
    Living Room Rig:D
    Rotel RSP-1069/Rotel RMB-1095/Rotel-1072/Polk lsI15's W/modded xoverW/DBsubs/Polk LsiC/lsI7's/Klipsch sub-12"the weak link"/DLP Mitsubishi 65"
    Xbox360/PS3/WII
    M.Br. setup:)
    Emotiva MMC-1/Rotel RMB-1075/Polk BlackStone TL350's/Velodyne SPL1000/Samsung 51" Plasma
    Computer Rig:
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    Headphones-Ultrasone-HFI780's w/LittleDot MK Vamp Portables Panasonic HJE-900's

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by arun1963 View Post
    Are you going to be running a hu+speakers install, or do you have / plan to add amps/subs into the mix?
    I have two amps. One for my fronts and one for my sub. Everything works except my head unit lol. Went out roughly 6months ago. Was running a Pioneer Premier DEH-780MP unit. Really liked the eq. functions being able to fine tune the sound to my liking.
    Living Room Rig:D
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    Xbox360/PS3/WII
    M.Br. setup:)
    Emotiva MMC-1/Rotel RMB-1075/Polk BlackStone TL350's/Velodyne SPL1000/Samsung 51" Plasma
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    If you're already a tweaker, you will need some dsp to satisfy that urge, or it's never going to sound right . Since you have the amps and subs you can go of three ways.

    Either get the Alpine that Mac suggested and pair it with an imprint unit which will do your tuning. The only drawback here is that, the imprint doesn't let you do any tweaking of your own. You would stay within your budget and I think imprint does a fair job. But you'd have to ask around since I've never used it.

    The other option is to go with something like this. While it only has a 5 band eq it does have time alignment which is a great tuning tool. The Kenwoods gebnerally do well with i-pod interface.

    The third option is to go with a used p-880/800. Great 1 din units with tons of tuning options. Ability to go active, 16 band eq independent for L/R side makes a big difference over a normal 16 band, time alignment etc. I run this unit and it's taken me about 3 years to get to the most out of it. The down side here is that these units have about the worst i-pod integration that you can imagine. They're amazing with cds though.

    Go with the hu that meets your needs and offers you the max tuning options.

  8. #8

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    Just go to the store and buy one you like. Seems like the logical thing to do !!!!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by arun1963 View Post
    If you're already a tweaker, you will need some dsp to satisfy that urge, or it's never going to sound right . Since you have the amps and subs you can go of three ways.

    Either get the Alpine that Mac suggested and pair it with an imprint unit which will do your tuning. The only drawback here is that, the imprint doesn't let you do any tweaking of your own. You would stay within your budget and I think imprint does a fair job. But you'd have to ask around since I've never used it.

    The other option is to go with something like this. While it only has a 5 band eq it does have time alignment which is a great tuning tool. The Kenwoods gebnerally do well with i-pod interface.

    The third option is to go with a used p-880/800. Great 1 din units with tons of tuning options. Ability to go active, 16 band eq independent for L/R side makes a big difference over a normal 16 band, time alignment etc. I run this unit and it's taken me about 3 years to get to the most out of it. The down side here is that these units have about the worst i-pod integration that you can imagine. They're amazing with cds though.

    Go with the hu that meets your needs and offers you the max tuning options.
    Thank you, that kenwood looks really nice. I may end up running one just because i have never given them a chance before.

    Quote Originally Posted by decal View Post
    Just go to the store and buy one you like. Seems like the logical thing to do !!!!
    That would be logical except i'd rather not go to 5 stores and spend ALL day looking at units when i can go online and get a heads up on 4-5 i should look at rather than 100 of em.
    Living Room Rig:D
    Rotel RSP-1069/Rotel RMB-1095/Rotel-1072/Polk lsI15's W/modded xoverW/DBsubs/Polk LsiC/lsI7's/Klipsch sub-12"the weak link"/DLP Mitsubishi 65"
    Xbox360/PS3/WII
    M.Br. setup:)
    Emotiva MMC-1/Rotel RMB-1075/Polk BlackStone TL350's/Velodyne SPL1000/Samsung 51" Plasma
    Computer Rig:
    Rotel RB1050/Tannoy DC4's/Klipsch RW-10d/ImodIpod/HK AVR230 for now....
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  10. #10

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    +1 for Kenwood. Have owned 3 different H/U's from them and about to purchase my third one next year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drenis View Post
    +1 for Kenwood. Have owned 3 different H/U's from them and about to purchase my third one next year.
    Good life from the Kenwood units? This is the first time i had a pio unit die early on me. But also doesn't sit well with me that it did. Got maybe a year of use from it before it died.
    Living Room Rig:D
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    Xbox360/PS3/WII
    M.Br. setup:)
    Emotiva MMC-1/Rotel RMB-1075/Polk BlackStone TL350's/Velodyne SPL1000/Samsung 51" Plasma
    Computer Rig:
    Rotel RB1050/Tannoy DC4's/Klipsch RW-10d/ImodIpod/HK AVR230 for now....
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    +1 on the kenwood never had a problem with the kenwoods I have owned my current one is the dpx 701 this thing will play the most scratched cd's you can find.

  13. #13

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    Default

    This will be on the high end of you price range, but if you look around, you might be able to find it cheeper than this website. The Pioneer Premier DEH-P980BT would be my choice if I had the money for it. Here is the link:

    http://www.onlinecarstereo.com/CarAu...EH-P980BT.aspx

    It has Digital Sound Processor with 16-band graphic 3-way crossover EQ and time alignment, 24 bit digital-to-analog converter. It has bluetooth (if that even matter to you, it may not). I think it also has BBE on it as well to help clear up digital audio files. Hope this helps.

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TouchOfEvil View Post
    Good life from the Kenwood units? This is the first time i had a pio unit die early on me. But also doesn't sit well with me that it did. Got maybe a year of use from it before it died.
    I've yet to encounter any sort of problem with any Kenwood HU I've owned. With saying that, I've owned 1 Alpine and had issues with it just after 30 days of owning it. Never again. Alpine went downhill over the years. They seem to be turning around though.

    What I also like, is Kenwood is the only company to offer Zune support. So next year I'll be picking up a KIV-901BT unit which loses the CD player but is a multimedia powerhouse I can just connect my Zune HD to and have a library at my finger tips.

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    That's a load. I've owned 4 straight Alpine head units over the last 15 years and they are all still working.

    I have never had an issue with an Alpine head unit and I've never seen anybody in a competition have a problem with an Alpine head unit in the 6 years I've been competing. Which is saying a lot because 75% of the head units in the SQ lanes are Alpine.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    That's a load. I've owned 4 straight Alpine head units over the last 15 years and they are all still working.

    I have never had an issue with an Alpine head unit and I've never seen anybody in a competition have a problem with an Alpine head unit in the 6 years I've been competing. Which is saying a lot because 75% of the head units in the SQ lanes are Alpine.
    I'm glad that you haven't experienced a problem with Alpine. However, that doesn't necessarily speak for Alpine's quality as a whole.

    Besides, I've also had a problem with an Alpine head unit, which doesn't speak for their overall quality either. A cold solder joint caused a problem with the CD player which caused it to stop playing when it got warm, or if I hit a speed bump. It was an easy fix, but it is also something that makes me question their quality control.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    That's a load. I've owned 4 straight Alpine head units over the last 15 years and they are all still working.

    I have never had an issue with an Alpine head unit and I've never seen anybody in a competition have a problem with an Alpine head unit in the 6 years I've been competing. Which is saying a lot because 75% of the head units in the SQ lanes are Alpine.
    And I bet none of those vehicles are using Alpine speakers/subs are they? Not for true db drags...

    For the most part Alpine has been very good. I had one bad experience. It was an awkward one that left me with a sour taste after dealing with the customer service to have it fixed.

    My issue was the face plate not seating where it would keep loosing its connectivity with the unit causing the display to fail and controls not to work properly. Playing sound through the AUX in also was affected by this.

    The kicker was it was shipped to Toronto... 1 province over and it took 6 weeks for them to come back and give me a refund because they didn't want to upgrade me to the next model (2010) as the one I had bought was a previous model year (2009) and they couldn't replace it for me. It was near entry level anyways.

    So I stick with what HAS always worked for me. It's an opinion and a experience I've had but not everyone. And you may never have ANY headaches.

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    Actually yes, there are several cars using Type X speakers in SQ. In fact, the Type X tweeter is one of the more sought after. There are even a few using the F1 gear.

    I also see several cars running Alpine subs in both SQ and SPL and their amps have always been heavily used in the lanes.

    Point is, you buying 1 head unit and it taking a dump on you is a far cry from the brand going downhill. In fact I'd say that Alpine is one of the few car audio brands that is NOT going downhill.
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
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    I stated my opinion fan boy, relax. It was one user experience. If that concerns the OP then so be it. I offered what I would recommend based on my experiences and knowledge of a variety of products. I would even go one more step and recommend Clarion or Eclipse before an Alpine HU.

    As I said, Alpine is bouncing back to the slump they DID face over the course of a few years. Real 12 volt shops up here don't sell Alpine for a reason. They went downhill for some time. However that is not to say Alpine is garbage. Not by any means.

    To the OP, I recommend you head into a shop that deals with car audio. Not your circuit city or best buy and look there. Ask people who work in the trade and know their stuff. They will be happy to let you demo and play with the different brands and models. Take that data and scour the net for reviews and information that will help you decide what fits your needs and application.

  20. #20

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    You relax! You stated your idiotic opinion that because you owned 1 Alpine HU that had problems, the whole brand is going downhill. I dont care what "real" shops in Canada sale. Ill stick to what real competitors are winning real trophies with.

    Weren't you trolling in the home audio section too? You think Alpine sucks and Kenwood rules. Your opinion is duly noted now go back and thread crap some other forum.
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
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    08 Car Audio Nationals 1st ~ 07 N Georgia Nationals 1st ~ 06 Carl Casper Nationals 1st ~ USACi 05 Southeast AutumnFest 1st

    polkaudio SR6500 --- polkaudio MM1040 x2 -- Pioneer P99 -- Rockford Fosgate P1000X5D

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    I'm gonna have to chime in on this one....

    I have to say that alpine hasnt gone down the quality toilet at all. Their focus has just been less o SQ features(other than imprint) lately. However with the H800 coming out that should change. I've owned 2 of them with no issues. I've owned a top of the line Kenwood excelon, great unit til it stopped fully ejecting discs, but I wouldnt write off Kenwood just on that. I currently just installed a Pioneer 880prs, so far so good. The reason? Nothing to do with alpine, I just wanted to take my system to the next level and didnt want to use imprint and didnt want to add a second control (H701) to the mix.

    With all that blabbing out of the way, the point is, this is the electronics game. They break, some maybe more than others but thats the way it is. It doesnt make one brand better than the rest or that one has gone down hill. I work in the industry, I know about failures.

    I would take a lot of what Mac says seriously, even if he is biased toward Alpine, guy knows his s*it. Besides, are3n't we al a bit Pok biased here?

    To the OP- After owning several good heads from several good companies, I would do this: Get on the computer and read, read, read! If you are dying for a current production new head unit there are several options that will do what you want. If you are willing to pick up somthing used, with a trade off on iPod intigration(slow) then IMHO the SQ benifits will be greater. Off the top of my head- Alpine (Mac can confirm I'm sure)
    There are a couple of newer units that are inexpensive and can control the H701 processor, or do the 9887 and imprint. Kenwood excelon I believe its the 994, looks nice. Pioneer 880/800prs, or p9 combo. Clarion DRZ9255, Eclipse CD7200mkII. All these choices would be fantastic and mostly wouldnt break the bank. Get online and read who's using what and why. many of these combos are in competitors and SQ enthusiasts cars because they are proven.

    I'm done. Thanks
    Justin Dorsey
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  22. #22

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    Im of the opinion that all of the major brands are just fine. Kenwood, Pioneer, Clarion and Alpine all make good quality units. The differences will be appearance and feature set. Cant go wrong with any of them really.
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
    MECA SQ Rookie of the Year 06 ~ MECA State Champ 06,07,08,11 ~ MECA World Finals 2nd place 06,07,08,09
    08 Car Audio Nationals 1st ~ 07 N Georgia Nationals 1st ~ 06 Carl Casper Nationals 1st ~ USACi 05 Southeast AutumnFest 1st

    polkaudio SR6500 --- polkaudio MM1040 x2 -- Pioneer P99 -- Rockford Fosgate P1000X5D

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    IMO you can't go wrong with Alpine or Kenwood, and as far as CD player once you use your iPod the CD's will be a thing of the past (in your car that is) my iPod is always in my car I never carry CD's in my car anymore..
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  24. #24

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    Thanks for the input guys, gonna start doing a little research on the units suggested and see what i can dig up.
    Thanks again!!!
    Living Room Rig:D
    Rotel RSP-1069/Rotel RMB-1095/Rotel-1072/Polk lsI15's W/modded xoverW/DBsubs/Polk LsiC/lsI7's/Klipsch sub-12"the weak link"/DLP Mitsubishi 65"
    Xbox360/PS3/WII
    M.Br. setup:)
    Emotiva MMC-1/Rotel RMB-1075/Polk BlackStone TL350's/Velodyne SPL1000/Samsung 51" Plasma
    Computer Rig:
    Rotel RB1050/Tannoy DC4's/Klipsch RW-10d/ImodIpod/HK AVR230 for now....
    Headphones-Ultrasone-HFI780's w/LittleDot MK Vamp Portables Panasonic HJE-900's

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    You relax! You stated your idiotic opinion that because you owned 1 Alpine HU that had problems, the whole brand is going downhill. I dont care what "real" shops in Canada sale. Ill stick to what real competitors are winning real trophies with.

    Weren't you trolling in the home audio section too? You think Alpine sucks and Kenwood rules. Your opinion is duly noted now go back and thread crap some other forum.
    That's right. My "idiotic opinion" of that 1 HU is my own experience. The same applies what has been seen up here with the brand. I'm not going to argue about it. I could care less except share what I've seen, witnessed and experienced with the brand. If that's what turns people's cranks down there then great! But don't make accusations and be a dick. Because that's exactly what you're being.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drenis View Post
    That's right. My "idiotic opinion" of that 1 HU is my own experience. The same applies what has been seen up here with the brand. I'm not going to argue about it. I could care less except share what I've seen, witnessed and experienced with the brand. If that's what turns people's cranks down there then great! But don't make accusations and be a dick. Because that's exactly what you're being.
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
    MECA SQ Rookie of the Year 06 ~ MECA State Champ 06,07,08,11 ~ MECA World Finals 2nd place 06,07,08,09
    08 Car Audio Nationals 1st ~ 07 N Georgia Nationals 1st ~ 06 Carl Casper Nationals 1st ~ USACi 05 Southeast AutumnFest 1st

    polkaudio SR6500 --- polkaudio MM1040 x2 -- Pioneer P99 -- Rockford Fosgate P1000X5D

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    Quick, someone buy this one for me lol.
    http://www.crutchfield.com/s_130DEXP...FBrand|Pioneer
    Living Room Rig:D
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    Xbox360/PS3/WII
    M.Br. setup:)
    Emotiva MMC-1/Rotel RMB-1075/Polk BlackStone TL350's/Velodyne SPL1000/Samsung 51" Plasma
    Computer Rig:
    Rotel RB1050/Tannoy DC4's/Klipsch RW-10d/ImodIpod/HK AVR230 for now....
    Headphones-Ultrasone-HFI780's w/LittleDot MK Vamp Portables Panasonic HJE-900's

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    Drenis,

    You started the brand bashing. You took one personal experience along with hearsay to form an opinion and condemn a brand. I think that's a bit OTT.

    This is one of the very few car audio forms where its not about the equipment, but the 'sound'. Any of the top brands Alpine, Kenny, Clarion, Pio are good as long as you have tons of dsp, driver placements that are ideal for your environment and things like deadening, managing reflections etc. Of course 99.99% of people are not that focused on getting the sound right. Then, any of those brands will be fine. It's not about which is better / best.

    In one of the threads you mentioned that you like to keep track of top end equipment and thats what you use. Guess what, the ability to buy expensive equipment does not make you an audiophile. SQ in a car is not plug and play, like it is in a home environment. In a car you won't get there unless you have the dsp and placements covered. Then there is the small matter of the few thousand hours you'd have to spend to dial it all in.

    So frankly while you may have some decent equipment (although I have no clue what you're running), you clearly don't have the sound. Your sweeping statements about a brand seems kind of silly.

    Hang around you may actually learn something.

    Arun

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    Quote Originally Posted by TouchOfEvil View Post
    Quick, someone buy this one for me lol.
    http://www.crutchfield.com/s_130DEXP...FBrand|Pioneer
    Oh Boy! That is the 'best', stand alone, 1 din unit, ever made. Not because it's a Pio but because of the level of dsp and minute level of control it gives you. That said, if you were to seriously consider the p-99 for the same coin, a basic $ 300 hu with preouts and maybe a toslink, coupled with a processor will get you even further than the p-99 would.

    For the last six months I've been torn between the p-99 vs just adding a processor to my existing setup. I've resisted, cause going either way is going to eat up a ton of time, which I don't have .

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOOLFORLIFEFAN View Post
    IMO you can't go wrong with Alpine or Kenwood, and as far as CD player once you use your iPod the CD's will be a thing of the past (in your car that is) my iPod is always in my car I never carry CD's in my car anymore..
    I definitely agree with this, as I rarely play a CD in my car. The only time I do is if I have a new album that I want to listen to, but don't feel like getting the iPod out of my car and starting up iFail to sync it. In that case, I will just throw the MP3's on a CD and listen to it that way.
    Last edited by BeefJerky; 08-31-2011 at 03:22 AM.

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